Sunday, April 19, 2015

We're All The Same

You know I'm feeling better when I can get my mind fired up on social issues instead of dealing with drama. I was reading an article and thread, what I like to call the reader's comments, on a new database tracing the number, ethnicity, and relevant details like "armed" or "unarmed" when I realized I was becoming  engaged again. I felt fire burning in my chest and a sense of righteous indignation on the behave of my fellow men who are being gunned down in cold blood under the guise of the law. 

I wondered why I was the type of person who tried to look at the issue of racism in America from the perspective of the real black people who had to deal with that bullshit every day of their lives and didn't have the same laissez-faire attitude of so many white people.

I don't have any black friends and I don't really know many but I do know I would never want to look down on someone because of the color of their skin no more than I'd want to mistreat a handicapped child or kick a dog.

When I was young the movie Gone With The Wind came out to a new audience. I remember getting Civil War "money" in oatmeal boxes. On the back was a discount pass for the movie. I thought it was so neat that we came from the south. I had no idea of the deeper meaning of history. The only knowledge I had was from old movies like The Little Colonel with Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. And that, my friend, was the first interracial dance scene filmed in America. Shirley Temple, Bojangles Robinson

Sometimes I wondered what it would have been like if the south had won the war. Would I be a privileged white child, or maybe a poor white child who felt inferior and was glad to be one rung higher up than the black people around me. 

I think of the theme in To Kill A Mockingbird where a whole town was turned upside down because of the accusations of rape by a poor white woman about a poor black man who wasn't believed. Atticus Finch was the lawyer who was trying to save the poor black man's life. It was a powerful movie showcasing racism in the south.

Finally, I read Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Over the years I began to think about how awful it would be to "belong" to someone like an old dog and have to "obey" their commands. My natural reluctant nature caused me to realize I couldn't do it. I could not live in slavery. I certainly wouldn't want to be kidnapped and shipped to America in the bottom of a rocking, stinking, dark, dank ship. I can understand why so many people died before they ever reached the islands or America. I couldn't have made it. 

Being on the internet and having access to information at the drop of a hat I'm liable to stagger over some interesting articles which spark my imagination and make me believe we deserve social justice for all. We can't erase the past's history, that is, unless you're a Texas school board writing the books many schools and institutions print for this country's school systems. But that's a lie and another matter for another time. 

There has been a steadfast blood lust for unarmed black men and boys over the past several years that have been caught on film, thanks to the inter-tubes as former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens called it. We've been inundated with videos of cops killing black men and vigilantes like George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin as he was walking in a quiet gated community. It has made the nation aware.

I am amazed when I read comments about any black shooting or any reference to any death when someone tells people to quit whining and get over it. How the hell do you get over something, especially if you are black or your children are black. Every day of their life they have to live with the knowledge that someone, somewhere might kill them for no fault of their own except for the color of their skin. We should be ashamed to live in a society like that.

I don't get that. I really don't. I guess I live from the white point of perspective where I have always had certain rights that I never noticed other people were denied. There are more obstacles for women than men and we still don't have equal rights in the constitution but I think poor black ladies are doubly burdened. 

I guess I have white privilege because I'm not afraid to speak up when I think I'm being undermined but that doesn't mean my opinion means squat most times. I just feel I have the right to speak up. I wonder how many black people have to bite their tongues to keep from speaking their mind, especially when they are around a group of caucasians.

If you'd like to read the article and see the data the young man wrote, you can find it here. Data on Death

Social injustice and inequality are still as relevant today as they were in the past. We have to remain ever vigilant and not fall for crap like "affirmative action is no longer needed." Yeah, right. By whom, might I ask?

AS ALWAY
PIO

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Musings

Mamma's beginning to feel better. We've started arguing and getting on each other's nerves. That's a good sign. My main gripe is that's she's too independent and stubborn and won't listen to me. 

Mamma's sister, Mary Jane, came to visit last week and Mamma and Mary Jane have already taken off two times in the car alone. Both times I tried to tell Mamma she shouldn't drive but she wouldn't listen. She can barely walk from room to room. She shouldn't  be driving. When they came back, she admitted she nearly had an accident.

