Thursday, April 10, 2014

Monkey's Got My Back

I use to have a plaque in my personal bathroom at work, given to me by one of my sassy senior citizens.  I heard that.  "Personal" bathroom? you muttered, no doubt envisioning gold fixtures and a skylight.  Uh, no.  I don't have that kind of job.  Actually it's a single toilet in a room the size of a coat closet, right off the kitchen...for the "help".  It's a good thing I'm not claustrophobic.  So as Director, and the entire staff, that "help" is me.  So my only perk is a "private restroom".  It's a good thing I'm economy size, because it's one of those super low to the ground models.  Think elementary school.  Did I mention I'm also the Janitor? 

Sorry, I digress.

Unfortunately renovations still haven't returned my personal space back to working order.  Years ago the tree outside the window got attached to the plumbing.  Literally.  So the tree was cut down and the stump removed.  Workmen said they'd be "right back" to fix the plumbing problem.  That was over a year ago.

Yesterday I noticed the tree is coming back.  Someone missed a root.

I've always been one of those people that if I can find the humor in something, I know things will be okay in the long run.  And so, as I wait for my bathroom to once again join the workforce, I have moved the plaque to my office.  It's in a hidden space where only I can see it.  Frankly it's stupid, but it makes me laugh.  Why?  Because no matter how miserable I might be in the moment, the last guy on the end reminds me that life is not all work....

....and Fun is outside, 
waiting on me to find it. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dear Trees: I'm Sorry

I love trees.
However, I'm currently not fond of the ones dumping all that yellow stuff 
on my head,
in my eyes.
up my nose. 
A yellow mist which lines my lungs 
and caresses my skin until I want to scratch it off.

And yet, due to all the tissues I'm forced to use during pollen season,
I find myself apologizing to trees.

Ah, beautiful trees.
Ones with open arms, spread out to provide shade from southern heat.
 Those sharing pecans for holiday cookies while we wait for Winter to subside.
 The Old Gal out front who serves as apartment complex to a variety of 
song birds, woodpeckers and owls.

Those kind trees, sacrificing their lives 
to become the tissue which
makes my life slightly less miserable
as trees follow the natural cycle of reproduction.

On second thought,
I'm not sure if tissue is poetic justice
or just irony.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Under Protection

On Friday night Hubby and I have been invited to speak to the Military Officers Association at our local Air Force Base about our charity.  On Sunday night, I've been invited to speak to a youth group at a church...ironically because a young man present at our Fundraiser heard me speak.  Whenever someone takes the time to share, "your words touched my heart", just say "Thank you" and forget being modest.  At least we were on the phone so he didn't see my jaw drop.

As you'll recall, prior to the Fundraiser I had doubts about speaking because I lack a major  qualification: I don't like crowds.  (I know Maurcheen....take a deep breath, some of us are like that).   So I thought of it as storytelling, which taught me I can do things that unnerve me...all because I took our wounded warriors with me in my heart. That made me strong enough to get the job done.  I didn't do it for me.  I did it for them.

I purchased this for myself recently as a reminder of soldier strength.  Those are angels' wings and they have a special significance for me personally.

Oh sure, my Guardian Angel is probably rolling his eyes, wishing I'd just sit still and be quiet.  But this token also honors our first soldier, Jorge.  At the end of that eventful day, he quoted Psalms 91, which is also known as "The Soldiers' Psalm".  It's been memorized and used by soldiers since WWII and is a tradition which is passed from one generation of soldiers to the next.    He sat on a stool, beginning so quietly, his voice gaining momentum as he recited from memory.  You could've heard a pin drop.

The day before I met Jorge, I was still writing  "Friday 55" stories.  From nowhere I'd crafted a story about an Angel sitting still and just listening to someone. (It's here). I had no idea where it came from or why.  The next day as Jorge recited, I remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck when he got to, "For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

And so I have a pair of visual angel wings, to remind me that while speeches make me queasy on one level, there is another part of me who can do it.  Who can tell their stories for connect with people who have the ability to help others but need someone to point out their help is necessary.  And while it will also serve as a reminder of Jorge and his fellow soldiers who keep us safe, I will still hear Hubby's voice on the phone as he opened the package for me and asked,

"Why do you have a bracelet with dove feathers on it?"

Hey, I married a's a logical question.

At least he picked a bird of peace.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring is Sprung...Ahhchooooo

Which is how I feel about the arrival of Spring...
minus the pollen. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maurcheen Made Me Do It

Because a sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste.  
Happy St. Patrick's Day to my true Irish friends....
and to those who wish they were born so.

What do you get if you catch one of these?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still Doing the Backstroke

Ah, the joy of the aftermath of a good deed: thank you letters and tax receipts.  If I don't bleed to death from paper cuts, I promise to post something fun soon.

In the meantime, one of our Board members is involved with another local organization which decided to donate some of the proceeds from their fundraiser to us.  Sounded like a good idea at the time; make a display table and reap the benefits.  Now we've been "recruited" to prepare wild game for their food tasting and provide all the stuff necessary to serve and eat.  Sigh.  All of us have full time jobs and with the various prior commitments, that leaves one Board member, Hubby and me to serve an estimated 500 or more people. I hope the t.v. crew seeks out Hubby to be the group spokesman.

Hey, at least we're not being asked to hump a 60 lb. backpack and a weapon through a desert in a not friendly country.

Bear with me...I shall return.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Drowning in Paperwork...but Happy

They came...they played...they had a good time.  
And we added 16 new members to "the Family".
I survived my speech, amazed to have people tell me afterwards it made an impact.
And I thought the reason you could've heard a pin drop 
was because they were afraid I'd fall off the stage.  

So as I do the backstroke through paperwork, 
I'll be encouraged by the kind words in our soldiers' e-mails
and the invitation extended by a young man to speak at his church about our charity
because what he saw and heard that night "touched his heart".

Maybe there's hope for the next generation after all.  ;)