Two Walks/TwoAmericas

When I first started writing blogs I began a series called Walking – 365 days. The blogs were a travelogue as I explored on foot my new surroundings. I also began to find my voice and express my opinions. When I first started blogging I had been intimidated by some negative reviews regarding my characters’ opinions.

I quickly got over it and began to share my observations of the income inequality in South Florida, the migrant workers riding on the back of trucks, sitting on top of palm fronds they’d trimmed in the midday heat on a summer day in Florida. Th guard houses at the entrances to gated communities. Mansions on the beach with the ever present Private sign as in this is my beach not yours. A bejeweled woman on the Starbucks’ patio in Boca Raton talking to her friend, “No, that was my first Russian husband. I was talking about my second Russian husband.”

The opinions aren’t going away. They’re stronger than ever and I wish more Republicans who are disenchanted with Trump would speak up. This morning I woke to the news Cindy McCain is endorsing Joe Biden. I also woke to the news that an autistic young boy in Salt Lake City, Utah was shot at nearly 12 times by the police after his mother called and made a point of saying he does not have a gun. This time they didn’t kill him but he has numerous injuries including broken bones and pierced organs.

We wake each day to an onslaught of frightening, depressing news. I try to walk it off everyday. Some days it doesn’t happen. I’m slain by sorrow and defeat. I’m angry with those who for years ignored all this. Those who still support all this are beyond my comprehension and my ability to forgive.

Vermont roads are not like Florida roads. There are few sidewalks. There are steep hills and other obstacles. There are no breakdown lanes on rural dirt roads. Instead there are gullies and having already broken both ankles six years ago, days before Rich and I became innkeepers, I really need to pay attention, especially when some out-of-stater comes barreling around a sharp curve.

These walks are my salvation from the miserable Days of Trump and the Coronavirus.

THE WALK I SHOULD HAVE SKIPPED

It was Saturday. Rich was chopping wood. Winter is fast approaching. We’re expecting a frost this week. I drove to Dover where there is a paved walking/biking path along scenic Route 100.

Couples were dining outdoors, sharing bottles of wine on the lawn at the West Dover Inn. The Congregational Church had a large sign thanking First Responders along with a note hanging on a clothesline from a woman who was making masks. Michelle, my daughter in Missoula, has been making masks for family and friends and former co-workers who were laid off from Lucky’s grocery store which was bought out by Kroger’s and two years later closed all the Lucky’s stores. I guess that’s one way to kill your competition.

Congregational Church West Dover, VT

There were also drawings from Sunday school students and the rainbow flag that announces God is Still Speaking which is very popular in this northeast corner of our troubled nation.

Multi-colored hands.

It was a beautiful blue sky day. The air was cool with a slight breeze. Traffic wasn’t too bad on this scenic byway. Then I got to Layla’s Riverside Lodge.

Trumpsters at the inn.

Motorcycles and trucks with gigantic Trump flags passed by on Route 100, tooting their horns and shouting out in solidarity to their fellow cult members holding a Trump rally in the parking lot. I flipped them the bird and kept walking. I wanted to shout “get the fuck out of my state” but unlike the out-of-state cars in the inn’s parking lot many of these passersby had Vermont plates. No one in the parking lot was wearing a mask. I kept my distance out on the sidewalk.

It certainly changed my mood and my thoughts moved from inspiration to dread and dystopian nightmares of the future.

A Trump Rally in Vermont! If that doesn’t scare you I don’t what will.

Further down the road the walking path takes a turn behind a restaurant. It’s quieter here and there’s a trail that heads up the mountain. On the sidewalk was a discarded sign of the times.

Someone didn’t want to wear their mask

When I walked back to my car that was parked at The Saloon most of the Trumpsters were gone. Back at home a friend texted and told me her friend saw a lot of flag waving Trump voters driving through Western Massachusetts and the NY Times was reporting on Trump supporters disrupting and intimidating early voters in Virginia.

I’m nervous about the days between November 3rd and January 20th.

THE WALK THAT GAVE ME A TEASPOON OF HOPE

On Sunday Rich was golfing. I drove to Brattleboro where there are plenty of sidewalks and everyone wears a mask.

Even this guy’s wearing a mask.

