A New Chapter Begins

 

I’ve looked out over these waters hundreds, if not thousands of times before. Early this morning the heavens opened and lo, it rained with such punch and ferocity I thought maybe I had missed the ark. It’s all quiet now, though we’re due another deluge in an hour or two. Above all, however, it’s the quiet itself that soothes the spirit. Seagulls scavenge overhead while here, on terra firma, palm tree fronds shimmer and rustle lightly in the breeze. A time of new beginnings, yes, but a time of uncertain transition and bittersweet emotions.

While the appropriate announcements were made to some on social media, I’ve not yet disclosed this to my friends at Ricochet and elsewhere. Many of you may recall the excitement with which I announced my engagement to a remarkable lady in Memphis back in 2014. And indeed, the wedding was a storybook success. Shelley and I found each other in a time of personal upheaval and we each became the rock to which the other would cling in stormy seas.  

There are no heroes or villains in this story, but the reality is that once the tumult subsided and life returned to a sort of normalcy, very real differences in our lifestyles, priorities, and perspectives surfaced. While not indicative of a “right” or “wrong” way to live, those differences became increasingly pronounced over time so that even through marriage counseling, it became clear that we were on very different and mutually exclusive paths. And so it was, a few months ago that we filed for divorce. There is absolutely no acrimony between us, and we embrace each other’s families as our own. 

Nearly two weeks ago, there being no reason on God’s earth for me to remain in Memphis, we exchanged rather emotional goodbyes and I departed for the tranquility and comparative serenity of Florida. I miss terribly many of the good people with whom I became acquainted and befriended in Memphis, but I can’t say that I will miss life in a major city that’s been reduced to little more than a very large prison yard with barbecue, whose dumb savagery causes the rest of the nation to shake its head in disbelief.

Happily, I have family situated throughout Florida so that I had a place to land while plotting out what happens next. Job prospects are on the horizon and we shall see what direction events proceed next. A return to normalcy also indicates a return to those passions and talents which have become more or less hallmarks of my time on this earth. So expect to see much more in writing from me and — once I’m settled in — a resumption of the podcast and related endeavors.  Which reminds me; If any of you know of a good writing job, I know a guy…

Gazing once more at the placid calm of these beautiful waters, momentarily kissed as they are by sunlight peaking through looming clouds, it’s possible to be both blasphemously happy, yet cautious about what comes next. It’s time to embrace life in all its uncertainty, cling fast to eternal truths and The Author of truth itself, and get on with things.

Winston Churchill observed that, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Confident that my Redeemer lives, I will make a life by giving life and breath to the meager gifts which He has trusted me to employ. It really is good to be back.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 32 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    A time of new beginnings, yes, but a time of uncertain transition and bittersweet emotions.

    Thank God for His marvelous grace. 

    • #1
  2. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    I’m always sad to hear of a marriage ending, so I am sorry for that news.  I am glad you seem to have landed somewhere peaceful and restorative.  All best wishes for the future.  I’m sure I’m not the first to encourage you to return to writing.  We talked about a book yonks ago.  If you’re still interested, my offer stands. 

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Awww….  Sorry to hear about your marriage.  You are always in our thoughts, and I really cherish being able to meet you when you came out to Seattle for the big meetup in 2013.

    Could you please consider writing about what is going on in Memphis?  I haven’t heard much, other than vague “bad stuff” happening.  Maybe you could enlighten us, since Tennessee has a pretty good reputation as a place to move to these days.

    Hug, thank you, and welcome back!

    • #3
  4. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I am so sorry to hear of the demise of your marriage.  It is a sad thing, one that obviously doesn’t affect me personally but somehow adds to and is part of the dysfunction I see everywhere in our country.

    I was blessed to have 37 years with a man who unfailingly loved me and who was an amazing mind, talent, and friend. His passing away has been devastating, but more and more I look back on those happy years and more and more thank God that He blessed me with such abundance. I hope that you will find peace of mind, and that you will be blessed with happiness, however that is manifested.

    • #4
  5. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Sorry to hear about this, Dave.  Very glad it was amicable, and that you still consider not just her but the extended family as friends.  That’s probably more rare than it should be.

    A rough ride.  You’re already on your way to the other side of it.  

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I am so sorry to get your news, Dave. I’m sure that you know that your Ricochet friends in Florida, if you remain here, would love to engage with you. In fact, I keep creating the rumor that we are overdue for a meet-up. So I’m glad to know that we will be hearing from you more often. Take good care. Sending blessings your way, Susan

    • #6
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Sorry to hear about the divorce. Even when it ends on “good” terms there is still a lot of disappointment and heartache.

    As for getting out of Memphis, that is a very good thing at this point. Years ago when I heard about Memphis it was all about music and the blues. Now all I hear about that city is violent crime.

