Atlanta to Buffalo

What did people do
before they bought an iPhone?
Write a little po’m

At C fifty-five
Atlanta to Buffalo
MD eighty-eight

 

Outer Space above
Smoky Mountains below
Purgatory seat

Swirling clouds muffle
a frenetic Earth below
Horizon holds fast

Yep, I Heard You

When I was 27, and newly promoted to branch manager, I was quietly ushered to an office, door shut, to be told that I probably would not close on as many loans or accounts as my peers, because, well, I was a woman and “people like to discuss finances with men.”

Yep, I heard you.

When I was 31, and thinking of posting for a promotion to a position in the mortgage department, I was told by the bank president himself that I “did not have the right body parts.”

Yep, I heard you.

When I was 51, and running in my neighborhood one lovely, sunny morning, I was laughed at by a male neighbor and was told what a waste of time running was. Sneering as he drove away, he called out, “go, go, go!”

Yep, I heard you.

Last night U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was stopped from reading a letter by Coretta Scott King during hearings for the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for AG.  Senator Warren was “impugning” Senator Sessions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/elizabeth-warren-mitch-mcconnell-jeff-sessions_us_589a7661e4b0c1284f294a27?section=us_politics

Yep, I heard you.

Who is impugning who?  And I have one more… should not write this, but I am angry, frustrated and embarrassed by our government right now…my daughter is a United States Marine.  Females make up just 7% of the USMC, but you know what? Those female Marines may help save our collective ass some day, and I bet no one will turn them away then.

Heard

 

Beauty. Marks.

Lovingly

 

When I was a girl, maybe 9 or 10 yrs. old, I confided to my grandmother that I liked to wear long sleeved shirts to cover my arms, because I was embarrassed by the many moles dotting my forearms.

“Oh no, those aren’t moles,” she explained. “They are beauty marks, so you must be one of the most beautiful girls at school.”

I still carry the innocence and tenderness of this exchange with me.

And I wear short sleeved shirts.

My grandmother’s wedding
1927
50th wedding anniversary
1977

Traveling Exhibit/Discovery Park of America

 

http://www.discoveryparkofamerica.com/

There is a jewel sitting in a field in Union City, TN.  To describe the area as rural would be a misnomer…is there a word for more than rural?  If so, it alludes me, but it does not matter…

The grounds are beautiful, the main Discovery Center building is full of light, dinosaurs and hands-on exhibits and the staff is welcoming.  If you are visiting Memphis, TN or the surrounding area, especially if you have children, go…

I went (alas, no children) to see the traveling exhibit entitled Da Vinci Machines.

Exhibit Da Vinci Machines
Discovery Park of America

Da Vinci’s robotics.

One of Da Vinci’s designs studying human flight.

A study in geometric design.  My favorite…sit and follow the lines… a sort of meditation.

Discovery Park of America is a mini Smithsonian plunked down in a corn field. Adjust your expectations that it may not be worth the drive…it is…it is a fabulous way to spend a Saturday.
Craft

Giftier

Yeah, yeah…I know everyday is a gift, but some days are giftier than others.

65*F and sunny on Jan. 31 is a gift the dog and I accepted wholeheartedly, and out the door we went.

Shasta and I went for a walk at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park.
http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/pinson-mounds

While walking the nature trail, I was trying to smell something.
Really.
Nothing.

I crumpled a handful of leaves.
Sniffed.
Nothing.

Then it dawned on me that I had a better smeller than me along.

 

I got down on my hands and knees.
Really.
“What is this trail like for Shasta,” I wondered.

 

 

If snorting, slobbering and panting have any bearing on the degree of olfactory sensitivity, well, then, Shasta has it going on.

I sniffed.
I tried not to snort or slobber.
I still do not know what sort of scents she may have encountered on the trail.

Yet I do know what she smells right now…home.

Scent

You Know What I Found?

There is no replacement for hard work. dedication, commitment and determination.

Last night I googled “motivational quotes.”  I am training for a half marathon and a long run was scheduled for the morning.  What I really wanted from those quotes was not motivation, but an excuse to not run.

You know what I found?

There is no replacement for hard work, dedication, commitment and determination.

Dam.

At 5:45 I ran.
It was dark.

At 6:55 the sun came up.
I was still running.

Honestly, I was not feeling hard, dedicated, committed or determined, but I finished my run.

Some days are just like that.
There is no replacement.

