I wanted to take a moment to explain why there haven’t been a lot of substantive posts from me recently, and I wanted to apologize to you for that.
On July 4, 2007, my father had a massive cerebral hemorrhage five weeks before his 87th birthday. It was the sort of stroke that normally kills the victim. The only reason why he survived is because it was far enough to the outside of his brain that he never lost consciousness. Fortunately, my mother recognized that something was wrong and called 911. There is a level-1 trauma center roughly two miles from their house, which meant that my father got treatment within the so-called “golden hour.” They were able to reverse a lot of the damage, but the stroke destroyed his speech center. Very little of the constant flow of gibberish that comes out–he lost his filter with the stroke–can be understood, so communicating is exceedingly difficult for him. He gets very frustrated when people don’t understand him because he does not realize that there is a major disconnect between his brain and his mouth, and to him, he makes perfect sense.
The stroke also sent him spiraling down the rabbit hole into dementia. He’s now 91, and has the mentality of a five year old. He cannot be alone at all, and can do very little for himself. As of a week ago, he still knows who I am, but I harbor no illusions that that will continue much longer. I view these last nearly five years as borrowed time. Because Susan and I have paid for it, we’ve managed to keep him at home with help, but those days are rapidly coming to an end for his own safety and well-being.
My mother has also started down the same rabbit hole. She is 87 and presently has mild to moderate dementia. She had two bad falls in a week and was hospitalized after the second one. She was released yesterday and was involuntarily sent to a local nursing home for a rehab stint. She is the only person on the face of this earth who doesn’t think that she needs to be in a nursing home, and she’s determined to make everyone else just as miserable as she is. We’ve never had a good relationship, as we are two completely different people, she does not understand me, and I have never understood her. The dementia has brought about negative personality changes that have made her substantially more difficult to deal with than she was previously. She’s combative, demanding, and very unpleasant to deal with most of the time. The phone rings constantly with one unreasonable demand after another, regardless of what I’m doing or whether I have time to speak to her and have the same conversation again and again and again. I am subjected to a constant barrage of emotional and verbal abuse, and it just exhausts me. The bottom line is that I just don’t have the tools or energy to handle this ordeal, but there is no escape.
I recognize that I am very fortunate to still have both of my parents at the age of 51, and I try never to take that fact for granted. However, as this situation grows worse and worse, and as my nerves get more and more frayed, that becomes more and more difficult to do.
I am an only child, and I live 400 miles away from where they live. I’ve had to bear this burden alone, with only Susan to fall back on. Aside from the financial burden, the emotional toll has been terrible. I won’t bore you with the details of what I’ve been subjected to, as nobody really cares. I only bring any of this up because it has dramatically impacted my productivity. This never-ending and ever worsening ordeal drains me emotionally and mentally, and leaves me completely exhausted at the end of each day. It’s all I can do to make myself get up and go to work each day–which I have to do for financial reasons and because I have employees who depend on me–but by the time I get home at night, I am so tired and emotionally drained that I just cannot muster up the degree of intense focus needed to sit down and write to the level of excellence that I demand of myself. Instead, I simply don’t have the emotional energy to do much more than be a video idiot in front of the television for a few hours until 10:30 at night, at which time I drag myself upstairs and crawl into bed. Consequently, I have not written a word in months, largely because I just don’t have it in me right now. It also means that I lack the focus to tackle anything ambitious here, which is why there have been so few forgotten cavalrymen posts or other items of substance lately.
I tell you this not because I seek your sympathy, but rather because I feel that I owe you all an explanation and an apology. I think that I finally have mustered up some energy to go back to writing–I have projects that need to be completed, and time inevitably marches on–and I intend to do so this weekend. If I’m right about being able to muster up some focus and some motivation, then hopefully more substantive posts will begin rolling out again very soon. All I can say is that I’m sorry. It hasn’t been intentional, and it surely hasn’t been something I ever wanted to have happen. Life, such as it is, interfered, and all I can do is to try to keep on doing the best I can to manage the situation.
Thank you for your patience. My interactions with you here mean more to me than I can possibly say.Scridb filter
My co-author Michael Aubrecht and I have launched our You Stink! blog as we count down the days until the publication of the book. The blog will feature lots of fun stuff, including material that we had to cut out of the book for purposes of length. We will also look at those noteworthy epic fails that take place over the course of the coming season.
Please check out the You Stink! blog. We hope you will enjoy it.Scridb filter
I apologize for the protracted silence, but my job has gotten in the way of my hobby, which I just hate. I’m involved in some very complicated litigation arising out of the foreclosure crisis that has caused me to make four separate trips to Los Angeles since the first of December. I’ve been in Los Angeles for a combined total of nearly three weeks since then, and it has dramatically impacted my ability to do anything that’s not job-related.
