I cried this morning. I visited social media to catch up with friends, acquaintances and complete strangers and cried tears of sadness instead of tears of joy or tears from laughing so hard at something that struck me funny. Why, you ask? What would make me cry out of sadness and then come here and tell a story about it when I’m an upbeat and humorous person? What would inspire me to tell you an actual serious story and not one full of humor and farm life? The elections yesterday. Not only that, but the precursor to the elections and its aftermath. I know, seems awful dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, to some it may be, but I cried. Hold on tight. This may be a long one.
You see, we are privileged to live in an awesome country. I truly believe it. We live in the United States of America. Our country was founded on the blood, sweat and tears of thousands upon thousands of people. No, not all aspects of the founding were good. Not everything leading up to today has been puppy dogs and rainbows. Many suffered and continue to suffer. Others didn’t suffer in the beginning but do now. Some have never had to suffer. Whatever the case may be, we still live together, breathe the same air, and should be finding ways to work together, not tear each other apart.
It seems as social media becomes more popular, if that’s even possible, it’s also become a monster, the elephant in the room, the place where people feel safe to judge, belittle and say things they would never in a million years say to someone’s face. I get that it’s a person’s right to say what they feel. I understand that you want your voice heard. I like to be heard, too. My question though is where does it end? Where do you draw the line? Do you even have a line or is it only important that you say what you want to say without thinking first of the potential consequences, without using your judgment? I’ve read how it’s a person’s “wall” and they can say what they want, how they don’t care about another person’s views, how they are offended that someone has the gall to have a different view. Rational discussions seem to have flown out the window and into judgment land.
Yesterday’s election was what I consider to be the roughest I’ve had the privilege to participate in. From when I was a child and my parents took me with them to vote in the big voting booths that had curtains and all the levers, to the first time I had the honor of casting my vote by filling in a circle on a ballot, to yesterday’s election where our eldest son and I went together for him to vote in his first Presidential election, it was the roughest. I was never so happy as to see 7:00 p.m. arrive on the West Coast when all of the polls were officially closed.
Pre-election mud-slinging usually goes on between candidates, which is expected due to the nature of the beast they are trying to conquer. Money rules the airwaves and fuels the audience fires. There seem to be no bounds when it comes to many running for office, although I have seen some do it with grace and integrity. I wonder for many where their morals come in. What has happened to giving the facts and thereby the audience’s ability to make up their own minds? I know you want to make a story juicier. Heck, look at my stories. I want to paint a picture the way I see it in my mind. I do it, however and in my opinion, with at least an ounce of integrity and morals.
I have seen friends and acquaintances cut off all ties because of hurt feelings and views that are not the same with regard to the election. I have seen arguments and fights over opposing views. I have seen people get hurt. All of this makes me hurt physically and emotionally. It makes me cry. I understand everyone has a right to their views, but where is your personal line or do you not have one?
Not all my views are the same as my friends and neighbors. Do I judge, belittle, and disassociate with them? No. I find value in each of my friends and acquaintances. I find value in strangers. Regardless of us not seeing eye-to-eye on everything I value them in more ways than I care to list in this novel I am writing. I have found being the non-partisan in the room to be a blessing in my relationships…which doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the arguments that have ensued in my head…or that I don’t enjoy a rational discussion. Agreeing to disagree is a-okay.
This morning I knew there would be hatred on social media. Given the state of the pre-elections and on election day, I knew post-election mayhem would ensue. I just didn’t think it would be as bad as it is or affect me so much. People who have been dissatisfied with our country and left, people who are here and are saying they are going to leave, people who will stay and continue to voice their dissatisfaction instead of find even a shred of silver lining, people who do not live here and voice ugliness and hatred… When will they be ready to move on and work together, stop being afraid, angry? We can’t all get our way, but we can come together and find some assembly of balance.
