Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Five Reasons Why I Voted For Obama

I voted last week.  In Oregon we cast our ballots by mail.  We don’t troop through the snow or rain to an empty exhibition building at the fairgrounds or an elementary school gym.  We vote in the comfort of our own homes (which is quite the middle class perspective, isn't it?), slap on a stamp and the fate of our nation is entrusted to the US Postal Service.

I voted for Barack Obama.  I am not one of those voters who thinks Republicans are evil…hell, I’m married to one!  (For the record, the spouse was much more liberal in his youth.)  I think both candidates are good men.  I think they both love this country.  I also think they both want to carry out their vision of what America could be….and here are five reasons why I am voting for Obama: 

1.   When I look at the Democratic Party, I see myself and my community.  Yes, I know there are blacks, and Latinos, and other minorities in the Republican Party, but the driving force is rich, privileged white guys, or embarassing white women. When I watched the Democratic Convention, the participants were representative of the America that I know.  I may be a middle class white person, but the America I know is diverse.  Diversity is strength and the Republican Party doesn’t seem to recognize that.

2.   I don’t think of myself as a one issue voter, but I support women’s issues and that includes protecting a women’s right to make her own decisions about her body.  I am not pro-abortion.  I don’t know any woman who is.  I am pro-choice because I don’t want anyone telling me what I can or cannot do with my body.  It’s a trust issue.  Trust me to make a good decision.  I’m a smart, caring, competent person.  TRUST ME!  Trust my daughter and my granddaughters.

3.   I like how Barack Obama represents the United States.  He is educated, well spoken, and thoughtful.  He doesn’t say stupid stuff.  Even when I might disagree with his position, he delivers the message in a thoughtful, reasoned way.  He represents us well.

4.   I’m not sure where Mitt Romney stands on many issues.  His position seems to change depending on the audience he is talking to.  There was a time, when he was governor of Massachusetts, when he was more moderate.  I could have voted for the moderate Mitt.  I can’t vote for the Mitt who panders to the Tea Party.  He has modified his positions for votes…and I want to vote for the person who stands up for what he believes, even when it might not be the popular position.

5.   Barack Obama inherited an economy in crisis.  It took eight years for Bush to create the economic mess; I’m willing to give Obama the same amount of time to pull us out.  The economy is showing signs of improvement.  Obama saved the automotive industry.  He deserves a second term.
I'm proud to have cast my vote for Barack Obama.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still Learning in Elementary School

One of the benefits of being a grandmother is the opportunity to spend time in elementary school.  Last Tuesday I had lunch at Pond Springs Elementary School with each of my granddaughters.  I say each because they have lunch at different times and they insisted that I eat with each of them.  It is no easy task for a senior to climb into the middle of those hard bench seats.

I sat across the table from my kindergartner and her classmates all around us kept up a constant chatter of questions and reminders of the many school rules.  I almost humiliated them by getting out of my seat to throw away trash.

"You can't do that," a small voice insisted urgently, "you have to wait until they tell us!"

I even talked during "red star time" and three little faces turned to me, with fingers held to lips and in unison said "shhhh!"

The boy sitting next to me enthusiastically enjoyed blue jello as his first course, opening his mouth wide to show me.

"Look, I'm eating brains!"

He saved his banana for last and couldn't get it open.  He held it out to Ms. Vo, a student intern, for help.

"Do you know how to open a banana like the monkeys do?" she asked him.  She showed him the two ends of the banana and then turned it upside down and squeezed the round end.  She easily pulled down the peel.

"Not that way!" he screamed.  "I don't want it that way."

Ms. Vo calmly told him it was too late.

"It doesn't taste good that way," he insisted...and then he ate the banana.

I was amaze at how much easier it is to open a banana from the non-traditional end.  I guess you're never too old to learn something new in elementary school.

