Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Short and Sweet

Yeah, I'm still here. Server problems have prevented me from posting photos of Cara's graduation ~ or anything else for that matter.

We had a wonderful visit with Dylan and Brittani.

I finished training, and am working at my new job. I had reservations about it, but amazing things have been happening. Sometimes, I find myself dumbstruck. Really. This is a miraculous time.

Friday, May 25, 2012


There is something wonderful about growing older. You don't often hear about it in this youth obsessed world that we live in, but I'm enjoying it.

Mary wrote a piece about her boys on her blog. It struck a chord with Hal, because he'd just come home to discover that his son had suddenly become taller than his wife.

My youngest is 22 now. My oldest is 30.

Do I miss those days when they were all at home? Yes. I do. Mostly what I wish for is 'do-over' moments. The chance to do it differently, to do it better, or maybe just to be more recognizant of the fact that those days will not last forever, to do a little more savoring.

But there is something wonderful about seeing them as adults. To watch your son's relationship with a lovely and sensible woman grow strong and unbreakable. To discover that he behaves with honor even when his mother is not around. Watching your own daughter learning to be a mother to her own baby boy, to sit in the driveway blowing bubbles, listening to baby babble and laughing quietly together as the day eases into night. I've watched Cara graduate from college. Not just simply graduate but to graduate with honors.

I'm at a point where I am watching them head off in their own directions and that is satisfying to me, to know that I have had a hand in their independence. It's still exciting to me, even though I do not see them every day or even talk to them every day, for that matter. They are grown now, my legacy to this world, and I am discovering that there is something every bit as precious and golden about these days as those precious and golden days of childhood.

I'm also discovering that two people left in an empty house automatically turn to each other. Know what? That is golden too.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thanks, Ro.

You know, I've got my own opinions on a great many matters, and what I believe is that those opinions apply to me and my own life. I believe that in the end, we will stand before God, and He will make a decision on the life that we have led. He will be the judge. I'm pretty clear on the fact that I am NOT God, and in this case, that distinction frees me up from a pretty huge responsibility, and I am grateful for that.

If I could have one wish in the whole wide world, it would be that everyone quit insisting that the world live according to their moral code. I wish that everyone would simply sit back and let God do the judging.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Our rentals are on the same street that we live on now, so it is kind of cool that we have lots of 'neighbors'. We had the carpets cleaned in an apartment yesterday, and went over last night to check on them and close up the windows. Our neighbor across the street hailed us. She was weeding out her garden beds in front of her house. "Do you want some vines?" she called. I went over to grab a garbage bag full of them, and we sat talking on the porch steps as the day slowly turned to night.

That's one thing that I really like about living in town. There's always someone to visit with. Somebody out walking their dog, the blind man tapping his way down the side walk calling out "God bless you!" as you pass. There are the more doubtful characters as well, but they still they wave and greet you as well. Yesterday, a little boy called out "What are you doing?" and then proceeded to tell us all about what he and his grandma were up to.

I never minded living in the woods but we had no neighbors, no one to visit with. In town, they are everywhere. Surprisingly, I am discovering that I am far more sociable than I ever would have believed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In celebration of Dads

You know, this slays me. He's fathered 30 children, and wants us to give him a break because he works a minimum wage job. To my way of thinking, the young man needs to get a couple more minimum wage jobs. It would appear that he has way too much free time on his hands. My next thought is: just who are these women who take a look at Mr. 'God's Gift to Women' and think, "I want to make a baby with this man"? They're all stupid as rocks. I've tried to see it in a gracious way, and I cannot. These are hugely stupid people and they are rocking the gene pool even as we speak.

Speaking of stupid, here's another one that has me shaking my head. I keep trying to reason this one out. The guy looks like a Ken doll, which isn't a crime, I suppose, but, really, if you look at his plastic-looking face, and his plucked eyebrows, and his earrings and...well...his appearance just sort of creeps me out. I look at these Kardashian girls who are stupid and self absorbed, superficial, vain...I mean I've never watched their show, but the only thing that these girls seem to be capable of is promoting themselves. What do any of them do? What is their contribution to society? And the patriarch of this family is father of the year. Maybe he shares his make up with them.

