The Holidays

It’s always fun to hear about friend’s holiday traditions and how they got started.  Since my daughter left home, my husband and I started a tradition of taking a trip for an extended weekend right before Thanksgiving.  It began with Myrtle Beach, where we discovered that on those off days you could get ocean front hotels for very little money.  Often times, my husband would be the only person brave enough to actually swim in the ocean – it can be quite cold that time of year. But it was fun to walk the beach and eat fresh seafood without the usual crowds.  We did this for about 3 years in a row before deciding we needed a change.

The next two years we spent in Nashville after becoming late in life country music fans.  Nashville is a very fun city with live music everywhere, if you have not been there, I highly recommend it.

This year I wanted to go to Asheville, NC and do some hiking.  We booked an airbnb months ago and had received many recommendations from a friend’s daughter on where the best trails and restaurants were located.  Unfortunately, forest fires have been rampant in that area and it looked like hiking would not be an option.  I quickly cancelled that reservation and booked us a couple of nights in Greenville, SC, a city that was recommended to me by friend and fellow blogger, Laurie (Life on the Bike).

Turned out to be a very fun place to visit.  A waterfall park with a 9 mile walking/biking trail is located right downtown, along with over 100 great restaurants.   So while we didn’t get to hike, we did enjoy being outdoors along with dozens of others who were enjoying the sunny fall day.

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Where we go doesn’t really matter much, we just enjoy exploring new places together. And that is what I am most thankful for this year.

 

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Back to Nature

It’s been a very depressing week.  I tried comfort food, beer, and spending time with like minded friends.  While these things all helped; today I got back out in nature where I felt peace and serenity again.  Heading to my favorite hiking spot (Hungry Mother State Park), with my favorite hiking partner (my husband, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery for the last two months) I was finally able to put the anger and grief I felt after the election, aside while we enjoyed a peaceful hike around the lake.

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It was a beautiful day – cool and sunny.

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The ducks were enjoying a swim.

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The leaves were everywhere adding color to the floor of the trail.

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And it just felt right to be back in the woods.

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While I was walking, I decided the best thing I can do to move forward, is to vow to be kind to everyone, fight for what I believe is right (women’s rights, LGBT rights, minorities and our environment) and not let a bully in Washington stop me from living.

Dark Days Ahead

*****Warning****** This blog is not about hiking – if you think you will be offended by this political post, stop reading now!

Yesterday as I fought the fog in my head and the darkness of the early morning, I prepared for a very long day of working the polls.  At my polling place, we encountered several issues during set-up, but managed to get all the kinks worked out with one minute to spare before the polls opened.

Within the first half hour we already had 100 voters!  It was a steady stream until noon, then it came and went in spurts.  This was my precinct – my neighborhood was all there and we were smiling and laughing and optimistically hoping for the first woman to become our President.

When the polls closed and we got the final tally, I was terrified to see that Clinton had won by only a handful of votes.  Even though this is a small portion of overall voters, it felt like an omen.  And indeed, it was.

Today we woke up to the realization that the following things are true:

  • Bullies win
  • Racism is alive and well in America
  • Women don’t matter
  • Black lives don’t matter
  • There is no global warming (or science for that matter)
  • The more outrageous you are, the better chance you have that the 24 hour news media will give you full coverage and help you get elected.
  • And, the Donald was correct when he said “I could shoot someone on 5th Ave and still get elected.”

He won by promising to make “your” life better!  The only life he is concerned with is his own.  “Trust Me” was his mantra.  Well, we will see how that wall goes, how world conflicts get resolved, and how his bankruptcy experience helps him balance our budget.

With the Republican party controlling the House, the Senate, and the Presidency; and with the Supreme Court hanging by a thread, I wonder if democracy can survive.

On the bright side – apparently you no longer have to be qualified to perform important jobs, so I think I will go remove someone’s appendix.

WTF – this is my worst nightmare!