Our anniversary was the last week in August, and we chose to go to the Italian restaurant chain Carrabba’s. It tasted as delicious as it looked!
BACK TO SCHOOL
And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.Meister Eckhart
This back to school will be quite different from years past. My youngest starts high school, and yet won’t see the inside of the high school until January. She opted for fully virtual school while my other child in school opted for in-person/remote hybrid. Even back to school night will be virtual.
The above picture I chose was from the last day of our vacation. It is on the cusp between both summer and fall. Its place is so far north that is on a second cusp, balanced between the United States and Canada. It is a home away from home although we’d only stayed at this hotel the one time.
Reading and absorbing Meister Eckhart’s words, I will strive to be more in balance; to start something new; to find the magic of beginnings, and keep moving forward.
This year will be challenging.
It will be hard.
We’ve come through worse, both personally and as a country. We can do this – – – together.
Two days ago, we began school here. We have our agendas and our schedules, our chromebooks and our notebooks.
Yesterday marked forty-nine days until Election Day. As I said then, create your voting plan, and implement it. I was going to do a mail-in ballot, but I think my current plan will be for early voting. I have the dates and the locations, and I’m ready for this new beginning.
This week includes a doctor’s appointment, a therapy session, and the first part of a four part Cursillo workshop and concludes with the observation and celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. That holiday is my personal traditional time for starting anew with plans and changes and goals.
I’m wary… but excited.
I feel goodness and hope. I hope you can feel it also.
It seemed as though all we ate were chicken wings, mac & cheese, soft pretzels, ice cream, and donuts! Everything was amazing! I’ll have several posts in future days with information if you travel to the western New York area. Some things can even be ordered through the mail!
Listed in clockwise order:
- Roast beef and gravy on a weck roll. (Say Cheese! The Comic Book Cafe.)
- Pizza Logs. (Anchor Bar – the home of the original Buffalo Wings.)
- The Mighty Taco quesadilla with sour cream.
- Niagara water.
- Char-BQ chicken wings. (Duff’s Wings)
- Bavarian Pretzel with mustard and cheese. (NY Beer Project)
- Manhattan Mac & Cheese with garlic bread (NY Beer Project)
- Small (really! small!) Birthday Bash Ice Cream. (De-Dee’s Dairy)
- Angel cream donut (like Boston Creme with vanilla cream inside). (Paula’s Donuts.)
August’s inspiration posts were delayed by the entire month, but I am determined that this post tonight at the latest. It is the last day of August and there is still inspiration to be had.
August began with my being sick, some days quite ill, and I went to the Department of Health to take a covid test, which fortunately came back negative.
We’re still receiving updates from my children’s school and they are almost ready to return; one virtually and one in an in-person hybrid model.
We also were able to take a much needed family vacation, which we understand is a privilege in these uncertain times. I credit that to many things, not the least of which is the seriousness that New York State took in combatting the coronavirus. We remained in New York, and that gave us the ability to travel and to do so without a fourteen day quarantine anywhere else we may have gone. It wasn’t our original plan, but we were all together and we had a great week.
I mention this because the one thing I want to share with you for the August inspire post is a museum that we visited that I would encourage everyone to visit. I will write more about it in later days, but here is a small glimpse:
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is located at 825 West Depot Avenue West in Niagara Falls, New York. It has only been open for about two years, and was reopened on July 18th after Covid closures.
It is very reasonably priced: $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors (62+), $6 for children 6-12, and Free for children 5 and under.
There is limited parking shared with the Amtrak station and it is on the Discover Niagara Shuttle, a free service in the city of Niagara Falls that operates May through October. They’ve recently reopened after Covid closures.
The Heritage Center is a beautiful balance of the heartbreak of slavery and escape from bondage and the people who helped them flee. It is at once inspiring and emotional. In one instant, a story caused me to weep while others made me feel joy at their new lives in Canada.
It is a small venue, but well worth the time. I would return again to enjoy the few things that were not available due to covid restrictions.
I would encourage you to watch Day 1 of the RNC Convention from last night, and then rewatch clips from last week’s Democratic Convention. You can find both on C-Span or YouTube.
I would ask you to look critically at the messages being sent out, and ask yourself if this country will survive four more years of a Trump Presidency with its corruption, its lies, and its complete disregard for life.
Then, in seventy-one days (or sooner with early voting), vote as though your life (and the lives of your family and neighbors) depends on it.
Because it does.
How do I know it’s National Vote By Mail Day?
NOTE: Last week’s Election Connection has been updated with new names who we want to take back the Senate!
This video was created and produced by The Lincoln Project and it reminds us that voting out Trump isn’t the only goal. We need to replace his enablers. They need to go, and we need people who WORK FOR THE PEOPLE and will uphold the Rule of Law.
Replace Mitch McConnell with Amy McGrath
Replace Cory Gardner with John Hickenlooper
Replace Lindsey Graham with Jaime Harrison
Replace Susan Collins with Sara Gideon
Replace Devin Nunes with Phil Arballo
Replace Kevin McCarthy with Kim Mangone
Replace Joni Ernst with Theresa Greenfield
Replace Martha McSally with Mark Kelly
Replace Mark Meadows seat with Moe Davis
Replace John Cornyn with MJ Hegar
Replace Jim Jordan with Shannon Freshour
ETA: Replace Thom Tillis with Cal Cunningham
ETA: Replace Matt Gaetz with Phil Ehr
ETA: Replace Dan Crenshaw with Sima Ladjevardian
We can do this and take back our country!
“There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait.”Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: An American Musical
Throughout this pandemic, I have written and arted and journaled and prayed, usually with no rhyme or reason, letting the time at home and the mood of the day take the lead.
Last week, I volunteered, but was also asked and encouraged to write something for our weekly Cursillo newsletter. Our lay director decided to start it during the pandemic to keep everyone in touch.
I was happy to do it, but it took forever to start it. I had three drafts about online retreats; just a paragraph each. I skipped two lines to try again, and then it was July 3rd.
Our day revolved around watching Hamilton on Disney+. It was the premiere and for those of us unable to see the Tony Awared winning Broadway or the traveling shows, it would be the first time to view its magnificence.
I woke my family with shouts of “It’s Hamiltime!“
And that began the piece that would eventually make it into the newsletter.
It was inspired in subtle ways, and then it just came to me while sitting at the keyboard.
Inspiration is everywhere.
Let it catch you when you’re least expecting it.
The Declaration of Independence.
July 4, 1776.
The day that started it all.
Read it today. Clicking the image will take you to the National Archives where you can read it in full. When you’re finished, read the Constitution next. Believe it or not, it’s not that long.
Happy 4th of July!