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Thankful Monday–Scientists


I just came from the bathroom where I used the toilet (TMI). I am typing on a computer under the electric light. My food is kept cold when I need it cold and warmed when I need it hotter. After a week without a washer, my clothes became cleaner when the new one arrived. The intelligence and integrity of people people like Anthony Fauci, adds a little security even with COVID raging. Today (and whenever I think about it) I am thankful for scientists.

It could be argued that scientists that helped give me the microwave, also gave us the nuclear bomb. It could be argued that the toilet was invented by a plumber. (Did you know that Einstein had a patent for a eco-friendly refrigerator that had no moving parts and didn’t use electricity?) I know that because of science I live easier and safer, even with the nuclear bomb.

In doing this tribute, I decided to focus on women scientists. Borrowing from Sam Cooke’s song, I don’t know much about biology or a science book, I don’t know much about women scientists. I could name at least ten men scientists but not that many women. Here are ten quotes by wonderful women scientists: 

“I will have nothing to do with a bomb!” [Response to being invited (1943) to work with Otto Robert Frisch and some British scientists at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb. Lisa Meitner

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” Rosalind Franklin  

We ignore public understanding of science at our peril.” Eugenie Clark , The Shark Lady  

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” Grace Hopper

“Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity.” Mary Leakey                                       

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Marie Curie

“Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” Jane Goodall

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” Rachel Carson

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Mead

“Winning the prize wasn’t half as exciting as doing the work itself.” Maria Goeppert-Mayer

I knew only half of the women on this list. I did not know of the Shark Lady or Maria Goeppert-Mayer. How many do you know? How many more are out there? They should be appreciated!

The ABCs of Surviving Covid and any Other Crisis–The Letter K


Remember any crisis isn’t going to go logically so we’ve jumped from A to C to R and now to K which stands for knees.

To survive a crisis, pay attention to your knees as well as those knees of others. Last night my knee bothered me. It was when I got off the couch, eight or nine hours after I had run four miles. Four miles is a pretty average run but the knee felt below average. I didn’t see any swelling or anything out of place to cause such stiffness but I saw some things I have taken for granted.

I had forgotten the little scar, received more than a half century ago, wrestling on the couch with a sister, losing the match, and landing on the floor. Much more prominent is the blue/purple mark of superficial phlebitis right above the scar which I have had since high school, sometimes hard when I clunk it, sometimes causing people to go “Oh…what did you do..” Since I have it had it almost 50 plus years, I don’t know what they’re talking about, and I look more confused than ever.

The knee wasn’t as bothersome this week as one time when I was cleaning out the lowest shelf in the kitchen cabinet and was sitting on the floor. It locked up so bad I had to call my husband to come home from birding to come help me up.  A visit to Urgent Care that Saturday didn’t show up anything. Later I took up running which basically has improved my knee’s strength and health, and generally making me forget about the knee.

Except last night when it bothered me. Maybe it’s bothering me is a way for me to remember its importance. I saw the scar; I saw the purple swelling that I take for granted; and I thought about my knee and those of others.

The knee is the largest joint in the body and it supports our body in almost all physical activities. More than six hundred thousand knee replacements occur each year and the number keeps increasing. It appears to be a fairly effective way of keeping our knees working which we want even if we never toss a football.

But knees have been controversal lately. Up until recently genuflection was/is an extreme sign of respect as you might in front of royalty or a high religious figure. Yet taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner has been regarded as unpatriotic, sometimes viewed as disloyal or dishonoring the military.

 I didn’t know who Colin Kaepernick was before he took the knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality. It seems to me that it that if we had looked at what he was quietly protesting back then, maybe we would not be dealing with riots now throughout the country. Do we care about more gestures than why they’re done? You have the outrage over blackface, the holding of a Bible (upside down) by a President slightly unfamiliar with it, and you have those upset by someone taking a knee in protest of police brutality while what once was a drinking song is being played.

So where to go with this? Maybe getting knees down on your knees in prayer is the way you want to go. Maybe protesting something silently on a knee is your choice.   Perhaps someone down on a knee during the National Anthem is their way (or opinion) that this  this country has a ways to go to becoming a more perfect union. Does kneeling provide a way of examining those scars left behind years of injustice or a way of looking at the injustice you still live with? The knee (like a mind) that is in good shape can move with flexibility…stretching back and forward, kneeling peacefully…all motions that can be used for the good or the negative. If we look at the action of kneeling with some flexibility or curiosity on why the protester feels that way, it might strength our understanding of the past and the present.

