Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Month: June 2020

A History Lesson

“The way we are taught this in school, Lincoln “freed the slaves,” and then the nearly four million people who the day before had been treated as property suddenly enjoyed the privileges of being Americans like everyone else. We are not prodded to contemplate what it means to achieve freedom without a home to live in, without food to eat, a bed to sleep on, clothes for your children or money to buy any of it. Narratives collected of formerly enslaved people during the Federal Writers’ Project of the 1930s reveal the horrors of massive starvation, of “liberated” black people seeking shelter in burned-out buildings and scrounging for food in decaying fields before eventually succumbing to the heartbreak of returning to bend over in the fields of their former enslavers, as sharecroppers, just so they would not die. “With the advent of emancipation,” writes the historian Keri Leigh Merritt, “blacks became the only race in the U.S. ever to start out, as an entire people, with close to zero capital.””

‘It Is Time for Reparations’
via Instapaper

We have been lied to. History lessons in school are made to reflect the winner and taught with an agenda to maintain the statues quo of whiteness. Reading this tonight has been a minor history lesson and filled in gaps in the story we were never taught.

It it enraging to see our country once again exploit anyone who wasn’t a white European. Not surprising but enraging. This country was built on the backs, literally, of slave labor. People who toiled for idle whites to generate vast wealth in their name. Meanwhile earning nothing for themselves or to pass to their children.

The US Government has a debt to pay.

“To this day, the only Americans who have ever received government restitution for slavery were white enslavers in Washington, D.C., who were compensated for their loss of human property.”

Dove

I noticed a small nest in the scrub trees and weeds along the fence line. I looked up at it tonight and it looked back. There was a head and neck of a bird in the nest. I think it was a dove, but it was well-hidden and hard to make out. I didn’t want to disturb it any further (as I have been removing some vines and cutting back some branches).
I told the dove I meant it to no harm and I would leave her and her eggs alone. I hope the dove hatches little baby doves. They’re such goofy, plump birds. I love watching them waddle around. They have a charm pigeons will never capture.

Dove standing on concrete path.
Dove, at attention

Day 92

The weekend is here again. Or is it gone already? How is it already 7pm on Sunday? They fly by without a trace.

Well, there is some trace. The new butterfly bush we planted yesterday after finding Country Nursery, a lovely little nursery. It meets my internal passing grade of a quality mom-and-pop nursery because you can never quite tell whether you’re supposed to be where you’re standing or not. Everything flows together.

Butterfly bush with purple flowers in green grass.
Butterfly bush, pre-planting.

We didn’t know this nursery existed until passing it on the way to Meadows Farms, the only nursery I know from frequenting one near the farm where I grew up.

Their prices on everything were far below anything Meadows Farms or Home Depot/Lowes can offer. As we talked to the woman behind the counter, she said “We order what people want to buy.” Which seems like a perfect way to do business.

We did buy a selection of indoor plants form Meadows Farms. A found a pair of cacti I allowed myself to buy after keeping the one I bought last year alive and doing well. Add to that a coleus (the red fuzzy one).

Annie got a Snake Plant and a ZZ Plant. Both hearty for shady indoor climates, which is our house.

This is our life now. Watching the birds at the feeders. Clearing areas to plant more bushes and flowers around our house. Annie is on a mission to remove anything that’s only green. It has to flower. It has to look pretty. And if it’s going to, it has to look pretty for as long as possible.

She lived in California when she was young and remembers the flowers everywhere, all the time. So while Maryland isn’t the same climate, replicate as much beauty as possible.

Purple flowers of butterfly bush up close.
Butterfly bush up close

Hibernation

I feel I’ve been hibernating.

I changed jobs in early March and the pandemic hit. I spent my days of government contracting waiting… Just waiting…

Then I took a job supporting Web Conferencing Platforms. You know what that means?

I support Zoom and Webex.

I had no idea the world would soon revolve around Zoom. It would be on the lips of millions of people across the world. Suddenly I had a skill set in massive demand.

My LinkedIn emails have never been so glowing. So many people are looking at your profile it crows seeking approval.

But while professionally I was a hot commodity, my days became a blur. I would stumble into my office at home and sit down to work.

Thankfully I had worked in that room for the past two or three years. It was well suited to the task at hand.

I was not.

I was learning Perl and how to call APIs. I was trying to sprint on the treadmill of Zoom’s constant changes. Their legal troubles. The public relations issues. But thankfully, no downtime. Say what you will of the company and their questionable choices, it has been solid and did not break under the weight of the world.

I would spend all day in that room. With periodic trips to fill my body with water, coffee and Coke then and relieve myself of the after effects of the same. My days were a blur. Even when I was able to stumble out of the room, I was often called back by the ding of an instant message or chime of an email requiring my skills or knowledge.

I wish I had kept a log of that time. It’s all a blur to me now. As the days continue to be. I wake up Monday morning and go to sleep Friday night in the space of a day.

The weekends come, or as my wife says, “that’s when I get to spend time with you.”

My week days feel short and frantic. My weekend days feel long and fulfilling. The weekend itself passes in the blink of an eye but those days I cherish and spend the time with my wife in our yard. Watching the birds at the feeder. Exploring post-apocalyptic West Virginia in Fallout 76 and finding the time to record a podcast.

It is somehow June. We are 12 days into June officially. Though I continue to insist it is February 243rd. That’s what it feels like.

The world has stopped and melted away into a fog of memory and remember whens.

At the same time, The World has become larger and more urgent. There was a protest march a block from my house this week.

There is a pandemic raging on.
Fueled my inept, uncaring leadership. The government has failed my wife and my family at every level.

While I am overwhelmed with work, my wife has seen 80% of her business vanish in a flash. She is self-employed and if it were not for telehealth she would be entirely our of work.

The Federal Government has failed her.
The State of Maryland had failed her.
Montgomery County has failed her.

She had applied for aid and waited… and waited… and waits.

Waits for aid that will never come.

We are living opposite lives in the same house. She is a Night Walker while I struggle to maintain a daylight schedule.

She looks at a business she spent 5 years building successfully get destroyed in a heartbeat. I look at a career that went from pause to hyperspeed.

I struggle to contain my work day and still have something left for her at the end of it. She stares down 22 hours in most days and tries to fill them.

I feel I’ve been hibernating since this all began. I don’t know what day it is. I have no clue what month we are in. Are there important events or milestones approaching?

I can only see the current day. Then I collapse. And start the next one underslept and overcaffeinated.

We have been in lockdown for 90 days.