The Biggest Change

There were big changes in our household this year.  Our population doubled when JT and KC moved in with us last June so they could attend graduate school without adding an extra hundred thousand dollars to their growing student debt load; said dollars would be only for the sake of paying rent to an absent landlord in the City.  We remodeled the basement – and I mean re-modeled – stripped it out to the foundation and reconfigured the walls  – and started anew with all new materials to create some living space for the two study-bugs.

We finally (finally!) installed central air conditioning, which for some in the northeast seems like an extravagance, but Realtor TT has seen more than one house sell for that single feature alone.  So we increased the marketability of our property, even if we never turn the darned thing on… har, har.  It works great, and what a blessed relief when it’s 98 degrees outside with 99 percent humidity.

KC thinks a summer in southeastern New England is more brutal than a summer in Orlando. And there is no built-in pool in the back yard.  Only a garden and the three-season perpetual workout machine usually referred to as the lawn.

We converted our furnace and domestic hot water to natural gas.  The high-efficiency furnace is a true wonder.  We’re always comfortably warm now and yet the radiators never give off any searing heat.  My thermostat is set at a steady sixty-nine-and-a-half degrees for the first time in the twenty-five years we have owned this house.  Sixty-eight was a luxury on the coldest days, thanks to the incredibly growing price of home heating oil.

It’s beginning to sound like a DIY Happy Homemaker Christmas letter.  Sorry.  I’ll get to the point.

For all of the big changes in this house this year, the biggest one is quite small in stature, unless of course you have been a guest, and if you have been, I sincerely hope to hear you sigh with relief when you hear the news.

The bathroom doorknob has been repaired.

You may now enter and exit the bathroom without fear of eternal incarceration and the embarrassment of having to cry out for help.  It’s almost a miracle.  I’ve lived in this house my whole life, save for the first five years of my marriage.  I’m closer to sixty than fifty, but that’s the subject of another blog on another day.   For fifty-five plus years, I have known the doorknob on my bathroom to be tricky at best, and there would not be a house guest who for the first time did not find themselves locked in and requiring instructions from the hallway as to how to open the damn door.  We were told it couldn’t be fixed.  It is a non-standard door and knob, thanks to my father, who did nothing in standard fashion.

One night our babysitter locked herself in and had to crawl out the window and go around the house to have JT let her back inside.

We believed the gospel.  We drank the kool-aid.  We suffered.  Finally the doorknob refused to turn at all and TT was compelled to cast aside the story and seek the truth.  Earlier this week, I came home to find that the knob had been re-installed and it worked better and easier that it had for my entire life.  It’s the smallest thing, but the energy in this house has changed  in subtle ways that I can’t really describe.  Some might call it Feng Shui.  I give it no name, except Thanksgiving.

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In Humble Gratitude for My Muse

My muse and I have been off again/on again for a while now.  Pretty much ever since she came back after more than 25 years and I left her hanging.  I didn’t ignore her intentionally, but we had been estranged for so long, I realized this morning I didn’t know how to recognize her. This morning, in the cool breezy shade of my front porch, on the second day of a two-week vacation, she helped me remember.  She must have been waiting in the wings for me to ask, because her reply was immediate.

I am the wispy clouds in a deep blue sky.  I am the geraniums on your front steps.

I am the harmony of a million bees efficiently turning nectar into honey.  I am not the bees or their song. I am the harmony in their song.

I am the quiet sound between bird calls.  I am the space between the words on the page.

I am the refracted morning light bouncing off the open window in the bathroom.

I am the weight of the tree branches.  I am the breeze that arrives without warning and tosses order into chaos so it can re-settle in a new way.  I am the shape-shifter and the last light of the day.  I am the first light of day and the prompt that cues the birds at dawn.

I orchestrate the insects at twilight and the bullfrogs after that.

I am the vibration on a viola’s strings as she tells us how luscious the stroke of the musician’s bow can feel – or how mournful.

I am the scented air that rises form a pot of freshly brewed coffee.  I am the yellow in the coreopsis and the blue in the hydrangeas.  I make the leaves dance and wave.

I am the light that lets you see your shadow – if you would only dare see it.  Look! 

Then write what you see.

There are no wrong words, only the seeing and the writing of it.  Tell it true and I will never betray you.  I am the one who sends the sweat from your forehead as you labor.  I am the space between the tears on your cheeks and the earth.

The rotation of the planets, the unexplainable pull of the pen as your hand glides across the page.  You can’t tell me that you know what’s coming next.  We are not at now yet, but it has just passed by.  I am that energy that carries you from now to now.  I am you in motion.  I am the mystery of your neural activity.

