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Articles in "Positively Speaking"

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.
From the per

The caseworker, who had been with us for five years already after our first adoption, sidled up to me as  we prepared to take our weekend respite charge home with us and said, “I wouldn’t mind if you fell in love with this one. We don’t have anywhere to place him.”

Got it! “One Monster After Another”! It took several variations of googling “Bubbly Goo”, which produced recipes,“Sue writes a letter”, which produced a passel of legal info,”Mercer Mayer”,”Maurice Sendak”...where was that plot?

From the glow of summer sun, life draws us into the jewel tones of autumn. Squashes of forest green and amber, striated brussel sprouts, white and purple rutabagas -or is that turnips?

The sun has been burning off the fog for about an hour and a half. Heat and light dissipate that which has obscured the landscape of broken down pier, tidelands and distant water.

It costs at least $5,000 each time you move. At least. Moving, lost work time, unpacking time, actual costs of movers, deposits, etc. Moving a lot can leave a person bereft of stability and cash flow.

It was the last session with a ‘client’.  I sat in the chair actively listening, putting to use all that I knew and had learned. The classes were all done: Human Development at each age and stage, Learning Theory, Ed Psych, Deviant Psych, Intro to Counseling.A Family Affair