Today is Texas independence day. Not being a Texas I had to think about independence from what? Then I remembered it was Mexico and that Texas had once been a country. No wonder they are so aware of their history and feeling separate from the rest of the states.
It has been different living here. I was born in Washington DC and grew up outside of Alexandria, VA. Virginia has a long and well loved history. People who first arrived there are called FFV’s (First Families of Virginia) but in my experience I have never seen such emotion and connection as I see with the locals here.
Later today I will be going to hear a band and dinner will be BBQ (of course) and I am sure it will be fun. There are some good things to be said for being Texan.
One of the blog writers I read this week talked about his journey’s. He has done much traveling recently. I can relate to that even though I haven’t moved an inch yet.
We are all on a journey whether we journey in the same place our whole live or venture far away. It is a life journey and it brings us to many places. We experience so many things on our journey and if we are lucky we learn much.
As I near (next month) my 80th year I can see all the twists and turns that my life has taken. The journey has been eventful and, I hope, will continue to be so. Our experiences help us to grow and become wise. That is why in generations past the elderly were so respected. They had so much wisdom to impart. We still do if there is anyone to hear.
I have been blessed with children and grandchildren who sometimes take advantage of my wisdom and benefit from it. I hope that can continue and that those who come after can use what us older ones have to share.
I don’t have to tell you about society’s current tidal wave of hatred and detest towards our men and women in blue. Battle cries to “defund the police;” publicly canceling anyone who even considers that “blue lives matter.” There is a quelling uprising against law and order, and while – sure, it may seem “woke” and a noble bandwagon to jump on, the fact of the matter is, there are serious consequences to alienating those who are there to protect and defend. And that is being seen in full scale in Manhattan, no matter how much the mainstream media may try to downplay it.
(And Mom and dad, I apologize ahead of time for the worry this post may ignite. Please know that I am being safe, taking precautions, and frankly…not doing anything stupid to get into a dangerous situation.)
My friends and I got back from Maine on Monday night at midnight. And the city was lights out. Dead. For a city that used to literally never sleep — where you could go out at any time, on any day, and see swaths of people milling around — it is alarming that Manhattan is so quiet. And why? Because half of New York has left, and those that have stayed behind are scared to go out past 10.
Outdoor restaurants close at 10 pm. Historically 24-hour CVS’s, bodegas, and diners — now all close at 10. Parks – which have never been gated up…now, locked with a chain and padlock at 10.
Why? Because it is no longer safe to be out after dark.
Perhaps you may be thinking I’m overreacting. Sure…just a typical overdramatic millennial who’s extra skiddish because she’s a young woman who lives alone. Please. I have never once felt scared in NYC. Ever. Until now.
It was such a shock to go from “Mayberry,” Maine back to Gotham. The night my friends and I got home, I got a text from one of my friends — that morning, there was an arrest made in her building. A homeless man had been living in her stairwell for MONTHS, and had been stealing packages. This was in a super nice building on the Upper West Side — arguably one of the nicest, most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan.
A man. Living in her stairwell.
Which is particularly alarming and crazy, because she had been getting her packages delivered to my doorman building for quite some time now, because all of her packages were going missing.
Crime is up.
You may recall the incident I had just a few months ago: where a BLM radical YouTuber accosted me outside my building, and forced me to get on my knees and hail BLM while he livestreamed it. I was one of a string of young women he “vlogged” that day.
Graffiti tags are absolutely everywhere. The population of homeless people has soared, and so has their boldness. My friend was curtly confronted by a homeless man who pressured her into VENMOING HIM money, when she explained she didn’t have any cash.
My “neighborhood watch” Citizen Ap on my phone pings incessantly throughout the day and night, notifying me of crime in my current vicinity. Unsettling reminders for sure.
These are not just isolated incidents. Homicides. Robberies. Burglaries. All have skyrocketed recently. And why? Because cops are afraid to do their jobs anymore.
Why put your life on the line, when — if you act to defend yourself, it could be filmed and end up on national news where you’ll be labeled a racist, and prosecuted?
They’ve had enough. And so they’re walking off the job. In startlingly large numbers.
The NYPD has recently cited “ongoing challenges,” including an “increase in retirements” and “deep budget cuts.”
That is terrifying information. Terrifying.
In case you missed it, back in June, one billion dollars was cut from the NYC police budget. And the impact of that are now beginning to be felt.
What is going to happen to our country if law and order is not the backbone of society? Truly? What will our world become?
Now here’s the tough part. Because yes – we need to support our men and women of the badge – but it is also true that there are “bad apples” that are drawn to the allure of the police force, and the power and -sadly, weaponry- that goes along with it. But to completely throw the entire baby out with the bathwater, just because of a problematic bunch…it is wholeheartedly unwise.
Are the horrific and heartbreaking incidents of unjust police brutality that have happened in recent months absolutely unwarranted, unjust, and deserving prosecution? One hundred percent yes.
But those handful of terrible, terrible incidents do not color the vast majority of blue men and women who truly have dedicated their lives and their livelihoods to protecting and serving the community, and keeping people safe.
It is a job that I cannot imagine waking up and doing every day.
And it is a job that, yes, probably should have more training and vetting, and support, and accountability, than it currently does.
But we need to support law and order in this country. Without it, we are creating a scenario ripe for malice, and foul play, and all sorts of corruption. A scenario that we are beginning to see play out in Manhattan.
Today I was thinking about how people connect. How do we really make a deep connection that can change an acquaintance into a true friend?
In my experience that happens when we are willing to open up and share of ourselves. Telling our stories….some of which do not show us in the best light…allows others to see into us in a different way. There is a risk in this. Sometimes this sharing will not be accepted in the way we want. Sometimes we can be rejected or used. But without this kind of sharing we will never reach that level of friendship that bonds people together.