In my opinion (which I think the constitution guarantees me in several places to freely express) taking a knee in peaceful protest is a way of pointing out the imperfection of the community, nation and the world. It seems preferable to pulling and shooting a gun, dropping a bomb or starving a country. If you want to take your knee in prayer or in protest, the constitution guarantees it.  I suppose the team owner has the freedom to fire someone over that, but why not take your knee/understanding  to a new level and  let the other guy do the same.

So during a crisis, take care of your knees so that they serve you well. Remember where they’ve been and where they’re taking you to. Rest when necessary. Pay attention to other people’s knees as well whether it’s jumping up to catch a pass for fun or kneeling in protest over too many names to mention. Perhaps if we all would do that, we wouldn’t see a man kneeling on another man’s neck in the street.

Postscript—I ran 4.5 miles today and knees held out. I am part of the Second Wind Foundation virtual walk/run to prevent teen suicide. If you want to support me or join me go to their website, or shoot me a message.

In case you care, I used random letter generator to determine what my letter would be after the first blog on Audacity (We have had C for Caring and R for Reading before K for Knees. Any bets on what the next letter will be?

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Thankful Monday—Reading– one of the ABCs of surviving the Corona Virus and Any Other Crisis– the Letter R


Here I go killing two goals with one blog—reading is one of the things I am thankful for and reading is another way of surviving the corona virus and other crises.

I love reading. Yet I am not reading as much as I thought I would be. It’s not that I don’t have books.  Here are unread books that enticed me in some fashion but which I have only started at best.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is blog_books.jpg
Cat doesn’t seem interested in reading either.

They came from either libraries that are allowing curbside  check out; little libraries in my neighborhood; or one I even bought. Instead of exploring these new to me books, I tend to go back to books that are either short essays or ones I have read already.

Why?

Maybe my brain feels fried. Or atrophied. But to get out of that condition, I need to read.  I am still thankful for reading and I consider myself a reader.

But it’s so easy, so compelling to click on my phone or this laptop and just see if someone has written, or what ridiculous thing has appeared on Facebook. I don’t count that as reading.

My goal yesterday was to read 100 pages  in a book before I checked FB. I would read 30 pages at a time before I checked email. To help the process, I listened to classical music as I wrote this and as  I did the reading. I also reminisced about reading memories. Here are some:

Martha’s Reading habits–When I worked in the corporate world, I had a supervisor who let her Time magazines stack up week after week. “Do you know they came up with a new Coke,” she’d announce  months after the company released their disastrous plan. “I don’t think it’s going to work out very well.”

As different as we were, I fear that I am now doing the same thing with Time magazines. Sometimes it may be the way to go. For what we think now, may not be what we think down the road as more details play out.

Being Told I was Too Young to Read Something—Growing up the town library was in two rooms about the size of my living room and dining room. One day when I was in second grade, I checked out Black Beauty. Grouchy Miss S told me that I was too young to read a book that thick. I showed her–I read it in a weekend. Here’s one of the quotes that I later heard from an animated version of Black Beauty that my daughters watched:
“Do your best, and leave the rest. ‘Twill all come right. Some day or night.”Anna Sewell

A Punishment Tied to Reading—My parents encouraged reading but one of the few punishments I ever got for being bad was  when I kept reading instead of doing something that my mom requested. She grabbed the book which I believe had to do with Pecos Bill and told me I could stay on the couch the rest of the afternoon. It was one of the worst afternoons of my life.

Raising Daughters who Loved Reading–I think I have the only daughter who brought Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago to an amusement park in case she got bored.

But back to the present. Reading takes us places or to different times which we can appreciate now more than ever. One of the few fiction books I read since COVID was Annelies by David Gillham. It’s plot centered around Anne Frank surviving the Holocaust. While fiction, it brought memories of reading Diary of a Young Girl back for me and what a horrendous time that was. The other fiction piece I read that I finished was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It’s setting was more current but took me to what living as a minority in a poverty area might be like.

Another book is The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. What I appreciate about it are the meditative exercises he gives after each essay. It gives me something to do.

