Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Power Outages and Standing up for Truth

I hate power outages. I especially hate them at night in the wintertime but we had one the day the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president. Again. It started at twilight giving me just enough time to gather the six solar lights that normally line up along the walk to my front door and I staged them to light up a path from my master bath through the bedroom and living room to the kitchen. This time of the year they don’t get enough sun to keep them lit more than a couple of hours after dark but those couple of hours saved me using up the battery on my camping lantern. A half hour into the outage I got a voice mail and text on my cell phone and robocall on my landline from the power company estimating how long the outage would last. Three hours they said, but that turned out not to be true. It lasted five. Apparently after the last outage I went into over-killed signing up for these alerts. I ended up getting a total of twelve updates which is more action than my phones have seen since Christmas.

I didn’t have an unread books downloaded on my Kindle so I spent most of the outage reading a book I’ve read twice before. It’s a good book, so I didn’t mind. In fact, knowing how it was going to end seemed comforting, given the political climate we’re in---a counter balance to that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to fall and not knowing if anyone will be there to catch it and return it or if that person will use it as a weapon. A poor analogy for the chaos of the January 6th insurrection and holding my breath hoping we don’t see a repeat on the 20th but no one ever accused me of being the sharpest pencil sitting in the coffee cup.

Two hours into the outage it was getting cool in the house so I managed to wrestle a sweater on to the dog. He hates wearing stuff, and apparently it wasn’t quite cold enough inside for him to appreciate the garment because he alternated between asking to go outside the front door and the back door. I didn’t dare take a chance that he didn’t have a bowel or bladder issue so I’d roll up the sweater to protect it from getting christened with pee, let him out and in. Finally, I got the hint that he didn’t really need anything other than to cool off, so I wrestled the sweater back off him and he settled down.

The day after the outage I found a message on my phone that came during the outage from the son-I-wish-I-had. He started the message out, “I’m calling from a Democrat run concentration camp, but I don’t want to talk about politics. I want to know if you want to start working on some things that needs doing to get your house ready to list.” It saddens me and makes me feel like I’ll be walking on eggs where Tim’s concerned for the first time in the 50 years we've known each other. I hate that he's been indoctrinated into Trumpism and far-right spin.

Since the insurrection at the Capital Tim's been Facebook posting like crazy which, in itself is out of character. His posts have all been focused on the evils of Socialism and social media censoring the president, and “there needs to be an investigation on why that 'poor woman' was shot through a locked door.” He got a lot of 'likes' and amen like-comments from his posts and no push back…until I came along. About the woman I wrote: “Did you see the video leading up to the shooting at the Capital? The woman was shot while climbing through the window in of the door to the Speaker's Lobby after the mob had broken through the glass. Totally justified.” And then I added a link to the graphic video. 

On one of his censorship posts I pointed out that the 1st amendment only protects free speech from the government making laws against it and he posted back, “Are you okay with that?” So I replied: “My opinion doesn't matter. PRIVATE companies have a right to apply any rules they want about the content they allow or not allow. For example, I was a monitor on a large stroke support site for nearly five years and we had a rule that people couldn't post about wanting to commit suicide. It was my job to remove those posts and contact their local police department for a wellness check if I thought they were serious. We had a five step procedure to make that judgement call. If we had let those suicide posts stand others could come along and encourage them to do it and that would have made the site legally liable. What Facebook and others sites are doing is no different. Again the constitution only protects us against the GOVERNMENT restricting free speech. The president has a fully staffed press room near the Oval Office where reporters are waiting 24/7/365 and he can get on all the networks within a few minutes if he wants to.”

No one gave either of my comments a ‘like’ or replied in any way which I consider progress since no one called me brain-washed, stupid or delusional either. My comments effectively ended the threads. Tim lives in a Red Bubble of friends, neighbors, church members and family and all his recent political posts are re-posts from far-right conspiracy websites. I don’t want to lose his friendship over Trump (and I don’t think I will) but if there was ever a time when we need to have the courage to stand up for facts and the Truth, it’s now! Our silence gives Thump's supporters fuel to keep spreading misinformation and those lies are like a cancer that is killing our Democracy. ©

34 comments:

  1. Good for you! I know people who have swallowed the lies too and they're not about to change their minds. Mostly I avoid talking politics with my sister... I change the subject. But when she mentioned Trump having had the election stolen from him because of fraud I pointed out Barr, one of his most loyal supporters, said there was no sign of any fraud that would have changed the results. My sister said, "I don't want to talk about it." Yes! Desired outcome achieved. Back to talking about family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a good reply and true. Trump spent the entire election cycle that claiming the only why Joe could win is if the democrats cheated and his followers believed it. A little gentle push back when we get the opportunity might go a long way in breaking the spell the Trump supporters are under.

