Shocked. Horrified. Ashamed. Those are just the tip of the emotions I’ve felt over what’s come from the new administration this past week, especially the immigration ban which began on Friday evening. If you know anything about history (and I do), this is how things started out in Germany in 1933, although it’s happening much more quickly here and now. I am not being hyperbolic.
I said I would never discuss politics on this blog, but this is not who we are. If you care about not seeing our democracy lessoned or destroyed, the ideals of our country shattered, I urge you to to stay alert, and not let yourself be overwhelmed by the waves of change and outrage that seem to be appearing every day. Resistance will mean everything if we want to stay true to who and what we are as Americans, and what we believe our country stands for.
On a more personal note, there has been trouble brewing over my mom’s will and the small amount left in her estate. The will is extremely clear about the division of any remaining funds in the estate, but my siblings have decided it’s “unfair.” There have already been some heated exchanges, with them threatening lawyers and courts, etc. One lawyer has already told them the will is valid and must be followed as it is, and any changes have to come from an agreement between us, but I’m not biting. I have documents that expressly refute what’s being claimed – I don’t think they figured I’d held on to them. I’ve been estranged from my siblings for several years, and have been biting my tongue not to say, “Well, maybe you should have said and done things a bit differently in the past.” Maybe I will once this is all over.
It turned out YaYu didn’t swim at yesterday’s final meet, although she went to support her teammates and Brett once again served as a timer. Yesterday was the conference finals, and only the top three swimmers in each event are allowed to participate. YaYu is not the slowest swimmer on her team, but she’s definitely not in the top three. It was also the last day for the team’s three coaches who are all retiring. YaYu brought each of them a lei to say thank you, and we will all miss them greatly next year. They were all terrific, both as coaches and people, and focused on team-building and technique first – very Hawaiian – rather than winning. The team has still won the county championship for as long as anyone can remember.
This afternoon I am:
- Reading: I started a new book yesterday, The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney. I had to put down Truevine because I could no longer deal with the author’s convoluted writing – she would start on one topic, but introduce a name or something else and then veer off for pages on that, with the same thing happening again and again, like branches on a tree, before finally returning to what she had started off with. Reading even a few pages had my head spinning because I never knew where I was going. I can deal with it when I’m reading fiction, but not non-fiction. Anyway, the new book is a mystery, my favorite genre, so the story should stay pretty tight.
- Listening to: There’s a very strong wind blowing from the northwest this morning, making lots of noise as is blows through the trees and bushes. It’s loud enough I can hear it over the sound of the washer and dryer. The sun is still shining though and the wind is keeping things cool, for now anyway. It also not keeping several roosters from screaming their heads off. I would miss the chickens if we ever left Kaua’i, but not the roosters! They’re beautiful to look at, but otherwise a pain.
- Watching: Brett and I are having trouble finding a new show to settle into. Everything we’ve looked at recently hasn’t grabbed us. Any and all suggestions are welcome! I had intended to watch Victoria last Sunday, but when the time came I couldn’t get myself excited enough to turn it on. We watched a lovely movie on Friday evening, from Japan: Our Little Sister, and last night we watched Downfall, about the last days of Nazi Germany. It seemed appropriate somehow.
- Cooking/baking: I never got those brownies baked last week, so I’m doing that this afternoon. Dinner tonight is omelets filled with sautéed greens and bacon, and Brett and YaYu will have sourdough bread to go with theirs, while I’ll have an apple.
- Happy I accomplished last week: We did all our grocery shopping for the month and came in under budget, but barely. We really were out of a lot of things, and still have to buy coffee beans from Costco. Not my accomplishment, but Brett did one of our bi-annual exterior house washes this past week (required in our lease, but the landlord gives us the supplies). It’s an all-day job, but the salt and dust that have accumulated over the past six months are gone and the house and windows look great! He also got our taxes done and sent off – we will be receiving a nice refund this year! I did all my daily bike rides (70+ miles, 2590+ calories burned), drank at least eight glasses of water a day, and studied Japanese and Portuguese every day. Japanese is till impossible, but Portuguese is starting to make a little bit of sense.
- Looking forward to next week: I’m going to try swimming again – the community pool is close by, and my doctor suggested a second form of exercise on top of the bike riding. Swimming won’t aggravate the bursitis in my hip. I would have started last week except for injuring myself (and I’m still a bit sore). Otherwise, I am so ready for a new month to begin – don’t know how much more of this one I can take, but am also very afraid what’s coming will be worse.
- Thinking of good things that happened: There was an especially good variety of produce at the farmers’ market this past week, including broccoli AND cauliflower, something we almost never see here. I made a big pot of Weight Watcher’s Zero Point Soup yesterday – I substituted broccoli for the green beans and also added some cauliflower. Meiling is taking a metalsmithing class this term, and this week made two absolutely beautiful pieces of art. WenYu sent us the amazingly beautiful video story she created for her anthropology/writing class on the subject of home. It was so wonderful to see these talents blossoming in the girls and to be able to share in their work. We put $30.04 in the change/$1 bill jar this week.
- Grateful for: I am feeling very thankful that I held on to documents sent by my Mom many years ago. I don’t think my siblings kept theirs, or have assumed I didn’t, and they have been trying to gaslight me about facts and figures. One thing I learned when I earned my certificate in Conflict Management years ago is don’t argue from emotion, argue from the facts.
- Bonus Question: Did you serve in the military? Yes, both Brett and I served in the U.S. Navy. Brett served for 22 years with a speciality in radar and avionics, and achieved the rank of E-8 (Senior Chief Petty Officer). I served 18 months, as a training device specialist (i.e. flight trainers) and made it to E-4 (Petty Officer Third Class). I met Brett when he was my instructor for two weeks, but after I finished my six months of training I was sent to another duty station nearly 500 miles away. Brett drove down almost every weekend to visit. I was given the option of staying or leaving the navy when I became pregnant with our son. I asked for a transfer to be stationed with Brett, but was turned down, and learned there was a real likelihood we might never be stationed together. So, I chose to be discharged (honorable). Both sides of my family have served in the United States military since the Revolutionary War. What is happening now is against everything we served for.
That’s what’s been happening here at Casa Aloha. How was your week? What good things happened for you?