Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Tuesday Tidbits (Volume 1, Edition 4)

 Swing your partner- Caleb recently went to an event sponsored by the Applachian Arts Alliance in downtown Hazard and came home with plenty of tales regarding all things Appalachian... well, some things Appalachian, anyway. His description of squaredancing took me back to LBJ and the Virginia Reel and Heel Toe Polka (I think is the name of it). There is such a thing as muscle memory and even thirty years later I can close my eyes and see myself "right right right". I wanted to dance right then! 

The Olympics came a year late and I've been so excited. 

Last week I watched the Opening Ceremony and the Parade of Nations made me a little teary-eyed. Thinking of what so many in the world have gone through in the past year... what so many are going through. Some athletes exuded joy, some appeared so solemn... I thought of what it must mean to represent your country. I loved the unique costumes during the Parade, how each one symbolizes something about their country. My favorites:  Aruba (that bluish-green is just what I picture the water to look like!), Uganda's dresses on their women, the orange of the Netherlands, the flowers of Krgystan (spellling?), Haiti's patchwork dresses, Luxembourg's shiny silver coats... and it always amazes me that I forget there are so many countries! 

When I was growing up, I always imagined being an Olympian. Not because I was particularly athletic, but I loved to pretend to walk the balance beam and any motel swimming pool was an Olympic lane. One time my aunt Lisa E. took me to UK's Aquatic Center where there really was an Olympic size pool with lanes and everything and I was in awe. I guess that's why I've always loved the Olympics... but as kids we don't think of the pressure that comes with carrying your country on your shoulders. 

Today I watched as Simone Biles has been debated across social media channels for opting out of team competition. Simone's life story is one of resiliency, and she stood up in the face of sexual exploitation of a whole slew of girls... went on to form her own gym and embrace pouring confidence into younger athletes. Today, she decided enough was enough. For whatever reason, she felt she needed to step out of the competition. I found myself thinking how we all cheered on Kerri in 1996 when she landed a vault in Atlanta on a badly hurt ankle. The picture of Bela holding her as she waved to the audience went viral for that time period... but as I've sat and thought about that, I see the sadness in it, as well. Today, I'm applauding Simone for recognizing that sometimes, admitting you are weak is really the greatest strength. 

There has to be a balance between just giving up because you are afraid and recognizing when you've had enough, but this is a conversation that we need to be having, and mental health matters! 

Looking to the future- Cheerleading is an Olympic sport! Cheerleaders everywhere are cheering! 

I've been thinking a lot about cats and dogs lately. I automatically think of cats as females and dogs as males. I'm not sure why... anyone else? 

What I Read This Week

1. The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs

2. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

3. First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Bower

Speaking of books...Tonight I went to a book signing with Caleb in Hazard. The book was Twilight in Hazard. I haven't read it but will be doing so. As I sat and listened to the author interact with the audience, I was reminded of the importance of using our own voices to tell our own stories. Try to do that sometime... don't let others define you! 

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