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I'll be quite honest. I probably would've left my British "history" in the past except for all the buzz about Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I'll admit that as soon it was announced, I put it on my calendar as "must-see" TV. I know, I know, I need to get a life. But in my defense, once upon a time, my life had included living in England and being married to a Brit, plus a love of Tudor history going back to when I was a teenager. In other words, I've always been interested in the Royal Family.

So, what did I expect? Remember the TV game show "Family Feud" hosted by the British comedian Richard Dawson? Well, that was my first thought. How every family has an assortment of "characters" that, by definition of their relationships and different personalities, provide endless amusement, aggravation, conflict, misunderstandings, and stories. Countless stories and different versions of those stories. So why should the Royal Family be any different?

But they ARE different. They live a larger-than-life existence and us "mere mortals" see them not only as members of the Royal Family but also as celebrities. And the British, including the many countries that comprise the British commonwealth, also see them as "civil servants" since their salary and staff are paid for by the people. All of which is to say, they play many roles – both in public and in private.

Fast-forward to the interview. I've already said quite a bit about my thoughts in our Banter Bite from earlier this week, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment. But what I didn't include there, but what I've kept thinking about since, is how I feel that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wasted an incredible opportunity. So, have I now become a public relations or communications expert? Hardly. But since I can't help but think about the significant issues they exposed,

I wish that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had used their experience not to make anyone look bad but rather to merely tell their story and lay the foundation of why they're going to dedicate themselves to bringing greater awareness to incredibly important topics – racism and mental health – that apply to all of us, whether Americans or Brits.
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I'm still shaking my head, in amazement and amusement, at you telling me how there are people claiming that birds aren't real – they're surveillance drones.


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At first, I thought it was a joke. But then, I found a Newsweek article on the "Birds Aren't Real" movement that claims the government killed all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones.


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Well, if you hadn't forwarded it, I'd have thought you were messing with me! Anyway, my absolute favorite part is the "logic" that when the birds or drones or whatever you want to call them sit on powerlines, they're recharging. That's hilarious.
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When I read the "Breaking News" email about the passing of Colin Powell from complications from COVID-19, I realized that many of us didn't even know he was being treated for illnesses that weakened his immune system. To me, he always seemed to be one of those incredibly strong and resilient men that could overcome anything, as I knew he served as the country's first Black national security adviser (during the Reagan administration), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under President George H. W. Bush) and secretary of state (under President George W. Bush).

I first became aware of Powell during Operation Desert Storm and was living in Hong Kong at the time (shortly after I married a Brit, Shell assigned him to the Far East). I can remember being halfway around the world from home while watching seemingly non-stop news briefings featuring "Storming Norman" Schwarzkopf, with his "larger than life" details about the extraordinary precision of the airstrikes. At the time, it almost seemed more like a computer game than an actual war.

However, Powell had a far greater impact on me as he exuded calm mixed with steely determination, projecting an air of confidence that you sensed came from experience and deep personal commitment. And at this time of war and conflict, he provided a comforting feeling of power and control.


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I will not pretend to be a history buff, nor will I reflect on Mr. Powell's greatness as a military figure, statesman, and trailblazer. I will leave that to others. But, several things stand out about Powell as a man. First, he put America ahead of political party, stating, "I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my entire career, and right now I'm just watching my country and not concerned with parties."

Thanks to Punchbowl News, I learned that as a young man, he worked in a toy store, and the owner, a Russian immigrant Jew, admired the young Powell so much that he impressed upon him the importance of getting an education. Powell was so touched by this that he stayed in contact with him for the next 50 years. (I loved the sprinkling of Yiddish phrases as Powell tells the story.)

Of course, I could not help but smile rewatching this video of Powell along with two other motorheads, Jay Leno and (at the time) Vice President Biden "racing" Corvettes. And, may explain why one of my many favorite Powell quotes is, "Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror." But in his passing, you cannot help but look back over all he did for our country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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