The American Southwest, part one

As I wrote on my Instagram and Facebook the day after Election Day…

Our country may be broken in some ways, but in other ways it is filled with beauty, kindness and graciousness. That’s what I want for my babies, all grown up, but still babies in my heart and in my desire as their mother, to protect them from pain and heartbreak. I want kindness, given and received. I am grateful for what I have and for the love that surrounds me. Today I dream of a better future for my boys, and for everyone. We can do hard things!

I posted a pic of my son, The Peacemaker, at the Grand Canyon on election night. November 3rd was actually Day 12 of 16 of our Fall Family Road Trip. I’ll get back to those other days real soon. In the meantime, our older son is safely back in Brooklyn, and our younger son was with us on our road trip. It was truly a gorgeous afternoon in Arizona. A rain shower brought with it a rainbow and an even more amazing sunset. We were blessed to be standing in that spot at that time, however, our hearts were heavy as we tried to focus on the beauty as the election results started rolling in.

I am not a political person. I do not enjoy discussing politics. I am a liberal democrat (because our system basically forces us into two distinct parties in order for people who represent our views to actually be elected to a political office) and I always have been. Three quarters of my parents are Republican, two being pretty darn conservative. Even my democrat mother has been known to vote fairly conservative at the prodding of her church and her husband. I find it totally flabbergasting, to be honest, but we each make our own decisions in life. It’s called freedom.

I would love for our system to change… for a wider perspective to be acknowledged, for more Independents to hold office, for a more thorough representation of ideologies to be embraced. Unfortunately politics is dirty business and many of our politicians are bought and sold within a corrupt system. It needs a re-vamp, but nothing happens overnight, and many days I feel like we are slipping backwards, away from individual freedoms. Our system is broken.

So what does “liberal democrat” mean to me? Fundamentally, I believe in individual freedom, and equality. We don’t all have the same start in life. We don’t all have the same freedoms and opportunities. Blue Eyes and I own our own business. We do not currently struggle financially, but we did, for quite some time. We built what we have and we pay a lot of taxes. Our accountants are conservative Republicans and frankly don’t understand us and try, desperately, to get us to make decisions so that we will owe less in taxes. I understand where they are coming from, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t mind paying taxes, BUT, I want my money to go to healing our country, not to waste, and wars, and greedy, spoiled politicians and fat cat oil executives and drug company CEOs. I want people to have health care. I want our population to be educated. I want those who choose higher education, whether it be university, or trade school, to be able to have that learning without bankrupting themselves. I want everyone to have the nourishment they need, both physical and mental. I want programs available to people who don’t have the same opportunities I had as a white woman in America. I didn’t grow up wealthy. I paid my own way through a public University by working multiple jobs, BUT, I also wasn’t persecuted for the color of my skin. I never went hungry. I always had medical coverage. My grandparents all owned guns, and hunted and I respect that although I would never knowingly or willingly kill an animal. I believe in the right for women to choose what they do with their own bodies. I was faced with the option of an abortion many many years ago and I realized I would never be able to do it, but I also would NEVER take that right and choice away from another woman. I was blessed with four parents to help raise me and I took what I wanted from those people, and learned from their mistakes. I hope my children are learning from my mistakes. I taught them not to blindly follow. I continue to teach them to appreciate the beautiful land that surrounds them and to respect it and not abuse it. My children are much more progressive and liberal leaning than I, and I am proud of them. They have youth and energy on their side. I hope their dreams aren’t decimated as they go through life fighting for individual rights and freedom, while doing all they can to protect our planet for future generations. I am proud of their marches in the streets and their desire for human decency for all.

So, that’s the end of my political soapbox. I lived through Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes, and now Donald Trump. I will survive what happens politically in our country, I have a pretty good track record on that, but I will continue to vote for people who represent the desires of my heart. I am currently hoping for less divisiveness and hateful rhetoric, and some healing and cooperation. It may not happen, but I have hope.

Please enjoy this video of a young elk at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon trying out his bugling skills:

More pretty road trip pics to follow…

14 thoughts on “The American Southwest, part one

  1. I was relieved when the election was actually called! I feel it will be good, not only for America, but for all of us. I am with you on what you want for your country and your family. As a Brit in Canada, who has also lived in Norway… all countries with free health provision (and very good health care services at that) … I can’t imagine not having universal free health care. Anyway, it’s not for me to comment what people in another democracy choose.
    Glad you are having a great holiday. The US has amazing scenery. It’s one of my favourite places to visit 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • The healthcare situation is interesting. I have only lived in the US and Japan. I was young and healthy while in Japan. My healthcare was completely “covered”while I lived there, but it did come out of my paycheck, just like other taxes. Not sure any healthcare system is free. The Japan healthcare system felt very institutional (compared to what I was used to—-my family doctor spending lots of time with me in his comfy offices) and when I traveled there later, as a chaperone on my son’s school trip, one of the other chaperones contracted a staph infection. The hospital was ill equipped to handle the situation as the American needed a MUCH higher dose of antibiotic to treat the infection than the hospital was willing to dispense. She struggled through two weeks with the infection there and had to be flown home. It did not cost her anything. When she returned to the US, she healed within 3 days and did not need to be hospitalized here. On the other hand, my brother lives in Tokyo, and his daughter’s daycare has an attached medical clinic for the children so the parents can still work even if the children are ill. It’s a lifesaver for them as they both work and as we all know, daycares and preschools are rampant with all kinds of fun stuff!

