Sunday, August 07, 2011

Our summer has been pretty tame so far..excluding 4th of July weekend...which found us doing a little river kayaking.

 Too late I remembered the warnings about staying out of the raging rivers this summer d/t the flood stage torrents. I remembered that approximately/ precisely when I tipped over while pushing away with the paddle from a jagged rock outcropping to prevent a head injury. This particular part of the river is called "the rapids" (ya think?). It passes by a bit of a bend, the outer curve of which is bounded by a few hundred feet of sheer rock cliff at least a hundred or so feet high. (It seemed that high to me!) There is no shore on that side, except for a little space where a crack in the cliff has made a crevice for rock and land slides. There are areas where the rocks have worn away and the current rushes underneath the rock face. I did NOT want to get swept "underneath" and managed to pull out on the land and rock slidden area. Boat and shoes were washed down stream. Interestingly, the boat eventually floated back to me. Waterlogged and submerged-too heavy for me to lift it out. Useless!

Mr. Sunny did not kayak this section with me. He does not like to get wet. He was to meet me downstream. But, I knew he'd come back looking for me. This I know from decades of experience with the man. Also, I have kayaked this section of the river before and he can't help himself from keeping an eye on my progress from the other side. So, I confidently settled on the landslide and waited for him. Shortly he appeared on the other side solemnly surveying the situation. Water was too loud to communicate any way much beyond hand signals. I pointed questioningly up the crevice. To my estimation it was the only way out excluding helicopter rescue. He shook his head and held up a finger for me to wait for him. As if I had a choice. Raging river in front of me and rock walls on either side. But, I nodded my agreement and hummed to pass the time. Snatches of a little song one of our Sunny boys likes to sing and play on the piano flitted through my mind. 
"Tra la la la. As if you had a choice". 

Iit was actually a bit ROMANTIC waiting for my hero to pull off the rescue. Sometimes when we are NOT together I'm feeling the love as if he is right by my side. ("Even if you cannot hear my voice, I'll be right beside you dear".) I knew if he had a breath in his body he'd get me out of there. Of course, in case anything happened to HIM meantime, it was getting towards dusk and I was contemplating the possibility of a long cold night in my soaked clothes. I began debating the value of trying to dig a hole to burrow down in. I contemplated the possibility of death and knew that I had already experienced more blessedness in life than most.

Meanwhile, a lady fishing on the other side had noticed my plight and sent HER husband for help.  She was trying to holler encouragements across to me. I shouted back word by carefully enunciated word "If. I. die. Tell. my. least. I. died. in. love." etc. I knew she couldn't really hear me but we were communicating anyway. She was gazing helplessly at me when she glanced up to the top of the cliffs with a smile of relief. I knew he was up there. Pretty soon some rocks slid down the crevice. I was hoping he wouldn't slide down next! Honestly I still was still humming and not a bit scared. ("I know we'll make it anywhere-Away from here"). 

To shorten the story, we didn't have any rope in the SUV, so, he shows up with a dog leash. He emptied the boat and tried to push it to the now-larger group of on-lookers on the other side, but it circled back under the cliffs. We hooked the dog leash on my life jacket so he could help me up the crevice in the cliffs. OK, we also have a history of me NOT being able to manage cliffs, heights, slippery steep areas...I am afraid of heights and he has had to haul my hiney over them many times. Well, it wasn't working for him to haul me up by the dog leash. I'm almost as heavy as him and I figured if I slipped it would pull him down too. So, he got behind me and let me tell you, With the exception of fainting in terror and knocking the husband behind me off the cliff, climbing up the canyon was the very last thing I wanted to do, but, there was really no choice. I wanted VERY much to "lose it". So, I had to hum and talk and sing to distract myself.
 ("I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say
Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid.."

