Archive for March 17th, 2007

I went up to the Camdenton square today and participated in a roadside demonstration for peace.   I believe that we are “celebrating” the fourth anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq, which officially began March 20, 2003.  Can you believe we have been involved in this idiocy for four whole years now?

It was COLD today.  Actually, I’m sort of happy it chilled down a bit, if it gets too hot, the daffodils sort of poop out.  They don’t really like it to be too warm.   But this was a little overkill.   It was 35 degrees Fahrenheit according to the sign at the bank by the square.  That’s 1.6 degrees Centigrade.  Oh, did I mention the wind was blowing too, rawly out of the west?   Plus there were small snow flurries.

The hardest part of standing there holding my sign, “Grow Peace,” which I borrowed from one of the organizers, was breathing the exhaust fumes of the dozens of vehicles that drove by as we stood there for our two hour vigil.   Only one person was motivated to come into the parking lot, park, get out of his vehicle and harangue us for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  It wasn’t until after I got home that I realized that the proper response to this man would be some nice questions, like Aphra Behn was talking in her posts about using questions to communicate and persuade.   He kept shouting at us, over and over again, “You are encouraging the enemy by doing this.  Go home.”  He was clearly enraged at us.   I should have asked him, “Who is this ‘enemy’ of whom you speak?”

His vitriol was almost completely neutralized by the next man who felt moved to stop.  I didn’t notice him pulling into the parking lot until my sign-holding partner said, “Get ready, here comes another yeller.”   

I said, “Oh, what makes you think he’s going to yell at us?” 

“He has a Marine Corps Veteran license plate.”

“Well, maybe he isn’t going to yell, he doesn’t look very angry to me.”

We watched as he approached our little group of 22, he had a very bad limp.  He walked along our line of demonstrators, and made a point of shaking hands with every one of us warmly, telling us thank you.  I heard him tell somebody up the line from me that he was a Viet Nam vet, lost his leg over there.   Seems to me he needs a better prosthetic.  I leaned over to my partner, and said quietly, “There, see how dangerous it is to subscribe to a stereotype.” 

 That was one of the things that happened today that made it very uplifting to stand on that corner for two hours, in spite of the fact that I got chilled through and through. I stupidly neglected to put on my long johns before I left for Camdenton, even though I had been out in snow flurries already this morning.  One of my very good friends and clients had Bee balm (monarda) that was going berserk in her flower border and offered me some. While I was down at her place digging up the volunteer plants she was giving me, it proceeded to snow quite briskly on us. We stood there, laughing at the contrast as we enjoyed her daffodils.  It should have given me a clue to put on more than one or two layers of clothes.

The reason the vigil/demonstration was so uplifting was the large number of people who demonstrated their support for us by yelling things like “Right on!” out their open windows, or honking and waving and smiling.   There was not a single semi-truck driver who was indifferent to us.   Six of them went by.  One of them smiled, four of them honked and waved thumbs up at us, one of them gave us a thumbs down and the “wave off” sign from aviation.  

At least he was polite in his gestural language.  Most of the people who were not in agreement with our position in favor of peace resorted to the most crude digit waving.  A few told us to go home, one guy called us pot-smoking losers (just jealous, I guess).   One rather obese woman in an overloaded ancient Ford Pinto drove through the parking lot yelling “Losers!” at us.   I looked at my brand new Toyota Prius, and thought, “I can afford to splurge on this vehicle on a matter of principle, and you call ME a loser?”  It actually amused me.

As I was driving home, I cogitated on the mentality of a person who can actually actively argue against being in favor of more peace in the world.  Sort of boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

Tomorrow I am taking my beautiful drum to Columbia.  Nancy and I are carpooling together to the Peace March Mid-Missouri Peaceworks is holding there. I am going to wear a slogan on a T-shirt as I march. I have several candidates:

  1. Waging war to stop terrorism is like putting out fire with gasoline.
  2. There is no way to peace.   Peace is the way.
  3. What part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” didn’t you understand?
  4. We are making enemies faster than we can kill them.
  5. Choose compassion, not sides.

I’m on my way to buy a t-shirt to paint a slogan on, I’ll be mulling it over on the trip to the store.

On second thought, make that a sweat shirt.  Doesn’t look like it’s going to be t-shirt weather in Columbia tomorrow.

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It’s still just barely the 16th of March, just.   I probably won’t get this posted before midnight tonight.  I’m really excited.  

I checked my blog stats and I have been viewed over 10,400 times!   I know a lot of those views are from repeat visitors, and I surely do enjoy the dialogue.  I have been watching that number go up for several months and wondering how long it would take to have my words and pictures looked at that many times.  So cool.   Thanks, everybody!

