"A blog is to a writer what a canvas is to an artist." ~ Colleen Redman
While Thomas Jefferson soaked in Hot Springs VA, George Washington did it in Berkley Springs WV.
In Berkley Springs there are five warm mineral springs within a couple 100 yards of each other, located mostly at the Berkley Springs State Park. The Native Americans were the first to use the springs for their curative properties. The area has been used as a health resort since 1776.
The temperature of the warm spring pools is 74 degrees and open to the public for wading and soaking, but you need an appointment to soak in the Roman Baths, which are heated to about 100 degrees.
The only thing in our private mineral pool room was an orchid and a pitcher of drinking water.
In the afternoon, we rode our bikes on the sidewalk, explored the shops and ate outdoors at B&B café. We call this shot “Our Florida Vacation Without the 12 Hour Drive.” We had a trip to Florida planned but couldn’t face the driving and ended up Berkley Springs (aka Bath) to take the cure and soak in the warm springs for the weekend.
If you stand on a sandy spot in the middle of this pool, you can feel the springs tickling at the bottoms of your feet.
If you stand long enough, minnows will cover your legs and chew at your skin, trending these days as “fish spa exfoliating.”
It did freak me out a bit.
We stayed at The Berkley Country Inn, adjacent to the State Park. Opened in 1930, the inn had an Old World charm, a restaurant, tavern and spa that features warm springs pool soaks and massages. I sat on those rocking chairs more than once.
Friday night we ate oysters and sang Octopus’s garden with the Sweet Maple Singers at a music club with comfy couches called The Granary. Cookies and wine came with the tickets price.
Saturday night we stayed up late eating tiramisu and dancing to Tom Petty and other covers in the Inn’s Valentine decorated ballroom. Performed by the talented Matt Otis and the Sound, the set ended with a rousing version of Wagon Wheel that brought the house to the dance floor.
I had a leisurely brunch Sunday morning while Joe took a second pool soak,which I thought was too hot for a second go. By noon I got brave and, slowly but surely, immersed myself into one of the outdoor wild pools. Once in, I drew a lot of attention from other pool soaking wannabees. The water was warmer than the 60 something air temperature, but it still took some getting used to.
1. “Be the Elizabeth Warren you want to see in the world.” – my friend Kanta Bosniak
2. I’m not good with writer’s prompts like I’m not good at dance classes. I can’t follow movements or write on cue. I’m best left alone to do what I do.
4. My poetry memoir, Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press (FLP), an award winning small press out of Georgetown, Kentucky. The 32 poem collection probes the questions: How much does the essence of one’s psyche weigh? Is the soul the one carry-on that we can actually take with us? In the end, what do we value and what do we leave behind? The poems are a distillation of life’s memories and track the inner and outer journeys of childhood, care giving, aging and life’s inevitable losses. You can read more about it and how you can pre-order HERE.
5. The Grammy fashions this year included a gumball dress, Cello Green in head-to-toe gold Oscar, a Trump-themed gown, and a pregnant Beyonce shining in gold as a black Madonna in a theatrical art performance. Twenty One Pilots accepted their Grammy in their underwear and Bruno Mars dressed as Prince. The neckline plunges and skirt slits have become standard fare, making me ask ‘where can they go from here?’ I was happy to see that the rappers pants weren’t falling down. Maybe that trend is subsiding?
6. There She Goes! Hold That Pose! – More photos or our niece Catherine HERE.
7. Suddenly the world is so much more unsafe than before Trump was elected that we need a seven country travel ban. Could it be that the world is more unsafe because he was elected?
8. I’m not a bleeding heart liberal but I do wear my heart on my sleeve.
9. We’re all in the same boat, but it seems Trump only wants the gold lifeboats and to grab them ahead of the women and children. But you know gold is heavy and sinks.
10. I still look for the humorous spin, like this: Alec Baldwin has won praise for playing President Donald Trump. And it turns out he’s so convincing that a Dominican Republic newspaper ran a photo of the actor portraying Trump instead of the president.
11. “I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me, all right? I just want to relax and watch the Grammys,” – Cicely Strong, playing a court TV judge overseeing a case with Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin).
