Archive for June 27th, 2015

It’s getting better

The state of the world.

I admit, there is a lot about today that is downright terrible.  So many shootings.  So much terrible news.  The entire conspiracy to destroy public education.  But…

Things are getting better.  I really think they are.

1. You can breathe in elevators and airplanes and schools now that there are no-smoking laws.

2.  I no longer need white gloves, a hat, hose and a girdle to leave the house.  While I don’t go to Walmart in my pajamas, I just pull on pants and a shirt and I’m ready to go.

3. As a child, I was very afraid we were all going to die, and soon, from an atomic bomb.  We practiced hiding under our desks.  I was pulled inside when there were lots of contrails in the air just in case it was the attack.  I wanted a fallout shelter like the ones advertised in the Sunday paper.   Now, death by atomic weapons no longer seems imminent.

4.  The Berlin Wall came down.  Germany reunited.  I remember when it went up.  I was a German teacher; I knew the history and it felt like a permanent condition.  Then we had a miracle.  When I visited Berlin after reunification I just cried because it was so unreal that the Wall was just gone.

5. Humans walked on the moon.  I stayed up late that night to watch the grainy picture on the small black and white TV and, when it was over, I went outside to look at the moon.  It looked no different, but everything had changed.

The most important change, though, was the expansion of ‘peoplehood.’  When I was a child, to my parents, I don’t think the immigrants from Japan and Mexico were quite people, and I’m pretty sure African-Americans weren’t. They sure weren’t ‘us.’  Now…we’re us.  We’re white and black and multi-racial and we’re all people. We’re neuro-typical and on the spectrum and we’re all people. Today, especially,  as the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality, we’re heterosexual and LBGQT and we’re all people.

I’m not Pollyanna.  America has a race problem.  We have too few people controlling far too much of the money.  We have terrible poverty and hunger.  But…it’s better than it was.  We have a long, long way to go, but, today, it’s getting better.

Happy Firefly Day

It’s kind of scary how quickly families develop traditions.  It really only takes once.

For me, Christmas is Christmas Eve, and Christmas Eve dinner is ham, cheesy potatoes, broccoli casserole, potato chips, five cup salad and the only night of the year you can drink soda.  Oh, baked beans are served, too, but I don’t eat them. So, when I had a family, every year, even though we celebrated on Christmas morning, I served the Christmas Eve dinner I remembered.  Finally Mom told me why that was Christmas Eve dinner–you can throw it all in the oven while bathing kids, dressing kids, sending kids out to look at Christmas tree lights while Santa came and opening presents.  No standing over anything.  What was convenience for my Mom meant Christmas to me.

The year we moved into our house I had a cookies and punch open house.  I’d made some frozen concoction that was sort of orange.  When I added lemon-lime soda to it, it became a punch.  I had some extra taking up room in the freezer.  So, that June, when I first noticed the fireflies, I told the kids it was Firefly Day and I made them drinks to use up the left over punch ingredients and called it Firefly Juice.  They caught some fireflies, we let them go, and that was that.  Or so I thought.  A year later, one of them came running into the house to tell me he (or was it she?) had seen the first firefly.  It was Firefly Day!  So off to the store I went to buy orange sherbet and lemon-lime soda.  We had a family holiday. Do it once and you have a tradition.

The kids are gone now.  Well, Chris is gone.  My other son is getting married and has moved into a house.  My daughter moved to another state.  I was outside, watching the cyclists riding past and there was a firefly.  Then another.

The charity bike ride would make it difficult to get to the store.  I don’t keep soda or sherbet in the house.  But today still is Firefly Day. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that, when they notice a firefly, they make Firefly Juice to celebrate Firefly Day.

I won’t tell them they are really just commemorating using up left overs.  Fireflies deserve the holiday.  Happy Firefly Day!

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