Last week was spring break here in New England but the weather felt more like winter. Desperate for some sun and above freezing temps, the kiddies and I booked a last minute trip to the warmest place I could find for the cheapest plane ticket. That place happened to be Nashville. When you don’t plan ahead your options are limited, but that’s ok. My daughter loves country music, my son loves rock music and I love all music. So Music City seemed a logical choice anyway.
Given that lately it’s become a hotspot for bachelorette parties, girls weekends, boys weekends and excessive drinking no-matter-who-you-are weekends, Nashville is not your typical family destination spot, but have no fear. Even the under 21 crowd can have lots of fun. Here’s how we spent our time:
And, well that pretty much sums up our little trip to Nashville. We did do some other stuff- like walk around Vanderbilt University (which was beautiful), swim in the pool (which was freezing), and visit some bookstores and music shops (which were really cool). But the best thing we did was just BE together. Away from the distractions and obligations of everyday life, we could block out all the noise and actually focus on each other. And that was beautiful. I felt closer to them than I have in eons, and I know they felt the same about me, and about each other. This last pic I’m going to share is my favorite. I didn’t ask them to pose. I didn’t orchestrate it. It just happened. And for me, it says it all.
Sometimes a simple little Internet search will unearth something totally unexpected and completely wonderful. Motivated by the fact that it’s Women’s History Month and by all the stories I’ve been reading about strong women, I decided I wanted to write a piece about my maternal grandmother who, though not famous, was a pretty amazing and inspiring woman herself. But I have a terrible memory and little capacity for retaining actual facts, so I knew I’d need help if I was going to do her story justice and get all the little details right. So, I turned to my two most trustworthy sources of information: my twin sister (who has a fantastic memory and a great capacity for retaining actual facts) and Google (you all know Google, right?)
My sister was a wealth of information as usual, as were my mom’s cousins whom I also contacted for the backstory, but I was thrilled to find out something completely amazing all on my own. Simply by googling her name (that interweb sure is great!!), I found an art auction site describing the recent sale of one of her paintings! This is really fantastic because while my grandmother was an influential and integral part of her local artist community, she was by no means a renowned artist. It didn’t sell for much, but the fact that one of her pieces is out there being sold to a random buyer halfway across the country and more than 60 years after she painted it is just out-of-this-world crazy to me.
I never had a chance to meet Phyllis, but she has always been a source of inspiration and a driving force in my life. She died quite young- before my parents were even married (just nine days before in fact) but my mom talked about her a lot. I used to love to hear stories about her because she was so intriguing. I imagined her to be tragic and beautiful and smart and strong and quirky and lovely and I always wished more than anything that I could have known her.
We had some pictures of her and we had a few of her paintings but that’s it. My grandfather remarried a few years after she died and his new wife threw out almost everything that had been hers. My aunt was away at college and my mom was living in Japan at the time and didn’t find out about it until she returned home, too late to save anything. Losing all of her mother’s treasures was deeply painful for her and it’s something she’s never gotten over. But she tried to keep her spirit alive by sharing what she did still have- her memories and her stories.
Phyllis Kocher Amman was born in Omaha, Nebraska on August 7, 1917, to Ellis Lundgren Kocher and Louis Kocher, but she spent most of her childhood in Palo Alto, California where the family moved when she was very young. She had a twin brother named Bud who she remained extremely close to even after circumstance and distance kept them apart. Their father died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage when they were just 19 years old, and the shared loss instilled in them a deep appreciation for family ties and an intense need to stay connected. When they married and had families of their own they, their spouses and children all maintained a close, loving relationship that transcended the miles that separated them. When Bud also died suddenly at age 49, Phyllis was heartbroken.
She attended UC Berkeley where she received a degree in social work. She also completed some graduate work in social welfare at Berkeley and later went on to continue her education at the Farnham School of Art in Surrey, England, the University of Rhode Island and Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. All of this is amazing considering at that time, most women didn’t even finish high school, let alone set their sites on a Master’s Degree. In fact, according to the Education Census Bureau, just 35% of women earned a high school diploma in 1940 and a mere 5% went on to graduate from college. She was an influencer, a game-changer, a real go-getter!
