Community & a Recipe
Before the Statue of Liberty distorted into a dominatrix birthing armored vehicles and drones, teachers were a respected profession.
Teachers taught history, civics, great literature, social skills and moral compass. They readied the next generation for adult participation in the American dream, the land of the free.
I intend no mockery of our current dilemmas; I have been mentored by a few great teachers. I honor the profession.
I entered this thought-meander in the WartMort parking lot. I had gone for jugs of distilled water, but stopped to talk to two men in camouflage uniforms, short billed caps by a big armored truck.
They were National Guardsmen standing in the high elevation sun to collect donated school supplies for local kids. School starts next week.
The facts on the ground are these: as the US Govt has launched vicious misadventures abroad and invested in hollow point bullets at home, bridges are crumbling; schools and teachers go underfunded.
Teachers, a generally salt-of-the-earth demographic, have been buying school supplies for their students out of their own meager salaries.
Enter the National Guardsmen. I came out with pencils, crayons, scissors, colored paper, school paste, and notebooks. The woman behind me handed over three school book backpacks; a man brought out calculators.
I have hope for us despite our repellent leadership when I see community taking quiet action for its own.
In the last week, there's been a huge fundraising effort to help the local food banks. Jobs are scarce; rent comes due, then eviction, and families find themselves living in tents and cars.
People close to the land and its signs are opining early winter: Aspens are growing pale as prelude to their autumn gold; berries are setting fruit and it seems early; mornings are cool with a nip to the air.
Much buried offal may hit the fan this fall. While generally hopeful long-term, I also watched short-term bad manners while in town. The bad manners of feeling exceptional.
It's been raining with spectacular afternoon thunder-boomers and lightning, a high desert alleluia. It's also a time of tourists fleeing sweltering heat for non-air-conditioned adventures in the mountains.
Tourists who've paid good money to be here, and the weather is not perfect for their holiday. Sufficient grounds for shoving and pushing and a little road rage.
Traffic was very slow near the Plaza. Traffic lights changed and changed again. People began leaning on horns and flooring their accelerators when an opening appeared. A nice moment to be still and not enter the fray.
A Sheriff's big 4x4 and lights cleared the path for a funeral cortège. Am antediluvian enough to remember when men wore fedoras. A man would take off his hat and hold it over his heart, out of respect for the passing.
Now we have many families and generations without fathers; our young folks are often not guided and mentored by a trustworthy grown man, father or grandfather.
As soon as the Priest, and hearse and a few cars of the funeral procession had passed, vehicles held up at the four-way stop began lunging into the intersection to be first out of the gate and on with their vacations.
4 medium potatoes with skins
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch washed tender spinach
1 pat of butter
dash of white pepper
Himalayan salt to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
splash of milk if it agrees with you
Chop the spuds; smash the garlic cloves with the flat of a chopping knife; discard papery garlic skins. Dump potatoes and garlic into one of those fold-like-a-flower stainless steamers with ~1 pint water in a pot with tight fitting lid, non-aluminum. Bring to boil; reduce to simmer; cook ~20-25 minutes till spuds are tender.
In a blender, put washed spinach with stems, butter and spices. Dump hot potatoes, garlic and cooking water on top. Add a small splash of milk or almond milk if desired. Blend till creamy-green; add a little more liquid if necessary.
Serve hot in mugs or bowls, topped with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt, or finely minced parsley and chives. Serves 2-4 depending on mug/bowl size. Lovely with a grilled cheese sandwich, or tamari/ginger stir-fried veggies with tofu (or breast of chicken.)
Thanks for cheering on a writer's work!