The motel breakfast bar is bustling this morning with several of the same people who started the day yesterday with dark roast coffee and assembly line eggs and sausage. That description of the breakfast service is not meant to be negative, by the way; it is exceptionally efficient, if not creatively inspired.  That description could well fit the people the breakfast bar serves, too, though I cannot know that. It’s just a stereotyping hunch. A group of guys dressed in jeans, heavy lace cup work boots, flannel shirts, and knit caps or baseball caps look like they might be preparing to work on electric power lines or oil field equipment. But I can’t know that. Hell, they could be surgeons out for a weekend of spelunking or calf-roping.  We are—and by that I mean I am—too quick with our assumptions about people. People about whom we know nothing except what we see in a slice of a moment. My brother remarked yesterday that he tends to make instant and often correct assessments about people—whether they are good, decent folks, for instance. I, on the other hand, tend to incorrectly judge people based on erroneous first impressions. My brother noted that it pays to make note of how dogs size up a person—if a dog dislikes someone, it is wise to be wary of that person. I agree that animals tend to have a “sixth sense” about human decency…or indecency.


I woke late (for me) this morning, probably as a result of helping but mostly watching my nephew-by-marriage tear down a dangerous set of stairs and build stairs to replace them. He is incredibly strong and has an uncanny ability to apply his numerous technical and intellectual skills with remarkable speed and accuracy. He accomplished in one day what would have taken me a week to do. And his end product was a reliably strong, stable result, whereas mine might have been a rickety and dangerous mistake waiting to claim its victim. I could say his youth (46 years) was his edge; that would have been only a half-truth…maybe a lie. His real-life experience and innate ability to apply experiences in one setting to any other setting had much more to do with it.


Part of my objective this weekend is to help my brother prepare to relocate to the city where his son/my nephew lives. My brother settled on a new deadline for moving—July 1. That’s two months beyond his original target. That is more than enough time to get it done. But I need to get in gear this morning if I am to help him meet that obligation. Onward with the day.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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