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Articles in "Spiritual Smart Aleck "

Well, my SAD friends, it is that time of the year, when the sun goes down early and comes up late, and there are fewer minutes of daylight every day. For people who have SAD, it is the least favorite time of the year.

Took the dog for a run at a park on the island. She loves being off-leash, and if there are no other dogs present, I let her go to frisk and frolic, and do what we euphemistically call her “business.”

My high school’s class of 1965 is planning a 50-year reunion. Every day or two I receive an email that says there are new pictures on the web page, new classmates signed up, or there is new information about the reunion, which is a year away.

I knew a couple, both in their seventies, who lost a son to suicide. When the mother replied to my sympathy card, she said that she was sad that her son would not come to know the joys of later life.

Her name was Juanita. She grew up in a Salvation Army orphanage in El Paso, Texas. It was not a kind and gentle place. She and the other children were beaten sometimes.

On Sunday the 29th of June I stopped for a bowl of clam chowder at the Ivar’s Seafood Bar in Burien. It was a pleasant sunny afternoon, and the dozens of multi-colored petunias planted around the restaurant lit it up in a cheerful summery way.

A few weeks ago Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company posted a video of Big Brother at the Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967, on Facebook.

Got an email in my junk box in which the subject line announced I had won a UK lottery. It was awfully good news. This living on Social Security is not a piece of cake. I can barely afford cake. The subject line made me smile once, a little, before I deleted the email unread.
 

Cousin Nancy died on my birthday. You might think that feels bad, but it feels bittersweet. She is at peace now. No more pain, no more drugs, no more cancer. She’s with the angels, no doubt telling them how they can do their jobs better. She could always tell you a better way to do something.

People often tell me they cannot sing, or they are terrible singers. They offer lots of excuses. My favorite excuse for a less than lovely voice is, “I ruined my voice singing on the street for the Salvation Army.”

I drove to California last week to say good-bye to my cousin Nancy, who is now in hospice care. My memories of the trip include the sides of freeways as I whizzed by, and the times I spent with Nancy, who is hanging in there so far, and with my mother-in-law Diane.

When I finish writing here, I will finish packing my car and take off for California. It is time to go say good-bye to my beautiful Cousin Nancy.

Depression has been a part of my life since I was about fourteen years old, or at least that’s when I first noticed it.

My Honda is in the shop being inspected for needed repairs, so I am driving Rick’s truck this week. My Honda has an automatic transmission. Rick’s Nissan has a manual transmission.

Whenever I chop an onion I think of Iréne, who taught me how to chop an onion.

“I grew up in a town where if you see a sign like this on the ground, it means either they hit the sign to avoid the deer, or the teenagers got into their parents liquor cabinet again.

There are little partially used rolls of medical paper tape all over the house. I keep finding them, and have been removing them and little strips of paper tape about six to eight inches long from end tables, night tables, the kitchen table, window sills, bookshelves, and chairs.

When someone dies, people say to the survivor, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” The survivor thanks them, but of course has a completely blank mind and can’t think of anything. There might be a lot of things that need doing, but the grieving person is in a world of shock characterized by numbness and amnesia.

So what do you say the night after your husband’s funeral? What do you write about? What a beautiful service it was, and how many people it took to make it happen – incredible.

Guitarist and singer extraordinaire, cartoonist, builder and maintainer of water systems, log keeper, grandfather, father, husband, human being with a kind and wise heart.

Life has been a little too interesting around Casa Tuel lately. My husband Rick, got airlifted off the island because he could not breathe one night. He’s much better, thanks, out of the hospital and on a new regime of dialysis.

In 1966, after my first year of college, my parents and I had a disagreement which led to a parting of the ways.

I am happy to report that I finished reading "A Dance with Dragons" the other day. It is the fifth book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series by George RR Martin.

There was a time when singing and my voice were my identity, my reason for being. It mattered a lot that people knew I sang, and sang well