Saturday, November 20, 2021

Origin Story

Cultures around the globe have stories about how they came into being.  From the sky, or the seas, or magical animals. The stories gave meaning and context to their lives, a beacon of sorts.

I don’t know how the following origin story provides wisdom to my family, but it has been one of our favorite stories throughout our lives as a family unit.  It is the story of how my younger sister came into this world.  She would be the third and last of the siblings.

 

My parents were living in Carmel, California.  On Rio Road, close to the Carmel Mission Basilica, built in 1797. We lived across the road from the Beardsley family, who were fictionalized in the Lucile Ball movie, Yours, Mine and Ours.  One or two of the older girls provided babysitting services for my parents.

 

Mom was on the precipice of birthing little Shannon.  She called my dad’s office and told him to come home – it was time.  His office was in nearby Monterey, and he was in no rush.  Mom had many incidents of false labor.  He coaxed the gray Volkswagen Beetle over Highway 1, and then dipped down the hill into our neighborhood.

 

When he arrived to find my mom in full-blown labor, they hustle my older sister and me into the car.  Mom was in the front passenger seat and we set out for the babysitter’s house in Carmel Woods.  Dad was off-loading us in a hurry, and when he returned to the car, he found a quiet and still baby in the front seat with his wife.  (If you’ve ever been in a Beetle and if you’ve ever birthed a child, you know what a feat this must have been.) He assumed the child hadn’t survived, but took off at full speed for the hospital in Monterey.  Somewhere on the pine-studded hill of Highway 1, a motorcycle cop pulled him over for speeding.  Being the law-abiding citizen he was, he stopped the car along the highway.  The cop took one look inside and said, “Follow me.”  He gave my parents an escort to the hospital front door.

 

Dad leapt out of the car to find help inside the lobby.  While mother and baby were waiting alone, her obstetrician showed up, assessed the situation, jumped into the driver’s seat and sped my mother around to the Emergency Entrance.  When dad rushed back outside with some assistance, the car was gone.  His wife was gone.  His (probably) dead newborn child was gone.

 

Gone.

 

A quick thinking staff person figured out what had probably happened, and led my dad to the Emergency department, where they found my mom being taken in.  Dad told the doctor he would park the car and be right in.  The doctor stopped him and encouraged him to go home and hose down the interior of the car.  “You’ll never get that stuff out of it dries,” he advised.

 

Dad was hosing down the mess in the driveway when a neighbor approached him;  “Boy or girl?” he asked.  “I don’t know!” he replied to his mystified neighbor.

 

Dad made it back to the hospital to find his wife and baby girl, very much alive, settled into a hospital room.  For some weird hospital policy, sister Shannon could not be in the nursery with the other babies since she was born outside of the hospital.  My poor exhausted and undoubtedly traumatized mother tried to get her rest while her baby exercised her newborn lungs.

 

I don’t remember any of this, being two and a half years old at the time.  It’s all from the tongue of my dramatic story-telling father.  Verified, wearily, by my mother.


Here's another good birth story:


https://youtu.be/BYG1qf3XJNM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sweet Dedication

My dad has a lovely habit of writing about his life.  He has always been the family storyteller, and it now continues in his many volumes of memoirs.  This latest one is subtitle "Volume I" so you know more is already in the works.  I enjoy his pithy writing style; the style in which he speaks.  I can hear his voice as I read the words. This latest book is dedicated to my late mother.  He writes about her so tenderly.  His books are the place where he lets his vulnerability show.  In life, he has quite a stiff upper lip.  



My mother was a saint, truly.  Dad is a benign narcissist and our childhood household revolved around him and his every wish. I'm positive he mansplained everything to my mother.  My mother was a very intelligent person and didn't require his hovering absoluteness.  He still tells his daughters (all in our sixties now) the proper way to, say, slice a tomato.  My older sister simply drops the knife and steps away. "Well, you do it then."  Of course he clutches his pearls at this robust assertiveness.  Lest you think I don't love my dad, I do.  Very very much. He was tough to be around when I was a teenager.  I bent my friends' ears complaining about his ways.  They remember some of those stories to this day.  It's true to say I don't like him much (he requires too much energy and attentiveness) but I do love him.  I also love his stories, and they provide keen insight.

At 89 years, with a heart condition, he hopes to get Volume II out in the next year.  He is coming to stay with me at Christmastime, into the hotbed of Covid-19.  I doubt Colorado will be any better in six weeks.  We are at levels were at last November, and the hospitals are full. (Insert picture of me pulling my hair out.)

