Hawks and Doves


“Are you a hawk or a dove,” Phil asked?  

I was unsure what he was talking about so I replied, “A dove,” and he looked surprised.

Unlike the old quick-tempered, Steve, I have learned the advantages of mellowing before ranting and usually the rant isn’t even necessary.   The only thing a quick temper ever did for me was cost me money.  Instead, I have ripened into a calm and humble person.  I don’t try to promote conflict or angst. Alternatively, I have become the one to look for a peaceable solution and that is the reason for saying, I am a dove.

I continued watching, Julia, his wife, insulate my windows with plastic and dry them from top to bottom with a hair dryer so there are no wrinkles.  The plastic tightened and melded to the window and frame to insulate and keep the wind from blowing in around the edges or through the seams.

Now, instead of the furnace running every fifteen minutes, I can actually go hours without hearing that costly sound.  Like today, I left at seven-thirty this morning and before leaving I turned the thermostat down to sixty-six. I’ve been home for a few hours now and the furnace hasn’t been on yet…the inside temp is still at seventy-one.  But when the sun goes down, so do the temps so I will adjust the thermostat up a couple degrees to, sixty-eight.

I asked Phil, “Which are you,” not knowing the significance of either.  

Oh – I know the hawk is a predatory bird and the dove is the symbol for peace, but I don’t attack people until, and, unless provoked.  That was the reason for my reply;  I consider myself a peaceful man.

But when confronted with a quizzical look and these words from Phil, “I’m a hawk,” as he looked down at me and his smile grew wider, (he is taller than me as most are), “When I see something invasive I swoop right down for the kill.”

Actually, I considered him more of a dove type of guy because he is helpful, quiet, loving toward his wife, and a peaceable man like myself.  Being that my vision of him and what he said were so different I looked up main differences between a hawk and a dove, and this is what I discovered:

Dictionary.com’s explanation – Popularly, “Hawks” are those who advocate an aggressive foreign policy based on strong military power. “Doves” try to resolve international conflicts without the threat of force.

I now understood Phil’s bewildered look at me when I replied that I’m a dove because I am also an Obama opponent.  With regards to the turmoil – and there is plenty – everywhere you look in today’s world. The ways of the dove clearly have not worked.  

Time to be a hawk – Mr. President, bwahaha, as if.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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