Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Time Again to stand UP

To Vote or Not To Vote

I came into the election open minded. Well, I had hoped the Clintons would make another spin at the white house and then the Clintons slowly reminded me that above country they are always for the Clintons and it seemed that Hillary had lost her sparkle. Standing around the corner stood Hope. I am from Chicago so when someone tells me about a politican from Chicago I am leary. There are backroom deals here, things done on the sly so the idea of one of those southside bullies from Hyde Park occupying the White House did not thrill me. I kept thinking "let's see what the Republicans throw at me."

I like John McCain. I think he's an American Hero. He spent his life serving our country. He sacrificed his childhood in a sense because his father and his father's father was at war defending our country. This is an honorable man and an honorable family. I like his wife, her efforts to bring food and medicine to starving children around the world are admirable. I guess I'm a one issue girl. I don't get that McCain has any interest in inhibiting a woman's choice in regards to having or not having a baby. I don't think he'd allow the religious right to mess around with Roe V. Wade. But...John didn't pick a moderate running mate and he's not a young man. He's an older man who picked Sara Palin. I just can't sit with that decision. Forget that she seems nervous about giving an interview because she isn't one of the Washington rehearsed. Forget that she hunts moose with a rifle out of a helicopter (not really a fair chance for a Moose to get away.) Let's just drop the idea that I'm not always comfortable with a teenager showing up pregnant and a parent looking a little dumbfounded not having impressed upon their children how important birth control is. I remember when my son was a teenager I kept a giant crystal bowl of condoms on his bathroom sink as a constant reminder that if we make the choice to have sex we best be having safe sex. Even when I put all that aside. Women should support other women. I'm not necessarily a Gloria feminist but when given the choice I support other women and the choices they make for their life and the efforts they make to not only break the glass ceiling but to stomp on the pieces until my feet bleed. Sarah picks when she says she doesn't support abortion rights and it's no inconceivable that she'd be president. There are three justices up for retirement in the Supreme Court and as I'm not all that confident in John's choices, the idea that Sarah would pick one of them just doesn't sit will with me.

Am I thrilled with the unfair redistribution of wealth in this country? No. Do I want people who make more than $250K a year to be taxed unfairly? No. I am a little nervous about a Junior Senator running the most powerful country in the world but...I have to trust in Hope. I have to believe that maybe someone who isn't jaded by the Washington crowd may be able to walk us out of this war and into some economic development for those that have been overwhelmed by rising gas prices and an economy that has just recently exploded with bad debt.

The horrible part of a close election is that half the country gets to feel as though they've lost and it pulls us in two directions rather than bring us together and this is a time when we need to stand together as Americans. We need to bring our troops home from the middle east, to help these men and women reunite with their families and to take care of them. We need to build our economy and to teach our children that you don't buy a $400K house when you can only afford a $200K house. We need to pull together the great minds in America to find alternative fuel sources and to help small business people expand.

No matter how your heart is torn, vote. Men died for our right to vote. It only takes a few moments and you're counted. Your opinion matters and when we stand together for what is right, things change. I like the audacity of hope. Hope changes hearts and changes our lives and most importantly the lives our children.

Thanks for spending this time with me. If you have an interest in my art, you can find it at You can always write to me at and I welcome your insight as long as you aren't nutty Jeannie.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I was at a show this weekend and a woman approached me asking me question after question about my jewelry and she said "my mom had bracelets full of charms, little moving pieces of history." I think that's why I love to make my charm bracelets because I get to use components of this and that, things my grandma had on her dressing table, things my mother loved, the cameos, the rhinestones. My parents were never big on excess. They didn't spoil their children the way I spoil my son. We were first told to work for what we wanted and sometimes I feel the guilt of just handing over things to my son just because I want his life to be easier.

But I have a different relationship with my son than I had with my parents. We are closer, more friends, confidants. We take the time to have lunch together and share all about our lives. He has a genuine interest in what makes me happy and although I knew what made my parents happy I didn't really have an investment in it. I had major heart surgery a few years ago and my son took time out of his life to help me heal, taking care of me in a way I didn't even know he was capable of taking of someone else. I had to remind myself of his caring when all I wanted was a cup of broth to feel comforted when I was writhing around in pain and he had to preach to me about the salt content of broth. I wanted to choke him.

No matter how hard we try we are like our parents. I am proud like my parents, and a little set off from the world. I am careful about letting strangers close. Not my Richie. He embraces the world with such a fervent gesture of hope that it takes me by surprise. The last time he was traveling I went to the post office to ask them a question about a shipment. During the summer, when he's home he's the mail person, the mail bitch. The people at the post office not only know him, but know his girlfriend, that he loves the cubs and that he loves to travel. Not one mail person asked me if he had landed ok, four did. They knew when he was leaving and wondered if he was having fun with his brothers. Later that afternoon I wander into 711 to get a cord of firewood. "Hey did Rich call? Is he having fun?" I didn't even know this clerk but he knew Richie and he knew I was Richie's mom and it put a smile on my face for the afternoon.

It's so easy to love our children but to know them and to like them quite another issue. We get to stand back and watch them make decisions and know they aren't our choices but hope against all odds that they are the decisions that make them happy. When he's short tempered I know he has my quick temper. When he's outside playing basketball and 1am it's hard to be irritated when I know he's close and safe and has a little pounce in his step. It's hard to have any authority over a grown man, especially after you've sat in the car with him, his big grandpa boat of a car singing kid rock lyrics together hyped up on iced coffee. He doesn't love poetry like I love poetry and I will never understand Math the way he loves the numbers. When I listen to the same Paula Cole song 10 times in a row he shakes his head and quietly curses me and when I've made his favorite dinner and it's just the two of us and he's busy telling me about his new class schedule I know he's mine forever, a little piece of him is mine forever. When he started working at a bank when he was 16 and loved the idea of counting money all day I wonder what alien tucked him in the crib in the other room and where my real child is out there in the universe.

I miss the little blonde kid digging in the beach behind the lake house, his hair full of sand and his skin tanned from April until October. Everything I do is about those tiny memories that make who I am. When I am putting a mermaid on a bracelet I am with little Rich at the beach and I've taken the day off work and pulled him out of kindergarten for the day and headed to water to watch him build sandcastles. In those quiet moments he became this person he is now.He loves the little animals the way I love them. He loves adventure because his auntie taught him the love of adventure. He has his father's love of children and his Uncle Andy's love of pure laughter just for the sake of laughter. He loves the cubs because his first memories of his uncle Stan were about Cubs games. He reminds me of my dad when he's bitching about me taking a short cut doing anything and when he complains about my driving. He reminds me of my mom when I find the little box in his room full of one earring his aunt loved, movie tickets from his first date with Christina and the tickets from the Cubs Yankees game a few years back.

The other day I was wondering who I was. My knee jerk reaction is to say I'm a mother, I'm an artist, I'm a businesswoman, I'm a best friend, a sister, someone's lover blah blah blah. But it's changed now. He's a man this son of mine. I'm an artist, a business woman, a mother, a best friend, a sister, and aunt and cousin, and someone's lover, someone's secret, and mostly I am loved. thanks for spending this time with me. If you have an interest in my art you can find me at Carrie.