In addition to this heartfelt book dedication, he has started a scholarship in her name at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie NY, his high school alma mater, where he is on the board of directors.  They also donated money to the capital fund at Oakwood to build a new theater, and have their names in bronze.  They will live on.

In my heart, always.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Extermination

"Trigger Warning" This not an inspirational post.

Whoooo-eeeee.  What price, knowledge?

I recently watched the 4 part series on HBO called "Exterminate All the Brutes."  A gripping and crippling look at colonialism beginning in the 1700s in Europe.  Spain, Portugal, UK, Belgium, and others raped the world's resources and killed (or enslaved its people) for financial gain, and framed it all in a picture of moral, religious and cultural superiority.  Beginning with the Spanish Inquisition where blood purity was the standard for being favored by God and Man, all the way to Charlottesville and the killing of Heather Heyer by a white supremesist, the brutal history of the have and have nots is laid out in horrific detail.

Do we humans deserve to live on this earth?  In church this weekend, the minister put forth the question of how we, as part of a humanist philosophy and organization, are supposed to come to terms with how devastatingly terrible humans can be.  Such questions go unanswered.  Except to say, on my part, I seek the stories that also highlight the best of humankind.  It's the only way I can carry on in a world filled with hate and violence.  When I connect with loving and kind humans, I know how the world at large could be, and how it falls awfully short.

The kids going to prom, 2012


My daughter, second from right, is now a U.S. history teacher at our local high school.  She takes crap frequently from parents about her teaching of history as it really was, not as the story of the victors.  Not there story I grew up with, certainly.  Where natives were brutes and savages, killing innocent white settlers who were only trying to 'civilize' this country.

How do we move forward, recognizing and honoring the story of the vanquished, making reparations where possible, and having true national reconciliation?  Is this even possible?  I know this for sure -- nothing will happen as long as the old stories that hide the truth are the dominant stories that we all hear.  The more our fragile white selves push away the truth and deny the experience of indigenous and people of color, the longer it will take for us to mend and heal.

And that's too bad.  And it's not only in the United States -- it is throughout the American continent.  European powers wiped out the people of an entire continent in their quests for gold and other treasure, and their insatiable need for slave labor.  Which leads me to laugh at the supposed efforts by the summits that convene to address the climate change issue.  It is a continuation of greed and gluttony that has led to our climate crisis.  I have little hope that the world will be able to join together to end this crisis.  We will watch the tides rise and the extreme storms and droughts continue.  Because people are getting rich from it.  And that seems to be all they care about.  The earth and its resources are just another version of conquest -- a wild thing to be conquered and killed.



Thursday, November 4, 2021

Roasted Chicken a la Bob


I had quite a satisfactory day yesterday.  Such is the life of a 64 year old retiree...if I can have a satisfactory day then I am pleased.

I received a letter in the mail from a dear friend of 40 years.  She is such a good writer; we met in creative writing classes in college.  She wrote about the service for her much older brother, on a remote and rugged island in the Puget Sound.  Her sense of place is extraordinary and made me feel as if I were there with her, standing shoulder to shoulder.  How I wish she would write a novel.

I swept the front patio, buried under a good two feet of leaves.  Seems as if all the leaves in the neighborhood end up at my front door. The day was warm, sunny and bright, and my dog Lucy sunbathed on the lawn as I did my work.  It was a joy to be in the fresh autumn air, working up a bit of a sweat.

Inside, I had a whole chicken roasting in the oven with onions, carrots, and small potatoes.  The aroma wafted out the screen door and into the neighborhood.  Any passerby would notice that something good was cooking.  And good it was.  Lucy was served her fair share.

I ran into my friend Elizabeth as she slowly, painstakingly made her way to the mailboxes.  She is legally blind, and has had many scary health scares of late.  She can be cranky, but who can blame her?  Today she said, "This is not the life I expected!"  I responded, "Yeah, this is not what you signed up for, is it?"  "Damn right."

I made a foray into the land of Medicare Advantage plans, on-line.  I'll be 65 next year, so I'm trying to plan.  I was horrified to see how much my plans will cost, and it's because I am on many prescription drugs.  Holy smokes!  Higher premiums, lower deductibles, substantial out of pocket costs...it was a dizzying experience! How the hell is anyone supposed to figure this stuff out?  I left it after an hour to catch my breath and move on to something less stressful.  I'll get back to it.

