Long Weekend/End of Summer

I used to love when we would go back to school the day after Labor Day. A fresh, new path of learning, and getting to be with our friends. We’d been with a few of them all summer, riding bikes, playing “Bonanza,” and going to the library.

We were all big fans of the western that was very popular when we were kids. Yes, my friends Peggy and Karen will tell you I always had to have “Little Joe” be my boyfriend, Peggy liked “Adam,” and I don’t remember who that left for Karen. We’d spend hours, pretending to ride the Ponderosa, in search of cattle rustlers, gold miners, and wagon trains who crossed our land with sheep. Any cattle farmer will tell you sheep totally destroy the grass the cattle feed on. Or at least that’s what they said on “Bonanza.”

I see those shows now and think how very hard minorities had it in those times. The Chinese in California and the like were all laundry workers, maybe miner cooks, but servants nonetheless. We won’t talk about how the Native Americans were treated, much less described as savages. Horrible!

Whether you rode on the Wagon Train, drove cattle on Rawhide, or were a thrice-widowed rancher like on Bonanza, there were nuances of only white people should have this vast land and all it’s riches. I’m so glad we finally understand we are all created equally, and God’s earth is meant for all of us. We messed up with our assumption of superiority.

Yes, folks will disagree that we’re still not “there” and I know we’re not. We need to move ahead, not backwards. I was a high school kid in the late 60’s and know what racial tension is. I also know what the war protesters brought about. No war is a “good” war; we need to quit referring to it as “that awful war, blah, blah, blah.”

The damage our Veterans experienced lasts today; I’ve heard many stories from Veterans who were hurt mentally and spat upon. Talk about trying to adjust to society and life at home! The Babe has told me he was sent home alone. No de-briefing, no group going home. Him, alone on a commercial flight. They didn’t give you money or a ticket back then. He didn’t even know if he had enough money to buy a ticket. It hit him; for the last 11 months and 29 days, he was so focused on trying to stay alive on the DMZ in Vietnam, he knew next to nothing about life as a citizen of the United States of America. Frightening.

Lots of flashbacks, lots of bad dreams. I believe this led not only to his alcoholism but many alcoholics from Vietnam, Korea, WWII, and WWI. Morphine during or after surgery makes the nightmares start again, it’s on his list of meds he’s allergic to. Nearly every combat veteran I know who saw “Saving Private Ryan” had nightmares for awhile. It’s human nature. It’s in our need to survive. He stopped drinking over 25 years ago, and is a good man, full of love. Lucky me. He and Sandy, the mother of his kids, became friends after the kids were grown, she and I had a wonderful friendship, too. Again, lucky me. Cancer took her over ten years ago. So sad.

As you picnic, party, water ski, swim, and gather this Labor Day weekend, remember:

America was built on the working man and woman; celebrate their incredible achievements. And as you do that, remember:

It was a Veteran who fought for the privileges we have: Holidays to celebrate, freedom to gather, freedom to worship, freedom to declare all of us to be equal. We have a way to go, yes; we’ll get there faster since we are free to make changes to our society. Have a beautiful start to your weekend, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Thursday’s Child

There was an old nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child.” It was a little ditty supposedly for children to help them learn the days of the week. I was born on a Thursday. Ascension Thursday, no less. “Thursday’s child has far to go,” was meant for me. From what I’ve read, I can take this one of two ways: First, I will have a long life. I’m hoping for that. Women have good longevity in my family. Both Grandmothers lived long. Mom is 91. Second, it could mean I have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Have you known me long? There were mountains and hills worth of obstacles. Faith and Hope have gotten me through. Sure there are more to come, too. Just realistic, not negative. God has been so very good to me. I’m forever grateful.

Either way, whatever that phrase means, I am here and so happy to be. Life gets better and better. Heck, this morning, I felt great and started a crock pot dinner an hour ago that will be ready at about 6 p.m. or so. Planning ahead. Chicken and noodles. Thanks, Peggy Fischman! My grade school, neighbor, and quilting buddy. Always has a new recipe or two.

The header photo today is my music of the day. I posted it on my personal FB account, asking what was missing? More Jimmy Weber CD’s. I hope there is one despite this pandemic. Jimmy’s a very creative guy, if anyone can produce it, he can. (No pressure, my friend!). Dayna Jones’ CD is great. You can order it from her, and she has a really cute shirt, too. I ordered a long sleeved one and know it’ll rotate into the fall wardrobe a lot. Go Dayna!

I’ve said before, music gets me through a lot of hard times. As a single mom, I was glad to have the drive time from downtown to the 90th & Dodge area near home to just decompress from the day, and relax. It was then much easier to get home to my three kids and spend the evening with them when I wasn’t in school or working my second job. Music is always there, even if no one else is. Now, the Babe and music are always there. Grateful and blessed.

I Love Eleanor Roosevelt. Such an unsung hero.

Still working on character definition for my book, The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbon’s. Katie has seven, count them seven brothers. They are characters, believe me. It’s fun to make this stuff up. I can do that since I’m doing an actual fiction novel. A couple weeks ago, I was considering creative nonfiction. My book coach, Sam Tyler, mentioned I could be sued. That would certainly be an unfortunate end, wouldn’t it? Since I have no interest in that happening, I have ventured back to fiction. The common disclaimer you see after every movie and at the beginning of every book should cover me. I don’t look good in horizontal stripes, you know? On a writer’s merch website, I saw a shirt that read:

If people don’t like what you write about them, they should have treated you better.

It’s certainly to the point now, isn’t it? I did buy the one that reads:

Careful! Or you’ll end up in my novel!

Another thing I’m learning about with this venture is “Character Agency.” It’s something vital to the story. Plot is driven by the decisions the protagonist (main character) makes. The writer needs to make clear why the character makes a decision they do. An inciting incident voids any possibility of a character continuing to live a normal life. Will they fight or flee?

Writer Topher Kearby sells his creations at http://www.topherkearby.com

I admire Topher’s work, and am Facebook friends with him. His typed words are beautiful. There is also art that go with some of the musings. Check him out.

As I go to do some more domestic chores this early afternoon, I want to thank you for reading today. I hope you have a great day today. I’ll be here again tomorrow, hope to see you then! Stay Safe, Wash Up, Mask Up, Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, and Be Courteous. It’ll help us all. Thank you!