Tag Archives: Family

Another Dispatch from the Hideout

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu

It seems that I’ve retreated to the hideout again. For those not familiar with my earlier post, the hideout is a virtual one, described as follows, “I don’t have a cabin in the woods, or a bunker in the basement, I only have my home, a 645-square foot apartment. It’s where I wake up in the morning, retreat at the end of the work day, hideout on the weekends when I’m writing or feeling introverted, and end my days, often falling asleep on the couch watching TV. Yeah, I’m that girl. I live alone and most days I’m happy with that choice.”   Continue reading

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Dispatch from the Hideout

“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”― Albert Camus

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

For me, the past week has been one of introspection and retreat. It began with the 18-month anniversary of my mother’s death, counterbalanced by joyful anniversaries and celebrations of the living — birthdays, graduations, and more, of family members and loved ones — grief and gratitude. This unfolded during a critical period in the political landscape when our leaders were charged with designing and implementing a promised healthcare plan, first, repeal then replace, which when brought to a vote in a number of forms, failed again, and again, and yes, again.   Continue reading

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Ethel Mae’s Garden: A Mother’s Legacy

Grief and gratitude, hand in hand

The past few months have marked a series of family anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, and celebrations. There were parties, gatherings, and projects that brought us together. We affirmed our bonds with each other ­— across generations —  in our laughter, our stories, family traditions, and shared experiences — the nature and nurture that created our family. The person at the center —  the heart of our family — was our father’s wife and soulmate, his best friend — our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Ethel Mae. We are all flowers in her garden. Continue reading

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The Toilet Zone: Duck & Cover

Note: This the fourth installment of The Toilet Zone, a commentary series on the Trump presidency.

“Your silence will not protect you.” ― Audre Lorde

We are approaching the first six months of the Trump presidency. While I write, during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump met for the first time with Russian President, Vladimir Putin. After a brief public press event, they convened for over two hours behind closed doors. It’s been reported that Trump opened the meeting by confronting Putin on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. As was to be expected, Putin denied it. Representatives for each leader who were in the room, told different stories describing the tenor and tone of the meeting. No surprise. Continue reading

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With a Little Help from My Friends

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
with a little help from my friends”
— Songwriters: John Lennon/Paul McCartney

It’s the Memorial Day weekend. There are many traditions associated with this holiday. From Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.” Continue reading

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Music to My Ears (and Heart)

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” ― Bono

Today is the 100th day of the 45th President’s new administration. Many of us are weary of his Tweets, Executive Orders, his incompetence, narcissism and probable untreated mental illness, his misogyny and prejudice, and his lack of understanding how government works and who government represents. As I’ve written before, I probably spend too much time watching cable news and the parade of talking heads, the circus of Trump’s cabinet and Republican Congress, and reading fake news, social media posts, and online opinion pieces. Like many others, I periodically take a break on Facebook and look at videos of babies, jumping goats, mischievous cats and cucumbers, and dogs who talk or do other incredible feats. This week I also played a Facebook game by listing 10 concerts, nine of which I attended, one that was a lie. It helped me survive this week of political madness. Continue reading

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Marching, Mourning, & the Meaning of It All

How marching with the pink pussyhat power posse of my family and friends — and people from all over the world — helped me mourn and mark the anniversary of my mother’s death.

My mother’s favorite color was pink. I grew up in a home in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that boasted a curvaceous coral pink sectional couch. Our bathroom was always painted pink, with bubble gum pink towels, little pink perfumed soaps, and plastic pink flowers. Mom always dressed in pink, including the day we buried her. At the visitation, our family wore pink in her memory; pink flower sprays adorned her white casket and flanked her like honor guard sentries. When family members returned home after the funeral service and burial — the sky was resplendent in pink — a message from our mother wishing us safe travels. Continue reading

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Drinking from a Glass Half-Full

“Every last one of us can do better than give up.” —Cheryl Strayed

Looking back at 2016 with gratitude and ahead to the New Year with optimism.

Before you jump to any conclusions — I’m not crazy — 2016 sucked!  I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why, because we all know why, and we’ve talked about it around the virtual, social media water cooler from glasses half-empty for the past year and more.  As we’ve all been reminded by a quote from Albert Einstein (who knew he was the first to say it?), “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continue reading

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Red Letter Days (and Nightmare Nights)

Red Letter Day

Definition: a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable

Like most of my left-leaning, liberal, tolerant, and progressive friends, family, and neighbors the days leading up to the presidential election were bright. In fact, in the words of friends Pat and Barb MacDonald of Timbuk 3 from their song,The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” the lyrics echoed the optimism that though the race was close, most prognosticators predicted Hillary Clinton had over an 80% chance of reaching or surpassing the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the election. It was a Red Letter Day that then turned into a nightmare night.  As we all know now, she won the popular vote and lost the election. We were shocked and stunned. Continue reading

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Home: Hearth and Heart

“In life, a person will come and go from many homes. We may leave a house, a town, a room, but that does not mean those places leave us.” — Arik Berk

The following essay and poem are excerpts by this author from a new anthology published by Nectary Press, Home: Writers Explore Its Meaning. The anthology features “…writers with Madison, Wisconsin-area ties who were asked to personally explore the concept of home. The result is a collection of place, belonging, identity, resilience, and love.” On November 2, 2016 OM Build and OM Village Tiny Houses Occupy Madison, Inc. hosted a fall fundraiser for the organization. Contributors read their work and the evening included the sale of the anthology, a silent auction of handmade items, and a performance by the Raging Grannies. All proceeds benefited, OM Village Tiny Houses. Continue reading

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