While she was at Berkeley, Phyllis met my grandfather, Bernard Amman, a Navy pilot who also has a fascinating story that I’ll save for Memorial Day because well, you’ll see why when I write it. Their meeting was the start of a great love affair that endured hard times and unfolded all around the world. Shortly after they were married, the US entered WWII and Barney was deployed to the Pacific. He spent a good deal of time flying missions during the War and was historically shot down and rescued after three days at sea during the Battle of Midway (he’s even written up in books and stuff- more on that later).
While her husband was off saving the world, she was doing good work at home. She was a firm believer in having a community-based vocation so she served as a juvenile court probation officer, a recreation supervisor, a family caseworker and a Navy Relief interviewer. And because apparently, that didn’t keep her busy enough, she set up and ran a Navy Relief Thrift shop to help fellow Navy families in need. After Barney came back, she followed him around the world, perfecting the art of being a Navy wife: hosting fabulous dinner parties, organizing luncheons on the military base, volunteering with various service organizations, keeping an impeccable house and raising two spirited young girls in far-flung places like Guam, Japan, the United Kingdom, and perhaps the most exotic of all: Pensacola, Florida.
Oh, and she also passed her spare time wherever they were stationed by getting really involved with the local community. For example, she helped promote Japanese-American relations as a cultural ambassador while they lived in Japan and Guam, and she established the Art Association of Pensacola in Florida, where she also set up the first art gallery and studio and acted as head instructor, earning a spot as an honorary life-long member.
In Newport, R.I, where the family finally settled, Phyllis didn’t miss a beat. While maintaining a career as a devoted social worker focused on family and children advocacy and pursuing her passion as a painter, she served as Director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, and, for a time, as Vice-President of the Newport Branch American Association of University Women. She was also a member of the Quota Club and the Art Association, the Newport County Council of Community Service, was on the executive board of the War College Wives and was a member of the Navy Footlighters, a drama group that performed locally. All of this, and she was a Navy Commander’s wife, with all the visible roles and multiple responsibilities that go along with that. By all accounts, she relished the job- drawing on the deep love she had for her husband to support him and help him excel in his career.
Perhaps her most important role, however, was being a mom. She encouraged my mom and her sister to be compassionate, generous, strong-willed, independent and proud. She taught them that it was important to work hard and give back, and she encouraged them to engage in volunteerism and to be involved with the community. She also instilled in them the importance of finding time to pursue individual passions and focus on the things in life that make you happy.
Though she didn’t start painting until her late 20s or early 30s, Phyllis became quite an accomplished artist who delighted family, friends and strangers alike with her talent. She was well known in the Newport area. She won multiple awards and her paintings adorned galleries across the region. But perhaps the most valuable works were the ones that were reserved for her family including some fabulous portraits and other pieces that adorned the walls of all my childhood homes and some less fabulous but equally delightful early works that she painted for her beloved brother.
And, despite all her impressive accomplishments, Phyllis was still endearingly human. My mom always used to recount how her mother could whip up canapés for 200 but had a hard time putting a tuna casserole or any other sensible meal on the table (usually she mentioned this as she was setting a tuna casserole on our table and I’m still not sure if this was in defense of the casserole or an apology for it).
It seems particularly unfair that someone so vibrant, full of life, and determined to give so much was struck down by a fatal illness when she was far, far too young. In fact, it was an illness that she lived with for years, while accomplishing more than most healthy people can even dream about. You see, Phyllis had chronic leukemia, something she neglected to tell most people, including her own daughters, until she absolutely had to, when chronic became acute and she couldn’t fight anymore. She didn’t want anyone to worry, she didn’t want pity and she didn’t want to stop until she had to. But, ultimately she did have to, much earlier than seems right or fair.
The end of the story is a sad one. This lively, beautiful, talented, generous human finally succumbed to the devastating result of her disease when she was just 50 years old, leaving behind a heartbroken husband and daughters who adored her and felt lost without her, her brother’s family who all loved her deeply and a community of friends who admired her, appreciated her and counted on her. She tried to hold on for so long, but the reality of life is that the one thing you can’t control is how much time you have. She was buried the same week my parents were married. Her untimely death would have been tragic at any point, but given that it happened during a time that should have been joyful for everyone made it particularly gut-wrenching.
