About yesterday: I was astonished at the volume of mail--most of it, though by no means all, through Facebook--bearing birthday wishes. I did not keep count, but I know that there were at least 150, maybe more. And not all of them by any means were just the pro forma "Happy Birthday" from that ocean of anonymous friends. No, many of them came with a personal message, from people who follow what I write and appreciate it. I was, as I say, astonished--and grateful, too. I think I answered every one, at least with a word or two; or more for those who had written more themselves. It took me, yesterday and this morning, a good few hours to catch up and I'll admit I was relieved when I reached the last of them. In case I missed anyone who might be reading these words, please accept this as my "thank you."
So much, then, to be grateful for. I'm looking forward to some quiet time down here at the beach, with the opportunity to get some new writing done and think about that new book I've been planning.
For this morning, let me just add that I was much moved, along with the rest of the country, I'm sure, by the plucky appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the House yesterday, in order to cast her vote on the debt ceiling bill. If we Democrats (liberals and progressives) all valued our vote as much as she does hers, we might not find ourselves in the mess we find ourselves today. As one letter-writer in the NY Times pointed out in this morning's paper, it was our failure to turn out in sufficient numbers to vote last November, along with the enthusiasm of Tea-Partiers, that opened the door wide for the right-wing extremism we have witnessed in recent weeks. We have received a powerful reminder of the importance of our vote, and a gift in the stellar example of Ms. Giffords. I'm grateful, too, to her.