Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Did It

This emblem really made the rounds on Facebook today. I chose to use it as my profile picture as a show of support for folks I know and about whom I care. They have been spending their day listening  to arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping for a ruling that will insure gender blindness when it comes to being able to formalize and legalize relationships that, in many cases, have proved to be more stable than the last 200 or so opposite-genders celebrity marriages.

I don't use Facebook as a political platform, as a rule. And I agree that plastering this doesn't do a thing to change a thing. Unless the Justices decide to decide based on how many of these they see in social media today, it's an empty gesture. (Let me be clear here -- the Supreme Court Justices should not bow to pressure from the populace. They are the one branch of the government that never should, not even when it means we might be disappointed by its rulings.)

So, why'd I jump in when I typically don't?

1. I am tired of hearing that Conservative Christian Southerners are the problem. I am a Conservative Christian Southerner. I am not part of the problem.

2. I do support the right of people to marry the person they choose. Opening the door to this no more opens the door to abuse of the institution of marriage than letting people marry in Vegas after an evening of heavy drinking and a run at the tables. Or giving any Kardashian a legal license to do so, either.

3. I trusted my friends who disagree with me about this to respect my decision to use the emblem for a period of time, just as I have respected their decisions to post photographs in support of issues with which I fundamentally disagree. As I started the day with 353 Facebook friends and seem to still have them all, my trust was well-placed. I have chosen my friends well.

Sometime in the next day or so I will change my profile picture again to something else, maybe back to the blue ribbon that I've had up since March 1, in support of Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.

The one nobody ever asked me about.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Today's surprise in the garden.

The interesting weather patterns these last few months have had me despairing of seeing my dogwood tree bloom at all this year, let alone in time for Easter, which is just a thing with me. 

Look what I came home to today.

"After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like dogwoods." 

~~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Memory and Possession

I'm working my way, however slowly, through Family Ephemera that was entrusted to me as we emptied our parents' home. Much of what I have surrounding me in my home office are things of no particular interest to anyone (including me!), but which, taken as a whole, provide some new insights into folks gone on ahead.

This morning, I have turned my attention to a rather impressive box filled with my Nannaw's journals. I started by turning through them page by page. I had to abandon this practice when it became clear I'd be glued to my chair all day, so I began just flipping through at random, considering as gifts some of the things she thought important enough to record.

I have discovered, and been reminded of, so many things about her. Her note-making bordered on the compulsive. Not a year went by that she didn't elaborate on dates of particular significance to her: her parent's birthdays, her own anniversary even decades after my Grandpappy had died, annually noting "Oh, my."  The anniversaries of their deaths--and that of many others whom she knew, loved, and lost--were always noted, as well.

For nearly a year the biggest ongoing crisis in her life was finding a hairdresser to replace Mr. Olds when he retired. From this effrontery she never fully recovered.

She followed sports, particularly horse racing, SEC football, and baseball, with particular passion. I have no explanation for her fascination with President Reagan's bowel surgery, and was surprised by the enthusiasm she expressed for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's speech at the 1976 Democratic Convention. She did not care, particularly, for Geraldine Ferraro.

About her grandchildren and great-grandchildren she said very little, although she certainly kept close tabs on us all. I did find reference to her having attended my piano recital in 1973, with which she seemed to have been impressed.

More telling than any diary entry at all were the things she clipped from newspapers and magazines, and tucked away, sometimes with the help of a paper clip, sometimes taped to the day on which she must have run across it.

You can tell a lot about a person by the things they clip and underscore and save.

I found this poem, written on the back of a ledger entry. I did a bit of Googling, and actually happened upon the very newspaper column from which she copied it. Astounding, this merge of old handwritten notes and modern technologies. This appeared on October 13, 1970, in Phil Kelly's syndicated column, Growing Old Rebelliously

The Memories of Things Precious
by Jean Ingelow

The Memory of things precious keepeth warm
The heart that once did hold them. They are poor
That have lost nothing: they are poorer far
Who losing, have forgotten; they most poor
Of all, who lose and wish they might forget. 
For life is one and in its warp and woof
There runs a thread of gold that glitters fair
And sometimes in the patterns shows more sweet
Where there are sombre colors. It is true
That we have wept, but, O, this thread of gold,
We could not have it tarnish; let us turn
Oft and look back upon the wondrous web
And when it shineth sometimes we shall know
That memory is possession.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

When You See One, Take It!

It started with all that rain. I stopped taking my walks/jogs in the mornings because of it, kept thinking the afternoons would be warmer and drier. That didn't happen, of course, not for days and days, anyway.

I got on our old treadmill instead. I had forgotten what a number it always does on my joints. So I stopped that, too.

I don't know about your life experience, but mine is that reasons have a way of turning into excuses which morph into not being able to zip my jeans. But maybe that's just me.

Today there was no reason whatsoever for me not to get out there. The weather is simply beautiful. I am not on babysitting privilege this weekend. I knew I wouldn't be running today, I just wanted to get back out there and remind my legs how good they make me feel when they move. I also wanted to get back out there because if you know me at all, you know that my morning walks work like Prozac for me and Lord knows, I needed an  infusion.

It didn't take me long to be glad I had, and as often happens when I'm out on these things lessons present themselves to me. Moments of clarity. Things that make me say HEY LET'S BLOGGITY THIS WALK.

First, I came to a fork in the road.


Forks in the road lead to choices, ofttimes.

I opted for neither. 

I knew when I got home I'd be fixin' this for myself instead.

Not very dramatic, I know. But hey! Reading this blog is free and you get precisely what you pay for in life, right?

But there was another fork in the road this week that involved making a decision about a pharmaceutical solution to a problem very common among Women My Age: a diagnosis of osteoporosis.

The potential side effects of the drugs offered to me (either Fosamax or Actenol) are downright frightening, and among people I asked who had personal experience with either of them, almost without exception what I found was that taking these drugs had affected the quality of their day to day lives in varying degrees, and not usually for the better.

Used to be, it was only women over 65 who had these bone density tests done. And they are comparing our bone density to a standard for 30 year old women. Tell ya what, medical profession:  you compare my bone density to other 55 year old women, then we'll talk.

I have opted to continue only with my regimen of calcium supplements, enjoying dairy products in my diet, moderate weight-bearing exercise, fresh air, and accepting the fact that I may regret this choice many years hence.  But until I get there? I want to feel good, and I do.

Especially after that cup of coffee.