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An expat plans a trip to the U.S. and shares his thoughts on the death of Justice Scalia

Off to the States. Not until July but I have decided, so it shall come to pass. Unless, of course, it doesn’t.daves logo

I have gotten very comfortable in Cuenca and the thought of traveling back to the U.S. just doesn’t appeal to me. Partly because in the past, other than for Thanksgiving and Christmas, visits with family were infrequent. And the trip itself for me is a chore; it takes a long time to get to the west coast, and I let my mind make it into something just barely possible.

Port Orford, on the Oregon coast.

Port Orford, on the Oregon coast.

The deciding factor was when I learned that one of my grandsons, Jake, is getting married in late August in Southern California. That was quickly followed by “I’d like to go to that”, followed by thoughts of how great it would be to visit with all the wonderful family and friends that I saw during my last trip, in August 2014. Some back and forth in my brain and heart responded with a “yes”.

With children, grandchildren, cousins, nephews and friends living in Montana, Oregon, Northern and Southern California it’s not a simple matter of jumping on a plane. So, the planning has begun for a week or so in Montana; another in Oregon; maybe 10 days in Oakland and the Bay Area; ending with a week or so at the wedding. I will give myself a bit more time than I did in 2014, an extra day here and there, not quite so many visits so close together, even an overnight stay for the flights going and coming. The non-stop movement of the last trip is too much for this old body.

California redwoods.

California redwoods.

I will need to do some driving and my California driver’s license expires in May so the form to get my driving record is in the mail and then on to obtaining my Ecuadorian license. I love to drive and although I am not missing the experience in Ecuador, getting very comfortable with walking and taking the occasional tour, it would be a lot of fun to rent a car and just take off and wander.

* * * *

The unexpected death of of Justice Antonin Scalia has set off a firestorm of verbiage from the right and left, ranging from the reasonable to the outrageous. We each have our viewpoints and in due course things will work out.

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia

What has caught my attention is news of the long friendship between Scalia and Justice Ruth Ginsberg that started in the ’80s. He, the epitome of the right and she, the epitome of the left. Their families vacationed together, they went to the opera together, he taught her quail hunting — they just enjoyed each other’s company. They saw each other as individuals, as fellow human beings, whose disagreements about the law were irrelevant to maintaining a loving friendship. As we discuss and argue about the issues may we keep in mind that the one on the other side of an issue is not the devil incarnate, despicable and inhuman, but simply another human being with a different point of view doing the best he or she can.

Cuídense. With my love, Dave

 

About the Author

David Nelson, spent 30 years growing up and getting educated in Oregon before moving to the Oakland, California and the East Bay area, where he practiced worker’s compensation law, representing injured workers, for 40 years. When he retired from his legal practice, he worked another nine years as a part-time gardener before moving to Cuenca.