Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Lemon Tea

It’s 54 degrees on a foggy summer day in San Francisco. Here in Northern Michigan, I have been swimming in warm lakes in 70 to 80 degree weather and gleefully glad to have escaped San Francisco and experience summer the way I think it should be. 

Until now.

It’s not foggy, but the San Francisco chill has come all the way to Michigan, the lake has turned cold and I’m changing from shorts to blue jeans and pulling out my vest from the bottom of my suitcase. And my spoiled privileged self is feeling, “Hey! This isn’t what I signed up for!”

But in the spirit of making hot lemon tea from lemonades, I found a 500-piece puzzle, a round one celebrating women in the suffrage movement and started digging in. 5-year-old Malik helped me find the edges, Zadie joined in, Talia came back from her run and sat down and a couple of hours later, we had both the pleasure of accomplishment and learned a lot about women I hadn’t heard of before. Some I knew something about—Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida Wells, Sojourner Truth, Helen Keller, Jane Addams— but there were 35 more whose story I needed to hear. And they had an accompanying sheet that told their stories.

After that, I sat on the couch reading Stamped:Anti-Racism and You and there again were familiar names of people I should know that I did. But also new ones that I needed to know—and now I do. And so should you. Naomi Anderson, the Grimke Sisters, Mary Terrell, Alice Paul (the latter an example of being a staunch supporter for women's rights, but an apologist for racism) and many others. 

So while I’m grouchy that it’s too cold to swim, the weather led me to some important things to know and some satisfying things to do. The lemon tea is both warming and tasty. 

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