My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Give Peace A Chance

Last night I didn't go to sleep until 4am plus. Austin can verify this for me because he periodically would wander through the Whine Cellar and say, "are you still up?" and I would shrug or roll my eyes or somehow confirm that yes, indeed I was still up. I was prepared to sleep until noon, if necessary to catch up on sleep and instead was up with the sun. Or 8:39am, which counts because there's sun then.

Sweet Little Trouble Kitty... when I get up in the morning I go to the potty and then he is always waiting for me by the sliding glass door. I pick him up and hold him over my shoulder (like burping a baby) and we look out on the lake. I ask him "do you see the gooses?" Yes. I know. It's geese. He's only two, though, so he would say gooses if he could talk. I ask, "do you hear the birds? and the squirrels? and the fish?" That last one is a trick question. You don't really hear fish but maybe in the animal kingdom there's some method of communication between cats and fish. I mean, there's a lot we don't know. He purrs like it's his job and swishes his tail and it's a really sweet way to start my day, even if I only got a few hours of sleep and I'm sure he must like it too because there's not much a cat will tolerate if he doesn't want to.

The great thing about not working is that it doesn't really matter if you don't get a lot of sleep. You're not going to mess up somebody's insurance or anything. You won't snap at a mean client. You might doze during the two hours of Grey's Anatomy in the afternoon. You might want to start cooking dinner at 4pm. You might take your night meds early and head down to the whine cellar early and you might hope for an early bedtime. Guilty on all counts today.  But in the grand scheme of things, a night is just a night.

My pain doctor has reinforced the importance of getting a good night's sleep. There's some muscle repair function that goes on in your body while you're sleeping and if you miss too many nights then your pain level increases and so I'm always careful to make sure I don't have two bad nights in a row if I can help it. In a way, it feels good to really pamper myself and be able to legitimately tuck myself in early for medical reasons.

On the other hand.... my mom slept until past noon today and Austin slept until 4pm. It's a crazy, lazy, mixed up schedule around here. The big dogs slept while mom slept and Oscar kept up guard duty - barking every time the wind blew. I know my mom was in a really deep sleep because at one point the phone rang and she got up and answered it... I could tell it was for me because she said, "hold on" and I asked... from the same room where she was... "is it for me?" and she headed downstairs with the phone calling my name. "Mom... I'm up here. Right where you were." It was social security wanting to make sure I got the envelope that they sent me.

I mentioned the Paula Deen thing the other day about not wanting to really get into it and I still don't because it's a really raw spot with me. I read over the transcript from the deposition where she admitted to - at some time in the past - using the "N" word - but not lately. Listen. I know it's hard to hear and it's hard for me to say but the truth is that the South is only really a generation or two from segregation. I know that the church I was baptized in stopped running a bus ministry because there were too many black children getting on those buses. I can tell you that I was grown and a mom before I knew that the term "colored people" was offensive. I didn't hear Martin Luther King's name until I was in high school.

It was different. Yes, different wrong, not different good or right or anything I'm proud of. My family had "help" and they had their own bathroom but not because anyone thought they would catch anything but because it was more convenient for them. I know that, as my grandmother so sweetly puts it, "we took good care of our people". I can overlook the possessiveness of that statement because I know the genuine love and care that existed both ways. And that my ancestors gave their "help" a home and kept them fed and buried them when the time came and I don't mean in a plantation sense, I mean in the sense of we needed help, they needed a place to live and there was an interdependence and that's how it was in the South in that time. And that's the context in which Paula Deen admitted - under oath - at a time, way back in her past - using that type of language. And I've got to tell you that I'm disgusted by the lynch mob mentality that is punishing a good woman in a way that I don't believe she deserves. All of us has said something in the way of a racial slur against someone or somebody at some point in our lives, out of meanness or ignorance or hate or whatever but past is past.

By the grace of God we are living in a time that is more evolved and sensitive to things that are hurtful and there's nothing that Paula Deen has done or said that justifies ruining her life. It makes me sick to my stomach. I'm so mad at the Food Network and Smithfield Hams and they're both on *ignore* from me right now.

And then this whole George Zimmerman thing. I've been trying to watch the trial but his attorneys are lame. The whole thing is lame. Yes, he was profiling. He had no reason to get out of his car and he never should have engaged that young man and if GZ had done what he was told that young man would probably still be alive. I've just spent the past year living in a part of town where you have to be cautious of your surroundings and I'm sorry, it's an ugly fact of life that we have to look for things like low slung pants and hoodies and things to warn us of potential danger. When they show news reports of crimes they aren't showing Mormon missionaries. They just aren't. That's not a world I created. But I also don't go out after dark or put myself into unsafe situations and GZ was trolling for trouble. Neighborhood WATCH... that's all he was supposed to do was watch. It makes me ill.

Anyways. I'm tucked in the Whine Cellar, preparing for early bedtime, hoping to go out tomorrow in search of home grown tomatoes and fresh figs and maybe a cup of boiled peanuts. I'm going to embrace this world, this life, this home... and pray that we all learn how to get along. Love and hugs, y'all.