Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

My Photo
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

a sad world

Warning: the following post contains references to me crying. If this makes you uncomfortable don't read it. Please do not assume that you understand more about the crying than I do, please do not lecture me and please do not tell me not to cry. If someone else leaves an unsensitive comment please do not feel the need to stand up for me. I can take care of myself. I am a big girl.

Note: I am not saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Please feel free to disagree with anything I say and to post accordingly. Please feel free to take me to task if I am rude. But, do not be a child about it and do not treat me like a child.

Note: Do not assume that you know exactly to whom I am referring. You may be wrong. Consider it general advice.

On to the post:

I walked to the grocery store today with Levi in the stroller because we just needed a few things - such as milk. While I was walking down one of the aisles an elderly black woman started mumbling to me as old people often will. She pointed to some graham crackers and said, "I better not get those since they're not on sale." I nodded, a little confused. She looked at me and said, "those nabisco crackers go on sale sometimes, I can get some them, I'd better not buy them now. We have to watch out for ourselves, don't we?" I nodded sympathetically, even though I am lucky enough not to have to 'watch out for myself' in that way. She than said, "prices have been getting so high lately, we have to watch out." I said, "yes" or some such thing and nodded some more. She started to walk away and mumbled, "It's getting hard just to make it." That comment broke my heart. I started crying right there in the grocery aisle. No one stopped, this is DC after all. But, to look at that hunched over old woman, to know how much she must of gone through already in her life, and to know that she is now just barely getting by is heartbreaking. If I assume that she is 86 (probably pretty close, she may have been older), then she was born in 1920. That means that Brown vs the Board of Education was not decided until she was 34. The civil rights act was not passed until she was 44, and the voting rights act was not passed until she was 45. It is hard to imagine what she's seen and put up with in her life. How is it fair that she can't even buy graham crackers in her old age. I wanted to help her so badly, but didn't want to belittle or embarrass her. I followed her a little, hoping to see an opportunity to slip her some cash or pay for her groceries without embarrassing her. I was in line behind her and she dropped something. I said, "I'll get it," and she forcefully said, "no, I can do it." Then she slowly bent down and picked it up. She wasn't the type to want help, so I really didn't know what to do. In the end, I did nothing to help her. She bought two cuts of meat and two bags of frozen vegetables and walked slowly with her one bag out to wait for the bus that goes to Anacostia. I don't know how far she rode that bus, but it's quite likely that she has no grocery store anywhere near her home. I really really wish that I could do something for her, other than cry and pray and know that there are many many like her.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I wrote a post today that is not about, but references, a post I deleted and the comments on it. It may or may not be offensive to some. Should I post it?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ist Grade Story

So this is the week for stories from the 1st grade. I'm a bit late, so sue me. I don't really remember much from the first or second grade for some reason. Kidnergarten is pretty clear as is 3rd grade, so I'm not sure what happened to those years. I do have one interesting memory though, that I think might be from the first grade. We went on a field trip to the central washington state fair. My mom came along as did some other parent chaperones. My mom met this man there. I'm pretty sure that his name was James's Dad (pronounce both s's). He was married and had at least one child, who was in my class. Anyway, he fell madly in love with my mom. He would come to our house every night and bang on the door and cry for a couple of hours and leave presents. We would bring the tv into the bedroom, turn off the lights and pretend that we weren't home. My sister (two years younger than me) and I loved the presents he would leave on the doorstep and thought that he must be pretty nice. We would listen to him cry and say, "Mommy, why are you being so mean to James's Dad?" His wife came to my mom's work and threatened her. I'm not sure how, but eventually he went away.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

On Being Nice

So we talked about lifestyle giving at church today. We talked about examining the way we look at other people and the things we can do to help them. I missed a lot of it, but I've been thinking about it all week and trying to see what changes I need to make. A friend made an observation that involved seeing a homeless man as the child he once was and how Jesus must see him, and how we can strive to do that with strangers. So, I was sitting on the Metro by myself and looked around and did just that. It was really cool. Instead of the snide comments I usually make to myself in my head ("that guy thinks he's hot stuff" or "whoa is that skirt short, how old does she think she is?"), I simply looked at them as people, and I wondered what made them smile and what their worries and insecurities were. It was really refreshing.
Then, another day, something else happened to make me think further on this. I was driving down Mass ave and I noticed one of those jerk drivers that zoom around changing lanes in my rear-view mirror. He zoomed up behind me, my lane slowed down, and he zoomed into the right lane. A little further on, I saw him, stuck behind a parked car with his blinker on, trying to get back into my lane. I said, "ha ha, serves him right", and drove on without letting him in. Now, normally, I let people in when they have on their blinkers and need to get in. But, I didn't do it because I thought this guy was a jerk. Which made me think, ought we to be nice only to people who are nice? That doesn't seem right. I should have let the jerk in.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Memory Lane Monday

So I guess we're telling stories about kindergarten today. The thing I remember most about kindergarten is my best friend Patty. She was really poor and all the kids made fun of her and I used to come home crying about it. We were kind of poor too. Sometimes we had a house to rent and sometimes the three of us (me, mom, sister) lived in a room at my grandma's house. I didn't realize at the time that we were poor, but my mom has told me since that she came very close to going on welfare many times because she couldn't feed us, but something always happened to help her get through. I guess going on welfare would make her feel like she'd failed at her life away from my dad. I remember not having shoes in the summer. Anyway, don't feel sorry for me, because I was perfectly happy and unaware that we were poor. Nobody made fun of me about it. But my friend Patty had ratty, dirty clothes and everyone made fun of her so much. Sometimes she would stay the night at our house and we would lay in bed and sing 'you are my sunshine' before we went to sleep. One time I won a big ribbon for something, I don't remember what, and she really liked it so I gave it to her.

Also, the bus driver really liked me. He got everyone a Christmas card, and he bought me a full sized greeting card and a pack of gum. I was the only one that got that and I thought it was pretty cool, but I think it really freaked my mom out.

Also, I was some kind of genius in kidnergarten. I have my standardized test scores and got 99th percentile in every subject. I was at fourth grade reading level. I don't know what happened after that. I've just gotten successively dumber every year. That year I got to be in a special after school program for smart kids, but all I can remember from it is learning 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do' and eating a giant sandwich.

Also, I really loved the assistant teacher, Kindra. I was one of her favorites too. I always remembered her, but hadn't talked to her for years. Then, when we were making our wedding guest list, it turned out she was related to Schuyler and we got to invite her to the wedding.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Can anyone tell me why it is that once one finally gets past the age where all ones friends, no matter how thin they are, complain that they're fat, one reaches the age where all ones friends, no matter how clean their houses are, complain about what a mess said houses are?