The End of an Era

Well, I don’t usually mix work and writing, but between me, you, and the other thirty people who read this blog, I don’t think I’ve got a whole lot to worry about. After nine years of county employment, working with my local soil and water district, I’ve jumped governmental ships and taken a job with the state. It’s been a whirlwind transitioning to a new job, and I’ve barely been able to write at all in the last few months. I’m struggling just to muster up enough words to put together a blog post each week. Once things settle down, I hope I’ll be able to get back into the rhythm of writing and reading more (sorry to all you fellow bloggers whose blogs I’ve been neglecting to visit). 

Not to conflate the two, but with my new job starting and with WWIII starting in Europe, everything seems a little surreal. About fifteen years ago, I went to Ukraine on a mission trip in college. Flew into Kyiv, then volunteered for a week doing construction work at an orphanage in Bucha, a small village outside of Kyiv. The orphanage was actually in an old Soviet work camp. Sadly, my memories have faded immensely in fifteen years, but I remember a few things:

  1. The Russian and Ukrainian languages sound a lot alike, but our translator said Ukrainians took pride in speaking Ukrainian, not Russian, and Ukrainians take offense when foreigners confuse the two. 
  2. Ukrainian women are all supermodels, and Ukrainian men are all clones of the Marlboro Man (they still smoked a lot over there) minus the cowboy attire.
  3. Apparently, Ukrainians don’t require drivers’ ed. The whole population drove with reckless abandon, making four-lane highways out of two-lane roads. 

Needless to say, it doesn’t surprise me that people who take such pride in speaking their native tongue, who are, on a whole, rugged and physically fit, who drive unflappably in the face of head-on collisions, would be mounting such a stout defense. Yesterday, I saw photos of a destroyed convoy of Russian military vehicles smoldering in the streets of Bucha. It’s hard to believe that the quiet little village I visited fifteen years ago is now a dystopian battleground. It’s hard to believe a maniac is threatening to use nuclear weapons (sadly, it’s not hard to believe our former president is praising him as a “genius”). I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t think there’s any going back now. Seems like the end of an era. 

Streets of Bucha

14 thoughts on “The End of an Era

  1. Well-said. I’m not sure if it’s me getting old or if things really are spiraling downward, but I fear it’s the latter. Once again, we have an unchecked megalomaniac at the helm of a large country while another waits in the wings in our own country in hope of returning to power. I also think Europe and the US will ultimately be drawn into this conflict because someone will eventually have to draw the line somewhere. I can’t see Putin voluntarily giving up on his ambition to recreate the Soviet Union.

    1. I don’t see how this ends well because I don’t think Putin will give up for fear of being humiliated. Best case scenario is Russians revolt in mass, but with no outside media in country, I’m not sure they will

  2. Well, on the bright side, welcome to the state! I have been with DEQ over 5 years and it has its pluses and minuses, but thus far the pros win the day.

    1. Oh, wow, I know a few folks in DEQ from working with the soil and water district over the years. My new job is with cooperative extension and I’m likely it a lot so far. So, do you live on a hill with a lot of sourwood trees. I was thinking of taking some hives this year up to a spot in the south mountains to see if I could get some sourwood honey, but not sure if it will be worth the trouble.

  3. Totally agree with you on everything – haven’t written in months but my excuse is the Universe has it out for me (LOL), worried about everything starting with WWIII, and its seed start time and I don’t have my normal Spring Fever going on. Just one big funk and I don’t know how to stop it. Thank you for sharing so I know I am not in this boat alone (PS – nice to have you back!)

    1. Yeah, I go through funks likes that where I can’t seem to muster up the brain power to write, then eventually a big burst writing will come along. I think it’s kind of like waiting for the rainy season in my brain, except the rain would be words, if that makes sense.

  4. With everything going on, I’m glad that there are places like your site that can make light of everything and bring a smile to people’s faces. Whenever I need a laugh or a smile during troubled times, I always know where to look! 😀 I am so thankful for your stories! 😂

  5. It is all so horrendous and sad. I am sorry your memories are being tarnished by a madman. I am hoping for a quick end to this brutality.

    1. Yeah, it really is. We just got an email that the orphanage was bombed yesterday. Thankfully there was no one in it because they had been evacuated

  6. Congratulations on the new job. That said, I hope you find the time to get back to the important work of writing and set silly things such as being gainfully employed and feeding your family aside. A man must have his priorities.

    1. Thanks, that’s a good reminder. I was starting to loose my way focusing on work and all–need to rededicate myself to my general life philosophy that the grass is always greener at the hobo camp.

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