Hips, Horses, Heroes & Haiti - Bruce Kirkpatrick
Bruce Kirkpatrick is a contemporary author of fiction and non-fiction stories.
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Hips, Horses, Heroes & Haiti

Gittin’ Back on the Horse

                  The old blurry photo is the first known photograph of me on a horse. I’m the one in the middle, about two years old. The other photo is the last known photo of me on a horse, taken four years ago. I guess I’m not technically “on” the horse—we were probably bonding.  About 66 years separates those two shots. Horseback riding has been a passion of mine for most of my life

                  Until three years ago. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe arthritis in both hips. I asked the orthopedic doctor if my basketball, or running, or horseback riding, or bicycle riding contributed. He said no, it’s mostly that you’re 70 years old. Thanks, doc, I feel so much better knowing that.

If you’ve been with me for the last few years, you might remember I had my left hip replaced two years ago. Next month I’m doubling down and having the right one done.

I might never ride a horse again. But then again, I might. I really don’t want to fall off a horse with all these titanium joints I’m packing, and that’s always a risk. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to bounce off the ground like I might have 50 years ago.

But I’m also not going to let age or arthritis deprive me of a lifelong passion if I can help it and do it safely.

What passion do you still love? And what advice would you give others either going back to a passion they love or starting a new one?  I’ll print a few of the replies in my next newsletter. When I can actually sit in a chair again.

Bilemma (not a typo)

                  Does bi-weekly mean occurring twice a week or every two weeks? If you’re not sure, join the crowd. Three dictionaries—Merriam Webster, dictionary.com, and the Cambridge—all give both definitions. Biannual and bimonthly get the same treatment. The Associated Press, the standard guide I used when writing press releases and most news outlets use, took a stand. Biweekly means every other week, and semiweekly means twice a week. Semiweekly? I guess that makes sense, but I don’t ever hear anyone use it. Maybe they should start.

                  Another source said fortnight and fortnightly works best, but it hasn’t been used much since the 1950s. Maybe people were confusing it with Fortnite, the game, although I don’t know when the game was invented. In the 1950s I was playing with a Slinky or Silly Putty.

                  This article has gone on far too long, and I’m sure I only confused you more than if you hadn’t read any of it at all.

Haiti Update

                  For those of you who read my last book, Anyone But Me, or those who know of my nonprofit role on the Board at Extollo International, you understand my tenderness for Haiti. And many of you may know that Haiti has plunged further into despair in the past several months due to gangs, violence, and political chaos.

                  Here’s a short update:

  • About three weeks ago the main airport in Port-au-Prince reopened after being closed for three months due to gang violence.
  • After many months of delay, a UN-backed police force from Kenya of 1000 troops has been authorized to help the Haiti national police curb violence called the Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission. They are scheduled to arrive in Haiti mid-June.
  • Over the last few weeks, the US Military has made 30+ flights into Port-au-Prince to deliver supplies and materials to prepare for the MSS mission.
  • A transitional council of 7 members, tasked with naming a Prime Minister, selecting a Cabinet, and appointing an electoral commission, will steer the country towards elections of a new government, hopefully before 2026.
  • A new Prime Minister, Gary Conille, was selected by the council and arrived in Haiti on June 1. Dr. Conille had been the Regional Director for UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund – and brings good leadership experience to the role.

I believe it’s progress. But in Haiti, you never know. You can always go to the Associated Presswebsite, search for Haiti, and get current updates if you’re interested.

Book Reviews

                  Truck Stop Jesus by Buck Storm: I finally found someone who writes like I do—and he writes better than I do. Clean, Christian fiction with lots of adventure.

                  The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis: Mostly about the Trump White House, but I loved the explanations of how the U.S. government works. This book taught me more about government than I learned when I was an undergrad political science major. But it’s downright terrifying, considering he may be President again.

                  The Tales of Bismuth; Dispatches from Palestine, 1945-1948 by Jamie Kirkpatrick: A fascinating historical novel, detailing the excruciating and ancient conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. Jamie’s my cousin.

Quote of the Day

                  “The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you’ll grow out of it.”  Doris Day

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