Both these stories leave a bad taste in my mouth. Really...I need to hear some inspiring stories. Send me your links please.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

It was a very nice weekend, equal measures of hard work, and celebration too. We celebrated graduation with my sister Anna, and her husband Dave, and we have learned that when my sister excuses herself to use the ladies room, and takes a while to return, it does not mean that she has fallen in. It means that the sneaky woman is paying the bill. Thanks, you two.

After celebrating, Tim and I came home and donned work clothes, and went to the apartment to work. It's pretty much just finishing touches at this point. I scrubbed down the bathroom, and the carpets will be cleaned tomorrow.

When we got there, our building's sole tenant at this point was hard at work. Kelly had spent probably $100 of her own money and was potting flowers, and making a new flower bed in the back. A young man hovered. We assumed it was her boyfriend. He began to talk, and we began to worry. He was a friend of Vince's, he explained, a former tenant. He did not seem to have any idea at all that this was not good news in our book. So I looked at him and said, "Well, Vince was not a very nice person. We did a good turn for him, and he turned out to be a user, and dishonest." He assured us that Vince was doing well for himself now, a machinist for a plant in Ridgeway, far enough from here that we don't need to worry about him. But the young man talked on, in a sad sotto voice, and we saw, right away, that he had a lot in common with poor Vince, who we had taken as a tenant only because his story was so very sad. Turns out when someone has a hard luck story, sometimes, their hard luck is due to their own poor behavior. We learned that the hard way, and believe me, we won't get fooled again. (Cue music)

I headed into the house and got to work. When Tim came in, I said, "Gees. You don't suppose Kelly has picked up with the likes of that one, do you?" in a worried voice. Kelly is special to us, a classmate of Cara's, just recently diagnosed with cancer, so I feel a little like her mother, even if I'm not. Tim grinned. "Noooo! You don't worry about her. She's smarter than that."

Linda, our new tenant came, bringing her mother. They were both thrilled with the apartment, and the new laminate flooring we put down, the new paint, and new drapes. She signed the lease, and excitedly took possession of the keys.

Later we all hung out on the front porch. Kelly sat there eating pizza. We quizzed her about the boy, who had been still hanging about the house when Linda showed up. Kelly said, "I don't know him. He just was hanging around in front of the house, said he had not eaten for three days. So I cooked a pizza for him, because I felt bad." We all stared at her, aghast. Linda laughed. "It's like a stray cat. You start feeding them, they're yours." Tim said, "You should have seen the look on Kelly's face when he asked if he could rent an apartment in this building." And he pantomined a sad face with clasped hands mouthing "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" as she stood behind the young man.

Everyone laughed again. I said, "Well, the next time you see him just hanging about the building like that, you are free to tell him that he's not welcome. You also need to keep the front door locked. He's a young man that makes me very uneasy. It sounds very heartless, but we have learned the hard way that you never rent to a person because you feel sorry for them."

Kelly munched on her pizza, nodding sagely. She said, "Yep. You wait until after you've signed the lease. THEN you find out you've got cancer." We all laughed once again, and I said, "Well played, Kelly, well played." She swallowed her pizza and said, "Thank you," taking a small bow. We all joked and laughed in the warm afternoon, comfortable in our front porch sitting. At one point, Tim said, "Well, if I can't find my wife, I know where she'll be hanging out."

We came home to cook supper for Buddy, Brianna and William. We sat in the driveway blowing bubbles for little William to chase, and the warm afternoon turned into a warm evening, and as the light faded, one by one, 36 solar lights came on along the driveway and around the foundation, creating a soft almost magical glow, and really, I felt like the luckiest person in the world, surrounded by the voices of some of the people I love best in the world.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Today, walking out after the graduation ceremony, a hand reached out and it was one of my professors, my anatomy and physiology teacher. She said, "I knew you'd do it!" I was so surprised that I did not know how to answer. Plus there was a wave of people behind me anxious to leave the hot building, so I didn't dare stop to figure out the words I wanted to say to her.