I am the creator of creation, the one behind it, the peephole in the wall.  A hole so small even a termite must eat its way through, and yet if you look hard enough through the speck of darkness in the bright white wall, you will see another universe in its entirety.  You only need to look and see, and write as you see it.  There are no wrong words.

I am the catch in your throat.  I am the hesitation you feel just before you express your rage and cry afterwards.  I am she who draws your shoulders back so you can carry on and continue into the wind for one more day.

I am the rogue wave and the gentle lapping at the shore.  I am the space between the bow of a fishing boat and the basin of a swell.

I am the leaping salmon, forever leaping up the stream, fighting my way to re-creation and regeneration, death and renewal.

I am the turnstile without a ticket counter and the glorious green of a meadow in the spring.

It is I who is always asking you what are you so afraid of.

I am the tickle on your face or neck, the one without a loose hair or tiny insect claiming credit for the distraction.

I am your dissatisfaction and the sand in your shoe, the tag at the back of your shirt that irritates and will not let go.

I am the expectation.  I am the arrival, and I am the moment before a long good-bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2012

Today I did not see my mother.  It’s just as well that I did not see her,  since she’s been dead for twenty-four years and nearly eleven months.  Twenty-four years and eleven months this coming Wednesday.

Most days I just let her be.  She went beyond and lives her own life now.  Perhaps it’s the life she expected to live  in her earlier dreamy years before motherhood came knocking.  Don’t deny it.  It’s true.  I can see it in her eyes as she faced the camera so many years ago.  Black and white truth.  With each passing year and added child her facial expression shifts from joyful sexy confidence to grim and constrained bewilderment.

Motherhood was not her strong suit, yet she was force to play it,  and little else, besides an occasional game of bridge or tennis, from the time she was startled by pregnancy and shame, until she breathed her last heaving and rasping morphined breath.

I felt her go but didn’t’ recognize what it was I had felt until after Daddy died and then stuck around for a while.  She’s long gone, and it’s better this way.  Bless her unrestrained soul.

She wore the badge of Motherhood courageously and mostly alone.  I hope she found some new friends wherever she went.  Goodness knows she earned it.

Sprouted Seeds

What was that? 

Although I have known it to be true forever, it just occurred to me like I heard it for the first time that there will be no going back.  We progress forward for good or bad, and time wasted is just that.  So what am I to do with an age in years more beyond fifty than I want to admit and a whole new life to live?  

There is a seed in me that has germinated and wants to grow.  She doesn’t know age or time.  She knows only that she has sprouted and must either grow or die.  She trusts me, or she wouldn’t be tapping me on the shoulder and urging me to take up my pen and write. 

It is up to me to decide the fate of this new sprout.  No, I’m not with child, at least not in the biological sense, but there is the spirit of a young woman in this skin and she’s eager to fly. 

Today she told me this:  Regret serves us nothing.  It merely feeds the monster called bitterness.  

I like her way of thinking.  Eyes forward.  No stopping this time.

August Moon

I had been especially looking forward to two things this past weekend, aside from the chance to relax and spend time in the company some delightful friends and JT.  One was assured, and that was to swim in the lake, rain or shine.  The other, knowing there would be a full moon, was to spend some time basking in her blue radiance.

On Saturday night, the moon was not only full, but there was a thin ring around its edge that was intensely bright.  It looked like she was wearing a circlet.  A humble crown, something she was allowed to wear only occasionally.

Four of us had sat on the dock after dinner, first facing west to watch the sunset, which was pretty but not spectacular.  It was partially obscured by our tiny island, and the sky is not as big on a lake as it is by the ocean.  No matter.  Once the sun had set we turned 180 degrees to face the east in hopes of watching the full moon rise.

How is it that in the same small sky it can be clear in the west and cloudy in the east?  I don’t know, but it was cloudy in the eastern sky and with a few “oh wells” two people folded up their chairs and headed back to the house to join the party.  I lingered and TT lingered with me.  I mewed with disappointment a few times even though I knew there was nothing he could do about the moon and clouds, and even though it seemed apparent that she would not be allowed an appearance so early in the night sky, I watched and hoped.  Finally I took the hint, folded my own chair and made my way off the dock, up the stairs and back to the house where folks were drinking after-dinner tea and enjoying friendly conversation.  Two were playing solitaire.

