asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
I was driving to the post office, and I noticed that the car in front of me had a sticker of Garnet, from Steven Universe, on the back of the car. Also, the car was from out of state.

Garnet



I haven't watched much Steven Universe, but I've really enjoyed the few episodes I've seen. I felt warmly toward that car. Then, coincidence of coincidences, it turned into the post office parking lot too. "Wow, someone from New York is going to the post office here in B'town," I thought, and also, "I can tell them how much I like their Garnet sticker." I followed the driver into the post office. They got in line; I had to fill out a customs form, so I was standing nearby.

"Excuse me," I said.

"Oh!" they said, startled, and made to get out of my way.

"No, no--you're fine! I just wanted to say, I really like your Garnet sticker, on your car."

"Oh!" they said again, but a pleased and happy one this time. "Thanks!"

Then it was their turn at the counter. On their way out they smiled at me and said goodbye.

I had no clue what gender, if any, they were, but they inhabited their skin and their space with a pleasant, easy charm. They looked more or less like this:

asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
A few weeks ago, my neighborhood had a bunch of KKK newspapers dropped in it. Very upsetting. So, a group of us in town organized a community picnic so everyone in town could reaffirm what sort of town we want the town to be.

Here's a video** from the event. You can see me attempting a bean-bag toss I designed. (I was going to make it an eclipsed sun but decided on a sunflower instead.)



(Here's a picture of just the bean bag toss, after i finished painting it. It has a black piece of tissue paper that hangs down behind it to make the hole look black, but wind has blown it up in this photo)



And here are two views of a mural whose painting I oversaw. That was the most fun: talking to all the kids, parents, and grandparents who participated in the painting.





Last but not least, a local paper's photo essay from the event. The town, like much of the rural New England, is very white, but even very-white New England is diverse if you have open eyes. My neighborhood includes people from Cambodia, Brazil, Romania, and Croatia, and the apartments nearby include families whose first languages are Chinese and Spanish. Religiously, the town is home to people of numerous Christian denominations as well as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, and areligious. In terms of sexual orientation and gender, my near neighbors are a lesbian couple with three teen and young-adult children, and there are several other same-sex couples in town, as well as transgender and genderfluid folks. It includes active-duty members of the armed services, civil-rights activists, people who've been in the region for generations and people who arrived in the past ten years, farmers, tradespeople, professional people, stay-at-home parents, artists, people coping with chronic illnesses and disabilities .... in other words, it's a diverse community, despite the dominantly pale faces it puts forward, and people enjoy it that way. So the KKK can go elsewhere in search of recruits or people to intimidate.


**If you have a Youtube account and feel inclined, you could give it a thumbs up--currently it's got as many negative votes as positive ones (which is to say, one each, heh).
asakiyume: (shaft of light)
Things hanging from a line: it could be grape vines encumbering utility lines...

grape vines on the utility wires

... or, this morning, it could be laundry. I like my new line-lifting pole (a fallen tree bough), it's like a mast.

laundry

Yesterday, our neighbor across the street was celebrating her daughter's college graduation. THIS GIANT RED BIG-RIG CAB was bringing all the boys to the yard. Literally.

Big red truck calls the boys to the yard

Out back that same evening, ferns were green flames in the deep shade. I love ferns; they were my wings in childhood.

Fern-green flame

a rescue

May. 12th, 2017 11:16 am
asakiyume: (bluebird)
I saw a pickup truck pulled up on the opposite side of the road from me as I was driving to do the recycling. As I neared the spot, I saw a catbird just sitting in the road ahead of me, not moving. The burly guy in the pickup truck said, "There's a bird in the road."

I stopped. The guy's lanky companion, who was outside the truck, approached the catbird with a jacket in his hands, to pick it up gently and without touching it. Just as he was about to, the bird fluttered off the road and into the long grass and dandelions. "He tricked me!" said the lanky guy. The guy in the truck shrugged his shoulders and laughed.

I drove on, really happy that those two guys--going in the opposite direction--were willing to stop and help out a catbird in need, even if in the end the catbird declined the offer. IRL goodness.
asakiyume: (more than two)






Today is town meeting in my town. I started to drive there--I'm all upons my civic duty these days--and then I turned around and came back. Why? Because I actually hate town meeting. Not the part where people get a chance to speak for or against something--that can be interesting. No, it's the part where people shout yay or nay to vote on things. Eleven years ago on this very day, I wrote an LJ entry about it.

I like a secret ballot. I **LOVE** a secret ballot. I am intimidated by public shouting and think there may be other people like me. I don't think who-can-shout-the-loudest is the best way to determine the outcome on issues of importance to people in town.

... I got home, and the wood thrush, who has returned to us, was singing.

Have a picture from yesterday: water, sky, something thin and green connecting them.

water, sky


asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
I was at an informational event on sanctuary cities and the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act this afternoon, and before it started, I was chatting with Cliff McCarthy, a wonderful local historian (I've shared one of his other stories in the past--a tale of poverty, murder, and arson). This time he told me the extremely dramatic story of Angeline Palmer, a free child of color "hired out" by the town of Amherst (Angeline was an orphan and ward of the town) to work for the Shaw family in Belchertown in the late 1830s. "Right in that house over there," Cliff said, pointing out the window to the house next door to where our event was happening.

You can read the full story at Freedom Stories of the Pioneer Valley, Cliff's history website, but here is the outline--and some highlights. Mason Shaw, known as "Squire Shaw," had gotten swept up in western Massachusetts' "mulberry craze"--he was investing in mulberry trees, with the hopes of making a fortune in the silk industry. He was also trying to *sell* mulberry trees--in 1840, he traveled to Georgia to try to interest farmers there in buying them. While there, he sent a letter to his wife, telling her to bring twelve-year-old Angeline south, where Shaw reckoned he could sell her for $600.

will Angeline be sold into slavery?? )

The story was so dramatic, so empowering, and--at least briefly--had a happy ending. There are no pictures of Angeline! I wish there were--as it is, we'll just have to imagine her. Visit Cliff's page on Angeline to see a sketch of Henry Jackson and a photo of the house from which Angeline was rescued.





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