Sitting here tonight, after the ceremony, after lunch to celebrate with Tim and my sister and brother in law, we came home and got to work. We worked for several hours on an apartment, and then came home to work in the yard and putting flowers in the heavy concrete urns, weedeating, setting out solar lights, killing weeds, sweeping, thinking, I figured out what I wanted to say to that teacher: "I was not sure that I would survive that A and P class, and I worked like crazy, and it was terrifying, because I knew that I could not afford to fail the class. Literally. And when I made it out of the class, with my B, I knew that I would make it too. Your class was my turning point. Thank you for your encouragement." I will send her a card.

There's another teacher I have to thank too. I did not even realize. Today, Tim and I had to go to Walmart. I needed yet another antibiotic for this awful, awful cold. We were walking in the store when we ran into a woman who once told me, at school, that she was there, because of me. That she loved to read my articles, and those articles made her want to be a better writer, and she began to take classes at JCC. It was quite a surprise to hear that, that I had impacted the life of a virtual stranger, and it made my day on that winter day.

So we greeted each other, and I said, "Are you still taking classes?" and she said that she had taken a composition class with Mr. T --------. I smiled. "I like him a lot," I said. "He was funny, and such a nice, nice person." And she said in her heavily accented English, "Oh, he talk about you all the time. He very proud of you." And she smiled broadly. "Really?!!!" I said, too surprised to say anything more. And she said "Oh, he all the time talking about you to class." The idea that a teacher would be proud of me had never once occurred to me, but I need to send him a note too.

Someone asked me if I cried at graduation. I suppose I'm going to sound like a hard hearted hannah when I say that I did not. Not even a little. I am so excited at what comes next that it never occured to me that something was ending here. I felt the anticipation of a new beginning. Like the song goes, 'Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.'

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy dance

There's a lot going on here. We've rehabbed an apartment and are nearly done. A new tenant feels like it is where she's meant to be. I've discovered a wise new friend. I'm still sick, unbelievably. This cold is heading into its third week. I don't think the antibiotic is working, and have a call into the doctor to see if it can be changed.

We were going to head out to see Dylan and Brittani this weekend, but discovered that I will not be starting actual work until after the Memorial Day weekend. A quick check with Dylan and Brittani indicated that this would be a better weekend for them, as well, so we decided to head out next weekend. Turns out that Tim wanted to go to graduation. He wanted to see me walk. At the last minute, I decided to do it.

I've spent the week in classes for this certification exam for a three day stretch. I spent evenings in orientation for the new job. It's a busy time, a celebrating sort of happy time.

I had a break between class and orientation yesterday, and so I took my lunch and a book and sat on Chautauqua Lake listening to the water lapping and watching people. I recognized clients and caregivers for the facility I now work for, walking, taking in the sun. I saw the Amish boy with a wondering look on his face as he took in the scenery from his wheelchair. I saw the blissful, calm look on his face as the sun caressed it as gently as his mother's hand. I saw a very heavy man walking around and around the track with a determined look, and in my heart, I found myself cheering him on. I saw mothers with their children playing at the little playground. I saw a dog walk by with a happy tail to tell. He looked like Buck, and it made me smile. It has been such a long time since I had the time to look outside myself. It has been all about me, about my books and my studying. All about me.

And now it's not.

Anyone care to join me in a happy dance?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pet Peeve. One of 'em, anyway.

You know what I hate? I hate it when you get around to grabbing your laundry from the dryer three days after you put in in the aforementioned dryer, and discover that the aforementioned clothes are sitting there damp and mildew-y because they have not been dried. Might have been that you forgot to turn on the dryer. Might have been that you did not reset the timer on the dryer. Who knows. But there they are, and you discover that the whole load needs to be re-washed.

