One day, while visiting a fire truck exhibit in the community with young son, I met the obstetrician who attended to the birth of our children. This physician was attending this leisure event, with the physician’s own children. I felt a sense of uneasiness meeting with this person in a casual way, in town.
At about this time, spouse, daughter, son, and I attended a large three ring circus at an arena. This event brought back memories of my visit to the circus in the 1960’s, where the same feelings of confusion, disorientation, mild annoyance, excitement, and anxiety resurfaced. Based on daughter and son’s behavior at this three ring circus, I became aware that they were likely experiencing similar emotions as I. At this time, I realized that this atmosphere of attempting to view the three different performances, in each of the three rings at the same time, may very well be inflicting psychological damage on people. A one ring circus is the saner circus to attend.
Sometime during the early 1990’s I read an article in the local newspaper that requested volunteers to provide assistance in a local food pantry and clothing depot. I decided to answer this call and visited this organization where I stocked food items according to categories on shelves. After completing this job, I asked the pantry manager to provide me with a schedule to return for repeated assistance. I was told to come whenever I desired. By my second visit, there were several volunteers in the pantry where we were bumping into each other as we stocked the shelves. At that point, I did not believe assistance was needed and so I quit volunteering for this charity.
In the early 1990’s, spouse, daughter, son, and I visited an Amish area of Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., on two separate long weekend journeys. During our visit to the Amish country, we toured an old Amish farmhouse where I was enlightened to the mechanics of wind energy used to provide an energy source to this home. This old technique is only now gaining in popularity as a viable energy source. For the first time, we visited a wax museum in the area that was eerie and surreal. One child became frightened, cried, and screamed when viewing a lifelike wax rendition of Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. The first and only cat show attended happened to be hosted in the hotel where we stayed for that weekend. I was in awe of all the various breeds of cats including an unusual hairless variety. Our first time, three day visit to Washington D.C. reminded me of the time spent in Paris due to similarities in the architectural designs of both cities. We visited landmark buildings and monuments, an aquarium, Smithsonian Museums, and toured the White House. This tour required arriving by 5:00 am to purchase tickets and then wait on an already long line at that early hour to only gain entry to the White House, several hours later. I thought the wait was worth the visit but chastised myself for not arriving earlier. I was especially saddened by the viewing of the names of soldiers killed during the Vietnam War that were engraved at eye level on a simply constructed marble stone monument. A vendor offered a photograph with a novel life size cardboard rendition of the President and his wife. I thought this deception to be crazy, but amusing at the same time.
This summer, our family was invited to attend a picnic sponsored by spouse’s employer. The picnic was held in a lovely wooded area of New Jersey and was administered by a catering business that specialized in large group outings. Good food and drinks were served, amusements were provided, and raffles for