Sunday, January 31, 2021

Peace, Love, and Rock n' Roll

 It's been a very chilling and divisive time in our country, and try as I might not to be political, it does splash over into my writing and my blogs. Especially since I've spent the last year or so researching and writing about the Revolutionary War, which started America on its current path. Our forefathers had great insight, but even they could not conceive what our 21st century would look like. with its instantaneous news cycle and multiple outlets with talking heads sharing multiple opinions and skewing the facts to serve their purposes and their audiences. Makes me yearn for the days when life was more simple–the 1960s. 

I was a typical hippie child, with my tie-dyed shirt and peace symbol earrings. Back during this era, all I had to worry about was whether the cops were going to bust me for scoring some weed. I was a member of SDS, the Students for a Democratic Society, but we were hardly the radical extremists that are overrunning our way of life now. Everything was groovy. 

How naive and childish that seems now. But I do still have a peace symbol at my back door, and hope at my front door. When we are all vaccinated and can hug each other again, it's my hope we can get back to simpler times. To peace, love, and rock n' roll. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

It's Cookie Time!

 This is my favorite time of year. The Girl Scouts have begun selling their cookies. This year, I decided to forego the in-person interaction and order my cookies from a friend's daughter back in Ohio. I've been tracking my order ever since and, with any luck, they should arrive in a day or two. 

Not only do I look forward to eating my treats, but I always reflect on all the Girl Scouts did for me when I was growing up. Wilderness Camp on the back forty of Mrs. Serfass's farm taught me an appreciation of the outdoors. I still remember that horrendous lighting storm that was so dangerous we had to shelter in the barn for the night. It made me wonder how the folks on the wagon trains heading west took shelter during such storms. I'm sure they didn't have a dry, safe barn to hunker down in. 

Obtaining as many badges as possible was always a competition with the others in my troop, but, in addition to honing my competitive spirit, I learned a lot of things along the way without realizing it at the time. The knowledge from the cooking and sewing badges have come in quite handy in an adult world, as have many of the others I collected. The design of the badges had come a long way over the years, but the intent is still the same. As nice as it was to complete a challenge and get a badge, it was always the Cookie sales that I looked forward to. Talk about a competition! 

In my adult life, I made my living selling things. I went through a lot of variations on this theme–selling ads, subscriptions, handmade quilts, exhibit booths, and finally, my own books. To think, it all started by selling Girl Scout cookies. 

Happy munching. And in the words of the cookie monster–COOKIES!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Back To Normal?

As anyone who follows this blog knows, I've spent the last few years involved in the Revolutionary War. I feel like I've been part of the band of rebels, the Sons of Liberty, as I've written these books. I developed a great admiration for these brave souls, who led a revolution against a giant force and had the foresight to craft a body politic that has lasted for hundreds of years, with minor tweaks. 

Recent events have brought our Constitution into sharp focus once again. Perhaps it's time to tweak the document again, because, clearly, something's not working. We have half of America's population disenfranchised and thinking another revolution is what's needed to get our country back on course. 

Having lived in DC for a number of years, it breaks my heart to see the fortress it has become since January 6. This is not the country I grew up in, nor is it the country I want to live in now. Not only am I feeling unmoored because my series is at an end, I have a sense of dread that the country I love is at a crossroads. 

Will we ever get back to normal? What is normal anymore? Will enough of us get vaccinated so we can once again hug each other? Will I ever feel safe in the grocery again? 

I want that. I want to hug my friends. I want to visit the Mall in DC again and go to the new museums that have been erected in the last ten years. I want to see my family. I want to select my own bananas. 

I want normal. 

To see what 'normal' was like during the Revolution, read one of my Revolutionary Women books.


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Time For a Change

 Even though I've been embroiled in the Revolutionary War the past couple of years with my writing and my Revolutionary Women series, I try to avoid writing about America's current political situation here on this blog. However, I just read something which compared the events of the past week with the Revolutionary War, and I must comment. 

The most basic difference is probably the easiest to understand. The Americans in the 1770s were waging war against a despot who was demanding money and resources be taken from America while imposing a tax on goods and merchandise needed for the colonists' survival. The followers of Mr. Trump are waging war for a despot who is demanding their loyalty until they are no longer needed, and who is lining his pockets with money from the government and from his loyal followers on his way out the door. 

I have a great deal of admiration for our founding fathers. I have no admiration for the loyalists who attacked our Capitol building and killed people. Our founding fathers had a vision for this new country while the mob last week had nothing other than vengeance on their agenda. 

I lived in DC for years after college. I sat on the Capitol steps each year to watch the fireworks on July 4th. To see them filled with a mob of misfits who have no love for our country turned my stomach, as it did many others. The woman who lost her life in the battle told reporters she'd willingly give her life for the cause. I have no pity for her, only for her family. As for the Capitol Hill policeman who was killed, I'm sure death was not on his mind Wednesday morning. His killers need to be held to account. They were not involved in a Revolution, they were involved in a riot. 

I agree with them on one thing, though. It's time for a change. I want normalcy in my life again. Not people with painted faces, Confederate flags, and crazed looks on their faces. I want to take off my face mask, hug my friends again, and be able to see my family. I want to be able to depend on my retirement income lasting for my retirement years. I want to sleep through the night. Am I asking too much? I hope not, for our country's sake. 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Blank Page

A few years ago, Brad Paisley penned a tweet about the start of a new year, which I think is appropriate for anyone who puts pen to paper, regardless of whether it's for a journal entry, a manuscript, or a song. Here's what he had to say: 

"Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." 

Since we've all just come through one of the most trying years of our lives, I find Brad's words truly inspiring. With a new president, and the promise of vaccines for all, I'm hopeful we can get back to something close to normal in this coming year. One of my goals for the year is to travel back to my old stomping grounds and visit with my brother, who is spending a year in the eastern half of the country before heading west again. 

And, following Brad's advice, to write something every day. 

How about you? What are your goals for the year?