I asked her nurse practitioner if Mamma should be driving yet. She said she thought Mamma should wait until they get her medicine adjusted. Mamma still has home health care and a physical therapist come every week. 

I'm glad May Johnson agreed with me because my little mamma is a daredevil and can scare the bejesus out of you. She turned in front of a car when Katie and I were both with her one day and Katie won't ride with her any more. I can't blame her.

I've been consumed with taking care of Mamma and have barely focused on my life although that's not what some people think. 

Anybody that knows me knows I like to make lists and keep track of things. I've noticed that whenever I'm in a crisis I forget to keep track of my days. That drives me crazy. I like to know what day I did something or when I paid a bill. Stuff like that. I am so far behind I will never fill in those blank days I spent during and after the hospital. Those days are lost to me in a fog.

I do have some more good news to report. I've been monitoring my blood glucose religiously and have begun to get a handle on it. Most days my blood sugar is in the low 100's, which is good but I haven't been exercising and I really feel that! I miss it so much. It really helps relieve stress. 

While I have been staying with Mamma, I have been mowing her yard and trying to get some exercise. I don't consider that much exercise when you're on a riding lawnmower but it's better than nothing. I figure the jiggling is shaking some fat off. Right?

Everybody says I'm not around as much as I should be but I'd like to know how much more around I need to be. I've been there every day and most nights since Mamma was in the hospital and I have languished away waiting to do my mother's bidding when she needed something to eat or assistance with anything. Mostly, I've sat around watching her work circle word puzzles.

I think people have forgotten, just because I don't work, that I have things I need to do. 

Nobody considers that my old dog is stuck in the house all day alone, with the poor old bird stuck in a cage, or Buddy is outside huddled on the porch waiting for somebody to come home and let him inside. 

Nobody considers the goat we've got that needs tending to and watched so it can roam free and eat bushes and weeds in the backyard without being attacked by Buddy. He can't be trusted.

Just because I'm an anomaly doesn't mean I don't have a life. It just looks different than yours.

I didn't even notice the dogwoods in bloom because I've been so preoccupied with other things. Spring is really here and I barely noticed. I hate that because spring is the most beautiful time of the year. The azaleas are blooming, too.

I don't think we will have but one more cold snap this year, blackberry winter. I could be wrong.

I don't mean to complain because I am very thankful for my life and everything going on in it. I am tickled to death Mamma is getting better and wants to do things for herself and doesn't need constant supervision. I am grateful for my boys who pick up the slack whenever I'm away. 

Colt and Donny jump right in and make sure they have clean clothes and something to eat. That's a blessing and one more thing I don't have to worry about. I could have ended up with someone like my Daddy who never cooked a meal in his life, as far as I know.

I am thrilled to be a mother-in-law and a granny. Scout picked a winner when he married Katie. She's been a great support to us all.

Katie is starting a new job and, by default, I am starting a new one, too. I am responsible for seeing that Bennett gets off the bus safely every afternoon when Katie isn't home. We bond over chocolate pudding and reading books. He is my best little buddy.  I only hope I'm not a bad influence on him. (Don't ask)

I'm going to get my hopes up again and look forward to a better summer than last year. I hope we are able to plant a garden and keep the goat out of it. I really, really would like a break for a while. I'm tired, already.

AS ALWAYS
PIO


Monday, April 6, 2015

APRIL

It seems like the more things change the more they stay the same. Last year around this time I was caring for my mother when she fell down and broke her hip. She stayed in ICU and finally went to Regency Park for rehabilitation. 

I was hoping we would get through another year without any more incidents but things have a way of changing rapidly. A couple of weeks ago Mama had to be rushed to the emergency room when we thought she might be having a heart attack. It turned out to be pneumonia and she was placed back in ICU until she was well enough to be placed in a room. After a week, she was released from the hospital and got to go home. 

I've been staying with her and helping her every way I can. She's taking breathing treatments every day and a home health nurse comes to check on her twice a week. She also has a physical therapist who is monitoring her progress. So far, so good.