      I have always made sure I am covered medically in the US, and able to choose what doctors and specialists I see. Sometimes it was very expensive, but necessary. I’ve never had to wait for a doctor appointment or a procedure, but we do put quality healthcare as a priority. Our company pays for very good healthcare for all our employees and their entire family. They pay a small deductible. I do absolutely believe everyone should have healthcare and also that drug executives shouldn’t be filthy rich while people are dying trying to get drugs they can’t afford. I’m spoiled in that I am able to afford excellent care for which I don’t have to wait, but I do hope our country figures a way, or I guess better said prioritizes a way for everyone to have the healthcare, both mental and physical, they need within the tax system we have, which is high for most Americans. There are a lot of selfish politicians lining their own pockets. Sometimes I do believe I was born into the wrong country, but I do still love it here. I can’t wait until I can travel internationally again. I still have that Banff/Lake Louise Road Trip on my wish list! ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • We pay about 14K a year out-of-pocket for our health insurance b/c we aren’t at the age of medicare and we are retired. We are fortunate that we can afford that, along with very high taxes in the state of NY. This doesn’t cover co-pays, a very high deductible (I think it’a about 8K each) and high costs for scripts. Part of the problem besides drug companies are the insurance companies. We have enough money in this country flowing into the system to cover everyone, we pay more per capita on healthcare than any other country (besides Switzerland, I think) and it’s sad the problem hasn’t been figured out. I wait 4-6 months for appointments, too, b/c we don’t have enough medical people in our area.

        Politically, I am a liberal progressive Democrat as well, and have the same beliefs as you have stated. I am so tired of the hatred which has been encouraged by the “leader” the past 4 years. The racism was always there in these people, but he emboldened people to display it publicly, took away the constitutional right of peaceful protests (I am not talking about rioting – it’s not ok – and around here, the riots were incited by some of these militia racists – they were caught – they infiltrated int to the groups and were called “outside agitators”). I know some other people got worked up and rioted too. Anyhow his comments about “stand by” has emboldened militias. We have some of THOSE around here with white racist agendas. YUCK.

        Your pix are beautiful. What a trip. I’ll treat myself and read more of them later today and leave my political stuff here. You know what I stand for. I’m proud of your boys too! And of many of my nieces and nephews – good people who “get it” and are trying to make the world a better place for ALL of us.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Our country is so populated and not homogeneous, so running it is a bit more complicated than many other countries, but the hate and racism need to go. They serve no good purpose. I’m not sure why any conscientious adult wouldn’t want a healthy, educated population, but people can be selfish, greedy, and power hungry. We need to get better leaders in office. It’s incredibly depressing to watch Trump spew lies with no consequences and worse, that people want to believe those lies. I hope we, as a country, can make some progress in the next four years. Our trip was a lot of fun! xo

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m working my way backward on your blog. Love the pics. Grand Canyon is one of those places everybody needs to personally witness in their lives. There is truly nothing else like it. As for the politics, I think you’re spot on. Now, so many days after the election, it just makes me sad that so many people refuse to believe or acknowledge that their candidate could have lost and it had to do with cheating, despite there being no evidence of fraud. Losing sucks. It feels horrible, but we have to admit it happens to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m still shocked there are so many people in this country refusing to accept reality. I was absolutely floored with the election results of 2016, but eventually could see how it happened. Now almost nothing surprises me. Due to numerous circumstances, age being one of them, I’ve lost my innocence and my basic belief that most humans are good and honest, deep inside. I’m just sad that people can be so selfish and cruel. Even in my little neighborhood in “liberal” Portland, OR, people were upset over a celebration of Biden’s win on our street (a very small celebration). A call went out to not send emails with any political/controversial content. The email merely set a time for said celebration. Most people I know are simply tired of the lies and embarrassment from The White House. Now we know there are Trump supporters among us and I think most neighbors are shocked and confused, but trying to be understanding while refusing to be silenced for their own thoughts and beliefs. I’m not a Biden fan, but at this point Trump supporters confuse me too. At this point I consider him crazy, and not crazy like a fox. How a grown man can act like a petulant toddler and still have so many backers says a lot about the polarization of our current two-party system. Politics are so divisive. And yes, the Grand Canyon is amazing! I’m having fun reminiscing the road trip!

      Liked by 2 people

        • The win at all costs mentality does not do us any favors. It’s a sickness in our country and favors aggression over kindness. Don’t get me started on youth sports! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I was that hated Mom, arms crossed, requiring the coaches to teach honesty, integrity, compassion and team spirit, along with, hopefully, some skills. Often the coaches thought their own kids could walk on water and they disrespected almost everything else but playtime for their own child. I thought football would be the worst, but in our case, soccer was far worse. Anyway, I can’t wait until he fades away and people can get to the task of trying to get this country to function better.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the photos (as always) and I support your politics too. I too have no problem paying taxes if they go to good causes. Why is it fair that I pay Social Security tax on a fraction of my income, but someone who makes 1/10th of what I earn pays SS tax on 100% of their income? It’s backwards. It might seem weird to someone that I think I’m grossly undertaxed, but I believe it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dave. I don’t try to change other people, just understand and be kind. I just cannot handle the hatefulness that has been nurtured in this country over the past, oh, four years. It’s not about Democrat or Republican at this point, it’s about kindness and respect.

      Liked by 3 people

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