Signs of hope and resistance were everywhere.

NEVER AGAIN
READ THESE BOOKS
The Possible Has Been Tried and Failed. Now It Is Time To Try the Impossible.

I also traveled down side alleys I had never explored before. They all lead to the West River which is a tributary of the Connecticut River.

Train tracks along the West River
A Very Steep Fire Escape
A River View

I kept walking out of the downtown area and into a neighborhood I had always been curious about. There were a variety of Victorian style houses, ranch houses, and a stucco house that looked like it belonged in Palm Beach, Florida. One house had a swimming pool with a view of the New Hampshire mountains just across the river.

The Beekeeper’s Yard

Then I came across what looked like an old mansion now converted into assisted living for the elderly. I noticed a neon sign in an attic window that simply said Hi.

Hello in There

Like the thoughts in my head the photo’s a little blurry. I didn’t want to climb the hill that this nursing home sits on. There was no guard house but there was a No Trespassing sign.

So I took a blurry picture and headed back to the parking lot across from the brewery near the bridge that crosses the river into New Hampshire. I thought about the elderly man or woman in the attic. I thought about my mother’s last days in a nursing home. How the staff was so kind and how sad my Dad was to not have her at home because their condo was still being repaired from the fire that spread from the next door neighbor’s condo. Then I thought of John Prine and how he succumbed to the coronavirus and although Sunday’s walk was much more hopeful than Saturday’s I still felt sad and defeated while this song floated through my thoughts.

What are you doing to keep your sanity in these trying times we live in?

Are you feeling sad too?

7 thoughts on “Two Walks/TwoAmericas

  1. I continually vacillate between hope and despair. I keep hope alive by reading Heather Cox Richardson, Dan Rather, and communicating with friends. It ain’t easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been keeping busy. Repairing and repainting old wooden storm windows. Scrapping house trim that my husband paints. Making flannel blankets for the grandkids Christmas presents. The physical activity helps to keep the WTF moments at bay. But only for so long.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Me too. I’ve been cleaning my old and new cell phones, moving the 100’s of pictures to my desktop. I reorganized the kitchen cabinets. Tried to streamline the little storage space we have in this house due to a lack of enough closets. Made a cairn garden outside my front door. Purged my husband’s basement of junk (with much resistance on his end). It helps, but you’re right, only for so long. The last few days I have been reading out loud and editing the 140,705 words I have written in my 5th novel.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Natalie for joining the conversation. I too find the forest comforting. After all I live in the green mountains and despite all they chaos they are turning on their annual autumn show of red, orange and yellow foliage. Of course that also means the tourists are arriving from places where people are less serious about safety and respect for other people’s well-being. In Vermont we are very serious about the masks and social distancing. Our number of cases are some of the lowest in the country. Stay safe my new friend and I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello,
    Yep, lots of sad days these past six months. I try to spend a lot of time hiking and being out in nature. Living in Pence’s Indiana has been very lonely. For those of us who don’t worry about our guns being taken away or that equal human rights will somehow lessen our own lives, it is difficult to find like minded folks. I live a very conservative life, you know, 36 years married to the same man, retired from public schools, praying daily…… and yet I am the far left liberal??? Our labels and our values are so off track now. I worry that we are getting so divided that unity may not even be an option. Many folks have forgotten WWII and how easily the Nazis came to power. It’s happening right under their noses, yet they refuse to see. Just hoping that the lack of Biden signs is because many folks, like me, are a bit afraid to place one in their yard here in Trump land. I’m even in the minority wearing a mask here!!! Good to hear there are still some of you reasonable, clear minded thinkers out there! Hang in there!!! Try forest bathing It works!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for joining the conversation. I too love walking in the forests of the Green Mountain state. Like Thoreau I find comfort in Mother Nature. In Vermont everyone wears a mask and takes this virus very seriously. We have a lot of tourists flying up our hilly winding dirt roads right now. Vermont is starting her spectacular autumn show early this year. The trees are already turning red, orange and yellow. It’s like nowhere else I’ve seen at this time of year. You hang in there too and come back to visit again. I write books too. They’re along the right side of the page. I hear it’s going be a long winter this year and like one of my photos above says – Read a Book. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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