12. When I Should Be Napping: I’m counting syllables in a poem / like medicinal drops of tincture / I’m writing the formula / on the back of a card / grabbed from the table by the bed / where I’m prone to lay / and tell only the truth / rather than lie / and be caught awake
13. I actually met him at the laundry mat. Isn’t there a song for that? He was tie-dying shirts with a couple of Blue Mountain parent-friends to sell at a Dead show for a school fundraiser. I had been picking apples from a tree on the side of the road and came in to say hello. He still talks about how enthusiastic I was about my trunk full of foraging and the apple crisp I was going to make. We talked and I remember being impressed. The next thing that happened was a kind of like a scene in a movie… – Read the rest the Valentine story of how Joe and I met HERE.
So the story goes: Joe was a big attraction when he first came to Floyd. He came from D.C. to be teacher at our independent Blue Mountain School, where my sons went and where I taught a weekly creative writing class. The first time I saw him was at a community gathering for Harmonic Convergence in Riner. I decided not to fight for a place in line to meet him. ‘He’s green but has nice energy,’ I thought.
I actually met him at the laundry mat. Isn’t there a song for that? He was tie-dying shirts with a couple of Blue Mountain parent-friends to sell at a Dead show for a school fundraiser. I had been picking apples from a tree on the side of the road and came in to say hello. He still talks about how enthusiastic I was about my trunk full of foraging and the apple crisp I was going to make. We talked and I remember being impressed.
The next thing that happened was a kind of like a scene in a movie. We bumped into each other on the stairs at the school, and whatever I was holding onto at the time tumbled to the floor. It was November and I had heard that he was looking for a place to rent for the winter. I had recently left a marriage, rented a big old farmhouse and took in roommates: women. One of my roommates had just moved out. I wasn’t interested in male roommates at the time, but when we collided, I heard myself say, “I have a room to rent. You should come by and see it.” He did.
So, we were roommates. We liked each other. Sat close on the couch. But he was young and I had two young children. Then, I had a sensual dream about him washing my hair at the sink. Hmmmm. A couple of weeks later, the dream came true. It happened while I was in our friend Karl’s wood-fired tub at Woodsong Farm (this was Floyd in ‘87, don’t ask). The steam from the bath was rising and the night stars were sparkling. “Can I kiss you?’ he asked after washing my hair. “How about we kiss each other?’ was my answer.
My poetry memoir, Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife, has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press (FLP), an award winning small press out of Georgetown, Kentucky. The 32 poem collection probes the questions: ‘How much does the essence of one’s psyche weigh? Is the soul the one carry-on that we can actually take with us? In the end, what do we value and what do we leave behind?’ The poems are a distillation of life’s memories and track the inner and outer journeys of childhood, aging, care giving and life’s inevitable losses.
Because FLP is a small press that doesn’t receive any grant or sponsorship money, they rely on pre-press sales to fund publication projects. Their pre-publication pre-sale period is how pressrun numbers are determined. Pressrun starts at 250 copies and incrementally increases to as many as 1,000 books. In order to print the minimum of 250, FLP requires a minimum of 55 – 104 presale orders.
If you would like to purchase a $14.99 copy of Packing a Suitcase for the Afterlife and help me reach the pre-sales required, please leave me your snail mail address, here or in a Private Message on Facebook and you will be mailed a book announcement postcard from FLP that will provide instructions on how to order. You can also email your home address to me at email@example.com.
Once published, I’m told that my book will be available through Ingram Book Group, a leader in print and electronic wholesale and distribution serving over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools, internet commerce companies and other channel partners, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo (Canada), as well as other well-known retailers of wholesalers of books. It will also be available from the FLP webpage, which I encourage everyone to check out @ finishinglinepress.com.
Hold That Pose!
Wind it Up
And Let it Go!
