Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It's funny the things that come to mind when relaxing in a nice warm shower. The other day, I had finished showering and was drying off when I became aware of a gathering of lint in the floor of the shower. Now, I don't know about you, but, I remember when towels did not shed when in use. Of course, that was when towels were made in the USA out of cotton that was grown, milled and made into fabric in the USA. Then I got to thinking about a dress that my mother bought for my older sister that was passed down to me and then to my oldest sister's daughter and then to my next sister's daughter. We all had a school picture taken in that dress. I don't know, do little girls dresses that you can buy now make it through four little girls and still be good enough for dress up picture day at school? Then I thought to myself, I wish I had a copy of those pictures. It made me sad to realize once again that those pictures along with everything else my mother had when she passed away are lost to me forever.

Now that realization started me thinking about my own stuff, most of which has little or no monetary value. I sometimes think how much I would love to touch something that my mother or grandmother touched and held dear. I'm probably more sentimental then some of you reading this, but, I would hope that some of my kids or grandkids would take care of my stuff, but most of all that they would be willing to share with one another. I would hate to think that any one of them would be selfish and want to hang onto all my stuff for theirself. If any of you do end up with my things, at least take care of them. Best I can find out, nobody even knows what happened to my mothers pictures, jewelry, etc. I hope I never run into them in an antique store, I'd really be mad.

Maybe I place to much importance on my stuff. I don't know that I think it is especially important, I just think the memories that are connected with things that we remember from our childhood at grandma's house are important. The memories, the connection, not the stuff. Do you understand what I mean?

Anyway kids, I know that I can count on all of you to make me proud. I have a wonderful family and that is more important then any amount of stuff. I'm beginning to babble now, so I'll end this post.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The American Dream

I was watching the news on the protest in Wisconsin the other day when the president of SEIU was being interviewed. She said something that got me thinking. She said,"We are fighting to save our vision of the American Dream." I have been pondering that the last few days and it seems to me, that possibly, therein lies a lot of our problem. Now we all believe in the American Dream, but, that may mean something completely different to you then it does to me.

When I was growing up, my father was a member of the Teamsters' Union. He supported our family with union wages on union jobs. We did not have a lot, but, we probably would not have survived those years quite as well without the bargaining power of the union. My husband, Whit, who owned his own truck, was a member of the teamsters union. In his case, carrying a union card only got him the right to unload his truck in a union run harbor. without the card the longshoremen would not let him in the harbor. The union eventually drove the company he leased his truck to out of business with demands that could not be met and continue to make a reasonable profit. After 27 years he was forced to go looking for work for him and his truck.

My last job before I retired was the only job in which there were unions. That was at the County of Ventura, where my job classification was represented by SEIU. We were not a closed shop and I never joined the union. When I asked the union representative how it would benefit me to join the union and pay them dues every month, the answer I got was if I got fired, they would represent me in getting my job back. That was not reason enough for me to join.

As I said earlier, my vision of the American Dream may be vastly different then yours. My dream was to have a job where I could get salary increases and promotions based on my job performance. I hated working on a job where the guy at the next desk, who spent most of his day wandering the halls visiting with his buddies was getting paid the same salary I was. They could not fire him, he was a member of SEIU. This was a public employee, the same kind of people who are protesting in Wisconsin. What is the matter with merit pay? What is the matter with being required to perform in order to keep you job?

Our country is broke, our states are broke. We just had an election, the people spoke. They elected people who promised to balance the budgets and get back to fiscal responsibility. Now those Governors, Congressmen and other elected official are trying to do what they were elected to do. I don't know that it would be right to take the bargaining rights away from public employee's, but, these people need to understand that they are not exempt from the economic disaster that has come up on us all. How can our schools continue to function if there is no money to pay for the demands of the collective bargaining agents. The unions call it collective bargaining, but, in many cases it is collective demands. Bargaining suggests that each side will start from opposite sides and meet somewhere near the middle. Demands suggests, "Our way or no way.".

I know that many of you will not agree with me on this and I am in hopes that we can agreeably agree to disagree. Our vision of the American Dream may be vastly different, but we have the common thread that we are family and we are American. Our opinions have been shaped by our life experiences, let us respect each other's right to form our own vision of the dream.