I made a cup of tea in one of the brown mugs.  It had a long story to tell from its decades of being on this island.  How many times had that mug been chosen from the line of them hanging on hooks at the front of the glass-faced cabinet?  How many lips have kissed its smooth edge to sip a hot cup of tea?  How many times had this mug been the vessel which carried a morning brew or a moonlight elixir?  Hands had held this mug close to someone’s chest for warmth.  It wasn’t a beautiful mug, but it was a faithful one, never jumping off its hook or off the edge of the table because it wasn’t good enough or as beautiful as the other mugs.  Truth be told, none of the mugs were beautiful, so this one had no worry on that account.

On Saturday night this mug knew my disappointment when the full moon failed to appear, and it let me sooth my chilled lips on its glazed rim.  The cup didn’t know I was watching the sky as I caressed its bumpy exterior with heat-seeking fingertips.  It would not have known that as I sipped, my sights were over the far rim and set on the eastern sky where the moon was hiding.

Undress yourself, Moon!

I want to see you naked and smiling.

Pay no mind to the others, for they don’t even look at you or wonder at your mysterious pull on the waters, your power over our imagination.  And I, who loves you, see only your radiance paying no mind to your mottled, scarred surface.  My own body, in your muted glow, is flawless, no longer human, and free from the marks of birthing a child.  The gravity which draws my aging breasts toward their mother earth, is suspended in the light of your fullness.

You make me sigh, Miss Moon, and you make me wonder at what is beyond what we know.  You lead me to a place of quiet inner song.  And just between you and me, Miss Moon, you have been the twinkle in many a father’s eye and the source of many a mother’s sigh, with your crystal blue light showing the way for egg and sperm, then your tidal pull drawing many a newborn babe through the waters onto the hard rocky terrain of our planet.

I wished as I sipped my tea.

Gratefully I can report that my disappointment was taken into account, and after a while I noticed a shift in the color of the sky, and I quietly crept down to the dock, chair in hand, not wanting to scare her away.  TT followed, and without words, we reclined on the dock in our low-slung chairs, and without so much as a sigh, the lunar maiden of the night began to blow the clouds away from her face and there she hung in the black ink sky.

It’s hard to say if she could see this audience of two, but we saw her, and she slowly let the light splay out before her. She sent beams of light toward the lake, and they danced on the water with their shimmering reflections.  It was a dance unaccompanied by any human sound; they moved to their own cosmic rhythm, a little unsteady in its beat.  The water looked as if it were being tickled by the soft fingertips of the moonbeams.  I listened to the beating of my heart and the hush of air passing through my throat, gently in and gently out.

There’s something about the silence of the night sky.  It cries out for music, yet any earthly instrument seems discordant, and I was grateful that for those few minutes no one on the lake had their volume set so high that others could hear it.

The breeze finally grew cooler than my jeans and sweatshirt could deflect, so after a while we folded our chairs and worked our way back up to the cabin, returning to the hum of soft laughter, good cheer, and gentle friends.

A Disjointed, Fragmented Collection of Words on the Subject of Listening

Years ago our Pastor took a 12 week sabbatical and being a Deacon at the time, I had the opportunity to lead a worship service and deliver a sermon on one of those Sundays.

With the assigned scripture in hand I set about writing around it, hoping to build the essay into something worth hearing.

It wasn’t long before I realized that the joke I had made at the Deacons’ meeting during which I had volunteered would look me in the eye.  Won’t it be nice to be able to talk for 15 minutes without being interrupted?   Uh-oh. This is big – these people will be actually listening to what I have to say.

Every word began to carry the weight of a shoebox full of lead, and it occurred to me that there is a built-in safety feature to not being listened to, a margin of error, a space for sloppiness.  But is that really true?

If once-spoken words cannot be retrieved, and the spoken words are harsh and hateful, but the intended recipient doesn’t listen, so in fact does not hear them and thereby deflects them, then where does that spiteful sentiment end up?  Does it fall on some innocent, unsuspecting child who is just getting his or her bearings, a tiny one who believes everything they hear and takes it to heart?

When we think of listening is it not usually within the context of having others listen to us?  Might we want to listen to our own words before we say them?  How often do we think about how well we listen to others?

When we listen to a rushing river or birdsong or to the stories trees give up when prompted by the wind, could it be that we are listening to God or the Universe tell us that we are the Beloved?  And by our stopping to listen, even for the shortest moment, to let that music wash over us, I think we are returning that love through the simple act of listening. We allow the vibration of those sounds enter us and become part of us.

When two or more of us are gathered, and we all listen to the same sound, are we all joined into one being by virtue of the shared experience?

During a brief Twitter conversation with a friend on the subject of listening, I suggested that listening is an act of humility.   We put our own self aside for a moment and allow the other the simple grace of being heard.   I don’t mean to imply that we ought to allow ourselves to be trapped by those who make noise for the sole enjoyment of hearing their own voices, but even then there is an underlying message to be had if we are willing to listen for it.  Perhaps it is that their need to be heard is a desperate one.