She left a huge void here on earth, but she also left a beautiful imprint.
It’s amazing to me that she accomplished all that she did in a time when it was deemed unnecessary for women to do anything other than run an efficient household and raise obedient children. She’s a testament that you can do anything, anything you set your mind to, and nothing need get in your way. Not the fact that you’re a woman, not the times you live in, not the circumstances you find yourself facing. And, your life certainly should not be measured by how many years you live, but instead by what you do with the years that you have. It’s so cliché to say that, I know. I know. But really, it’s true. You need to do all the things, now, while you can. Phyllis was on this earth for just 50 short years, but she understood that and she left an impact that will resonate for generations to come.
So as we wind down Women’s History Month, let’s vow to celebrate all the amazing women who have made history, but let’s also remember all the everyday women who have led extraordinary lives, who have made their own mark, and who have changed the world simply by being ambitious, and generous, and by instilling in their daughters and granddaughters the importance of living life fully and with purpose.
Does it come as a surprise to anyone, anywhere that John and Yoko were married on the vernal equinox? Of course it doesn’t! The vernal equinox is the most perfectly balanced day of the year AND the most hopeful one. It’s a day meant for peace and harmony and light. It’s better than the other equinox that happens in September because that one takes away our sunshine. This one brings it ON. And it signifies the beginning of spring- the season of renewal. Flowers, and butterflies, and rosé – oh my!
The Lennon’s were really good at promoting the idea that peace and harmony should reign supreme in your life. But I wonder if they were any better at finding true balance than the rest of us are? I mean, I struggle with it every day and I have a feeling that their personal agendas were a lot fuller than mine. Because you know, I don’t jet between London and New York and L.A. Not as a rule, anyway. And I haven’t even written one hit song, let alone start an entire music revolution. Yet. There’s still time for that though, right? Yeah, right.
But anyway, I digress. What I mean to be talking about is this idea of balance. Today is one of two days this year that there will be 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night everywhere in the world. Everywhere! That’s kind of amazing. And kind of inspiring. When else does the world feel so equitable? Or balanced?
So I want to use that. I want to take this notion of balance and try to apply it to my lopsided life. But it’s already 11:00 am and I haven’t managed to do it yet, so I think I need to hurry up. Here’s a recap of my morning:
Tumble out of bed, stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition… no, wait. Wait! That’s not me. That’s Dolly Parton.
Tumbled out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of very strong coffee…yes! This sounds more like me. Then I opened my laptop and banged out one of the two grant proposals for a school I volunteer at that are due by the end of the week. After that, I ran out to get the mail that I forgot to get last night, piled the tax docs on top of the stack waiting for my attention, paid a few bills and then headed back to the kitchen to try to scrounge together lunch for the kids with the refrigerator dregs (challenging because I didn’t have time to go the store yesterday). Went for a quick run because I’m training (in theory) for a half marathon to raise money for a cause I believe strongly in. Froze my fingers off taking the pictures featured here (you’re welcome) and lamented the fact that it felt more like January than March. Got chased by a fox. Yes, a fox, a very healthy looking fox. Ran back really fast. Really fast. Made it home in one piece, caught my breath (kind of), sewed up a rip in a really ripped up pair of jeans (because apparently, it was one rip too many). Drove my daughter to school in her perfectly ripped jeans. Made breakfast for my son, spent 15 minutes debating whether the Universe is really infinite or not (he thinks not, I think yes). Hopped in the shower, threw on some clothes, unearthed my favorite black heels that have been missing since last week. Bandaged up a pocket knife wound (not sure how it happened because I was in the shower). Got my boy on the bus, drove an hour to work, dropped my bag at my desk, ran to a meeting. Got coffee. Took a deep breath, made a note of my very long to-do list. And that’s where I currently am. I’ve got 35 minutes before my next meeting and I really shouldn’t be doing this right now. But this is what I do to decompress. There are too many words in my head and some of them just need to go.
Oh YEAH, and my husband called to say he might get stuck in Alabama because that’s where he is now and another storm’s a coming. Fab.U. Lous. Also, our snowblower is broken. Yippeeeeeee.
Not all of my days start like this. Just most of them. And it’s ok. I’m not complaining about it. I’m wondering how to accept it. I’m wondering how to take all that I do and feel empowered and accomplished instead of overwhelmed and exhausted.