Of course, it was the Ides of March yesterday.  I lost control during one of my client’s exits and said “Beware the Ides of March!” to her as she was starting down my front steps.  She turned, with a very puzzled look, and asked me what I was talking about.

“You know, the Ides of March,” I said, enunciating the words more clearly.

“The Ice of March?”  she queried me, even more confused.

I should have given up, but I explained about the Ides of March being the middle of March, mentioned Julius Caesar.   Oh heck, this woman didn’t even know that Julius Caesar had been stabbed by the Senate after being warned by the soothsayer.   I gave up.  Jim had the exact same experience at the liquor store.  I despair of the local youth suffering from what passes for a modern “education” in this town.

I have been way too busy today.  I walked Ruby.  I went and received my one hour massage this morning after I made breakfast for Jim and me.   I picked a bouquet of daffodils for the house.  I have washed 4 loads of laundry and folded 7.  I gave 6 massages.  I went to my local dairyperson and secured my gallon of milk.  I made bread, roasted coffee, and did the dishes.  I contemplated planting my carrots and realized I didn’t have time, and put it off until tomorrow.   I spent some time multi-tasking by shelling the black beans I grew last year while I was reading Ngaio Marsh’s mystery “Killer Dolphin.”  Then the UPS guy came with a package of two trees from Miller Nurseries, so I realized the tomorrow we would be planting trees and put off until Sunday the planting of the carrots.  

I can’t do as much as I normally might accomplish this weekend because I am attending two Peace Demonstrations, one on the Square in Camdenton and the other up in Columbia.  I have been trying unsuccessfully to figure out a great sign to take the demonstration, and I haven’t come up with anything great.   I’d like to quote Micah 4:3-4, but those verses are too long to put on anything smaller than a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood.  Maybe I’ll just do “Thou Shalt Not Kill.  Peace NOW.”  I don’t know.  They’ll probably have signs available at the demonstration. I am carpooling to Columbia with N, one of my good friends, and we are going to drive the Green Flash up there to test its mileage on long trips.  It is doing 51.3mpg around town.  

When I told my dad I was going to a peace demonstration this weekend, he told me to be careful and not get in trouble.   He reminded me that the authorities could get pretty rough with demonstrators.   I told him a.) we are not in the sixties, b.) we have a permit to gather, and c.) we were holding a peace demonstration, and there probably wasn’t going to be any trouble.   After all, Rioting for Peace seems oxymoronic.

I’m just going to warn you that in the next few weeks I may not be real regular in my blogging.  It is time to plant the vegetable garden, the onion plants will be arriving soon.   We also have to prune the grapes, and burn the prunings.   We do not compost them because the composting process does not kill the fungi that like to infect grapes and we don’t want to recycle those spores.  I also have approximately 3 cubic yards of ground up tree branches and twigs cleaned up from the ice storm damage that I need to make into a compost pile so it will turn into mulch.  I have a big pile of manure right next to the pile of ground up tree material that I intend to mix with it.   We acquired a thick rubber pond liner to lay down on the ground before I start mixing compost.   I have learned over the years that if you try to make compost on bare ground by the time you get around to turning it the second time it is completely interwoven with tree roots and almost impossible to “fork”. 

That will be an ongoing process along with finishing cutting up all the limbs that got pruned out of our elm trees.   We are cutting them into stove lengths and stacking them in the wood shed for future reference.   There is some stuff we need to burn, too.

 Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I am not going to quit blogging, but I may not be around so verbosely or often as has been my wont.

Oh yes, and thank you all so much for your concern about my leg.  I have been contemplating taking another picture of it.   It is a truly amazing bruise, all the way from the knee to the sole of my foot on both sides of the leg, all the way around the whole calf.  This is because I have been on my feet as well as putting my foot up, so the blood from the original injury has had a chance to travel all the way up and down the lower extremity.   The blood products are starting to break down now, so right now the leg is all colors of green, yellow, purple, red, blue and pink.   The abrasion is healing nicely.   Turns out the reason it was looking infected was because I am allergic to the adhesive on Bandaids, and the area of the irritation included the abrasion from my fall.   As soon as I stopped using Bandaids, the wound started healing apace.   I am so thankful I did not break my arms or wrists when I fell, or sprain anything. 

Well, gotta go.  It’s late and I still have to get up in time to figure out my sign for the Peace demonstration.   If anybody has any ideas, I’d sure appreciate hearing them.  Ta.

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