The craziness seems to have settled down for now, so it looks like I will have more time to devote to blogging. I have an interesting guest post that will follow yet tonight. In the meantime, I hope you will forgive my protracted but unwanted absence from this blog.Scridb filter
Thanks to Craig Swain for bringing these two new blogs to my attention. I’ve added them to the blogroll. I’ve also deleted a couple of defunct ones.
I’ve added Richard McCormick’s Civil War Obsession to the list. Richard’s blog explores a variety of aspects of the Civil War, including book reviews and other interesting bits and pieces. Check it out.
Those of you who know me are aware that I have long harbored an interest in the Eleventh Corps, which I often refer to affectionately as The Bad Moon Boys (due to their crescent moon corps badge). Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a blog dedicated to the Eleventh Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Please check our Richard J. Bell’s fine The Eleventh Corps of the Army of the Potomac. While Bell only appears to post once a week, the content of the posts is excellent, and the blog is well worth reading. Until Craig’s post today, I had no idea that this blog existed, so I was pleased to find it.
Welcome aboard.Scridb filter
I’m pleased and proud to announce that Woodbury Historical Tours has become one of the sponsors of this blog. David Woodbury runs small, unique battlefield tours, and he does a terrific job with them. Please join me in welcoming Woodbury Historical Tours as a sponsor of this blog.Scridb filter
I had hoped to post this yesterday, but Susan and I had a wedding to attend, and that prohibited me from doing much of anything that wasn’t associated with that wedding. Consequently, I didn’t get this posted yesterday.
Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of J.E.B. Stuart’s promotion to brigadier general, thereby beginning the career of “the greatest cavalryman ever foaled on the North American continent.”
Yesterday was also the sixth anniversary of the first post on this blog. These six years have been great fun, and I have so enjoyed my interactions with all of you that this blog has become a significant factor in my life. I thank each and every one of you for that, and I know that I would miss our interactions if they were no long part of my routine. I never planned or expected that this blog would much more than a chance for me to share a few random thoughts, and I surely never expected it to still be around six years and 1,200 posts later.
I thank all of you–and all of the sponsors of this blog–for your support and friendship over the years. There will be more to come…..Scridb filter
I’ve learned of the existence of a very interesting new blog. It’s a compendium of a number of young, emerging Civil War historians, and can be found here. If the first substantive post is any indication of what we can expect of the next generation, then I feel comfortable that we will be leaving things in very good hands indeed.
I’ve added it to the blogroll.
Keep up the good work, folks.Scridb filter
First, and foremost, it’s important to note that I pay for this blog. That means that I get to make and enforce the rules. There is no right of appeal, and there is no whining or arguing with me about my decisions pertaining to the enforcement of the rules. If you don’t like my rules, don’t post here.
With that said, there are only a few rules:
1. Anonymous comments are not permitted. Ever. Either use a real name, or don’t bother leaving a comment. Failure to do so will lead to the deletion of the comment.
2. Be polite and be respectful, whether it’s to me or to anyone else. Insulting me on my own website is guaranteed to not only get your comment deleted, it’s also guaranteed to get your IP address blocked.
3. Spamming is never allowed. That includes people who decide that it’s okay to use my website to pimp their latest whatever without clearing it with me first. Those comments are also guaranteed to be deleted.
4. Trolling, flaming, or other means of insulting people and trying to stir up discontent are not only not permitted, they are guaranteed to get your IP address banned.
That’s it. Those are the rules. Obey them, and you will be welcomed as a member of this community. Don’t, and you won’t like the result.
Thank you again to all of you who devote a bit of your time to my rantings. Without your support, there would be no reason for this blog to continue to exist.Scridb filter
My friends at Savas-Beatie, LLC have become the sixth and final sponsor of this blog. I’ve done five books with Ted Savas now, and it’s a partnership that I value a great deal. I’m pleased to have Savas-Beatie as a sponsor of this blog. Please check out the S-B website–you will find some great books by some very talented authors there. I’m pleased and honored have Savas-Beatie as a sponsor of this blog.Scridb filter
I’m pleased and proud to announce that my friends at Patriots of the American Revolution (where I serve as the book review editor) have become sponsors of this blog. Please check out their excellent publication, which improves with every issue that’s published. Patriots has filled a gap in the market by making the story of the American Revolution accessible to the public. Welcome to Patriots as a sponsor of this blog!Scridb filter