Friday, October 30, 2015

Go Set a Watchman

There's a lot about Alabama I love. There's a lot about Alabama I hate. I think that can be said for any hometown/state. And I think that's one of the reasons why Harper Lee's book To Kill a Mockingbird was so popular. It covered the best and worst of a society, in its historical context, with all its horrors and all its good. It's also why I hesitated to read Lee's latest published work.

If what I have read is true, Go Set a Watchman was her original work. It was also rejected by the editor with a suggestion that she rewrite it from Scout's point of view as a child. The manuscript of Scout as an adult confronting a myriad of thoughts, emotions, people, and societal views was supposedly left untouched with her important papers. I bought the book, but hesitated to read it for some time. This past week, I finally read it, and was both saddened and surprised. Saddened, because racism and the ugly part of my home state is never a pretty thing to read. Surprised, because it addressed things head-on in historical context without any political correctness. New York's racism is brought up, women's place in society, Scout's issues and struggles with the church, the NAACP, states' rights, reverse racism, and even freedom of speech. It's all there.

It's been many years since I've read her first published work. As an adult, I prefer the second book, her first writing, much better. For a classroom assignment, I'm not sure if I'd go with Mockingbird or assign them both as a comparison/contrast in viewpoint and ways of presenting the same matter in different ways.

But grown-up Scout is right in many ways - once you leave home, nothing is ever the same.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

pictures and privacy

I have many friends who are extremely cautious about posting pictures of their children anywhere on the internet. Whether it be Facebook, their blog, twitter, or instagram, they either won't post pictures at all, or make sure to obscure their faces. I do my best to respect those wishes. It's their children; their responsibilities and viewpoints. Since my family is scattered across many states, and social media is one of many ways we communicate, that's not our policies. But I've thought about this a lot more lately as blogger has posted notices about Europe's stricter privacy policies, especially with pictures. A college friend who lives in Spain commented once that they can't use certain pictures in letters because of privacy laws. I find it a little funny and strange (and sad) that Europe is viewing individual privacy as more important than America does. I thought our nation was supposed to be the one that was more individualistic, but turns out, we're not.

There are many times I wonder how wise it is to post so much on social media. But I view this blog as a way of sharing my thoughts with family and friends, as well as a means of keeping a record of my life - a new way of journaling. And when my parents were here a few weeks ago, I hesitated to post pictures of their trip on social media, but knew my siblings and relatives would want to see them. What easier way for us to have a group conversation and banter with each other than Facebook? It's not the same as being together, but it's a decent second to that.

I'm trying to be more careful and cautious with what I post, but not at the expense of sharing things with my family. It's a delicate balance, and for now I'm leaning more toward the side of communication.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

plodding onward

Life doesn't stop. Not for company, not for illness, not for projects, not for anything. It just keeps going and going and...yeah.

So a brief update on what's happened/happening:

Since my last update, Bobby blacked out one morning, spent 2 days in the hospital, and we are currently trying meds to see what can help raise his low blood pressure (low for even a quadraplegic, which is REALLY low) and irregular heartbeat.

Quilts of valor...but that deserves it's own post with venting and bragging.

A parental visit...which included all kinds of fun things...that's like 4 posts worth of stuff

house cleaning - it's happening

Squirrel issues - they don't share the way I think they should

Chicken updates: 10 biddies nearly fully feathered and 2 teens have started laying

Books: I clearly have different thoughts and tastes than most; my pile is oh so slowly shrinking's coming!

More elaborate posts to come...hopefully this week!