to say goodbye

Try to imagine dedicating 41+ years of your life caring for the tiniest, but mightiest of humans. Think of all those babies. Remember all the moms whom you hugged with tears of joy…and sometimes tears of sorrow. Recall all the brand new daddies you guided and reassured as they gently diapered their babies for the very first time…and they survived, the daddies, just like you told them they would.

Look around and see some of the nurses (literally generations represented) whom you have trained, encouraged, led and worked tirelessly side by side with…including me. We met at a March of Dimes planning meeting, You representing the NICU where you worked and me the NICU Mom representative. You introduced yourself to me immediately and scarcely ten minutes into our introductions and conversation, I was invited to consider working in your NICU. I think that it would be a good fit for you and for us, you encouraged me. That was more than ten years ago and here we are today.

Here we are today with  you teaching us all how to say goodbye as you begin the next great adventure that is your remarkable life.

Happy retirement and onward dear Kathy G.!

love in the neighborhood

Excuse me people but lately I am having some serious mad love for my neighborhood.

It’s quiet uptown, I know. But it is so much more and I am really, really, really coming to appreciate it lately.

I’m not at all mad to admit that the gorgeous and unseasonable super-pleasant weather we have been enjoying has influenced me at all as I have been indulging in morning runs/walks after dropping the favorite son off to school. I mean, come on you guys…this is pretty amazing and it’s my neighborhood.

It’s different here. And yet we are literally just 5 miles uptown…east of the Dust Bowl-like dust storms and the flies and and everything else that sub-divisions that border farms offer.  Running errands on the west side, as I sometimes do, I find myself smiling to myself as I think, I don’t miss almost any of this at all.

It’s quiet uptown.

It’s cleaner uptown. The homes are older but still it is cleaner…and shadier.

And, much to my surprise, it is friendlier uptown. No, absolutely no disrespect to former neighbors who have become and remained friends and those who, well, who stalk you on social media but wouldn’t dare to reach out to say hello…

Hi! I see you there!!!!

Walking and running in a 5K plus loop around what has to be the best park in this city and the neighborhood, I m struck by the fact that people actually smile, nod, wave and call out hello to you as you pass them by. Even better, they stop and talk and invite you to sit on their porch and enjoy a cold one…as the neighborhood watch around here does.

They offer to help you with an electrical problem you’re having in the garage because they know exactly what to do being a retired electrician, you know. And they invite your son to practice putting golf balls in their yard because he shyly offers that he kind of likes golf. As the last of the boxes are unpacked, you find yourself enjoying the long summer nights shared together on each other’s front porches in a way that you have not known since the grown circus clowns were small back in San Jose, back on Amelia Drive. Without you even thinking to ask, they offer you their truck when they hear you have your eye on a sectional at Costco that would be perfect for the new Big Top so your daughter and roommate can take the old, broken down well-lived in set for their own first apartment.

I know!

Furniture from Costco!

Seriously, the sectional is that wonderful and so is the neighbor down the street who let us use his truck…and who did a good portion of the heavy lifting to get it inside the new Big Top.

And yes, even more so, the neighborhood where the new Big Top is now pitched is even more wonderful because it is a whole lot quieter and less dusty and even more friendlier uptown. Hashtag, feeling blessed.

I believe…

Last week I literally wanted to start digging deep for The Big Top End of Days Bunker and stock up on all the canned food, beef jerky and bottled water. I was not alone. But one week later, tonight was so much different.

When Hillary took the stage facing a sea of American flags waving before her and the stars and stripes behind her I was struck by the contrast from last week. This image alone made it clear that this was about US as opposed to last week with the golden stage with giant letters spelling out TRUMP.

And as Hillary Clinton began to speak, my grand girls called to FaceTime with me.

Girls do you realize just how special this moment is right now? Hillary Clinton is the first women to run for President of the United States as a major party candidate EVER. 

Hazel’s eyes widened. Fallon smiled and then declared that she would be next. Hazel corrected her, after I’M president. Oh sisters!

Tonight this moment made that possibility all the more possible. There are so many more possibilities that can be imagined right now too. Mrs. Clinton shared many of the things that she believed for America, for our daughters and our sons, for us.

