At around ten this morning the phone rang, and our realtor asked if we were in California.  “No,” said Lydia, looking at the desert all around us, “not yet.”  “But we are in California,” I insisted, “we crossed an hour ago.” The reason Lydia did not think we were in California was that the first…

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We were on the road early, about 7:30, and drove through miles of empty New Mexico.  Not quite empty:  there were a number of Indian reservations and Indian casinos.  We reached Albequerque about 10:30, parked near the central square, and Lydia poked around the shops while Sunny and I read the newspaper. It was too…

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We have reached the West. We started the day in western Arkansas, and by eight we were in Oklahoma.  i was somewhat surprised that we did not see more oil wells, although we did see piping that could be for oil, could be for natural gas.  We did see a number of Indian casinos, along…

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We now have a rough structure for our days.  I get up too early, go out running for a little while, return to find Lydia stirring.  We get dressed, eat breakfast, pack up the room, depart.  This morning we were on the road about 7:30, about as early as I have ever been on the…

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Today was our first real day of travel, a full day on the road. The dog and I started the day with a short run in Lexington, Virginia.  It is always hard to take a good run from a highway motel:  you are a long way from the nice roads; you are in the midst…

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are selling our house in Virginia, buying one in southern California.  Today was our last day in the Virginia house:  a sad day, because selling a house is not quite like selling or giving away a bit of furniture.  A house is in a sense just a…

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One hundred and fifty years ago, on July 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln discussed with his cabinet for the first time the possibility of an emancipation proclamation.  Lincoln read out to his colleagues a draft declaring that the slaves in the states (if any) still in rebellion on January 1, 1863, would become and remain free. …

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Publishers Weekly has designated my Seward book as one of its “top ten” history and military history books for the fall season. In the short review on June 25, PW says that the book is a “fresh contribution to the Civil War-era bookshelf” which “brings out from Lincoln’s shadow the formidable William Seward, an antislavery…

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I have another book review up today on the Washington Independent Review of Books:  this time of Stephen Carter’s novel about the impeachment of Abraham Lincoln.  Wait, you say, Abraham Lincoln was never impeached, was he?  No, he was not, but Carter imagines that Lincoln survived the assassin’s bullet, that Andrew Johnson was felled instead,…

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We are moving this summer:  moving our summer house from Virginia to California.  We want to be closer to my parents, who live in southern California, and closer to my wife’s family, in Japan.  We also want to be OUT of the oppressive heat of northern Virginia:  we had no power for four days this…

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