Daily Archives: November 9, 2016

I Didn’t Know I Had the Power

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I didn’t know I had the power…until it was gone.

I never saw Clinton as a perfect choice. She has been in the public eye and under scrutiny for so many years, of course there were issues. I heard all the “lesser of two evils” talk, and understood.  I grew up in the age of Camelot; I want a hero.

Clinton didn’t quite fit that mold. Still, many of the flaws that were cited in her actions have been overlooked or down-played in male politicians for years. I felt she was held to a higher standard because of her gender, but she seemed up to that challenge.  I didn’t choose her because she was female, though I have long thought that women in high places would offer possibilities and solutions we haven’t even dreamed of.

Clinton was my candidate of choice, for many reasons. Some reached back to the Democratic household I grew up in. Others were firmly settled in this present day: issues of gun control, conservation of natural resources, respect for all people, no matter their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender. This election was important to me, as a woman in this world, and to the planet I want to keep safe.

As the election drew closer, there was a subtle shift in thinking. It became a point of pride that Clinton was not only the best candidate and my choice, but that she was female. I got almost giddy at the prospect. I felt stronger, as a woman, than I have since the 1970s: those heady, early years of the modern feminist movement. I was proud to vote for a woman, as my choice for President of the United States.

And then it was gone.

I am devastated.

Clearly, many voters saw and heard things from the other candidate that escaped me completely. I will, as we all should, jump on the bandwagon of unity, and support for the candidate of choice. The system has, crazily, worked.

I am not afraid…well I am a little afraid…for our country. Thank God for experts in every field to advise those in authority, and for our system of checks and balances. The United States will survive.

I am heartbroken to see that in the 21st century, in a place where women can vote, this country has chosen a misogynist buffoon over a woman. That not only strips me of the heady power I was feeling at the thought of a woman in our highest office, it makes me realize women as a whole are not doing as well in this world as I thought. And that scares the hell out of me.

Potatoes

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Aunt Katie would prefer potatoes every day with her main meal. She rarely has bread with dinner, and eats a well balanced mix of lean meats and vegetables, but potatoes are a mainstay. “It doesn’t seem like a whole meal without potatoes,” she has told me.

I like potatoes. I sometimes make a simple meal of fried onions, potatoes and tomatoes. I enjoy a baked potato, with butter and sour cream. I like crisp baked potato skins, with butter melted inside. Mashed potatoes are good, on occasion. There’s nothing nicer, on a Sunday morning, than homemade hash browns with eggs and toast. I like potatoes cooked with boiled dinner in a ham broth, or nestled, along with carrots and onions, in with a beef roast. Rarely, I’ll make a boiled potato. It seems too plain, and needs gravy to make it taster good. I love pierogi, filled with cheesy mashed potatoes; my daughter, Kate, makes them from scratch. I make potato gnocchi, potato pancakes and potato bread. Still, I certainly don’t need potatoes at every dinner.

I am okay with sweet potatoes, as a special flavor at holiday time, but there flavor is not one I would want regularly. My healthy gumbo called for sweet potatoes. They weren’t bad, but over the years I’ve substituted carrots, which I prefer. My sister Cheryl and I used to always split a baked sweet potato at Thanksgiving, and that was just enough.

When I was in college, and my girls were in school in East Lansing, we were only on Beaver Island for three months in the summertime. We didn’t have time for a garden, but I always grew potatoes. I brought seed potatoes up north with me. I split the big ones, and removed extra eyes. Without even working up the soil, I planted potatoes. I pushed the shovel into the ground, jumped on it to get it in deep enough, tipped in forward and dropped a potato in the space behind the head of the shovel. Pulling the shovel out buried the seed potato. One giant step forward, and I’d repeat the process. On and on until all were planted. They took care of themselves, then, through our busy summers. Before we left at the end of August, we’d dig up our harvest. Any missed potatoes would grow up as new plants the following year. I often carried about a bushel back to campus with me.

A few years ago when my granddaughter, Madeline, was here, she was invited to help my cousin Bob with his harvest. I dropped her off on my way to work. When I picked her up, she was covered from head to toe with garden soil, with a great big grin. “You’d think she was digging for gold, as much as she loved finding those potatoes in the ground,” Aunt Katie told me. For that story alone, I like potatoes!