Head Over Heels
This is How Levitating Feels
Let’s give her a hand
Before She Leaves / Our World Tuesday
I’m counting syllables in a poem
like medicinal drops of tincture
I’m writing the formula
on the back of a card
grabbed from the table by the bed
where I’m prone to lay
and tell only the truth
rather than lie
and be caught awake
________Colleen Redman / Poets United
1. God has a Facebook page. Search “The Good Lord Above.”
2. “We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals but they abandon a part of themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery. The result of this situation is that great sections of the population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out. Don’t abandon them.” – The Pope
3. I had a dream this week that I was watching Trump at a debate podium. Suddenly, the camera zeroed in on his crotch, and Trump cupped his hand on his crotch in a defiant way. I was shocked and outraged and was later telling people how wrong it was but couldn’t seem to get the gravity of it across. Then Joe and I were walking on a bridge in Key West at sunset and people there had seen it too and were talking about it with dismay.
4. There have been a few times in my life when I felt like everything I had done in the past was to bring me to the point I’m at now. I feel that way about opposing the Trump administration. I’m in for the long haul, resisting the danger of Trump and Bannon’s fact-free vision of apocalyptic war, which he thinks we are already engaged in. Read THIS.
5. A red-flagged house of cards / elaborately flawed / can’t hold the weight / of its own disgrace / won’t stand the test of time – Read the rest of my poem Red Flag HERE.
6. Dabbing is a dance move, originated from the Atlanta hip hop scene a few years ago, that my eight-year-old grandson introduced me to. I have to admit I was like Paul Ryan on this one and when he showed me the move, I thought he was sneezing or hiding his eyes to cry. Watch and laugh HERE.
7. THIS is more my kind of dance.
8. I recently became interested in why husband talks so enthusiastically with his hands and, after some research, I learned that the most popular, viral speakers used an average of about 465 hand gestures, which is nearly twice as many as the least popular speakers used. People who “talk” with their hands tend to be viewed as warm, agreeable and energetic, while those who are less animated are seen as logical, cold and analytical.
9. One article I found was called “Why Italians Talk with Their Hands and Scandinavians Don’t,” which explained a lot to someone with Swedish ancestry, like me, who sometimes feels that Joe’s gesturing can get out of hand (pun intended). I sometimes find it distracting and worry that I might get hit.
10. Joe and I were both rockers as children and beyond, in perpetual motion, which I have come to believe is not so much a result of self-comfort but a PTSD coping mechanism related to “sink or swim” (as THIS poem elaborates on). “Treading water” Joe calls it.
11. I read or heard a rumor once that the hippies that came to Floyd in the ‘70s and ‘80s were trust fund beneficiaries, but the majority of people I knew lived at or below-the-poverty-line. That was the trade-off we were willing to make to be home raising our kids, pursuing healthy natural lifestyles, living simply (sometimes off the grid) with land stewardship in mind. – Read the rest of my story, “Hippies are from California” that was first published in Floydiana HERE.
12. These days, parody and reality are too close for comfort.
13. Fear is a feeling, not a fact. – Pamela Teagarden
Using poison to kill a poison
has a lasting side-effect
The body is never the same
A lie, like laughter,
is the same in every language
but deadly in the end
The butterfly doesn’t recognize
the pupa as itself
It doesn’t see denial
changing to normal
and then to conformity
But it’s clumsy when it flies
with the burden of a lie
with a telltale jagged fray
that gives itself away
A red-flagged house of cards
can’t hold the weight
of its own disgrace
won’t stand the test of time
It wasn’t unusual back then to knock on a stranger’s door and ask about an adjacent abandoned farmhouse. The families of these older houses had moved into modern brick ranches and would sometimes rent the old farmhouse for $100 a month. That’s how we found the “612 House” [christened after its road number]. The young man who farmed the land we lived on named his horse after our son Joshua. He invited us to church a couple of time and got rid of the rats under the sink (which I only knew were there because I could hear them squealing as they gnawed our potatoes). He let the kids play in the hay barn and get up close to the newborn calves. Because of an eventual divorce, I barely lived in the house that my husband had built off Christiansburg Pike [Rt. 615]. I remember walking up and down the long steep driveway in the snow after doing the nightshift as a B-REAL Ethanol Plant night watchman. It was understood that to live in Floyd I would have to patch a living together and learn to make something for sale or trade, which in my case was jewelry and, later, writing.
