The Upcoming Election

Who Should Be In Charge?

With the presidential elections fast approaching,  I could not help noticing that both candidates criticize their opponent. The scary thought is, what if they are both right and neither one is fit to be in charge of this great nation? We should have more choices than just one of two. At a minimum, there should be a third option: Neither one.

Old man

Griping Grandpa on Better Choices 

We are supposed to have a representative government, but regardless of whether Obama or Romney wins the presidency in November, is it safe to assume that either one would fully represent my interests? Or yours? I have my doubts. What do you think?

Government can be seen as a power structure intent on continual expansion. With each new regulation or piece of legislation, regardless of who it rewards or punishes, government wins, but we all lose another piece of our precious freedom.

Through taxes and fines, government, whether it be city, county, state, or federal, robs from everybody and then rewards those it favors.

mother and daughter Madame President!

Last week a lady with her four-year-old daughter visited our art gallery. The little girl was fascinated with the little hooks we used to display some of our merchandise. The lady made her purchase and left. A few minutes later she returned, announcing that her daughter had something to say to us. The little girl muttered an apology and returned a little hook she had snatched. The lady’s parting words for the benefit of her daughter were, “We do not take what does not belong to us.”

Now, there’s someone I would pick for President!

 Quote for the Week

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” —Groucho Marx 

The Changing Family Unit

In a world full of change, how are the grandparents coping?

Grandma Thunder  From Grandma Thunder

Marian McQuade valued a family-style where grandchildren are able to tap into the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. To give energy to her dream, she had Grandparent’s Day proclaimed by Jimmy Carter, and a good thing it is, as seniors are one third of our population. Now every September we enter into a new conversation about the well-being of our older generation.

Family is a fundamental building block of society often forgotten in a strident  argument about rights.  On the other hand one has to remember that in a changing world, the family form has to be ever fluid.

In ancient Greece the family was considered all of the people living together under one roof, whatever the sexual orientation, and this even included the servants! In the West we have come to support the idea of a nuclear family – nuclear meaning ‘core’ as distinguished from the ‘extended family’ that includes grandparents and first level aunts, uncles and cousins.

man women two children

Economic realities and  a new need for connectedness has undermined the American nuclear family.  In Africa the extended family was a popular model with grandparents honored and revered, but with the HIV it is now the grandparents who, sadly, are raising the orphan children. The Chinese model is also getting broken down by industrialization and the Communist mandate of ‘only one child’.

So what can we say? We can say that like everything else families are changing and the only stable datum in a world of change is that there will be change.

It seems to me that it is about how well you make what you have, work for you.

I don’t have any fixed idea of what a family should be, although I do believe that family is important. It is important for the individual and for society, but it is especially important for children. There seem to me to be three things we need to watch and to control as our families change:

  • Do the children have love, security and stability in a family they can call their own and a family that will last throughout their childhood?
  • Do all the family members have freedom of choice?
  • Do  all of the family members feel loved and included? Do they have that sense of belonging imparted in all good families?

I look around in America and see many failing families, yet in my own little circle there are two shining examples, two families I would give an almost perfect family score.

There was once a father with two young girls, whose wife left them. He remarried a very warm and wonderful woman who raised the girls. The girls in turn married with one daughter having two girls and the other three boys. The closeness in this extended family is to be envied. They all holiday together at least once a year, sometimes twice. The grand kids visit their grandparents (off their own bat) and often write and email and always keep in touch even although one boy is in the military. The closeness of this bigger family unit is almost palpable.

The second family is far different in basic structure but equally successful. In one home lives a single-parent mom, a grandma and a grand daughter – all of them women. In another home the son lives with his partner, yet it is he who does the man-things, who is the handy-man for the women. They have all united around the goal of getting the grand daughter, a lovely young woman, through her college and they have created a business together to make this happen. All family members get along and are observably close.

Both of these families have religion and this would seem to be a uniting factor.

The Grandparent-Day flower is the forget-me-not. Can we all use the flower’s message to take our own family up a notch or two in caring?

Forget Me Not flower

For Get Me Not Flower (Sunday 9th September)   

Quote for the Week 

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful.  One moment you’re just a mother.  The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.  ~Pam Brown