Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.

Friday, December 24, 2010

50 Christmases

On the 50th anniversary of my Grandmother Juanita's passing(who died on Boxing Day), I wrote a little story for my family. This was the 50th Christmas since my Grandfather Del's passing(who died in the spring), and I wanted to do something to acknowledge it too. But I just couldn't figure out what, and then life spun out of control this year and I wasn't able to do anything. I felt sad, and a little guilty about it, but that's life sometimes.

Tonight at church, I thought about him. Right as the candles were being lit and we started singing Joy to the World. I thought that it was sad he wasn't there singing and raising a candle with us. And then I glanced at my family sitting in the rows in front of me and caught a sideways glance of my cousin, M, who is the one who most physically resembles Grandpa Del, and I saw him. For just a moment, I saw him. And tears came to my eyes and fell before I could stop them. And I saw that he, and my grandmother, though they are no longer with us, are in fact with us. And in us. They are a part of who we are.

And as I thought about this again after another fun Christmas Eve party with my family, I had another realization: This, the 50th Christmas since my grandfather's passing, was the first Christmas in my recollection, that all four of his children were at that church service together. It may have happened before and I was too young to remember, or maybe before I was born, but I thought it was eerily appropriate to have all four together again this particular year.

Merry Christmas, to my family, here and in the beyond.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Classism, Better or Worse than Racism?


The above video is one of the top viral videos of 2010. Every time I see anything related to it, I feel uncomfortable laughing at it. The people in this particular story are African American, but they are also poor. I realized that we as a society feel it's ok to laugh at poor people, whether they hail from the ghetto or the trailer park. Skin color doesn't really matter. Physical evidence of one's class level, such as missing teeth or garish make up are considered laughable. How a person speaks, denoting their education level and educational opportunities, are a cause of great hilarity.

I've definitely been guilty of this, and am coming to see that it's not funny. It's cruel. Why should I make fun of somebody else's opportunities in life? Why should I see them as a joke and less of a person than I am? Would I want somebody who was in a higher class than I am to laugh at me? No. So why should I do it to anybody else? This is something I am going to try and work on in the future. It's a bad habit, which can be hard to break, but I will make the effort from now on.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I think it's a little bit ridiculous that people get so bent out of shape by the "Happy Holiday-zation" of Christmas. The Christmas season in our culture begins the day after Halloween and goes through New Year's Day. That includes several holidays. I don't think it's rude to wish somebody Happy Holidays. What I do think is a bit ridiculous, is trying to take items for specific holidays, such as Christmas, and renaming them "Holiday" fill-in-the-blank. It's a Christmas tree, not a Holiday tree. By renaming it a holiday tree, I don't think Jewish people are going to now rush out to buy one for Chanukah. Think of it the other way around. What if we insisted on renaming a Menorah a "Holiday candle holder", so that Christians and Muslims and Jews alike can enjoy it. It's stupid.

So, here's how I look at it: In speaking to people, unless you know for sure what they celebrate, stick with "Happy Holidays". In naming objects, call it what it really is. Christmas tree, Christmas ham, Menorah, Kinara, etc.

And I think people who get upset that they aren't having Christmas shoved down their throats 24/7, should think of the fact that they most likely get a paid Christmas break from work, as well as possibly time off for Easter, and Thanksgiving, when people of other faiths must use vacation time if they want their holidays off. So, maybe, fair is fair??