By the spring of ‘87 I moved out with the boys, who saw their dad most weekends. To save money, I opted to rent a big Cape Cod farmhouse off Route 8 and take roommates. One of them would eventually become my second husband (the love of my life), Joe Klein, who was newly recruited from the D.C. area to teach at Blue Mountain School, where my sons attended and where I taught creative writing as a parent/teacher.
I have fond memories of the year we lived in the “729 House,” the changing roommates and college-like atmosphere. We were sad when the owners didn’t renew our lease. That summer we lived in a primitive cabin attached to a bus at Zephyr. By fall we moved into the “615 House,” which had great sunsets as well as an apple orchard in the back, and our neighbor landlords, the Grooms, became our friends.
In 1991, a local realtor who was a friend at the time, called me up and said “I found your place.” He was right. It was a cabin on nearly three acres off the Blue Ridge Parkway and within walking distance to Zephyr. The elemental quality of the nearby Parkway mountain-overlooks helped reduce some of my homesickness for the ocean. The boys had their own rooms and there was an organic garden to work. Owning our place – which I frequently refer to as a paradise of privacy – has been one of my best accomplishments, and I’ve lived here now longer than any house in my life, even my childhood home.
In the early days when the back-to-the-land artists were arriving in Floyd, newcomers and old-timers tended to be more segregated, but I think we had more in common than what was initially thought. And it had something to do with sharing an independent spirit as well as providing our basic needs (even our entertainment) in a homegrown way. But it was our kids who best bridged the community through the friendships they formed in school, playing on the same sports teams, dating, and sometimes even marrying each other. I think we’re all better off for it.
I came to Floyd looking to learn the skills to live a more self-sufficient life, and I did. We learned from the locals and from each other (trial and error). In some cases the newcomers may have brought back old traditions that weren’t being practiced anymore, as when my friends and I became interested in herbs and started wild-crafting local plants for medicinal remedies. Today, along with the garden, we have chickens and a hand-pump for easy well-water access. My husband keeps the shed filled with firewood and the freezer stocked with venison, which is my idea of being rich.
People are still coming to Floyd for the same and for different reasons. I joked the other day to a friend that the Floyd newcomers are old-timers now, as we are getting on in age. I think it was Catherine Pauley, a local Mountain Mother icon and high school art teacher, who, when asked what made a Floyd native, said: “You have to be born here or bury someone here.” It’s a line that chokes me up, and, having buried a number of dear friends as a community over the years, I understand its truth.
But I only just recently bought my first pair of quality mud boots. I couldn’t afford them for so many years. And last year for Christmas I got some zip-up coveralls. I guess that means we’re staying. I guess it means we belong, and that sometimes I even look the part.
___________Colleen Redman / Read Hippies are from California Part I HERE. Read more stories from Floyd Countians in Floydiana, where this piece first appeared HERE. The last photo here is of grandsons! Josh and Dylan are men now and Dylan has two sons, Bryce and Liam.
-The following is my story of coming to Floyd that first appeared in Floydiana, an e-book by Randall Wells
Where else but in Floyd can you learn from an old-timer how to forage ginseng one day and then meet Wavy Gravy – the Woodstock clown with an ice-cream flavor named after him – in town for FloydFest the next? – Colleen, WVTF radio essay, Homegrown
When Glen McClure was commissioned in 2012 to photograph a Portrait of Floyd for a Jacksonville Center exhibit, I was one of the sidewalk subjects he put into focus. My photo came out looking more like the no-nonsense librarian that my high school aptitude test suggested I’d become than the back-to-the-land, flower-child, country transplant that I actually was.
I was not transplanted from a city, but from a small beach town on the South Shore of Boston, an idyllic peninsula with dance clubs, an ocean front amusement park and a big Irish Catholic family that I never wanted to leave. But my first husband was out of work and his family (transplants from England) had found plenty of it outside of Houston. So off we went to Texas to make our fortune in the building trades, thinking we’d stay a couple of years. A couple turned into seven, and from there it was easier to continue to pioneer life as new settlers.