I REALLY hate that.

PS Please do not point out that if I was the sort of person who went down to grab her laundry from the dryer the same day she put it in, this would not be an issue. Thank you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Rest of the Story.

Friday was my last day at Tractor Supply. I kept it quiet. Not a lot of need for telling that news around, but sometimes the time for telling that was right.

A woman came in to buy mulch. She said, "Can someone load it? My husband just came from chemo, and he can't." I said, "Absolutely. I'll get that for you." I walk out with her, and there's her husband struggling with a bag. Their vehicle is pulled right up to the pile. She begins to yell at him from the door, walking quickly. There's no need for that kind of excitement, because, really, what I see is that the gray faced man cannot do it. He's trying, but he can't, and while his hands are on the bag, he's not trying to lift it any more. He just looks...I don't know...lost...forlorn...maybe even a little scared, but he just stands there with his hands on the mulch, and he's not saying anything at all. So we get there, and his wife is telling him, "You let someone else..." and I grab the first bag of mulch and begin to load it, easily.

The woman says, "Boy, this cancer stuff just takes over our entire life. He's got all these appointments and when we're not at appointments, he's just sick."

The gray faced man stands there, silent. I can tell he needs some encouragement, so I say cheerfully, "Oh, yeah, I know how that can be. I've been out of treatment for three years now, coming up on my fourth anniversary."

It stops them, as it always does. They don't expect to hear this. I could tell them that we've got a tenant who went to school with my Cara just diagnosed with cancer. It has no respect for youth. The woman said, "Did you have chemo and radiation?" and I said, "Yep." and kept loading the mulch. The gray faced man doesn't say anything, but he's listening closely.

I say, "It wasn't fun, but there's another side to it, and one day, you'll be standing on the other side of it looking back too." And I tell them that it's my last day of work, that I'm graduating and have a job in my field. And they listen interestedly. I close their tailgate, and I turn to the man, and say "You take care of yourself now, and mind what she says," and I give him a little hug, as his wife says, "Awwwww." I give her a pat on the shoulder and go back to the store.

Another customer came in, he and his wife, and they're looking for a hitching post to match the one they've got. They are sure that they bought their hitching post at the Tractor Supply. I say, "Well, I don't remember selling them, not ever, but I've only been here two years." The fellow has a white beard and big blue eyes, and he ponders a moment. He says, "Well, it's been like 6 or 7 years, probably." His wife looks surprised, and like she might disagree, but she pondered a moment, and says "Well, you're probably right about that."

I ask them if they have a computer, and the man says, "Oh, yes," and I tell them they might want to just type 'hitching post' into the search engine, and see what pops up. They say, "That's a good idea!" and they head off to look around. By the time that they get up to the counter, they hear a reader/customer who says, "So when do you start your new job?" I tell that person it's my last day. They tell me that they will miss me, a lot. How nice is that? I tell them that it's been a great place to work, and that I'll miss all my customers, too.

The bearded man talks to his wife, and out the door he goes. He comes back, and he has a CD for me, a demo. He's a musician, and he autographs his CD carefully to me. It's old type music, with a few old hymns thrown in. It is my turn to say, "Awwwww. Thank you," and the two of them stand there smiling at me. They tell me that they like my friendliness, and that they are sure my customers WILL miss me.

Probably the biggest surprise was this one. A man is standing in line holding a big window box planter, and I'm thinking, "Hmmm. I have to get my hinder outside on lunch break and look for them. I didn't know we sold those..." and he thrusts it at me saying, "You must be Debby." My name is on my apron, so it wasn't like he was psychic. Turns out he was from the flower shop. My coworkers had chipped in. I was a little speechless. The customers in line were smiling and listening. "Honest to Pete," I said. "They're not going to be satisfied until I walk out of here crying." I took that beautiful box, and set it on the floor next to me and got back to work.

