Saturday, June 24, 2017
I don't like Bernie Sanders. I didn't like him yesterday. I don't like him today and I doubt if I'll like him any better tomorrow. I don't like Mrs. Bernie either. And if there are Sanders kids, I probably wouldn't like them if I knew them either.
Bernie may not have been the biggest reason Hillary isn't president today but he was the first. (She ran into a perfect storm of Bernie, Trump, Putin, WikiLeaks, Jim Comey and sexism - a combined force it would have been impossible for any mortal human to overcome).
Bernie was the original Dog in the Manger. He wasn't a Democrat, has never been a Democrat but he latched himself onto the Democratic party to the detriment of their real candidate, and like a leech, sucked out enough of the party's life force to make a real difference. I don't think he believed for one minute that he would ever be president of the United States (though his faithful followers did). But he parleyed his crusty old purist persona into tons of attention. The media loved him. He was such a character and he helped them bring down, Hillary down, an effort they never seemed to tire of even after three decades.
Bernie and Trump were the traveling road show, each backing up whatever the other one said. "Hillary is owned lock, stock and barrel by the big banks," said Donald. "Just so," echoed Bernie. Of course, since then all those big bankers have gone to work for the Trump administration.
"Emails!" screamed Trump. "Emails!" screamed the holier-than-thou Mr. Sanders. Trump even made a negative ad against Hillary using Bernie quotes. On the other hand, he rarely laid a glove on Sanders because he knew Bernie was no threat to him.
And Bernie kept it up, even when it was obvious he'd lost the nomination. Rather than folding his tent right then and joining forces with the rest of the Democrats, he forged on to Philadelphia. Of course, he eventually endorsed her but it was too late by then. The Bernie Bots despised her and many voted for third party candidates rather than for her.
There is plenty of blame to go around for why Hillary lost. Mostly, we seem to have gotten around to blaming her. She was too quiet; she was too loud. She smiled to much; she didn't smile enough. She didn't campaign in the right states. She didn't appeal enough to the working class. People didn't know what she stood for (I did. I knew exactly what she stood for - a minimum wage increase, improving Obamacare, climate change, more help for women and children, equal pay for equal work, help for college kids with student loans....) Why didn't a lot of other people know? Because the media and her opponents focused on emails morning, noon and night.
I was bitter then and I'm bitter now about the man who jumped into the race in an effort to brush aside the "little woman". I'm even more bitter that so many Americans fell for it.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
It is strange how a thing that lays around ignored for so long can suddenly make such a huge difference in your life but that is the case of The Door. It turned out to be a secret treasure.
I assume it was meant to be a storm door for the front of the house. John had bought a stack of gorgeous wood to build a new front. He had the plans in his head and when he came to Indiana and had a little time, he'd work on it. That didn't happen very often though so it mostly just stayed a stack of wood.
When he died, someone who bought some of his tools bought the wood as well.
John and LeAnn came to visit from Iowa last month. LeAnn and I mostly talked but, bless John's heart, he worked his tail off fixing things that needed fixing around here. Coming back from breakfast, he made the observation that my back storm door was looking pretty battered.
"Yeah," I said, "there used to be a storm door in the garage but I don't know if it's still there."
His handyman's eyes glinted at the thought of a more challenging project than installing support bars in the tub and balancing the float in the toilet so it would flush properly. As soon as we got home, he grabbed the garage key. The door was still there, still in it's packaging.
"John special-ordered this door in 2003," John told me.
I had figured it was just your basic white storm door but it wasn't. It was one of those kind that is all glass, trimmed in cinnamon to match the trim on the house.
John worked all day until he completed the job. When we opened the inside door to look out, something sort of magical happened. Yes, it was the same old view I'd been seeing out my back door for years - no mountain peaks, no rivers, no forests. Just an average street in an average small town but opening the vista to the size of the door gave it an entirely different feel. I could see the trees and the hill running down to Charlie Creek and my own back rolling hill with Mom and John's garden at the top.
I decided I would put bird feeders outside the door. Mom and I fed the birds for years but we gave up because the voracious Cemetery Squirrels stole every seed within 15 minutes of filling the feeders. I went to EBay and ordered two bird feeders, both GUARANTEED to be squirrel proof! Fingers crossed that at least one of them works.
Blythe helped set them up and I now have regular seeds and sunflower seeds and suet and thistle seed. I have two hummingbird feeders. She brought two lawn chairs around with a little table so there is now a kind of sitting nook out there for reading and drinking coffee and watching birds.
Mostly though, I just watch from my kitchen chair. I can watch t.v. and glance up to see who is out there.
Not only do I love it but so do all my animals. They have to squeeze together to all have their looking space and they do. I come into the kitchen to see, lined up, a black and white cat butt, a cream cat butt, a gray cat butt and a blonde Pekingese butt, all in a row, heads turning to see who has come to visit.
I had a blue jay and a chickadee and sparrows and a hummingbird the first day the feeders were up (so far no squirrels!).
So that door sat out there, useless, for 14 years and now it has given the residents of this house a new view of the world. It's a pretty world, a sharing world, a green and blooming world.
One of the guests at my recent tea party said, "I think that door is John's last gift to you."
I'm not quite so sentimental and romantic as that but just in case she's right...."thanks, John."
(Thank you also to John Murphy who brought it out of the garage and into the light.