Author: LindaLee

Midday Matinee – If I could draw

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. This is what I would draw.  First picture a high plateau with steep sides in the middle right of the drawing.  On the plateau would be the words “Middle Class.”  Down below, at the bottom of the cliff it would say, “Valley of Poverty.”  The Valley would circle the base of the cliff. Rising up from the plateau on the right side of the drawing would be a tower. On the tower would be the word “privileged” and the flag flying atop the tower would say “corporations.” Maybe the tower should read “the richest 1%.” The tower would have no windows or doors visible because this isn’t a group that will let just anyone get in. The Republican elephant would be pounding a sign reading “Medicare” into the ground at the edge of the cliff with the arrow end pointing to the abyss. The signs already standing would say, ‘Medicaid,” “Social Security,”  “Education,” and “Unemployment Compensation.” I don’t know how many words a good cartoon can handle, but surely we’d need a sign for our Vets too. The Republican vision is for a huge valley of poverty and a special tower for the privileged.  They may let a few folks remain on that middle class plateau but most of...

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Midday Matinee – Meanwhile…

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. The deer strolling through my camp site this morning did not give two hoots about Bin Laden nor do they care about politics generally speaking. I watched two squirrels chasing each other around and was envious of their sense of play. They didn’t care about the news either. It was a good reminder of a couple of things I often need reminding about. Not every human being I meet cares as much about politics and voting as I do. Duh! Some of them are just like the deer strolling along and unconcerned about  the news. Most of them have opinions which are like that anatomical part that everyone also has. Given the events of last night and the national discussion, I need to be gentle as I approach others today. I need to be like the deer who cocks her head at unnatural sounds and listens carefully. I need to be able to listen without rushing to debate because in town today I am guessing I will hear lots of opinions that I don’t share. That moment of national unity that I felt last night will disintegrate faster than it might if liberals and conservatives decide to square off yet again. I wish we could have one day of...

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Midday Matinee -Broken

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I was taken to an Italian restaurant in the north end of Boston by a friend who lived in Cambridge. It was the kind of place that locals know about and tourists rarely find.  The owner was an Italian immigrant and retired Boston cop. He wandered around the place greeting his customers, talking food and politics and baseball. His customers were part of his extended family. He was sitting with us when there was a loud crash from the kitchen. It sounded as if lots of the thick white plates had broken. He excused himself from our table and headed back through the hanging beads to the kitchen. Most of the customer’s eyes followed him wondering what had happened. There was a stream of Italian coming from behind the beads and then the sound of more dishes breaking.  Pretty soon the owner comes back out with one arm around a young man and the other arm carrying a stack of plates.  He looks around the restaurant one table at a time. We are all looking back at him expectantly. He tells us that this young man, a distant relative and new to America dropped some dishes. He tells us that breaking dishes is so easy that anyone can do...

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Midday Matinee – Fred Whispering with a Libertarian

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. He collects disability and has insurance through Medicaid yet he claims to want the government to be less present in his life. He is very self-sufficient and could live off the land in ways that few of us could imagine. He is the person who first alerted me to the possibilities of mining in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He began with an open mind about the tradeoffs between mining jobs and environmental protection. He has moved to thinking we need the government to regulate mining companies before they ruin the water and the wilderness he loves. Our conversations have spanned almost three years. In 2010 he voted for the first time in years, mainly to get me off his case. I told him that people who didn’t vote had lost their right to complain to me about ‘the government.’ Since he has some strong opinions on ‘the government’ and we both enjoy our conversations, he chose to vote. The funny thing about this is that he has become a Fred Whisperer himself. He is now taking on the classic North Woods’ libertarians who tell each other that they don’t need the government. I have heard him say things like, “Well if you want to keep...

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Midday Matinee -Thank You Parents

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. My deepest thanks to each and every one of you who is a parent! Can you think of another job for which you receive no training, no pay, no thanks, tons of unsolicited advice, criticism even and yet you will willingly spend a lot of time and money over the course of your lifetime to try and do it well? Every so often something reminds me to thank a parent. One of the last times I was in a fabric store, I saw the two extremes of parenting. One mom was letting her four crawl over, under and through the displays of bolts. Apparently it was a version of hide and seek and the mom, quite focused on her own shopping, ignored it until a store clerk asked her to stop them. Lots of eye rolls from the other shoppers and perhaps a bit of relief that they wouldn’t be knocked over by the wild kids or falling bolts of fabric. Another mother was walking with her cart and three very well behaved kids. I overheard her say to them, “Yes, I see them but that is not how we behave, is it?” This  mom and I were looking at the same kinds of fabrics so I watched her...

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