Friday, March 24, 2017

Depends On How You Look At Things

It’s been quite a week. No quicker than Daylight Savings Time snatched an hour away from us for the Spring rotation - another cold snap came through Florida making the likes of our prior “winter” seem like a joke. We had more days of what would seem like winter in that one week than we had in any one month before.

The day-time temperatures barely reared their head above the 60’s and the morning temperatures dipped low enough to put harm to most everything that was already in blooming formation. After two nights, back to back, of freezing/frost temperatures, I had damage foliage all over my yard.

The jasmine that covers my front yard swing is burnt across the top just like a fire had been lit to it. My lantana beds look pretty much the same way and my Amarillo’s stems and canna lily stalks are lying flat on the ground from the brunt of the cold attacking it in the early morning hours.

It’s too soon to tell what all will recover from the damage and what may have to be replaced. Granted my yard situation isn’t nearly as dire as some of the farmer’s and their worries of freezing crops – but just the same, it hurt my heart to see all that brown in the days after, where there once had been the promises of soon-to-be blooms.

But then Friday came, and a trip to my hometown that had been planned for weeks, was about to happen. The Albany Pink Walk for breast cancer awareness was scheduled for that next Saturday morning, and many of my girlfriends and I would be walking once again for our friend Darla, as she is once more in the fight of her life.

I arrived at my folks’ home late that Friday afternoon, and would spend the rest of the day and evening with them which is always an enjoyable time for me. That next morning, they would rise early with me, make me a nice breakfast and some much needed coffee, then off I would go to the walking site to meet my friends.

The event was as packed as usual – women and men dressed in pink as far as the eyes could see. Friends running up on other friends that they hadn’t seen in a while and many times, making new friends as well. We were all there for a common goal – supporting our loved ones, supporting the survivors, and respecting the ones who had sadly lost their own fight.

For this old gal, it was quite the moment when my friends and I finished at the 3 mile marker; having to deal with 2 bum knees in the span of 12 months has been zero fun for me.

But as we all gathered for lunch afterward and discussed our aches and aliments – I thought to myself – wow – we’re really NOT 25 anymore. But the loud laughter coming from around our table was in denial that mother-time had found any of us. Getting up out of our chairs an hour later, would be a different story.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Talk Is Cheap - Become the Change

Harriet Tubman was an African-American civil rights activist. She not only fought to save herself and her family from slavery, but risked her literal life almost every single day rescuing others as well. She took beatings no one could ever imagine, she suffered injuries from those severe beatings that were lifelong and would eventually contribute to her death. Yet while alive, she raged on in the fight for freedom of her black brothers and sisters with pride, grace, dignity, and strength. 

Anne Braden was a Caucasian anti-racist activist. In the period of time in which she lived, there was rarely even such a person heard of – much less as fundamentally active as she continued to be until her death. The lengths in which she was willing to put herself out there to obtain justice for all was incredible. She and her activist husband raised four intelligent children, all of whom in some form or fashion would follow their parents’ footsteps for equality for all – this including developing the PUSH Rainbow Coalition and staunch advocates for LGBTQ rights in their later years.

Rosa Parks, another African- American civil rights activist. A strong female who was determined enough to one day risk being arrested in order to have her rightful seat on the city bus – the public city bus that should have been open for anyone to sit anywhere. But nowhere in all of that did she kick, scream, or shout obscenities; again, she moved the world forward with dignity and grace.

All the women above, and many more, took action that created change: foundations, safety homes, the Underground Railroad, and programs that would in turn unify and bring attention to, change. They risked their LIVES doing these things – and they didn’t use abusive language and ugly poster illustrations. Do you think that by using the same terms that your abusers/attackers/racists use against you is a solution of positive progression for you?

Immigrants have been coming to America for years and so many of them worked so hard to be a part of our American fabric. Their stores, deli’s and bodega’s ran the streets of New York City in a proud fashion that represented nothing but hard work and their pride to be here, to be a part of our freedom; they insisted on WORKING for it.

If you’re outraged about immigrants being deported – do something about it. Create programs to educate them so that they can pass the citizenship test to stay. Start a movement to create programs in schools that will help them all the way through and let that be a stipulation of graduation. Create a foundation to help the older people who are here and can’t read or write – set-up centers/tutors to help them learn. 

Do positive WORK with your intelligent minds/education – become community leaders, state/county
representatives, governors/senators. Use your voices for true progress and positive movement. Put down the signs with degrading words/illustrations. BE the change you want to see and use your strength in ways you’d like to be remembered for – or in the pictures your seven year old child will see one day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

As The Generation's Turn

Evolution is absolutely amazing isn’t it? The changes that come with each generation of people, the levels of what is acceptable and what it not, and more importantly, the degrees of what is expected of us and what is not – are all constantly changing.