Maybe that’s part of the problem of the crisis. I want to fix it. I want to read something that tells me how to fix it just like a cookbook tells me how to make flan even if I don’t ever try. What do I do with what I have read?

I know the answer can be quite simple—be informed; be rejuvenated; be removed from the depression of the day.  And at times I am. But other times I want direction. I want the recipe for the next three months.

But—that would be fiction and maybe science fiction at that.  Reading if nothing else makes me think which exercises that brain that has atrophied. Here’s what I thought about after I did my reading yesterday.

I started on page 72 of The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. The book goes back and forth in time with a protagonist Alina who is 17 in Nazi-occupied Poland to Ruth, the mother of two children in current times, one who is on the autistic spectrum.  (I think Alina is Ruth’s stroke-stricken grandmother).

Pg 76 Wade would say I was so convinced that it became a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, then I spent so much time to “fix” him that I actually made him broken. That’s the Ruth character talking about her son. I am somewhat of a believer in the power of attraction. I thought about COVID in this light. Could we have attracted this disaster? No, I don’t accept that.

Pg 93 “This is nearly seven hundred calories per day, for each of us. The Jews are only allotted two hundred calories per day.”  This is Alina’s mother talking. Her point is that some other people always have it worse. My thought is how horrible life must have been in those days. And who lives now on two hundred calories per day. I am afraid there are too many people facing that crisis.

Pg 122 ”Every time I think it can’t get any worse, they find new depths of cruelty.”….”Hitler wants land and power, and it is much easier to convince an army to die for you when you have an enemy to fight,” Father said, quite gently. “And the Jews make for an easy enemy, because people will always hate what is different.”  This is Alina’s sister and her father talking. I thought of the conflict in the world and this country, of people fighting each other and hurting each other dreadfully. Those words seem too realistic for today.

This book doesn’t appear to be providing me an escape from today’s woes. And I haven’t found the recipe on how to fix this. I guess I’ll go back to an early favorite and heed the words of a horse.

 “Do your best, and leave the rest. ‘Twill all come right. Some day or night.”

True confession—I made it through 60 pages and then Facebook and emails called. Tomorrow’s another day, Scarlett.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

In case you missed my earlier announcement these blogs are the 26 hour marathon event I did last month. I started this blog series back in early August with the idea that I would write 26 hours on the ABCS of surviving a crisis. I’m not going in alphabetical order because that seems too uncrisis like.

Saturday Poem Based on Words of Rumi


The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Rumi The Guest House

I like Rumi a lot particularly his poem The Guest House, but can we really be grateful for what we’re going through now? I would fear telling someone who has lost a loved one to be grateful for that. But I might express gratitude at having known that person, should that be the case. Can I be grateful for being shut in—perhaps…does it make me more thoughtful, more appreciative, more inspired to be involved in political campaigning? What guidance from beyond is getting us through these days? Perhaps we’ll know some day. In the meantime, here’s my take on Rumi’s words of advice.

Guest House Party

I’m ready to kick out these guests
boredom, uncertainty, fear
they’ve been here too long

But what if I invite the new kids
enthusiasm, confidence, love
and throw one hell of a party in the guest house
will it be a night to remember
or a huge mess to clean up?

It would be rude to kick the first guests out
as I’ve known them longer
but perhaps they could stay in the shadows

There could be a fight with this crowd
but boredom will  probably shrug and leave when enthusiasm
starts dancing like nobody’s business

Confidence may be a great pretender
but uncertainty lives in the future, not the present
or the past
so confidence dances with enthusiasm now

Love is fear’s partner
with the thought of loss tripping
the excitement, the passion
yet worth stepping up and taking another spin

Enthusiasm mixed with confidence
holding hands in love
can make the dance last longer
Will you join me in this dance
or are you sitting it out?

The ABCs of Surviving the COVID and Any Other Crisis–The Letter C


Yes?

You were expecting the letter B?

That would be logical. That would go with tradition. You follow the rules. You start at the beginning, go to the middle and then go to the end. I started with A is for Audacity, it would be logical that B would be the next letter in this series of blogs on surviving a crisis.

But what is logical about this crisis or any crisis? I suppose from a scientific approach this crisis is not out of the ordinary. One of the reasons a crisis is a crisis is that we don’t know what to expect or how to deal with unexpected.

So to survive during the letter of crisis, the letter C stands for Care.

I like care…it can mean so many things. It can be a noun or a verb.

