Georgia, Memoir, Politics, Uncategorized

Remembering Georgia

I was married for thirty years to George Fowler, twenty-five years old when I married him and age fifty-five when he died.  Who I became as a mature, thinking woman was done with him.

            George’s history and his family history going back to the Civil War was in Georgia.  As a child, he played with confederate money in his grandfather’s barn.

            His great-grandfather was a store keeper, not slave owner, in rural Georgia when the Civil War began.  The confederates forced his grandfather to surrender his money/gold and was given worthless confederate money in exchange.  When the confederates lost the war, he lost everything due to the theft.

            We move forward in time to George’s father, Oscar, who was a tenant farmer.  He farmed next door to a black tenant farmer who had the misfortune of having daughters.  Oscar and the neighbor exchanged work, Oscar’s boys working the neighbor’s field and the neighbor’s girls working Oscar’s garden.

            A very young George was working in the neighbor’s field one day when a white brute crossed the furrows with a 2-by-4 board.  He raised the board and for no reason except hate he struck the black man working his field.  The white man turned and left as quickly as he arrived.  George never forgot his friend’s assault and the lack of justice to follow.

            After George at age 17 followed Patton across Europe, he returned to Georgia.  He was a mail carrier, postal clerk, assistant Post Master and finally the Post Master in Decatur, Georgia.  Along the way, George played golf with men of all races before integration.  His friendships were always based on shared values, not race or ethnic origin.  He was considered a fair manager – tough, but just. 

            I not only was inspired by George’s racial fairness, but he was feminist before I was.  He always insisted I be more than I imagined.

            George was the most intelligent person I have ever known.  He read continually.  Brilliant mind.  Great humor.  Kind.

            I believe George is looking down and screaming, “Black lives matter!”  As a man who supported women, he would be proud of Representative Park Cannon.

            I lived in Savannah, Athens, Decatur and Ellijay in the North Georgia Mountains.  As an observer from afar, I know the people who foolishly elected Marjorie Taylor Greene.  I have been amazed at the democratic votes coming from Savannah, an obviously different place from what I knew in 1969. 

            George loved Georgia.  It was home – complex, beautifully landscaped, and still living the pain of the Civil War.

            As I have watched what is happening in Georgia, I remember my George, his grandsons in Georgia and his granddaughters beyond Georgia borders.  I know they remember their grandfather with great love.  George is looking down and expecting them to honor their family legacy, to be strong, fair and kind.  



            Even old, white women like me are called to speak about injustice.  Silence is giving permission to seventeen-year-olds with guns to kill, rogue policemen to shoot first, Christians to hate rather than love, and the weak to follow rather than find their inner conscience.

            Two unconnected stories have come to mind during the past couple days.  The first is about nine-year-old granddaughter, Tiffany, and the second is about my father.


            Tiffany and her brother were visiting us for a couple weeks.  Tiffany was happily twirling in my dining room.  Then it happened, an antique goblet fell to the floor and shattered.  Tiffany looked at me with fear and sadness in her eyes rather than with that magical sparkle of joy from a few moments earlier.

            I told Tiffany that people were more important than things.  A hug and a little cleanup erased the pain of the moment. 

            Although this part of the story as little to do with my point of my story, I have to share.  A couple hours later we were sitting at the dining table and Tiffany kept rocking her chair up on two legs and bouncing it against the china cabinet.  When I told her to stop because she might break something, she said, “Grandma, you said people are more important than things!”  A wholly different conversation followed.  Even today, she has strong opinions, a hearty spirit and much love to give.  Great adult and parent.


            A former minister’s daughter was raped and murdered after going to a bar with friends.  So brutal.

            While visiting my parents later in the week, my pious, judgmental father said, “Well, it wouldn’t have happened if SHE had not been where SHE was not supposed to be.”

            If you know me, you can imagine where our conversation went as I expounded on victim blaming.


            I have listened to speakers say (paraphrasing), “If they wouldn’t have been out after curfew, it wouldn’t have happened.”  “If they wouldn’t protest, the looters wouldn’t steal and start fires.”  Then there is Trump who says Biden will bring death and destruction, as if 180,000 unnecessary deaths and the greater racial strife he has incited is not enough hell on earth for one man to create as President.

            Protesters are not looters.  Stop confusing two separate groups of people.  Free speech is an American right.  Arrest the looters and leave protesters alone.  As far as I am concerned, people who refuse to separate the two groups are doing so deliberately because they believe things (buildings) are more important than people, specifically black people.

            Anyone who believes that a wall is more valuable than the lives of children locked in cages at our border has zero respect from me.  Such cruelty!

            Victim blaming is demoralizing our country.  A person is not guilty of a crime because they are black rather than white – not on the streets, not in their opinions, not in any just society.  Victim blaming because someone was in a conversation with the police or on the streets protesting is not acceptable.  Know the circumstances.  Certainly, whether before or after curfew, a seventeen-year-old hater does not have the right to kill other citizens.

