Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 Olympians Go for the Gold

    I really enjoy watching the Olympics.  I always tear up when the torch is lit during the opening ceremonies, and I loved that the audience all sang "Hey Jude" with Paul McCartney.  I find that I cry along with both the medal winners, and those athletes whose dreams have been crushed.  I stay up way too late, glued to the TV, watching the "thrill of victory" and the "agony of defeat."  I love to hear the stories about the athletes,  and their families, who seem to agonize over each round of competition.  I get emotional every time our national anthem is played for the gold medal recipient.  It's going to be a long couple of weeks!
     Today I caught synchronized diving, swimming, water polo, volleyball, and gymnastics.  I am struck by both the ability and concentration of our young American Olympians!  I can only imagine the work and dedication required to get to these games, because it's exhausting just watching them compete!   Of course, I cheer the American teams on from my easy chair , even though the event  may have been recorded due to the difference in time zones.
      Today,  the USA medal count is second only to China.   I hope that Great Britain wins their share of medals this year in front of their fans and citizens, provided they don't knock us out of contention.  I hate seeing an athlete get hurt, because we enjoy it more when we beat our opponents at the top of their game.
Patriotism is a beautiful thing to watch, and it is a common denominator for the American athletes who represent our country.  This proud American would like to  thank you and your families for your commitment to excellence.  I hope you all see your Olympic dreams come true! ....have a good week everyone!!
.....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prayer Vigil from Aurora Colorado

   I have been watching the prayer service held for the victims in Aurora, Colorado.  More than ten thousand attended the prayer vigil. It broke my heart to hear the names and ages of the twelve killed at the movie theater.  In the days ahead, we will learn more about the fifty-eight injured as well as the hundreds of others affected by the tragedy.  Lives will be changed forever because of the actions of one bad guy.
   There were so many stories told about the kindness of strangers.  We learned that cops, EMT's, medical staff and ordinary citizens worked together so that the incident did not go the way the shooter wanted.  The name of the suspect was not mentioned once in the ninety minute service,  as he does not deserve any fame for his actions.  If his gun did not jam,  the number of casualties would have been much worse.  
   President  Obama visited the hospital, and spoke to the injured and the families.  Prayers were led by  clergy from many denominations.  I think about the serenity prayer, which ends "courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."   If the country can unite through a tragedy, perhaps it is time for the country to work together to prevent this type of tragedy.  I do not believe that citizens should be able to purchase military weapons, and full riot gear.  The suspect had a pistol, a shotgun,  and an assault rifle which was illegal until ten years ago when the ban was allowed to expire.  He bought 6000 rounds of ammunition, and one of the clips held one hundred bullets.  He was also making bombs in his apartment building which housed close to thirty apartments.  All of this was purchased  legally in the United States of America.  Really?????  I know we can do better!
     I'm told that fifty-five people are killed by guns every day in my country.   Let's honor them by having the courage to ban military grade weapons, and high capacity ammunition clips.  I do not believe our founding fathers had this in mind with the second amendment.  They wanted us to hunt, and be able to protect ourselves, not massacre kids in movies, colleges, and high schools. Enough is enough!
   I believe that the actions of one bad person can be a catalyst to bring out the best in all of us.  Americans should demand common sense solutions when it comes to our safety.  Evil exists when  good people stay silent, so it's time to speak up and weigh in.  I'm for regulations that help people.  I hope you are, too.....
have a good week everyone....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Anniversaries and Birthdays

      July has always been a busy month in our family.  We celebrated our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary on July 10th.  Twenty-nine years ago today, we moved into our house.  As I floated around the pool this afternoon,  I let my mind wander back through time.  We bought the house from a couple who were retiring to Florida.  They wanted to take a few weeks to pack and move, but we were too anxious.  I was nine months pregnant and my due date was July19th.  Luckily, our families all helped us move and unpack boxes.  We would work for a few hours, then cool off in the pool.  I waddled around trying to decide where furniture and dishes should go.  My sisters set up my entire kitchen, while I dangled my swollen ankles in the pool. 
     I wished I had paid more attention to things, because friends came up to visit on the 19th, and I wasn't sure where things like the can opener were.  Of course, I wasn't at home because I was in the hospital with labor pains.  Our friends called from our home as they were trying to feed the dogs, and neither one of us could direct them how to find stuff.  I'm not sure I thought any of this were funny then,  but it would make for a funny sitcom episode today.   My mom stopped by on her way back from her lung cancer treatment, and the nurses were upset that I was too busy yakking to monitor my pains and do my breathing exercises.  I was the last of eleven women to give birth that day, and the doctor couldn't believe that I was recounting the days events after almost twenty hours of labor.  In between contractions he told me a joke about cleaning the cat box which I cannot remember now.  We were having a fine time, but my husband and the nurses thought we should be more serious.  He said our baby was strong because I was strong, and that made all the difference.  We left the hospital on Friday, and had a houseful of company the next day which was a Saturday, and every day of each weekend that entire summer.  
    Looking back, it never dawned on us to say we had a newborn, and wanted to have some quiet time.  We had a pool,  it was summer, and I was on maternity leave.  Our mom was battling cancer, and we all wanted to be together.  I'm sure mom made the salads, and we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.  My father- in- law loved my fruit salad because I put lots of blueberries in it, and so I made it often.   We wanted to enjoy life as much as possible, and that's what we did.  Matt loved to be held, and he was not a good sleeper.  Perhaps because there was always a dozen grandparents, aunts and uncles around . Whenever he was fussy, we took turns holding and rocking him, and that  gave us comfort.  I always knew that there would be plenty of time to have quiet weekends, and we got to have one today.  Of course,  part of me would love to have that summer back, and to have everyone together again......have a good week everyone....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

