Sunday, February 10, 2019

Savannah says, "Look back 10 years"

Okay, I did.  I looked back at my blog posts from Feb. 2009 and.....

Groaned.  Giggled.  Sighed.  And giggled some more.  I truly understood the phrase, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I had 12 posts that February.  I began by sharing a story about, "The Bear That Roared", the tale of how my boyfriend (Hubby) tried to protect me from a bear that turned out to be...ah, read it yourself.  

Several of the posts were about my rather unsuccessful attempt at vacationing.  From job rejection (I was too qualified to escape the current job for the new one), lots of laundry, family tree research tied to Ireland/Scotland and the fact I had to return to work to take a CPR course.

My favorite post was about the day I wouldn't tell my Dad's Oncologist a joke.  I'd told the joke to Dad, as he nervously waited on the latest cancer update and he cracked up. He wanted me to tell Doc, but I didn't find it "dignified" enough to tell.  Doc actually sent a nurse in to corner me to tell HER the joke.  Then he came in and told me it was funny and I should never hold back on funny jokes. 

Feb. 14th wasn't just about love, it included some scientific study on why the number 7 is important. " The frontal cortex of the brain is designed so that it can only handle 7 things at a time. [I know ladies, I hear your heads shaking but that's what the study claimed]. The scientist went on to say that the brain is wired to remember "7, plus or minus 2". That's one of the reasons Social Security and phone numbers aren't any longer. The study cited that a group of average adults was split so that half of them were given a 5 digit number to remember and the rest were asked to remember their Social Security number. Before they were asked to repeat the numbers, all were sent down the hall and given a choice of a snack of fruit salad or chocolate cake. To a person, those with the fewer numbers to remember chose the cake, which the scientist claimed was due to the fact they still had "memory space" left to make a conscious choice. Those with the longer number either chose fruit salad....or came back without anything."

There was a challenge to use "L" words to describe myself: I included laughter, listening, logic, lavender, love and the last chocolate chip cookie, because it tastes the best. 

There was a story about the estate sale of my 2nd grade teacher Miss Cotton, who encouraged my love of books.  I bought 5 from her estate and the best title was, "The Truth Will Set You Free But First It Will Make You Miserable." 

There were words to Pres. Obama, ironically telling him that we were on a road patrolled by deaf Congressmen, who were dooming us to repeat history's bad mistakes.  

Tales of an Arthritis Exercise Class for us as "new" instructors and how none of us wanted to be there.  From role play to being yelled at constantly to, "Stick to the book!  Don't get creative!", I was doomed from the start.  Taught one class and stopped it...because my "creative" side kept trying to raise it's ugly head.

And so on I roll, ten years later, still thinking some days (last week!) that I need a new job but in this weird economy better hold on.  I'm at that awkward age, you see: too young for Social Security and too old to start over.  Hard to be motivated by being told as a Director for a Sr. Center I'm viewed by those who hold the purse strings as, "a paid babysitter".  Yeah, I put myself through college to earn that kind of boss.  

That's okay.  I still get to be creative.  After all, I'm the Director...and the entire staff.  :)


Saturday, February 2, 2019

If you can't say anything nice....

...well, if the current state of the world keeps heading down the same path it's on, I'll be taking a vow of silence for a while!

2019 didn't start off great....unless you like unexpected dental expenses 3 days after your birthday, followed by a week of you and Hubby getting some weird head cold/baby flu/where-is-all-this-mucus-coming-from? crap.   At least I got the "light" version: Hubby got bronchitis, but my "child" dose of asthma meds keeps me from making all that chest goo to begin with.  Sadly what made me feel "grateful" was knowing that while I'm a county employee, I wasn't suffering like Federal employees.  And not paying the Coast Guard!  Really?  Why pick on them?

Sure, it's all over.  For now.  And then I fear we do this dance again.

I too got my feathers ruffled by the now infamous Smirking White Boy vs. Drumming Native American...and not just by the incident.  I follow a Cherokee newspaper and made the "mistake" of commenting.  Funny thing, my viewpoint was that perception is everything, and even people standing side by side will see things differently.  I noted the Boy seemed to be smirking, not smiling.  That while the Native Drummer claimed he was praying in a way meant to calm the boys and keep them from getting into a physical confrontation with the 4 cursing black Hebrew Nation men, it wasn't effective and perhaps a little close to invasion of personal space.  I added that chaperones failed to do there job of overseeing their charges, so that inability to be "pro-active" rather than reactive when everything hit the fan became a teachable moment lost.  It was all just....sad.

A Cherokee woman later commented she didn't know why "non-Natives" were commenting on a Cherokee newspaper site and told us, in no uncertain terms, to stop following and go away.  Immediately.

Sigh.  So much for learning through conversation.

The irony is I'd added this sign to my office last week.  It means even more today.

Off to feed the good wolf.  Have a wonderful week y'all!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

To stay or go...that is the question

Yesterday I was giving deep thought to just closing the door here and walking away.  What's supposed to be my refuge and place to be creative seemed to have become a second job...where I whined alot.

I was going to pull the plug.  For the second time actually.

And then I found 4 e-mail notifications that you, my friends, had dropped by to say hello.  One of you, who shall remain nameless because we've known each other for umpteen years, made me remember why I write.  Even if I can't stick to 500 words.   :)

Because I love to write.  For me, it's like breathing.

And I love y'all.  It'd feel weird not to be able to reach out and touch.

So for today, I'll leave the door open.  Maybe in 2019 I'll spend more time amongst friends and less worrying about what people I don't know consider important.

Happy New Year to the good people in my life.

Monday, December 17, 2018

I put myself in Time Out.