We had one bad little moment where I grabbed a boulder and it broke loose. I was pushing the boulder so it wouldn't hit his head and he was pushing my butt until we got past and it crashed on down. Oh, it was high excitement for sure. He had strategically hooked another dog leash to an exposed root and that helped for pulling ourselves up. When we got to the top he snorted when I bragged "I wasn't a bit afraid. I knew you'd get me out of there." Now we had to hike down the mountain over sharp rocks and pine cones on my bare feet * to get down to the flat place where he had tied up the other boat and a raft. We paddled across, climbed up the embankment to the waiting car, and all the danger was over. We got our boat back too. While we were at the top of the cliff the folks on the other side shouted up that they had gotten it the next time it circled out in the current. I did not go with him back for it. As the adrenaline died down I began to realize that I had broken a toe sometime during the event, so, I sat in a kayak and waited -thankfully**

 (*About that painful hike down in bare feet: I dropped back and kept my whining low because I didn't want him to get any ideas about CARRYING me down. The last time he tried to carry me down a mountain was in jubilation right after I (finally) agreed to marry him and he tripped on a loose root and like to dropped me..well, I just didn't want to risk a broken neck on top of everything else.)

** we'll prob  never be anything less than thankful for the better-than-it-could-have-been outcome of this bonding-type experience.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From FB days

It's true about a melody
Bringing back the memories
Sometimes even certain rhymes
Take us back in place and time.

Just a little (you know who)
Can make me feel all Close-To-You
Rememberin' how we'd dance and sing,
And, "How is every little thing?"

No, we can't be sixteen again.
But, when that "Song Remembered When".
YOU were the one I thought of then.
And, suddenly - SIXTEEN AGAIN!

Friday, March 18, 2011


The previous post was incorrectly billed as the very first post of this blog.
The actual "very first post" on this blog was lifted from

And, here it is again-gratefully

Gratefulness and simple living go hand in hand. When we are grateful, we appreciate life’s free gifts: friendship and solitude; movement and rest; Nature’s bounty and her spare winter introversion; our own alternating sonata movements of joy, sorrow, and joy’s resurgence. Through this appreciation, we find contentment.

This process is the polar opposite of needing more and more things. Our society lures us into escalating discontent. Before we even enter kindergarten, many of us soak up thousands of ads. These ads lead us to believe we’re insecure (so buy this insurance), lonely (how about this mouthwash?), and dissatisfied (but this BMW will make all the difference). We easily get sucked into a whirlwind of unfulfilled desire. Hoping it will pick us up and carry us to a place of no want, we instead find ourselves dizzied by its faster and faster spin. Our fear that we’re somehow incomplete just adds to the velocity.

Gratefulness calms this storm. It allows us to see that what we truly want is already right before our eyes. So many things we consider superfluous – music, the shade of a maple tree, a heartfelt hug – provide raw material for full enjoyment of life. After all, “superfluous” means an overflowing bounty.

When we give ourselves over to this bounty, we begin to simply live. We discover what’s “enough” in our life, which frees us to gratefully share life’s goodness with our sisters and brothers around the world. *
* something to think about with the current situation in Japan

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This blog's very first post--again

Intoductory Essay: A web page about forgiveness

by Dennis Rivers

from the Journal of Cooperative Communication Skills

Issue Ten, Spring 2002

"World events don't wait until we are ready before presenting us with giant challenges. In my view, forgiveness, or the lack of it, has become one of the central crises and giant challenges of our time. Around the world, cultures in collision are locked into escalating spirals of injury and retaliation, armed with ever-more-lethal technology.

Can anything interrupt their (and our) headlong rush toward mutual destruction; can anything make a space for something new to happen? On a more personal level, many individuals who have been abused, either by their families or by the institutions that were supposed to protect them, struggle to free their lives from the burden of overwhelming resentment.

What hope is there for the healing of such lives? And even before September 11, it seems to me that America was heading into a forgiveness crisis. Two million people are incarcerated in the United States. And 1.2 million of them have not hurt anyone but themselves (through drug and alcohol abuse)! The Governor of Washington recently quipped that if incarcerations continue to increase at the current rate, by the year 2050 every person in the state of Washington will either be in prison or work for the prison system! And yet politicians around the country continue to promote their popularity by playing on the public's fear of criminals and passing laws that require even more punishment, no matter how many lives, families and school budgets are wrecked in the process.

It seems clear to me that our sense of justice needs several counterbalancing attitudes to keep from going seriously off the track.

One of them is forgiveness. These kinds of sorrows have sparked a recent worldwide movement toward forgiveness, bringing face to face the families of murder victims and those convicted of murder, torturer victims and those who have tortured, oppressed indigenous peoples and those who have oppressed them, all driven by a pain that justice promises to answer but does not.

And around the world there are small but significant experiments with restorative, rather than punitive, justice. These encounters and activities may be rare now, but they set precedents (and show human possibilities) that could change the world.

