The summer States sojourn saga

The summer States sojourn saga
JISHOU, HUNAN — As promised, here’s a summary of this year’s sojourn in the USA, accompanied by a few photos to document the adventure. Before I get started, I’d like to welcome Medium readers to Wheat-dogg’s World. Today I discovered there was a WordPress plugin to post to Medium automatically. If all goes well, this post will be the first to appear on my Medium feed. For new readers, I should explain that I’m an American teaching English in Hunan, China. Every year, my university pays for a round-trip ticket to the USA, and I usually go back in the summertime for about four weeks to visit my family and friends, and sometimes even work in some touristy things, like visiting Pikes Peak. (See photo above.) As I live in what you could call flyover country in China, traveling abroad requires a trip to a regional airport and a flight to an international hub, like Shanghai or Beijing. If you factor in all the taxi, bus, subway and plane segments, it takes about a day to get from Jishou to where any member of my family lives in the USA. (As yet, no one lives near an international hub airport.) ...

Louisville nutjobs make the NY Times

JISHOU, HUNAN — I lived in Louisville a long time. I love the River City, but there are way too many religious crazies there tarnishing Louisville’s national image. Take Ken Pagano, for example, whose invitation to his parishioners to bring their guns to a special event at church tomorrow has made national headlines. Pastor Pagano, shown in The New York Times with a handgun in a holster and a submachine gun in his left hand, wants his church to celebrate their right to carry firearms. “God and guns were part of the foundation of this country,” Mr. Pagano, 49, said Wednesday in the small brick Assembly of God church, where a large wooden cross hung over the altar and two American flags jutted from side walls. “I don’t see any contradiction in this. Not every Christian denomination is pacifist.” The Times article notes that, in the interests of safety, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies (who I am sure have better things to do) will check visible weapons to make sure they are unloaded. They will not ask the parishioners of New Bethel Church in Valley Station for any concealed weapons, however. “That’s the whole point of concealed,” Mr. Pagano said, adding ...

Reflections on leaving Louisville 4

CHICAGO — Today was the day I have been spending the last six months preparing for. Its arrival is almost anticlimactic. Or maybe it’s because I’m suffering from sleep deprivation. Yesterday, we had to had to get up at 3:30 am to meet Darcy at the airport. Her flight to Paris via Houston left at 6 am. I didn’t bother going to sleep; I just stayed up getting myself ready for my flight out. She will be working for a year as an au pair in Angouleme, near Bordeaux. After some quick shopping in the airport gift shop for suitable gifts for her French family, she said her goodbyes to us. There were some tears, but I suspect they were mostly because she was leaving her boyfriend behind. (No offense taken, cherie!) I miss those halcyon days of accompanying your loved ones to the gate and waiting with them until they boarded. It was more civilized than these hasty goodbyes on the opposite side of the security checkpoints. Somehow (and it might just be me) saying goodbye at the gates is more personal than in the middle of the main concourse, even in Louisville’s small airport. It was busy Tuesday ...
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