      Delete
  2. How difficult to have someone you care about so much to be promoting those beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim is definitely indoctrinated with far-right crap but he does at least listen when I push back. I just wish I could be as quick with my thoughts and facts in person as I am in writing. He's terrified that Joe is going to turn the country into a Socialist country....like that's so much worse that Fascism which Trump would do us.

      My in-laws however, unfriended me the morning of the insurrection so I never got a chance to see their reaction to the violence going on. Which might have something to do with the fact that the day before I posted a link to the letter by 10 former Secretaries of Defense warning Trump against him not cooperating with a peaceful transfer of power or trying to use the military to stop the count. That's what got me called a 'bitter old bitch' and someone else saying that Trump was placing 5 level chest to stay in office and I was too stupid to understand how smart he is.

      Delete
  3. You have the right method of replying to the lies by giving actual facts and links to proven information. I don't always think fast enough to give a good response and I am surprised that many believe him when his lies have been disproved so many times. I am hoping for better times with Biden's steady, caring approach to solving our country's problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I pride myself on keeping my cool when challenging misinformation online. If nothing else, I figure there could be lurkers who might be swayed.

      I, too, am hope things have reached the boiling point that will open some eyes so we can start turning things around.

      Delete
  4. These individuals who are so indoctrinated with crap, as you say, only know the talking points and the garbage. They feed off each other, and are in a real echo chamber. Once they hear sense, logic, and irrefutable truths, they have no idea what to do with it. It doesn't fit, so they can't accommodate it. Their only defense is to deny and refuse to engage with it.

    I'm glad that you can maintain at least a tenuous relationship with your SIWIH. But I wonder how much more you can accommodate him and his obvious bias. The crazy overtakes them all so profoundly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the moment my husband had his massive stroke he has done more than anyone on earth to help us as a couple and then me as a widow. (Before that it was my husband who helped him, and became a role model to him in many respects.) I will not let his Trumpism come between us and when I do push back, he listens. I have one other relative who is a Trump supporter who I can debate back and forth with neither one of us lets it effect our relationship. But two others are so caught up in the Trumpism I don't care if I ever see or hear from them again. I don't believe all Trump supporters are a lost cause. Fingers crossed.

      Delete
  5. I am so sorry that the fellow you admire and respect in so many ways is a Trumper. At least he is still there for you and as you said, accepts your push back. Fortunately for me, my sister and I just don't go there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it sad that politics has caused such serious divisions in families. If the attempted overthrow of our Democracy doesn't open some of their eyes about the dangers and damage Trump has done, nothing will.

      Delete
  6. These past four years have caused so much divide among family and friends and FB acquaintances. I try not to participate in politics online but gosh people have short fuses these days. I've been unfriended and blocked a lot recently!

    It doesn't really change my mind.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last week was the first time I've been unfriended. It felt really strange because the person who unfriended me I read every day for all of Trump's presidency. It gave me a temperature reading on the mind of rabid Trump supporters but I had a rule that I didn't enact with her more often than ever 2-3 weeks. You see my FB posts so you know I don't start a lot of political threads either. One a month at the most. Unfollowing I can understand---who has time to read all their friend's posts?---but unfriend is harsh, isn't it. It's quite a statement, in this case of ending a 50 year relationship that was never political or anything but fun before Trump came along.

      Delete
  7. Once America was a country many wanted to live in because it seemed so stable now we all wonder what the hell is happening

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like a a nightmare we never wake up from, doesn't it.

      Delete
  8. I totally agree we cannot remain silent. We cannot lose sight of the damage this man has done to our country. We must continually give a voice to Democracy and the rule of law. I hope they continue to arrest the thugs who rioted and the Dumpster and Dumpster Jr. when he is out of office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure hope reality sinks in with these people once he's gone from office. One thing I saw leading up to January 6th is that Trump followers really believed he had a plan that would keep him in office. The hardcore fans who took part in the insurrection might not change but there are a lot of other fans who were shocked at what happened and might be willing to listen now, especially since his power is to fund raise, use social media are eroding. Banks announcing they won't work with him anymore and places that process donations cut him off services to him. Even his memberships to golf clubs are getting revoked.

      Delete
  9. You cannot change these trumper's mindset. They are in so deep, it’s virtually impossible. The thing is the deeper they get, the more dangerous they become, as we have seen.

    I have no family or close friends who are trumpers. I did unfollow people on Facebook, who either never post, never comment and I know for sure are big time trumpers. I just don’t want to deal with it. Just me. I’m too old to have any desire for civil conversation with anyone who could think what happened at the Capitol is okay. Or someone who is a racist or a religious nutcase. Or a QAnon supporter or complicit in the insurrection lead by trump.

    I am civil when I have to be with a few acquaintances, but never will they be a close friend.
    Supporting Trump tells me much more about them than it does about trump. Him we already know about. I know this sounds harsh, but I just can’t do it.don’t want it in my life.




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All but one of the Trump supporters I know are poorly educated and have been brainwashed. What shocks me the most is how quickly that happened...in five years of Trump setting himself up as the only person who they can trust. I do think some/many can change but it's going to take time and a massive effort from civilized society to fight the cancer that Trump brought to our country.