After dinner I was watching a 2004 60 minutes interview with a then 63 year old Bob Dylan.  He was cogent and engaging, which is not what I expect from him, given is dislike of the media, and his history of messing with reporters who asked him questions.  I don't know much about the man's life, but he talked some about his wife Sara, for whom he wrote Sara, and Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. Naturally, I went on to view videos of these songs on Youtube.  He talked about being divinely inspired, with the songs flowing through him.  I know of what he speaks -- some of my best poetry was divinely inspired.  It was effortless to write, as if it was all planned ahead of time and I was just the instrument.  It's a magical and glorious experience.



So ended my day.  A good one.  I hope for more of the same.



Monday, November 1, 2021

Future Times

I watched NOVA last night, and it was all about edible insects.  Did you gag just then?  I know the feeling.  But I kept watching the program, and I found my gag reflex diminishing.  A lot of insects, like crickets, can be made into a powder and added to smoothies for protein.  They sell it on - you guessed it - Amazon!  I was fascinated by the show, and intrigued by the suggestion that if the world population grows as expected, edible insects could save our ecosystem and contribute to our health.  We can't keep growing cattle to keep the pace with population, that's for sure.  Insects require much less water and feed.  Much.

If you can watch the show, I recommend it.  Especially if you are squeamish. 

The world news on the lack of action regarding climate change mitigation's is alarming.  I'm sorry, but Silent Spring came out decades ago.  So did An Inconvenient Truth.  The UN said this week that we are digging our own grave.  We are. One billion people each year have mobilized for Earth Day since 1970.  How'd that work out?

To further my mild anxiety, last night I watched an interview with Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens.  He predicts that humans will be hybrid human/machine/computer in a century or two.  (Find the interview on 60 Minutes.). Hopefully, Mother Earth will have killed us all by then.  Or shall I say, we killed ourselves?

Feeling powerless to influence any of this frees me from terror.  There is nothing to do but live my life giving and receiving love and kindness, and appreciating the here and now.  Is it maturity or exhaustion that leads me to the conclusion that we cannot affect change?  Of course people, and movements, have moved forward such issues as human rights, drunk driving and the like.  But to influence the global corporate juggernaut seems out of reach.  To wean our world off fossil fuels - it is a pipe dream?  (No pun intended.)

"What a world, what a world," said the Wicked Witch.  A tip o' my hat to Halloween.


Ode to innocence.


Monday, October 25, 2021

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I just marked the two year anniversary of moving into my sweet little condo.  Best decision I ever made, as the neighborhood is full of wonderful people that enjoy each others' company and house sit when someone goes away.  I have built-in dog sitters, and they have an animal sitter and plant watered in me as well.  It's miraculous that I found such a perfect community, completely by chance.


I love that the weather is cooling and I can run my gas fireplace, judiciously, for some warmth both visual and physical.  As you can see here, I'm watching a movie on my computer because I couldn't get the damn t.v. to upload it!  I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to technology.  I'm better at it than, say, my 89 year old father, but I still find myself relying on the kids to get my tech problems solved.  64 years of age, and I started using computers at 30, strictly for work.  What do I know?  Only that it frustrates the hell out of me when I can't solve a problem.  I am also frustrated no end when my dad calls asking me a question that we have gone over time and time again.  He uses a PC, I a Mac.  I don't speak PC.  I can't help him.  He's written four books using his computer and he still can't remember how to save a document if someone doesn't walk him through it.  And he has no filing system, so can never find anything!

On the medical front, turns out I have arthritis in my cervical spine.  "WTF?!" I shouted when I got off the phone with the doc.  "This is not my beautiful life!"  I have a physical therapy appointment in a couple of days.  If that doesn't help, then they'll do an MRI.  Why?  I don't know.  Once step at a time.

My Zoom church gathering today of 9 people (it's an extra curricular thing) focused on the topic of what is essential in our lives.  What I shared is that just taking care of myself is THE essential thing.  Like a building that needs major maintenance after decades of use, my body is rife with ailments that require diligent and timely mitigation efforts.  It's a bloody full time job.  I don't like it, but it's what I've got to deal with, so I deal.