This movement toward forgiveness, a fragile development in the context of today's conflicts, needs everyone's help and participation if it is to grow and become a permanent part of life on planet Earth. This is a difficult moment for the forgiveness movement. People around the world are at this very moment being asked to support what could become a permanent state of global war, rooted in the need to punish evildoers. This is, to put it mildly, a serious predicament. One must both plead as a person and demand as a citizen, I believe, that everyone think harder about alternatives.

While I certainly agree that we must try to prevent and restrain people from committing acts of violence, I am wary of President Bush's new role as a theologian, pressing us to join a new campaign against evil around the world. Forgiveness is about starting over, not about getting even. Because the idea of getting even is one of humanity's most enduring illusions, leading, as it does, to an endless round of attack and counter-attack.

My first concern about the current campaign against evil is that ideas of the "evil other" can and do blind people to how they may have contributed to their own difficulties. In the current instance, Mr. Bush himself has already publicly acknowledged that American policy decisions played a central role in Afganistan's collapse into chaos and terrorism. Perspectives as varied as Buddhism, psychotherapy and biology would counsel us here that a large part of our survival power is the power to recognize our own mistakes, so that we can change our behavior and not repeat them. So the question today is not just one of better security at airports. The question is how did the United States' support of militant hate groups in Central Asia in the 1980s sow the seeds of the current tragedy. And where are we sowing similar seeds today.

My second concern about a campaign against evil is that if we imagine our power to be only the power to out-bomb the evil bombers, out-shoot the evil shooters, and out-kidnap the evil kidnappers, then we will condemn ourselves to a national life focused primarily on violence, and we will become more and more like the people we have labeled as evil. Jesus set the example of this when he asked God to forgive those who were killing him. The issue was not the executioner's worthiness of forgiveness. The issue, I believe, was that Jesus refused to join the haters in their hatred.

Thus, in reflecting on all of this, I can't believe that a "campaign against evil" is the best we can do, we humans. And, I understand how difficult it will be to do something really different. It looks to me as though we need some deep visions of new possibilities...

There are many institutions in the world that are promoting the practice of forgiveness, many wonderful books on the topic, and hundreds of essays and papers on the web about forgiveness. (All we need now is millions more people, living it more completely.)"

This cool comment in the footnotes of the Harper's Study Bible makes a nice postlude.

First it lists three New Testament references denoting "love as the governing principle of life".

Romans 13:9 "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Romans 13:10 "Love does no wrong to a neighbor".

And, the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12 (to paraphrase) "Treat folks like you want to be treated."

Then it states, "The proper use of these principles in the relationships of men personally, nationally, and internationally would resolve most of our tensions and disputes".

Oh yeah, I think so!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Poem needs naming

Was it by "chance" that your eyes met mine?
That last little glance,then,..both left behind.

I wanted to stay
Forever that way.
But, what couldn't last
Was finished too fast.

Don't ever look back
on our bitter-sweet past
with any regrets.
But please don't forget
our bitter-sweet past
that finished too fast.

Don't shed any tears
for all the lost years.
 I'll never forget
what my heart can't regret.
It's sad to forget,
but worse to regret.

I still see your face
in that special place
that time can't erase
or ever replace.

I'll always love you. And, part of me too,
will always be true to memories of you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Can't Stop Loving You (It is Quite useless to try)

DMIL has developed an interest in senior citizen aquatics. Since she doesn’t drive I’ve been providing transportation. Since she doesn’t swim either, (and eye-witnesses have tattled that she has supposedly almost drowned twice) I’ve taken to suiting up and hopping in the pool with her just to keep an eye on things. I don’t join the class though. It’s too boring. All they do is walk back and forth in the shallow end waving their arms in rhythm to the music. No, I find myself gravitating to the rabble rousers at the back who basically ignore all the teacher’s instructions and spend their time having water fights, racing to the edge of the pool, and singing real loud and off key just to hear the echo of their voices. I alternate between giggling at them and scolding, “You kids better quit that misbehaving before the teacher gets upset” ("kids" said in spite of the fact that not a single person in the class, including the instructor, isn’t old enough to be my parent). It is to no avail though. They seem quite gleeful about their evil influence on me.