  • 1. the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something
  • 2.serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk
  • 3.feel concern or interest; attach importance to something
  • 4. look after and provide for the needs of

Mostly I want it as a verb today. I want people to feel concern or interest about people they love but also people they don’t know. I want them to pay serious attention or consideration to avoid damage. That’s why we wear masks. That’s why we don’t throw them down on the ground.

Let’s remember the positive. We have seen people who care enough to drive across country to deliver food that would otherwise be wasted. We have cared enough to bring in pets in homes when no one else wanted them. We have cared enough to make masks for healthworkers who have exercised extreme care in helping those who have been sick.

Can we keep caring? The writer Jen Louden in her book called Why Bother says we care to fill desires. At this point, I think it’s even more basic survival. We care to survive. And I want to start with the care of oneself.

I care so I’m cutting back on where I go because I don’t want to get sick.

I care so I’m cutting back on where I go because I don’t want to make my daughters worry. Or worry too much.

I care that my friend who runs a restaurant can keep going so every so often we go there. But I’m not going to drive to Sturgis unmasked to protest my right to eat in a restaurant or hang out with bunch of buddies.

My level of caring is not as high or as critical as a healthworker, a teacher, a first line responder or the guy who picks up the trash. But I do care that they get the protection they need, the pay they deserve and by my taking care of where I go, hopefully I am not adding patients to their workload.

Caring so much can be too much and can cause overload. Caring for yourself is perhaps the first step in the care cycle. Eating, sleeping, getting outdoors…reading a book, buying strawberries. Give serious care to yourself and you’ll be able to care for others.

Taking care means realizing that it can happen to your grandmother, your daughter, your next door neighbor or the little girl you see going to school. Taking care may mean writing legislators/governor and saying don’t open up too quickly or people will die. Taking care that businesses survive may mean buying locally rather than through Amazon, even though I’ve done both.

Caring may mean losing some traditions at least for the time being. If there’s a time to gather with friends and family, be it a funeral be it a wedding, it may not look the same or it may have to wait. Caring means looking at the whole picture and not just the part you’re in.

And sometimes, it’s taking a break from the care..or the work associated with it. Caring for yourself means not talking to someone at a certain time, but reading a book instead.

So today…take good care of yourself.  Then advocate or help others and when you can help people either directly if you’re safely protected or in directly via your checkbook. Give them something even if it’s only a smile, a wave, the benefit of the doubt or a prayer/good wish. Oddly enough caring for others may make you feel better than a lot of other things.

In case you care, I used random letter generator to determine what my letter would be after the first blog on Audacity. Any bets on what the next letter will be? You’ve got a 1 in 24 chance of being right?

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Why I am doing this: This quote by May Sarton answers it for me…”I have never written a book that was not born out of a question that I needed to answer for myself.” This may not be a book, but perhaps a series of blogs will help answer the question for me.

Thankful Monday–Audacity and the Announcement of the 26 Hour Marathon Results


I am thankful for audacity.

Again.

Five years ago I announced publicly that I was on the road to audacity. It’s been a road of ups and downs. I still think audacity is in the eyes of the beholder and when I look in the mirror, I sometimes see a bashful sheep instead of the mighty goat that I was meant to be.

Last month I announced my intent to devote 26 hours to a special writing project as part of a 26 hour marathon that I created. I kept what my project was under wraps in case it died a death after the fourth or fifth hour. I’m here to announce that it didn’t die, although it was close at times. The writing project’s name is The ABCs of Surviving the COVID Crisis or Any Other Crisis You Might Face. What you’ll probably see over the next few weeks/months are some samples of this project. Here’s the first piece in this series:

A is for Audacity To Survive A Crisis

To survive a crisis like we’re in now, I believe you must have audacity. And boy, I must have some audacity. What right do I have to give advice on how to survive a crisis? I mean, I have enough trouble making most goals. I have tried to lose weight, have a neater house, make more money, lead the church, write lots of books,  be less judgmental and more loving…you name it, I’ve said I would do it and then….

Nothing…at least in my mind.

Yet now I am going to act like I know what I am talking about. And I don’t really mean surviving…I want to say thriving…growing…becoming a bad ass…So if nothing else, if I’m going to do it, I’ve got to have audacity.

