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Articles in "Spiritual Smart Aleck "

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

My husband’s father passed away at the end of August. He was 91 years old, and he died less than three weeks short of his 92nd birthday.

We had the radio on as we were driving to the ferry this morning, and heard an announcer say that people affected by Colorado’s recent floods were looking for a return to "normalcy.

"Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky Little boxes on the hillside and they all look just the same…" © 1962 Schroder Music, words and music by Malvina Reynolds

Almost thirty years ago I experienced my adult conversion to Christianity. I grew up in the Baptist Church and always felt I was a Christian at heart