I’m back :)

First, thanks to Brian for taking care of the place while I was away. Good job, as always.

Most full time bloggers will tell you that they hate being away from their blog for more than even a few hours, because the desire to blog about what’s happening in the world is almost as natural to us as breathing, hence my stepping away for only a few days versus a week or more, which is what you see some bloggers do when they need a hiatus from constantly watching, reading, and blogging about the news.

With me, it wasn’t that I needed the hiatus because blogging about politics was wearing me down. I needed it because recently life has thrown a few curveballs at me that I haven’t handled very well. They say as you get older, it’s easier to deal with such things because you have years of experience under your hat to do so, but that’s not always the case, as some of the curveballs thrown my way smacked me directly in the face (metaphorically speaking). I consider myself a generally strong person, but lately not so much. My inability to effectively and properly respond to those curveballs left me feeling off my game, distracted, frustrated, and annoyed (with myself). In essence, I haven’t felt like myself as of late, and it showed – with both family and friends, and, in my opinion, it reflected in my writing here, too.

It’s amazing what taking a few days off can do for the mind and spirit, and it’s especially amazing how revitalizing a day trip can be to the mountains, which is what I did Saturday. I was there most of the day, and think I got some pretty good pix of the fall foliage (the colors were awesome), of Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, and other areas of interest. I’ll be downloading them later this week and will share them with you once I’ve had a chance to go through them. The weather was wonderful: crisp, cool, breezy, and sunny, and the mountain air felt wonderful on my face. I know it sounds cheesy (and like a greenie – which you know, of course, I’m not) but sometimes being out there amongst the elements makes you feel like nothing else matters but just you and the beautiful nature that surrounds you. I said a little prayer yesterday while there, and thanked God for creating such beauty.

Before my days off I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my sails, but today I’m feeling stronger, back on track, and ready to get caught up on what I’ve missed in the news. I’m getting ready to have some lunch with mi familia, but will begin to catch up on my blogging later this afternoon.

BTW, the Panthers have a bye this week (thank goodness) so there won’t be thread today devoted specifically to the NFL, but you can use this one to discuss your Sunday sports highs and lows :)

I’ll be back later today.

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