Voting Rights

images-2Yesterday I rode my bicycle. I rode through town without a male escort. I have a college education. I love my job, which I chose myself as a career.

I also voted!

Women have come a long way toward equal rights in the United States! As I walked into the center where I could cast my vote this week, I thought about the first women’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York. As I went into the voting booth, I quietly thanked those women. I thanked them for the many years they worked hard and passionately, and for the many attempts they made for the passage of an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which would allow women the right to vote. Some women were jailed for picketing the White House for their right to vote. (Women were the first to picket the White House in protest.)
Did you know there are countries in the world where women do not have the right to vote?

Adventuresome teens

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
John A. Shedd

I’ve always loved a good adventure! My parents tell the story of when I was just three years old I ventured out into the neighborhood alone. I was gone a couple of hours before my distraught mother finally found me. The story goes that she found me a few houses away, painting the front door of the house. I guess I found some paint and decided it would look good on that door! Our family traveled a lot and moved a lot because my father was in the U.S.Navy. Moving every two years to a new place was always a terrific adventure for us. Now, after many more adventures and travels throughout my life, I also enjoy sitting down and reading adventure books in which others go out to see and experience the world. I’m amazed at the imagination and determination of some people! It’s so impressive to read about the preparation that goes into an adventure and the high goals set by some.
I’ve just read about Laura Dekker, a New Zealand born teen, that sailed solo around the world at the age of 15. Pretty astounding! She had a lot of experience sailing and of course was well prepared for her trip, but what strength and courage to attempt it!
In looking for a good list of adventure books, I looked at some “oldies but goodies” that are exciting adventure books that everyone should read! Here are some of them:
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duma, The Crater by 73James Fenimore Cooper, Ivanhoe by Walter Scott, Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, Kim by Rudyard Kipling, The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley and of course, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.images

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

51kj6kPHswL._SL160_On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was the youngest man to ever receive it. He was just 35 years old and so committed to his cause that he donated the prize money of over $50,000. to the civil rights movement. His protests and his “I Have a Dream” speech are world famous and his accomplishments still are celebrated today.
In his honor, on October 14th this year, start planning what you and your family may do to promote King’s values on January 19, 2015. It is the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
Each year I plan to mentor students in my community that experience challenges in school. It’s a service that I enjoy very much!

Amazing Grandmothers

I recently became a grandmother and a friend sent me an article about a group of grandmothers from all over the world that have gotten together to do some very amazing things. One especially caught my eye because I have always been fascinated with Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman’s attitude and strength of courage are something I greatly admire. Now I admire Joan Southgate too! This is an excerpt from the article in Yes! magazine:

“Joan Southgate: Walking to Retrace the Underground Railroad

Joan Southgate “Joan Southgate, retired Cleveland social worker and grandmother of nine, used to walk a daily mile for exercise—’an old lady stroll,’ as she described it. Then one day she felt a calling to praise her ancestors who walked hundreds of miles to freedom: She decided to retrace their steps along the Underground Railroad.
In 2002, at age 73, Southgate began walking the 519 miles from Ripley, Ohio  to St. Catharines, Ontario, Harriet Tubman’s terminus on the Underground Railroad. Traveling 10 miles a day, she visited Underground Railroad sites, gave presentations at schools, and slept in the homes of welcoming strangers, her own “safe houses.”
Cleveland’s Underground Railroad codename was “Hope” and Southgate, motivated by her pilgrimage, founded Restore Cleveland Hope to save the city’s only remaining Underground Railroad house from demolition. To raise money for the project, Southgate, at age 80, walked another 250 miles from Canada back to Cleveland, completing the final mile with 170 companions inspired by her journey.
The house will open next year as an Underground Railroad teaching center where Southgate hopes people will learn ‘what is possible in the way of changing the world and loving people.'”