Earrings by VK recent grad of Warren Wilson!

Recently I went to the doctor for my annual physical. Doctors are required to ask people receiving Medicare a series of questions including “Are you anxious or depressed?” I answered, “Of course I am! If you aren’t, you are not paying attention.” Life right now is stressful and scary.

People my age are either dying or sick. Or anxious and depressed. I have lost several dear friends this past year, and even Ron, my stalwart husband and hero has had health problems. Just waiting for my health to get wonky. Luckily I have some really good genes, though. My father and his mother lived to 100.

Old poster from Japanese exhibit

If you watch or listen to or read the news, there is always some impending disaster. In addition to the collection of clowns lining up for the upcoming Presidential election, we are bombarded by news of yet another political horror show. The latest is the economy poised at the edge of an abyss as politicians argue over raising the debt ceiling. Are they going to slash our veteran’s benefits, Medicare and Social Security or benefits for people in great need? Or will they take a look at tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans or large corporations? You know which one of these was never on the table!

Then there is the environment… As temperatures on the planet heat up, we are experiencing intense climate change and loss of multiple species of animals and plants. This is not good.

Felted floor vases about two feet tall. Pretty for branches

When will we recognize that we humans are here not as individuals isolated from other humans or the rest of the living things on Earth? We are all connected and will sink or swim together. We must hold tight to our families and communities and love them no matter how annoying they can be. Seriously. 

Abby and I just got back from a visit with my oldest son, Seth, and his family in Flagstaff. My kids and my grandkids are all very intelligent people and I love them dearly, yet I can’t get over how little influence I have over any of them. They make their own decisions and lead the lives they have chosen and no matter how hard I try, they refuse to either be like me or do what I suggest. 

Finally!! A new delivery of Qwerky Dirt Pottery

When Seth was in college in Oregon, he decided to drop out and become a fire jumper just after a group of brave young fire jumpers were killed in a fire. I knew that If I begged him not to do so, he would be signing a contract the next day. Instead I told him that I thought it was a great idea, and I nagged him for days to give the organization a call before all the positions were taken. Predictably, he never called and did not become a fire jumper.

When I was married to my first husband, his mother hated me and told me repeatedly that I was not good enough for her son. She criticized everything I did and was appalled that I would work as a teacher and neglect her son and not take proper care of him or the children. I hated that. I resented her for judging me so harshly. And yet, while I don’t say anything aloud, I am critical of my family when they don’t do  what I would do. This must stop! They are my ride or die, I love them dearly, and are doing just fine without my opinions.

More colorful earrings by Oh and her daughter.