About backonmyown

I am a mother, a grandmother and a retired high school teacher. I am also divorced. The beautiful sunset you see in my header photo was taken from the deck of my NC mountaintop home back when I thought I was happily married.

EAL flight 212 – the crash.

fullsizerender-7The crash of flight 212 comes into my consciousness from time to time. These days it’s usually Stephen Colbert who takes me back to that time. After Stephen became famous and I became a huge fan of his, I learned that he lost two brothers and his father in that deadly crash.

The crash was (and is) particularly poignant for me because my first husband and I were working for Eastern Airlines at the time, in Charlotte, where the doomed flight went down. I worked in reservations. My now ex-husband worked in the computer lab.

Flight 212 originated in Charleston, SC, landed briefly in Charlotte, NC, and continued to O’Hare in Chicago. Usually a number of passengers disembarked in Charlotte and made connections to destinations other than Chicago.

I remember that morning in September as if it were yesterday. Ironically, the crash occurred on September 11, in 1974. It was a foggy morning. Poor visibility. I remember a loud boom and a bit of a tremor. I wondered, “What on earth was that?” It was a few minutes later, in my car, when I heard the news on the radio. All I could think was, “No, no, no, no, no!”

Then, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Did I book any of those people on that flight?” Fortunately, I don’t know the answer to that question. Flight 212 was a busy and popular flight. Most reservations agents had booked someone at some time on 212. Best not to dwell on it.

The flight left Charleston with seventy-four people on board. Initially there were thirteen survivors. Later three of those thirteen died of severe burns. A co-pilot and a flight attendant were among the final ten survivors.

For days, then weeks, airline employees and others sifted through the sad traces of human life cut short. Some worked the morgue.

I write this piece to honor those workers. My husband was one of them. He worked tirelessly and without complaint. I don’t know if I ever thanked him. I do so now. Thank you, JDM.

NTSB probable cause statement:

The flight crew’s lack of altitude awareness at critical points during the approach due to poor cockpit discipline in that the crew didn’t follow prescribed procedure.  Source: Wikipedia

What a sad, sad statement.

Writing down the sound bites…

There is too much garbage wandering in and out of my consciousness to make sense of it. The sad thing is the junk in my brain is coming straight from #45’s White House. Each day, before I have assimilated the previous day’s craziness, something new and more frightening comes down the pike.

I read somewhere on social media that we protesters/dissenters should write a list of concerns about our so-called leaders at the end of each day. Seriously? If I did that I would be more depressed than I am already. It’s impossible to keep up. The wee-hour tweets alone are enough to drive me over the edge.

Can my sense of humor get me through this? I can usually find humor in almost any situation, no matter how dire. And I have lived through some tough times. The best I can do is catch a smidgen of humor however brief and try to keep hopeful that we will soon begin the impeachment process.

img_1524Will the real President 45 please stand up? Hold on. He’s trying. Whoops. Try again.

I’m trying to make a joke here but it’s falling flat even for me. There is just nothing funny about Bannon being Trump’s mouthpiece. He’s the puppet master and 45 is the ideal puppet. I can’t laugh about that. Bannon scares the hell out of me.

Then there’s Kellyanne. img_1522-2I must admit I did get a good laugh when I saw her Inauguration Day outfit. It’s been well documented and she’s never going to live it down. I kept singing “Send in the Clowns.” (Sorry Judy Collins)

Though I still giggle every time I see a photo of her in her patriotic duds, I cannot help feeling anger and pity for her. She’s sold her soul to the devil. Her evasive style of speaking and her alternative facts are recorded for posterity. Her progeny will read it and weep.

How can a woman as intelligent as she is prostitute herself in this way? I have no answers. I’ll continue to mute the sound on my television whenever I see her face on the screen.

There’s nothing funny about our self-imposed immigration crisis. I won’t even try.