      Delete
  10. I too have a friend who has been indoctrinated, and can't articulate why she wants to believe a bloated rich guy on his third wife who lies to make himself feel like he's somebody special. She just 'knows' in her gut that he's a sincere kind man who loves America and there's a plan by the Democrats to take down America. How can you argue with that? It's so absurd I want to laugh. How can so many be so shockingly deluded? Truly, it's unfathomable, when there's so much accurate information available, that these people go looking for juvenile conspiracy theories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are being told that mainstream media lies and to not look at information that comes from places that actually fact check. I know people=, too, who can't articulate what is so worship worthy about the man. Can't or won't because a lot of it is based on racism and they don't want to admit that in public. Make America Great Again is code for Make America White Again. Having Obama in the White House scared theme. we're not going to be able to recognize this country in 10 years if we don't at least try to push back on the delusions of people in our own sphere of influence. I hate that we have to keep informed and focused on current events so we can do that.

      Delete
    2. Jean, even my Grandchildren, in 2016 at the tender Ages of 11 and 17, recognized the 'Code' for what MAGA really meant and stood for without me even telling them.

      Delete
    3. The only ones who can't see the code are the ones who are racists.

      Delete
  11. I have some family members and friends who have vested themselves in supporting Trump, but I really do believe that time will help to expose the truth. I sure do hope and pray that all goes well during the transition of power. BTW, I absolutely hate power outages, too. We live on a farm, and about 15 years ago, we lost power for 10 days, due to winter storms. It was awful. Not long after that, we got a generator--what a great invention! Life is a whole lot better with electricity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too on the transition. I won't breath easy until it's over.

      Where I'm moving to will have backup generators to keep everyone's refrigerator and one light fixture working during power outages. It's one of the reasons why I'm moving.

      Delete
  12. Thank you for your post, and courage in speaking up (I don't think I'd have the courage).

    In the absence of blogs like yours, my impression of USA would be much different. I'd already reached the stage that if someone is a t-supporter, I'd quietly stop contact.

    I think the USA election outcome owes a great deal to the courage of Black Americans, and women. ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Libby. I really do worry about how this whole dark period in our history is being viewed by the world. How America conducts itself in the coming decade will have the power either sink our reputation and influence permanently or showcase Democracy's power to heal itself. We need all the better angels to step up to the plate.

      Your last sentence is very true. But in no other time in our history has there been so many white people willing to stand up against racism. It might not look that way to others outside our borders but I truly think most people aren't going to tolerate it anymore...especially after seeing play out at the Capital last week. The MAGA movement was/is a racist movement and its leader got voted out by a wide margin.

      Delete
  13. So glad your power is back. I hate it when that happens, especially at the lake with the well. It's not so bad in the daytime but night or winter -- the worst.

    It does feel like a cult to me. The steadfastness of it. Trump has ripped families apart or at a minimum, made that sheer openness of family dynamics far more complicated. You can argue till you're blue in the face but it's a brick wall. I admire your replies on social media to Tim; I'm just sorry you had to make them in the first place. The socialism thing makes me laugh. If one accepts Medicare or Medicaid, they are participating int he socialism they decry. Whatever happened to civics class? I'm very edgy this week. Today, for that matter, there miles from the capitol. Hold your breath this week. It won't change the feelings -- they'll go down under only to re-emerge. But if we can get through the week without violence, I'll be relieved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm holding my breath for you, Rick and your neighbors. Our governor is an very strong person to take all that's come her way, isn't she.

      I need to do some research on socialism-like programs that we all enjoy because from what I'm seeing it's a major talking point of fear for the far right.

      We really do need to put civics classes back into the schools.

      Delete
  14. It frustrates Conspiracy Theorists and those who thrive on Lies to be challenged with The Truth. I've come to the conclusion most of them cannot handle The Truth and are quite comfortable in their 'Alternatives' to it. We used to have power outages back in the day when most of our Electrical Lines were above ground, now they're mostly below ground, I can't remember the last one that weather induced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My entire neighborhood is under ground but there are a couple vulnerable transfer stations that are too close to high traffic roads near-by that take out large areas of the cities at once. Speaking of conspiracy theories, it crossed my mind that foreign countries will try to mess with our power grids this coming week.

      Delete
    2. Are you sure it wasn't Antifa messing with your power grids? Bwahahahahaha... sorry, couldn't help it! LOL

      Delete
  15. I've learned to ignore people. For me that's really the bottom line of these last four years. You can't cure stupid, as they say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually you can cure stupid IF the stupid want to cure themselves. LOL But seriously, my theory is that there are always a lot of lurkers on social media who might be sitting on the fence, not knowing what to think and those are the ones who might benefit from a polite and factual rebuttal to the Trump corrupted people's misinformation and rants.

      Delete