When my grandparents were growing-up, to finish high school was rare, and college, well that was even more of an unknown unless you were fortunate enough to have “come from money”; most men went directly into the service as the draft was in effect and there was a war going on.  Men and women got married as young as 16 and 17 years old,  were having children almost immediately after, and most women did not work.  

Then my parent’s generation came along, they didn’t get married quite as young, most all finished high school, a few who already knew what they wanted to do went to college; but still a huge amount of  men were signing up for one branch of service or another. They had children, both mother and father worked, they took summer vacations, and life moved on.

My generation got married between 20 -25, children shortly after, and we mostly became dental hygienists, nurses, admin secretaries, office workers, hands-on-men work, and of course, some went to college to become doctors, lawyers, and businessmen.

My youngest son’s generation – well they are 22 years old. They are almost all college graduates/or graduating. They are most all professionals of some sort, and they are all on the biggest adventures of their lives – a few married, but for many, it’s a distant thought.  They are traveling to Argentina to bird hunt’s, Arkansas to duck hunt’s, golfing on the weekends, fishing/frog gigging on Friday nights, and going everywhere and doing anything else in between that you can imagine.

They are living life large, working hard, playing harder. They’re a smarter, more politically involved generation, they are liberal and they are conservative, and they are loud and proud of whichever affiliation-slot they may fall into.

They’re already buying homes, making financial investments, and making their way into this big wide world, head-strong and feet-first, breaking all boundaries and crossing all borders. There is nothing that they can’t do, and not much they wouldn’t consider trying.

As I am one day away from my youngest son turning 22 years old, I can’t help but wonder who I would have been in this generation. Would I have been an activist? A world traveler? Would I have been straddling the fence between liberal and conservative as I do now, or would I have been strongly and staunchly, one or the other?

Would I have married so young? Would I have had children as soon as I did? Or would I have been just me, spend my time finding me and all that could possibly mean?

I don’t guess it really matters does it? It’s not going to change anything. And besides – I’m kind of doing all those things anyway. Second-hand living you might call it – I’m living through the eyes of my children – and that’s some exciting sight-seeing most days!  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

And Fourteen Cautions Later........

It’s Thursday night, somewhere around 7:15pm, and I’m gripping the television remote trying to get ready for my night of viewing. I know that I will have to tape/DVR some of my shows, as too many good things come on that one night, spreading across all the different stations. I no more get my finger set to hit the guide button that scans the channels, than my husband practically screeches at the top of his voice “What are you doing with that remote, do you know what comes on tonight?!”

Well, yes, actually, I do know what comes on television tonight and as I began to recite all of my shows – he looks at me like I have lost my ever-lovin’ mind. He asks me (or sternly suggested) to hand him the remote, and as I hand it over, slowly his breathing begins to regulate once more, the coloring comes back to his face, and I feel like it’s now alright to ask him what in the world HIS problem is?

DAYTONA FLORIDA. That’s what his problem was – flippin’ Daytona Florida and the first race of the season was about to come on television. HOW?! How could this be happening to me again so soon? It was just yesterday that racing season ended and I got my husband back! I mean seriously, there is NO OTHER SPORT that lasts almost 10 full months every year! Well baseball runs a close second in its length of over-all playing time, but I LIKE baseball, so that doesn’t count.

So back to my Thursday night viewing – not only did I NOT get to watch all of my shows, I didn’t get to watch ANY of my shows; I had to DVR every single one of them. How To Get Away With Murder had its two hour season finale that night and I STILL have no idea who killed Wes!! And who knows what kind of high jinx Red from the Blacklist got himself into that I also missed! I’m just waiting on social media to ruin it with some spoiler article!

And yes, I know I said I DVR’d them all, so why you might be asking, have I not watched them yet? Well, I’ll be glad to tell you. February Daytona racing is a FOUR DAY EVENT! There has been racing on my television since last Thursday night. Right this minute it is 4:45 on Saturday afternoon and I’m begging you to ask me what is on my television!

Tomorrow will be Sunday and at 1pm – racing will be on again. I just do not understand the fascination with this sport, I truly don’t. Over the years I have tried to increase my interest in it, I learned the rules, I learned who the drivers were, but it is still just not my cup of tea. I just don’t care anything about watching people circle a track 300 hundred times, trying to see who can finish the fastest.

I’m in day three of a ten month hostage situation. Can you see my white flag from where you are?