Here’s the definition of audacity:
1. a willingness to take bold risks:”her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”synonyms boldness, daring, fearlessness intrepidity … 

2. rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence:”she had the audacity to pick up the receiver and ask me to hang up”

Now isn’t audacity an interesting word? I want to use the first definition although I’m known for doing the second at times. I want to be bold but not stupid like people who gather at motorcycle rallies or speedways without masks which might fit the second definition. I have no intention of putting myself at risk or others, but I don’t intend to just hunker down and watch Netflix or bake or eat six cookies which I did before starting this blog a month ago. There has to be more to life even during the Corona virus than the first three. I am going to audacious by starting projects which I don’t know how to do. I am going to be audacious by admitting that I am wrong.

 Am I going to be impudent? Perhaps impudence is in the eye of the beholder. I hope to the people who mean the most to me that I’m not.  

Now one of the things I did once was start a blog series about doing an audacious act once a month. That lasted about two months. But the beauty of being audacious, I think is being brave enough to start again. I’m going to try to do an audacious act every month again.

I’m not going to say I am going to be audacious and forget about my mistakes, but I am going to be audacious, admit my mistakes and LEARN FROM THEM. I may make them again or I may make new ones.  By writing about surviving a crisis, I think it will help to survive a crisis.

I’m borrowing the title and theme of a good President’s book The Audacity of Hope. I have the hope that I can do the things I set out to do. I have audacity to think that I have the skills, the guts, the experience or the creativity to make things happen. I have the audacity to believe that this old dog can learn new tricks. Most important, I have the audacity to try.  I hope that my being audacious will encourage others in this country to be audacious as well.

To survive right now through the crisis we’re in, thanks to the corona virus, we have to learn new tricks. We have to learn how to make a vaccine; how to change bad habits; how to change our way of doing things. My belief is that if Barack Obama could be elected president, I can figure out how to do credit card transactions. If Greta Thornburg could row across the ocean and change how we think about climate, I can write and market at the same time. (Without too much whining.)

My belief in audacity is that we don’t come up with new musicals by going with the old formula. We don’t make new friends by staying in our comfort zone and not talking to the black man next door…socially distanced of course.

And sometimes, we may need to be rude or perceived as being rude by some.  To a person standing too close to us. To the president in the case of a reporter, a fellow Republican, a staff worker who calls a president out just like the kid who told the emperor he wasn’t wearing clothes.

To the health professionals and the educators, thank you for being audacious in going to work or working under different situations. To the people on the protest line, thank you. To all the people who make change, thank you for being audacious. For more Republicans to be like Mitt Romney and tell the president he’s wrong. To be like John Lewis and not go to the inauguration of a dangerous president.

To be honest (though you probably knew it already), I won’t be the one to find a vaccine. But I can stand behind the ones who are the experts and heed their recommendations. I can shoot down the false accusations. I can vote for people who will put health issues at the forefront. I can help those who can’t get to the polls to get there or at least their ballots dropped off.

And what it comes down to with what we’re dealing with in 2020, I hope that I have the audacity of hope that Obama expressed so well.  

Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us…A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead. Barack Obama 2004 Address to National Convention.

I plan to use this gift. It’s my first step in getting through a crisis. And hope that perhaps some of you will explore being audacious.  

If you’re game, go out on a limb this week and commit an audacious act. Remember audacity may be in the eye of the beholder. Your friends/family may not recognize it as an audacious act, but try it anyway.

Thankful Monday–My Cousin Larry


I have been playing the game “ this doesn’t happen to me”  with COVID 19 and finally lost. A week ago Friday my sister called, telling me that my cousin Larry had died from COVID 19.  Out of whatever the 170,000 plus people that died, he was the first I knew personally. Funny how knowing someone brings it so much closer to home.

I could ponder my real empathetic state on why thousands dead didn’t cause me to shut down like one 80 year old for a couple of days, but instead I’ll tell you about Larry. He was about 14 years older than me so I didn’t know him as a kid. In some respects, he was more like a young uncle, quick to tease. He lived across the road from my parents’ farm and later when my siblings and I became the owner of the farm, he rented pasture from us so I dealt with him in business as well as family ties.

I probably had a crush on him. He had a buckskin horse named Lightening that he rode like a TV cowboy, creating a cloud of dust as he rode up the gravel road. Later he had a horse named Ginger that I rode once. I got on her in their corral; she tore off galloping around the corral and finally went into the barn, almost scraping me off under the doorway. I survived that wild ride and never got on her again.  Larry laughed at his younger cousin.