I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives
I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should…
I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return…
I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
I believe in science.
I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good paying clean energy jobs.
I believe that we have millions of hard working immigrants contributing to our economy.

So many statements of what she believes and with each I believe was offered so much more promise and hope for future days come as opposed to the pronouncement of The End of Times that was Mr. Trump’s speech last week. Last week I went to bed nauseated and terrified. Tonight I shall fall asleep happy, hopeful and empowered for my daughters,for my son, for my grand daughters…your future Presidents of the United States…and for all the seeds we plant in this garden that we never get to see…our legacy.


great America

Now don’t get mad. Some of the opinions expressed in this post are absolutely, positively not my own. Meanwhile, is it safe to come out of the bunker yet? 

A good friend posed this question today:

For those of you who believe in the message “Make America Great Again”, what year do you last believe America was Great?

Knowing him, I do believe him when he said this was a 100% serious question posed with no intent to argue or denigrate. Just him trying to wrap his mind around this thought and promise made.

You all should know that I just adore this friend of mine and the intellectual challenges he throws out there sometimes.

Meanwhile, I sat back, popped open a can of La Croix with lime and enjoyed the show.

  • 1775
  • Morally…perhaps 1972…before we made the murdering of babies legal!!! …oh dear…
  • Black babies in particular. So sad. …oh dear, oh dear…
  • the 50’s …sigh!
  • I haven’t been around that long…millennials can be so cute and cuddly sometimes!
  • When Bill Clinton was president!
  • Back when it was still under British rule. …here I am hearing Farmer Refuted because, yes, Hamilton is still my jam; and why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea?
  • I think it’s always been great.
  • Just before Nike said just do it.
  • When John Wayne saved us all. Since Will Smith took over it has seemed a little more brash and in yo face. …I thought that this is one of the reasons why people liked the Republican candidate because that will play well in the global arena fo sure.
  • America was kinda great from 1880-1940. Then really great 1941-1990 or so. Then 1990-2015 only kinda great again. Now its quickly getting less great. To me great means jobs for everyone, new infrastructure, social cohesion, a positive and upbeat and honest assessment by our leaders and the press. And yes it also includes we must keep the peace when needed overseas. Personally i would like to see the USA take over the entire planet so all humans could live in greatness. Vote Trump, Hillary for Prison. …I might need to retreat back to my bunker…
  • I’d say after 9/11 it’s been all downhill.
  • Once they outlawed incandescent light bulbs. …raise your hand if you believe in Science!
  • 1840 …because The Trail of Tears of course
  • Before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo …eye roll
  • As I sit here watching The Outlaw Josie Wales I can’t help but think it was not during the”wild west” times. …I’m getting dizzy from the eye rolls y’all
  • As a white person it’s easy for me to “pick” a date. Honestly, this country has been wrong for so many for so long. Being married to a man of color it is becoming more apparent that huge populations of people have been unjustly treated throughout our country’s history. It makes me sad and I want my kids to be treated fairly on who they are, not because of their ethnicity and skin color. …oof!
  • Make America one again. and remember the party that supported slavery. oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

I’m not going to go back into my bunker again just yet even if last night’s speech literally scared the shit out of me. I believe that judging the greatness of America is subjective, kind of like profanity, R-ratings and porn – it depends on who is judging. In the world of the 24-hour news cycle, we are as great or weak as the moment. I’d like to see what the GOP/Trump thinks what is greatness – I fear it could be a time in history where segregation, lack of civil rights for minorities, women and LGBTQ was the norm, and power was based on military might. If that is the case…what makes America great is the power of old, white men – I am scared. Genuinely frightened. But I am not going to go back into my bunker again just yet. November is coming and I most definitely am not going to vote for a candidate that is fueled by fear and hate…or who affectionately pats the ass of his grown daughter...EWWW!!!

Speaking of dads…

This dad will be once again be riding his bicycle across the great state of Iowa because he can. This is his SIXTEENTH RAGBRAI that he will be riding and you know, as long as there is a RAGBRAI and awesome 77 year old fathers who ride in it, along with 8,000 plus riders riding their bikes across the great state of Iowa just because they can, I still have a little hope Because as flawed and messed up as we can be sometimes right now, America is pretty great…as long as we don’t do something as foolish as taking that left at Albuquerque or vote for a platform of hate and fear.