One of the feelings which is part and parcel of grief but seldom is mentioned is relief.
The relative silence on the subject is perhaps due to the guilt a person might feel admitting that he or she feels relief that someone has died.

I just finished reading The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlsen.  I highly recommend this book.  Don’t be put off by the schlocky title; it is a well-researched and incisive report on the state of knowledge about soil.  It shows that much of the carbon now in the atmosphere could be locked up in healthy soil.  However, it is the nature of healthy soil that was most enlightening for me.

In responding to the question “How’s it going?”, one could easily be any number of miles from an aquatic environment and still be able to answer “swimmingly” if one were so inclined, and could very well do so whether or not that was indeed the case. In the word association game that one’s brain tends to constantly be playing, the mention of the word “swimmer” almost cannot exist without a picture of something blue, relatively clear and viscous appearing at least somewhere in the corner of the mind’s eye.

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 faithful reader, my daughter Suzanna, plagued with a recurrent sinus infection, asked me to jot down all my home remedies, the secrets to why when everyone else is down with a cold, the flu, sinusitis, arthritis, or any other malady, do I remain basically healthy.

All right, class, we have discussed the non-linear properties of grief. Non-linear means that the stages of grief which Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described for us do not happen in order. You don’t work your way through them like lessons from a textbook. More like they work their way through you, at unexpected times.

At the end, that is all there is, because there is no time for anything else. At the end, most of the time is spent seeking a way for it not to be so, especially when the end comes from nowhere, as if the ticking clock and the calendar on the wall were not clues enough.

The weeks around Mother’s Day, the first one after my mother’s death, bordered on unbearable this year. Distraught and preoccupied were the operative modes. On May 18, I was on a major bummer -- profoundly sad and missing my mother intensely.

It has been good to see a lot more people using their bikes as practical transportation.  I love to see mothers with their kids or cargo in bike trailers.  There always seems to be a bike or two outside the grocery stores.

Jury duty was, as I expected, heck.
The slickest part was taking the bus. You get a bus ticket with your jury summons, so the fare is covered. I parked at my church parking lot, which the county uses as a park and ride, and went out to the side of the highway to wait.

This is a dish I learned to make by peering over the shoulder of my then-young husband’s grandmother, born Jane Macbeath. She was Scotch, not Scottish. She wanted it clearly understood that she was a Highland Scot. “Scottish,” she told us, “are people who live near the English border.

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.

In recent years, I’ve really gotten tired of the common use of simplistic labels that cause us to bypass our critical faculties to accept judgements about matters that our leaders and pundits would rather not look into too closely.

I don’t remember if I’ve ever told this story here- I certainly have thought about it. It has to do with a time capsule and a responsibility to your voting public. It has to do with the ongoing relevance of a lesson from the youthful times. It has to do with not making assumptions about what is important to others and what isn’t.

I have been summoned for jury duty again. The summons says I have to report to the courthouse at 8 a.m. Monday morning. Eight a.m.! Are people still doing that? Wow. I do get up at six-thirty a couple of days a week because that’s how my life is, but I don’t like it.

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.

It’s as bright and balmy as Hawaii as I write this, so today you get a few Hawaiian recipes. Actually the Pineapple Boat Salad is one I first ate in Thailand, and that one was served without the Papaya Seed Dressing. The recipe is shamelessly adapted from the Hawaiian cookbook in my kitchen. It’s a bit sweet and a bit spicy.

A few weeks ago in the not too distant past, I was confronted by a friend in the aisles of our local food emporium and random issues forum. It was not so much a dramatic confrontation as it was a questioning as to why I hadn’t been present  at recent meetings being held to discuss the latest problem with bikes on the new foot ferries being offered up at or watery doorstep.

In recent years, I’ve really gotten tired of the common use of simplistic labels that cause us to bypass our critical faculties to accept judgements about matters that our leaders and pundits would rather not look into too closely.

Grief is a lifetime sentence. I have heard many times that you don’t get over losing someone. The death of someone you love is at first unthinkable, and gradually becomes a part of you with which you make as much peace as you can, depending on who you lost and in what circumstances.

Have you ever thought of getting something out of a kitchen cupboard and, by the time it took to turn around, open the cupboard and look at the contents, forgotten what you were looking for? It happened to me the other day. It scared me, and I don’t frighten easily.

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.

A friend of mine recently said, “If you are born on this planet, you are an owner.”  It seems that a lot of the problems we have, especially today, revolve around who owns what.    It has always seemed ridiculous to me that a person born into our country does not have an unalienable right to stand in one place, much less claim the space to build a shelter and grow or forage for some food.