Offspring the Third built a fire pit in the back yard and tried it out yesterday evening. It worked well. And it made me long for campfires and woods and dark star-laden skies, and I wonder when -- oh, when -- will I have those things again?
Preparation for Thanksgiving is under way. While (alas) Offspring the First will not be here, Beloved Husband and I will nevertheless have the pleasure of the company of Offspring the Second and Cherished Friend, as well as Offspring the Third. The full complement of Menfolk is always a good thing.
The shopping has been essentially completed. While we were out and about, we came across this marvelous vegetable specimen - brussel sprouts on their stem. Nifty. I think, if I had to do it all over again, I would consider studying more plant biology.
Today's earworm:I See Fire, by Ed Sheeran. It somehow seems appropriate for the current troubled times. Calling out father oh Prepare as we will Watch the flames burn auburn on The mountain side Desolation comes upon the sky
There has been a great deal of unrest since the election. Within it, there has been an upsurge of xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic attacks. Swastikas drawn on public buildings. Hijabs torn from heads. Students of middle-eastern ancestry beaten. "White Pride" graffiti. A Ku Klux Klan celebratory parade.
I did not know that such hatred simmered beneath the surface of America. I have lead a naive, sheltered life.
Let's bring it closer to home:
The adult daughter of one Facebook friend, while out with friends, was physically assaulted by a man who proclaimed "It's official, I can grab it!" Another Facebook friend's daughter -- a young attorney, born in Kansas, with Hispanic ancestry -- was told by an aggressive man who would not leave her and her table of friends alone, "in four years you will be gone from this country." The mixed-race son of a third Facebook friend was called a nigger and beaten up at his elementary school.
Are my Offspring safe? They are half Hispanic, but on the whole, look Anglo. Does resembling me provide them with a measure of protection against xenophobia?
And is Offspring the First safe? It seems frightening to be a young woman right now, when our president-elect has effectively provided a stamp of approval for consequence-free assault. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything. Offspring the First is taking a self-defense class. Let us hope it will be enough.
We do not know who is a safe stranger, and who is not, any more -- for those who commit these crimes, look just like us.
When I go for a walk in the neighborhood, I sometimes pass by this house, with this banner hung on the front balcony:
The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the shed Blood of Patriots & Tyrants. - Thomas Jefferson
I do not know, for this homeowner, who is the Patriot and who is the Tyrant. I can only guess.
How do I protect those in danger?
(Why has the president-elect not spoken out against the violence?)
The wind apparently pushed one of the leftover Halloween ornaments into the path overnight. When Offspring the Third and I left for band practice in the wee hours of the morning, there it was, just... looking in.
NinjaHead resides with a muffin-baking woman known herein as Herself. Herself has a Beloved Husband, with whom she shares three nearly-grown Offspring. When she is not writing Things, Herself nurtures a visceral fondness for small furry creatures. The household menagerie, which has varied in size and composition over the years, presently contains a minuscule middle aged chihuahua, a most mild-mannered senior chihuahua, and a very small hamster who, due to the prominence of his gonads, seems to need trousers for decency.