I think I will have to rely on my favorite satirist Andy Borowitz to give me a laugh or two as I struggle to make sense of our floundering nation. This quote from is him is not funny but it gives me a scintilla of hope. And I can count on him to make me laugh soon. Probably before the day is over. Thanks, Andy.img_1526

Before the nightmare begins (2)…

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I dreamed about President Obama last night. We were standing side by side and I had my arm around his skinny little waist. I looked up at him (He’s way taller than I.) and I said, “I love you Obama.” I suppose it was too up close and personal for him to respond, “I love you back.”

He did, however, give me that famous sparkling smile.

I learned recently that I actually know a person or two who are going to PEOTUS Trump’s inauguration (or as I sometimes say in-nausea-ration.) I suppose any inauguration is historic and worth attending. This one is especially so because it’s the first time we’ve elected a fascist.

I’m seventy-three years old and have voted in every election since I came of age. This is the first time I have feared an inauguration would be the beginning of a very long four-year nightmare.

I pray I’m wrong.

Before the nightmare begins…

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img_1511I dreamed about President Obama last night.We were standing side by side and I had my arm around his skinny little waist. I looked up at him (He’s way taller than I.) and I said, “I love you, Obama.” I suppose it was too up close and personal for him to respond, “I love you back.”

He did, however, give me that famous sparkling smile.

I learned recently that I actually know a person or two who are going to PEOTUS Trump’s inauguration (or as I sometimes say in-nausea-ration). I suppose any inauguration is historic and worth attending. This one is especially so because it’s the first we’ve elected a fascist.

I’m 73 years old and have voted in every election since I came of age. This is the first time I’ve feared that a presidential term would be the beginning of a very long four-year nightmare. I pray that I’m wrong.

Shirley – my sister, my friend.

img_1392Losing a sibling is a unique personal tragedy. My original sib club consisted of five, one boy, four girls. Now we are three sisters. We lost our brother a number of years ago when he was only 61 years old.

Last night, my oldest sister Shirley died. Over her lifetime she suffered from numerous serious illnesses, any one of which could have ended her life, but didn’t. I can’t recall how many times we thought she was slipping away from us. Somehow she always pulled through for another stab at this thing we call life. We sometimes joked that she had nine lives. If we took the time to count, I think it may have been more than nine.

Shirley had been on kidney dialysis for the past three years. We, her family, watched as she appeared to get weaker and more tired by the day. I wasn’t terribly surprised when her oldest daughter called me a few days ago to tell me that my sweet sister, after discussing her condition with her three daughters and her doctors, had made the decision to forego any further treatments. She was exhausted. She simply couldn’t take it any longer.

I’m exceedingly proud of my sis for making a courageous decision but I have a huge hole in my heart, as do we all.

When I saw her at the hospital on Friday (the last time she was able to talk with me) she had a peacefulness about her that let me know she was at ease with herself. And she still had her sense of humor. The nurse pointed to me and said, “Shirley, who is this?” She smiled and replied, “That’s my sister and she’s the oldest.” That was the last giggle I had with her. I was hoping for a few more days.

Shirley leaves behind three beautiful daughters: Sandy, Toni, and Sonya. She was also the grandmother and great-grandmother of a whole bunch of wonderful children and young people. We miss her.

Shirley Winkler Earp (02/22/1939 – 10/16/2016)

 

Born a feminist…voting for Hillary.

baby-718146_640I entered this world many years ago. I wish I could say I came in (out) kicking and screaming. That would establish an aggressive and dramatic image of things to come. Unfortunately (or not) the reality is the opposite. According to my mother I failed to cry right away. The doctor used cold water to shock me. That’s how I took my first breath.

One might think the cold water would have upset me but apparently it did not. Well, if it did, I didn’t hold a grudge. Mom said I immediately started sucking my thumb and snoozing. I was an easy baby. I loved to eat and sleep. I still do.

I can’t say exactly when I started to notice gender inequities. I think I was quite young. Maybe five or six.small

I remember that my dad was the boss of the family. He made all of us toe the line, including Mom. I recall thinking a few times that she should get my baseball bat and take a swing at him but she never did. I knew then that I wanted a more equal partnership when I grew up.

