A Privileged Nation

I am an American and I have always been proud to be. These last years have been challenging for our republic. I cannot say what our forefathers intended nor can anyone else. We must rely on their words and a myriad of interpretations of their written words.

What I can say is more obvious to anyone honest enough to see what lies before them. We have lost our desire to be one nation. Our acceptance (some say tolerance) of our neighbors and fellow Americans is the lowest I can recall in a long time. We each seem to view ‘our’ country through our individual biased lens. We do not accept that our neighbor’s view of this country can possibly be right because it does not mirror our own.

I always held dear to these words by Emma Lazarus:

The New Colossus
BY Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

She spoke of my earliest ancestors, none of whom were born here. This country belonged to those who wanted freedom enough to risk everything.

Today I celebrate the Independence of a nation that loved and protected all of her citizens, regardless of the private beliefs they held so dear. I will do what I can to fulfill my obligation to my children and my children’s children and to my neighbors, no matter how distinctly different we may be.

I leave you with these words by American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti written in 2007. It is a cautionary tale to which I hope we will take heed. We can be better.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (After Khalil Gibran) 2007

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture

Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own

Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed

Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away

My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!

copyright Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Sunday Soliloquy

I woke up around 7:30 this morning, my mind brimming with thoughts. It was a random concoction of disassociated ideas, songs, events of the past few weeks, and lots of self talk that seemed like endless prattle. What better way to get it out than to blog about it?

  • My sister’s birthday was toward the end of June. I thought a lot about her and her wildly feminist personality. I miss her so much in times like these.
  • I listened to a podcast with Anita Hill as a guest speaker. She is an articulate and intelligent woman. During this podcast I learned so much about how women’s fertility issues are progressing. I have been out of touch.
  • I laughed as I watched a chipmunk approach a butterfly on the ground. Everytime the butterfly moved its wings, it startled the chipmunk. This went on for several minutes and then I was horrified when the chipmunk attacked the butterfly and ate it. I never knew chipmunks were omnivores. I may never be the same.
  • I have a yearning to travel – maybe a road trip although I abhor the traffic on our roadways – so much carelessness. I wondered if I would enjoy traveling Route 66. I was on a portion of the roadway when we traveled from Sedona to the Grand Canyon.
  • Speaking of the Grand Canyon, I would love to be there in September for their Plein Art event. I would love to have a painting of sunrise or sunset over the canyon.
  • I would really love to have an oil painting of the Blue Ridge mountains, too, but I have not found a local artist that paints the scenery I am hoping for.
  • I am still undecided about attending my 50th class reunion. I am almost more interested in seeing old places, the house we lived in, etc., than my classmates. To be honest, most of the people planning to attend were not the people I hung out with in school.
  • I wonder why songs get stuck in my head. My daughter recently sent me a TikTok video of a young woman jabbing fun at the intensity of the commercials Gen Xers grew up with. Now I cannot get this jingle out of my head.
  • I have also been thinking about how great a weeklong family retreat to a cabin in the mountains would be. I have some favorite games I like to take on trips like that. What would you take to a family getaway for a week or two? Jigsaw puzzles, board games, favorite family movie classics?
  • My knee (knock on wood) is finally feeling better. I joined the gym and am doing some weight training, but one of the most effective tools have found are resistance loop bands. Who knew?

That’s it for my mind ramble. How is your Sunday?

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Thoughts that Ramble On

Linda is back with our SoCS prompt today. We get to choose the word or words we use today, so let’s get to it.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “—amble.” Add letters to the beginning of “-amble” to make another word or use it as is in your post. Enjoy!

Amble down memory lane with me, will you? Firstt stop, my Dad’s rambler. 

The rambler was here and gone before I had my driver’s license so I never got to drive it. I think it was my dad’s project car. I looked through some photos online and I am guessing it was a ‘67 judging by the body style. It was blue and I honestly don’t remember if it had ‘four on the floor’ or not. I do believe this is the car my brother drove home on the rim after he had a flat tire. Our dad was not happy.

This car sat in the driveway of our house when we lived in Ohio. The house was a slightly rectangular ranch style house. I popped out to see if there is a recent photo of the house and surprise, surprise look what I found.

