For those of you who don’t know me on Facebook, here’s a good tip for Monday.
As the weather gets cooler, I realize that there will soon be mornings when I couldn’t soap my arse if I wanted to. I suspect I have a touch of arthritis, and sometimes I wake up with decidedly less mobility than usual. It takes about an hour before my lower back stops seizing and I can soap my arse properly.
Incidentally, 23andMe recently updated my ancestry report. I went from being 70.8 percent British and Irish to 97.5 percent. My German heritage “disappeared”, as did my Swiss and Scandinavian heritage… and now I’m apparently a wee bit Finnish, Spanish, and/or Portuguese, with a trace of Native American (that bit didn’t change).
Actually, I can believe that I might have 97.5 percent British and Irish ancestry/DNA. I really look the part, even if I don’t have the accent. When I’ve been in the United Kingdom, people have stopped me and asked me for directions. And I always feel very much at home there. In fact, when we visited Mildenhall in 2016, I felt like I was at home in Gloucester, Virginia. It really looked like the town where I grew up– not exactly my birthplace, but close. Mildenhall happens to be the first place I ever lived during my lifetime that I remember well. Incidentally, Ancestry.com also recently updated its results and I came out as almost entirely Brit/Irish there, too. In fact, according to Ancestry.com, about half of my DNA is Scottish. I don’t know if I buy that, but again, I definitely fit the part.
Lately, I’ve given some thought to going “home” again. It’s been six years… they have flown by, and I do kind of miss home to some extent. I don’t know that I care too much about seeing family. Maybe my mom…. she’s become a lot nicer to be around since my dad passed away. Taking care of Dad was stressful and my mom could become quite bitchy in the process. But now she’s funny and friendly, and we can speak freely about subjects like politics, mainly because we agree. Mom also swears. She doesn’t swear as much as I do, but she swears more than she did when my dad was around. My dad hated swearing. It was probably because his father used to swear and hearing coarse language reminded my dad of growing up being abused by his father.
But going home is not so easy right now, for many reasons. COVID-19 is the main one. So here I sit, listening to funny songs by an Irish woman and thinking about the old days, when I still felt at home in the United States. I do love Germany, though. I wish more Americans could see how things work in Europe.
My cousin shared some post about what would happen if Joe Biden is elected. Basically, he’s upset about the prospect of paying more taxes. I live in a country where people pay higher taxes. Some of the taxes are a bit ridiculous, I will admit. BUT– most people here live very well, despite paying higher taxes. They can afford to take vacations. They can afford to access higher education and go to the doctor when they are sick. Parents can take time off to take care of their babies for a year or more. Those who are ill can get affordable hospital care and take time off work to heal. In fact, employers expect it.
My German friend told me yesterday that five years ago, her health insurance paid for her to spend time in a rehab facility to help her learn how to cope with chronic pain. The only thing she had to pay for was materials for a handcrafting project. The rehab was intended to help those who couldn’t work due to a medical problem find ways to cope so that they can get back to being productive members of society. That, to me, seems a lot better than just telling people who fall on hard times to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or worse, “tough luck”.
I understand that a lot of Americans don’t trust the government. They don’t like the idea of taking care of the whole community rather than just focusing on taking care of themselves and their families. And so, when someone dies, such as a different cousin’s husband did last week, we Americans often resort to measures like GoFundMe to pay for medical care and funerals.
Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are conditioned to pay obscene rates for medical care and funeral care. They don’t know anything different. They hate the idea of higher taxes that might go for paying for someone else’s well-being. They don’t understand that someday, they might need help themselves, and that money raised through taxes would theoretically be there for them, too.
Well… I don’t know how much longer we’ll be living the European dream. I do like it here a lot and have mostly assimilated, although my German definitely needs a lot of work. We don’t plan to stay here forever… but neither is a move back to the States in the cards at this point. I would like to wait until the virus settles down somewhat and Trump is no longer a threat to my blood pressure. I could write a lot about what I think of him… especially as the election looms and he does more drastic things to mess up democracy. But I don’t feel like ranting today. It’s rainy… dark and chilly outside. I’d rather focus on something cozier.
So, I hope you’ll all have a nice Monday and take Rosaleen’s advice to heart if you’re feeling a bit blue. Or, at least imagine yourself soaping your arse and slipping backwards over a rainbow. Maybe you’ll even crack a smile as wide as your asscrack.