Turn Signal

Welcome to Right County … where you never need your turn signals because everyone knows where you are going.

Not even kidding. It’s as if everyone is 80 years old …slows the car croons the head in the general direction of where you are going!  Yes, that is the turn signal.

So you see, everyone knows in Right County where you are going … it’s kind of the metaphor for life.

Infused

Every six weeks I take a drive to the university hospital, take the elevator to the 4th floor of the medical office building.  The receptionist smiles, greets me warmly like an old friend.  She hands me my packet which includes current medications list, a medical bracelet and she buzzes me in.

Today, I’m greeted by nurses Heather & Nancy.  The lazy-boys sit side by side around the perimeter of the room and are flanked by IV poles and blood-pressure machines.

“Take a seat … it’s your pick today!”

I’m the first to arrive this particular morning.  And by morning end, I’m joined by many others.  A white man and hispanic women …  each in their 50s.  A white women in her 60s.  A black young man, maybe 20.  And a young 20-something female who is planning her upcoming wedding.   Today, we all look healthy.  However, two of the patients give their pain indicators as moderately high.  We aren’t supposed to pay attention to each other as we are getting hooked up, but we all do … and sometimes we compare notes, and discuss our bags attached to the IV poles.  Sometimes we talk about life, because talking about the bags attached to the poles might walk us down the road to talking about why each of us have the bag.  And I don’t think any of us want “that” to define us.

I have RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Not everyone does.  Some have other autoimmune or rheumatic diseases.  And every six weeks, I go to the infusion room and get hooked up for my joint juice.

My joint juice is mainly covered by my insurance.  And without it, the bill would be a staggering $3200 every six weeks.   RA sidelined me from my job as I couldn’t work and take care of my family.  I chose my family.  Thankfully, my husband has a good job. 

There are many folks who have sat in seats in the infusion room near me that aren’t as fortunate as I.  Serious complications from RA … and clearly lacking medical care at some point in their life as evidenced by the disfigurement of some of their joints.  My maternal great aunt died of complications from Juvenile RA during the great depression … a time when the family had no money and there was no treatment.  

Who knows what poor luck or bad judgement led to their lot in life.  But in those moments, I put my headphones in and close my eyes and give thanks for my health care and wonder why everyone doesn’t deserve it.

The Day After …

Yep, it’s the day after …

Oh, wait.

The Earth is still spinning.  No choppers or military fly overs.  People haven’t mysteriously disappeared.  Communication systems of the world weren’t overtaken by a crazy Hitler-ish dictator or Al-Kaida extremist and no one is telling me that my arm needs a tattooed ID.

And actually, the sun is shining.

I’m part of the 50% thrilled Barack Obama was elected.  In my community, I’m not so thrilled how all the elections worked out.  And unlike some of my social media friends, I’m not worried that Armageddon is here … nope … not one single bit.

The Preacher, Sunday School leaders and my mom promised me that Armageddon would happen. Pretty much the same way Fox News told 50% of the country it was going to happen if Barack Obama was re-elected.

As a little girl I had nightmares of a hellish movie Mom took me to see … she wanted me to accept the Lord as my personal Savior.  No better way to get your stubborn little girl to do what you want, scare the be-jeezus out of her.

So off we went to the Assembly of God Church.  I know … crossing over … but Mom was friends with all the church goers in town.

The movie and big event was Left Behind, a movie about the Rapture and what happens when Jesus Christ saves his followers and leaves you behind because you didn’t accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Disappearing people, military takeover, chaos, … people running to hide, fires, people shooting at you.  Awesome flick to show a young elementary age child.  And to think she wouldn’t let me see an R rated movie until I was 16.

The movie successfully gave me nightmares … but I didn’t run to the pulpit to be prayed over or accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. Nope … please see previous comment about the stubborn girl.

And here we are.  It’s the day after.  Shall we have a roll call perhaps?  Should we start with the Swing States or the Red States? Okay.  Blue States will go first.

I know, folks sure are divided and angry with each other.  It’s time to move on.

As someone who has voted and worked on both sides of the aisle … and as someone who has worked with more non-partisan issues and candidates than partisan, I’d like to tell folks:

CHILL OUT!  (And if you need help in this area, I might suggest you go to Colorado or Washington and make use of legalized marijuana to induce your new-found chill.) 

There are no conspiracies.  The Democrat you fear is your sister, your neighbor, your cousin, or college roommate.   Homeland and Revolution are fiction.

It’s time to put your big boy and girl pants on.  You are here … The Rapture didn’t happen and you weren’t left behind.  Stop with the sassy look.  Turn off talk tv and radio.  Read a paper instead of listening to the hateful entertainment.  Call your neighbor whom you fear may be of the other party and have dessert or coffee.  

Let’s move on.  It is called compromise … and it can be done.

Election Day in Right County

It was 1973 and I was four years old the first time I went on a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Canvass.  My parents and I were up and out the door by 4AM.  I’m sure that having a four-year old with lots of energy was an advantage for my parents’ team of walkers.  I gladly ran from door to door, placing the door hangers and post it type notes on doors for folks to find when they retrieved their morning paper.

Of course, we were walking for the Right, asking our neighbors to vote the Republican ticket all the way down the ballot.

At the age of four, it was exciting participating with my parents in something they believed was so important, a duty and an incredible right.  At least that was what I was told.

Ok… I really don’t remember that much.  But I do remember loving that I was contributing something.