One by one, most of my coworkers stopped by. Hugs were given. They're going to miss me. The ones that I didn't see Friday, I saw Wednesday, when we sat around eating cake. That was enough. But they bought me flowers too.

The best present came later. Somebody said told me the news. A fellow from corporate is coming to the store. He's going to talk to the employees. I won't be there, of course, but I am told "You stood up for us, and we have a chance to stand up for ourselves. We're going to do it too." I'm so glad. That was the best ending this story could have.

Yesterday, I watched Cara graduate, sitting in the audience with my other children and my grandson. It was a great moment. She graduated with a cord for summa cum laude, another cord graduating from the honors program, and a final cord for graduating with highest honors from the history program. It was a great day. Dylan and Brittani have a fine big camera, and next weekend, when we go there, they will load them on a thumb drive for us, and I'll post them here.

I heard them talking as they looked at the pictures. Cara said, "That looks professional, the way the background is blurred and the subject is clear. I love that!" and Dylan said, "I'd like to figure out how to do that on purpose," laughing. "That's bokeh," I said. "BB knows how to do that. Go to her web site." I think that they were a little surprised to hear that from my mouth. My picture taking is legendary. Really. It's that bad, but in this case, those who can't do know those who can do. :^D

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Bob made a very nice comment on my last post. I'm moving on, but I'm really going to miss my coworkers at the Tractor Supply. I've enjoyed working there, and I will say what I have always said: that the employees were great fun, and the customers...well...they're a different customer base than I've ever dealt with before. I have come to believe that this is because they are farmers, or animal lovers, and that this is what sets them apart. Truly, I believe that I can honestly count the number of awful customers I've had on just two hands. That's after two years. They are a good people, solid and grounded, and a lot of fun. I will miss them too.

But Bob closed his comment with: "Hopefully the touching, heartfelt stories of your new endeavors won't stop. And as long as you keep writing 'em, I'll keep reading 'em."

You know, in my new field, I am surrounded by stories, powerful stories. Some really great stuff out there. Working with the population that I've worked with, I've become privy to stories that are great cautionary tales, or stories to make you look at people differently. Stories that make me go, "Hmmmm." Stories that illustrate and underscore questions in my own life. Enlightening stories. Optimistic stories. Sad stories. Holy cow. I'm up to my eyeballs in stories so rich and wonderful that they have changed my own life.


...I cannot tell them. It would be a violation of patient confidentiality.

How does a story teller deal with this? It's confounding sometimes. I'll find myself listening, enthralled, but all the while, I am so very aware that the story is not mine to tell, that no matter how much the world would benefit from hearing such a story, I cannot tell it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last Freight Day

This morning, the alarm went off and I fumbled for it. I usually am awake before the alarm, but this day I was dopey, and coughing. From his side of the bed, Tim said, "I don't think you should go to work today."

It was freight day, though. It puts the whole team in a pinch when one person does not show up, and since this is my last week, I was afraid the manager would not believe that I was sick. So I got up and showered and got ready for work.

I'm glad I did. Today, there was a cake with careful writing across the top: "Good luck, Debby" Our assistant manager and his little girl had baked and decorated it together. When they were done, Maddie went to her room and came back with one of her hair ties, which she wanted him to give to me, just in case I needed to pull back my hair at my new job. How cute was that?

We sat around at break time, eating cake, and reminiscing. We've had some fun times. Truly, they have been such a great group to work with. We laughed our heads off at the rememberings.  Karen remembered the first day that she discovered that, on occasion, I could (and would) swear. We pranked each other on a pretty regular basis, and we remembered those too. It was hard not to get a little misty about the whole thing. I told them that I would miss them a lot, that I really thought a lot of all of them. They told me that they'd miss me, too.

 It was very nice to know that I was respected by my peers, and that they considered me hardworking and smart and funny. That's how I see myself, and how I see myself does not always match with how others see me. This time, though, it did. It did.

