Lydster: the summer job, finally

quarantine

Last year, my daughter had a summer job through the city of Albany’s Summer Youth Employment Program. It was her first actual job. She had taxes and Social Security taken out of her paycheck.

This summer, there was a pandemic that shut down the program. It’s not so much the money as it was something organized for her to do. Yes, she did some protesting and created some art. In fact, she combined the two by making a number of signs for the protests. She tackled some yardwork and power washed the front porch. But it’s better when she has a regular schedule.

She helped with a group of six to eight-year-olds in a program that my church contributes to. I’m of the opinion that friends and acquaintances of ours somehow created the position for her. It was only for two weeks, so she didn’t get too burned out by that.

It’s better than having her watch television all day. She watches some crime shows I actively hate.

why is this summer different from all others?

Of course, one of the elements that are different this summer is that we didn’t go on the extended family vacation. We had gone to a timeshare in Massachusetts, usually, for the past decade. COVID certainly affected that, to some degree. One of my daughter’s cousins is off to college and hasn’t even been home. Of course, the family dynamic has changed in no small way with the death of my FIL this spring.

And the three of us haven’t even gone on a nuclear family vacation. If we were to do so, it’d almost have to be in New York. The state has travel advisory. So if we were to travel to one of those 30-odd states, we’d have to follow a 14-day quarantine. so the longest trip we have taken is to see my MIL, 75 minutes away, and in New York State.

Obviously, we did not add to my daughter’s – or my – list of new states visited this summer. Maybe next year, if all goes well, we’ll travel to Minnesota for a family reunion.

Woman’s Rights: Declaration of Sentiments

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.

Vacation: Monday, July 18, 2016, Seneca Falls, NY

The family came to Seneca Falls specifically to go to the Women’s Hall of Fame, which should have been open, according to the website and the AAA book. It was disappointingly closed, but it was a nice day, and we went by this nearby fountain/wall, which contained the Declaration of Sentiments – clearly modeled on The Declaration of Independence – read at the Woman’s Rights Convention, 19-20 July 1848. It was shepherded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

There was a M/F couple, probably in their thirties there, and also two college-aged women, all, as it turned out, from Cleveland, where they were escaping the Republican National Convention. The young women seemed particularly pleased that The Daughter had an opportunity to be at this important place.

Incidentally, women won the right to vote in New York State in November 1917, three years before the 19th Amendment was ratified.


When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce; in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women—the law, in all cases, going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.

He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.

He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education—all colleges being closed against her.

He allows her in Church as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.

He has created a false public sentiment, by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.

He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation,—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf.We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.

Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland

Fredonia, NY – July 17, 2016

The Wife had made all the travel arrangements for our vacation, and she was pretty successful, except for that Ramada near Ashtabula, OH . To quote Elizabeth Taylor, who was quoting Bette Davis, “What a dump.”

But something was amiss with our reservation in Fredonia, NY. We’d be traveling much of the day, and it was already 8 pm. While the Wife and Daughter went into the hotel, trying successfully to get a room, I sat in the passenger seat in the car.

And for some reason – probably watching the news too much, with black men getting killed, police getting killed – I started wondering what would happen if a police officer happened to come by, wanting to know what I was sitting there. Now I’ve waited in the car for years, without incident. Why it was an issue at that moment was probably because it was getting dark, and/or from fatigue.

I realized that if a cop HAD come up to me, I couldn’t roll down the window. We used to have two of those car fobs, but one got lost, and I didn’t have it.

In short order, I came up with all sorts of scenarios by which I could get shot because my hands couldn’t be seen. I bolted out of the car in a near-panic. To distract myself, I pulled out my tablet and played hearts.
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The Daughter came back, and yelled, “Did you get it?” I didn’t know what “it” was. “It” was the sunset, which was gorgeous, and I was utterly oblivious to it.

She mocked me for playing my game, but I was in a whole ‘nother head.

A few weeks later, I was at work when I got a notice that there was a bank robbery in a building within the visual range of my office. The suspect was a black male in his 40s or 50s. I’m in my 60s, but I was nearby. I recalled this article. That same wave of discomfort ran over me.
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So who can identify the source of the lyric that is the title of this piece? (Besides Dustbury.)

That was the week that was: late August

The guests gave our host unsolicited advice on romance.

The curse of a daily blog is that life sometimes gets in the way. I STILL haven’t written about the rest of the July vacation, which I will eventually do, not for your sake, but for my own. So as a blog cheat, I’m going to note the week that was, now a couple weeks ago.
allshookup
Before that: Heck, I haven’t mentioned the TWO plays I saw the FIRST weekend in August. The first was All Shook Up at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, featuring one of my teenage nieces. It was a mix of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Elvis Presley and worked surprisingly well.

