Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

Wishing my favorite Earthlings a wonderful day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Musings

Some Mondays are odder than others, making it difficult to scratch my head in bemusement and type at the same time.  So far:

     A woman called about renting my Gym.  My Center doesn't have a gym.  But one of our other sites does...and their phone number is one different than mine. So I politely inquired if perhaps she meant that facility, as we don't have a gym.  
      "No!," she snapped, "I mean yours."
      "Ma'am, we don't have a gym," I reiterated politely.
      "Yes you do!" she insisted.  "I've been there and it's big.  Now how much is it to rent the Gym?"
      Now our HQ building has a Gym, so I think maybe she means that one. "Ma'am I don't have a gym.  Could you be thinking of the one on Main Street?"
      "No, I want to rent YOUR gym," she snips at me as if I'm brain dead. "How much is it?"
        "Ma'am," I begin firmly, teetering on the edge of losing polite all together, "this facility does not have a gym.  We have a cafeteria style room which we rent."
     "How big is it?"
     Knowing anyone wanting to rent a gym is not interested in my small space, I soldier on.  "There are eight, 8' tables which seat 64."
     "That's not big enough. I need to rent your gym," she huffs.
     Maybe she's hard of hearing instead of hard headed.  A little louder, still with a hint of polite, I say firmly, "Ma'am, I DO NOT have a gym."
     She cuts me off with, "Well if you're located on Pine Street, then you do have a Gym because I've been in it."
      "No Ma'am, I'm not at that address," and as I proceed to tell her where I am, she hangs up.  Well, slams the phone down if you want to be truthful.
      So I go back to my kitchen and finish my prep work for tomorrow's lunch as one of my more affluent senior citizens paces the floor, talking on her cell phone.  This was a woman I remember from my childhood; a local dancer who I thought was beautiful.  I tried ignoring the conversation but as it got louder on her end, that was next to impossible.  Short version: it was her third attempt to get her prescriptions straight and she was a busy woman who DID NOT have time to spend on hold an hour per conversation.
     No one likes to be put on hold...but the card players in the other room had put their game on hold waiting for her conversation to end.  They were fine with it, comparing Easter holiday notes as I peeled potatoes.  I'd just been  thinking what an odd job I have sometimes, somewhere between Director, Referee and Mother Hen.  The card group forgot napkins.  Did I have some?  And ice...could I get ice for their drinks?  I did, then returned to KP duty as I worked my way through a 10 lb. bag of spuds. An hour earlier I'd played Janitor and removed something disgusting from the bathroom trashcan which I'd emptied for our holiday long weekend. Unfortunately, one of the last people in the building thought it was a great place to run back in and toss a bag of lunchtime leftovers while I was closing up another room.  Suffice to say it was not a charming aroma this morning.
     Anyway, as I'm pondering how many hats I wear in one day, the woman snapped her phone shut.  Storming into the next room, she apologized to the group and added in a snooty tone, "I'd like to have a job in government.  They don't do anything but use the 'hold' button and collect money."
     As a government employee on the bottom of the totem pole, this was hardly heartwarming.  The worst part is I've sadly learned the woman whom I'd so admired as a child is actually a snobby witch who believes most people are not only beneath her socially, but intellectually inferior as well.  After all, she writes the critiques of the city's Art Shows, Theater plays and visiting entertainers for the local newspaper.
     A very evil part of me wanted to whisper, "The LOCAL paper.  Not exactly the New York Times."  But I just peeled potatoes...and turned them into potato salad.
     I re-entered my office in time for the phone to ring.  Answering, I heard the voice of the "Gym Lady" on the line as she blurted out, "Oh never mind!  Not you," and slammed down the phone.
     Wow, and that was just my first two hours at work.

     Last week one of my seniors took a look at these and asked, 

"Why do you have such large wine glasses in the hall?  
You can't serve alcohol here."

     When I pointed out they were candle holders, she looked in one, took out a candle, then replaced it with a mystified, "Hmm."
    You know, I don't drink...and I'm thinking maybe that's a good thing given this morning and the size of those candle holders. (And yes, I went back and straightened that candle after the photo was taken.)
     So, I wish you a stress free week, filled more with laughter than loonies.

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 them...to 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 hunter...it'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?