Usually the piped in music is some kind of golden oldies or swing tunes-something to appeal to the geriatric set. But today, they were playing what I call “noise with a beat”. Not really even music at all. Since so many of them were muttering and complaining about it, I suggested to one sweet-looking, silver-haired grandma that she go ask to have it changed to something decent. “H*ll no”, She responded. “I’m already on the sh*t list.”

By the time I finished choking on pool water over that reply, a new song came over the loud speaker, and shortly we were enjoying the beautiful strains of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” The effect on the trouble makers was astounding. They quit the mischief-making on the spot and listened contemplatively. “What?” I demanded. “That’s Ray Charles”, one of them explained. “He isn’t with us anymore”, confided the potty-mouth. “He sure had a voice”, commented a gentlemanly old codger wistfully.

I hope to never be in the situation of having to organize and keep in line a bunch of feisty retirees during a water exercise class. But just in case, I got the Ray Charles ready to go.

If God Gave Me The Chance To Do It All Again

"I'm Noel, just like Christmas", was the way he always introduced himself back then. And, I mentally rolled my eyes every time I heard it. Because, the Korean students clearly did not get the joke and why couldn't he at least muster enough awareness to realize they were only smiling and nodding to be kind? ( in time, of course, he did). And, kind they were. I should have taken a lesson from them. At 19, I was still far too shallow to taint my reputation by much hanging around with anyone "un-cool" like that.  But, I was pleased that even though he wasn't the "in-crowd", everyone in our group was kind enough to show some common courtesy. Overtly, at least. Courtesy, but not too much real closeness...Well, wasn't it up to the guys to pal around with him? After all, we girls couldn't be expected to get overly involved. I was sure proud of us. Weren't we the "mature" ones?

But, my future-husband, whose judgement about these things I was already understanding could be relied on, thought he was a really sweet, good-natured, well-intentioned guy.

Fast forward a few years. By now I'm a new mom and he is a married man. He and his almost-unbelievably lovely wife were living within driving distance. They came to visit. He was still wearing that awful siren-red windbreaker that I despised in Korea. (He had warned me when he got it that it would last a good ten years. "I hope not" I half-joked back at him.) But, by now people's clothes weren't very much concern to me. Not when I, myself, was wearing a baby-spit-up stained apron with diaper pins handily attached to it. We all laughed and chatted together and he was rather entertaining. I recalled the really good times we had teaching together and how he ended up being very involved with the students-quite well-liked actually. He and his almost-unbelievably lovely wife (and, I could hardly believe that HE managed to nab a lovely thing like her) offered many kindnesses to my teenage brother-in-law who had recently undergone open heart surgery. Knowing that I have a bit of a mean streak, I searched my memory in hopes that I had never showed it to this nice-natured, sweet, well-intentioned fellow human. "Why wasn't he more popular with you girls?" mused my dear husband, who always thinks the best of folks and liked him well enough. "Youth…What did WE know?" I shrugged it off. "I just hope he knows what he's got in that wife he has." I groused back at him. "I'm sure he does." was his reasonable and kindly uttered reply.

We stayed in spotty touch with them as time went by. They moved many states away. Contact decreased over the intervening years. We regretted it deeply when we heard about some of the curve balls life threw at them. Hardly fair for such caring folks to keep running into such hard times.

A few months ago we got an e-mail from him. His work requires him to travel now. He would be in our area in a few days. Could he drop by? "Yes. Of course. We'd love to see you." It was an afternoon that I already had off from work, so, we met and gabbed in the living room until my husband got home and we went out all together to grab a bite somewhere. And what an afternoon it was! I had guessed that somehow it would be a blessing. I just hadn't imagined how much.

After we exchanged notes on the trials and triumphs of parenting and got caught up on the last couple of decades, he began sharing on a deeper and more personal level. Life had not been easy, but they were finally getting on a better financial footing. In spite of it all, he had been active in his own and the surrounding communities. He related magnificent and sometimes miraculous moments when he went to volunteer in the relief efforts after Katrina and other serious storms. These experiences led him and his friends to start a local helping ministry. He can't afford any of this, but, God provides. I listened..astounded at times..enthralled. Had the good sense, for a change, to keep my mouth shut-except to pump for more information.