When life is hectic and you’re focused on getting task after task after task done, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are, who you want to be, and what makes you truly happy. I think the key is finding little moments of quiet in between the chaos to focus on the positive things instead of the negative ones, to remember the “why”, and to discover the best “how”. And maybe finding joy or peace or balance means something different every day. Maybe today it means appreciating that gorgeous sunrise, or listening to a lot of John Lennon as I pound away at my keyboard. And maybe tomorrow it will mean a few extra seconds spent on a good-bye hug. And maybe the day after that it will mean sleeping in just 5 minutes extra, or crawling into one of my kids’ beds for an extra snuggle before the day explodes. Or maybe, maybe… it’s just taking one day at a time and remembering that all of these things that I do are gifts, not punishments. I’m able to do them and I’m free to do them. That should mean everything.
“And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder. And I had a feeling that I belonged. I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.” – t.c
Every girl deserves a chance to be someone regardless of her family’s financial means or life situation. That’s why I’m dedicating all of my training runs for the Providence Half Marathon as part of the SoleMates 2018 Team to helping provide disadvantaged girls access to a transformative program that will help them build confidence and give them the life skills they need to succeed. Join me in honor of Women’s History Month and help turn today’s girls into the women who will make history tomorrow. Every gift big or small makes a difference!
I don’t know if you’ve heard but southeastern Massachusetts got pummelled by the storm that tore up the East Coast this past weekend. The nor’easter whipped through on Friday night and left a wake of flooded basements, toppled trees and downed power lines. 100% of my little coastal town was without electricity until today. Our house was dark and cold and wet and miserable. But you know what? I feel pretty lucky. Because this is the second major storm to knock out our power since Puerto Rico was devasted by Hurricane Maria back in September and though much of their island is still reeling from the disaster, we’re already back on our feet. And we had relief even in the worst of it- friends with generators, neighboring towns with power (and hot coffee!) and crews working round the clock to clear the streets and get the lights back on.
Anyway, we are very fortunate AND we’re none the worse for wear. Plus, thanks to some pretty fabulous friends, the weekend (and my birthday!) actually turned out pretty great despite it all. Sat night was a girls night in that left me feeling really grateful for the people who are always there to pick me up when I need it and Sunday was spent at the MFA with two of my fave lovely ladies and the fabulous (and cheerful) Takashi Murakami. The MFA is beautiful and classic and full of surprises. It’s a perfect place to spend a rainy Sunday. I really love it and I think you will too.
When my son was small he used to call any experience that didn’t last all day a “tiny day”. And by that, I think he meant it was so good that we should have spent more time doing what we were doing but since we didn’t it was tiny when it could have been huge. Well, that was our tiny day at the MFA. I hope you enjoyed tagging along.
Before I go I’m going to give a shout out the other ladies that made this a really great weekend, despite the crazy weather and the scary birthday number. And, I’ll leave you with a little advice. When you’re feeling down, put on a little red lipstick. You’ll look ridiculous but feel fabulous and sometimes that’s all you need to remember that life is pretty great.
Never mind all the stuff that’s happening behind the scenes and behind closed doors in Washington these days. It’s still a great place for a little trip. In fact, with all the unseemly things going on, it’s actually a perfect time to go. Because D.C. is a shrine to everything that’s good about America. It’s a reminder of all the wonderful things that have been dreamed, designed, created, engineered and produced by Americans in America. I have to be honest- I needed the reminder. We are a nation of people who have pushed boundaries to overcome great adversity, invented innovative products and developed cutting-edge technology to solve complex problems, and created a vast array of arts and entertainment to enrich lives. We have found common ground during contentious times. Really, we have! If we can hold on to all the good, there’s no end to the amazing things that can happen right here on American soil. We just need to cut out the crazy. So, let’s cut out the crazy, ya’ll! It’s really distracting and we’ve got a lot of work to do. In the meantime, take a quick walk around town with me and I’ll show you why all of a sudden I feel a bit more hopeful. Remember the future is rooted in the past…
Ah, divine Providence. No, no… not God’s intervention in the world. Providence, Rhode Island. You know- that little city in that little state that you probably never think about. It’s ok, I don’t blame you. Why would you think about a smudge of a spot when the world is vast and amazing and full of wonderful places to visit? Why, indeed. Well, because it’s pretty wonderful in its own right, that’s why. No, really- I’m serious. I’ll share with you what a day in Providence might be like for you, and then maybe you’ll come see for yourself (and yes, you should come see for yourself).
