This past weekend, I took second in an horseback riding competition – a trail riding obstacle course that I’ve been working towards competing in for several months. I was only riding for fun, so it was a delight to do so well (I rode in the novice category, lest you get too impressed, but it was my very first competition!). I’m extremely proud of myself and of Lady, who was cool as a cucumber for pretty much the entire course.

Also this past weekend, my sister and her family came to visit, which was a complete and total joy, even when the kids were near-literally melting down in the heat. (Ironic to the melting concept: popsicles seemed to save them.) We ate tamales, crawled around on mountain stones, went swimming, watched Moana, and played a little bit of croquet (during which Lily, my niece, looked so much like Alice in Wonderland that it was a bit uncanny).

It is, by the way, a direct result of that visit that my comic is a day & a half late this week, but that seemed worth it.

Finally, I’m not quite sure what to say about this, but it’s difficult to see a calm and happy weekend with my family counterpointed by our country bombing other nations, continuing to refuse to take in immigrants from Syria, and also continuing horrific police violence against black Americans. There were swastikas painted on Jewish centers during Passover. There is ongoing brutality directed at Muslim Americans. There are continued attacks on health care for the poor.

I’m not so naive as to say “this isn’t the real America,” because it is. Both versions are: the peaceful, sweet weekend with my loved ones, and the ongoing terror and grasping for power. I wish it were otherwise. I wish I knew what to do to make things well. But at the very least I will continue to be grateful for the good things, and to keep my eyes open and see the bad, as well.