Dam.

Replacement

Oversee Joy

Oversight

Women’s March Memphis, TN

There was a sign on Saturday that read “Our Daughters are Watching.”

My daughter is an adult now, 21 yrs. old, but what do I want her to see?

That equality, no matter your race, gender or religion is a fundamental human right that should be tended and cared for.

That kindness and patience can be cultivated not only by setting an example with your own actions, but anticipating respect in return.

That peace is overseen by all of us as we take on the responsibility of tolerance for our neighbors and forgiveness for those that may trouble us.

And that there can be joy and optimism in unity,  resolve and with the start of each new day.

What do you want to see?

Distilled Marathon

Marathon

Saturday morning was spent in my pajamas drinking coffee and eating a pecan praline cupcake given to me by my daughter’s best friend as a thank you for doing alterations on 4 pairs of jeans given to her by her grandma as a Christmas gift.

I embarked on a marathon session of reading many weeks of the New York Times magazines and Book Reviews.  Since Sept. 25 I had neatly and chronologically stacked the inserts, promising myself I would thoroughly and methodically (is there any other way for me?) peruse through them.

I can not just glance through the book reviews.  I can not “glance” through these reviews any more than the tide can cease from rolling in, Trump can stop tweeting or my dog can stop herself from chasing a tennis ball.  I read every word, even the ads, and I cut out the reviews of books I would like to read.  I have started to limit myself to 3 cut outs per week, as like my mother longingly said at the Elmira (NY) Public Library when I was a girl, “It makes me sad to realize I can not possibly read every book here.”

On Jan. 1, I had a car accident (that day was a marathon!).  “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis was tucked under the passenger seat along with an umbrella and first aid kit.  My Nissan Murano was deemed “an obvious total loss,” yet I am mourning the loss of the book.  The book was left with my umbrella and the first aid kit, which somehow seems symbolic, as books can do both, shelter and heal.

Here are the distilled book reviews.  4 hours and 10 minutes later, and there is a baked pear recipe in there, too.  I had to stop at the Nov. 6 editions as the morning had passed.  Another Saturday, perhaps…

“Oh, hmm, tomorrow is Sunday,” I say to the dog.  The marathon will continue…

Not Someday…Everyday

Someday

 

IMG_0422

I imagine that everyday, pretty much everywhere, there are parents helping children get ready for school.
There is breakfast to make,
Coats to zip up
And hugs filled with optimism to push us out the door.

I imagine that everyday, pretty much everywhere, we are all the same, really.  We long for:
Safe shelter,
Wholehearted love
And enduring security to push us out the door.

I imagine that everyday, pretty much everywhere, there are bankers, brokers, analysts, teachers, nurses and assistants riding a train, a cab or a bus,
Trying to make a difference
Or a contribution to push us out the door.

Push us out the door
To each other
To peace
To grace
To understanding,
Because everyday there is hope, not just someday.

 

Reindeer Are Evil

Not Santa’s reindeer, silly!

I am referring to those white, wired sculptures with lights and small motors attached.

Some of the reindeer do not have motors, but the ones that do are called “animated”.  Well, yes, they certainly make me animated.  Have you ever tried to put these abominations of holiday cheer back in the box?  Holy son of Rudolph…

On Thursday, Jan. 5, being the well-intentioned suburbanite that I am, I decided it was time to pack up our reindeer back into their cardboard stalls to wait until late November 2017 when they will once again be set free to roam our front yard as purveyors of Christmas-time peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.  Well, they are not exactly “set free”.  They are actually staked in the ground, which if they were real reindeer, would constitute animal cruelty.

Now, let me make one thing very clear, after a morning spent corralling these demons, I assure you, understanding reader, they are not purveyors of any kind of goodwill and they deserved all the cruelty I put them through.

The carnage began at 8:45 am.  11:55 am was my finish time.

3 hours and 10 minutes it took me to lasso these 7 (SEVEN) rangifer tarandus into their boxes and back to the attic.  Our 7 sculptures of frustration will hang out with wreaths, lighted spiral trees and a 10 foot tall blow up polar bear, who, by the way, gave me no trouble at all about going back into his box.

So, here’s to a happy New Year.  Here’s hoping for good health, happy families and a world where peace and grace can expand to reach everyone.  And you know what?  Come Jan. 5, 2018, I hope to do every last bit of wrangling, lassoing and texting all over again.