Despite the problems at the end, it was a good job, one that I enjoyed very much.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I knew I was coming down with a cold, and it has now settled in my chest. I worked with Tim at the apartment and came home. The cold chills began to set in, and I was so very tired. I decided that after I got him off to work, I would give in and curl up with a good book. I read 'Anne of Avonlea'.

In the middle of all this planning for graduation, in the middle of all this looking forward, I stopped to read a book that Cara loved as a girl, and as miserable as I felt, it was wonderful to escape to the past.

I eventually dozed off and I dreamt of a girl with stars in her eyes and big dreams. She did not have Anne's red hair, and her blue jeans would have looked very out of place in Avonlea.


I was working at the store when a mother and daughter came up. They were a rough looking duo, the mother drinking a double shot caffeine drink. The daughter was angry-looking. She grabbed up the 35 lb bag of dog food and put in on the counter. She muttered, "I don't know where the bar code even is," in an impatient way. I scooted around the counter with my scan gun, saying "It's on the side," I scanned it quickly, and turned to her cart to scan the items there.

"This is two separate orders!" she snapped.

So I headed back around the counter, thinking that she meant the dog food was one order.

Turned out she meant that the things in the cart went with the dog food.  but she was mad by then. I said, "I'm not sure what you want me to scan." Turns out the things in the child seat were to be separate. She threw the bag of dog food in her cart, and said to her mother, "That's just great! I pay money to get treated like shit!" and her mother agreed, and they stood there complaining. The customer that I had just finished checking out stopped at the door and stood there listening to the exchange.

I called the manager at that point. When people start throwing things and swearing, and you can't get them checked out, well, it's time to bring out the man who makes the big bucks. They were quite outraged at that point, playing the role of grande dame to the hilt. They had not requested the manager. They were willing to let it go.

I went to the next line and continued to wait on the other customers. I listened to them talking very patiently with the manager, asking questions very politely, proving without a doubt in their minds that they were nothing but reasonable, and that the problem was the cashier.

I've never had a time to really watch something like this unfold. It doesn't matter to me. I have two more days there, but it struck me that these two women were not all that different from the manager himself. He is often unreasonable, but when called on it, he shapeshifts. It is NEVER his fault. He has NEVER behaved badly. It is always someone else's fault.

I watch this scene play out, as he deals with these difficult customers. Really, he is confronting his own nature here, and he doesn't even see it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I do so solemnly swear...

Dear Husband of Mine:

If I am ever attacked by wild animals, I expect you to do more than take pictures. In return, I make the same promise to you.


Your wife.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Sorry for the silence. Since I have finished with school, I've been working around the house, and enjoying it. I've also had a lot more time to socialize. We've had company five times this week. I enjoyed that too. To be able to sit down and have relaxed discussions with other people is a luxury that I have not had in quite some time. I needed that.

Tim and I have been working side by side, and you know what? We needed that too. Somewhere along the line, I seem to have become quite handy with a paint brush. We worked together at one of the apartments to get three rooms edged, so that he could roll them out while I was at work. We put laminate flooring down. We talked and talked. My new job will be on second shift too (I requested that shift), so that we will have much more time together. I'm looking forward to that. We have been the proverbial two ships passing in the night for far too long.

Next Saturday, Cara graduates. The family will convene in Clarion. The Saturday after that is my graduation. I don't care about going to it, much to Cara's frustration. It's been a long time that I've been tied down. Going to school, doing school work, working. Before that, I was pretty much confined due to the health situation. Right now, I am free. I have this small block of time, and I am going to take it. Tim and I will be going to Allentown to see Dylan and Brittani for two days. That's more valuable to me than graduation. All I ever wanted was that piece of paper. I'll take a miss on the pomp and ceremony.

That's it really. I'm just caught up life, right now. Participating in it. There is so much that I've been meaning to do. Rachel and I need to go walking. I always meant to do that. I have a bag that I need to get to the nursing home. I'll see if Brianna wants to go see 'Mouse Trap' with me at the local theater. Life is very rich right now. I'm enjoying it. I've worked hard enough. I deserve it.

