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There’s nothing to do.

If you’re a parent, you’ve heard it a million times. If you’re a kid, you’ve said it a million times. Too often, when you’re an adult and responsible for yourself, you find yourself saying or thinking it. And you’re wrong. You know it while you’re doing, but still…well, you’re wrong.

So, even though I hate commercials as much as anyone does, I’m about to embark on one.

Do you like music? Me, too. So we never miss a musical at Ole Olsen Memorial Theatre. You know where it is—it’s in the Depot at the corner of Broadway and Canal. The tickets are reasonable, especially if you get season tickets, and their Dinner Theater meals and performances are extra fun. They’re always catered by local vendors and the food is always good.

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This was written in May of 2016, and I admit it's about writing--it's also about Mother's Day. And loving things. I was reminded of it when the same group entertained our Mother-Daughter gathering this year, and it was fun for me to revisit it. I hope you like it, too.

Wednesday night at church, we had the annual Mother-Daughter gathering that celebrates Mother's Day. It was a pitch-in--with Methodists, there is always food. It's a small church in a small community and there weren't that many of us; there were nearly as many in the singing group that entertained us as there were in the crowd. My daughter was there, and it was a good time.

Most of the women who sang to us, sitting in their sparkly vests and their black bowler hats, were my age (65) and older. Their leader taught music at our elementary school when my kids went there in the late 70s and early 80s. Others were retired teachers, nurses, farmers, and everything else on the employment spectrum, including stay-at-home moms. A couple of them had canes; one was unable to stand when the others did.

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For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. - Bo Bennett

It’s no surprise to anyone that I spend far too much time on Facebook. Although I’ve learned the value of hiding posts that are upsetting, I haven’t gotten used to the number of lies that are out there. Or to the fact that even in the face of irrefutable proof, the people who post the untruths and the ones who share those posts will spread those lies. It bothers me a lot.

I realized that I’d changed my mind about something. (And, no, the skies did not open with floods because I actually did that.) I always thought that of all the things that are bad for the world in general, greed was the worst. People are willing to let other people die because of greed, for heaven’s sake—what could be worse?

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Let's Go Fly A Kite...

This is from July of 2016. It's a subject I've written about more than once because I think it's so important. I've doctored it some and hope you'll have patience with seeing it again.

I've danced with depression. It's a demanding, crushing partner that doesn't so much lead as step all over your feet and then lay the blame on you. I was one of the lucky ones. It wasn't that bad. It didn't last that long. Zoloft cut in and two-stepped me off to a lighted area where I was with music and friends and people who loved me before the depression could sit me down over there by the dark wall with no one to talk to and not a song to be had.

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Silver Linings and Wounded Knees

Last week, I read my column aloud at a writers’ group meeting and one of the members mentioned how positive it was. It was, I agreed, and there were a couple of things about that. One was that I hadn’t been feeling positive at all when I wrote it—I’d had to dig myself out of a deep pool of poor-me. The other was that if I’m the one writing it, it’s going to be positive. Because, while I believe wholeheartedly in clouds—I’d better this spring, hadn’t I? Clouds are nearly all we’ve had—I believe even more strongly in silver linings.

Sometimes it’s really hard.

Sunday afternoon, we went to a long-term care facility to see a family member who is ill and needs care and treatment but who wants only to go home. Who isn’t the person I know and love anymore, but yet he is. Each visit is like re-scraping a wounded knee that never fully heals. You limp in, and when you leave, the limp is more pronounced, the pain more intense.

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Important Places

“All these places have their moments…” – Lennon and McCartney

My father-in-law was here this morning for a while. Seeing him, naturally enough, made me think about my mother-in-law, and miss her. And my mom—and miss her, too. I gave him a cup of coffee and thought about how many cups of coffee there had been at how many tables and then I thought of places that have been important to me.

In case you didn’t know it, this is how a writer’s mind works. Forget any idea of sense or linearity or neatly dovetailing thoughts—there aren’t any of those. A writer’s mind is a whole lot like the junk drawer at the end of the cabinet, full and messy.

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“…a new game every day…”

I’m not sure how old this is, only that I wrote it in the early days of the empty nest. I’ve moaned a lot lately—everyone my age moans a lot!—about things changing. Some things don’t, and I am so grateful for that. I’m also grateful that this is one of them. Let’s play ball!

“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”Bob Feller

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Do you have grandparents? Well, of course, we all have them, don’t we? Let me tell you about some of the ones in my life.

Grandpa Shafer was born in 1869. He was a farmer and he went blind from glaucoma. He died when I was two. My sister remembers sitting with him in the car while Grandma was at the store and that most of the time he lay on the couch in the living room. He and Grandma got married in the 1890s and had two sons and seven daughters. They lost two babies who were buried in the garden and their oldest daughter, Amy, who died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic.

When the house was on fire, Grandma carried the treadle sewing machine down the stairs. She always drank coffee out of a cracked cup and saved the others for company. She spent time in her rose garden alone. I was way down on the list of grandchildren and I don’t remember having any kind of relationship with Grandma.