I have been writing this post in my head since last Tuesday. Of course it has changed several times since then as I have gone through the range of emotions that the outcome triggered. I know I am not alone in my feelings, everyone in my “bubble” is feeling the same way to varying degrees of intensity.
I am a white, middle-aged, well educated woman who comes from a liberal family. I live on the east coast in the small blue area that shows up on the political map. In fact there has only been three years where I lived in a red area but that was before red and blue were used to divide the country. I grew up in a family that lived in New England, attended church every Sunday (my dad was the organist) and enjoyed spirited debates about what was happening in the country. Nixon was despised, Watergate was watched with glee. The Viet Nam war was a source of intense stress until it ended just before my brother’s draft number was called. My mother was on the Planning and Zoning committee of our town. She would strongly deny that she was a feminist but she was just as strongly for birth control, abortion and other women’s rights. (She graduated with honors from Carnegie Tech in the 40’s). My dad’s army career started at the very end of WWII and he always felt guilty that he never saw any action. Surprisingly, my dad never got a college degree, not because he was stupid or poor, but mostly due to mental health reasons (although it was never discussed like that).
The people that came in and out of our house were a surprising mixture of blue collar, theater, and academic people. Bridge was played every Tuesday night and our plumber was one of the players. Sunday lunchtime saw the minister, his wife, my godmother, and her husband who taught English at a private school sitting in our living room discussing the town, the world and a number of erudite topics. Needless to say, incorrect grammar from children was not allowed. We were connected to the local summer stock theater for many years and often entertained actors, directors and “techies”, the people who worked backstage. The piano was busy at every party with lots of singing and good cheer (yes, and alcohol, it was the 60’s after all).
My parents were super aware that there were few opportunities for low-income housing in our area and ended up buying the house next door and renting it to different people who couldn’t afford the higher costs of our area. They also opened our doors to visitors from other countries just because they liked to learn about other cultures. They traveled extensively, mostly throughout Europe and the Caribbean, and even had stories of being in Paris during the ’68 riots.
My childhood happened in nature. My dad could identify birds from the sound of their call, we had a bird feeder that I watched for many hours. Evidently I started chasing a fox when I was little, thinking it was a doggie. I put a frog on my sister’s lunch plate and wondered why she shrieked. Cows were our next door neighbors. The water from the stream was examined under a microscope and waterskeeters were considered endlessly fascinating.
The area that I lived was extremely rural, despite being two hours away from NYC. I was surrounded by good, solid farmers. I learned that the best food came from the fields of our neighbors. Bill’s corn was the best because he picked it that morning. Sometimes he would even go out and pick some especially for us.
I could go on and on ad nauseum, but I’m guessing you have a really good picture of my particular bubble.You also probably have a good idea as to why I consider everything about our president elect to be the antithesis of everything I was taught to believe.
And that’s all I will say on the subject for now.
On a lighter note, I had a surprise visit the other day…six Model A Fords chugged down my driveway to see me, my studio and the animals…what fun!
Oh, and T-7 days until I leave for AFRICA!!!