Well, partly because Hubby has been been recouping after hip surgery.  He's doing great.  I joke that I have to step on Superman's cape occasionally to slow him down so he doesn't hurt himself.

The rest of my self imposed Time Out was fatigue over conversations that are all anger and no substance.  It got so bad, I wrote this for my seniors' January newsletter.  Ironically, telling it made me feel better.  Hope you have a great week!


I listen to NPR news on my commute, so I know what’s going on in the world.  They remind me of Walter Cronkite, when both sides of a story were told and people were believed capable of making up their own minds.   Today’s news often feels like a carnival sideshow determined to make us squirm, not learn.

Some days, the news is just depressing.  Terrorist attacks on good, innocent people just minding their own business.  Feuding politicians...are there any other kind left?   Gun violence, lack of trust in those who actually serve and protect.  Kids who don’t know choices have consequences because they’ve grown up being told they’re special and never have to work to achieve anything...just show up and get a participation ribbon.  Stock market like a yo-yo, morals following the same path. I’m barraged with whose opinion matters more...and evidently it’s never mine.   It’s so bad my husband chooses to concentrate on the weather and impending storms.  He says if I don’t stop watching the news with my heart, I’m not going to get educated, I’m going to get an ulcer.

I try to separate fact from fiction but these days that’s often difficult.  Why is everyone so angry all the time?  Will “good news” stories ever outnumber the bad?  The truth is, we’re not in control of much but our reaction to life.  Sometimes it just feels overwhelming.  After yesterday’s news, a simple refrain suddenly came to mind, “Let their be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.”

I try to practice that daily.  Sort of a self imposed following of the “Golden Rule”  24/7.  You know, hold the door for the person behind you or give someone the benefit of the doubt because you don’t walk in their shoes.  Am I always successful?  No.  But there aren’t passengers on my commute when I ponder whether other drivers own turn signals or a real driver’s license.  Being kind, however, is actually quite easy.  Sometimes it’s even contagious.

I started noticing that over the last several months...all because I  simply let someone go ahead of me in line.  It’s almost a reflex action.  If the person behind me has a couple of items and I have a cartful, I always say with a smile, ”Is that all you have?  Come on, go ahead of me.”  At first they hesitate, as if looking for the catch.  I keep smiling, often joking, “I’m in no hurry to go home and do laundry.”  That seems to make me normal,  so they laugh, step up and without fail say thanks when they’re done.   Previously silent people in line start talking to each other,  acknowledging that it really is easy to just be nice to people.   Even strangers.  One lady said when she went back home, up north,  she’d tell folks southern kindness wasn’t a myth. I hope she realizes there are lots of people like that.  Everywhere.

Standing in line recently,  I was tired and ready to block out noise pretending to be holiday jolly.  Two people were in line ahead of me and the gentleman behind only had a birthday card.  Before I could offer him a line upgrade, he smiled and asked, “Can you hold this for a minute?  I need to go to my car and get a pen.”  I silently nodded as he thrust the card in my hand and slipped out the door.  The lady behind me hissed he probably didn’t  have enough money or expected me to pay for it.   Before I could even consider replying, he returned with a grateful smile, thanked me and was amazed I wanted him to go ahead.  During the transaction the cashier remarked how nice I’d been.  I replied, “Hey, it’s so easy to be kind.  World would be a lot nicer if we just did that every day.”  As she yelled, “Amen sister!”, the man agreed, then turned to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  Even the grumpy lady behind me was smiling.

Sir, you were most welcome.  For 30 seconds you let me block out the media demographic which would’ve reported which of us was black, who was white, our assorted ages and social economic status.  Truth is, good people are always there.  You just have to open your eyes and see them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Under Re-Construction

We pause this Blog for a moment as Hubby has just had right hip replacement surgery.  

Oh, he did great.  Surgery Monday morning, released home Tuesday at noon.  "Slight" hiccup in the middle since his spinal wore off before the surgery was done.  Another story for another time.

Let's just say the toughest part of this recovery is convincing him that he's not Superman.  I took him today for his first Rehab session, a mere 2 days after surgery.  It was a pre-lim and the "real" work doesn't start until Friday.  And yet he not only argued that he wanted to drive there (he lost that round, with me compromising to drive his truck, which I don't really like), he won the next one.  His friend David is going to help at the Shop and yep, Hubby's been out there with him since we got home.

Supervisory level, he explained.  No heavy lifting or can-can dancing.  If I get tired, I'll come in the house, he promised.  I think I heard a Superman cape swing into action.

I went out to the Shop to take some paperwork and he's busy behind the counter, helping customers.  Seeing me he said, "Hey David, pass me that tool, would you?" while trying to appear innocent.

Men.  God help us.

So we go again Friday for his first real working session.  He's already told me he'll take himself for the next 5 weeks, beginning Monday.  We'll see.  I told my Boss I might need Monday off and she's already scheduled someone to cover me.

Now if only I don't need to take cover when Hubby hears that.  :)

Y'all have a good week.  (Maybe say a little prayer, think good thoughts or whistle a happy tune if you think of me).

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hey Ma Nature! Enough already!

Yes, we made it through Hurricane Michael's unwelcome visit with just wind and rain.   I picked up a lot of tree branches just now...because Hubby has hip replacement surgery next week and I didn't want the Doc to have to do "extra" repair work.   But the wind suddenly picked up again from dead calm to "breezy" so I decided to stop and allow anything still up in the tree to come to earth without using my head as a cushion.

Thanks to those who checked on us and Sister Savannah.   I'm hoping the rest of the storms will be like Hurricane Leslie, who's been spinning in circles in the Atlantic and trying to head back to Africa.

I'm ready for something different... cooler temperatures.  Hey Ponita, open that door in Canada and let in some fresh air, will ya?