    • #7
  8. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Caryn (View Comment):

    I’m always sad to hear of a marriage ending, so I am sorry for that news. I am glad you seem to have landed somewhere peaceful and restorative. All best wishes for the future. I’m sure I’m not the first to encourage you to return to writing. We talked about a book yonks ago. If you’re still interested, my offer stands.

    I’m honored to take you up on your offer again. I’ll message you soon.  Thank you! 

    • #8
  9. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Awww…. Sorry to hear about your marriage. You are always in our thoughts, and I really cherish being able to meet you when you came out to Seattle for the big meetup in 2013.

    Could you please consider writing about what is going on in Memphis? I haven’t heard much, other than vague “bad stuff” happening. Maybe you could enlighten us, since Tennessee has a pretty good reputation as a place to move to these days.

    Hug, thank you, and welcome back!

    Thanks so much!!  It was such fun meeting you and other Ricochet peeps in Seattle and elsewhere. Perhaps I can resume that kind of thing at some point. 

    With respect to Memphis, it’s a city that has been run by the local Democrat party machine for decades and the results are the same as you will find in Chicago, Atlanta, and others. Which is to say, multigenerational illiteracy exacerbated by fatherless children who were raised by fatherless children, all of whom have learned to game the system and play the eternal victim card in which they don’t have to accept responsibility for their actions, preferring instead to blame “the system.” Which is a little ironic given that progressives are, and have been, running that system for generations.  

    It’s the Wild West there every day, staring teenagers who already have long criminal records, who are consistently released back into the population to kill and attack and steal and rape and kidnap and shoot some more.  Nothing,..and I mean NOTHING will change unless and voters insist that leaders take strong and effective measures to restore order.  That isn’t going to happen. In fact, a few weeks ago voters elected a progressive DA, funded by BLM and the usual suspects, who intends to treat these unregenerate thugs as minors well into their 20’s.  Those who can, are voting with their feet.  A once proud and beautiful city has devolved into a dystopian cesspool with barbecue.  

    • #9
  10. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I am so sorry to get your news, Dave. I’m sure that you know that your Ricochet friends in Florida, if you remain here, would love to engage with you. In fact, I keep creating the rumor that we are overdue for a meet-up. So I’m glad to know that we will be hearing from you more often. Take good care. Sending blessings your way, Susan

    Thank you Susan!!  To my eternal shame, I was so focused on my own situation that I clean forgot about all the Ricochet people here in Florida!  I think a meet-up would be a splendid idea! I appreciate as always your good thoughts and prayers, my friend.  

    • #10
  11. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    We have both been around Ricochet for many years, yet we have exchanged only a few comments with each other. You, being a contributor, have quite a higher level of notoriety than do I…as it should be. The funny thing is, only a couple of days ago you came into my mind, as I thought, what’s going on with Dave Carter? So welcome back and I’m sorry your previous relationship became short-lived, although it sounds like you will always have a friendship with her. If a marriage must end, it’s nice when it ends harmoniously.

    • #11
  12. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Marriage difficulties are the worst; sounds like yours were handled better than most. 

    Keep writing, I enjoy reading your stuff very much. Can’t wait to read what you have to tell about Florida.

    • #12
  13. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Always, it’s barbeque.  I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood.  There’s no patching this up.  You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires.  Memphis is not alone.  Louisville is not too far removed.  And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades.  If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state.  It hit the smaller cities hardest.  People with half a brain, move.  The rest trap themselves.  Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime.  Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave.  I’m glad you’re out and alright. 

    Next time, marry money.

    • #13
  14. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Dave, I know you’ve been wanting to get out of Memphis for a while. Glad you were finally able to, not glad for the circumstances of how it came to be possible. Good to see you in these pages again and look forward to a new podcast episode in the future. Bring on the blues!!! I think I hear some Albert Collins calling now, as a matter of fact. (Might have something to do with dirty dishes in the sink, though.)

    • #14
  15. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    cdor (View Comment):

    We have both been around Ricochet for many years, yet we have exchanged only a few comments with each other. You, being a contributor, have quite a higher level of notoriety than do I…as it should be. The funny thing is, only a couple of days ago you came into my mind, as I thought, what’s going on with Dave Carter? So welcome back and I’m sorry your previous relationship became short-lived, although it sounds like you will always have a friendship with her. If a marriage must end, it’s nice when it ends harmoniously.

    Thank you @cdor.  I appreciate the kind words and our generous thoughts. if things had to end, and they did, I can’t imagine a more amicable atmosphere and that’s a blessing in itself.  Nice to see and interact with some of Ricochet’s “old hands.” I’ve missed the exchanges and it’s wonderful to reconnect again.  

    • #15
  16. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    Golden advice, Doug.  And your analysis/conclusion is spot on, as usual. I don’t expect there will be a next time, however. I’m rather content with my own company and it seems that whenever I stray from that the trouble starts.  Besides, even baseball allows only a limited number of strikes.  Thanks again sir. 

    • #16
  17. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    How about marrying a lovely woman…WITH MONEY!