I noticed as early as first grade the seemingly favored status of boys versus girls. My brother was required to look after me when we went somewhere together. At first that made sense because he was two years older. I started to recognize, though, that he was given the job because boys were supposed to take care of girls. I found myself puzzled because I was more responsible than he.

For years I noticed and noticed and noticed

Girls were told what to wear. No pants/jeans after elementary school. We must look and behave like ladies. Yuck! To this day I detest the word lady/ladies. It’s used to remind women of their place in society. It’s used to avoid using our real designation – women.

We were told what we could become when we grew up. Secretary, nurse, teacher. That’s it.

My daughters started to notice as well. One day my oldest told me girls weren’t allowed to work at the school’s recycle center. Different boys were chosen each time, but no girls (emphasis, hers). We agreed that I would write a note to the school expressing our concerns. I’m proud to say we got immediate results. Girls were allowed from that day forward. Lesson learned:  Ask respectfully and you might make a difference for yourself and for others.

As I observed, I developed a keen sense of fairness and justice. I read Marilyn French and Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. I started to understand how things needed to change. I could, in fact, help to instigate positive change. I learned how women’s lives could and should be better.

I was thrilled when women started to run for public office. We started small but look at us now.

I find it difficult to express how joyful I felt when Hillary Clinton became the official nominee for the Democratic Party. I have been waiting for this my whole life. I won’t rest, though, until she becomes our President.

I’m puzzled by the Hillary hate. I can see why some white men might have a problem with a woman in the highest office in the land. It verifies what they already knew but probably would not say — that their iron-fisted control of everything in our society since our beginning is tenuous. It has been for quite some time now. It’s probably what has destroyed the Republican Party. Fear is a great motivator and they are afraid. Probably as afraid as I am that Trump will be elected.

I am especially concerned about the women who are Hillary haters. I don’t understand it. I encourage you to research Hillary. If you’re watching just one news source all the time, you’re not getting the full picture. Watch all of them from time to time.

Vote for HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. I am.

Thank you for reading this rather long post.

 

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Hillary Rodham Clinton.

 

Politics on Facebook.

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donkey_elephantEvery day I observe political postings on Facebook. I think that’s okay. I don’t mind seeing people promoting the candidates they like.  I do it too. Perhaps too often.   My theory, though, is that anyone who doesn’t care for what I post can block me or block a particular group that I’m prone to posting fairly regularly. I block occasionally. I have done so a few times recently.  Sometimes I delete the dissenting comment and carry on.  My opinion is just that — an opinion.  Please know that I have done a great deal of research before deciding whom I’m supporting.

When I first signed on to Facebook I gleefully jumped into the fray believing that surely the person who posted was longing for my thoughts on the matter. It took me longer than it should have to realize the poster probably didn’t want opposing  comments.  I learned much more quickly that I didn’t want them. That begs the question, “Why post political propaganda if no response is required?”

I’ve thought about this a great deal during our never-ending political season.  I believe it is human nature to want to voice our choice for a given political office. It feels that way to me and I’m obviously not alone.  It’s probably also natural to want to express our views on the candidates we oppose.  But maybe we should do that in our own space.

I’m still trying to figure out FB etiquette.  As far as I know there’s no guide to help me on my way. That means I am left trying to do unto others as I would like them to do unto me.  I’m not always successful but I try.

I dislike giving space on my site to dissenting views.  I’m a Democrat and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.  I neither want nor need anyone to tell me I’m nuts for doing so.  And I’m assuming  they don’t want me to write in their space that I think they’re crazy for voting for one of those bloviating loose cannons running on the Republican ticket.

One more thing.  If either of the two GOP front-runners should be elected, the US, and indeed, the rest of the world will be in deep doo-doo. That’s my opinion.

Note: This is a blog post not a Facebook post. Dissent if you wish.