My world is shifting. My tranquil retirement, into which I usually allow no negative or toxic people, has been invaded and compromised. A feeling of uneasiness follows me like a bad odor. It’s election time and all my protestations that I’ve done my share of activism and will leave it to others to save the world while I in my retirement step aside to savor it, have fallen on unsympathetic ears. Desperate times demand desperate behavior, so I’ve enlisted in the war to protect our country. I’ve signed up to be a Block Captain for the Democratic Party. I will walk a neighborhood with printout in hand, encouraging people who are listed as Democrats and who have not showed up for the past several elections to vote. I will help their over-eighteen children register for the first time and provide vote-by-mail applications for those who fear voting machines. I will help arrange transportation to polls, if needed. I remember living in fear during the 50’s and haven’t enjoyed the return of it these past 4 years. I’m so convinced that we need new leadership in order to live in peace and cooperation with the global community that, while I’m reluctant to leave my comfortable retirement mode, I will add my voice and energy to do what I can to bring about a change.
After ten years as a Key Person and interviewer for U.S. Servas, I will be resigning from that responsibility. Reorganization at the national level is switching the Servas organzation to a regional approach that will require that Key people attend monthly meetings and volunteer for 4-6 hours per week keeping records, contacting members and serving on committees. I still enjoy hosting travelers and interviewing but have no desire belong to a Servas “club.” I will continue to interview while my name is still in the currently circulating literature, but will not continue after January 1, 2005.
We’ve officially been empty nesters for 12 years, yet our nest has seldom been empty. Beginning Tuesday until September 17, we’ll have all our bedrooms filled for the first time in recent years. We’ll have two dear friends from La Seu D’Urgell Spain and the husband’s sister added to our Brazilian and Japanese long-term guests. I am frantically trying to reconnect with my conversational Spanish as two of the three speak no English. These are the parents of a young woman who stayed with us for a year and who hosted my friend and I in their home in La Seu. It will be great to see them again.