Later in the day, my mom would take me with her to the polls.  I loved going with her and watching her vote.  I even think the poll workers gave me an “I VOTED” sticker.

In 1973, the Vietnam War was over.  Republicans believed in more power to states, fiscal conservatism, and good ol’ fashion hard work.  Nixon had earlier created the Environmental Protection Agency and created an alliance with China, and the Republican platform did not contain any reference to God or religious issues.   Hmmm …. I might not mind that party.

So what happened?

It was Roe v Wade decision of 1974 that would cause Republicans to begin forming an opinion that “values human life“.  Yikes … and that’s when it went all down hill.  Well, more on that later.

But, for today, I’ll just say thanks, Mom & Dad.  Thanks for showing me how to GOTV and teaching me the importance of my vote.

Bet you wish you left me at home.

I am …

<<FACEBOOK FRIEND.  SORRY FOR YELLING, BUT I CAN’T GET YOUR ATTENTION>>>

Yep … hands up for those who can’t stand Facebook this election season.  While many are painting wide brushes of each party … just thought I’d let you know a few things about me:

  1. I am a Democrat.  Do not even think of calling me a socialist or communist. I’ve actually been to communist countries and I know and have seen the difference. My momma sent me with a Bible smuggler to the Eastern Block and Former Soviet Union … my tour guide, a missionary & street preacher, proselytized from Amsterdam to Kiev.  I can tell you I’m not an evangelical, nor a socialist or communist.  Nope.  Not one bit.  And, I am definitely not a Republican.
  2. I am an American.  I want our troops home does not mean I do not support our troops or that I’m un-American.  Remember those 4 little words that got us in this mess … “weapons of mass destruction”?  Oh, right.  There weren’t any.  Our whole involvement was not as it should be. Do I like terrorists?  No.  But that doesn’t mean that I like our troops serving a falsehood of a war.   And hey, we got him.  Osama is gone.
  3. I am not crazy… but think you might be with your “conspiracy” theories.  Can you just drop the whole “Obama is a Muslim”-thing?  Conspiracy theories are not very becoming and you look, quite frankly, like an absolute crazy person for continuing this rant.  Why are you so caught up on the Muslim thing?  I know. I know … it’s a conspiracy!   What/who are you afraid?   And some of you are a little bit confused about the separation of church and state thing.  Not to mention, the little Obama 2016 Oliver Stone-ish movie that declares Obama empathizing with the beliefs of his father … well, that’s like saying I’m a neo-conservative because of my mother.
  4. I am not a fan of Fox News.  Fox News is great entertainment, but it’s not news.  Need I say more?   Please go to point number 1 and lets start over for I fear you are brainwashed.

I suppose I could make a list for the far left too … and seriously, you are each going to vote your own side.  Screaming isn’t going to win the middle or help anyone for that matter.

Now … I’ll continue to laugh in your general direction because it’s too sad thinking this is how you really think of me and how you think.  Period.  Thanks for talking so politely … not …  try and listen … or I’ll just continue talking in ALL CAPS … or not at all.

This is why I don’t live in Right County anymore

Oh, snap!

I thought I posted this quite some time ago … so, ta-da … I know this is old news … but several months late, I’ll hit publish button.

This is why I don’t live in Right County anymore:

Yep, this is a line of folks waiting to order at Chick-Fil-A.  Perhaps if someone stopped to talk to the folks at Jordan Creek Mall, I’m thinking that it might have sounded like the folks in the next youtube.  And add to the list, one more place where I wouldn’t like to live.

Hey, kids, I’ve been there.  I’ve had to regurgitate what others told me to think.  It’s okay!  Think for yourself.  And Run. I made it and so can you!

________________________________

And way before, the rest of us heard about poor ol’ Chick-Fil-A supporting gay-hating organizations, there was a girl at NYU starting her own protest.  Props to the NYU film student, Mackenzie Berkman, who put this short together about one girl’s Chick-Fil-A boycott.

________________________________

And lastly, well, this one … it’s just funny. Seems to me a lot of folks in the lines above are picking and choosing these days.  Especially the women quoting the abomination bit … good thing Chick-Fil-A isn’t a shrimp restaurant.

Sorry, we don’t have Fox News in Oregon

My parents visit maybe once a year.   And I visit them in Right County even less.  During each of their visits, I have to explain how the remotes work.

But the worst part is finding mutually agreeable tv shows, news & movies for all of us to watch.

While I prefer CNN, NBC, The Daily Show & The Colbert Report, my parents prefer Christian Broadcasting Network/News and Fox News.  Christopher Guest’s movie, Waiting for Guffman hit too close to home for them.

I’m not sure when it happened, but early on, I just told my parents, “sorry, we don’t get Fox in Oregon. It doesn’t qualify as news here.”

Dad gave me a sheepish grin … and said “ok”.

On one particular crazy visit with all 3 kids graduating to the next school, I reminded Dad how the remote worked.

Dad said “how about Fox?”

“Sorry, we don’t have Fox News in Oregon.”

I resigned to the office to join a friend and finish a project when Glenn Beck crooned as if he is in the next room!

Glenn Beck?  Are you kidding me?  In my house?

I jump up, threw open the office doors.  Truth be told, I’m lucky the glass in the doors didn’t shatter.  And, well, I probably yelled something not very nice to my dad.  Ok, I’m pretty sure I yelled something.  And there sat my dad, remote in hand as he raised his eyebrows, tongue in cheek with an impish grin. It only took him about 8 years to find Fox in Oregon.  So I’m not sure who won.