Can we hear the words that dare not be spoken if we don’t stop and really listen to what is being said?

From a sales perspective listening can be a learned skill.  If we don’t listen carefully and follow up with questions, then we can’t find out what the customer or client wants.  If a prospective or active customer calls and tells me they want a two-inch filigree butterfly and I send them a 10-millimeter bead cap, the evidence makes it clear that I wasn’t listening very well.  It probably won’t result in a single sale, let alone a long-term business relationship with that person.  Let’s cut to the chase within this context – the only message the customer wants to convey is this question:  How can your product or service help me succeed?  How well we hear and respond to that one question will determine the success of our own venture.

Within the framework of time being measured in linear fashion, when we listen to someone we are giving them some of our most precious commodity.  But have you ever spent time with someone and looking at the clock, been astonished at how late the evening had grown?  In that timeless time, is it possible that we had briefly participated in the infinity of no-time?  Rarely do we regret those occasions.

For me it boils down to this.

Listening is an act of love.

 

And I’d love to hear what you have to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Debt is Paid – Richard Russell

I am not a business expert.  Most of what I have learned about being in business has come to me the hard way – by making mistakes and reaping the rewards of those mistakes through my bank balance.  What I can tell you is that paying for one’s own mistakes makes the lessons very dear.

From this vantage point, meaning my reading chair, set in a sun-filled New England living room on a bright February afternoon – a chair that I re-upholstered from the frame up by the way, which was a long adventure in tedium, frustration, precision cutting, sewing, and more tack hammering that I ever thought I’d do in a lifetime, but which resulted in a custom-built chair that turned out better than I imagined, and worn as it is, I doubt there will ever be another to fit like this one. So I keep it tucked in the corner and use it as my base of operations at home, namely for reading, studying, thinking, meditation, and pretending to write.

The reading chair aside, Borders has me thinking about some of the things I have learned in the 30-plus years of being involved in manufacturing.

This Borders thing is really bothering me.  I’m not sure why. I don’t have any particular affinity for the store.  In fact, the last time I went into a Borders store, they didn’t have what I was looking for, so I left empty handed.

I just fibbed.  I know what’s bothering me about this.

I’m sorry for Borders that their plans were foiled by the perfect storm of increasing costs of doing business combined with fixed prices and an ever increasing field of web-based and electronic competitors.

I would like ask, though, didn’t they see it coming?

And if they did see it coming, why did they continue to expand their bricks and mortar stores in a declining foot-traffic based retail market?  I have looked at their list of stores which are being closed and can’t help but wonder if they may have oversaturated some of their market.   What do I know?  Maybe I really do need to have eight Borders stores within 25 miles of my home.

Snarky, sorry.  In manufacturing we call it being “over capacity” and it isn’t a happy sound.  I like quiet in my back yard, not on the factory floor.

I’m sorry for the publishing companies who are out millions upon millions of dollars.  I’m sure it will take you all a while to absorb the loss, if you can.

I don’t know anything about how publishers and book sellers write their contracts, so I risk looking like a fool when I ask this – didn’t the publishers see that their receivables were slowing down?  Who didn’t notice that Borders wasn’t paying their bills on time?  Who let it slide?  Who didn’t read their annual reports and look at their cash flow and debt ratios?  Who produced and shipped their orders even though things weren’t looking so hot?  These things don’t happen overnight.

Any order that comes into my company and the customer is more than 30 days past due, the order is stopped until we can evaluate the risk.  It doesn’t make it off my desk until my business partner and I agree to move it along.  Most customers don’t know this, because we watch for patterns, and we know that payment for past invoices is soon to arrive, but being aware of the patterns is imperative to prudent risk exposure.

And I’m sorry for the employees who lost or will lose their jobs.  Jobs that they may have just recently gotten after a long hard search due to the last lay-off thanks to the crash in the financial markets.

I’m sorry for the developers who built shopping plazas who will now have to go without the rent that was coming from the Borders stores.  And for the communities who will have to look at another vacant retail location until a new business comes along and leases the space.

I’m sorry for Seattle Coffee, who loses a concession with the loss of every store.  And the already struggling newspaper and other periodical publishers who have lost yet another outlet with which to reach consumers.

How about the carpet manufacturers and installers?  The folks who make the book shelves and tables and counters for these stores just lost that portion of their business. The music industry and the sale of their CD’s.  The maintenance workers who every night, while we were all sleeping would go in and clean those very convenient bathrooms, vacuum the carpets, wash the windows, and do whatever else is necessary to keep a store looking good just lost some sweet cleaning contracts.