He teased me even in my forties. When I was six or seven, I had a crush on an older boy nicknamed Fud which maybe accurately describes him. I chased him on the school grounds but wasn’t fast enough to catch him. Later when I was an adult Larry would tell me that I could probably catch him now if I wanted.

Like a lot of young men during the 60s/70s, he married young. His wife seemed a sharp contrast to his personality, friendly but more reserved. He served in the military, stationed in Hawaii. When he started farming, he became one of the men who traded services with my dad and uncles. I think the older men looked at his shenanigans somewhat critical, but they too approved of them, perhaps out of envy.

One of the best ones seems to have happened at a wealthy cousin’s funeral in Rapid City. None of my uncles liked liver so they were quite surprised when at a reception for this cousin the fancy things wrapped up in pretty foil was liver disguised. My dad politely stuffed it in his suit pocket. Larry, when the waiter came back through, said “Oh, Don would like some more, he loved it.”

 There were times that he could be serious as well. He helped with chores the winter  my dad broke his knee and later when my mom broke her ankle when I was a senior in high school. As my parents aged while still on the farm, Larry would be the one they would call if they needed help. On at least one occasion my mom called him to help get my dad out of the bathtub. At some point I because an adult in his eyes as we discussed business matters concerning the rent of pasture. He and I would share a beer while his wife brought dessert when we walked over to visit.

It’s going to feel weird to go back there and not split a beer. But, if he hadn’t been such a part in my family’s life, it wouldn’t feel like such a loss. I hope he’s riding either Lightning or Ginger wherever he’s gone. He might be playing cards with the uncles, but he won’t be eating liver.

Saturday Poem–Based on Words of Desmond Tutu


“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu

Dear God,
thank you for these gifts
I didn’t expect so many.
Some far away
some seen every day
some like me
some very different
The ones worn out
replaced by newer versions
who don’t know the old stories
unless they’re told
but who make up new ones
to carry on

Black and white pictures remind me
of younger days
hard days
good days
each day a gift

Today we zoom
text
call and sometimes walk together
Letters cherished when they arrive and beyond
Reminiscing with my sister nightly
on what that aunt said
or what the uncle did
or who was there when the cousin
pulled that joke.

The past holds the memories
some sad. more joyous
the future holds the unknown
scary but hopeful
Today feel the presents
sisters, brothers, inlaws
children, nieces, nephews, cousins
 may I be in their memories
and their future
making the past last
a gift of connection
to the past and forward to the future

Thank you for the now.

Saturday Poem–Based on words of Stephen King


“FEAR stands for face everything and recover – Old AA saying” Stephen King

Fascism, global warming, COVID 19
Police brutality
Racism, sexism, Trumpism
too much to face

Yet what choice do we have?

Everything we want
believe in
hope for
pray for
live for
could be destroyed otherwise.

Mistakes were made
are still made
will be made
The unknown is scarier than hell
but better than covering our heads
and wailing

Recover our dignity
our generosity
our humanity
our justice
not just for us
but for all

And then bravely we could toast to a new day.

Thankful Monday–8 Things I like About the 8th Month of the Year


I don’t like everything about August—it’s hot; there’s the rush to get back to school; and during election years there’s enough ads to choke a politician. But here are the things I like about August:

  1. Peaches—so juicy and sweet. These weren’t mine, but even with a poor crop on the Western slope, the ones I have bought in the store have been good.

    healthy fruits colorful sweet

    Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

  2. Sweet corn—same as above
  3. August memories—days at the swimming pool, trips, family visits. We can’t enjoy these actual experiences this year, but the memories make it possible to reflect on those good old days.
  4. I had trouble getting much done today…is that because August 10 is National Lazy Day? If you missed it, you still have time to enjoy National Relaxation Day on August 15.
  5. The year is more than half over and this year I appreciate that.
  6. Whether it’s because it’s the end of the summer or the beginning of a school, it feels like one can either break a habit or start one. I am working on the 26 hours of writing on a certain project. Some days are better than others.
  7. August 26 is Women’s Equality Day which celebrates the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and, with it, women’s right to vote in the United States.
  8. Sitting on my porch swing in the evening in August. It’s too dark, too cold to do that in November.

Hopefully August has meant good produce, some company and good memories for you.