It still feels odd to me to say "my church."  I've never been a fan of organized religion, and I don't believe in the Christian theology.  I feel I need to explain that I've joined our local Unitarian gang, er, church.  My need arose during the pandemic lockdown, where I was coping with the death of two significant people in my life, and my own health problems.  I was looking for a caring compassionate ear(s) and a community of people who did the work to build a more loving, inclusive and compassionate world.  So I started going to Zoom services; participating in additional on-line UU groups; meeting others, many of whom I really enjoyed talking with.  The Dali Lama has said that you can be any religion or no religion to get a benefit from Buddhist teachings and meditation.  I feel the same way about the Unitarian church.  The diversity of the membership, in terms of thought and belief, is vast.  Racial diversity of our particular area is not so vast, and is reflected in our church.  LGBTQ folks are well represented in the leadership and the congregation.  

I feel well supported and truly appreciated by the people I've been through this church.  They put their money where their mouth is.  They are generous with their time and attentions.  They are thoughtful, and practice loving kindness both to themselves and to the community.  There is no need to identify as a particular religious belief or dogma (theology).  We are practicing becoming our best selves and offering that best self to the world.  

And, that, my friends, is how this agnostic/atheist joined a spiritual community.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Pain is Real

I watched the show about the Sackler family and the rise of OxyContin.  Those greedy bastards.  Really no different from many of the big corporations, except that this corporation was directly and knowingly killing people.  The other negative outcome is that, up until this new drug, pain management was not treated seriously and many people suffered needlessly.  



This photograph is from a trip I took a month ago to a tiny town called Pine Junction, southwest of Denver. It's about a two hour drive for me and I went to visit with someone I knew in high school but haven't seen in 45 years!  We had a great time together; ate lunch, drove around the mountains and I fed her horses the entire bag of carrots I brought along.  Someday will go on a trail ride, but I had a sore neck and am completely out of shape so I didn't feel as if it were a good time for riding on the back of a large animal.

The drive back really did a number on my neck, and I've not been well since.  Doc gave me muscle relaxers and pain pills, and they put me to sleep just fine.  As for pain management?  Not so good.  I've tried massage and acupuncture but didn't get any relief.  Going back to doc in a couple of days for a follow up.  I need an X-ray as well, just to make sure there's nothing going on in my cervical spine.  How I wish for effective pain relief.  But now the powers that be in the medical field are once again shy about prescribing meds that might really help.

So, that is the medical report, boys and girls, and those who identify as non-binary. Speaking of which, do. you find it difficult to keep up with the latest language to identify people?  I finally looked up "BIPOC" because I started hearing it and reading it a LOT.  Black/Indigenous/People of Color.  There you have it, and you're welcome.  Now, I remember when my late husband continued to use the identifier "Oriental" for people of Asian ancestry, and it did make me cringe.  And, I want to use language that is respectful.  Latinx is another one that stumped me until I looked it up.  Latin-X is the correct pronunciation, I believe.  The world is changing, and I want to keep up, and I hope no one judges me if I get it wrong every now and then.  We all need a little kindness.

Next time I post, I'll share my story about "joining" our local Unitarian Universalist church.  Me? Church?  Hell yeah.


Friday, October 15, 2021

Back in the saddle again?

Greetings.  I've been away from this space for a very long time. It was the pandemic and life was stagnant to say the least.  A waiting game, a 'just get through itj" daily grind.  I felt I had nothing of note to share, and I grew weary of reading all blogs.

I'm dipping my toe in to see if the water is pleasant and calls me back in.  I don't know.  I do know the blog world went along just fine without me.  I never did have an audience that could equal that of other blogs I read.  My guess is that my posts were just not that compelling or interesting to others.  That was okay for many years, and then, for reasons still murky to me, I began to resent it.  Then I decided to leave a platform that made me feel angry.  

I do enjoy re-reading my old posts -- it's been such a great journal, or diary, for me.  Such ups and downs.  This is the way of life.  If you strive for lasting equilibrium, you will be sorely disappointed.  It's taken me decades to deeply understand this.

I am still ensconced in my sweet little condo in my 55+ neighborhood. Two years now.  Close to a record for me.  The ladies here form quite a close knit support network.  During the lockdown, we would gather outside on someone's lawn, weather permitting, and check in with each other and share some good belly laughs.  I love being around older single women who are very content with their live and their status.  Lots of jokes about the joys of not having husbands!  One of us, in addition to me, identify as queer, but we feel the same way and enjoy the freedom of being on our own.  Since my last spouse was a man, that's what I stick with with this group.  I may be short changing these people, but I know that Colorado is a lot more conservative than California, so I watch my step until I get to really know someone deeply.


