Everyday I wake up wondering what's new in the news. This morning, 4 things jumped out, in about 5 minutes of news.
Trump questioned whether we should delay the presidential election. (that angered and sort of horrified me)
Herman Cain, who got Covid after attending the Tulsa rally, died this morning. (that saddened and frustrated me)
We've reached over 150,00 deaths in the U.S. (that worried me briefly. Then I worried that I'm getting numb to numbers)
Tex. Rep. Gohmer tested positive after refusing to wear a mask on Capitol Hill. (that baffled and annoyed me)
After watching 5 minutes of stressful news, I watched the memorial service for Rep. John Lewis. After frowning at the news on my TV, I found myself smiling... at a memorial service.
Three former presidents honored the Civil Rights icon. I smiled at the stories and I cringed at the reminders of what he put himself through, in his 80 years. It took a lot of Good Trouble... over 40 arrests, to accomplish what he did.
At the end I teared up at "We Shall Overcome" and I had to smile again at the special song, written for the memorial. "Good Trouble".
Rest in Peace, Mr. Lewis.
Don and I are still getting out for walks.
The scenery looks pretty much the same as when we started in March. Fewer wild flowers and more leaves.
It's a lot hotter than it was a few months ago. We need to stay hydrated.
A while back, I remember seeing wet pavement and disturbed caution tape around the water fountain. Obviously someone was more worried about dehydration than Covid.
Sign on the Fountain
This morning the caution tape was gone. There was a very important message taped onto the water fountain. I really doubt anyone will read this.
I still didn't feel tempted to drink from the fountain. I had my own water.
More Dehydration Worries
This water fountain is actually not a worry at all. It's just an odd reminder of our times. What does worry me, is thinking about future travel. I can picture it now. I will be tempted to drink nothing during many hours of car travel, in fear of restroom concerns. I wonder how many people have gotten dehydrated on day outings or at even at protests, because of this worry!
I'll think about that later.
First Large-scale Vaccine Trial Begins
Yesterday morning, the first of 30,000 participants began getting shots, of a new possible COVID-19 vaccine. Actually, half of those will be receive a placebo. This is exciting and worrisome and unusual!
I wonder how these participants feel as they take part in this "experiment". I'm grateful for these volunteers. My daughter's friend is one of them.
I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm glad we have a new focus! It will be a long time before we know if it's successful and then how will things proceed? This is going to take a lot of patience!
It's been 107 days since Easter. On that morning, I stopped at the Hope Tree, on a run in my neighborhood. I brought along a piece of ribbon, that I'd covered in word and I tied it to the highest branch I could find.
This is how the tree looked yesterday. It's now late July, over 100 days later. The sign is gone and the ribbons are hidden behind leaves. But we need HOPE just as much as we did in April.
I was glad to see my ribbon was still on the tree.
You can barely spot my white ribbon in the lower left corner of my recent photo. I was glad to see it. Some very kind hands rescued it and re-attached it back in April. (I did a sloppy tying job) That thought gives me hope.
Good-bye Rep. Lewis
The rains gushed outside our window this morning, but the skies were clear in Selma, AL.
On TV, Don and I watched the horse drawn wagon, carry Mr. Lewis's casket over the Edmund Pettus bridge.
The wagon made a few stops along the way. Each time, the gentleman holding the reins, stood, removed his black top hat and placed it over his heart.
The horses and wagon traveled over the very bridge, where Mr. Lewis was beaten during a peaceful protest march in 1965. Red rose pedals covered the pavement, this time.
Renaming the Bridge
I hope others join in and work to rename this bridge for John Lewis. There is no need to have the name of a KKK leader, in bold letters.
This bridge is a sad reminder of Bloody Sunday. But with a new name, it can be a hopeful symbol of progress. John Lewis marched for African American voting rights in 1965. He continued to stand up for voting rights until his final days.
Looking Back and Forward
Seeing the procession on TV, took me back to our visit to Alabama, in 2013. Don and I crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge and thought about the marches in 1965.
