Posted in Savannah Joy

Cool Cat

Strolling through Warren Square (one of Savannah’s 22 beautiful squares) this evening, Robert and I came upon this Cool Cat sprawled in the sun on the evening grass.

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” – James Herriot

Posted in Life Experiences

Cannot Touch

Yesterday after our weekly luncheon date, HR (Husband Robert), ex-wife Donna and I were walking along the Wilmington River in beautiful park-like Greenwich Cemetery here in Savannah.

We came upon a recent burial.

Which broke our hearts.

A newborn who didn’t live much past being born.

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

Seeing Race and Racism #1 “Earth Day and Gone with the Wind”

A blog category looking at a topic we white folks don’t like to talk about.

My husband Robert (who is black) and I (who am white) live in Savannah’s Historic District and belong to our Downtown Neighborhood Association.

According to the website, “The Downtown Neighborhood Association … was established in 1974 by downtown residents in an effort to protect the National Historic Landmark District’s architectural heritage, encourage restoration and beautification, safeguard Savannah’s unique downtown environment, and advocate public policies related to these goals.” Goals we fully support.

The DNA is also overwhelmingly white and older. As is the historic district itself.

An interesting, telling and ultimately disturbing incident happened at a recent meeting. One of the evening’s presentations featured Nick Deffley, Savannah’s Environmental Services and Sustainability Director, introducing our city’s bold and much needed 100% Clean Energy Initiative. Toward the end of the talk, a slide was projected showing a change in the location of this year’s Earth Day celebration.

The annual Earth Day event is usually held at one of Savannah’s larger parks—Daffin Park or more recently, Forsyth Park, our city’s showcase park in the historic district.

During the Q and A, one lady toward the back expressed dismay that Earth Day wouldn’t be in Forsyth Park as usual, immediately adding these words, “I’m sorry, I’m just so sorry,” apparently apologizing for having to vocalize her belief that Earth Day should remain in our historic district neighborhood. Maybe I’m wrong, but the “I’m sorry’s” seemed to drip with insincerity. And with privilege.

The three locations for the 2022 Savannah Earth Day observance are in under-represented, mostly black, neighborhoods. Nick explained that the city’s idea is to make Earth Day accessible to more people across the demographic spectrum.

We white people don’t like to talk or think about racism. Author Robin D’Angelo calls this hesitancy “white fragility.” Racists are those bad guys who do blatantly bad things to people of color! And we would never do that!

But I suggest that we are racist when we assume that our position (geographic, financial, professional, etc) is more important than that of others … of color.

It is easy to see blatant racism. Not so much so with ingrained and systemic racism.

************

Robert and I hosted our family’s day-before-Easter picnic at nearby Skidaway Island State Park. What a wonderful time we had!

But like at the DNA meeting, racism found its way in. That is for those who were open to seeing and naming it. At one point we were scattered around talking about movies, and one family member excitedly said, “Oh, Gone with the Wind is my favorite movie!” A couple of others agreed, and laughingly quoted several of the famous lines from the movie.

My husband, black, was seated in their midst.

Gone with the Wind portrays a disturbingly distorted view of people, the color of my husband, happily living their lives as devoted slaves at beautific Tara. Hattie McDaniel won best supporting actress for her portrayal of Scarlett’s Mammy. The actress was not allowed to sit with her white costars at the Oscars.

Robert and I locked eyes for a moment. His eyes, I saw, saw racism right there among the Easter baskets. His ears, as did mine, heard racism.

We looked away. Listened for more pleasant sounds.

************

We white people can be tone deaf to what a person of color hears so clearly. Day after day. After day.

Posted in Robert and …

“Robert and …” #16

A blog category of pics I’ve taken of HR (Hubby Robert) and … well, just about anything.

Robert and … a silly/terrifying blue-haired wooden Easter chick thing, eerily close to some Spanish moss on a tree trunk, showcasing his gay watch band, as well as both his little squirrel necklace (remember HR’s nickname is Squirrel) and his bear necklace (don’t get me started on that). Oh, and of course, a children’s playground in the background.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 4/15/22

1. An incredible lunch: Chicken pot pie at Pie Society, Ellis Square, Historic District Savannah. With HR and ex-wife Donna.

See the little chicks on the crust?

2. A washing machine. And a dryer! Do you have that incredible pair? If so, I invite you to pause, take a moment and thank God (or whoever/whatever) for such a Glorious Blessing. What would your life be like without them?

Ours is small, stacked, not top of the line, but what a blessing!

3. My husband HR …

… who gets on my LAST nerve sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4. Ridiculous jokes I share with grandchildren.

5. Hope.

I HOPE your weekend is peaceful.

Posted in Hello, Anxiety.

Hello, Anxiety: “Truffles Showing Up in Big Kroger”

This blog category is the journaling and journey-ing of my quest to say (with cautious sincerity) “Hello, Anxiety” and to take a look at the condition from my “me-andering” views.

If you read my most recent “Hello, Anxiety” post, you may remember that for a variety of mostly sensible reasons, I have nicknamed my anxiety “Truffles.” In a nutshell, I’m trying (gritted teeth) to recognize anxiety as a part of my experience. And to back off from automatically wanting to fight it as my mortal enemy.

Well today HR (Husband Robert) and I were in Big Kroger here in Savannah, stocking up on supplies for the upcoming Easter egg hunt with the grandkids.

Seriously?

“Wait,” you interrupt, “Why call it BIG Kroger?” Because it’s GIGANTIC. I have to use GPS to find Spam. What? You don’t eat Spam? Okay. Whatever.

It’s a twenty minute Uber ride to the cracker aisle.

Anyway, I was walking (exhausted) down Aisle 2043 looking for colorful napkins when I stumbled into Truffles.

She/he/they was/were standing there, resplendently purple. Queenly. Kingly. I tried to walk past, pretending I didn’t see.

But I couldn’t. I stared. Transfixed. I picked Truffles up. Held him/her/them in my hands.

And for the first time in a long time (maybe forever), I was able to laugh, LAUGH, at my anxiety. Perhaps, laugh WITH my anxiety. In Big Kroger of all places.

I placed anxiety back on the shelf. Started to walk away. Finished with the little play.

Robert looked at me, stopping me, and said, “Neal, who knows when we will be back here, or if it will still be on the shelf.”

Irritated, I stood there.

Stood.

Between Robert and anxiety. Then sighed, walked to the checkout counter.

And actually BOUGHT the f***ing TRUFFLES chips.

Like, paid for them/it/him/her.

Is this a new relationship?

***********

More to come.