So, that’s Providence in a nutshell. There’s lots more to see and do…well maybe not lots but at least a few more things to see and do..oh OH! like PV Donuts. How could I almost forget? On your way out of town, you have to stop at PV Donuts and treat yo’self to the craziest, yummiest, most creative, and stomach pain inducing (in a good way) donuts around. You’ll be glad you did!
I can’t write about Parkland. I’m sorry, but I can’t, much as my heart bleeds for the victims, the community, and for all of us. I’ve said it all before anyway… wasn’t it just a few months ago, after Las Vegas that I told you how I felt about gun control? So, yeah. The only thing I’ll say before moving on is that the families of those victims (beautiful high school kids with their whole lives ahead of them and dedicated educators) deserve more from our President. This isn’t about mental health reform. It’s about gun legislation and passing sensible gun laws which he won’t even talk about because of his NRA money. It’s all about the money.
Oops, I’m writing about it. My fingers seem to have a mind of their own. I was seriously going to sit down and tell you about my book club book because we discussed it last night and it was really thought-provoking. But I guess I’m going to talk about the most recent (certainly not the last) mass shooting after all. How could I not? It’s part of the fabric of our lives right now so it’s pretty much unavoidable. The sad thing is, I’m not even surprised anymore. Not even one bit. I am officially anesthetized. You get to the point when you hear the news when you think to yourself “please just don’t let the body count be too high”. And that’s really sad.
One of the victims in the picture looked a little bit like me at that age. Her story ended on Wednesday but I’ve been able to see and do a million things since my high school days. That’s gut-wrenching. She won’t get to experience any of it because it was all too easy for her 19-year-old murderer to get his hands on a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle.
“The AR-15 rifle used in the attack was purchased legally, at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Florida, according to a federal law enforcement official. The arrest report said Mr. Cruz purchased it in February 2017. “No laws were violated in the procurement of this weapon,” said Peter J. Forcelli, the special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in Miami. “
I watched the speech Trump gave in response to the tragedy. He vowed (in a measured voice dripping with insincerity and void of real emotion) to do everything he can to make America’s children feel safe in their schools. Everything but put measures in place that would stop easy access to assault rifles, machine guns and large capacity ammunition magazines- weapons no civilian has any need for whatsoever. A glaring omission.
I have a 14-year-old daughter. As I write this she is currently in the kitchen making her lunch to bring to school. She’s packed her backpack with the homework she finished last night, and she tucked the note I wrote so she could go to a friend’s house after school in the front pocket of her frayed and ripped jeans. After debating for what seems like an exorbitant amount of time, she’s decided what shoes to wear and her new canary yellow Converse hightops are laced up just right. Her phone keeps buzzing with snaps and Insta notifications. There’s a basketball game tonight; plans must be made. Music is wafting from her room, lending a rhythmic beat to our morning routine and the bathroom smells like Bath and Body Works. There is toothpaste all over the sink (gah). In a few minutes, I’ll braid her hair in two neat french braids that she’ll immediately take out because they look “too lumpy”. She’ll kiss me goodbye (or she won’t depending on her mood) and then she’ll walk out the front door.
What if my girl doesn’t come home today? Tell me, Mr. President, what if she doesn’t come home?
I’m at a loss for words. I really am. I have just typed, erased, typed, erased, typed and erased again the first sentence to this post, where I had planned to express my feelings about the President of the United States describing other countries as “shitholes”. But now I can’t because I simply cannot articulate how this makes me feel. It was stomach churning at the least, I can tell you that. And he followed it up by asking why more people can’t come from places like Norway. Um. How is it not yet clear what we are dealing with? The Donald has shown his true colors (again) and they are definitively black and white.
Last night, as I sat on the couch flipping from news program to news program, my son said “Mom, why do you even watch this stuff? I feel like it just makes you sad”.
