Archive | April 2016

Big Girls Speak For Themselves!!

womanThere was a time women wore hoop skirts, were considered so delicate they had to be routinely revived with smelling salts when their corsets ceased breathing activity, and were believed to be too hysterical to vote. Off they were sent to the parlor to discuss ‘lady things’ while the big boys remained at the dining room table with whiskey and cigars to rationally discuss the political landscape.

Poor dainty little creatures, and weren’t those just the days?  Thank you, God, those days are gone. The spineless things tore those hoops from their skirts and used them for hula hoops, tied the corsets around their husband’s heads, kicked the smelling salts to the curb, and ran into the streets. Having sprung themselves from the parlor, they begin to walk alone and talk out loud, manage careers and homes, and vote. Actually, they did everything the big boys did, sometimes better, and they begin to speak for themselves, if anyone was listening or not.

Wouldn’t you just know it? History is trying to repeat itself. Trapped behind the 2016 Presidential Campaign, women are once again being delegated to the backroom while the  politicians, all of them, discuss women’s reproductive organs, birth control, abortion, women’s health care options, and all things female as if they were talking about someone from another planet.

Guess what guys?? We are standing right here, and you need only ask if you want to know what we want. Don’t look in the backroom for us because we’re not there, and please cease and desist using our fallopian tubes for a Presidential platform. We can speak for ourselves, and can manage our own birth control issues and choices.

The Great Poetry Disconnect

Poetry is one of those things one hates or loves, and even that is a strange variable because the very ones who claim to abhor poetry can spend an hour selecting a greeting card unaware they are really searching for the perfect verses or poem. Apparently, even the haters have a need for a poem every now and then, so how then did the great poetry disconnect happen?

As late as the 19th Century, poetry was a treasured reading venue. It slowly fell from favor in the 20th Century, and became an obsolete art form.  It is for this very reason ‘poetry appreciation’ is taught in schools. There are many things one can say in a sentence or through the written word, but if the message has to be distinctive and sparkle and shine, you need a poem. These are mine, and they can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CTG2VLI

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Angels Cry When A Teacher Dies

Teachers are not made, they are born. They come into this world to share and care, and to shape and mold. It is their calling, and they have no choice but to teach. So they teach. In schools big and small, districts rich and poor, and they send forth the products of their endeavor as better citizens. Sadly, teachers age and pass away, but never are they forgotten. They live on in every student that has passed before them.

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 1138778926In loving memory of my Aunt: Estelle Spounias, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and teacher.

(1929 -2016) 

 

Spring Comes To The Prairie

The lawn has been mowed, twice, and the dandelions are springing up; and yet, the winds prevail and it’s still jacket weather. The heavy blankets have been taken from the bed, twice, and brought back to keep us warm. Yesterday it rained before the sun came out as it passed by, then sleet pelted the windows. We’re supposed to have a lightning and thunder event in the night, and I can hard wait. Summer, they tell me, is just around the corner, but I’m not sure what corner, but I think it’s hiding somewhere down around the Texas Panhandle. I had a prairie garden that’s gone dormant, and I’m not so sure it’s coming back this year. I don’t know for sure, but it seems we’re trapped in the house wishing to be outside but unwilling to brave the elements to do so. I can’t imagine how the wagon trains traversed this hostile environment, because I find a trip thought the yard a hair rising experience. I guess this is how spring comes to the prairie, but we’re in April now and we should be seeing flowers, but we’re not.

Dog Days on the Prairie

The ancient Romans described ‘Dog Days as: “A time when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics and frenzy. The evil time coincided with the appearance of the Dog Star, Sirius, when it rose just at dawn, and believing the Dog Star responsible for the madness, the Romans made sacrifices to Sirius thinking it would appease his displeasure.” (‘Clavis Calendarium’ by J. Brady, 1813)

In current times, ‘Dog Days’ is defined as a time or event that is very hot or stagnant, and marked by a dull lack of progress. The position of the stars has changed since the ancient Romans, so we cannot be sure when they experienced their period of lunacy, but on the prairie all days are dog days; hysterical and frenzied. It appears the only difference between the ancient Romans and the modern day prairie dweller is the prairie dwellers do not make sacrifices, human or otherwise.

What Happened Here??

bison-526805__180    Centuries ago, rolling plains covered in tall grass and wild flowers was christened ‘prairie’ by French explorers; a word meaning meadow grazed by cattle. The cattle were Bison or Buffalo; the gentle giants and lords of the prairie.

Thus was the Buffalo Nation, a land shared in equal parts by nomadic plains Indians, the restless wind, and buffalo. Existing in a time before white man ventured forth, the prairie held sway; a gentle whisper of wind echoing across a vast sea of grass disturbed only by the distant rumble of thunder as herds of large hulking buffalo shook the ground in their thunderous approach.

The triangular shaped patch of swaying grass covered what is now Wisconsin; North and South Dakota; Minnesota; Nebraska; Kansas; Iowa; Indiana; Illinois, Missouri; Oklahoma; Wyoming; Colorado; New Mexico; Texas; and sizeable parts of Montana. Collectively, this was ‘The Great Prairie’.

Eventually white man did come, the buffalo were systematically killed, the Indian tribes vanished from illnesses brought by the white man, starvation as the buffalo were was killed off, and the remainder was herded into reservations. Sadly, the Buffalo Nation died as it had been born; effortlessly and without fanfare.

As the prairie became devoid of buffalo and Indians, settlers moved in seeking land, a better way of life, a sense of adventure, or they came not quite sure why. Descending onto the prairie from every direction intent on being farmers, in short time found they could not. The tall grass and wild flowers had rendered the prairie soil dense and full of roots. The wooden plows could not cultivate the thick turf, and the settlers begin cutting out sections of the dense sod, and created little houses with it.

It would not be until 1837 that an Illinois blacksmith invented a steel plow that could cut through the prairie soil, and the age of John Deere was born. As the soil became tillable, the ‘Great Prairie’ shrank as homesteads emerged. The homesteads gave birth to little villages and towns on the vast horizon. The towns and villages grew into bigger cities and towns with homes of all type and size including the rise of the sky scrapper. The little homesteads turned into sprawling farmlands, factories emerged, and without anyone barely giving notice, ‘The Great Prairie’ had been tamed, and ceased to be.

With the death of  ‘The Great Prairie’, a greater entity was born; the Midwest; a huge chunk of land comprised of twelve states; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.