As the nation marks Memorial Day this weekend… Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address perhaps serves as the most eloquent ode to sacrifice ever imparted. May we take the words to heart as we remember those who endured the horror of war.
As the nation continues its immigration debate, there is something anyone with an opinion on the matter should do. They should read these words, penned by Emma Lazarus, and inscribed upon The Statue Of Liberty in New York Harbor:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Nowhere does it say give me your huddled masses so long as they are not from Mexico. Granted, the nation needs to plot out a plan for citizenship, taking steps to keep up with demand. We should, as a nation be able to both come up with an effective plan and agree upon it. We stand the danger however to become a nation beset by fear. Follow me here.Yoda, the little green guy in Star Wars said something to the effect, "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering". What are we afraid of ? Are we afraid newcomers are going to take our slice of the pie ? There is still plenty of pie. Are you afraid of losing jobs to an immigrant workforce ? This is a vast over - simplification, but when was the last time you applied for work picking strawberries 12 hours a day ? You say there won't be enough pie if we keep letting people in ? Hmmm, I see. Is that the same thing as saying "hooray for me and the hell with everyone else" ? Do they teach that in church ? I wouldn’t know because I've never been. No, I dont want to go to yours. I can tell you however my mother came through Ellis Island as a little girl. Legally, in 1930. That was pre depression and pre war, although Fascism was even then on the rise in Europe. The boat out of Naples, Italy took her right by the Statue Of Liberty. Because my grandfather worked hard in this country as an immigrant, his family arrived second class, which was better than steerage, which basically means stacked like cordwood in a cargo hold. That was a point of pride. If my Mom had not been admitted, I wouldn’t be here today. That might make some folks happy, then again, maybe for my part I could be lounging on the Mediterranean right now.
I just think we have to do our best to keep true to what this country is all about .. and the words inscribed on the statue are what we are, and always have been about. Witness the outpouring of aid and assistance for those who suffered this week in Oklahoma. We have it our hearts, we just have to widen our scope of generosity if at all possible. Im not saying we shouldnt have rules, we should... but lets not forget the plight of our fellow man. By the way, have you ever been to The Statue Of Liberty ? It's impressive, and emotional.
How's your garden this year ? How are your hanging baskets ? It's a personal question, I am aware. I have a covered wrap - around porch on my house, and I have several hanging baskets placed along the outermost edge of the overhang. Based on my sun and shade location, I find "impatiens" do well with the lack of direct sunlight, perhaps only an hour or two a day. Marigolds would need more sun, as would geraniums, both of which however require dead - heading blossoms to ensure blooms continue. While impatiens do not require such painstaking maintenance, they do require constant water or they wilt. You don’t want to drown them, but they will let you know if they are dry, by wilting at the stem, only to ressurrect to their former glory with water applied, provided you don’t let them dry out entirely. Perhaps you've noticed that with hanging baskets, no matter the species, the basket tends to dry out fast. Of course it does. It is exposed to open atmosphere on all sides… the vessel warms up with the surrounding air, it doesn’t tap into a cool reservoir of earth. Besides, most hanging baskets are filled with a potting soil medium, usually a fair amount of peat, which holds water about as well as a cotton ball set out in the sun. Try this: plant your hanging baskets with a composted cow manure mix. A heavy soil medium. If its too dense, thin it with some topsoil, but not too much. The thicker soil will retain water 3 to 5 times better than the peat moss mix. You'll still have to water, but not 2 times a day. In addition, most flowers will love the organic fertilizer and will thrive. Give it a try, trust me. Here are a few other tips from our friend "Heidi The Hot Horticulturalist"… click on the video box. Before you do, however, there is one plant in the video that Heidi is clipping back to give a new lease on life to which you should pay especial attention. Heidi is trying to spur its growth with what amounts to a haircut. The plant mass is too big for the pot. It's leaf mass on top is 4 to 5 times the size of its root mass below. It wont do well. If you have a hanger that gets that big, pop it in the ground somewhere and pop in a new , smaller plant to hang. Other than that, Heidi as always has some great advice:
I'm developing a good taste for the local cuisine (vittles) in western North Carolina. I'm also developing a 40 inch waist. The fact that the entire geography here is on a 45 degree angle helps keep it at 38. I havent had possum stew or crawdad flambe yet, but I have tried some local recipes beyond just barbeque. A local restaurant which I frequent has some good game dishes. One favorite is wild boar, the other is rabbit. There are restaurants of every description in Asheville… Thai food, Indian food, Italian food and food from every part of the world, and its all good. Part of the exploration of the greater region however includes sampling it's native customs, music, and of course food. I've also recently discovered what are called "ramps".. some sort of a wild onion. Very pungent, very powerful, as is the local moonshine, or so I've heard.
This could be fun, especially for a Monday. Let's watch all the "tax freaks" knot themselves in a bunch. All we have to do is share this cartoon. You wouldn’t think simple animation would elicit such a visceral response, would you ? It will be okay. I promise. Remember to breathe, and just keep it in the forefront of your mind that the world will turn.