In the personal opinion of this middle aged strawberry blond slowly going grey wife mother and small time farmer, we need to find unity. We should come together as a country and work together. No, not everyone I selected to hold office was chosen. That’s okay with me. I’m really okay with it. In fact, it doesn’t matter to anyone as far as I’m concerned who I did and did not vote for because I value working with what we have and within the confines we are given to make our country great in whatever way I am able. Please note, and from what I can think back on as I type this, I have not shown favoritism towards any candidate, elected or not. My vote on issues is a matter of public record, but I will not voice it to the masses. Why, you ask? Because my voice has been heard in the way it should be, by casting my ballot, by being a proud citizen of the United States of America, by instilling the importance of participation in our children. It weighed differently with each vote I cast, but it was heard. I am important…and so are you.
Folks, we are not a country that was founded with sprinkles on our ice cream sundaes and pretty ponies in all of our pastures. We are a country founded on blood, sweat, and tears. No, we will not all get along, although it sure would be nice. No, we do not all have the same views. We are diverse. We have opinions, loves, hates, and wants. We need to pick ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps and work together to be who and what we want to be. Why? Because we are the United State of America. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
You're minding your own business, cleaning out the chicken/guinea/ducks that think they're chickens coop because happy chickens and company make for a happy farmer...and the farmer would be even happier if the chickens would lay eggs, but that's a story for another day I suppose.
Anyway, coop. You're cleaning the coop of it's nasty splodge. You finish with hauling the yuck out and you are now into the nicer task of spreading clean straw. You go to the little silo where the straw is stored and find that there's just enough straw left in the open bale to put in the coop.
You finish that task and then move on to the next, which is cleaning out the ducks who know they're ducks/a goose that thinks it's a duck/geese house. Before you head over there, since it's in the other field, you stop by the little silo to get the straw on the way. You glance up at the stack of straw that's quite a bit taller than you, but figure by flailing your arms around and standing on your toes you'll be able to snag the corner of one and maneuver it down. *pft* Who needs a ladder, right? Besides, no one is going to see, and if they do they probably wouldn't think of it as being out of the norm around here.
You jump up, catching the corner of a bale by your finger tips, watching as it quickly starts to wobble on it's side to fall down in a near miss with your body. As this is happening you notice something starting to slide off the top of the straw bale. In the slow motion action that instills in your mind, it looks to be long and stick-like...but not. There's no stopping the horror.
Because you've been flailing around and your arms are still up in the air trying to steady the bale so it doesn't conk you on the head, that loose v-neck t-shirt you're wearing has come down in front more and has gaped at the bottom of the V. The snake plunks onto your baseball cap, slides down it from the side of the brim, catches your t-shirt's V neck and then...because nothing else can go wrong with the situation...slides into your shirt. You don't exactly know whose more mortified, but you're guessing yourself.
Thankfully you didn't tuck your shirt in. The snake slides clean through, lands on the floor, and slithers away under the straw bales...hopefully to contemplate it's choice of homes, pack up and move.
After you've stopped freaking out over the situation you decide not to share the experience with your family. If you do, you know they'll use it as an excuse to not only leave coop cleaning to anyone but themselves, but also torment you with for the rest of your days. As you're typing this story to share with non-family members, your eldest sees your story and starts laughing and says, "No way, that did NOT happen!", like I'd make something like this up. He tells your youngest, who then wears a look of horror on his face and says how disgusting the situation was and how he's glad he wasn't out there. I don't think he'll be going into the little silo any time soon. So, there you have it folks. Snake. A short story. The End. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Disclaimer - No farmers or snakes were harmed in the process of this harrowing tale. The picture of the snake is one that had been seen last week at The Silver Maple Farm and is not related to the gardener snake in this story.
Some folks say Pinterest is a social media site that can hook you for hours, and I don't disagree. I occasionally find myself there, wading through picture upon picture of all sorts of things to dream about...and terrify Hon with if it involves me using tools. On occasion Facebook can do the same thing, and that's where this all began. Because of Rose.
A few days ago a gal I know who I'll call Rose, and may or may not actually possess that particular name, posted a picture of some window cleaner she found to work fabulously. Gave it a rave review. I read her post, looked out our window, re-read her post and then squinted while again looking out our window. The word "ick" came to mind. I keep a clean house, especially the kitchen. It's the windows I tend to ignore.