They were stories that stayed with me, but, I won't tell them here. Don't want to steal his thunder. He writes very well and he really should be blogging. But, I can't help sharing one very moving moment. He told me how it was that his mom left this life. He was taking her to the doctor when they got hit by a diabetic driver who had lapsed into a coma. His mom was killed by the impact. Believing he was going to die, his last words before the impact were "Thanks for the great life, Lord." He lived, but sustained a broken back. The next day he hobbled on crutches into the hospital room of the guy who crashed into them to offer him forgiveness. Offer. Him. Forgiveness!!!

"Did you ever have contact with any one else from the old Korea group?" I asked him at one point during the conversing. "Never at all" was his cheerless reply. And, what else was that I heard in his voice? Forlorn regret? Dispirited sorrow? The sadness of it grieved me greatly. I felt a sudden flash of anger at the lot of them. But, I can cast judgement?

But, at least I was heartened and gladdened that instead of becoming bitter from the vicissitudes of his life, this sweet-natured and well-intentioned example of decent humanity had made something inspirational of it. And, he knew what he had to be grateful for. I mean, really, "Thanks for the great life, Lord?" Except for the wild wonderfulness of helping others, his life hadn't actually been all that great. Oh, and his great wife. Whom he did indeed express great gratitude for in the course of our conversation. With good reason too. I gasped out loud when he showed me her recent photo. She is the epitome of aging graciously and beautifully. To the remarking of this, he cutely responded. "Well, that's what I think but she says she is old and gray now, so, I didn't know what to believe." OK buddy - WRONG answer. When she says that you're supposed to tell her "You are always beautiful to me"-or something like that. Come on, Boy, you've got a brain. Use it!

Ah well, no chance to do it over, so, get it right the next time.

BTW, he wasn't still wearing that old red windbreaker when we last saw him. Well, it was summer and too hot for it anyway. So, no way to know if he is still hanging on to it without asking outright-and I am much too polite to do that (Shut UP! I am too!). Who cares anyway? I didn't notice what either one of us was wearing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Little Note(d on facebook)

Usually whenever I go to Korea, I know by the time I leave why it was that I was there. You know how it goes; you meet folks, friendships are formed. Or maybe impact is made when lives collide. This last time though, no experience specifically stuck out. There just didn't seem to be a special defining moment when I realized my purpose for going there this particular time. So, I'll just tell one random little incident (out of many).

I was returning back to my apartment from the airport. I had just seen" Mr. Sunny" off and was hoping to get back in time for him to call me before boarding. This ended up not happening because I wanted to see how long the trip would take by subway system. Too long! Guess I should have taken the bus. Before I realized all that, and was still trying to hurry along, we all had to get off the train at the end of one line and transfer to another one in a different part of the station. I was just sort of following the crowd when they all started running. I know what that means-the next train is about to take off. I chased after them and sure enough, the next train was literally MOVING by the time I jumped in. The door closing almost caught my foot and I actually caught some serious air landing in a seat almost on some guys lap as the train sped off.

Usually I am overly cautious around crowds and fast moving objects. "So unlike me" I was thinking, when I heard a voice speaking to me. It was the guy who almost got me on his lap. I knew it was me he was addressing because he spoke in flawless English. Looking around I could see no one else that anyone would assume was illiterate in Korean.

"Now, do you even know where you are going?" He inquired kindly.

I didn't take a bit of offense. After all, they had all seen me risk my life jumping on a moving train. Anybody that dumb probably doesn't have a clue where she is going. So, I did another uncharacteristic thing. I told him where I was going and which transfers I'd be taking. I never do that because, having been followed, I am wary of letting strangers know my destination. But, he seemed sincere enough.

He nodded hiis approval and explained, "I thought I'd make sure since I'll be getting off in two stops."

Then he tried to help me practise a little Korean. Until he gave up on me. When we arrived at his station he nudged the fellow beside him and started to to stand up. Aforementioned fellow did not budge-gave no indication that he was even aware of his surroundings. Mr. Hospitality sighed and settled back in his seat resignedly.

"Why didn't you get out?" I demanded - a little too sharply considering he had no idea that I'd ever been stalked.

"I think I'd better stay with my friend here," he murmured quietly.

For the first time I took a good look at his traveling companion. The man looked pathetic. Pale faced with head in his hands. He appeared to have been crying.

"What's the matter with him?" I gasped. (Yeah, I am the epitome of tact.)

