Blue Skies, Wind and Stink

“In the vast emptiness of the blue, my soul rejoices listening to the soundless music of the wind.” ― Banani Ray I spent another afternoon last week at Heckrodt Preserve, getting in a daily walk and, as my mother used to say, “blowing the stink off.” I thought that always a strange thing to say since long walks tend to make me hot, sweaty and possibly stinky. I have found joy at Heckrodt on these sunshine, blue-sky days, taking in midRead more

A Stimulating Face Palm

I was emailing back and forth with a peer on Tuesday. Peer congratulated me on a work-related accomplishment and then asked if I got “the $5,000 check yet.” (She was referring to the latest stupid plan to help people who are struggling financially in the U.S. by allowing them to take a loan of $5,000 from their future Social Security payments. I’m not going to discuss my opinion of this stupid plan here, as this is only an explanation ofRead more

SoCS: Around the Sun in 12

Three hundred sixty-five and one-quarter times around the sun. Twelve months. Another year has passed by and 2019 is almost finito. I thought I would take each month of the past year and share one or two things I remembered about it (good or bad) and see what kind of picture is left. January – Horrible winter month. I worked from home one day, toward the end of the month, because the wind chill was -50F (-45.5C). Brrrr. February –Read more

Does anyone need a drink?

Co “The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all.” –Arvo Pärt On Saturday, I had lunch with two cousins – one of which I haven’t seen in at least 30 years. Cousin Joanne brought me a gift: A few parental-related photos and a cassette tape. The cassette tape was from many years ago, when Joanne’s brother, Jim, made a tape recording of mom and dad. He asked many questions of mom about her family and growing up –Read more

Scrunching. Gaping.

“Are you catching flies or what?” ~Pauline~ When I was young, I heard this line on occasion from my mother. It usually happened while intently watching a favorite cartoon or TV program. I couldn’t help myself. My big teeth and overbite kept getting in the way of always keeping my mouth closed. It still does. I catch myself doing it at work while intently watching an Excel spreadsheet, and also scrunching my face so I can see better with theRead more

SoCS: Neighbors

Have I told you lately that I love my neighbors? I do. I reside in a large apartment complex and my building contains six apartments. With the exception of very new neighbors (it’s the one apartment that’s seen a lot of turnover), everyone else has been hanging out together, helping one another, and becoming friends as we live our separate lives with work and family. It’s an unusual situation for me as I’ve not experienced this type of camaraderie withRead more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Identity: What Did I Miss?

I’m staring at the ID card I’ve had for several years. This card tells everyone Mary is a permanent employee for a state government agency and assigns an ID number. It also contains one of the few ID or driver’s license photos in which I don’t appear to have woken from a two-day drunk. ID stands for “identity,” but you wouldn’t learn much about me from the plastic rectangle that is clipped to a piece of wardrobe Monday through Friday.Read more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

Faithfully Home

  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 Mom found her way home last Friday, February 15, 2019. Home to her family of 15, home to her husband Evan, and home to her Savior, Jesus Christ. It was time for the dementia to take a hike and for Pauline to feel freedom from her physical restraints. Mom went peacefully in her sleep, a blessing that most of us desire whenRead more

The Working Girl’s Purse

The last “mom” post was in August, when she turned 99. Not much has happened since, other than she keeps eating, drinking coffee and taking lots of naps. She’s having a hard time holding her head up as this is one of the effects of dementia – her brain is forgetting to tell her body what to do. When I visit, I never know if she is going to be alert or have a sleepy day. The most recent visitRead more

She’s Ninety Freakin’ Nine!

That’s what Natasha exclaimed on Saturday morning. We were talking about mom. Monday, August 6th, is Pauline’s birthday. She will be 99 years old. Ninety Freakin’ Nine. Although mom’s health might be considered “poor,” the fact that she is still on the planet is amazing to me. My cute, little energizer bunny has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, and most people who were born in the year 1919. She has lived to this dayRead more