Lest we forget

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I just got back from visiting my parents in New England.  My father has severe dementia and barely recognizes me, and my mother is becoming more frail and declining cognitively.  When I get a phone call from the assisted living facility where they live it usually means that something is wrong.  Lately it’s been my mother.  She had been in the hospital after a fall and was going to a rehabilitation center.  I had to convince her to go, so I wanted to go and provide my support.   I try to make the drive without stopping often; one stop usually does it for me.  I fill up the gas tank, hit the bathroom, and grab a drink or a snack.  On this trip I was nearly out of gas when I saw a sign for Newtown/Sandy Hook.  I can’t explain exactly why that had such an impact on me, but it did.  I pulled off the highway.  After filling up with gas, I headed down the road to see the school.   Continue reading

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Harry Potter world: where diversity is strength

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In December we went to Orlando to see Larry’s family.  We did something we had never done before:  visited a theme park.  We took an extra day and decided to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I’m a big fan of Harry Potter.  I’ve read all the books and own the DVDs.  We watched some of them to prepare for our expedition.  I have to say here that I generally avoid overly commercial forms of entertainment.   For Harry Potter world, however, I made an exception. Continue reading

On the march on an American island

Our older daughter and a friend at the Women's March on Washington in D.C.

Our older daughter and a friend at the Women’s March on Washington in D.C.

Larry and I got back from vacation a few days ago.  While we are still recovering from jet lag, we jumped back into our lives.  The dogs need to be walked, and laundry awaits.  As I listen to the wind outside and watch the temperature drop, I remember the warm breezes of the Big Island of Hawai’i.  This was our first time in Hawai’i and we decided to get a bit off the beaten path.   No beaches for us.  On the Big Island we were greeted by highly changeable weather and micro-climates, and found common ground with the people we met, both tourists and residents.  The population is diverse.   Native Hawaiians live beside mainland transplants looking for warmer climes, descendants of Chinese and Japanese immigrants, and every other race and creed.   We learned that Hawaiians are not shy about expressing their opinions.  They were enthusiastic participants in the Women’s March on Washington in Kona.  I think this may have been the last Women’s March in the world.  We joined in, and my pussyhat came along for the ride. Continue reading

A pussyhat goes to Washington

 

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A pussyhat in progress.

In the past weeks I have been literally knitting my fingers to the bone trying to complete as many pussyhats as possible for the marchers in the Women’s March on Washington on 21 January.  Last weekend I had to go out and buy more yarn.  Pink yarn is getting hard to find.  Word has spread about this project and it seems that everyone who can lift a needle is making pink hats.  I still have to make labels, photograph them and get them in the mail.  Somewhere in deep stash I found two more skeins of pale pink yarn.  All over the country messages are coming in on Ravelry, requests for more hats to warm more heads who have a seat on one of the buses going to DC.  I am living vicariously through all the anticipation.  I won’t be there, so it’s especially important that I do my bit to support the sisterhood. Continue reading

Ringing in the New Year: looking ahead in 2017

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We rang in the new year quietly with a mildly alcoholic drink and a movie.  No late night parties for us or big celebrations in a bar or hotel ballroom.  Maybe it’s because we’re not in our twenties anymore or just that we enjoy being at home with our canine friends.  Whatever the reason, we were satisfied with our quiet evening at home.  We are at the point where we didn’t even have to explain to each other why we spent our evening at home.  Our priorities had changed.   Continue reading

It’s that holiday time of year

 

IMG_3582I don’t celebrate Christmas.  Even so, I do not have a problem when people cheerfully say “Merry Christmas” to me.   Of course, this greeting may not apply to people who are not Christian and for whom Christmas Day, other than being a day off from work, may be just like any other.  In that case, we have the all purpose “Happy Holidays” which I like, and also “Joyous Kwanzaa” for African-Americans.  I always look forward to December 25th as a delicious day.  It is a day without responsibilities, with nowhere to go and nothing to do.  A day to catch up on laundry, watch old movies in my pajamas, or read a good book while curled up in a chair. Continue reading

Pink pussy power: a hat to warm them all

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I hope my readers will forgive me using a certain word in the title.  It’s actually taken from a website and a hat initiative called “pussyhat project” which can be found here:  pussyhatproject.com.  I am a knitter and lately a bit of an activist, so this project appealed to these two interests.  I came across the project on Ravelry, a social network for knitters.  Last week I ordered 18 skeins of pink yarn when my favorite yarn store offered free shipping.  On day four I’ve completed three hats.  I keep coming across more and more people who want to attend the Women’s March on Washington — website here —   and who need a warm pink hat.  Because baby it’s going to be cold outside!

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My first blogging award: The Liebster

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A blogging award, oh my!

Most people who blog do so because they want share what they write with others.  Hopefully, bloggers also get something out of it.   That something is usually related to an emotional need to put idea to (virtual) paper, or to have a record of our innermost thoughts that we hope someone else in the Internet universe will enjoy.  We have many choices and probably thousands and thousands of blogs to read.  I watched my readership rise slowly, from onesies and twosies, to dozens.   So, I was surprised and pleased to be nominated for The Liebster by Laura Bruno Lilly at http://laurabrunolilly.com/blog/.   I love to read Laura’s blog.  She feels like a kindred spirit.  Her artistic pursuits and deep faith resonate with me.  She has a curiosity about people and places that I love. Continue reading

Thanksgiving hopes to share a slice of the American pie

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Another Thanksgiving has come and gone.   The leftovers have been doled out to company and casseroles washed and put away.    The dogs got their annual treats and we gorged on an extra helping of stuffing and a second slice of pie.   Our lives are marked by these cultural traditions.  In America Thanksgiving is our premier holiday for families.  It’s a time when children and in-laws get plane tickets and take time off from work to gather at the family home.   We shop carefully for special items and construct a dinner meant for double the number of guests.   Because you never know if an additional guest or two may need a seat at the table. Continue reading

Now on the American menu: hate as the new normal

A softball dugout In Wellsville, N.Y. spray painted with a swastika.   Photo from The Huffington Post’s US edition.

I have been struggling with this post for a week now.  It has been written and rewritten a dozen times.  I am torn between expressing the anger and disappointment I’m feeling and a contrary pull to wait and see.  In the end the need to speak out won in my internal battle.  Some of my readers will agree with me, while others will not.  This is not a political missive.  It’s a call for decency and tolerance.

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