Forgive my absence this weekend, but packing for and getting life together in advance of a three-week overseas trip hasn’t exactly left me with the free time I desired. I had grand plans, too, of putting out some decent stuff in advance of the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearing beginning tomorrow.
Hopefully, I’ll still have some time tonight; I’ll have plenty of time to sleep and relax in a few short days.
From Thursday, July 16 to Tuesday, August 4, I will be with my wife and daughter in rural northern Poland, enjoying some much-needed down-time with my wife’s family over there. Most summers, some of her family go through the rigmarole of obtaining a visa and visit here for a few weeks. This time around, it’s our turn; the last time we went was in the summer of 2005, and we wanted to travel there again before the big move to Charleston, S.C. next year. It’s always a phenomenal trip, in more ways than one.
First, of course, Joanna gets to see family, all in one place, that she doesn’t normally have the opportunity to see. Everybody there is absolutely wonderful; if it weren’t for the different flag and language, I’d equate them with the everyday folks you come across in middle America — hard-working, God-fearing, family-centric people who just want to draw breath each day with the freedom to live their lives, care for their families, and fend for themselves.
Second, the area in which her family lives is absolutely beautiful. Whether it be day trips into the countryside, to the Baltic Sea, or just relaxing and kicking a soccer ball or hacky sack around with the kids, every day is glorious and care free. The food is to die for, from the coffee and farm-fresh meat and eggs and juice in the morning to the kielbasa and meat and potatoes and vodka at night, I guarantee that I’ll put on ten pounds. That’s not a good thing. I’m like Oprah, except she occasionally loses the weight before putting it back on.
Third, because we stay with family and cook and eat as family, there really isn’t much cost other than the airfare, which we purchased far in advance. As a typical American family living paycheck-to-paycheck, we might not have the freedom to go shopping and dining out while we’re over there, but relaxing with family is always enough.
And, finally, traveling away from my beloved country always reinforces exactly what she means to me. In 2005, my father-in-law and I joked around that, should Hillary Clinton win the presidential election in 2008, our next ticket to Poland would be one-way. Since what we have in the White House now is far worse than Hillary Clinton could have been–at least she loves America enough to likely not undermine our national security completely–I’m afraid that there’s far too much to do back here in the States for our exit to be permanent. Because I don’t speak the language well at all, I tend to read a lot in Poland. This time around, I’m dedicating myself to our nation’s founders, and those ideas and ideals from which we’ve so radically departed. By the time the fourth of August rolls around, as much as I will not want to return to the real world of bills, work, school and putting our house on the market, I’m sure I’ll be ready.
I will not be writing while I’m there, and save for the occasional need to find an Internet connection to pay some bills (alas, the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, waiting for that direct deposit even from a few thousand miles away) I’ll be avoiding the Web like the plague. In my daily life, I’m always juggling, I’ve always got a half-dozen balls up in the air; this trip is allowing me to put everything down and rest my arms a bit.
While I’m gone, Robert Wallace will be handling the day-to-day stuff here at America’s Right. Robert and I certainly don’t agree on everything–that’s one of the reasons I like having him around–but I trust his instincts, I trust his writing and editing abilities, and because of his work on his own Web site, I know he’s familiar with the Blogger platform. At the conclusion of each post, you’ll see his name where mine usually is.
I’ve asked the other writers to continue to contribute as well. I know that Robert may not be able to stock America’s Right with the same volume of material, so I hope that the others can pick up the slack. And it will certainly help, considering the wealth of issues and debate coming in the next few weeks.
Yes, I know that in terms of picking the most politically convenient times to go overseas, I’ve done a poor job. Between the Sotomayor hearings, the upcoming Senate vote on cap-and-trade, the ongoing and intensifying debate over health care reform, and even the emergence of talk surrounding an amnesty bill, the news coming out of Capitol Hill sure isn’t good, and sure isn’t slowing down any.
Still, I’m confident that you’ll find plenty of great material here in my absence — depending upon the timing of the cap-and-trade vote, even in my absence you might see an interview I did with the president of the West Virginia Coal Association following the passage of Waxman-Markey in the House.
It will be strange, not knowing everything that’s going on, and I honestly expect to go through a bit of informational withdrawal. No Blackberry buzzing in my pocket. No laptop on standby in my bag. The only thing on television I even remotely understand is the weather, and I’m not certain that an English-language newspaper will be available closely enough to warrant a daily excursion.
Understandably, when I return, for a couple of days my official opinion will be: “Huh?”
Ideally, when I return, the Waxman-Markey bill will have been vanquished, Sonia Sotomayor will have returned to the Court of Appeals to further disregard the Constitution, and the Rasmussen presidential approval index will be only able to be measured in Kelvin. I’ll hold out hope.
In the meantim, over the next three days I may not be around as much as I’d like; after that, I’ll be gone for those three weeks. During the trip, I can’t wait to absorb everything I can about our founders, and upon returning I will look forward to reading the commentaries and the comments which have graced America’s Right while I was gone. In the meantime, please hold down the fort for me — I’ll soon return fattened, rested, and ready to go.
Thank you, as always, for sharing part of your day with me.