© Another Day in the Country
The months of January and February hang heavy on my hands in the country. When the cold, cold weather strikes I am occupied with making sure nothing freezes that isn’t supposed to freeze (as in water pipes) and that the livestock (as in chickens) is kept watered and fed.
These are simple, repetitive tasks, and I find myself longing for a different season.
“Remember the Christmas season with all of its excitement,” I say to myself, since on long winter days there is just me.
Me and my cat, that is, curled up contentedly on one piece of furniture after another. She shows her dislike of cold weather and winter in general by not wanting to go outside. Me neither!
Christmas season memories are full of family and expectations, traveling and returning. One of the best things that happened during the holidays was that my daughter’s husband gave the two of us mani-pedis for Christmas.
I hardly know what a mani-pedi is, let alone do it regularly, and this was an exceedingly momentous occasion because of the giver. I’ll treasure this warm memory for a long time and since the nail polish they used was like battle armor, baked in place, it is still with me.
Even though elections have been over for a couple of months, political matters are still with me, too. Like many Americans, even quite a few who live in the country, I’ve been hanging in through the transition and dreading the inauguration, wondering what would come next.
And sure enough, it came: More wild comments, random actions, uncommon outbursts.
While I was in California, during December, I went to the spa where my daughter works to exercise. I joked to the man sitting next to me on his bike, “Well, where should we go today?” I was kidding, but they have a program on their bikes where you can choose where you’d like to ride and the scenery opens up in front of you as you pedal along.
Behind me, on a stair lift where you climb indefinitely and never go anywhere, a young woman was talking to a friend.
“Yes, we’re going to Washington, D.C. for the march,” she said. “It’s the day after the inauguration.”
Really? I turned around to look at this young 30-something woman who was using her vacation time to march for freedom of women, minorities, immigrants against those who disregard our rights. I was more than impressed. I felt old and outdated.
One time in my life, just once, I was privileged to join a women’s march in Washington, D.C. My husband had a job on the East Coast, I was in grad school on the West Coast, and during school breaks I commuted back and forth. It just so happened this was in the early ’90s that a women’s rally was taking place on the Mall and they were marching for a cause that I felt strongly about, so we went.
I’d never done anything like that before in my life. After all, I came of age in the 1950s and women, like children, were to be seen and not heard in that era — anything to keep the peace.
I wondered how many women would join this march until I got to the area where everyone was gathering and my pulse quickened. I wasn’t the only woman who felt strongly about this issue.
There were hundreds of thousands gathering. The air was electric with excitement and courage. It was one of the most wonderful exercises in freedom that I’ve ever experienced. So, I knew what this would be like for the young woman on the stair lift.
“You go girl!”
Secretly, I wondered, “How many people will actually get out and march in protest of our current leader and his appointees — in the winter?”
I was totally blown away by the numbers, by the crowds, in so many cities, even in other countries. I found that I had to go hunting for coverage but I was so excited when I saw it.
American citizens are staying informed and are willing to speak up in protest. We the people will be heard! It gives me courage. It may be winter in the Heartland, but there is always something that we can do besides feed the chickens and put away the Christmas decorations on another day in the country.