McClure’s assistant, who was working on the street, taking bio-notes for the exhibit catalog, must have misheard me. He got my comments right about coming to Floyd in 1985 to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, for the alternative education choices, the beautiful countryside, privacy, community and good water, but somehow the part about a U-haul and a first husband got misconstrued into me riding into town from Texas on a horse. It was actually a Toyota Camry.
Driving half-way across the country with my young sons, Josh (5) and Dylan (3), following behind my first husband in the U-Haul, I felt as if we were being lifted up by a great hand that was to deliver us safely in Floyd. As much as the move seemed pre-destined and guided, finding housing in Floyd wasn’t.
Our move to Floyd was sight unseen, but we had been corresponding with a couple of new Floydians and were particularly drawn to the county via an early version of “A Museletter.” This alter-native newsletter, published monthly for more than 20 years, had been sent to us by Bob Grubel of the Zephyr farm community. I had found Floyd’s Blue Mountain School’s parent-run-cooperative listed in the Waldorf Schools national directory. I wrote to the school and Bob, a Blue Mountain School parent, eventually answered.
We stayed with Jennifer Siep and her roommate Motsy in their farmhouse for the first couple of weeks. I “met” Jennifer via a letter she had written in John Holt’s “Growing without Schooling” newsletter, describing how home-schooling parents in Floyd banded together to meet state requirements for home-schooling as a group. The group was the predecessor of today’s CERC (Community Education Resource Cooperative).
Our first visit to Zephyr was memorable because of the big welcoming hug that Bob gave us, which was not a common greeting in our pre-Floyd life. The women of Zephyr were more preoccupied that day, and there was little indication that they would eventually become some of my closest life friends, sharing walks, tea parties, dance marathons, poetry, ceremony, life passages and child-raising.
Our kids and the Zephyr kids hit it off right away, and they all remain close to this day, almost 30 years later. We surprised ourselves on that first visit by leaving them on the farm while we did some errands. Most everyone in Floyd felt familiar, and the whole experience seemed like an alignment falling into place, as though our destiny was almost recognizable and had already happened on some level. I remember saying, “It’s as if one leg was already here and I just had to pull the other one over.”
I hadn’t heard the word “hippie,” let alone seen one since the ‘70s, so I was surprised to find so many in Floyd who identified that way. Yes, I was a flower child myself back in the day, but, as far as I was concerned, “hippies” were from California. Believe it or not, it was a badge of honor to be known as a “freak” or “head” in Boston in the late ‘60s. We were not radical, but anti-establishment, maybe in an idealistic way, being awakened by the music of our generation and wanting the world status quo to change.
It wasn’t long before I was wishing I hadn’t sold all my and gypsy shawls and flowing Indian-print skirts at our moving yard sale in Texas. But this was the MTV ‘80s and I was a Mother Earth News wanna-be homesteader in need of some LL Bean work boots and jeans.
Ironically, it wasn’t until I lived in Floyd that I wore my first tie dye. Legend goes that our early tie dye source in Floyd, Kalinda Wycoff, learned the craft while living on The Farm in Tennessee. For years, she (co-founder and long time owner of New Mountain Mercantile) and others lived communally at The Mill, which I sometimes refer to as “our own Alice’s Restaurant” because so many community dances and events were held there. The three-story Epperly Mill was also home to the community’s first food coop, which eventually morphed into the The Harvest Moon Food Store.
I read or heard a rumor once that the hippies that came to Floyd in the ‘70s and ‘80s were trust fund beneficiaries, but the majority of people I knew lived at or below-the-poverty-line. That was the trade-off we were willing to make to be home raising our kids, pursuing healthy natural lifestyles, living simply (sometimes off the grid) with land stewardship in mind.
I cried when we moved into a large house under construction in Indian Valley because we couldn’t find anyplace else to live. It was a community in the making with many acres of property being developed under the guidance of an Edgar Cayce-like psychic. But the owners had run out of money and my first husband agreed to trade rent for work. The kids and I hiked that property like Lewis and Clark explorers (before the deer tick explosion), and I learned pretty quickly that it wasn’t ever going to work for me to live 25 minutes from town.