I recently took up watercolor painting after a 40 year hiatus.  Mostly to have a pleasant way to spend some hours. I went to the art supply store near my house and a knowledgable young woman, who paints watercolor herself, helped me pick out the basis supplies.  She seemed genuinely delighted that I was going to start painting again.  It bolstered my desire.  And so, now I play some music, sometimes Reggae, sometimes Rock or piano solos and Bach, and sit down to paint.  I forgot how much I enjoyed the process and the unfolding of a painting.

And so it goes, friends.  Always unfolding.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Merry Month of May - Colorado Style

Up in northern Colorado last week, we were hit with a blizzard. Snow was higher than I've ever seen it here. I didn't go out. I had gone grocery shopping on the morning when the snow hit about 11 a.m. I hadn't slept the night before, so I got up and 5:30 a.m., showered and started my day. I really had every food item I needed, but I didn't know how long we might be shut in from the storm, and I wanted a few things: salad greens, some frozen dinners, avocados, and milk. I was in the store at 8 a.m. A new record for me.

I was completely ready for whatever might come. It was a lot. Snowed hard all through Saturday night. I woke up and checked out the place: I couldn't open my back door, and luckily my front porch is covered so that door was okay. Large tree branches were down all over the neighborhood, including the large tree in front of my place. A very large limb had broken and landed on my roof. The limb was still hanging on to the tree a bit, which is why, I think, that it didn't damage the roof. The snow plows didn't come until Monday, and the tree company came a few days after to cut all the limbs that had fallen and grind them up. The men taking down my limbs were so happy when they got that limb off my roof. It was a delicate exercise involving chain saws and ropes. They did a good job. I was sitting next to the window on a zoom call, and had to mute myself while the chain saw whirred away.

The Tuesday after the storm, roads were clear enough that I made it to my vaccine appointment at one of our local hospitals.  The line was very long, and snaked through the building, but it moved efficiently. 


The fellow who gave me my shot was a pro, and I literally didn't feel a thing.  I was given an appointment for my second shot, a vaccine card, and sent on my way.  I got the Pfizer vaccine, and didn't notice any ill affects until the next day.  I was very tired and slept until the afternoon.  I was up for a few hours, had a light supper, and went back to bed. This happened for THREE days!  No headaches, fever or chills, just exhaustion.  I small price to pay for protection against Covid-19.

By April 16th or thereabouts, I will be able to go to my daughter's house for dinner!  She's vaccinated fully.  She wants to know what I'm going to do after I'm fully protected.  I honestly don't know.  I do know that I'm not going to fly on an airplane any time soon.  There's still a risk.  Not going to any big events, because I don't want to be in a crowd.

Maybe a car trip to a nearby scenic place with a night or two in a hotel.  Take photographs.  Take in the scenery and just enjoy being out of my house. 

There are a number of articles out now about the social anxiety of starting up one's social life after Covid.  I had been anxious about it, but that's gone away.  Just because the pandemic will someday end, I don't need to drastically change my life.  I have found that I enjoy being alone more that I would have thought.  My own company is just fine.

We'll probably get one more snow storm before spring is really here.  The rule of thumb in these parts is: don't start planting your garden until after Mother's Day in May.  I know I'll enjoy this spring immensely.  How could I not?


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Re-entry Challenge

You know things are getting bad when you can't even remember the name of the blog you started fifteen years ago. And by "you" I mean me, of course. It scared me, this not remembering. I had to go to another blog which lists mine in order to remember. Have you had your vaccine? I expect to get an appointment any day now, as Colorado has lowered the age group to 60 plus. I have received a letter from my medical group affirming that I am in the eligible age group and they will be contacting me soon. I'm overjoyed that these vaccines may get us back to near-normal by the summer, but also kind of freaking out at the idea socializing. Has this fear taken a hold of you? Do you have a lot to get back to? Grandkids, the gym, hanging out with friends? I did stop in at a neighbor's house yesterday. I wore my mask and she's been vaccinated. It was surreal to sit in someone else's living room, chatting and catching up. Surreal.
I note that I am feeling overwhelmed, probably because my lack of social interaction. I have to do a lot of positive self-talk in order to take care of simple tasks. I haven't been reading blogs, or posting myself, because it's just TOO MUCH. I dreamt last night that I suddendly remembered I had a long abandoned apartment in Boston, so I hopped a plane and went there to settle up with the landlord. I had not paid rent in a long while, and I owed $13,000 in order to get my things out of that tiny studio apartment, a place I had completely forgotten I had. It was so sparsley furnished that I didn't care if all my stuff just stayed there. Of course I paid my back rent, being the honest type that I am. I know the dream was a rehash of my current state of entropy. I woke up, dazed, and fell back against the pillows to ponder my state of being. No epiphanies there. I'm curious about your state of being now that we are hopefully coming out of a year-long hybernation (banning a fourth wave, of course)? Are you doing anything to slowly (or quickly) reintegrate yourself? Any and all ideas welcomed! And I apologize for not reading your blog. My brain is fogged. It took a pandemic to disrupt so many years of blogging. Go figure.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

