Gratitude Sunday: Never Forget

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “Citizenship consists in service of the country.” Jawaharlal Nehru

Sunday Haiku
Iced fairy crystals
rime round clover leaves, grass spears
gleam in cold sun rise.

Sunday Musings
Hwell, it’s been a week of changes and anxiety around this household. I had to travel across town in real big city traffic, thought I was going to die at least six times, and yet here I am to stimulate your thinking for another week. I had to sit in a court of law and plead my case. I am not comfortable with courtrooms, attorneys, legal proceedings, none of it. I’m not a criminal, just unable to work, but I went through the security check, my belongings and my body were inspected, and I proved to be a safe citizen because I carried no knives, guns, or drugs on my person into a federal court.

Nationally, we survived a mid-term general election with significant strides toward a check on the maniacal, destructive person we unfortunately have play-acting as president of our country. We have survived and recorded another incidence of the play actor actively obstructing justice to cover up the crimes of which he and his family are guilty. Some of us have survived more onslaughts by domestic terrorists intent on wreaking havoc in our society, and they did, affecting the lives of many families. Others of us have survived freakish fires and natural disasters, while a few have not been so fortunate. Survival is good; our losses are profound. The good news is more than one hundred million people turned out to vote, the largest mid-term turnout ever. Voters all over the United States stood up for what they thought was right.

Then I finally applied for retirement through Social Security. This is a big step for me as I was in denial I might be able to return to work. Now I know that is unrealistic, and since I’ve blown through my carefully constructed savings (meant for after retirement), I had to decide to make a change so I could have some income. The last thing I want to do is lose my home after paying on it for 20 years. I want to retire and die here. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it is asking too much to want to have the security to die in my own home.

With all those changes we come to Veteran’s Day. This day we honor people who chose the difficult job of putting themselves in the line of fire to fight for American freedoms. While I might not agree with all the places America chooses to be the world police, I support the men and women who have made that tough call to be on the front lines. It’s an ugly job to be trained to kill and hate and hyper-vigilance. It’s also an important job to be trained to mediate, deflect, and resolve conflicts. I was never able to do the shooting and fighting part of the job, and I am grateful somebody does, though I rather resent we still have war that requires those choices in advanced societies. I have learned hyper-vigilance because of other traumas in my life, and because of that I am constantly studying how to mediate and resolve conflicts, which isn’t easy, because even though you might have a play book, every single incidence or event has to be assessed on its own basis; there is no easy formula which applies to all situations. Because: people. Also mediation often requires you think on your feet, which I don’t do; I am a slow processor.

Today we thank those who chose to serve on the front lines, and those who served those on the front lines. No one does it by themselves, and our military and veterans have a host of support systems; they have to or they couldn’t do their jobs. I’m not saying the support systems always work as they should, or even as we’d like them to, but they exist at least, and that’s a good thing.

As citizens we are part of the fabric of the support systems for our military and our veterans. It’s a rare family who does not have a member who has served in the military in some capacity, and many families have suffered loss because of that service.

I have some extremely negative thoughts about the military and I’m not going to state them completely here, as these thoughts are not about the citizens who serve on the fronts, but about the elected representatives who direct the military and why they do so. Simply put, our military actions seem less about freedoms and more about profit, and that’s enough said about that for now. Regardless of whether I approve of military action, I will never forget the service of the people who are at the front.

In fact, as citizens of this United States of America, every one of us is in service to our country at all times. It might not feel like it because we don’t wear a uniform every day and, generally, we are not trained to use weapons or fight battles. For that matter, many of us don’t even know how to engage in civil discourse.

We are defending our country and our way of life every day on the soil that is our home, even if we don’t have foreign invaders to battle. Sometimes we are doing battle with our elected representatives who are so far removed from the front lines of average low- and middle-class families they are clueless what is really needed to keep America functioning, like housing, health care, education, and food. Many of these representatives do not have a single worry about how they will pay their bills or keep their families healthy, but the people they serve think about those things every day. In other words our representatives experience a level of financial security 80% of Americans do not. Yet as citizens, elected and unelected, we all serve America every day, and we put our lives on the line every time we enter a church, synagogue, theater, school, concert, store, ball park, or drive down the road.