1. The above photo reminds me of a poem I wrote in the early ‘90s: Full moon temptation / at the traffic light / the red light says, “Stop” / but the moonlight says,“Come”/ awakening my natural signals
2. Last night I dreamt that Kelly Ann Conway framed me in a car accident by reversing the facts and making the accident look like my fault when it wasn’t.
3. When the price of our goods go up because we have opted out of global trade agreements, will our citizens be able to afford “access to insurance” rather than actually being covered?
4. Trump’s War with the Press: If he’d stop making false claims about massive voter fraud and his inauguration size, stop abusing his executive power and acting like a Putin, stop denigrating our values and alienating our world partners maybe the press could stop reporting all this stuff and he’d get along better with them.
5. He’s only been in office a little over a week and already the world is concerned that he could start a new nuclear arms race, a trade war and now a religious war.
6. Last week’s poem: This morning the moon made me giggle / It glowed like a spotlight in a theater of sky / It appeared like a trick that was pulled from a hat / after being magically sawed in half
7. I recently realized that the Irish have their own version of “the blues.” It features slow airs, uellean pipes, haunting laments and lyrics like THIS.
8. My comment to a Trump supporter on Facebook: Sometimes you come across like someone who wants to line up all the liberals and shoot them. There is liberalism in conservatives and conservatism in liberals, so good luck with that.
9. I’m beginning to think that some Trump supporters have Stockholm Syndrome.
10. I don’t consider my thoughts on Facebook or here to be “political,” but more about our freedoms, fairness and our children’s future. I happen to believe that if you don’t follow politics or engage in some way, you might as well say, ‘do whatever you want with me.”
11. “It is like the difference between learning how to ride a bicycle or learning how to put a stick in the spokes.” – My Dharmacratic Poet friend Will on the Trump presidency
12. “I am the youngest of eight siblings. Five of us have died. I share losses, health concerns, and other challenges common to the human condition, especially in these times of war, poverty, environmental devastation, and greed that are quite beyond the most creative imagination. Sometimes it all feels a bit too much to bear. Once a person of periodic deep depressions, a sign of mental suffering in my family that affected each sibling differently, I have matured into someone I never dreamed I would become: an unbridled optimist who sees the glass as always full of something. It may be half full of water, precious in itself, but in the other half there’s a rainbow that could exist only in the vacant space…” – Alice Walker, Preface to Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.
13. Was Occupy Wall Street a dress rehearsal for the Trump presidency?
It’s like a sensitive person
who takes on the problems
of everyone around them
I want to protect it
keep its sunny side clean
not wash out pans
or wipe the floor
But soon it’s bloated
faded and stained
I avoid contact
or looking at it
I give it a new lease
in a bath of water and bleach
before it tatters and dries
at the back of the sink
Before I decide once and for all
that it can’t be saved
even though I feel guilty
when I throw it away
I remember when it was young
But it’s easily replaced
There’s always a new model
A clean start
fresh out of plastic
A next generation
without memory or history
eager to please
and to prove itself worthy
_________Colleen Redman / Poets United
-The following first appeared in The Floyd Press on January 26, 2017 with a selection of the below photos.
Nearly 200 people took part in a Woman’s March in Downtown Floyd on Saturday. It was a “Sister March,” held for those who were unable to attend the larger Washington D.C. Women’s March but still wanted to have their voices heard in support of equal rights, women’s rights, health care, public education and environmental protections.
Men, women and children participated in solidarity with marches that were taking place all over the country and the world. Some were first time marchers who held signs in support of civil rights and the funding of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Many spoke of friends or family members that had gone to march in Washington, which was reported to have drawn as many as half-a-million people.
“I’m just here for the solidarity with millions of people around the world that feel threatened by this new administration,” said a Brenda Aker (below center) of Wyethville, who came with a group of friends.
The marches are meant to be a sustained campaign. “This is more than just a single day of action, this is the beginning of a movement to protect, defend and advance human rights, even in the face of adversity,” the Washington-based Women’s March Facebook site read.
Mara Robbins (pictured above), one of the Floyd March organizers, briefly spoke to the crowd before they made there way from Dogtown Roadhouse to the Floyd Courthouse, singing and chanting.