I miss my home and my messy little house. I know the boys can do without me but I sure miss living my own little life on my own terms. I don't know if things will ever get back to "normal" again, whatever that is.

Easter was just another day around here. I spent a couple of hours mowing Mama's yard on Sunday. I love to mow. It is so calming and a good time to get my anxieties out of me. I haven't been walking like I was before Mama got sick and I feel blah all the time. I need to get back in the groove again.

I know too many people who are facing their own troubles and struggles. Here's hoping this year is better than last year and everybody is healthy and happy. We could all use a break.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Sanna, Patricia, Susie, Debbie, Aja, Allan, and Kathy

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
Jason and Hanna, Myra and Noodie, Ann and Jim

RIP
Beulah Burchfield, Henry Cornwell, and Donna Shoates

REMEMBER
Tax Time

AS ALWAYS
PIO

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MARCH

I am thankful for the hints of spring we are experiencing now. Temperatures are in the 70's and we are getting plenty of rain. I don't mind, not after the frigid weather we lived though a couple of weeks ago. Our gas heater went out and we had to live through some of the coldest temperatures we faced all winter with space heaters. We worried about the water freezing but we got off lucky. Mama wasn't as lucky. Her pipes froze. Thankfully, they didn't burst.

I don't think we would have been nearly as comfortable if it weren't for Mama and our friend, Joann. Mama gave Donny an infrared heater for Christmas, and Joann generously lent us her extra heater during our crisis. Believe me, we needed them. 

The bedrooms were cold as ice. It reminded me of the times I sent the night at my grandparent's house in the winter when I was a kid. My grandmother always stacked up plenty of quilts and usually put a hot water bottle in the bed for my feet. She also let me wear her mother's flannel granny gowns. I felt warm and toasty in my cold, cold room wrapped in my sweet great granny's old gowns.

I was basically a hermit until we got the heat back on the next week. Now, I am becoming a little bit optimist and that frightens me. I'm like Chicken Little. I'm afraid the sky will come tumbling down on my head if I get too cocky or happy.

Donny and I started walking for exercise again and I'm able to walk twice as far as he does now on our treks. He comes home after a few turns around our track and leaves me to walk until I give out. 

I hated walking when I first started but I knew that I'd eventually hit that plateau that people talk about where your body kicks in and starts to "sing" with energy. I hit that peak about six or seven turns around the parking lot where we exercise and get pumped up and want to walk faster and farther every time. I sure am glad. I missed that when I was recovering and the weather was bad.

I've been cooped up in the house too long. It's time to get moving to get healthy. Katie and Joann go to the gym to exercise now so I don't have my walking buddies any more. That's alright. Donny and I are about the same speed anyway. You know ... old farts. We get plenty of walking in when we get started.

Donny actually called me skinny tonight. I don't know if he was being facetious or was really serious. He handed me a dinner plate and said, "Here. You can go before me cause you need to eat, you're so skinny."

What do you think? Was he paying me a compliment, or was he trying to be funny? You can never tell with Donny.

We eat cafeteria style and everybody gets their plate and moves on to the dining room. Our dining room table belonged to my grandmother. I like having family dinners at the same table I've sat at with my grandparents. It's a family thing.

On another note, Donny got his drawers all in a tangle because he hates the pictures I posted of him when he had surgery last year so I decided, in the name of fairness, I'd post a picture of me when I was in the hospital. Just so you know, I look pitiful so you have my permission to feel sorry for me a little but I'm all better now so don't worry about me.

Everybody has to go through their own journeys and we all have burdens we have to deal with. The important thing is to not let the burdens own you. Sometimes you have to cling to that glimmer of hope. We all do.

I love you guys.

Are we even now, Donny?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Heather, Jami, Dana, Mike, Mary Jane, Johnathon, Jason, Alex, Patsy, Sunshine

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

RIP
Jerry White, Debbie Chitwood,
Crick Marshall, Mary Bell Carter, Evelyn Chastain, and Lela Smith

REMEMBER
Daylight Saving Time, St Patrick's Day, Spring, Palm Sunday

AS ALWAYS
PIO
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