Don and I also visited the nearby, isolated community of Gee's Bend. We stayed in the home of Mary Ann Pettway. We heard stories about her community, that helped us better understand what happened in Selma.
Mary Ann shared memories of the day Dr. King came to her Baptist Church. He persuaded many in her tiny community, to register to vote and to join the march in Selma. Mary Ann's stories were especially powerful to hear, knowing that her last name originally belonged to the plantation owner, who once owned her enslaved relatives.
100 Days 100 Years
In exactly 100 days, it will be Election Day! During these months ahead, I'm going to think more about those who have struggled and worked for that right. I'll think about John Lewis and Dr. King. I'll think about Mary Ann and her family. I'll also think about those women suffragettes, who marched 100 years ago... so I could vote!
A Late Start
After a long delay, baseball started up this week. Dr. Fauci threw out the ball on opening day.
A year ago, who would have ever expected to see an image like this? It made me smile.
Opening Day in Houston
I'm not a crazy huge fan of baseball, but I've cheered on the Houston Astros since we moved to Texas. I first saw them play at the Astrodome, 1998. I was curious to see them play, last night at Minute Maid Park.
This was the only kind of ticket that was available, for Opening Day. We watched from Section home, in Row couch.
It was eerie to see Minute Maid Park, with no fans.
If it felt odd to me, how did it feel to the players, preparing to play?
Reminder of the Times
It was impossible to forget about the pandemic, when we saw the empty seats and the mask-wearing players.
But it was even more powerful, watching most of the players kneel and clutch a black ribbon, before the anthem. Seeing the letters BLM, stenciled on the pitcher's mound was a powerful reminder of how many have come together in recent months, to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sounds in the Stadium
It was nice to hear good old Texan, Lyle Lovett's voice singing the anthem.
But it was just his face on a screen. That seems sad.
The fake sounds of cheering fans, was a little unsettling at first.
But maybe not as weird as the fake people who filled one section.
Astros Fan Cutouts
I guess if we'd paid up, we could have had some seats in the stands, after all.
We couldn't have actually occupied those seats, but cardboard images of our faces and shoulders could have attended!
I wonder how some of the real die-hard fans reacted to the game, last night? Will more people than ever watch the shortened, 60-game season... because of boredom? Or will some refuse to watch pandemic baseball? I'm afraid I probably won't be watching much baseball this summer.
Oh my. It just wasn't that long ago that Trump refused to wear a mask. Now he's wearing one and he said in his tweet the other day, "...many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask..."
He claims there is nobody more Patriotic than him. I'm sort of wondering what his definition of Patriotic is? Hmmm? I could take his last thought and replace the word Patriotic. "President Trump is a lot more ______ than everyone." I could make a list.
China Virus... Closed Consulate
And why is Trump once again, replacing the word Coronavirus, with China Virus? Is that to make him look tougher, now that he's been pushed into wearing a mask?
We've lived in the Houston area for over 2 decades. We have Chinese neighbors on our street. We eat in Chinatown and we've gotten visas at the Chinese consulate. The negative focus on China and the Chinese, is not helpful.
I saw this morning that Trump's administration has decided to close China's consulate in Houston. "It's a hot spot of Chinese spying." I'm first to admit, I don't know much about this. I do know that I care about our culturally diverse community and I'm saddened to think of how this news makes my neighbors feel.
Searching for Neowise!
Don and I headed out last night, with our binoculars. We wanted to spot the stunning Neowise comet, before it leaves us for 6,000 years.
We headed across the bridge near our house. It was early, but we had time to wait for dark. We had actually spotted the comet 2 nights before, from our cabin. But the sky was brighter, in our neighborhood.
We watched a little evening duck activity. We observed a few neighbors, strolling on nearby sidewalks.
We sat on a bench and waited. Funny, because we were sitting on the bench that we see from our yard. For months we've watched all the walking folks, stop to sit. We've never used the bench before. Now it gave us the perfect view of the Big Dipper.
We studied the sky for 30 minutes, but never spotted the comet, below the Dipper.
