Thinking

I have so many conflicting feelings about race and refugees. I have traveled a lot, not as much as I want, and I have experienced different races and cultures. This was good for me and it helped me be accepting and open to humans who were different from me.

When I was very small we were stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. It is the first place I remember clearly as a home. Earlier memories are only of scenes and senses. Anyway, we lived in a trailer park on the base that was filled with other military families. I remember Sam Guthrie and Lynette Singletary, but my best friend was Karen Tucker. The four of us played together and followed the big kids around. Our father’s were in the same squadron and worked together.

We caught lots of horny toads and road bikes and built forts.

Karen’s mother was Rachel and she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Karen and I would watch her paint her long nails and put on her makeup. Karen’s mom and dad went out a lot to the base clubs. My folks were more likely to get together with friends and play cards or dominoes. I also remember that her parents would have some real good fights and when that happened she would come over to my house.

Once while I was hanging out with Karen I asked her mother to iron my hair the way she did Karen’s. Her mother tried to explain that my hair was different from Karen’s and it wouldn’t work. I was quite disappointed because Karen’s hair was so shiny, smooth and perfect.

At the end of my third grade year the whole squadron was transferred to Tucson, Arizona. When that happened we were all separated and scattered around town. I didn’t see any of them for many years. When I was in the sixth grade my mom said we were going to visit with the Tucker’s. I was so excited and ready to see how everyone was.

As we drove to their house I was a bit surprised where we were going. Tucson, like most towns, have areas that are predominately one ethnic group or another. In this case we were heading into an area that had a large African American population. When we got arrived and walked to the door we were met by someone I did not recognize.

Karen Tucker was black. I did not know.

In all of my memories, even now she isn’t distinguished this way in my mind. We were all the same. But when we moved from our small, insulated community on the base to a much larger town, we became what was expected of us in the mid 1960’s. It was shocking and suddenly it seemed Karen and I could no longer be friends. Even though we sat together and walked around the house the bond between us was broken, irretrievably. I was sad when we left and we never saw them again.

I would love it if I could find her.

Children are not born hating, they are taught this. My heart is sad that race and culture is at the heart of most of the world’s conflict, when these things should be cherished and given the chance to enhance our lives.

Adieu.

-N

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Stuff

My husband was here for two weeks as is his routine: work two weeks, home two weeks. Well I realized when he is here the usual things that I do get totally scrambled. I did zero sewing, blogging or writing, I cooked way too much and consequently ate way too much. He flew back to North Dakota this morning and now it’s time to regroup. I love having him here but after two weeks of looking after myself, his always welcome presence, turns things around for me.

It’s all good though.

Millie is really growing. She weighs fifty lbs, is at least three feet tall when sitting and getting her big dog teeth. She’s still got a bit of puppy brain at six months old and easily gets distracted, but for the most part she is doing pretty well. She absolutely loves Chuck and when he is here she is his shadow. Sometimes though she will get into things and he runs her off back to me! That doesn’t last too long before she is back at his heels. She also snores when she sleeps and groans when she stretches-funny!

While Chuck was here the whole scary mess in Paris happened. It was the first time in a long time I actually watched the news on TV. I usually get my news from brief updates online. I hate watching the news channels. I don’t understand people who watch constantly. If I had the news on all day my brain would explode. I kept switching between CNN and Fox to get a more complete picture of the heartbreaking event. After a few hours over a couple of days I had a scary moment so similar to 9/11. Chuck and I were in a public place and I started looking at the crowds moving around me, I was watching their faces and behaviors and felt an insecure panic. I felt unsafe. I held onto Chuck’s hand all the time.

I never got to go to New York to visit the twin towers and I always wanted to. It was a place I wanted to stand on top of and look out on that city. Paris is another place I have always wanted to go and here it seemed I might miss out on it also. I was angry and frustrated by the evil of the actions. I don’t understand killing and injuring people who don’t agree with your ideology to make a point. The terrorists were more than making a point, this was intended to create fear and subordination in others.

We will all bear the scars in our minds and hearts.

With the holidays coming I will be spending them without Chuck. He is working Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. At least I will be able to be with Melissa for those days. I will also get to see Aaron and Chelsea after Christmas. My kids will cheer my heart. There is also Skype for Chuck!!

Now it’s time to hit the pages of my newest literary creation in progress!

-N

 

Little humans from next door

I have three little guys who live next door that display all the characteristics of the male human. They are brothers but are so different from each other that I have to treat each one as individuals.

The oldest is a very typical older brother. He is more serious, he takes charge of the younger ones and likes to hang out with his dad. I love watching him as he is the boss. His life understanding is growing, I can hear it when he scolds one of his brothers for a perceived misbehavior. He also will direct them on how to interact with others. If I am working in the house and one of the younger ones comes in I will hear him as he follows them and tells them not to intrude or interrupt. His word is respected as the oldest.

The middle one is just that. He is a people person who loves to talk. He can talk pretty much about everything and he is always wanting to come in my house and “just be quiet” while I work. Yet when I explain that it is hard to concentrate knowing someone is here while I write or sew he will try another tactic. Usually the older brother will coerce him into leaving. But before he leaves he always hugs me and says “I love you.”