The other was Into the Woods at the Mac-Hadyn Theatre. With our front-row seats, sometimes the action was over our left shoulders, and sometimes (Little Red Riding Hood being devoured), it was so close we could almost touch it. But what we decided, after having the movie and this production, is that the story isn’t compelling enough to see again any time soon.

As for this past week, a few months ago, parents-in-law had arranged all of the families of their three surviving children to a timeshare in western Massachusetts. You make plans in May for the end of August, and they don’t always work out. One brother-in-law couldn’t make it for work reasons.

We delayed our departure on Saturday so we could attend a rededication of the marriage of Rosaline and David in our church. It had elements of a Cameroonian service, and it fun, but unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the reception, as we went out to Hancock, MA.

We had been there nine years ago, and there wasn’t much to do. The highlight then was watching trucks bring parts of the first of what are now several wind towers. Now, there’s tennis and other amenities. But I never used any of them.

The next morning, the Wife and I went back to Albany. The choir, heavy on sopranos, but light on men, sang at the funeral service of our friend Margaret Hannay. We sang Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace by John Rutter. I had difficulty singing:
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

My spouse then went BACK to Hancock, but I stayed in town, and attended a party our friend Jon threw, where the guests gave our host unsolicited, contradictory, but brilliant advice on romance.

Monday, I took off from work, but I had a professional development project to work on. I had a Friends of the Library meeting at 5 pm, followed by a meeting to give some expert feedback on the operations of the library. That evening, I needed to write a letter to an organization requesting speakers that HAD to be done THAT NIGHT.

Tuesday, work, then slog through professional development project until 9 pm.

Wednesday, work. The Wife and Daughter had just gotten home, but we needed to leave immediately for junior high orientation, which I had totally forgotten about. The school district is now engaging CDTA to provide bus service for the morning, and first afternoon routes, instead of the oft-unreliable bus company used in the past. The greatest challenge was the combination locker, which none of us could open with any regularity.

Thursday, work. I got a desperate request from my old boss to transcribe an interview with a friend of mine. The link didn’t work in Google Chrome, though I discovered by trial and error, it did operate in Firefox and Internet explorer. The interview turned out to be 90 minutes long, and with the time I wasted figuring out how to hear the piece, needed and fortunately found some help.

Friday, work. Transcription, interrupted by the Daughter not feeling well.

Saturday, transcription, edit transcript, tend to daughter still feeling poorly. You can tell she’s off when she pulls out her large unicorn to cuddle and asks Oscar the monkey to talk with her.

The only blogging I did was to write the intro for ABC Wednesday.

That was the week that was.

Letchworth State Park: Grand Canyon of the East

Mary Jemison eventually lived in western New York on the Genesee River.

Letchworth State Park, July 17-18, 2016
letchwork_waterfalls
When we traveled on vacation from northeast Ohio towards the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, it was the longest time we spent continually in the car. So we were rather spent when we finally got to what has been described as the Grand Canyon of the East. In fact, by the time we drove into Letchworth State Park late that Sunday afternoon, there was no one collecting money. So we drove around, then got out of the car several times, and looked at the amazing scenery for a bit.

But we needed to get to our hotel before it got too late. So we came back the next day. As it turns out, because I’m 62 or over, with an NYS driver’s ID, we were able to get in for free!

The history of the area was fascinating to me. “The park is the present-day site of the grave of Mary Jemison, a Scots-Irish immigrant pioneer who was captured at the age of 12 from central Pennsylvania by a French and Shawnee raiding party during the French and Indian War. She was soon adopted by a family of Seneca people and eventually lived in western New York on the Genesee River. She had become thoroughly assimilated and chose to live with the Seneca for the rest of her long life.”
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I can look at waterfalls for a good while, and we saw two of the three major ones in the park. Some of the picnic tables were made from stone. The playgrounds were nice, and my traveling companions liked posing in the giant chairs. Oh, and it had at least one antique: a working payphone.

Truth is, though, we didn’t come close to fully taking advantage of all the amenities, We didn’t get to the William Pryor Letchworth Museum. We didn’t walk on any of the “66 miles (106 km) of hiking trails” use the “two large swimming pools, cabins, campsites for tents, trailer sites with dumping stations, and horse-riding trails. Activities within the park include hiking, biking, fishing, whitewater rafting and kayaking, geocaching, and hunting.”

This means only one thing: we need to come back, and spend more time!