I’ve been reading a ton of books…

I’ve been reading a ton of books…

during this pandemic.  Maybe not as many as I should be reading, but I know I’ve reached my goal for the year on Goodreads.  During this time I’ve found that it was hard to find a good book that really captured my attention.  Just a few highlights on some.

After the death of George Floyd in MSP there was a wide array of books recommended for reading.  Two of them caught my eye.  

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

I’ve never read anything by James Baldwin. Well I guess I shouldn’t say that as I probably did when I took Afro-American Lit in high school.  This certainly was an eye opener even today.  It brought insight into the civil rights movement, which as an adult I really needed to revisit, especially during this time.  It definitely is a classic in our literature.

Attachment.jpeg

How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi

This was a tough book to listen too.  Not because I didn’t like it but because it was painful. Painful in the fact that in ways I saw myself in his description of people.  It made me realize how much work I personally have to do to really be an antiracist.  It took me into a real awareness of not being color blind and what the next steps are to creating a truly just and equitable society.  I’ve got lots of work to do!

Attachment_1.jpeg

For my birthday our MSP contingency gave me a 3 month subscription to the Book of the Month club.  Now, I love my kindle but there truly is nothing like holding a real book in your hands.  So I was really excited to explore the books!  My first choice was…

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

I love a good thriller and this was right up there with the best of them. The twists and turns to the story pretty much kept me guessing until the very end!  Excellent read!

Attachment_2.jpeg

My second choice…

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Another excellent choice!  A mystery/love story, mother daughter relationship story with 2 lives intertwined into the story.  It was an interesting read as it brings in the history and life of a Korean American immigrant and the difficulties she had facing her and her daughter.  

Attachment_3.jpeg

So I’ve done a ton of reading during this time and I have a ton more to go. Now to just stay away from Candy Crush and I’d probably “crush” the rest of my reading list!

We ventured to Magic Kingdom!

We ventured to Magic Kingdom!

It was an absolutely fun day at Magic Kingdom! We took the ferry over to the park and it was hardly crowded. 

The park had temperature stations set up for temperature taking at the entrance, which again was not very crowded. It was perfect.

Fun thing is that Christmas decorations are up in full!  It really did kind of help a little to put us into the Christmas spirit a little bit! 

And Walt and Mickey greeted us as always! 

They had a couple calvacade’s or I guess they would be considered short parades.  

We pretty much walked through the stores, which really weren’t too bad.  Headed down towards the castle then over towards Sleepy Hollow waffle shop where our intent was to get a waffle, but not for 11.00 for a chicken waffle!  OMG and the line was really long.  We ventured into the Christmas store in search of a Baby Yoda ornament for the girls, which they didn’t have.  We did find a sweet 2020 Mickey ornament

 at 70% off so with our discount it only cost us about 6.00.  That’s an incredible bargain at Disney!

So our next thought was to head over towards Frontier Land to catch some lunch at Pecos Bill’s cafe.  The wait outside was busy and it was mobile ordering.  Something we weren’t really crazy about doing.  We checked out a couple other spots and as we headed towards It’s A Small World, which had a 40 min. wait we noticed how crowded it really was starting to get.  We weren’t uncomfortable, but getting near to it with that many people in the one spot.  The carousel stroller parking was packed.  Several of the spots that we generally would catch lunch at were closed, Harbor House one of them.  That was a little frustrating.  We decided to just have a hot fudge sundae for lunch instead.  It was a good pick . I forgot to take a picture of mine, but found this one on the internet.  Guess I wasn’t the only one to try it! 

As we continued to walk around we realized it was getting a little more busy.  We decided that at this point we had seen enough and we would head out.  I had made reservations at Raglan Road for dinner at 4 and it was already 2, so this would give us a little time to do some shopping at Disney Springs before heading out.  

Of course we had to get the obligatory selfies in front of Cinderella’s castle before we left.  

We headed to DS and found an incredible parking spot on the 3rd level of the Orange garage.  At this point DS wasn’t really too busy.  We walked around a bit, checked out a couple stores- Anthro and the Disney store to be exact and found a couple things at Anthro that we would go back for.  At this time we could see the dinner crowd might have been coming in to the area, but it still wasn’t too bad.  So we headed over to RR for dinner.  We had to wait just a bit for our table but who can argue when you’ve got a bit of the Irish humor in front of you.  

and as always it was an incredible dinner.  We are creatures of habit with Jon having the OMG burger and I had the roasted chicken over mashed taters.  And the obligatory….

After dinner we headed over to the Star Wars store, where we had to wait a few minutes to enter because they were at capacity.  Hey, it’s all good!  Over to the Art store to pick up a Christmas gift for one of the girls and then back to Anthro.  By now it was close to 6 and we could see it really was getting much busier.  It was time to head out and back home.

You know we almost didn’t go up there today because we were a little nervous about how it would be.  But, we also knew that we could bail at any time and go back another day.  The advantage of living only 2 hours away.  And we did just that.  And we are glad that we went!  We are going to beat this Covid-19, come hell or high water! 

I am…

I am…

Tomorrow is Election Day 2020. I’m sitting here today on the brink of what could be the most important election of my lifetime. I’m sitting here this morning reading and watching news about cities boarding up buildings or creating protective barriers around them in case of protests, rioting, destruction. New York has built a barrier around the Empire State building to prevent any damage to windows. There is news of building a unscalable wall around the White House in anticipation of what may happen. Early voting is the highest it’s ever been due to Covid and maybe even in anticipation of it being dangerous to even be at a polling place. Our country is in turmoil for so many reasons. We have families pitted against each other, friends pitted against each other. We have become a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. What has happened to us and our country?

I reflect back on our trip to the Dominican Republic in February. Our last day there was election day. It was not their Presidential election, but a very important national election that could change the flavor of the country in so many ways. We were curious to see what it was like in another country on their election day, especially in the Capitol city. Sunday morning was busy, as most Sunday’s are. There was a polling place just a half block away from our hotel. As the polls opened that morning throngs of people were gathered around. All different political parties gathered together outside the polling place. They were chatting with each other, handing out candidate information. There was even a food cart.

It was organized, respectful, a friendly atmosphere. In fact, we even stopped to chat with one of the gentlemen and he explained what was going on. As the morning went on it became even more crowded, but maintained a modicum of decency. As we ventured around Santo Domingo that morning and we came back towards the polling place around noon we noticed that the square was empty. The polling place was closed and we thought to ourselves… “Well that was different. They are really quick with their elections here with the polls only being open for a few hours”. The day went on and as we got closer to the evening we realized everything was empty. The main plaza was empty, the pedestrian mall was empty, it was like a ghost town.

We discovered that something had happened with the elections. Names had been left off the ballots or some such thing that caused the elections to immediately be halted. Polling places were closed immediately and the people of the DR, especially in Santo Domingo were told to please stay home to avert any problems within the country and the city. The city was empty. People did just that. They stayed home for their own safety and the safety of others. They were respectful, they were careful, they were home because they cared and they listened. There were no walls built around buildings. There were no roads closed because of people blocking them as they shouted at cars or surrounded buses and caused dangerous situations. For that night the people of the DR were not put out because they needed to stay home and not be out socializing, eating at restaurants, sitting in the plaza listening to music, missing out on the biggest Sunday night concert in the city because it was cancelled. They were satisfied to take one night at home to be with their families, to be safe and to respect others.

So I sit here watching our news and reflect back on my experience in the DR.

I am….

frustrated, sad, disappointed, nervous, fearful, angry, amazed, anxious.

But I am also…

hopeful. Anxiously hopeful.