Days of Turkey Destruction
Well, miracle of miracles, I actually did get to travel home for Thanksgiving. The DOE only mildly messed with my travel plans, and I ended up only having to work for part of a day on Saturday. A big thanks goes out to my friend Donna, who let me borrow her employer's Internet connection so I could download all of my needed files.
I actually began my holiday on Wednesday, driving through the pouring rain to Bakers Square, where I collected the holiday pies. I then had to stop and get new wiper blades, as mine were, well, dead, and I needed to be able to see to drive north. I managed to leave Gurnee at 10 am, and made it to the family homestead about 4ish. There was little traffic, the weather cleared, and there were few cops on the roads. Bliss!
Thursday was a pretty restful day, actually, involving some food prep, but mostly the playing of cards and the looking at of dead deer. Yes, I was the happy recipient of a small milk-fed venison, courtesy of the mighty family hunters. A picture will be forthcoming of the poor little bambi without his winter coat. Dinner was terribly traditional, although I did spice things up by adding some Middle Eastern spices to our roasted root veggies. Mwahahahahahahahaha! We finished the evening with more card playing, and I won a whole sixty cents playing poker.
Friday was spent processing the bambi, which is no fun in near zero weather. It may be easier to make carpaccio when the meat is semi-frozen but it is definitely harder to butcher a body when it is semi-frozen. Still, working together we got it done and I went to my friend Donna's house to cook her family dinner and use her Intertubes.
The evening ended sadly, however, as a family friend had too much to drink and got a little out of line and was physically escorted to the door and ejected. I may be an ardent feminist, but after that little incident, I can certainly say that there are times when a display of brute male force is not only appreciated but needed. What could have been a major incident was dealt with posthaste, leading to only a bit of discomfort and the understanding that an intervention is needed.
Saturday, I worked in the morning, and the afternoon was spent handing out (tm), eating leftovers, etc etc. And I headed home early Sunday morning. Again, little traffic, good weather, and only a handful of cops. Bliss! The only things distressing about the drive at all were the leaking of a quart of milk in my back seat which I didn't discover until I got back home (yuck) and the excessive number of signs supporting Ron Paul.
Going home for me is always a bit of bitter sweet. I often feel like some sort of weird alien. There are several things that really strike me when I travel north. The first is the incredible poverty of the area. And it appears to be getting worse - that or I really am a pretenious middle class bitch, what with my radical independence, my education and my owning a house and my lack of a male partner, etc.
I am also struck by the incredible racism of the area. The anti-Latino sentiment is glaring, and, frankly, if I hear one more of my friends or relatives tell me the difference between "blacks" and "niggers," at least as it was explained to them by our white relatives from Alabama who I am certain are not considering historical context of the terms, I am going to puke. So much of the racism is rooted in ignorance and poverty. Unfortunately, trying to educate most folks in that area doesn't seem to work well. They are very proud of their ignorance; for many, it seems to be a mark of high character (and yes I know not everyone is that way, but there certainly are a lot of folks I interact with up there that are that way).
The rest of the racism is rooted in poverty. See, there is this feeling that poor whites in that area are losing everything to interlopers, who - of course - are non-white. I had a friend tell me her son would never be able to go to college because he was a white man and everything was stacked against him and all the scholarship money goes to "those Mexicans." What they don't realize is that, for centuries, they - the white lower class - were completely disempowered by the white patriarchal system. They were powerless. They had a lack of resources. And the only folks worse off than they were were minorities. Well, now that many minorities are working toward moving out of that lower class, the white lower class is feeling threatened, feeling like they are going to loose what little power and resources the white upper class allowed them to have. What I wish for is if they could get over this and realize that if everyone in the lower classes banded together (no matter the color of their skin) and worked to take power and resources away from the white upper class, they would be better off. As long as the white upper class can keep the white lower class and the minority class battling each other, they can keep getting richer, while everyone else gets poorer.
You know what?
Viva la revolucion!