    • #17
  18. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    cdor (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    How about marrying a lovely woman…WITH MONEY!

    Y’all both need to stop this right now. 👀

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    cdor (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    How about marrying a lovely woman…WITH MONEY!

    I saw her first.

    • #19
  20. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Percival (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    How about marrying a lovely woman…WITH MONEY!

    I saw her first.

    You can have her then.  Oh yeah, great to hear from you! 

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Always, it’s barbeque. I suspect that the state will do something, but the rot is already in the wood. There’s no patching this up. You either leave it alone to collapse, burn it to the ground or let the denizens enjoy their own decades of bonfires. Memphis is not alone. Louisville is not too far removed. And St. Louis has been smouldering for decades. If you move up the coast, city after city is in a similar state. It hit the smaller cities hardest. People with half a brain, move. The rest trap themselves. Drugs take over and with them comes violence and crime. Life becomes a worthless ride on the highs of drugs, mayhem, violence and death.

    You’ve figured it out, Dave. I’m glad you’re out and alright.

    Next time, marry money.

    How about marrying a lovely woman…WITH MONEY!

    I saw her first.

    You can have her then. Oh yeah, great to hear from you!

    It would have been better if you had brought happier news Dave, but it’s good to see you too.

    • #21
  22. AUMom Member
    AUMom
    @AUMom

    Dave, you handle this with your usual grace. I am sorry that married life was not all that the two of you had hoped. 

    It will be terrific to see you here more often. 

    • #22
  23. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    Enjoy the peace and quiet…while you can. Around you, anything can happen. *grin*

    • #23
  24. Nick Plosser Coolidge
    Nick Plosser
    @NickP

    Dave-A couple of years ago, you very graciously welcomed me to Ricochet, helped publicize my podcast and even patiently indulged me as I screwed up the audio for our first show together! Your writing was one of the first things that drew me to this site many years ago, and it’s reassuring to know that you haven’t given up what you’re so good at and what comes so naturally to you. We’re all much better off having you back my friend. 
    All the best and here’s to a new set of adventures for you! 

    • #24
  25. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    AUMom (View Comment):

    Dave, you handle this with your usual grace. I am sorry that married life was not all that the two of you had hoped.

    It will be terrific to see you here more often.

    Thank you!  Just interacting with the good people here at Ricochet seems like the best sort of homecoming.  I’ve missed this. 

    • #25
  26. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Robert E. Lee (View Comment):

    Enjoy the peace and quiet…while you can. Around you, anything can happen. *grin*

    Ya know, Bob, …I was thinking of some zinger with which to reply. Then it occurred, “The old reprobate is probably right.”  So I’m taking your advice and savoring the moment — ya dork.  

    • #26
  27. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Nick Plosser (View Comment):

    Dave-A couple of years ago, you very graciously welcomed me to Ricochet, helped publicize my podcast and even patiently indulged me as I screwed up the audio for our first show together! Your writing was one of the first things that drew me to this site many years ago, and it’s reassuring to know that you haven’t given up what you’re so good at and what comes so naturally to you. We’re all much better off having you back my friend.
    All the best and here’s to a new set of adventures for you!

    Thanks Nick! Methinks you worry about that audio snafu too much, though.  People who don’t believe in ghosts and evil spirits have likely never tried to maneuver the one thousand and one technical ways a broadcast of any sort can go sideways. When I do get the show back up and running, I’d like to have you on again so we can trade notes and stories and have a simple and fun conversation.   Thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words my friend.  Cheers! 

    • #27
  28. Nick Plosser Coolidge
    Nick Plosser
    @NickP

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    Nick Plosser (View Comment):

    Dave-A couple of years ago, you very graciously welcomed me to Ricochet, helped publicize my podcast and even patiently indulged me as I screwed up the audio for our first show together! Your writing was one of the first things that drew me to this site many years ago, and it’s reassuring to know that you haven’t given up what you’re so good at and what comes so naturally to you. We’re all much better off having you back my friend.
    All the best and here’s to a new set of adventures for you!

    Thanks Nick! Methinks you worry about that audio snafu too much, though. People who don’t believe in ghosts and evil spirits have likely never tried to maneuver the one thousand and one technical ways a broadcast of any sort can go sideways. When I do get the show back up and running, I’d like to have you on again so we can trade notes and stories and have a simple and fun conversation. Thanks so much for the encouragement and kind words my friend. Cheers!

    Ha! Those ghosts and evil spirits of the broadcast ether are real indeed! Whenever you get your show back up, just say the word and I’m there. Looking forward to it!

    • #28
  29. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    Great to hear from you, Dave. Welcome to my home state. I had no idea when I moved to sunny California in 1987 that the land of “do your own thing” would descend into a lawless yet authoritarian dystopia. I wish that I was also back in Florida.

    • #29
  30. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Speaking of “great to hear,” George Savage, great to see you around again.  Thanks, Dave, for starting old home week.  Who’s going to show up next?

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.