Wednesday Vignette – thanksgiving

This is a weird year, and everything is different – routines, traditions, you name it. It’s easy to gripe about it, but really – this is only one short year out of one long lifetime. Quite honestly, it could be so very much worse. I’m reminded of this stark reality every time I pass or turn on or off our freeway exit, when I venture downtown, and every place in between. And when I see the ballooning misery in the richest country on earth, I feel shamefully thankful for our – by comparison – blessed and privileged existence. Yes, we desperately need a new roof, but at least we still have one. And for that, and for many, many other large and small things, I am beyond grateful. It could be SO MUCH WORSE.

Across so much of our fair city, tent cities have sprouted up due to the economic collapse in the wake of the pandemic. If I’m ever tempted to feel sorry for myself, seeing this instantly snaps me out of it.

I wish you all as good a Thanksgiving as you are able. Count your blessings and hang in there. It won’t be easy, and some of us have had to make unthinkable sacrifices, but I trust this too, shall end. And by now, we should be closer to the end than to the beginning.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – thanksgiving

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Derrick! In this case the thanks given is ongoing. What I see as soon as I leave this house is beyond heart wrenching. This will be a rough winter for so many…

  1. I have been haunted by the homeless in Portland. The situation there is horrible. We were discussing it just this week. What is the cause of each case? Can there be solutions other than handouts of supplies. It’s like a parallel universe existing within the normal activities. It is a puzzle.

    • annamadeit says:

      One solution that – thankfully – came into fruition was repurposing a building that was built as a detention facility decades ago, but for whatever reason was never used. It was bought by a local entrepreneur who, with the help of various city-run and non-profit social programs turned it into temporary housing. I think it houses something like 400 people now. That was a bright spot, but the need is so huge…
      Portland has had a sizable homeless population since long before we moved here, but it has gotten worse as housing prices have escalated. But there is a marked difference since COVID with waves of layoffs and subsequent evictions. Last year, there was one or two tents by our highway exit. Now it’s nearly at capacity with people camping in both tents and vehicles. It will be a long way back. Thankfully the election set us on a better path to face that rebuild. In my opinion, anyway. I appreciate anyone who takes an earnest stab at *that* job.

  2. Kris P says:

    Housing, feeding and caring for the homeless is a huge issue in Los Angeles County as well. Despite years and years of discussion, promising proposals and repeated funding initiatives, we haven’t even made a dent in the problem. The reasons for the failures are as varied as the circumstances that cause people to become homeless. There’s no single solution but I think addressing income inequality is an important aspect. This year has been so dreadful, on so many fronts, it’s been hard to see the good for all the bad I’m giving thanks for lots of little things. Here’s my WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Kris – I think you nailed it – income inequality. I know of NO other country where the lowest paid rung of workers need two jobs to pay rent, and three to be able to eat. And, like you also said – there are so many layers to this. I know we can all do better, but it’s both time consuming and intellectually difficult to stay on top of everything. Voting is a good start, but we have to be sure what we’re voting for. I still learn new things every freaking day. It’s nice to be able to decompress between blows and revelations. So many don’t have that luxury.

  3. Because I don’t get out that much these days, it’s always shocking when I come across a new encampment that seemingly sprung up overnight. You’re so right that it puts into perspective whatever thing was making me feel low. We are so very lucky.

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, when I was writing, I thought the word “ballooning” looked weird, but could not think of a better one. It’s EXACTLY what’s happening, and it kills me. Feeling very fortunate indeed.

  4. Cathy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too! We are so lucky in France with our social support system. That’s something I give thanks for every day.

    • annamadeit says:

      OMG – yes!! We have a safety net in Sweden, too. The US is the only industrialized nation I know of, that doesn’t. And, interestingly, so many people have been taught that that is how it needs to be. I’m a bit boggled by this, I must say.

  5. hb says:

    No more powerful reminder than seeing those blue-tarp villages that we are lucky to have what we have, stability, a roof, food. Biden won’t be able to do much with McConnell still in control, but it will still be better, and there are vaccines on the way.

    Room for optimism! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    • annamadeit says:

      A vaccine certainly, and maybe, maybe some thrills out of Georgia too. I will focus on sending energy and good vibes down that way.
      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too, hb!

  6. tonytomeo says:

    The economy is not as bad here, but many lost their homes to the CZU Fire. The cabins here that are unused while the Conference Center is unable to operate, are now occupied by some of those who lack homes.

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s such a heartbreaking situation. I’m glad they have a roof over their heads – at least temporarily. Shelter is such a basic, basic need, and we need to do so much better – both here and there. And by “we”, I of course mean we as a society.

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