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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Elusiveness of Invincibility

As I sat down to write this post Biscuit threw up in the other room. It was the yellow frothy kind of dog vomit. Many years ago, when I had just taken "companionship" of my first dog (as an adult) an older friend assured me that, "yellow frothy dog vomit wasn't anything to worry about." While that may be true in the abstract, I could have lived without it tonight.

I've been away from the blog for a while, though my sporks-based Wall-E review has kept sporksforall humming along. Very much like Wall-E himself.

I don't know if I'll return to faithful blogging through aught eight. I want to, but life gets in the way of sporks.

I've started a new (interim-again!) job as of two days ago. Four years ago when my boss hired me to be the interim thing that I'm now the permanent thing, I got sick. So sick that during the networking event with the University President, I stayed in my hotel room at the Marriott with fever and chills.

This year we did our slog/sling through the South early. I came back and have managed to get a massive cold (including fever and chills) and a nice case of laryngitis. Did I mention that my new job requires talking? It does. And I just don't sound right

I mentioned to my boss that I had been sick the last time she gave me an interim job. She said, "I remember. Maybe this job change thing is more stressful than you think." Could be, indeed. Also stressful is travel. And bombardment.

My favorite day of the "sling" is always the day Honey and I escape to the closest Spanish Moss draped city. Our usual escape is Charleston, but this year we went to Savannah.

As my few (and loyal!) readers know, I like me a National Park and will take a National Monument in a pinch. Thus, did I drag Honey to Fort Pulaski on Tybee Island.

Not brushed up on the Civil War of late? Here's what happened. Fort Pulaski was started in 1829 to protect Savannah. (Tybee Island is 15 miles from Savannah). Savannah has always been an important port/city to Georgia and is one of the oldest cities in the Southeast. Note, please, that its importance is in no way related to Paula Dean.

Anyway, this being the 19th century and engineering being what it was, not to mention it's bloody hot in the South in the summer, they didn't so much finish the damn thing by 1860. South Carolina (a mere fifty miles away) seceded from the Union in January of 1861. Georgia followed suit and the governor ordered the occupation of the fort. The state then gave it the Confederacy. How kind. Lessee--"we'll take this from the gumment (that's how you say it) and give it to this other gumment. Yep."

Righto, so in April of 1861, the War starts in earnest (you knew that right? April 1861 to April 1865) and the Naval blockade of Southern ports began.

Here's the thing about Pulaski. The folks who built it: they thought it was invincible.

By November 1861, the Federals were encamped at Hilton Head and the Confederates got worried about that and abandoned land forces on Tybee EXCEPT for those at Pulaski. Whoopsie.

The Federals marched onto Tybee. The Confederates in Pulaski though they were safe. The guns of the day only went a mile and Pulaski is more than a mile from Tybee. The Union fellows, though, they had this new gun. Those Federals, always with the new guns. Must have been that industry infrastructure. They shot up the fort. Seemed like they might get to the powder magazine. 30 hours into the siege of the invincible fort, the Confederates surrendered.

The National Park Service notes, "Today the fort serves not only as a memorial to the valor and dedication of those connected with its construction, bombardment, and defense, but in a larger sense as a history lesson on the elusiveness of invincibility."

I hope you can see that I get it. Not invincible.

I did survive that week and may yet survive my cold, my laryngitis, my new job, and my own vulnerabilities. I am certain, though, as certain as I can be, that invincibility eludes me. And I've never run very fast. Mofo needs to slow down and shows no sign of it.