I'm sitting with our old friends on their screened-in porch in Chatham, New Jersey, in the evening, listening to the crickets: a pleasant sound, not like at all like the ungodly shrieking of the coqui frogs. Tomorrow they will take us to the pier to catch the Nation cruise boat. One thing that annoys our friends, who have been in Chatham for some years, is the way various new money folks such as athletes and Wall Street millionaires have torn down the modest frame houses here and put up huge piles in something resembling the generic style: a modest form of architecture that looks tasteless when expanded to huge size.
Our friends' house is modest and comfortable and full of memories.
I thought in a lot of ways, and especially at this beautiful time of the year, it looks kind of heavenly in suburban New Jersey, in spite of the changes.
To my astonishment these friends shared my sentiments about a lot of what's going on here. Like me, they are suspicious of attempts by rich show-offs to elevate the poor while ignoring ordinary working stiffs and are offended that that Facebook guy is giving all that money to the Newark school system, when many other districts in New Jersey are in worse shape. They wonder why so many elite young people, such as their own son and daughter in law, have chosen to go to Africa to help the people when there is so much suffering right here at home that they could well attend to.
Downtown Seattle was full of beautiful and beautifully dressed and young people on a bright, bright, day. Feeling frumpy, I ducked into Nordstrom's Rack and found the cutest hat and three pairs of sandals, which I am packing to wear on the cruise. Now I feel better.
This is excellent news. Hanneman, the loser in the Democratic Primary, has fallen into line and is, in fact, being very gracious about his defeat. This will be a state with two Democrats in Congress, two Democratic Senators, a Democratic governor and Lieutenant Governor, and a Democratic State House and Senate.
Abercrombie rightly ties Aiona to three debacles of the Lingle Administration: the Superferry mess, where the builders ignored the necessity for an environmental impact statement while Lingle looked the other way; the closing of Kulani Correctional Facility, the only prison in the islands with a sex offender treatment program; and the "furlough Fridays" that made Hawaii the state with the fewest school days in the country.
We had a fantastic time at the Puyallup County Fair! There were rides for the little ones, for the older kids, and for thrill-seeking adults with strong stomachs. It was a poignant experience. The darling, doting, hopeful parents I saw everywhere were concerned and helpful to their young, eager for them to have a good time. The children seemed to fall into two groups: serious and fun-loving. My middle grandchild, however, seems to be a postmodern tot. I swear she was saying to herself, "I am a small child experiencing a day at the fair." It was a performance on the carousel, the rockets and little cars, enjoying her (blue!) cotton candy. The range of expressions on her face: well, I wish I did not have to abide by the family rules about posting pictures of the children. I don't think I have ever observed such a high level of self awareness in a child that young. But by my mother's account she was that way, too. I Don't think I was although I was quite the showoff as a little kid. Alas, my mother thought that unseemly, and my father was mostly irritated by me. So I gave up on that.
We totally underplay the complexity of children. Every one of my grandchildren has some special attribute. I think it's nice that parents of the enlightened type, and there are more of them all the time, refrain from crushing the originality out of their kids.
Here is a view of the fair from the top of the giant ferris wheel:
Running off with the family to the state fair so no time to reply to your comments but will do so when I get a chance.
Interesting election results in Hawaii. The decisive Abercrombie win is intriguing.