Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Little of This -- A Little of That

Labor Day weekend is upon us -- the last weekend of summer before school begins and the world once again settles into schedules and routines. One last chance for playful summer activity. I have deliberately left the next three days unscheduled -- I love the freedom to take each moment as it comes and change my plans on a whim.

Most of all this weekend, I need rest. My summer has been busy, and a recent two-week episode of allergy and asthma symptoms has left me weakened and tired. The simple act of coughing can exhaust our bodies and spirits quickly. With my allergy in full force, I will be unable to do the gardening and lawn mowing which cry out to me, but that is a blessing, because my body needs to heal right now.

My summer weekends have been filled with activity -- two large parties this month to celebrate my grandson's Christening and my granddaughter's first birthday, an 80th birthday party for a favorite uncle, a 40th class reunion -- and the weeks of summer have been busy with the ongoing tasks of our contracting business and tending my grandchildren. The stresses of our declining economy are always shadowing my days.

This past week I watched the Democratic Convention with a mixture of hope and fear. Our quality of life has diminished so drastically in the last eight years, I don't know how we will fare if the Republicans win the Presidency again. John McCain certainly espouses the same old free market theories which have so badly damaged middle-class America. My husband has Multiple Sclerosis, with its accompanying fatigue, and struggles daily for the success of his business, and had looked forward to an early retirement. That dream is shattered now -- we will be working for years to rebuild our financial equilibrium.

Barack Obama is an eloquent man who makes me believe that we can turn our country around. In fact, when I heard him speak at the last Convention, I was certain that one day he would be President!! His ideas are sound, he seems to be an honorable man who has devoted much of his career to improving the status quo for working class Americans. He reminds us that one of the great problems of our time is the extreme partisanship in our government. We have become a nation divided by two very different belief systems, and until Democrats and Republicans can once again compromise, our nation will suffer. Obama seems to be a man who can begin to bridge the gap.

But, I do worry -- I think that racism is still very much alive in this country, and I fear that there are people who will not vote for him because of his color. I desperately hope I am wrong!! There may also be some Clinton supporters who will not vote for him because they feel Hillary was not treated well. I desperately hope I am wrong!! And, I certainly hope that no disillusioned Clinton supporters will vote for McCain/Palin just because Palin is a woman. With the extremely volatile foreign policy issues facing this country, I have serious concerns about Palin's qualifications to take over as President, with her seeming lack of experience outside of her home state.

We live in troubled times, and this election is extremely important to the future of our nation.

That being said, I was so impressed with the grace and stoicism shown by Hillary Clinton in her speech. This has to be one of the most devastating defeats of her life, but she handled it all with her usual aplomb. Let's face it -- a few months ago all of us thought she would be the nominee, and I'm sure she did, too. But, she put her own hurt and disappointment aside for the good of our nation.

This blog has rambled a bit. There are so many thoughts in my mind as this summer draws to a close. For the most part this weekend, I will try to quiet my mind and body -- to take the time to savor the last few days of summer vacation, the lovely flowers that grace my yard, the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits, the delectable foods of summer, the birdsong, the children's laughter as they play ball on our street, the sunshine, the comfort of my tree-shaded yard, and the companionship of loved ones.

I will leave the worrisome thoughts for another time --

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