A Holiday Letter

q-b-g-1The photograph was taken on Dec. 11, 2016 at our family birthday party for our oldest granddaughter, Sophie, who turned 13 on the 8th. These are our youngest grandchildren, twins Quinn and Balan, 2 ¾ years old, who were born on the same day as their father who is also a twin. I’m writing this on Dec. 12th, having just opened two more Christmas cards with notes reflecting great distress over the 2016 election: Distress that I share, profoundly share for the sake of our nation, in all its glorious diversity.

“what are we gonna do” Sophie had texted me early in the morning the day after the fateful election. “what are we gonna do”  I texted back: “Stand up and be heard and do good, all of us!!!” Since then, I have increased my contributions to progressive organizations and publications: Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Ms Magazine, Mother Jones. I’ve increased support of online sources for investigative journalism, including ProPublica, and online sources of nonpartisan, accurate, and comprehensive information, including Ballotpedia: The Encyclopedia of American Politics. I continue to recommend Jane Mayer’s book Dark Money. Recently on my blog I posted a link to a Google document “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.”  Often I call to mind for inspiration and fortitude the many undaunted, determined trailblazing women, and the men who joined them, that I have written about over the years: Fannie Lou Hamer, Frances Perkins, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Hamilton, Chien-Shiung Wu, Sarah Winnemucca, Dorothea Dix, Biddy Mason, Dolly Parton, Martha Gellhorn, Alice Paul, Rose Schneiderman, Dolores Huerta and so many more . . .

I recall historic women’s words for courage and guidance:

*You don’t run away from problems. You just face them. Fannie Lou Hamer                   *You just can’t be afraid . . . if you’re going to accomplish anything. Frances Perkins      *You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Eleanor Roosevelt                                                                                  *Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Helen Keller                              *Knowing the facts as I did, I could not rest until I had brought  them to public attention. Rachel Carson                                                                                                                                         *We realize the importance of our voices only when they are silenced. Malala Yousafza    *Continue to speak the truth fearlessly.    Lucy Stone                                                                    *I refuse to be discouraged.    Mary McLeod Bethune                                                                  *It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of people, where their children’s and grandchildren’s fates, are decided. Hillary Rodman Clinton

Linda and I have had a stimulating and productive year of research and writing, and a fun year of grandmothering! The working title of the book I’m currently immersed in writing is: Women’s Fierce Fight for the Vote: Shout the Revolution!  The recent news that the parents of Quinn and Balan are expecting another set of twins has me scrambling to finish that book!  In 2017 the ebook edition of Lost and Found: On Discovering Women will be available.

Best Wishes & Onward!

Penny

 

 

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