We're Having a Heat Wave

   Hope everyone enjoyed the 4th of July.  Our family got together for a cookout, and we video chatted with  the kids out of state.  The fireworks displays were beautiful, although the Boston Pops celebration was interrupted with a downpour accompanied with thunder and lightning.
   It's back to work for many of us tomorrow, but anyone on vacation will be treated to a fabulous week.  Our New England temperatures have not been as extreme as much of the country.  Record high temps continue to sizzle the south and mid west, and new records are set every day.  I'm beginning to take this climate change stuff seriously.  I heard a fire victim from Colorado talk about the state becoming a tinderbox, because of the lack of snow this past winter.  Many of my relatives are talking about the unusual and extreme storms we've seen during the past few years.  Tornado's in Massachusetts last spring, a blizzard in New Hampshire in late October, then one of the mildest winters on record in New England.
    I heard a discussion about climate change and it's validity.  The best argument compared this to the debate about cigarettes causing cancer, and how difficult is was to convince people of the connection.  My mom died of lung cancer in 1983.  She was 54 years old and had smoked for more than forty years.  We all believed that smoking caused her untimely death,  but in 1996 there were still ads stating that Joe Camel was not the problem.  Camels were a popular brand of cigarettes, and their mascot was a cigarette smoking camel named Joe.  The tobacco industry set up a nonthreatening symbol to dispute the warnings from the surgeon general.  In the end, I believe that too many of us had sat in hospitals with loved ones dying from diseases caused from smoking.  TV commercials and ad campaigns could not get Americans to change our minds about the dangers of cigarette smoking.  I think the same thing will happen with regard to climate change as more and more Americans live through devastating storms.  We will believe what our eyes and ears tell us more than what any paid spokesperson has been paid to sell us .
    As soon as the citizens of the country are ready, I'm sure we will be able to tap into alternatives and solutions.  I'd love to have a solar powered home and car, as long as it is reliable.  The baby boomers may live to see a whole new world,  made possible by our children and grandchildren......and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday America

  July 4th is the day we celebrate America's 236th birthday, and commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  It contains phrases such as "We the People", "By the People, and "For the People" as it outlines our Constitution. At the time,. it must have seemed outrageous, and today we use terms like progressive as if it were a bad thing.  I get tired of hearing Americans complain and focus only on our problems, and so I've decided to list  my top ten favorite things.  I'm all for regulation that helps people, and I want my Government to be big enough to insure liberty and justice for all.  I also want to thank the liberals who fought for these laws and privileges. I hope the best is yet to come!

 1.  Holidays - because without them we'd all have to work this Wednesday, July 4!
 2.  The 40hr workweek - because we wouldn't get to enjoy any weekends.
 3.  Social Security and Medicare for Seniors - because we'll never get to retire without our safety net.
 4.  Regulations for Clean water and Clean Air because I do not trust that corporations will do the right thing.
 5.  Laws that insure safe cars, planes and trains keep because we are all precious cargo.
 6.  Healthcare-  when my husband got laid off from his job, we lost our health insurance that very day.
 7.  Women's right's - "We are women, hear us roar in numbers too big to ignore!".  This will say it all to the          
      baby-boomers who remember this old song.  Let's keep moving forward.
 8.  Voter's rights - We each get one vote- Let's use our vote wisely - and fight against suppression. 
 9.  Equal rights for all - we get to choose our church and our spouse by ourselves- period.
10.  Education that puts students first, and their budgets get cut last (You will have to thank liberals for that)

 My wish list for the future is short.  
1. I want  corporate and international money out of elections, and full disclosure for big donations.
2. I want Medicare for all - it works , it's simple, and it's not tied with employment.
3. I want banks to use their own money when they gamble - we've lost enough from our retirement accounts.
4. I want teacher, cops and construction workers back to work- because the first thing they'll do is buy stuff-
    and that's the best way to grow the economy.  That's my view of capitalism - a strong middle class with 
    enough spendable cash to buy the goods and services that drive prosperity. 
5. I want Congress to put the people first, and actually get something done.  We are watching, and we vote!

I still believe that our best days are ahead of us, and our problems can be fixed.  I heard some reporter say they would move to Canada because of the recent  Healthcare ruling.  Really????  You do know that Canada has Universal Healthcare, right ???   I'd like to see all journalists fact check their statements before making announcements on TV.  I also think it's important to fact check the statements made by the candidates as well as their TV ads.  It's the responsible thing to do.   
Just sign me a proud American.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.....