Or the Passing of Cookie Monster to a Free Scotland

The process of handing down important events of one generation to the next is critical if we expect the next generation to learn from the previous. Religious holidays and national events are obvious examples of this process of remembering. Events from Christmas to the 4th of July carry important moments in our history in America. The world at large have their own important moments that unless each generation passes on a particular event, it will be lost to all future generations. Time passes us without our controlling it, but we need to pass on important events for the benefit of future generations.

Elmo from Sesame Street Elmo from Sesame Street
Interestingly, on July 17, 2013 such a day of remembrance occurred at the Dairy Queen at 2002 LaPorte Ave, Valparaiso, IN. About 16-years ago and for over a decade, I have taken out my granddaughter, Ayanna, on a weekly basis to the local DQ. This started when she was just a toddler. I'd pick her up at daycare and off we'd go for what she called her Elmo treat . It started as a small dish of soft serve vanilla that was dipped into cherry topping. However, she dubbed her treat, Elmo, after the Sesame character by the same name.
As the weeks and months passed, she morphed into getting a cone, which was dipped in cherry topping, but it was still her Elmo treat. As Ayanna left childhood and into her teen years, she left Elmo for more age-appropriate treats like various sundaes, parfaits, and finally blizzards. Nonetheless, we still recall those Elmo days of past years.

Those were the years of weekly DQ treats, but, with all things, times change. In a month from now, Ayanna will pack her bags and head off to college. Wow! The little toddler has grown up in slightly more than what seems to me to be 3.5 nanoseconds. However, as she prepares for the brave new world as university student, she and I passed on the Elmo treat tradition to her two younger cousins: Jack and Owen. They were visiting Ann and me for a couple days, and we passed the torch and tradition to them.

Jack does nothing without determination...including attacking his first Elmo

Jack does nothing without determination...including attacking his first Elmo.

Owen wants to capture the moment also

Owen wants to capture the moment also.

 Jack isn't sure that Ya-Ya won't damage his Elmo treat.  So he watches Ya-Ya carefully.

Jack isn't sure that Ya-Ya won't damage his Elmo treat. So he watches Ya-Ya carefully.

 I attempt to save some dipping DQ

I attempt to save some dipping DQ.

 Owen wants some topping, which he can't have.  Ayanna explains the rules that he is too young while Jack devours the last large piece of topping.

Owen wants some topping, which he can't have. Ayanna explains the rules
that he is too young while Jack devours the last large piece of topping.

Our perspective changes as we get older especially when we have danced with death a couple of times. When Ayanna came into my life, I was in my early 50s, life was good, and I thought that I'd live forever. However, while Ayanna turned into a lovely young woman, I matured into a senior citizen. During that time, I had prostate cancer, fell off a deck, and got mugged in Athens. As Ayanna moves off into the world of college thinking that she sees thing objectively and has a Weltanschauung that reflects life accurately, I sit back and marvel about what is really out there that I missed over the years...and that she is missing but doesn't realize it.

I can't think of many benefits of growing old...especially since one realizes that time is precious. I thought that I knew that when I was Ayanna's age. My mother had been very ill even before my teens and died when she was in here early 50s. My father was very ill after that, and I have already outlived him by a couple of years. Nevertheless, I didn't really know the reality of the brevity on my personal life until I got old. So the curse of one's own death is in a strange way a blessing...about the only blessing that I can think of as I began the 70s. With age and dancing with death, I do understand the terminality of life even though I thought that I knew it years ago.

Once one realizes that they won't live forever, there is within that person, hopefully, an urge to accomplish what seems important to that person. There are important things that haven't yet been accomplished in my the time remaining of my life. Time is a limited commodity, but, unless you are older and/or danced with death, you don't really comprehend that truth...even though you think you do.

I love to share my time with my family especially the youngest ones. I hope to share more time with all my family, but especially a 3 and 1-year who won't remember any of our times together until they get to at least 5-years old or more. These times now are fun for them and for me, but I am the only one of the three of us that will remember these times. However, I cherish them and our times together.

I love to travel and see the world. I'll be in Burma by the end of the year and want to interview Aung San Suu Kyi, who has changed her world in Burma for the best during her lifetime.

Politically, I look out at Obama's presidency and simply smile with approval of what he has done for America like healthcare reform, ending two wars, challenging us to think progressively, and the list goes on.

I recently returned from a month in Scotland where I had studied 45-years before. Scotland is considering something that wasn't even seriously considered a half century ago...being independent and free. William Wallace, who was a great champion of independence some 700-years ago said something that I know within my heart: "Every man dies, but not every man really lives." I want to live, because I know that I will die. I want Scotland to live a free nation.

Had I read what Wallace said about life 45-years ago, I would have missed most of his message. And if you aren't my age, you will have missed it also...while thinking that you get it. You don't get it. Trust me. Some of you will have to live for 50 or more years to realize you don't understand what he really meant.

I have spent much of the last decade writing and working for the election and reelection of Obama. Trust me. Okay, don't trust me. Scroll to the top of this article, click on Search, and type in Obama. You will find dozens of articles about him.

Now, the other issue about which I am politically motivated is the Scottish independence movement. Trust me. Okay, don't. Replicate the above instructions and type in Scotland. You will find the same thing including three interviews...two that I interviewed Scots (Doug Norris and the Duke of Argyll) about the independence and NPR interviewed me about it.

When I was recently in Scotland, I also spoke with Arthur who lives under Arthur's Seat. While speaking with him, he gave me several stones from the small extinct volcano bearing his name...two of them for Jack and Owen and the other for me. He told me not to return until Scotland is free again. I promised him that I won't. However, I believe that I can return any time after September 18, 2014...when Scots vote for independence. Nonetheless, I am working on that issue now.

Some of you might doubt my prediction that the Scots will smell the heather and vote for devolution. Doubt as you may, I have been correct about my prediction that Obama would get the nomination as the party's choice and get elected as president both times. I wrote about his healthcare reform in August 2009, which was over a half year before March 2010 when my prediction came true.

I will be correct about Scottish independence and will do what I can to assure it from this side of the Atlantic. However, predictions will not just occur without work on any issue including Scottish independence. As I have worked at our countries national needs, I will do the same for a free Scotland.

I am writing to Dairy Queen's CEO about not branching out their business to Scotland until Scotland is free. I will let you know their reaction to my request. I would love to be present at the dedication of the first Dairy Queen in Edinburgh, Scotland after the vote next year. Sean Connery will not return to Scotland until it is free. Arthur told me not to return with Jack and Owen until it is free. Perhaps Dairy Queen can also stay out until September 2014.

Actually, as the titular head of my extended family, Campbell Clan, I'd love to take them all including Sean Connery to the DQ in Edinburgh and treat them all to an Elmo treat in a year from next September. Better yet, I think that we should replace the Elmo treat with a Cookie Monster treat in honor of the blue and white Scottish flag's colors.

The flag of Scotland

The flag of Scotland

There is an idea for Dairy Queen. And then on every September 18th, there will be an observance of the Cookie Monster treat being passed down to the next generation. At least at the first observance of this tradition, I will write a speech telling the story behind William Wallace's statement: "Every man dies, but not every man really lives." I'll start working on that speech now. I recall Winston Churchill's comment about Scotland: "Of all the small nations on earth, perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind."

Scottish independence: Yes campaign

Scottish independence flag

Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.

Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.