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Articles in "Positively Speaking"

Waterfall cardigans are a wonderful invention of the fashion industry. With long billowy, front tails and a back that extends only to the waistline, they flatter every shape and size. The architecture of the design is such that it can be expressed in all weights of cloth from heavy to light. Again, wonderful. Fabulous.

Obviously I am doing something wrong or something someone did prior to my efforts is wrong. The monitor in my new office location simply will not respond. My computer guy is not available to me right now, and I’ve unplugged and replugged and off’d and on’d everything I can.

 “There’s the mother”, she whispered loudly enough I could hear as she nodded her head to me. The couple next to me paced in place with artificial ease. “It’s OK” the husband said to the wife rubbing her shoulders as we all waited in line.

Most everyone was horrified, including me. What was I thinking? But ‘fool me once’ had extended itself to five unstable rentals.  From the couple who was going to go to Europe for a year, but forgot to tell me they only had a six month visa, to tenancy purposefully intended to act as counselor to the other mentally ill tenant (only once again forgetting to include me in the plan), my desire to find stable, long term rental so I could establish my writing career was thwarted time and again.

The skid strip on top was well worn and the wheels were larger than normal. That’s what I noticed as the skateboard easily slipped into the empty spot between my feet and the wall on which I sat.

There is a poster used by Domestic Violence educators that shows the different roles of DV. Nobody is a real person in situations involving DV. Everyone just plays a role. That’s the point they are trying to make. Real only happens in healthy.

Does it bother anyone else? Those little puddles of water around a public sink that are great breeding ponds of bacteria and icky stuff. They really bother me. It’s such an easy thing to just take that paper towel when you’re done drying your hands and swipe around the sink for the next person.

Entering the walkway lined with lovely accouterments such as patio furniture and plants in full blossom, my eye glanced to the lush veggie and flower gardens on one side and the spacious lawn on the other. I knew what lay ahead, beauty and nutritional nurture and cool. While the rest of the Pacific Northwest roasted in mid nineties, I would soon be searching for my sweater in a house that is perpetually kept at 68 or 70 degrees.

Then, it seemed like my parents idea to go to Michigan was born of a desire to be in the best place possible for summers. Every year, for seventeen years, the pilgrimage to Grandma and Grandpa Anderson and Grandad and Grandma Richards was made.

Orange construction fencing loosely waved in an effort to remain standing around the parcel of land. A crudely created sign designating an unsafe area inside the fence and warding off potential looky-lous, was stabbed into the earth at one end of the property.

A month from today, as I write this, I am officially retired from 52 years of caring for and teaching other people’s children and parents. Wow! That is a long time to have car seats in the car and be changing poopy diapers.

Sunshine helps. So does rest. But even on cloudy days filled with fatigue, the resiliency persists.  Bliss and happiness continue in deep and meaningful ways. The Grand Adventure continues so fruitfully there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week. Were it not that I love what I’m doing, I might be called a workaholic.

Noon... I promised the editor by noon today. Eleven fifty nine. I’m going to be late. Nepal, Baltimore and a death in the family and I postpone what was going to be printed three days ago and try to figure out how to put very very strong emotions on paper.

My little cubby brings me such happiness. I really love how it’s situated. The light is always perfect. Flowers grow easily when I’m there to water them adequately. I’m surrounded by that which encourages both industry and pleasure.

The day dawns...well I don’t know how the day dawns. It hasn’t happened yet. There is this, however. Today is all about the fulfillment of Promise, so I guess whatever the weather is will be fine by mine.

It’s two hours past my bedtime. The building is quiet and in my little office cubby covered in chatchke of my narrative, the last four edits, teeny tiny minutiae of details having to do with the text, have just been sent to the printer. We are hours away from uploading to the distributor.

Finding out Criss Fournier has ALS put it all in perspective. I want to use this column right now to broadcast the opportunity to contribute to her care costs at her GoFundMe site. If you can, please donate. They are halfway there. Mondi is carrying all this for her Mom.

Arrogance around not getting sick was at an all time high for me. And then I stopped using my secret weapon, hand cream. The winter has been so mild, the rough skin reminder to use it was not constant.

The organ loft at Calvary Baptist Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania is sunk into the floor as if to be it’s own orchestra pit. Garnell would drop himself into the cockpit like console and, for a couple of hours, both of us were free.

He emerged from the finished basement which had become our family’s recreation room looking like he had been threatened with immediate death. His deep brown eyes had a tinge of “wild seeking escape” to them.  His usually erect shoulders were even further drawn back.

When people hear what I’m doing, this look of horrified shock melts onto their faces and then simultaneously I see them go for restraint lest their emotions show. The restraint never works. It amuses me a little.

Three times in the last week I have experienced people screwing up and then putting the blame on me. That’s actually kind of a low number of incidences for a week isn’t it? You experience that all the time don’t you? A lot of lies are told during the holidays.

This will not, until the last, seem like a holiday column. Most assuredly it is. It’s true what they say. Don’t give up running when you are two feet from the finish line. Drag that sorry fanny across the line if you have to.
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