            I know this will not convince one hater to love or one Christian to speak the language of brotherhood.  I simply had to say these truths because sharing creates positive bonds of strength in the thinking, loving community.

            I am going to continue to love and to speak, because our silence gives the Trumpers their greatest victory. 

Church, Personal Growth, Politics, Uncategorized


I am a liberal, old, white woman who has supported equal rights for women and people of color over the decades.  I would NEVER vote for a white supremacist like Trump.

I do not know the black experience because I was born into white privilege.  This is not to say I did not experience poverty as a child or did not work hard over the years.  And I might add, I have had to deal with over-zealous police who scared the bejesus out of me, but my outcome was better than that of a person of color.

Why is the church, MY CHURCH, not doing a better job defending the rights of black people?  We must acknowledge there are a number of bigots in our congregation who would claim they are not.  The white, thinking church congregants want to be too polite.  Don’t rock that boat!  We protect the feelings of people who hate because they are volatile, loud and will throw scriptures around like bread crumbs to ducks on a pond.  Enough!

I am scratching my head over the hypocrisy of this position considering Biblical teachings.

Over the past few years, I personally have had the following experiences with other women, just to name a few:

  1.  I did not feel a team calling itself the Rebels and carrying a Confederate flag (the flag tradition ended, I believe) should be allowed in the public school setting.  I was told by clergy that as a native Texan, she could accept this tradition.  Apparently, Texas tradition trumps (pun intended) all things holy.  As a congregant, this conversation diminished my respect for the practicing theology of my church.  Needless to say, I left this church.
  2. I am a Methodist and have been very enthusiastic about educating girls in foreign countries, as well as in the U.S.  This was the original passion that drove the creation of United Methodist Women – the right for every girl to receive an education, especially in countries where girls were seen as “lesser than” the boys.  When I asked why the mission of UMW was not being shared with the women in my church, I was told it was too political.  I had never heard that mission was political in my previous churches.  As a congregant, I felt I was being told to be silent, join a Bible study and allow ignorance to flourish in my congregation.  Silence was polite and easy.  Talking about the needs of brown children was too controversial.  After all, we were allowing Hispanic children to be caged at the border in Texas and were remaining silent as a church. 
  3. A church woman called me.  In the course of our conversation she told me, “The Bible says you should respect Trump.”  I need not expound on this church experience.  Not pretty.

For women, like me, who were brought up to be polite and not create a scene, it requires some tenacity to speak up. 

Our silence gives permission to evil intent in all its forms.  I recognize at this point in history, I need to be vocal. 

I am proud of our protesters.  They are not only making demands for their own rights, but are most likely going to save our democracy.

Those of us with heart and intellect must be less polite and more engaged.  We owe that to our black neighbors and to our country.  The peril is great.

Humor, Marriage, Uncategorized

Remembering Pre-Isolation

This morning while texting back and forth with my Shipt shopper at HEB, Ken (my husband) came into my office. He said, “Look on the bright side. You have not lost me in the grocery store in two months.”
I shared the story with my shopper and told her, “Don’t bring anyone else’s husband to my door. One is enough!”
Times have changed. This memory has been repeated many times since we married. Ken is wandering up and down the aisles and talking to every HEB employee as he looks for his favorite brand of salsa. Meanwhile in front of checkout, with a full grocery cart and ice cream melting, I try to call him. No answer. His phone is still on do-not-disturb from the previous night.

My Typical Vegan Grocery Shopping List

Peace, Personal Growth, Personhood, Politics, Stress, Uncategorized

To My FB Friends

I heard an interesting interview of a mental health professional.  (I never remember names.)  She said there was a stress study of cadets.  The expectation was the cadets’ stress would be highest in the beginning of their studies or even when nearing finals and graduation.  The highest stress was after they passed their classes and their careers were promising.  The research discovered that the stress was higher because they no longer were in a struggle together, no longer in unity with their classmates.

I find that is true of me (and maybe you) during this pandemic.  We are not pulling together as Americans.  One political party is not the enemy of the other, unless individuals create chaos by reposting feeding-frenzy nonsense.  I personally am not going to be used by manipulators manufacturing articles to divide us.  I believe science, not fantasies.  I believe most people on both sides of the aisle are basically good and share my American values.

I am stressed each time a friend posts another deep state conspiracy.   Government workers are our hard working neighbors who have children and grandchildren who play with our children/grandchildren.  They keep us safe in law enforcement, process paper by the tons, work for the VA, investigate nursing homes complaints, and keep our tap water clean, etc… etc…..

I am stressed by people who post their rights to infect others (me!) by not wearing a mask or curtailing their activities.  As much as I grieve for those who lost loved ones – almost 80,000 families, we could have had twice that number if we had not been responsible.  The time out was not a waste of my time.  I had no burning desire to kill someone (the elderly, medical personnel, my neighbors).  I am a grown-up and can be still for a brief time.