However, I spotted the Space Station, gliding across the sky. (We've seen that many times before!) And we also spotted an envelope, propped up on the bridge post!
Words on the envelope told me to "Keep this... or put it where someone will find it."
Of course I took it! I love finding notes in bottles or balloons or "Geocache" finds! After we gave up on the comet, I took the letter home and looked up the website mentioned in the note.
Yay! Today I made my own note. Now I need to figure out a good place to leave it! What fun Pandemic Entertainment!
Escape to Sunrise Beach
We escaped again to our cabin in Sunrise Beach, TX. I always feel a little guilty.
The world feels pretty much the same in the tiny Sunrise Beach Community. We see more animals than people. It's a treat to fill the bird feeders and enjoy some entertainment. I even saw a roadrunner!
Wandering Down the Road
We can go on walks and count all the fawns. The deer don't seem to know there's a pandemic.
All seemed pretty much the same, except for few signs along the road, thanking Essential Workers. How confusing this sign would have been, 6 months ago.
Extra Jobs, Along with the Perks
There are times when I wonder if it's worth it, having extra toilets to clean... and fix.
But Don seemed to actually enjoy his new job as a plumber. I was the assistant and I think I could do this myself next time. Oh the things we are learning!
Both mornings were pleasant, with the sun rising over Lake LBJ. Evening was nice too. I couldn't get a photo of the Neowise Comet, but we spotted it in the starry sky, just below the Big Dipper.
On our morning walk, the second day we saw our neighbor with his dogs. After months of tech communicating with friends and family, we were suddenly face to face (6 feet away!) with our neighbor. It felt good to talk in person. It also felt good to hear the community scoop from Frank. He said only one person in Beach has been infected with the virus. Why would we even go back to Sugar Land?
Later, I stood on the cabin deck and talked to Dad on the phone. I almost didn't want to tell him where we were. It seems so unfair that he was still trapped in his Missouri assisted living facility. But I told him where I was standing and I described the busy activity of the nearby hummingbirds and cardinals. Then he told me all the birds he could see at his feeder.
Once again, I was reminded that we have lots in common these days. We are both amused by birds, in these pandemic times.
This is what greeted me on the news this morning. It's a sad day.
We knew it was coming. Rep. John Lewis has been battling cancer for a long time. But, it was a surprise when I heard that he had died last night.
Then and Now
This masked image of Mr. Lewis, is a reminder that he has been active, even in these pandemic times.
The photo from a month ago, shows Mr. Lewis standing on the street in D.C., supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. At age 80, he was challenging discrimination and injustice, just as he has done since he was a very young man.
Photos with Family
Only in this last decade, have I begun to read and learn more about this powerful, yet humble civil rights icon. My brother and my son, both had a chance to meet him, at separate events, a few years ago.
Scott was volunteering at the Civil Rights Summit, in Austin. It was the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
This morning, I pulled out the book that Scott bought at the the Summit. He had it autographed for a Father's Day gift.
I sat with my toast and coffee and read the story of John Lewis, starting when he was a boy. I smiled when I imagined a young John Lewis, gathering chickens on their family farm and preaching to them. There was less to smile about as the book progressed. But it was good to be reminded of what John Lewis dealt with, a half century ago.
June 16, 2020
I found this photo on my phone, from last month. (I have a habit of taking photos of my TV.) In June, there was talk about renaming the Pettus Bridge, where John Lewis marched with Dr. King, decades ago.
Today, I added my name to a petition to change the name. Edmund Pettus was a member of the KKK. That name needs to go.
8 years ago, Don and I visited Selma. We took photos of the bridge and read more about the history. I'm missing road trips right now and all that we learn from them.
I hope that by this time next year, the pandemic will be in the past. I'd like to think we'll be back to our road trips and museums and gatherings with friends and family.
I'd like to take another trip to Selma. I'm hopeful that we'll see the words, John Lewis Bridge, when we cross!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
5/2016 - 12/2018
3/2020 - 3/2021
9/2021 - 1/2022
click on months below