Since I am an extrovert I am usually willing to let people hear the stories that tell about my failings and weaknesses. Those stories that let people know that I have anxiety and need help off and on. I will share that I have seen a psychologist and have no problem doing so whenever I need to.
Stories that reveal moments that may relate to the other person usually will bring forth similar sharing. People need to know that we are not judgmental and understand in order to feel comfortable opening up.
It is a blessing that our connection on Word Press allows for that kind of sharing.
I feel awful about not posting yesterday. I lost the day. The night before I had what I think was food poisoning. I was fine by morning but exhausted. I was feeling sorry for myself. Here without my husband and feeling miserable. Later that day one of my friends called and her sister’s husband caught the virus while traveling and died at 44 years old. His wife, working as a nurse, had damage from a tornado that struck their neighborhood. Her sister cannot have her husband transported home or have a glimpse of him. He died with none of his family around. There are so many people who have more crisis than anyone should have to bear. It certainly put my life into perspective.
Each of us has our own problems. Even though we can see catastrophic things happen to others the feelings we have are still valid. Our own problems bring forth emotions that we have to learn to deal with. We may not have things wrong that seem more devastating than others but our own tragedies are ours. We have to absorb the emotions. We have to deal with the issues. They are important. They are ours.
As each of us move through the things that cause us grief and pain we will learn things that we can use to help others when this is all over. Our experiences will help us gain new insights, new skills, and new ways to cope. We will have much to teach others. Lots to share with those who come after us.
This crisis is hard but we can learn from it and share what we have learned with generations that come.
I keep a quote book and was looking through it today and found one that I am sure must have been on someone’s blog but I just love it.
If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. The Dalai Lama
Not only is this very true but I love his sense of humor.
Each of us lives a life of importance. Even though we are quarantined and distancing we are needed. It seems that there is not much that we can do to help but that is not true.
Yesterday I ordered groceries from the store and they were delivered by a family…father, mother, two young girls. There were driving a nice car….not expensive but good. Obviously the parents work and no longer have jobs. So many people have been laid off or the place they work is closed. This may be their only way to make money. At least when I order groceries delivered I can give them a generous tip since it all goes to them.
The restaurants near us that are supplying take-out food are having their wait staff deliver it. We can pick it up but the delivery helps someone who has no income at this time. I am spending so much less than usual I can surely space some for those in need.
Admittedly it is small help but it is help. So many people are in dire straits and we have no idea of knowing how this will turn out. If you are one of the blessed and have an income, a place to live, food to eat and safety please do what you can to help those who don’t have anything.
Today I bit off more than I could chew. I needed to make more communion bread (not a problem) but then decided to make Hummingbird Cake. Also not hard but somewhat time consuming. I don’t know why I wanted to do that. I have no company coming and we will not eat a whole cake. What was I thinking?
Nevertheless I did all of that and am planning to give away large slices of the cake. Some people are in for a good evening when I take it to them.
Now I am really tired. This is what happens when there are many things to be done that you don’t want to do. Any way to escape. Now tomorrow I will have to tackle the things I put off but I have no other plans….so that will work.
I think sometimes you just have to give in to a whim. It makes life more interesting. Just sticking to routine, no matter how comforting, can get boring. Don’t be afraid to jump into something you love. It will make life more fun.
Today was the day that I finally relaxed from all the holiday, surgery, visitors, granddaughter’s accident stuff. I think I just let go. I am tired but this kind of tired feels good. It is nice to have all of that behind me and look toward what is next.
Routine is calming. As we get older calm and peace can be better than excitement. I still do things that challenge my status quo. It is important to not get stuck but, for me, a little bit is enough.
I depend on friends. They are the backbone I can count on. Life would be bare without them. We don’t need a lot of really close friends. A few will do. That doesn’t meant that we don’t have others who are an important part of our world. They just aren’t the ones who are part of the heart.
The only way that you find those kind of friends is by opening yourself to them. They will not stay close and grow with you if you don’t share your deepest self. If someone doesn’t accept that then you don’t need them.
We also have to make the effort to communicate. Someone said don’t let the path grow up between your houses. Today our friends may not be that physically close but the idea is the same. Don’t expect others to keep the path open but do it yourself. We have to take the responsibility to keep reaching out. Friends don’t become close over night. The work must be put in to grow them.
Friends are a crucial part of life. Take the time and effort to share, communicate and help the link between you to grow. It is worth it!
It is night but after the night comes the morning. And with the morning there are new opportunities . There is so much to be shared. People who need love, hope, joy. Each of us needs to do what we can to bring that to others. Our sharing can make all the difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be physical things. If we have things we can share that others need that is a blessing. But to share ourselves is more important. For by giving love to others we enhance our own lives as well.
It is easy to get tangled up in “why do we do things? For ourselves or for others?” There is no confusion… we do it for both. We are not free from receiving good from the ways we reach out. It happens. But we can’t dismiss it as being selfish alone. Out helping others can bring them love, hope and joy. It can also bring the same things to us. That is not a wrong thing. It is just the way it works. God wants us to derive pleasure from helping others. It’s joy will remind us to keep on giving.
In my life I loved getting gifts. Interestingly enough, I now get more joy from the giving of them. There is something about the faces we see when we share of our belongings and especially of ourselves.
Share, share share. Don’t be afraid. You will not lose….you will gain!
This is a wonderful list of how to help families with sick children!
Before I continue our story I want to share more on how you can help. In the last few years between NICU, RSV/Adenovirus/Pneumonia stay, and this most recent round of hospital time, it has occurred to me most people don’t know how to help. Most people ask “Let me know if I can do anything”, […]