I am stressed by people, most churched and professing love, who have chosen to be hateful rather than be my friend on FB.  It is a choice.  I will miss them, but not the hate.

My stress goes down when I behave in a loving manner, am kind and rational.  My choice.  What I control.  I hope more of my friends regain their loving centers before we are lost to one another.  No one can have too many friends, especially during a pandemic.



I sat in the pit of my own being

like the trapped wolf gnawing at its foot

or a jarred firefly touching silently against the lid

or a button forcing its way through a small, garment hole.


Then I raged against politicians

and gamblers who shopped without masks devaluing my life—

charlatans as homicidal as an armed thief

and as merciless as a mass shooter.  People were dying.


I moved through the grief for my country,

emotionally spent, to the altar of acceptance,

powerless until the next election to do more than observe,

wear my mask and gloves, and simply exist in timelessness.


I want to believe humanity will learn from this nefarious virus—

the invader of our dreams, the wall between us and the world,

intellectual divider and destroyer of tolerance,

the slayer of grandparents, health workers, moms, dads and children.


After we have buried the dead.  After we can earn a living.

After.  After.  After.  Will we embrace the migrant picking our food?

Will we support educators, custodians and bus drivers?

Will we find one America?  Will we be better humans?  After…..


pour art 2


Social Isolation

Aging, Art, Country, Memoir, Peace, Politics, Uncategorized

Political Winds

Seventy-one and a woman who’s seen mighty change—internet, cell phones, and one step for mankind on moonscape.  Veterans of WWII branded their stories on my young soul.  That damned McCarthy caused me to look for communists neath my bed.  Viet Nam tattooed my innocence.  Patriotism, plated as political righteousness, challenged the rage against dying and peace movements—Gandhi dared Patton philosophies wrestling for ethos.  No winners, just battle-worn heroes.  Now drums the social-till-doomsday-shrill-media robbing weak heads of free thinking—new mind control.  Fear like rain cuts rough, new gullies of hate, fear and rage.  Peace lost not on a battlefield, love in surrender to hate.  Godly abandoned in rallies, the modern lion’s den, truth’s death.  Long serving soldiers dismissed for truth-telling.  A Medal of Honor bestowed on a bigot.  Romney the lone statesman.  Loyal, weak servants rewarded and righteous, strong saints defiled.  Labeling knowledable elitist.  Labeling brown other.  Labeling good hearts feeding hungry folk socialists.  Villainous!  Rise up you virtuous patriots.  Be the strong voice of right.  Rise up still Christians and claim the mantle of kindness.  Rise up to speak!  Rise up to vote!  Rise up!

Baby Boomer, Politics, Uncategorized

Fragile Democracy

I am a baby boomer, born shortly after WWII.  Throughout my childhood I heard the stories soldiers told in their living rooms, stories about riding on ships, their wounding, the friends they held while dying, the skeletons (as one man said, “…flesh hanging on bones”) walking away from the newly freed concentration camps.

History and civics were taught with vigor in those days because we knew the price and fragility of democracy.  Hitler was voted into office, so we had a duty to study the candidates and make good choices.

I watch the impeachment of Donald Trump and think back to Richard Nixon’s impeachment.  I was in my twenties and making calls for the local Republican Party.  I knew Richard Nixon was innocent.  I watched the trial day after day, as obsessive as I am today about justice.  When I realized he had committed the crimes, I was devastated.  I felt a personal sense of betrayal, not because I was a Republican, but because I was an American.

I wondered in 1974, as I do today, how anyone can take an office as powerful as the Presidency and not feel humility.  It is like holding a sparrow with a broken wing in one hand and a nuclear bomb in the other.

Democracy is a fragile balancing act.  Only a fool sitting in the Oval Office or in a congressional seat would place personal gain above freedom.

Art, Country, Personal Growth, Poetry, Politics, Uncategorized


These times challenge saints more than sinners.

Fear and anxiety accompany worship and school attendance.

Slowly we move into democracy lost or renewed.

Our children will live on a dying planet or learn stewardship.

This journey will make heroes and villains of us all.


Must we relinquish control to madness?

Some frantically compose FB posts to vent their anger –

posts with scripture to counterpoint side against side,

posts to request prayer – pointed and raging – self-defeating peace,

posts with cartoons screaming louder than words.


Must we become what we hate in others?

If my voice is the loudest, am I right?

If I manage to trample on your rights to protect mine, am I right?

If I belong to a party, does my membership make me right?

If I rationalize without facts, can I proclaim truth?


Have we seen these behaviors play out in history?  Perhaps.

The Crusades.  Germany.  Turn neighbor against neighbor,

religious sects in pious rebellion abandon values long held,

citizens dehumanize the immigrants, the disadvantaged, women.

Like Legos in a three-year-old’s hands, we are breaking apart.


I refuse to conform!

I have the power not to be evil or angry or hurt.

I will speak truth in a quiet voice, but I will speak!

Perhaps, someone will join me and two of us will be free of hate.

Awesome power.  All I control is me.