For Mom

SONY DSC

Squam Lake – Fall Pause 2015

Well, it’s your birthday! And I wanted to do something besides send you basset hound socks and a wine glass with a dog etched into it… don’t judge! I’m really not great at looking people in the eye and tell them that I appreciate them and why they mean the world to me, so I’m going to write it here.

I don’t want to get super cheesy, so I’ll just say a few things.

1.) I found this video of you dancing to that song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” and whenever I think about it I laugh. When I’m sad, I watch it. Your energy is infectious and you make everyone happy when they see you. And life is approximately 70% more boring with out seeing you every day.

2.) I remember you saying that leaving me after fall pause when I was freaking out behind my dorm was the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. But a few months ago you said it was because you realized that I didn’t need you anymore- not in a really morbid way but in the way that means I can take care of myself. While I still can’t see myself getting through panic attacks or an argument with a friend with out you, I would not be here with out you. I’ll always need you.

3.) I think you’re a wonderful person. You’re generous and kind and funny and you make everything better. I miss being able to see you every day.

So, happy birthday Mommy!! I love you to the moon and back. and I can’t wait to see you super soon. Hug the puppies (and my sister I guess) for me!

Love always,

~ Addie

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Down the Toilet

I am proud to be from the South. It is beautiful and fun and the people are friendly and generous. We are hospitable and kind because not only are we Southern but we are human. We have compassion. Which is why what happened in North Carolina this past week is sickening.

For those of you who don’t know, NC passed HB2, called the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, also called the “bathroom law.”

As written in the Guardian:

“North Carolina’s Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act allows governments to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and prevents municipal governments from creating local laws that would offer these groups protections. Under the law, all public institutions must post signs designating that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on biological sex.” Read the full article here.

I am fully aware that this post won’t make a few people that happy, but I kind of need to vent and I’m doing it here so more people know about it.

1.) This is 2016. We have come so far as a nation in terms of protecting the LGBTQIA community, especially in the last few years. This law being passed pushes us back by decades, and it’s only going to get worse from here.

2.) North Carolina is going to get exactly what they don’t want. A man with a full beard and complete male anatomy who has completed his transition will be required to walk into a women’s bathroom because he was born “differently.” But of course that wasn’t addressed in HB2. He will still have to have his birth certificate in his pocket. Control the guy who shot up a college campus, not where people go to the bathroom. Pick your battles.

3.) It’s hurtful. The southern states already have an awful reputation for being homophobic and unfair, and this sure as anything will not help. We also have a reputation of being hospitable and kind, so why can we not just stick with that?

Something else of note is that Bruce Springsteen canceled his show in the state and released a statement on his website. You can find the whole thing there, but here is part of it:

“To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th.” 

This situation has irked me all weekend. It hurts me to think that people will no longer feel comfortable in their own offices or grocery stores or schools. So- for any of you affected by this issue I am so sorry. Don’t be afraid to fight back, because we are right there with you. 

Noli timere.

~ Addie Downs