Friday, September 23, 2016

Rachel's Adventures, One Last Move and Taking a Knee

Rachel made it safely home after a full week of camping. Their trip took them (if you're directionally challenged at all you're going to hate me for what follows) west through South Dakota and into southwestern Montana then south through Idaho and into southwestern Utah before returning home through Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa. She snuck in unnoticed early Monday morning and crashed on a couch after driving through the night.

After recuperating from her drive, she spent an hour filling us in about the details of her trip. Much of the planning they'd done had to be entirely reworked on the fly because of heightened bear activity warnings in West Yellowstone where they'd planned to camp. They made the most of it and had some very memorable experiences. She also took some beautiful photos along the way. They all pushed themselves to their limits at Upheaval Dome with not enough water or food for the 8 hours the hike required. Oh, and they stayed at a campground for swingers! Fun memories! I'm looking forward to seeing what she puts together from her GoPro video.

We're very happy with Trinity Care Center, the facility in Farmington where Tammy's mother, Elaine, is now staying. We have nothing good to say at all about 2 Caring Hands where she'd been residing since leaving our home in May. There were many red flags along the way while she was there but Tammy had been hoping she'd be able to change the way they operated, to bring them up to speed but it wasn't to be. She's going to sit down over the next few days and write out her concerns and forward them along to whatever county agency follows up on these matters. Anything short of closing their group homes down won't be enough. Their website description of how they market themselves and how their homes actually run are entirely different. The final straw for Tammy came when she observed the residents being fed their evening meal at 2:30 in the afternoon and then put to bed for the night after they'd finished eating while the aid taking care of them was working a 60-hour shift with no relief. There must be more regulation of these sorts of facilities because right now, there are some that are flying under the radar while falling woefully short of the mark for their residents with no repercussions whatsoever.

There's an ugly sort of patriotism that's infected our country. Maybe it's always been this way and I just never noticed. Colin Kaepernick began the dialog by taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem at a preseason NFL game recently. He explained why:

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

I can't disagree with him and he gets much respect from me for his peaceful protest.

There was a time not all that many years ago when I'd have been one of those booing Colin. I used to be a proud, flag-waving patriotic guy but I've been steadily moving away from the old me. Maybe it's the way I find myself cringing whenever I'm perusing Facebook or online sites and I see a comment by someone with a flag and an eagle depicted together in their profile photo. The comments associated with those who love to flaunt their patriotism this way are too often the source of some very bigoted and ugly right-wing drivel. Anyone who spends even a small amount of time in online forums knows what I'm speaking of.

And now I see how so many on the right are beside themselves with disgust and anger at those who would dare not stand for the playing of the anthem (as if they stand in the privacy of their homes when the song is played before a game). I'm seriously considering staying seated the next time I find myself in this situation. It has nothing to do with disrespecting people who have sacrificed for our country but everything to do with stopping this ugly, nationalistic faux thing that passes for patriotism with so many today and doing my part to stand up to it—or sitting down to it.

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