The story came out. It was marital trouble. It wasn't quite as bad as "after 25 good years together they had their first big fight", but she had been recently suckered in to one of these off-shoot religions where they want all your money. Since she had no job, she was handing in all of her husbands savings and there was nothing left for the children's inheritance.

We talked and tsked. Mind you, the guy with the problem wasn't doing any of the actual talking. But, he was engaged in the exchange. He lifted his red rimmed eyes and listened intently to my suggestions. I do believe I saw some actual hope on his face. This is one thing I like about being a bit older in Korea. Age and experience still count for something. Folks actually seek and value your advise and ideas. Not that mine were much good. What could I do? Invite them to come for counseling with the Pastor? As far as they could tell it was religion that caused this mess in the first place! But, maybe it comforted him to have an impartial observer taking his side in his troubles.

"Hey, this is your stop." They gripped my hands briefly in farewell, then called "Goodbye! Goodbye!" as I tripped out the door of the train in the nick of time just before it could slam shut on me.

I think of them sometimes. Wonder if it all worked out. Wonder what their impression was of the 'crazy American'.

Probably they sat there and said, "Think she'll ever make it back to her place in one piece?"

"Not a chance! Hey, that's pretty funny. I'm feeling more cheerful already."

"Me too. Wanna go have some beer together?"

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sometimes the Heart Knows How

Back in my home-care nursing days I managed to become known as the rescue-er of flattened dogs and lost babies. The baby was when I was on my way to a daily wound care. The patient liked to get her visit over with very early in the morning. Probably because she wasn't being compliant with the required homebound status, but we were on a "don't ask and don't tell" relationship. One day, on the way to her house at about 7 AM, a little tyke in a diaper-and I mean just a diaper and nothing else-dashed across the road in front of all the cars stopped at the red light. He went straight to the entrance of a convenient store. No one seemed the least bit concerned-except me (of course). I parked immediately and fetched him. Asked around, but no one knew him. Called the cops. Helped look for his parents. Soothed him when he was taken away by squad car to the emergency children's home. This was in the days before cell phones, but I used a pay phone to notify the office I'd be running late and they called all my patients for me. Of course I regaled everyone for the rest of the day with tales of my big adventure. All the patients wanted to know ALL the juicy details. For many of them it was the most exciting event of their week. I was hailed as a local hero. After work I called the police station to inquire about the little fellow. They were all like "Is this the nurse from (name of hospital)?" The kid had been re-united with his parents. The officers were openly admiring of my quick thinking and smooth maneuvers to save this child. Situation could've ended much worse.

(I had the fire department like putty in my hands for a while too, but that's whole "nuther story.)

Another time, while on the way to a diabetic's house for her insulin injection, I spied a tiny bit of half-flattened fluff on the street. It was a little dog that had been hit. Still alive but the back legs looked paralyzed. I simply could not stop to call animal control right then. Can't be late for the diabetics you know. So, I scooped him up in a disposable gown, plopped him in a basket that was in the trunk, and took him along to the home visit. It was a hot day and I didn't want to leave him inside the car, so I put him just outside the front door of the patient's house and told the inhabitants to stay away from him. Of course, the husband of my patient completely disobeyed that order, and the little dog BIT him. Boy, animal control sure got involved then! And the administrator on call. And my supervisor. And, probably the board of trustees for all I know. This time they weren't quite so accomodating. "Should have let the d#@n dog die!" (to quote one of my co-workers).

Next I added "savior of run-away kids" to my Curriculum Vitae. It was after I had left doing home-care and gone to the nurse advise line. My supervisor called one evening and asked me to come in and help out at work. For some reason I felt like telling her no. She was surprised. I'm usually flexible. But, I had made plans for a walk in the gently falling snow*, so, I just said "no". On my route I wandered down by the highway-something I rarely do. There, sitting on a large rock, was a good size boy. He smiled at me, and I smiled at him. I said, "I'm Jimmy's mom." He said, "Who is Jimmy?" I said, "Uh, you don't live in this neighborhood, do you?" (Because, come on, EVERYBODY knows Jimmy!) The story came out. He was a runaway. I was afraid he'd run again but it soon became apparent he was too tired to do anything but follow me home. He had already walked at least 8 miles, and probably more since he had lost his way for a while. Poor kid could barely put one foot ahead of the other. We were both wishing I had brought the car instead of heading out on foot. At home I handed him off to Jimmy** to watch TV together and to have someone of his age group to hang out with while we fed him, hydrated him, and called his grandmother in another state-(she alerted the authorities). His mother was duly checked out (she had been arrested for child neglect previously, and the boy didn't know it, but his dad was incarcerated at the time). Everything got worked out and the child did eventually get returned to his home. His grandmother called me the next day with the whole sorry story. Her hands are tied for legal reasons until he turns 18, but, she has every plan to help him as much as possible when she can. She was deeply grateful for our intervention. She kept saying "If the wrong person had picked him up..."

