I’ve just finished a book with many references to the early 1900s Wobblies (IWW) union. My mom, in her younger years, would have loved this book which illustrates the sad disintegration of unions who advocated for their members into a bunch of money-grubbers totally dismissive of their members.
June will mark five years since my mom (stepmother) died at age 95. She was, like most people who make it to that age, a tough cookie. A good one though; a hard-eyed business owner for most of her life, she never lost her kind humanity and genuine sweetness.
Dot and I were very close and I just adored her. But I struggled to understand her late-in-life reading material. She was such a smart woman but spent the last 20 years of her life reading Harlequin romances. Suddenly, I get it.
I’ve generally read a lot of American history with grab-and-stabs thrown in between as palate cleansers. Now, reading about our country’s history and founders infuriates me because all I can think about is how it’s being twisted and corrupted by the left and their buddies, the media. Parents are confronted with Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project and other distortions of American history being taught in their kids’ schools. Propaganda which must be fought off when those parents have nothing else to do.
I read for relaxation and escape from the state of the world, not for a knife in the gut. So, more and more lately, I’m reading John Grisham, Ivan Doig, and others who just let me relax into la-la-land. Not romance, but certainly escapist reading.
Like my mom, I’m a strong and opinionated conservative and I can totally see that, as she saw her country moving to the left, she probably did the same thing I’m trying, just tuned it out. Oh, she enjoyed a spirited political discussion over highballs until the end of her life, but at some point, you realize that changing the world is a young person’s game and try to not care so much. I’m not there yet, but have considered dropping my remaining political magazine for something about kittens and rainbows.
Long after she retired, Dot kept abreast of business and financial news across the country; old habits die hard. She must be spinning at the idea of a fifteen-dollar minimum wage. We’ll see ever more stores (like the one she and Daddy had) give up and shutter. More jobs at every level will be eliminated, those workers will be eased onto welfare, and the remaining taxpayers (for as long as there are any) will be picking up the tab.
I’m glad to envision Daddy and Dot sitting in a boat on heaven’s version of Big Lake, reeling in the big ones, laughing as only the two of them could, and celebrating their 100th birthdays (less than two months apart) without a care for any of the nonsense going on in today’s world. I’ll toast them both with a glass of red and read a book about anything but politics!