Politicians are like spaghetti sauce.

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I am scared today. I found myself freezing in panic when two white men pushed me out of the way in a coffee shop this morning. And maybe their actions were not intentionally malicious or any different than they would have been on Sunday or Monday.

But, post-election I have a different narrative to filter that experience, and it’s generating a lot of fear.

Because now I am asking: “Do they think it’s okay to push me because I’m a woman, and they’re allowed? Do they think I’m sub-human? Do men I know secretly think that?”

And, really, nothing has changed yet in the White House. Logic tells me I’m being dramatic. I’m not afraid of politics. I’m not afraid of government changes yet. And ultimately, I’m not even mad because Clinton lost.

I’m scared because I don’t how to interpret actions I’ve seen when people are quiet or defensive.

I’m afraid of people. Christians, in particular — even if I am one.

And I’m white. I don’t even know what this climate feels like for people who aren’t white or who are in the LGBTQ community.

Choosing a president is not like eating a salad. When eating a salad, I can pick out the cucumber or the onion or the blue cheese. I can set it aside and not eat it. Politicians are whole packages, and I can’t take just part of them, leaving the rest behind. Voting for her or him is choosing her or his whole platform, even if I only stand for a portion of it.

Politicians are more like spaghetti sauce. I don’t care for Italian sausage. But, if the plate of spaghetti sauce is set in front of me, I have two choices: eat it or not. I can’t pick the sausage out of the sauce, and even if I try, Italian sausage makes everything taste like sausage anyway.

I can understand being hungry and needing to eat. I get digging in for that.

The problem is unless something is said explicitly otherwise: no one knows if I ate the spaghetti sauce because I was hungry or because I love Italian sausage or both.

I can’t trust that people inherently think racism or sexism or xenophobia is a problem. Especially when they say wait and see what Trump will do, and don’t tell us definitely that racism and sexism are not okay with them or that they will stand with us IF it all implodes.

Maybe that feels yucky, and I’m not blaming. Like I said, I can understand being hungry, and I can understand thinking Trump is the best option for you.

But, unless actual words are said and actions are shown, no one knows how you feel about them. And if you don’t speak the words and hold hands with the hurting, it’s really hard to give the benefit of the doubt.

That’s why the articles on logic and reason about Trump’s presidency aren’t helpful. Because really what we’re scared of is not Trump or the government, but each other.

Pausing to Breathe

November GrayThe November rain continues to fall here in Minnesota. I hear the swishes and splashes of the water kicked up by the cars on the road in front of the house. The dreary gray seems to linger on past its welcome. Even as I long for the sun, I comfort myself with the thought that the tulip bulbs we planted will appreciated the water.  And on days like today, nature weeps the tears that I cannot.

We found out this morning that Delores, Dedo, as we called her, died last night. I feel stunned. Shell-shocked. Of the things I expected for the week, going to her funeral was not even on my radar. Death strikes again. Even as I’m confident death isn’t the last word in her story or mine, the loss still burns.

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Lemon-Blueberry Scones and A Delightful Sense of Peace

I discovered a love of making scones in fall of 2012, and have started getting adventurous with them after having friends over for coffee or tea the past few weeks.

I never liked scones before I started making them as I thought they were a dry, sandpapery excuse for a bread. But now, I’ve discovered a way to make them where they don’t dry out, and make a sweet cream spread to go along with the scones.  I also serve them with homemade jam from my pantry; my sister’s lemon-blueberry scone (as pictured above) is topped with the black raspberry jam I made with a friend this summer using berries from my yard.

But back to the making of scones, they’re so simple to make, and one of a few baked goods that take little time to whip up and little time to actually bake. Biscuits being the other, but I’m awful at homemade biscuits (my Meme makes the best homemade biscuits with blackberries; I hope I can do that one day).  People seem to think that you went to a lot of trouble to make scones, and seem impressed.  Meanwhile, you can have them mixed, formed and baked within 30 minutes with a bare minimum of effort.  Little kneading and no rolling pin or biscuit cutters required.

This simple act (well, simple for me anyway) gives me a feeling of peace and calm in an otherwise chaotic world.  I can control this little thing in my universe, and have a sense of accomplishment as these golden beauties are successfully pulled from the oven and transferred to the table.  Sitting down to chat with a friend and snacking on a fresh-baked scone feels like a engaging in a long line of womanly traditions, and I’m somewhat wistful for more opportunities to do this.  And taking time out to sit and breathe in the midst of an otherwise hectic schedule helps me to recenter myself and check my striving impulse.  I can sit and internally remind myself, “I am loved,” and “God is enough.” Words that seem to be a constant litany for me in the past couple of weeks.