coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Alright already, I cleaned.

This post is for my blog-friend Sabine, who is often the voice crying out in the wilderness. 

Baby Sister texted to thank me for posting about our mother, and we reminisced about childhood holidays. She remarked on the work Mom did to stage those holidays. She said how thankful she was Mom made the effort because it provided lovely memories. Baby Sister waxed poetically about pulling out Mom's good china and setting a beautiful table under Mom's direction. Sheesh.

mother was a great cook, but a lousy housekeeper.  She's famous throughout our extended family for her messy house. So for her to summon up the energy to discard all the accumulated junk on her dining room table was a monumental act of love in itself.

Great, I thought to myself as I squirmed uncomfortably in my chair with the phone to my ear. Now in addition to cleaning like a crazy woman, I had to go through the boxes in the garage to find the good china?

I muttered a stream of swear words that would make a sailor's eyes pop out, pulled my lazy #%* off the couch to start cleaning the house and digging out the china. I made the effort not because I wanted to, but because my grandkids deserve Thanksgiving memories of a beautifully set table at their grandparent's house.
The things we do for love, right?

Is that all? Well of course not! I'm a sneaky old woman and I'm leading up to something more important than cleaning; climate change. If we don't start making the changes to deal with this, there won't be a future for our grandchildren, great-nieces/nephews.

Why bother? Well, why bother breathing?!

Climate change WILL be at the top of the list for the new Democrat majority House of Representatives in the U.S
While they deal with the big issues, we must muster the energy to overcome our cynicism and despair on the home front. We can start creatively imagining new ideas, new industries, alternate economies, better and more effective political strategies so there will a reasonable future for those we love.

Call me naive, but to me there is nothing more important right now than this: reuse, recycle, re-imagine,
rethink, and redesign. Please make the effort.

Popeye would do it.  Bluto would not. Be like Popeye.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Do I have to clean my house for Thanksgiving?

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday. It is as if I went to sleep last July and then woke up this morning. What a wonderful and personally satisfying interlude this election cycle has been. I'm looking forward to more of the same in 2020. 

But now I have to come down to earth and face the cold hard truth. I'm going to have to clean my freakin' house in anticipation of a big family dinner. Let's just say the housework has been a bit neglected and a serious holiday cleaning is in order. Yikes. It will take me days. I better get crackin'.

I'm sure it is hard for readers outside the U.S. to understand Thanksgiving, unless you are Canadian. Then you have already been through yours and you know the drill. But the rest are probably wondering what's the big deal with this Thanksgiving thing, and why don't we just wait until Christmas for Turkey? I don't know. We just don't. We're American, for better or worse. 

Thanksgiving is a family-based holiday, but not commercialized or decadent like the U.S. version of Christmas has become. It is about food, memories, and love. Or at least that's what we tell ourselves. I bet a lot of the people who will celebrate on Thursday dread it like the plague because they will have to sit next to their mean-spirited aunt, or their racist father. Politics, religion, and unresolved emotional themes will ruin yet another family meal in some households. Oh well, as long as the food is good. It is really the best meal of the year.

I love Thanksgiving food. Thinking of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, moist cornbread stuffing with nuts and dried fruit, homemade cranberry sauce, and all the rest make me happy. A special memory is my mother's pumpkin pie. Oh, Ma! I miss you so.

She never bought canned pumpkin. Nope, not my Mom. She bought small pie pumpkins, split them in half, cleaned out the seeds and baked the pumpkin in the oven before scraping it out and making the pie. THEE pie. The perfect pumpkin pie. It was totally different than one made with canned pumpkin. Hers was luscious; darker, complex, textured, better in every way.

Everything was usually made from scratch in her house, but certainly always on holidays. She would even make homemade bread for Thanksgiving. We topped it off with jellies and jams her and my father "put up" (i.e., canned) every August.

I have had dreams about her three times in the past two weeks. In truth, this is what the holidays really do.  They conjure up ghosts.

My mother in pink, 1988

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Counts and recounts

Well, the thing about elections in Florida is that they never seem to end. We came very close to winning the Governor, Senator, and Agriculture Commissioner, but on election night it seemed we lost. 

However, over the next few days they kept "finding" votes that were not counted.  Seriously.  So now the Agriculture Commissioner candidate who was declared the loser last Tuesday has more votes than the so-called winner. Both the Governor and Senator races are within one half of one percent difference between candidates. 

The result? Probably automatic recounts for all three races. It will be weeks before we know the results or who the true winners are. But at least now if we lose, we'll know the truth. And we'll know the places in Florida that need to be held accountable for incompetence at best, and fraud at worst. 

In addition, we now have a cadre of seasoned progressive candidates who will try, try, again. The only thing better than winning outright, is coming back after a loss and winning the second time around. Winning isn't always clear cut; however, win or lose, this progressive energy feels like a huge victory for Florida. 

In the meantime, we took back the U.S. House of Representatives! We are powerless no longer. Hang on to your hat.