I decided to postpone my planned post for today to respond to the Just Jot It January prompt of the day – “self.”
As my parents have aged and encountered more health problems, I have taken on more of their household tasks myself. Because they have lived for a number of years in a continuing care senior community, some of the cleaning and cooking is taken care of, but I have been helping with laundry, shopping, banking, etc.
Today, I represented my parents at the funeral of one of the other residents, who had lived there almost as long as my parents. She was also a stalwart of our church. She had been able to be very active until the last few months, when she had a stroke and other complications.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. We were able to bring Nana from the skilled nursing unit over to the dining room in the Village Center for Thanksgiving dinner, which was delicious.
For years, Nana had been the unofficial goodwill ambassador of the retirement community. She used to make the rounds of the tables after dinner, visiting with everyone and catching up on them and their families. After she went into hospice care in early summer 2017, she wasn’t able to be out and about. Now that she has been decertified by hospice and has done some rehab, she was strong enough to come over for an hour using a wheelchair outfitted with portable oxygen.
A number of people stopped by the table to say hello. There was lots of good food, conversation, and warmth, all of which counteracted the blustery day outside.
Last year at this time, I hadn’t thought it possible that we would have the privilege of another Thanksgiving with Nana and Paco. I am so grateful that we had this day together.
As I hope you have noticed by now, I have been participating in Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January, which encourages us to post daily with a pingback to Linda’s blog so we can read each other’s work and discover or revisit other blogs in the community.
I have been using it as an incentive to post every day – at a time when my blogging practice remains less than optimal with most of my time and energy going toward posting and almost none toward reading and commenting. I have managed to post every day, but have only occasionally read and commented on other posts. I have been happy to find a few new blogs to follow, but I know there are others that I could have discovered if I had more time.
Linda offers a prompt every day, most suggested by other bloggers who are given a shout-out for the day. They aren’t obligatory, but most people choose to follow them. Other than Linda’s continuing series, One-Liner Wednesdays and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays, I have chosen not to follow the prompts. My blog’s tagline is “eclectic, like me” so I have been writing what was on the top of my mind as I usually do.
I want to thank Linda for offering Just Jot It January to the blogging community. It’s been a boost to me in the midst of a difficult month.
Last week, I got a message on my answering machine from someone who is interested in purchasing solar panels in a community solar array with Renovus. Because we already own panels in a prior community solar installation with them and had agreed to be contacted, Renovus had given my name and number to a prospective solar customer.
I returned the call and had a lovely conversation. Of course, we started talking nuts and bolts about community solar, but then went on to talk about our all-electric Chevy Bolt, environmental issues, and living in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region.
We discovered that we both have connections to the Berkshires of Massachusetts and that we are both writers, although she has had a long career in writing and teaching and I am only recently (and lightly) published.
Now, we are friends on Facebook and perhaps, one day, will meet in person – brought together by the sun.
Yesterday, I was able to attend two events that were updated but familiar.
First, I went to a presentation on sustainability in our area, hosted by SUNY BEST. Four speakers talked about different aspects of sustainability, including community revitalization, energy, and building/infrastructure.
My favorite presentation was by Amelia LoDolce of VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments). Daughter T was involved with this cause before it became a formal organization and I was thrilled to hear about how it has grown and all the good work it is doing and planning to do in the future. Their projects include community gardens, an urban farm in Binghamton which increases the availability of fresh produce for low- to moderate-income folks, youth employment, and educational outreach for schools and community.
It was nice to reconnect with some of the people that I met during the fight against fracking in New York. We have been hard at work continuing to fight against new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure projects, as well as advocating for renewable energy and increased efficiency. Still, we don’t see each other as often as we used to in the days of frequent rallies…which leads to…
I left the presentation and proceeded to a press conference/rally at Senator Schumer’s local office, part of a coordinated effort around New York State. Senator Schumer is now the Minority Leader in the Senate, so he is vital to leading the opposition to DT’s agenda. We stood outside in the cold and snow to get our message out. Speakers called on Senator Schumer to vote against several of DT’s appointees. There were several speakers who talked about environmental concerns, particularly about Scott Pruitt’s nomination as EPA chief. We were happy that one of Senator Schumer’s staff members came and spoke to us; she passed out two-page documents that had quotes from Senator Schumer’s press releases of which nominees he is opposing and the reasons for his opposition. It was nice to be acknowledged and to know that the Senator is doing what he can to protect our rights and our environment.
Today, I finished watching a video of the Washington Women’s March. Daughter T and I participated in the Binghamton March. It is encouraging that so many people are banding together to fight for social and environmental justice. The people and groups are diverse, but we are stronger together as we support one another in these tumultuous times.