Welcome to Seasonal Sundays …
Blink this week and whoosh, the calendar will flip to September, what some call “fall” invoking apple-picking and pumpkin patches.
But wait! Hang tight to summer vibes!
Ahead of us is “late summer” … its very own season, a few glorious weeks of not-quite-summer but definitely-not-autumn, when the vegetable bins are stacked with glossy eggplant and oddly shaped peppers and hefty summer squash and and and …
You just might wanna set aside some cold brew for ice coffee and bake a little bacon. Settle in … savor every moment.
It’s Not Politics. It’s Civics./>
It’s Like Voting Every Day. Legally.
The country needs calm, thoughtful and assertive voices amid the chaos inflicted by a minority hellbent on taking/retaining power by strangling democratic principles and equal rights.
It’s time to look up, study up and speak up. Make your voice heard!
Don’t get overwhelmed. None of us have to personally change the world.
WE JUST HAVE TO DO OUR PART.
Pick one thing and put it on top of your To Do List this week. Next week, add another.
Here are my suggestions. I’ll be adding to this list …
NEXT WEEK? Suggestions Welcome.
NEW THIS WEEK The news is a lot, no doubt. It’s hard to keep up, we have lives to live. It’s easy to look away, feeling helpless or even hopeless.
One way to counteract these feelings is to “clean your sink” or “make your bed”.
Huh??? Well, sure, clean your kitchen sink and make your bed if you want but these are really metaphors for the idea that when you’re feeling stuck, do ONE thing and have something to show for it.
This week, I suggest diving deep into a single issue, one that matters in your own life and those you love.
Two possibilities, straight from this week’s headlines.
- ENERGY Dig into some of the energy components of the vast, far-reaching Inflation Reduction Bill. I found this hour-long interview (from Preet Bahara’s podcast) of U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Grandholm very, um, illuminating. What will make a difference in your own life, your kids lives, the lives of your community?
- STUDENT LOANS This is a good place to start, educating yourself on how the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan (from the NYT, no paywall) will work. Suggestion: immerse yourself in it first, then consider your own view on its its fairness and impact, especially if someone in your circle relies on Fox for opinions.
- Reproductive Choice? Book Bans? The J6 Committee Work? Pick just one thing that matters to you and dig in, become an expert in a way that works for you, for your own clarification, to speak confidently with others, to be able to refute hypocrisy, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.
LAST WEEK Learn from historians and thought leaders who are fighting for democracy each and every day. Many are publishing newsletters on a site called Substack. Nearly all have “free” versions (that’s what I’m doing, so far) even if there are options for paid subscriptions. Just type in your email and hit subscribe. No spam, no ads, just thoughtful thinking from smart people attempting to help the U.S. save itself from authoritarian anti-democratic minority rule.
- My #1 pick will always be the brilliant Heather Cox Richardson who has been writing Letters from an American nearly every single day since September 2019. For me, “Heather” (as we refer to her in this house) is a must-read. She cuts through the day’s news and presents an interpretation in a calm, history-grounded voice, with an eye/ear for what will matter to historians in future. Facebook people, she also does twice-weekly talks/lectures: she’s whip-smart, speaks in plain language without drama. Yes, I’m a big fan.
- I also read Substack newsletters from Robert Hubbell (which originated as a source of hope and perspective for family and friends after the 2016 election and five years later, remains true to that mission) and Aaron Rupar (an independent journalist who describes himself as “fair but not impartial” and is not shy about taking mainstream media to task for “both sides-ism” and similar equivocation).
- There’s Joyce Vance in another Substack newsletter called Civil Discourse. She’s a law professor, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, a former U.S. Attorney, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC – also a knitter and chicken keeper! The chicks and chicken show up every so often …
- There’s also the so-familiar 90-year old Dan Rather in an aptly named Substack newsletter called Steady: and so it is, a place for what he calls “contemplation, empathy, learning and yes, a little humor when warranted”.
- Who’s inspiring you? Please let me know!
TWO WEEKS AGO Check out and sign up for Red Wine & Blue, suburban women on a mission relating to voting rights, reproductive choice, book bans and so much more. This week I participated in a 30-minute Great Troublemaker Training Session on Zoom that introduced relational organizing aka talking to your family and friends.
THREE WEEKS AGO Sign up for Chop Wood, Carry Water, a 5x weekly email, each one with targeted, timely suggestions on who to call/write/text about what, including easily adaptable scripts. I lurked for a couple of weeks but now make five-ten minutes an essential part of my day.
Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.
Don’t Be a Stranger …
I’d love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail via [email protected], dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.
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