Tag Archives: Caring

Why Do We Love Bernie’s Mittens?

Mittens, Love
Mitten Love! (Free Stock Photo)

Bernie Sanders started a craze of memes across the nation with his mittens at President Biden’s inauguration last week. What is it about this cold, winter wear that has caused the mittens to go viral?

Yes, they are just mittens. But, they represent so much more. In this time of cold, both wintery and emotional, they represent comfort and warmth. The mittens were gifted to Bernie and he obviously appreciated them. They may bring memories of caring gifts to our own minds. I remember my Aunt Ruth who gave me handknitted mittens and slippers on many Christmas’. She made them for all the nieces and nephews because she loved us and wanted us to stay warm. I always thought of her when I put them on. And even though she has been gone for many years, I still think of her sunny and caring personality.

We like the idea of nurturing that the mittens bring to mind. The idea that we can reach out and take care of each other sits well with us. People are in special need of extra compassion and thoughtfulness during these hard times. There is political animosity, racial unrest, even people becoming confrontational about how to deal with the pandemic. Someone to reach out with kind actions and provide warmth is what we all need right now. We need warmth of body and soul. Our souls are tired and it is time to lift each other up. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be caring. There has rarely been a better time during my lifetime to employ the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These mittens represent so much as their image goes viral around the world. They represent what we all need.

Bernie’s mittens were repurposed from an old sweater. That they found new life as hand-wear pleases our utilitarian urges not waste, but to give new uses to old things. Old things can have beauty and still serve. The wool from the original sweater is still doing a job and serving a purpose. The fleece lining is made from recycled plastic bottles. These are some of the values that have served our country well. And the Bernie memes show that government officials can be down to earth, just like us.

We also like the coziness of these mittens. At the inauguration, all around were people in finery. Beautiful long coats, stylish scarves, slim leather gloves, fancy footwear. As it should be for such a formal and momentous occasion. But there was also room for comfort and things that are meaningful to the wearer. We are nothing, if not a diverse people.

The popularity of these simple mittens goes far beyond what they are made of. They are a symbol. They represent things we have and things we want, in the figurative sense. Let’s hope that in the coming days and weeks these mittens will foster a kinder America. A place where we can all feel at home again.

Filling the Void

Harley Cat

Life seems to always fill a void. We lost Lacey last month at the ripe old age of 16. Even though I miss her, it was nice not to have to attend to her many daily needs. Well…shortly after that Harley started having dental problems. He does seem to be nearly recovered from them now. Harley is our oldest cat at 15 years of age. He looks great though.

However during the problems he was not able to eat the regular, dry kitty kibble that we feed.  We discovered this because he was meowing all the time. Now, he did often tell us when the food bowl was empty so we thought that was the case. But it wasn’t. At first we told him, Harley there is food. This was met with a look of disdain.

Finally one day he got us to follow him to the food bowl by calling us. We told him there was food. So he flung a tiny, fish-shaped piece of kibble at us. Bingo! We noticed at this point that he was thin and apparently not able to chew the food. So now Harley gets canned food two to three times a day. Once he has put enough weight back on we will see about getting him a dental. I am leery of having a cat of his respectable age go under anesthesia until he is fattened up a bit.


In the mean time, he is enjoying this new routine.  He gets his canned food in a crate so he can eat at his leisure. He is a cat, how else would he eat? This keeps the five dogs and two other cat from eating it. Harley greets me in the morning with meows of “Food! My food! Starving!” As soon as I open the crate door, he runs into the crate and out, and in and out, making sure to get my attention. As if the meowing wasn’t noticeable. I give him a can of food. He meows “thank you”. When he is finished, he meows again. “Let me out”. Or if I am in another room, he MEOWS! I come to let him out and he again says “thank you”. Harley has always been a polite cat. He has various little purrs and trills that he also uses when he is happy with us.

We go through this again in the afternoon when he gets a snack. I will give him any little bit of canned food left from breakfast or maybe some bites of leftover chicken that I mince up. By evening he is ready for another meal and we go through the routine again, with him getting another can of cat food.

Since he is again looking healthy and happy, I am glad to do these things. At least he doesn’t need medicine and other care. By the way, Harley is short for Harlequin, since he is a black and white cat. Long live Harley Cat.