I thought about Rose's window cleaner post all weekend. All. Weekend. Even when I was in Louisville with Eldest at a pigeon show I thought about that window cleaner post. Okay, not so much that particular cleaner, but the fact that her windows were clean and mine were, well, ick. I decided to remedy that situation yesterday.
There I was, drinking my coffee at the counter, looking out the kitchen windows and thinking I suppose I should do something about those before it gets cold. You know, because of Rose and her window cleaning post. I finished my coffee and decided to get busy. After digging through the cleaning supply cabinet I found the window cleaner. Not the fabulous kind she raved about, but something that I knew would do the job.
I washed the windows over the kitchen sink inside and amazingly outside too, thanks to nifty windows that let me do it without having to go out. After I stepped back and admired my work, the sun shining brightly into the kitchen, I noticed that the windowsill could use a bit of a cleaning...because of Rose and her clean window post. I took everything off the windowsill, washed it off, then put everything back. As the sunlight streamed through the sparkly windows and bounced off the shiny clean windowsill I noticed the reflection on the appliances didn't look so nice any more...because of Rose and her clean window post. I decided to continue on and clean the appliances. After that I took a step back to admire the sunlight streaming through sparkly clean windows, bouncing off the shiny clean windowsill, ricocheting off the dazzling appliances, and then over to the other side of the kitchen to highlight those dirty windows. You guessed it, I then cleaned them...because of Rose and her clean window post.
After I cleaned the windows on the other side of the kitchen, admiring the sunlight streaming through sparkly windows on both sides of the kitchen, bouncing off clean windowsills and appliances, my eyes landed on the hutch and my grandmother's milk glass collection, all of which kind of looked sad because so many other things were sparkly clean...because of Rose and her clean window post. I dusted the hutch off, washed and dried the milk glass, set it all back and admired the view. It looked so nice, the sunlight streaming through sparkly windows, bouncing off clean windowsills, reflecting off dazzling appliances, a dust free hutch and grandma's gleaming milk glass....because of Rose and her clean window post.
As I continued my gaze around the kitchen my eyes stopped at the cabinets. They just looked sad because they hadn't been cleaned too. All I could do was press on...cleaning the cabinets so they, too, were sparkly clean...because of Rose and her clean window post.
At that point a good portion of the day was gone...me spending so much time in the kitchen and I wasn't even baking! I may or may not have still had my pajamas on. Eldest decided to have some fun and put his finger on a sparkly clean window *eek* and then proceed to tell me I missed a spot. He then found himself vacuuming the family room. After that he thought it would be funny to point to other sparkly clean windows and show me the spots I "missed." He cleaned the bathroom. Because he thought it would be fun to continue poking the bear, the kitchen floor was swept and the garbage was taken out.
By the time Hon got home I was stick a fork in me done. I ushered him into the kitchen to marvel at the sparkly clean windows. I dazzled him with the clean windowsills. I amazed him with the gleaming appliances. The cabinets in all their shining glory were also pointed out. If I had a white glove I'd have considered doing the glove test on the hutch and milk glass. I even talked to him about some ideas I had from a foray on Pinterest a while ago to make some pendant lights for the kitchen. I think that made him a bit nervous seeing as that will involve me using tools and electricity, but in the end I think it will be fabulous....because of Rose and her clean window post.
So there you have it folks. My usually clean kitchen is now cleaner than ever because of Rose and her magnificent clean window post. When I was getting ready for bed last night I mentally calculated how many windows and door windows I had left to clean. Twenty. *eek* Twenty to go. Well, since getting up this morning I cleaned a whopping three windows, the front door and it's storm door, none of which have led me off the rails and into other cleaning endeavors, but it's that much less to do. It seems nature's creatures are happy with the sparkly windows too, because since yesterday's clean-fest the outside of the kitchen windows are full of Asian Lady Beetles trying to find a way inside and messing them up with this stinky yellow substance they trail around, and a Golden Garden Spider has decided to take up residency in a new web complete with leaves sticking to it. . Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.