My oldest son Owen continues to learn the skills of being on his own this summer. On Thursday we opened up his own checking account. He now has a debit/credit card and is learning how to manage his money. Once he gets his driver’s license, he plans on getting a job. There are lots of employment opportunities. It seems like every place we go into, restaurant, store, business, there are help wanted signs. The other day we went to Walmart and there was no one working on mobile phone plans. Service has been slow in other stores and restaurants because of a lack of employees. He should have a good choice of jobs during his gap semester.
His brother and sister have been supportive and also learning what it takes to be on your own. We all are helping him become a more confident, safer driver and Ocean and Oliver patiently waited for him to complete his banking. After the bank, we spent the afternoon shopping for shoes and clothes for Ocean before heading back to Freeland.
Luzerne County is definitely Trump Country! We see signs promoting Trump and supporting the police. Rural Americans found a connection with him and are passionate supporters. Coal country Pennsylvania is one of the many strongholds of as George Packer describes in his new book Our Divided America, “Real America”. These are the working class whites that feel passed over by our economy. They have a lot of resentment and have turned to nativism, Christian nationalism and right-wing populism. You can really see it in the many political signs in yards around the town and throughout the countryside.
To end this post, I put together a video of a hike Owen, Ocean and I did last week. We completed a 12 kilometer loop through nearby Hickory Run State Park.