For some of us our service includes voting, serving on local juries, and raising our families to be contributing citizens. For some of us that means running for office, or volunteering to work for a non-profit, or cooking and serving meals at a warming shelter. For some of us it means working three jobs to put food on the table for our families. For some of us our service includes leaving our families and putting ourselves directly in danger in military action. Every bit of it is service.

Thank you, citizens of the United States of America, for voting, and serving on juries, and working three jobs, and feeding your families, and running for office, and volunteering, and fighting on the front lines in military service, and raising another generation of caring, contributing citizens who vote, and serve on juries, and feed their families, and run for office, and volunteer, and help to keep America safe. Thank you. I will never forget. I am grateful for every one of you.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Some community members caught some lovely photographs this week and kindly gave me permission to share. White frost rimming the edges of clover.

Photo by Ashley Roth

Autumn brown mushrooms sprouting under a green fern.

Photo by Sarah Michelle Rogers

Glorious golden sunrise on a crispy, cold morning, Mount Hood in the background.

Photo by Mickey O’Brien

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Distracted by the news coverage of the election cycle, other viewing has been temporarily limited, though I did start season 6 of House of Cards (2018, rated TV – MA) with Robin Wright, about the nefarious shenanigans of people who want power. * Also started the mini-series Sybil (1976, not rated) with Sally Field and Joann Woodward, about a woman who suffers so much childhood trauma she develops other personalities to deal with the pain and suffering.

Currently Reading – Just finished Alice (2015, fiction/fantasy) by Christina Henry, in which Alice vanquishes the evil Rabbit in an innovative and non-violent way signaling a new society. And now I am temporarily in between fiction items, back to normal next week. * Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead (2018, social justice) by Cecile Richards. Ms Richards shares her mother’s death, and the trials and tribulations of presiding over Planned Parenthood, and specific women’s health issues she dealt with when the Affordable Care Act was being passed and women’s health, specifically women’s reproductive health, was being ignored. Planned Parenthood prevailed and it’s a good thing because uteri do not exist outside women’s bodies, and to ignore our reproductive health is like saying we might as well not exist. What would this world do without women? It would come to a grinding halt.

WINTER CLASSIC NOVEL: It’s time once again to consider a Winter Classic to read. I want a novel that takes me to a different time and place, a slower language, a world far away from mine, to distance myself from my own concerns during the long dark winter nights. I make my choice by solstice, this year December 21, and the reading begins soon after as soon as I get the book. I haven’t a clue for this year so I better get thinking.
Here are the rules for choices:
1. The title chosen must universally be considered a classic and is likely to be on a list somewhere, like a Pulitzer prize winner, or a Mann Booker winner, or Newberry, or, well, there are so many to chose from.
2. I prefer diverse authors, adventures away from the white male canon.
3. I haven’t read it before.

If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • My mental health counselor and her wife who jumped through extra hoops for me this week.
  • My attorney who, through her assurances, helped me not throw up in court.
  • Not throwing up or passing out in court.
  • A safe journey across town in real big city traffic with all those city slickers zooming around, in front of, and behind me, as if my car didn’t exist. I’ve become accustomed to small town speeds.
  • Having medicine on hand to combat the biggest, ugliest, most painful cold sore ever. It’s been ages since I had one. For me cold sores are stress related. See above.
  • Layers of warm clothing. Socks. Sweaters. Shawls.
  • Electricity and heaters.
  • Blankets and quilts on the bed, and snuggly soft wrap-ups on the couch.
  • Mister Kitty aka George Murphy feeling so much better now his bad teeth are gone and his throat isn’t sore all the time, he has started talking to me.
  • Brown trunked trees standing in colorful puddles of their own leaves and puddles of yellow, orange, and red blending with each other at their edges.
  • My community having a winter farmers market and finding what is likely to be the last pick of fresh Oregon strawberries. Fresh local strawberries in November!
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Careers, Education, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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