My Tractor Supply stories:

A woman came in. I recognized her, but could not place where I knew her from. Still can't. She spoke like she knew me, and we talked. I handed her the bag and wished her a good day. She stood stock still. "It's too late for that," she said. "I just picked up my daughter's cremains this morning."

What do you say to that?

A troop of older fellows came into the store, single file, and I said, "My gosh! This is just like a parade!" And one of them said, "We're all ex-military." I gave them a look, and said, "Dear heavens. Are we being taken over?" They laughed, and I decided that it would be an amiable military coup, so I simply got out of the way, telling them to carry on. They came to the register with a pile of pieces and parts. They were building something. They were all Navy and Air Force veterans. I represented the Army. We all thanked each other for our service, and out the door they went.

Finally, we had the 4-H putting on a party in the parking lot. There were horse and pony rides. There was goats, a turkey, a calf who decided that he'd had all the fun he could possibly have in a parking lot, and was ready to go home to his own pasture. He bellowed and bellowed. He bellowed so much that we had customers coming in from the movie theater. They'd heard the cow, thought "What the h--- is going on down there?" and walked over to see. It was a beautiful day for the activities. There were hotdogs to be bought, pop to be drank, cookies to be eaten. At one point, I went out to grab carts. I waited for a horse to pass. It was being led by a very patient girl, and the little boy perched high atop it was giving her a piece of his mind: "And you will NOT eat that calf, right? RIGHT?....." and she smiled sweetly and said nothing.

I'm going to miss that job. But there is so much looming on the horizon that I am not sorry to be going.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Good day.

Today, I had company. Brianna and William stopped over for a time. We had time to visit, as we moved from room to room. I was tidying up. Company was coming. Remember Mr R from the nursing home? His neighbor had called earlier in the week. They wanted to come for a visit.

I spent the morning painting with Tim, the afternoon, visiting with Brianna, the evening sitting at a table with two new friends.

A satisfactory day all around.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

~ Maya Angelou

 It was my second trip to Clarion to see her, but I tell you that she was worth two trips. She held the auditorium spellbound as she spun her words across the stage. At the end, Cara said admiringly, "Well, who knew? Maya Angelou is a bit of bad ass." I agreed. She was a woman assured and strong, and her words were the words that all women should know.

Afterwards, as we walked empty halls so that I could use the bathroom before I headed home, Cara playfully said, "Does my sassiness upset you?" "No," I answered. "It is always what I have loved best in you." Cara repeated it again, a couple times in the empty hall. "Does my sassiness upset you?" She decided that it well could become her new catch phrase.

I listened to her sassiness, and I smiled to myself. I am not upset by her sassiness, and that is the truth. That spirit? That is how I know that she is safe. She will not be a victim. That knowledge is important to me.

 I drove the hour and a half back home, watching the heat lightning flash across the sky.

Comings and Goings.

For those of you who do not do the facebook thing, I got a job with the facility that I so wanted to be a part of. It is not the job that I ultimately hope to have, but I am working where I want to work, and I will be watching closely for the hiring freeze to end, because there is an empty spot that has not been filled in the OT department.

I very carefully counted the days up, to make sure that I gave TSC a full two week notice. On my way home from my job interview, I stopped in to hand in my notice.

It is kind of sad really. This has been a pleasant job, for the most part, but despite the complaints (my complaint to corporate was followed up by complaints from a number of co-workers), nothing was done. No employee was contacted. Everyone kind of assumes at this point, that because our store is profitable, no action will be taken. It is very disappointing, and morale is low.

The employee bulletin board has a flier about our company hotline, about our ethics, about respect, about our 'team' mentality, about how we listen to each other, help each other, etc. etc. Now I know that it is just words. So does everyone else. There is a methodical plodding through the job, by everyone really.

You know, I knew that I would be leaving my job, but I never expected to be so relieved. Sad, isn't it?