Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!

As we face three days next week tipping the thermometer at 100 degrees (and that's before
everything is factored may feel like 110 or 111!), we are focused on how to stay cool. Needless to stay, the heat has curtailed the walking and made staying inside much more appealing.  I've even had bursts of energy to continue my cleaning out, but nothing overboard.  Regardless on my good intentions, I manage to find many ways to waste time.  One of my newest means is binge watching Borgen....for which I'm blaming Ann.  She and Katie recommended it to me a long time ago when I couldn't even find it here.  Then I heard/read it mentioned by both Steven King and Hillary Clinton as being one of their favorite series.  So, I looked for it on Netflix again and it was available.  It is a Danish political drama and, when I realized it had subtitles, I admit to cursing Ann's name!  How can I play with my iPad all the time and watch a series with subtitles?  Totally unworkable!  I finally popped in the CD and within 15 minutes of the start I was hooked.  It is very well done and two of the major characters are women, one the Prime Minister and the other a young reporter.  Each CD has 3-4 episodes and I sit and watch them all at one time.  There are three seasons with 10 episodes each, so if you're a political junkie and looking for an enthralling way to waste time, this is it!  Wikipedia's rundown can be found HERE.

Yesterday was a full and enjoyable day, though it started with a very somber, solemn event.  Chris and I attended a service at our local Campbell  AME Church in honor and memory of those killed at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Such a dark, hate-filled, act.  How did someone that young nurture so much hatred?  Knowing so many here, I can well imagine that the young man was welcomed to their group with open arms. The fact that he sat with them of about an hour before carrying out his horrible act is just chilling. All of those killed were solid members of the community and it's hard to imagine the void in their families, their church and the whole community.  Such a waste! Though Pinckney is a well known name here, I was not familiar with Rev. Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was obviously a kind and able leader.  At one time, he was also minister of the church we attended.  The church itself was beautiful and the service well done.  Many ministers from local churches participated and it consisted of prayers and Bible readings.  The prayers were very inclusive....for the bereaved families, for the comfort of the community, for the guidance of the church universal, for the guidance of our nation, for the unity of our nation, and for the unity of the church universal.  The names of those killed were read and a moment of silent reflection was given.  The challenge from the minister was to let the Divine light within each of us shine to dispel the darkness.  The service ended with the congregation JOYFULLY singing "This Little Light of Mine", followed by Doxology and Benediction.  

Today during the memorial service for Clementa Pinckney, Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka said “He tried to create hate but look around – instead he created love...” in reference to Dylann Roof. #WTOC #StandWithCharleston #PrayForCharleston
Posted by WTOC-TV on Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm so glad we went and that they provided an opportunity to share their grief.  There have been so many such sad events in which I thought there should be more white people present, because I know there are many who share their struggle and hope for greater equality.  While I am so sorry that this thing happened, I was glad to be counted among those present at the service.  Jim Rigby, a very inclusive, eclectic Presbyterian minister from Texas (who would expect that?!), expressed those sentiments much better than I ever could:
"It now seems that white people who care about the suffering of black people have run out of every other option. The violence against our brothers and sisters will never end until we ourselves enter into a time of great suffering in solidarity with theirs. So long as we only work for racial justice within a system forged in the fires of white supremacy, we ourselves constitute the bars of their oppression (in spite of our best intentions.) We can no longer work for justice from safely behind the ivied walls of our white privilege. Dr. King has shown us all the way. All that is missing is the critical mass that white solidarity would provide. We ourselves must now violate the laws that oppress innocent and suffering members of our human family. We ourselves must fill the jail cells that have been built to enforce their oppression until there is no room for either of us. We must use the weight of our own numbers to end any human being's status as “minority.” 
The people who have been targeted for oppression are the only ones who can determine what actions are helpful, but it is time for every white person of conscience to report for duty. White people who care about the suffering of black people must begin to share the full cost of the freedom we say we want for all." 
From the service, Chris and I went to The Vintner's Club and bottled our wine.  We left it an extra week and it was crystal clear and very smooth.  We were so pleased.  

