Friends, Walks, and Politics

I had a socially distanced visit with my friends Bettina and Gabriele, who volunteer with me at White Rock Center of Hope. Bettina is still working but the other two of us are not. It was great to catch up with them after several months of just staying in touch by text and phone call.

It’s been really hot so we haven’t walked much lately. But one day it was coolish post rain  so we got out in the AM before it warmed up too much. There’s a little community garden nearby and Rich wanted to go check it out. We really miss having our garden plot.

The Black Lives Matter sign is new in our yard and it has garnered a little bit of attention. A neighbor that we don’t really know walked by one day and commented that she liked it. I told her I had one more if she wanted it. She said she did, so now there are two signs on our block. That makes me happy. Another day a delivery woman brought a package. She was African American and told me “thanks for the sign.” It made me uncomfortable that she was thanking me. I told her I was sorry for all that our society has made her endure. She thanked me again. Honestly, I want to be an anti racist and a good ally but I don’t want praise for it. It makes me feel like a fraud and like I am doing something for attention. Friday I was sitting on the porch reading a book when the city refuse guys came to get the trash. Again, they commented on the sign and thanked me. The driver was hanging out the passenger side window hollering at me. It brought me to tears. I stood there yelling back at them, “I am so sorry for our racist society!” I probably looked like a lunatic.

I’m still writing postcards to voters and went out hanging flyers on doors in my precinct to remind people to vote. We have a runoff election coming up in July. Rich and I ordered our absentee ballots and mine came in. Although vote by mail is up in the air in Texas pending court decisions, we are already able to mail in due to our age. Then I spent most of one day watching a City Council meeting via the internet. Recently I found out that an asphalt batch plant was proposed for my city council district, not too far from our house but in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood. Of course. What else is new?! A group of citizens had organized in a very short period of time and someone added me to their Facebook group. I was super impressed that they were able to get 20+ speakers scheduled for the council meeting in no time. The meeting dragged on for hours and hours and “we” were the last agenda item. I’m sure this was by design also. Meanwhile I found out all kinds of other interesting things going on in our city that are too time consuming to recount here but maybe another day. Finally at 9 PM, our agenda item was addressed. Our speakers were given one minute each. To their credit, instead of everyone basically saying the same thing, they coordinated their efforts and each spoke to a different aspect of the neighborhood’s opposition. They were well prepared, passionate, articulate.  Very impressive!  A 9 year old boy stole the show when he spoke about his asthma and his fears for his fellow neighborhood children. One by one, the City Council members agreed and voted no, “with prejudice,” which I found out means that the asphalt company cannot request a similar zoning change for two years. It was quite a victory and so nice to see that you can apparently fight City Hall and win sometimes.

Doings

Sarah’s crew have been cycling through a tummy virus so we had Jack part of one day while she and Beck were home being miserable. Poor things. He’s always fun and we enjoyed playing games and hanging out.  He was watching a movie while lying on the top of the couch so I went over to take his picture because he looked so cute.  He said no, wait, then ran to pose with Grandpa. I swear! This kid!

 

Saturday we went to the spring social for our community garden at a local brewery. We’d never heard of it and didn’t know where it was but it was packed with people watching the Dallas Stars’ hockey game.  I don’t know, to me there’s just something wrong with Dallas having an ice hockey team.  I can remember watching the Philadelphia Flyers back in the day and that seems more like hockey country! Anyway, we gardeners had a nice little gathering, ate some bbq and visited a bit. From there Rich and I went to early voting for City Council and Mayor.

My brother Joe and sister in law Denise live in Jackson Hole but after Joe got out of the Marines (years ago), he joined a Reserve squadron that flew out of Dallas.  He’s not in the Reserves any more but this past week they came to town to attend a reunion and visit some of his Marine buddies who live in the area.  Sunday morning they met us at Elle’s soccer game and then we all went to Sarah’s where Rich cooked brunch for all.  He had stayed back with the boys because Beck still wasn’t feeling his best and once Jack learned that Grandpa was staying, he wanted to stay too.  🙂  We had a nice time catching up with Joe and Denise and glad we got to see them for a little bit.

 

March, So Far

We voted in the Democratic primary and took Jack along as he was staying with us that day.  Doing our part to turn Texas blue.  Or at least purplish.  🙂  Stopped by the garden and then came back to our place to play for awhile.

 

I’ve so enjoyed watching Elle play volleyball this season. The whole team has really grown and improved in their skills. We watched her final tournament, in which her team took 2nd place against older, bigger girls and showed a lot of heart and determination, plus some amazing plays. So proud of these Emoji Aces!

 

Workday in the community garden is always fun because we get to visit with more of our fellow gardeners and spruce things up in the common areas.  I worked in the butterfly garden while Rich helped haul wheelbarrows full of mulch.  We were both pretty tired by the time we got home, but hurray for a good workout!

 

My brother Joe, sister in law Denise, daughter Ellie, her husband Blane, and Blane’s dad came through town so we all had a great dinner by Rich at Sarah’s and a lot of laughs with all.

 

Granddaughter Ally turned 11 years old, hard to believe! She is a sweet, chatty girl who is very outgoing and makes friends wherever she may be. She has a kind heart and a big smile for everyone! She’s silly and sassy, smart and funny, great at reading, basketball and softball, not to mention beating us regularly at board games. We love it when she comes to stay with us and she’s one of our best travel partners ever! We love you, Ally!