A family of six living in a 3 bedroom one bath house totally 924 square feet. Trying to get into the bathroom (4 female vs. 2 males) could be a real gamble!

The house sat on 1/3 of an acre and was built in 1967 – the same year as the AMC Rambler I think.

Come to think of it, one story houses were also known as ramblers. They were quite popular in that time frame, although considered more expensive to build because of the increased foundation and roof size. But, our little house was definitely a ranch because it had a basement and no sliding glass doors which were hallmarks on a rambler style house.

I loved our big yard. We had enough room for a badminton net, horseshoes and a big front yard where we often gathered with all the kids in the neighborhood to play touch football or Jarts – remember those?

I think my parents had a dream of building their own home because we had a few books of house plans lying around. I loved thumbing through the pages looking at the black and white floorplan and elevation drawings. I suppose I also dreamed of building my own home, but I never did. That might have been fun at an earlier point in my life, but given today’s economy and supply chain issues I am not sure my heart could take it! 

Okay, you can step out of the brambles of my intertangled thoughts now. Thanks for coming along on the journey, though.


Throwback Thursday #45 – Nighttime Rituals

We are back again for Throwback Thursday. This week we are going to explore the nighttime rituals you had as a child.

If you care to join us, it’s easy.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Nighttime Rituals

You can either free write using these questions as inspiration or answer the question as they are.

  1. Did you share a room with a sibling, or did you have a room of your own?
  2. Did you resist going to bed or did you go willingly?
  3. Did someone put you to bed, tuck you in, or read you a bedtime story?
  4. Was there a religious component, like prayers, to your nighttime routine?
  5. Did you go to sleep immediately, or lie awake?
  6. Did you journal, read a book, talk on the phone or with your siblings, or watch television when you were supposed to be sleeping?
  7. Did you ever sleepwalk?
  8. Did you remember having dreams? If you dreamed, did you ever have bad dreams? Do you remember any dreams specifically?
  9. Were you afraid of the dark? Did you sleep with a nightlight or sneak into your sibling’s or parent’s room at night because you were afraid?
  10. Did you have or attend sleepovers or slumber parties? Feel free to elaborate.

My post follows.

I was never afraid of the dark, but nighttime was when I had all my deep and pondering thoughts. I was about 8 and can remember lying awake in my bed for hours pondering the universe and the idea of infinity. Big thoughts for a young child. I never slept with a nightlight.

I had three siblings. A brother and two sisters. When we were very young, I slept in the room with my brother in bunk beds. My older sisters shared a room. As we got older, I shared a room with my two sisters and my brother got his own room which I thought was extremely unfair.

There was a time I was a brat to my oldest sister. I talked her ear off after the lights went out. Eventually she told me she had a magic ring and when she spun it on her finger, she would go to some magic place and would no longer be able to hear or speak to me. She did a good job conning me because I believed her and would eventually shut up, turn over and go to sleep.

I remember our mother reading us poems and I remember getting tucked in and kissed good night. We also said prayers at the edge of our bed every night.

We only had one television in the house, so no tv for me! I did not read or journal at night, but I did love to talk if anyone would listen. As I got older, I would sometimes sneak into the living room early in the morning, take the  trimline phone and crawl under a blanket and talk to my boyfriend on the phone for hours.

I do not remember having bad dreams or really dreaming much at all. I did have a few very detailed dreams about my grandfather after he passed away. All the dreams had to do with him and communicating with him now that he was dead. They were very specific and I can remember every precise point even today.

I didn’t have a slumber party until about 6th grade. We had seances in our basement and slept in sleeping bags on the cement floor! I attended a few sleepovers when I was younger and also a few in my high school years. One particular night we were camping in a tent in my girlfriend’s back yard. We decided to go TP (toilet paper) a few houses. I remember diving into the bushes when a Police car pulled up. We turned off our flashlights and stayed hidden until he left. Karma did her thing, though. The bushes we hid in were rose bushes and we got a few good scratches for our bad deeds.


One Liner Wednesday – Maternal Wisdom

“The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.”
My Mom

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill.
Pop over to her place to get the rules and read the contribution of others.