This time, with my reputation already firmly in place, no one was even surprised. In fact they'd be surprised if I WASN'T out on the rescue. Boss said to refuse to come to work any time it seemed a good idea. Figured I should just always follow my intuition.***

*Because big, fat, fluffy snow-flakes that float down softly in warm-enough weather to melt them on contact are NOT the kind that pester me.

**Jimmy really came through too. Later he told us he he had been "kind of surprised" (yeah, I bet!) when a stranger kid was tossed in his room, but he figured we knew what we were doing, so, he'd just go with it.

***But, what's going on? Am I like some kind of magnet for these types situations?

(I know that I am positively a magnet for crazies, but those stories are better left

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's Resolutions? Who needs 'em?

My "new year's resolutions" (if any) tend to be of the "do-more-of-whatever-I'm-already-in-the-mood-to-do-anyway" variety. But, even that can backfire.... For example, back when I was still rather renown for being a cookie making mama, a certain year was "designated" as THE YEAR OF THE COOKIE. Home-made cookies were delivered so frequently to the pediatrician, kiddie's dentist, school teachers, classroom parties etc., that it got to where no matter what the event, I was assigned to bring the cookies. Many regrets were expressed when I could barely tolerate the aroma of cookies baking anymore and had to give it up. Gave it up for good too.
That's an odor that is still very bothersome.

These days I prefer baking bread. So, when a suggestion was made at work last year that I make a new year's resolution of "baking bread more often", I readily agreed. I've taken bread to work, church, parties, people's homes, and even the homeless is always very well received. And why not? Who wouldn't like fresh warm homemade bread from newly ground whole grains? I don't know who doesn't. But, I know who does-me and my family. In fact, we've had so much of it that we are now pretty much ruined for any other kind. Guess what that means. Yep, I'm stuck making bread now whether in the mood or not.

So, it was with some hesitation that I considered the idea that maybe I should determine to work a little less and get back some time for my lately neglected hobbies. Used to be I'd take photos and write up little things and put it all on blog posts. In fact, not too many years ago, as my blogs can testify, I took my brand new Christmas-gift camera out every single morning between Christmas and New Years to capture the sunrise. (We were having luscious, lovely, unseasonably warm weather that year.) Lately I don't even bother to take the camera along on hikes. If time is limited and a choice has to be made between taking a walk or taking pictures, I'll take the walk. These thoughts were running through my mind yesterday morning as I cautiously peered out to determine if we were in for another gloomy day of disgusting, nasty, frigid, slippery, slushy winter weather. The portion of sky visable from the slightly open bathroom window was surprisingly... clear with a nice sliver of white moon adjacent to that big old bright morning star. And, right between them was a shiny jet plane with contrails as bright as the moon from picking up the reflection of the sun which was still hidden far beyond the eastern horizen. In times past this sight would have had me dashing for the camera while mentally composing some sassy-sounding comment for a blog post. But, with the reality of the bitterly cold outside air in my face, the only place I dashed for was a quick dive back under the blankets. Apparently blogging and all that is low on the priority list right now. NOT gonna be happening. I'll just re-cycle some of my old stories and pictures for facebook. Watch for them in the "notes" section. (Or, just eventually find them all from -a blog I highly recommend, BTW.)

However...insisting on working less hours certainly turned out to be a very good decision one time previously...story coming soon.

Now my blogger friends, if any of you have made it this far into these ramblings, I suggest you get a new year's resolution of spending less time on - line. Excluding reading my posts, of course. THAT'S time well spent!

Signing off with a photo. Not a particularily seasonal one... I have to focus on the beauty of this place so the weather does not make me crazy.         (Snow and cold=Blech!)