We Made It!

Dear ones, I send this out to you with the hope that you are well and taking good care of yourself. So many have endured such pain this year that our collective weeping would surely shake the planet.

I've lost three loved ones this year; none of them to the virus but shocking and sad nevertheless. Not since the 1980s when AIDS was at its height, have I had this shell-shocked feeling of watching life after life pass away. That gut grinding feeling that the world is surely coming to an end.

I know others who have lost loved ones this year as well, and I see the pain in their eyes, peering out above their masks. If ever there was a time we needed to hold one another, this is it. But we can't. That natural instinct for me to reach out and hug has had to be squelched. It's been hard. I've learned to cross my arms and grab my shoulders and give myself that much needed hug. It actually works! Try it!

I read Anne Lammot for non-sugary uplift and hope. I watch endless nature and science shows and of course pure escapist action and thriller movies.

I am grateful for my family, oh so much. My 3 year old grand daughter painted a small tree ornament (a reindeer) for me this Christmas, and I will treasure it always. I dream of showing it to her when she is 2o and will probably have forgotten all about it.

I am also grateful for my friends, with whom I see on Zoom and FaceTime. Never before have I appreciated this technology so much. Even my 88 year old dad has mastered the Zoom, so the whole family can get together with him and our 85 year old mom who are locked down in a small apartment in a retirement community.

I love that I've met a new friend in my neighborhood whom I like very much and the feeling is mutual. She's a newbie to Colorado also and when the pandemic is over we want to do road trips and camping. In the meantime, we manage some small walks (masked and distanced of course) and catch-up sessions on the front porch when it isn't too cold. She feels like an old buddy -- the best kind.

Oh. I do not forget my warm, funny, and easy-going chihuahua, Luz. Luz and I are together and spend our days and nights close. She enjoys riding in the car, which gets me out even when i don't feel like it. At night, she pushes her 5 pound body against my stomach, thigh, or bottom for maximum warmth. This would have been a much lonier year without her companionship.

No doubt you have been overwhelmed with the chatter of news programs, both on the radio and the television. Can we undo this 24 hour news cycle we've dug ourselves into? Only by selectively tuning in, and conversely, tuning out. I've done a lot of tuning out these days.

For those still able to work outside the home (and even from inside), I envy that they have something to do. At the same time, I know I don't have the energy or the will. My critical inner voice tells me I've been slothful for nine months, and attempts to shame me. My loving inner voice tells me I'm doing the best I can to keep it all together during a pandemic. I'll need to rebuild my physical strength when the world returns to normal. Join a gym again, that sort of thing. My daughter is excited that some day, again, I'll be able to hang out with her children so she can get a break, or maybe have a date night with her husband. It's a win-win situation.

As we end this year of horrors, President-Elect Bidens reminds us that the months are probably more horrible than the past year. While the vaccines are (slowly) being distributed, it's not fast enough, and the new administration will have its hands full correcting the errors and getting the vaccine program ramped up. And still, we will need to mask up and take precautions for the next year. It will be slow going, but it is our only way through this.

I hope you are up for the challenge, my friend. I hope you are finding ways to lift you up during these endless days and nights of dread. There are lights in the darkness and we have one another to lean on, grieve with, and celebrate the things that are still possible.

On this last day of 2020, I wish you love, and peace, and strength. Continue to be the good person that you are. No one, and no thing can take that away from you.

Origin Story

Cultures around the globe have stories about how they came into being.     From the sky, or the seas, or magical animals. The stories gave m...