Gratitude Sunday: Beware The Time Of Change

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “You will never find anyone who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe Daylight Saving Time.” Dave Barry

Sunday Haiku
Wind shakes branches, mock
zombie tree walkers, ghoulish,
nature’s Halloween.

Sunday Musings
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. It’s thirteen days after my birthday. The whole month of October swings through the colors of the rainbow as nature sheds this year’s abundance and prepares for hibernation to get through the winter so she will have the strength to endure the next season.

As I grow older, however, I find this beginning of the holiday season, which lasts nearly three full months with barely a breath between events these days (thank you, capitalism), to be a challenge to manage.

We start with a whisper, then a bang. Nobody properly celebrates Columbus Day anymore. It used to always be October 12. We made hats, we studied a bit of American history, some schools even had plays or pageants; it wasn’t a day off school. Now the day is a debate about the name: Columbus Day versus Indigenous People’s Day. Frankly I don’t care what they call it but it irks me schools skip the history part, especially the truth of all perspectives of the history from both the “discovered” and the “discoverers,” none of the white washed crap they serve up in approved textbooks. Then it’s assigned to any convenient day close to October 12 so workers can have a three day weekend. I’m all for workers having three day weekends (Americans work too many hours anyway), though of course this only applies to workers whose employers provide paid federal holidays; many of us work every day we can because it’s the only way we can pretend to make the ends meet. An important historical day, whichever way you look at it and whatever you call it, has been oppressed into a whisper.

But then! Halloween, boisterous, creative, costuming fun. We can play roles and be characters we don’t have the courage to be; we can be creatures, critters, or non-humans; we can make costumes where no other costumer has gone before. We can be dramatic, scary, bloody, gory, funny, silly, or wild. We have parties and play tricks and beg for treats. We make noise to scare away the dark spirits of winter that threaten us with removal of the light.

In modern America the weekend after Halloween we play a clock game called Daylight Saving Time and we blame it on the poor farmers who say it’s the worst thing for their farms. We purposely interrupt the circadian rhythm of every American and expect them to proceed safely and productively the week after the clock game twice a year. Read my tips for easing the time change here.

And lo! Tuesday of the week after the time change is election day.

Halloween, clock game time change, voting day, triple big bang! All in fun, or able to be written off as no big deal. Many who grew up with Daylight Saving Time aren’t bothered by it, or think they aren’t. I’m old enough to remember a time when we didn’t have Daylight Saving Time. Messing with the brain chemistry through clock games is damaging to the neural systems. I will be so grateful when we finally stop playing with time. Please note as well: people who don’t bother to vote, don’t have a right to complain. Educate yourself, use your voice, do your civic duty. Vote!

Next comes the whimper. Veteran’s Day nearly gets buried in all the distraction hoopla. The opportunity to honor men and women who have stepped up to serve America, to make one of the most serious commitments to the safety and freedom for themselves and other Americans, has turned into one more day off work or school. If students are lucky, the week before Veteran’s Day they might get some history or even a few actual live human veterans who are willing to speak of the horrors they’ve seen, and answer the curious questions of those who haven’t served who might want to. Or not. Before Veteran’s Day became just another day off work, students used to have a whole day full of history, parades, veterans’ presentations of national colors, speeches delivered from those who had been in the trenches or at the front lines and survived. That’s back in the day when war was actually declared, not like these modern incursions where we battle for years and few Americans know what we battle for (follow the money, including the oil).

Then the insult. Property tax bill is due November 15. My taxes increase very year, yet I don’t see roads or water systems being repaired, I don’t see teachers being paid a living wage or classrooms with the latest in textbooks and technology. I don’t see improved parks or public transportation systems. Maybe I’m not paying enough attention, but the purported improvements seem so small as to be insignificant for the money. Funding for veterans is only one issue that comes up on ballots.

Nobody helps individuals maintain their property but all the machinations, good and otherwise, of government want the dollars of us individuals. I understand taxes. We have to help take care of each other and taxes are the price we pay for being a civilized and caring society. When the caring part disappears and people are left financially and housing insecure up to the point of homelessness, ill, and hungry for the sake of the wealth class becoming more wealthy, we need something to change.

Fortunately, tax bills usually arrive before or about the same time as ballots. In Oregon we have vote by mail, so one has ample time to study the voter’s pamphlet and the luxury of voting from one’s dining room table while still in one’s jammies, drinking one’s espresso. It is so easy Oregonians have no excuse not to vote. Every state should have vote by mail with paper ballots. Cheaper, easier, more secure.

