Writing For My Life

Traveling Down A New Path


December 2022

Railway Workers’ Contract…

The railway workers turned down their contract and now it is before our federal legislatures. The House wrote in one of their requests for 7 days of paid sick leave. Now it goes to the Senate. I wrote each of my legislators requesting that They make the railway owners grant some of the workers’ demands. Like not having to be on duty for 80 hours straight.

They’re on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, this is what their work life is like. They have no set schedule, they can be called in on a dime. Where there used to be 5 workers now there are 2 per train. Management is expecting more and more from fewer and fewer employees. This saves the Railroad Barons money. And makes their profit margins higher. Same old shit, different day.

Working conditions have become untenable. People are exhausted. They don’t have regular days off like most other employees have. So they can’t plan any healthcare appointments. They work short-handed because it increases the Railroad Baron’s bottom line. What really ticks me off is that President Biden ran on a platform to do more for the workers and allow them to unionize. Now he is saying that they must accept the shit contract, unsafe working conditions, no sick-time off, etc. And make it unlawful for them to strike. On that, I call b.s. These Robber Barons are making big bucks on the backs of labor.

I was on the bargaining team with my union and the State of MI and know how bargaining looks and it certainly doesn’t appear as though the Robber Barons are meeting in good faith. the Big Railway companies are bringing in a lot of money: 41% more than ten years ago. But they don’t want to have to share a piece of the pie with the people that actually do the work and make the income for them to share with their CEO, shareholders, and owners. Well, the employees are tired of being fed a few scraps at the bargaining table, They want a bite of the apple. In a way, I hope that they do strike. See what happens to these companies then. It would really bite into their bottom line, wouldn’t it?

I don’t really want them to strike, because they could get fired and possibly locked up. And that would really suck. These people have families, have a life(such that it is), have recitals, and sports games to take their children to. But as it is they cannot even take time off from work for fear of being fired. All of this causes stress and stressors affect every inch of the body. From weight gain to heart attacks. Stress is associated with a higher-than-normal death rate. I’m surprised that the employees are not dropping left and right.

I just called my legislators and left detailed messages on their answering machines. I sent a petition to them, and I sent an email to them. I’m not tooting my own horn, I just wished that more citizens would contact their legislators and write letters to the editor. Maybe I just want everyone to be an activist and that is quite unreasonable.

Children’s books and other things…

I was going to write a book for teens with a focus on the history of Ore Creek (back before Brighton was, well, Brighton). I got quite far with it before Clara was born but now I can’t find it. It has to be on one of my old computers/laptops. I could, and probably will start again if I can’t find it. I am still working on a memoir about David. I found it on a hard drive that I have which I did back my computer up to before it died. But l have been working on another book or series of alphabet stories for little ones. I have always wanted to do that. I need to focus on other things. Things that bring me joy, rather than upset. I am also going to start writing love letters to Clara. She has brought me so much joy in her young life. I just treasure the time that we have with her each week. She is such a little firecracker! Such a personality. For being so young, she is larger than life. I know that all grandparents think that their grandchild is special. I really do, but I have not met another child like her, except for David. Not that I think she is channeling David or anything like that… This little kid just amazes me. She isn’t even two (2) but she knows her numbers to ten (10). She knows her colors. She knows most of her farm animals and the sounds that they make.

Tomorrow, I am going to get out my tables and sewing machine and finish Clara’s quilt. I ran out of blanket binding last weekend. And made two separate outings to JoAnn Fabrics to pick up supplies. Plus all of the stuff that I ordered online. I’m out of control. But I did find the perfect sewing room material to make a cover for my sewing machine and other accessories. But first comes baby girl’s pajamas. I have the perfect flannel material and some fleece material. I need to find carbon paper to cut out the different sizes of the patterns. JoAnn’s does not carry it. The pattern is supposed to fit sizes 3 – 8 so I’m going to cut out the eight, six, and four on craft paper and store them away for later use. She is in a 3 right now, so I think I’m going to make her size 4 for this year and see how much she grows next year.

I really miss Michael, David’s son. We see him so infrequently now that it is like we go 6 months to a year without a visit. And Hailie, Sam’s daughter has been away at school for quite some time. I missed a lot of her childhood because of my illness and strokes. Michael, we helped raise. Especially after David’s death. We had him every other weekend, during school breaks, and a lot in the summertime (except for when he lived in Georgia). We used to take him camping with us on just about every trip that we took. I miss those days. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for what time we had with him. He brought us all such joy. Momma and Pops just loved him to death. That was another high point in my life. Sam and Hailie dropped by for a minute last week. I was napping with the baby so I did not see them. Bummer. I’m going to try to get Leo to take me over to see Sam, Felicia, Hailie, and Felicia’s kids before Christmas. I have been very antisocial, because of my illness, weight, and sometimes anxiety. Plus I have depression issues. And I had Val issues, but she moved out west with one of her sons.

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