The youngest fella is the baby and in typical youngest fashion cannot do all the things the other two can. He is so cute with his big wide eyes and happy face. If he is playing outside and he sees me he waves and yells out “Hi Nancy!”  If I say hi but don’t say his name he will remind me what it is. Maybe this is to make sure he isn’t lost in the crowd? I’ve told him that when he is finally in first grade he can come over and play with my dog Millie like his brothers. He is trying to be understanding.

These boys have been raised well. I don’t hear yelling and fighting. They get along with each other and there is a love there that can only have come from their parents example, instruction and direction. I like those guys.

When we first moved out to Catalina in 1991 the father of these youngsters was the age of the middle son. We watched him grow up, get married and have kids. To him we have always been here and it is fun now to see his sons grow. To be a part of this process all over again is interesting. When I told the boys how long we’ve known their dad they were pretty impressed. Probably that such an old lady can remember so well! Haha.

Life goes on.

-N

Let’s laugh

I was just watching a video of a baby laughing. This baby was absolutely cracking up, throwing back his head and laughing hysterically. It made me laugh at the baby and his father who was holding him and laughing just as hard. I couldn’t stop watching it. One aspect that was so interesting was what made this little human laugh so much was his dad putting a pacifier in his mouth and spitting it out! That’s it. The baby thought this was gut-busting hilarious.

Why?

Have you had those moments when the most innocuous things can set you off? For myself, my husband’s reactions to things crack me up. His facial or verbal expressions just set me to laughing. When I laugh really hard I make this weird sort of wheezing sound that seems to make my family start laughing and pretty soon we are literally rolling on the floor laughing. I usually have to make myself stop because my stomach is hurting, but it takes several tries before I can get myself under control.

When a television commercial shows a group of people together there are always the laughing humans. We instinctively know laughing equates a good time. The gorgeous woman is laughing at the handsome man sitting closely in an intimate setting of friends having a meal or a tailgate party.

Yet, I’ve been in a situation where the laughter was at my expense and not fun, at all. The laughter hurt and was a way to make someone look better as they insult something about me.

I’m not one to laugh out loud at comedies. I think it’s because it is designed for that purpose, for laughter at the expense of one of the characters and it’s hard for me to get past that. It is probably the same emotional response that draws me into a good drama – whether a movie, television program or book. I become part of the story, I can feel the emotion of sadness or fear, what ever is the author’s design in writing the tale.

Physically laughter is good for humans. I’ve read many articles that describe the good it does to the human psyche and to human relationships when it encourages camaraderie and companionship. I love being a part of those times.

“What do you call a mushroom that goes in a bar and buys everyone drinks? …a fungi to be with!”

Cheers

-N

How a Reader Turns Into a Writer

A Writer's Path

Reader

by Daniel A. Roberts

What turns a reader into a writer?

We must understand that all writers are, and will always be, a reader first.  It’s the primary ingredient, as we chose at one point in our lives to be a writer.  For those who juggle words through the smithy of the human imagination, to produce a set of words that creates new worlds, along with the beings who populate them, that first flash of insight comes in different variations.

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Books

I love books. I’ve probably said that before. I worked in a bookstore and being surrounded by books was wonderful. My husband and I have spent mornings going to different bookstores around town enjoying the feeling of discovery when a book by a favorite author is found. I will admit I am a hardback snob.

I especially love coming across a selection of old books. I love the smell of old books and when I find one that is signed or has a special memento inside it is like finding hidden treasure.

Sitting here I am surrounded by my books. It is encouraging and inspiring.

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Need something to read?

-N

Nobody’s perfect

With all of the political crap starting up one thing I cannot stand is people commenting on the family of a candidate. I realize the exposure is part of being the spouse, child or other family member of a political figure but it is still disturbing how cruel humans can be. The anonymity of Facebook and Twitter make it easy for an individual to make comments they would never have the guts to say face to face. It is the same mentality that feeds a bully to pick on someone weaker or smaller.

I am not a person to stump for a political party. I have made my personal choices based on what I think the country needs and who comes closest to that position. Their family relationships do have an influence on who they are and what they believe but those people don’t deserve to be ambushed publicly with reproach and ridicule. It has to be hard enough for a spouse or child to hear the nasty, accusatory  and confrontational comments that are made about their loved one.  To be made fun of or demeaned by people who don’t know then – I hate that!

Responding to this stuff can be difficult for me because I get riled and want to verbally retaliate. I am pretty good at being sarcastic and rude but once I let myself do it I immediately regret it. I also regret when I let another’s opinion influence my response. I am not perfect and don’t need to demand everyone think like me. If you want to know what I think then ask, but I’m not going to shove it in your face and ridicule you for thinking differently. I would expect the same from you.

I don’t watch any debates, I mute political TV commercials and hide political postings on my social media. I’ve done my own candidate research since it is easy to look things up online and find out what a person’s platform is and make an educated decision about who I will support and why.  All of the money that is spent on commercials and mailers is obscene and works in favor of rich candidates. The regular person has no chance at making a difference on a national platform. These things don’t change anyone’s mind. Most people vote for the person who espouses ideas that make that person feel good about who they are and how they live.

I’ll be glad when it is over.

-N