I was especially pleased that Chris seemed to enjoy the process and was happy with the finished product.  You know how it is when you invite someone to do something, hoping they will enjoy it as much as you.  And, the people who run the place really makes it a fun activity.  It was a very enjoyable project.

Usually after we tend our wine, we go out for lunch.  With the extreme heat, we couldn't leave the wine in the car long enough to have lunch.  So, we went home, chilled our wine, and got together at 5:15.  We went to the beach again, as we'd done a few weeks ago, and christened our wine.  We had delicious bread, cheese, roasted Brussels Sprouts and asparagus, pappadews, and marinaded tomatoes and mozzarella. For a short time it looked like we might be rained out, but it all passed over and turned out to be a great way to end the day.

It was a good week in another respect....I spoke with many friends by phone - Ann and Martin, Eileen and Tom, Paula and Neil (to wish Neil a happy birthday), and Jan. It's always good to catch up with friends by whatever means. .  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Arrives in a Flurry!

Life has been moving right along now that the weather has improved.  As you can see, Chris and I have put down wine, so we'll see how this goes when we do it ourselves rather than as a class.  Once each week we've gotten to tend our wine and, on most days, followed up with a nice lunch.  This coming week we will be bottling, which is the fun part.  The other steps are so quick and easy.  It's nice to do something a little  more involved.  I hope to revamp my label a bit and will leave some bottles unlabeled.  Those I will use as gifts with a personalized label.  This has been a lot of fun due to Chris' involvement and the enthusiasm of the family that runs the shop.  They couldn't be more helpful - they want you to have a great product....and lots of fun making it!  

Over Memorial Day weekend I had a wonderful reunion with the Rabbi from my synagogue days and his family.  His wife was an avid sweepstaker for a while and decided to enter a few again. She won a trip for five adults to HH for four days!!  It was so good to see them again, along with others from the synagogue. The weather was perfect and they were able to enjoy the beach before the summer rush.  I was pleased that they included me among those they wanted to see.  

With all the comings and goings, I've still managed to continue with the cleaning out of excess items in the house.  It seems like I get into the flow of it and then things happen to totally interrupt the process.  The biggest accomplish is that I've gotten my summer clothes pared down to a manageable, reasonable quantity.  The process was helped along by the fact that I've put on about 10 pounds and nothing fits!

This past week was a difficult one for my mother.  She has begun having trouble swallowing; that, combined with the dreaded lurgy that has been going around, led to aspiration of her food, mucus, etc.  There was one day when they didn't want her to eat much and other days when she just felt she couldn't.  So, I've been going over for lunch and dinner.  Over the last three meals she has shown some improvement, is beginning to eat more normally, and her color is returning. This coming week I'm going to an event called "Death over Dinner"......sounds uplifting doesn't it!? When I received the invitation I thought it was one of those dinner theater events where you solve a mystery.  No, it's exactly what it says, a discussion of death over dinner! 

After spending most of the week at Bloom with my mother, I took Friday afternoon for myself.  Chris and I tended our wine and then went to a new vegetarian restaurant we'd been wanting to try.  The chef had a highly regarded restaurant on the island but closed it and opened one out our way, which is our good dortune.  We were not disappointed. After that we had a few hours at home before meeting friends at Coligny beach.  Earlier in the week I received an email from a friend inviting us to a Friend a drum circle without the drums!  It really was a delightful way to end the week, especially after the one I had.  The weather was perfect, the conversation light and lively, and the tranquil as the beach can provide.  It was almost 8:30 before we left and I couldn't believe it was that late.  This is something we should definitely do again.

I was saddened to hear of Tom H's illness and am pleased that he is now at home.  I hope his recovery is swift and complete.  Both Tom and Eileen remain in my thoughts and I'm sending love and good wishes your way.