Monday, October 7, 2013

Government Shuttered… Seniors Inconvenienced… Real People Suffering…Fall Colors on Furlough

Our annual visit to the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough Tennessee was, as we have come to expect, delightful.  The weather was perfect, the tellers, new and old, were first rate and the food (thank you for asking) was varied and plentiful. 

For More about Jonesborough Storytelling, check back to October 2012 and 2011.  It’s in that  Archive
thingy on the right…

As we pondered our next move in light of the our beloved government’s sequestration/shutdown/impending economic apocalypse, we were surrounded in the campground by Canadians.  

Did they come just to Mock our government processes??  

No, they didn’t; they were kind as expected and perhaps even more baffled than we were. Even with our usual haunts in the National Parks and Forests closed,  we tried to be hospitable and helpful.  They were from Alberta by way of the Maritimes,  so proffering the shuttered Great Smokies National Park for scenery met lukewarm response.  Fishing in a tailwater for stocked trout paled by comparison to their backcountry cutthroat trips at  home, but they WERE interested in Dollywood and seeing an SEC football game.  OK, they WERE here to mock us…but politely. 

We oldsters were inconvenienced by the closure of our national playgrounds, but real hard working people were devastated by the shutdown.  Our campground at Jonesborough shares “facilities” with the city HEADSTART program.  We watched as parents picked up their kids and heard that they would have no safe, enriching place to go tomorrow and mom or dad would likely lose a shift or maybe a much needed job.

Stricken is the best word to describe their reactions as yet another needless hurdle was placed in their path. On the second and third days, we overheard anxious discussions as parents, grandparents and teachers sought a way to reopen with a crazy quilt of donations, and partial payments to the teachers…  (At Press Time word came that a CITIZEN – A REAL ONE – has pledged millions to keep the Headstart programs open while our politicians dither…)

Each year we enter the guessing game around the Fall Colors.  Early or Late? Bright or Drab? Too dry or too wet?  When, Where and How can it compare to…?

This year’s colors are most definitely LATE, like the budget. Everyone is bewildered by the delay but not yet despondent.  They could turn out fine, and probably will. Some people, somewhere, will be happy (for reasons of their own), some leaf rakers will be grumpy and we will just wait a while and go through all this again…

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