Read the voter’s pamphlet. Read the actual ballot measure, the interpretation, and the supporters for and the dissenters against the bill or measure or candidate as well. Yes, it’s homework. If you read them a few times you become familiar with the language and it becomes easier to spot the spin, when the language is meant to confuse or obfuscate the issue in the name of getting your money. It’s ALL about money, even when voting for individuals.

Read your tax bill. If you don’t understand one of the abbreviations for where your money is going, you can try looking them up on the internet or call the county tax office. It may take a while to get through to a live human being, but they will answer your questions. It’s what they are paid to do. May as well keep the office workers busy since they are paid with our tax money. If any amounts seem unusual ask why or ask to be referred to someone who can give you an answer. Be brave, write a script if you have to; these people are paid to do a job and are not there to judge you for your questions.

You deserve to know where your money is going and why. Knowing will help you be more thankful handling the rest of the holiday season.

Happy Halloween! Remember To Change Your Clocks! Educated Voting! Pay Attention To History! Informed Tax Payments! Looking forward to a great start to the holidays. From the adult perspective.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – A neighbor caught her lacy-leaf maple throwing some flame.

photo by Kristinoel Ludwig

Maples come in shades of red. And pastels too, looking pretty against the blue spruce. A decomposer shows its cream and brown fruit. The colorful view across the street. More flame colors a few blocks south. Composition in Brown and Gray.

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.} Dukes of Hazzard (1979, rated PG – 13), season one. I doubt I will watch the whole series; the stories are simple and the plots are predictable. Good thing for watching at 1.5 speed. The show was my maternal grandfather’s favorite TV show, and I see why. The patriarch, Uncle Jesse played by Denver Pyle, dresses exactly as my grandfather did though Grandma didn’t allow him to have whiskers of any kind (Grandpa managed orchards for other farm owners). Grandpa’s family back in Oklahoma did a little brewing and white lightning running as well so the stories likely felt familiar to him. There are fist fights, car chases, identity errors, situation errors, lots of young women who tell the young men “hand’s off!”, and lightning fast blue grass music. Looks like a whole bunch of trouble making and hell raising to me. Oh, wait. Guilty. It’s in my DNA. I can also brag about a cousin who worked at a wrecking yard who salvaged vehicles for the series which wrecked a couple cars per episode with the car stunts.

Currently ReadingWhat Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (2016, short stories) by Helen Oyeyemi. I know I’m hooked when I re-read a story or a book without waiting any time between, or when I want to read everything else the author has written. I’m hooked. * Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (2017, sleep science) by Matthew P. Walker. Quite a queue at the library for this, and it’s good to get it back. I am beginning the section on older people’s need for sleep. It is a myth older people need less, and sleep loss in older people can imitate dementia, or accelerate the dementia process. Frankly, doesn’t surprise me.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • My sister’s safe recovery from recent surgery.
  • My sister’s husband being a nurse, and is available to provide all her in-home recovery elements.
  • The time of day when it is acceptable to set all the body parts free from any clothing binding or creeping or chafing or rubbing against my skin.
  • Clothing loose enough to not annoy my extra-sensitive skin.
  • Practicing a new habit of opening and discarding all useless mail immediately while shredding pertinent information. I have a love/hate relationship with paper. I re-use blank sides to doodle on. But I don’t need/want to keep stacks of old mail around.
  • Quickly finding some paperwork I need to follow up on that I thought I had misplaced but it was in the first pile I looked.
  • Watching the back yard tree do a strip-tease tossing her little yellow accessories all over the lawn.
  • Extra clothing to layer up with as the cold creeps into the house.
  • Having some hot chocolate in the cupboard that hadn’t gone stale.
  • One more farmers market before the season ends.
  • The winter farmers markets coming up the next two months, all the lovely winter root vegetables and squashes.
  • A couple of the last garden grown tomatoes of the season.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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

1 Response to Gratitude Sunday: Beware The Time Of Change

  1. piratesorka says:

    I don’t seem to remember anything much being done for Veterans Day ( maybe in High school, or was that Memorial day we cellebrated? No clue.I’m getting pretty tired of FAll right now. Its been a pretty spectacular one but all the leaves , the cold and encroaching darkness get to me quick.

    Like

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