Politics Archives

It’s a nice day to start again

Two kids.
Two museums.
Day 3 of staycation.
Do I have to go? I was having fun.
Oh oh.
Good thing we’re stopping at Shopko first.
Maybe this brief indulgence in consumerism to get comfy flip flops will appease her.
I’d rather spend the money on clothes than flip flops.
I guess not.
We come to a swift and terrible sartorial decision and are on our way. Placated. For now.

DSC00060Museum #1.
Wisconsin Natural History Museum.
The bedspread from Lincoln’s bedspread is on display.
There is a lumberjack exhibit.
My great grandfather worked as a lumberjack in Wisconsin well over 100 years ago, I say.
Moving on to the Progressive exhibit.
My great great grandfather, a pastor, was considered a progressive in Wisconsin at that time.
He helped start an insurance company that protected churches from fires, which was very controversial at the time.
More silence.
It was progressives in Wisconsin that started unions, giving us 40 hour work weeks, and helped abolish child labor.
Still silent.
But taking it in, I think.

DSC00068Walk down State Street.
The Soap Opera beckons.
Brief indulgence of consumer impulses again.
I try to talk them into getting an owl shirt.
You could totally rock that shirt, mom.
Nah, not age-appropriate.
Sconnie store next.

DSC00061Lunch at Five Guys.
Can’t we go to Subway?
I’d prefer a more State Street-specific locale for lunch, I say.
Gives you a more authentic experience.
Maybe one or both of you will go to UW.
If Walker doesn’t ruin it.
Or the tuition doesn’t get even more sky high by then.
Billy Idol blares through the loudspeaker as we dine.
A perfect day for a white wedding.
Sorry Billy, that was last Saturday. But I get your point.
Hey little sister, what have you done?
The two little sisters ruminate over their purchases.
Compare the burgers to those at other restaurants.

irelandMuseum #2.
Madison Museum of Modern Art.
Wisconsin Pastorale exhibit.
Splendid paintings of rural Wisconsin by Lois Ireland.
Youngest daughter liked the Coordinates exhibit the best.
Let’s go up the stairs!
Let’s not and say we did. Open staircase. I’m afraid of heights.
Everyone’s chicken of something.
There is nothing safe in this world
And there’s nothing sure in this world.

DSC00067A brief stop at the Capitol.
A dozen protesters singing in the middle.
“We won’t leave until it gets better” banner hangs – it has a graphic of the state of Wisconsin with a broken heart.
I give them a brief history of Act 10.
Silence, but listening closely.
There is nothing fair in this world.
Even Monk (Tony Shalhoub) came to those protests.
Got their attention.
Hey little sister, who’s the only one?
Hey little sister, who’s your superman?

We leave for home.
DSC00031Balloon fight ensues in backyard.
Then escalates briefly into a real fight.
Plans made to get slushies later.
And watch reruns of Monk, a summer tradition.
A Northern Cardinal sings hello to us.
Everyone placated again.
Take me back home, yeah.
It’s a nice day to start again.                                                                                     Yep.


Sign of the Times…

Two or three years ago an interesting group of people came into my life.

They have been a welcome reprieve to spend time with by a fire on a winter night after shoveling snow, bursting with energy in the spring, relaxing to be informed by on the sun porch summer evenings as the fireflies appear and entertaining in the aftermath of an afternoon of heavy raking in the autumn.  Sometimes they are just with me when I mop the floor or bake a cake in my kitchen.

This group includes the mayor of our city, Monona, the council members, various city employees and citizens who attend the city council meetings each month.

I am not in need of extra people in my life.  Living in a modest ranch home as part of a family of seven, several teenagers included, I was not looking to fill my time or people to keep me company.  But the addition of this group has filled a void I did not realize I had.

On voting days I stand in the booth more informed and educated than I ever have before.  My decisions are made with thought and understanding provoked by the voices at the meetings. All in exchange for giving a little time in the comfort of my own home to a group of people willing to give so much more each month.

When I first started viewng the city council meetings my teenagers told me nobody watches those meetings, Dad.  One of them suggested only old people did.  Another went on to say that I, their Dad, was an Old Guy.

Lately I have had company watching the city council and school board meetings.  Although it will be denied by any red blooded teenager.  Under the guise of doing homework at the kitchen table or relaxing a few minutes on the porch our teenagers have sat in on some of the televised meetings.  They express their own views and ideas in our conversations, but the thing that surprised me the most was overhearing them defend or explain a decision being made in Monona to visiting friends in our home when topics came up after school.

Two or three years ago I opened the door to an interesting, diverse, group of people here in Monona.  Glad that I did.

City council and School Board meetings may be viewed on CABLE TV Channel 98