Friday, November 20, 2020

Three Beautiful Things 11-19-20: Everett's Exercises, USA Conflicts, Digging Deeper

 1. Christy spent the morning and afternoon with Everett -- keep in mind, if she leaves the hospital's premises, she can't return until the next day. The staff at Shoshone Medical Center worked with Everett throughout the day. They kept Everett active with exercises, working to build his strength and his mobility.  One of the physical therapists helped Everett get out of bed and had him spend an hour in a wheelchair.

Paul had Riley out for a run today and they came to Everett's window. Seeing Riley was the highlight of Everett's day. 

So far, the therapists working with Everett are keeping him in his room. He does some of his exercises while in bed. In the afternoon, Everett told Christy he feels better than he has in a long time. Christy reports that Everett's appetite was better today.

Everett napped in the afternoon until his last physical therapy session of the day. 

Christy said it was a good day.

2. I finished reading Heather Cox Richardson's How the South Won the Civil War. The book helped me understand the conflicts that have been at work in the United States from our country's inception regarding freedom, equality, property (or capital), power, voting rights, the role of government (federal, state, and local) in our lives, and justice. These conflicts are ongoing, unresolved, and current. They involve everything from how United States citizens, and those in power, both in the private and public sector, view taxation, history, racial matters, property, money, poverty, wealth, and many other matters. 

3. Heather Cox Richardson's book stimulated me to explore United States history further. I started tonight by watching the first hour of the four hour PBS documentary series, Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation and the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant ended the institution of slavery and brought the military conflict between the North and South to an end. Deep conflicts and impossibly difficult questions remained, though, about the future of the enslaved people who'd been set free and about how to reunite the Confederate and Union states. Those conflicts I mentioned above regarding freedom, equality, taxation, property, and so on lay at the heart of the Reconstruction project. Heather Cox Richardson's book looks at how the ways these conflicts were addressed after the Civil War helped shape the direction of the United States from then to now. 

The documentary series, Reconstruction, goes into this post-Civil War period in some depth, exploring the conflicts, the persons involved, the violence, and the racial tensions of Reconstruction. Not only did the first hour of this series help me understand what was at stake during Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson's central role in the early days of Reconstruction, and the long term effects of those early days, but the series is acquainting (and reacquainting me) with the current scholars whose careers are dedicated to sorting out this vital period of our country's history. 

I also plan to explore the history of the West in the USA more fully in the coming weeks. I watched Ken Burns' documentary series, The West,  back in 2007, according to my blog, and I'm going to return to it. One of the scholars interviewed in The West is Patricia Nelson Limerick. I have put in an order at the library for her book, The Legacy of Conquest and want to reacquaint myself with her study of Western Expansion. I've read at least one excerpt from this book, but I haven't read it in its entirety. 

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