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Archive for September 28th, 2008

Eastside Bounty

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

pearseastside.jpgI visited Everybody Reads bookstore last week, across the street from Rae’s Yarn Boutique. They had a basket of small home-grown pears at the cash register, free for the eating. Someone, a neighbor and/or customer, had brought them by to share. I thought they were beautiful and took this photo.

This week, there was a basket of pears at Rae’s shop. I wonder if it might have been from the same neighbor. In any case, we are experiencing harvest-time abundance on the East Side right now.

I want you to take half a minute to really look at these pears. Look at all the colors, each is slightly different. One in the middle looks almost bronze or even plum in the shadows. The one closest to front has an area with a blush of orange. The colors of Autumn are not only in the maple leaves!

A Historical Digression

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I love boundaries. They make things clear and safe for everyone. On this blog, I have had a boundary that I would not talk religion or politics, other than to remind my fellow citizens to vote their conscience.

Yesterday I went to an event that was by all accounts, political. I am including it here because I see it as also a historical event, and I was quite moved to be there.

hillaryclintoncropped.jpgMy mother called Friday night to ask me if I wanted to go see Hillary Rodham Clinton in a nearby town. I had a class cancel so my day was up to me, and so I said yes.

I am a woman, and therefore it is understandable that I might be a feminist. I have benefitted by progress made by women before me. (My grandmothers were not able to vote when they first came of age, even though they were working women and had incomes of their own; my mother was not able to get a credit card in her own name when she was widowed in 1973 even though she had a full-time teaching job; yet I bought a house on my own signature alone in 1992, which was a victory not only for me but for all of us women, in my eyes).

Hillary Rodham Clinton was not the first woman to go after the presidency of the USA. Shirley Chisholm, congresswoman for New York in the 1960’s, went after the presidency in 1972. Wikipedia mentions other women, but Chisholm stood out in the days when I was not yet of age to vote.

However, Clinton was really the first woman who had a reasonable chance to make it. And for that reason, I consider her a historical figure. I got to go see this historical person, live. It was very exciting.

There were about a thousand of us in Grand Ledge’s Jaycee Park, with less than a full day’s notice of the event. It had the feeling of a party. There was a lot of waiting in line, but the weather was sunny and the temperature fine, and everyone was in a good mood.

We had the great luck of being in the very first row behind the rope which contained the special guests with green wristbands. We were very, very close and although it was hard to see all the time, I was able to hold my camera over my head and get good photos.

The actual event was totally predictable. We had the pledge of allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner. We had a prayer (which I don’t understand, if we are to have separation of church and state… another boundary I value although I do belong to a church).

Then we had speeches. One from a local activist, one from Mark Schauer who is running for Congress in Eaton County, one from Jennifer Granholm, Michigan’s Governor, and then from Hillary herself. All political, all relatively predictable (though the local woman really had some emotion in hers that seemed more personal than party line).

Politics or not, it was history. I was happy to have been there.

Please, please, let us not make a conflict here by discussing any politics (or religion) in the comments. Notice I am basically reporting here, though you can imagine that as a female who is therefore a feminist, I may agree or disagree with your own position.

I concede that every position has a point. We all can be correct and still disagree. I do not want to have to close comments on this, and I will go back to happy and more neutral territory tomorrow, returning to my normal boundaries. I just felt that I could not leave out this event in my life, without almost being dishonest… I report the big and not so big events in my life. This one felt very big.

As I learned from 12-step programs, it is good to focus on what we have in common and celebrate those things. We need not ignore that we have differences, but it is best to not focus on those. I do not intend to create conflict, today I intend to report history in my life.

Thank you.