I'm FINALLY back in my beloved Towl Park. It's been a not-so-fun 11 days of being sick. I caught that nasty bug that's been flying around and once it took root in my dilapidated old body, it decided to put its slimey feet up and stay a while. I spent six days in bed and the other five sitting upright in a lazy boy wheezing and coughing. What a lovely picture I have painted for you! Let's move on.
It's 56 degrees today! Perfect for sitting in a chair outside. Unfortunately, the parking lot leading to the park is so muddy that I have to park rather far away from my favored spot and lug my chair. Eventually, I arrive at my destination and plop down, exhausted but smiling.
If this is winter, deal me in. I'll stay on the prairie. Or not. After our president's ban on Muslims last week, we decided that we need to get very serious about getting my passport. Actually, I kind of get Mr. Trump's logic regarding the ban. I just am outraged that he left Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates off the list. ALL countries where he holds business interests. Yet, no one questions this. I feel as if I am living the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. John McCain, Charlie Dent, Henry Kissinger, Jeff Flake, Justin Amash, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Barbara Comstock, Lindsey Graham, Rob Portman, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, Brian Fitzpatrick, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Elise Stefanek, Cory Gardner, Will Hurd, Leonard Lance, Steve Stivers, Pat Toomey, and Jerry Moran have had the courage to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. What really frightens me? I see so many Trumpers who just blindly follow whatever Mr. Trump says or does and stand, smiling and praising their Emperor's new clothes. This troubles me. All blind devotion troubles me. I feel ashamed of my country and I am not used to this feeling. I've always been so proud to be an American. Always felt that despite the warts, our country was superior to all others. Now, I see a blustery, scared little man with a bad case of narcissism and a mean spirit. And I see crowds of people whom I once respected who now stand shoulder to shoulder cheering him on, never questioning anything that he says or does. This is so close to Hitler's Germany that it terrifies me and I look on in dumbfounded despair. It is NEVER acceptable for a man to say it is perfectly fine to grab a woman by her genitals. And to pretend that this is "boy talk" is to excuse a grave injustice. I am not usually a rabble rouser, but I feel compelled to speak out and no, I will not whisper. The suffragettes did not whisper. NO man will EVER feel comfortable talking filth to or about women in my presence. This disgrace of a man has forced my lazy feet to stand and to put my fist in the air for all the women who refuse to fight for their daughters or themselves. If you won't, I will. And don't bother with throwing "alternative facts" at me. I can smell them a mile away and they are not alternative. They are false. The Emperor has no clothes.
I stare at the pond for a long time this afternoon. I am begging for peace in my heart. I watch an old woman in a bright red parka and an orange stocking cap fishing. In the twenty minutes that I watch her, she doesn't get a bite. I suspect that she doesn't care. She's here to breathe in this intoxicating air.
Another old woman, this one in a blue parka, walks a gorgeous golden retriever. He is impeccably behaved. Comes up to me and stands about six feet away from me, very polite. I nod at the woman and she says, "It's okay, Murphy." The dog runs and sits at my feet as I pet him. He shivers with happiness and doesn't try to lick or jump up on me. He just looks up at me, his eyes merry. His human and I talk about the weather.
"I don't like it one dang bit," she tells me. "We'll either have a humdinger of a February or else this is the beginning of global warming. Either way, it doesn't bode well for us."
Sighing, I agree with her.
"I have two grandbabies and one great grandbaby," she says. "I wish we had better news to give her. I'd always hoped that those who came after me would have a better life than I did, but I feel as if we've crossed into a dark corner. Yes, indeed."
Again, I sigh. And agree.
"Well, I'm not giving up," I tell her. "I will not go gentle into that good night."
She smiles crookedly at me. She motions to Murphy to come stand by her. Just before she turns to leave, she says, "Rage, RAGE against the dying of the light."
I smile back. She gets it. Some do. Some don't. Thank you to whomever for this gift. This small, perfect gift of a kindred soul, a fist raised up next to mine. I knew you were out there. Thank you.