“This is a non-violent march. We respect the community. We respect the business owners. We are not combative. We are here to show solidarity and strength, to speak truth to power but to do so with compassion. The universe is on the side of justice and this is about justice. Also, we march to know that we are not alone,” she said.
Marchers came from Meadows of Dan, Woolwine, Fancy Gap, Riner, Christianburg, Wytheville, and mostly Floyd. It was a non-partisan march. “This is not about left or right, it’s about human decency,” one woman said. Sister Marches also took place in Roanoke and Blacksburg.
Fred and Linda Romine (below) traveled from Galax to attend. “He owes his life to Obamacare,” said Linda about her husband. “He’s a cancer survivor and just had a major surgery in UVA in September. That’s why we came.”
A woman from Meadows of Dan expressed her concerns about the direction the country was taking under a Trump presidency. “I wish you’d do this more often,” she said.
“Love Thy Neighbor,” “Health Care Cuts Kill” and “Love Not Hate Makes America Great” were some of the homemade signs marchers carried. A “Pro-Science, Pro-Education, Pro Woman” was carried by a man. Another sign read “I’m With Her” and was displayed next to a picture of Planet Earth.
Men, women and children participated.
Attendees gathered at the courthouse, where they sang songs and held signs.
An interesting sign made at the march by a Meadows of Dan couple (left) made a reference to the Roman Empire, “Nero Has His Fiddle Tuned and We Smell Smoke.”
These three women got creative and wrote their sentiments on the cooler covers.
“We don’t have to agree to be able to get along,” said conservative Tim Boone, pictured with his liberal Facebook friend Anne Hartzell. Boone and a friend were the only Trump supporters that attended the march. Boone sat on the rock wall in front of the Courthouse and watched the activities.
A marcher raises her “Rising Up” sign high. – Colleen Redman
1. I got a massage on Monday. It included a head and face massage with oil. When it was over, I glanced in the mirror and, looking Phyllis Diller, heard myself say, “Did I just get a massage or a new hairdo!”
2. Maybe I looked like Tina Turner.
3. Channeling REM: That’s me in the corner. The above photo was taken by my Dharmacratic friend Will at our local sister Women’s March. I titled it “Me at Work.” Watch a fun video of our nearly 200 marchers with homemade signs HERE.
4. Reign vs reins of power?
5. “I believe we are in a TRANSITION. And I don’t mean a presidential transition. I mean the transition that comes hard before any birth. We have got to keep moving. Keep connecting. Keep including.” – My friend Rosemary Wyman
6. You know it’s a pretty weird time that we’re living in when you find yourself looking up the word “fascism” – a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
7. I also know the times have gotten strange, when one of my latest Facebook reply comments reads: I don’t need any uninvited instruction or proselytization. One person’s talking points is another’s propaganda.
8. I woke up one day last week knowing that I needed to find a favorite woman poet. All my favorites are men.
9. I made a mental list and then went to library to get a book of poems by Alice Walker.
10. My Commentary “Why I Won’t Get Over Trump” that was published in the Roanoke Times got 239 “likes” on my Facebook Wall and 98 shares, which went on to get more “likes.” I also received a love letter and phone call from people I had never met. Read it HERE.
11. My friend Ashera just asked on Facebook, “What are your best strategies for keeping hope and trust and faith alive in the midst of these chaotic times?” This is my answer: Being myself. It’s the best thing I can do for the world. I don’t tend to impose thoughts or plans on myself. I trust what I find myself doing. I trust my own instinctive heart and its connected wiring with all that is. I allow my fears and grief, and watch my feelings and reactions with a sense of interest. When I feel dark, overwhelmed and uninspired (which happens regularly), I question the truth of it, but let it run its course, remembering that something eventually always sparks my interest. I’m inspired by humor, beauty and the wonderfully unexpected. Even if inspiration is fleeting, I get a lot of mileage from it.
12. “We are a work in progress, but only when we do the work and progress.” – My Dharmacratic Poet friend Will
13. We love to Dance Because It Makes Us Happy!