I found the video on You Tube...Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Final Thoughts on My Weekend at Vashon Island

Our first group photo, moments after meeting at Lavender Hill Farm.  L-R Deb, Sandi, Sally, Linda, me (standing).  Photo by DJan Stewart at DJan-ity  (She took the picture, that's why she's not in the photo!) 

It has been almost a week since I returned home from the weekend retreat on Vashon Island with five bloggers that I  met through their blogs.  When Linda at Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting first suggested the get-together, I was a little leery and I wrote about my fears here.  My qualms were unfounded.  Driving home last Sunday night I had five hours in the car to reflect on the magical weekend.  Prior to meeting at Vashon, the six of us knew each other only through our blogs, yet we recognized each other immediately.  There were no awkward silences in our conversations.   Because we knew each other through our writing, we had an understanding of each other.  We knew each others stories.

I like to write and I probably express myself better on paper than I do in conversation.  Words are important to me.   Several times over the course of the weekend my blogging friends reported  that they appreciated something  I had written in a comment on a blog. There is nothing more validating to me as a writer than to hear that my words made a difference. That we could develop such strong bonds through the Internet is remarkable to me.  We have found a community...a community that provides encouragement, support, and understanding.  This community also has a healthy dose of laughter.

Saturday night after dinner we all settled in comfy chairs in the living room and talked.  Sally asked us "What do you look for in deciding to follow a blog?"  Good writing seemed to be the consensus answer.  We then began to compare notes on which blogs we followed.  In the conversation below all the details and names are changed.

Blogger:  I follow  Depressed Granny.

Me:  Oh, what does she write about?

Blogger:  Well, she lives in a nursing home and she posts pictures of her gerbil.

Me:  I couldn't say anything...I was laughing so hard.  The Internet is a magical place where depressed nursing home residents find a following with pictures of their gerbils.  She probably dresses him up in seasonal costumes...and we drop by every week to see what's new at Sunnyvale Nursing Home.  So, it's not just the good writing that keeps us reading.

What is it that draws us together?  This weekend on Vashon Island it was our willingness to take a risk and share our humanity...there were no pictures of gerbils!

Our last photo, in the living room at Lavender Hill, just before we left for home.  In the front L-R Deb, Linda, DJan.  Standing in the rear L-R Sandi, me, Sally  DJan set the timer on her camera for this shot.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Weekend With The Ax Murderers

At Robinson Point Lighthouse on Vashon Island with L-R Sally, Sandi, Deb, Linda, me (in the back),and DJan

One of the pleasures of writing a blog has been getting to know other bloggers.  Even though I haven't really met them, I feel like I have friends from around the world.  It's a different type of friendship.  We've shared details of our lives large and small, but each of us has been selective.  None of my blog readers knows about my unsightly, hairy mole...oh, wait, did I write about that too?   This weekend I have stepped outside my comfort zone and I am camped out in a delightful farm house on Vashon Island with five other bloggers.  Five strangers who feel like old friends.  If I were Agatha Christie someone would be murdered!

The journey here was the first adventure.  The written directions said it was a 20 minute journey from the airport to the ferry terminal.  We were equipped with printed directions from Map Quest and two iPhones...and still drove around in circles for an hour and a half before joining the mile long line for the ferry. 

We arrived at the house that we jointly rented for the weekend and were immediately charmed by the location.  The house is called Lavender Hill Farm.  I write this from the covered porch overlooking the water.  The scent of lavender wafts up from the field below.  The sun shines brightly and Mount Rainier rises above the trees on the opposite shore.  Conversation buzzes around me as my blogging pals catch up with each other.  It's like we're long-time friends who haven't seen each other for awhile.  

We all agreed to write something on our blogs about this weekend and link to each other.  So check out my friends:
Sally at Retired English Teacher
Linda at Thoughts from a Bag Lady In Waiting
DJan at Eye on the Edge
Deb at Catbird Scout
Sandi at   Flying into the Light

If an ax murderer gets me...question my new friends above!

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