It does make me sad. I feel sad, and exhausted and terrified every single day. I was hoping to find balance, grace, and some sort of peace in 2018 but already that seems like an impossible dream. I thought after last year we had nowhere to go but up, but it’s clear that we haven’t even hit the bottom yet. How low will this deranged, bigoted, misogynistic, idiotic, hate-mongering lunatic take us, and will we be able to preserve a little bit of our human decency?
I know there are millions and millions of people feeling exactly like I feel today, but I can’t help but think of the people that are supporting him, or at the very least allowing him to get away with this type of indecency. I’m talking about the people appointed to serve in our government who are supposed to maintain order and ensure checks and balances endure so that we as a nation and as individuals are fairly represented. I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that any human would be able to justify what he said at all. He is the President. Of. The. United. States. and this is DEPLORABLE. Beyond deplorable. It’s the worst, ever. Lower than low.
I guess the one good thing is that this just strengthens my resolve to take action in 2018 and to be a role model for my kids so that they remain of strong moral character, with open hearts and open minds. I feel like it’s more important than ever to raise my voice in the name of humanity and stand up for what I know is right. I want to do this for me, to help loosen that knot in my stomach that’s been there since Nov 8, 2016. I want to do this for my kids so that they see that words and actions have power; that it’s important to take action against something you wholeheartedly believe is wrong and to have compassion and a desire to help those who are less fortunate than you are. I want to do this so that we as a nation don’t lose sight of what’s good and right about being an American. I want to do this so I can believe that there are still things that are good and right about being an American.
In our house, we watch a lot of Star Wars. I mean, A LOT. It’s something we can turn on and know everyone will be entertained by. How could you not love Star Wars? It’s the classic struggle of good vs. evil played out by endearing characters against a fantastical backdrop. It’s just magic. But it’s deeper than that; it’s real life disguised as fantasy. We’re playing out the storyline right here on Earth. We’ve got the Empire and we’ve got the Rebel Alliance, both adamant in their beliefs and willing to fight to the death for them. In the latest movie (The Last Jedi), the Rebel Alliance, fighting for justice and equality, are in a desperate spot because the Empire is stronger than ever and they’ve been reduced to a small number of freedom fighters with little in the way of a fleet or weapons. They feel as though their support around the galaxy has deteriorated to nothing. They are running out of hope.
I won’t rehash the whole movie (you’ve probably seen it anyway) but I want to talk about the last scene. The scene where the little boy on Canto Bright holds the Alliance ring in one hand and a broom floats into his other. He holds up the broom like a lightsaber and the music swells.
Back in the beginning, Leia thought that Obi-Wan was their only hope and this time around Rey thought that Luke was their only hope. But neither of those proved true. The future of the Rebel Alliance is secure because of all of boys and girls all over the galaxy who believe in the cause, who feel the pull of the Force that allows them to find the strength to fight against the Dark Side. Every mission needs a leader, but no mission can succeed without an army.
Hope for us lies within every boy and girl who are taught to see the good; who are inspired to do something to preserve the good. These boys and girls grow up to be men and women who have the strength and the courage to stand up for the good. They combine their strengths and find power in their unification and collectively they can move mountains.
I mean to say, collectively WE can move mountains because WE are those people who need to unify. We need to nurture, encourage and support the notion that there doesn’t need to be one strong person to fight for us. We are the ones that need to fight. We all can make a difference, no matter how small we are, how insignificant we feel. We just need to ignite the desire and find the motivation to do so. And we need to wholeheartedly reject the Dark Side.
Holy moly- we made it! Today is the last day of the longest year there has ever been (except perhaps before we were measuring time in years). This was a year of sucker punches and gut-wrenching events and I for one and am not sorry to see it go. Even though we’re starting 2018 in much the same situation as we’re leaving 2017 it still seems like a fresh start. Maybe that’s what drew us to end the year in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy. Where it all began if you will. Our forefathers are probably rolling over in their graves right now, given the current state of government affairs, but the city of brotherly love is more fun than ever. Here are some pics from our short but sweet trip.
So, that’s how we wrapped up 2017. I hope the end of your year was just as lovely, and I hope that 2018 is better for everyone. I know a large part of that will have to do with what we do, so let’s get to it! Here’s our chance to move beyond anger, toward action. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do… insert your action item here.