What about the authors  who are now facing a decreased distribution of their books?

For the consumer?  I guess I can feel a bit sad that you have lost a big book store near you.

May I suggest you find your nearest independent book seller and give your business to them?

To the independent book sellers, from one small business person to another, I hope you find this shift to be to your advantage.

I know what it’s like to be strung out by a customer only to open the mail one day to find out that our investment in time, materials, overhead, and labor are about to be flushed down the toilet because the customer, instead of paying as they promised to do, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy laws.

Translation?  No lunch for you, sucker.  Every debt is paid, by someone, sometime, somehow.

The Eagle Returned

The eagle returned.

 

It circled at the top of the cliff,

Eyeing me, wings spread full and wide

Circling closer

It watches my face as I watch it,

Beckoning it closer still

Please! Come closer I silently ask

 

It wants me to fly

 

I see the branch upon which I sat

The one I held once,

waiting

That one – there – over to the right

And near the top, see? Where I clung just before

We let go and didn’t fall, but sailed.

Through the air it comes toward me again and I remember

Riding on the eagle’s back into the abyss and back out again

 

It reminds me of the time I flew alone, fearless,

As only an eagle can

Following the river to its opening.

Chili Verde

Someone I of whom I have grown very fond mentioned in passing liking a regional style of green chili, and while I had successfully tried making white chicken chili and enjoyed it, “making chili”  always referred to the beef, bean, peppers and tomato style I first made for friends umpteen years ago.

Chili con Carne. Not too hot.  My first bite of Chili was at the Wendy’s on Congress Street in downtown Portland, Maine on a cold January Saturday afternoon decades ago.  I had to crumble the Saltine crackers into it in order to take the heat.

My mother was a classic New England home cook with a narrowly developed palate.  She could roast a piece of beef and make gravy that would bring you to your knees, but she found my culinary curiosity frightening to the point that she openly expressed concern over my desire to learn how to make Lasagne one summer Wednesday afternoon in my 19th year.  On the other hand, she could wolf down Finnan Haddie with the best of them, a dish I can’t even gaze upon without wondering how anyone could consider eating something that looked so grotesque.

We were at our cottage on Cape Cod, and my sister and three nieces were visiting for the week, and since my dad wasn’t there, an attempt at making Lasagne was deemed a safe experiment.  She was probably thinking we could go out for fish and chips if the Lasagne turned out to be a disaster, scary as that fragrant and cheesy pan of bubbling deliciousness seemed to be.  I digress.

Back to Chile Verde.  When I noticed it being mentioned, I decided to take a stab at making it.  With a friend coming over for a New Year’s Day dinner, it seemed like a perfect time to experiment with something I’d never before made.  What are friends for if they are unwilling to eat our culinary experiments?

Ten web-based recipes and an hour or so of pawing through my 142 cookbooks later of looking for a formula, I decided that nothing of what I found seemed quite right, so I took the hint and came up with my own recipe.  It was a hit all around the table, and my tried and true friend, who would honestly tell me if it were off the mark, swooned.  JT & KC who love spicy food found it to be delicious and a nice balance of flavor and heat.  TT simply refilled his bowl as a slight flush from the heat bloomed on his cheeks.

Forgive me for being so bold, but as I was recording how I prepared it, I thought it might make for a different sort of blog post.  The garlic was some of the last of our homegrown.

And thank you to the person who inspired this.  You have been inspiration for more than you may ever know.  Namaste’.

Andrea’s Chili Verde (Green Chili with Pork)

Expect about 1 ½ hours to prepare and a long slow cooking time, can be adapted to pressure cooking – about 20 minutes with a few minutes to cool and thicken a bit after cooking

This recipe is a perfect fit for my 5 quart LeCruset Dutch oven.  Makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients:

3 pounds pork loin, trimmed of most of its fat and cut into ¾” cubes  (tenderloin can be substituted or used to make up the third pound, as pork loins often run about 2 pounds, or use boneless pork chops to make up the difference)

2 medium to large onions, peeled and chopped

4-5 Poblano chilies  (I chose the largest ones I could find – about 2 1/2 cups chopped)

1 large Jalapeno – about 3 tablespoons, finely chopped.  I remove the membrane and seeds but if you want the extra heat, leave them in to taste.

1 can fire-roasted green chiles, chopped, with their liquid

3 cups (a generous pound) of fresh tomatillos, skins removed, washed and chopped

1 good Tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 Tablespoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Dash ground cloves

A pinch of oregano

2 ½ cups Chicken stock

Flour for dredging pork, about 4 tablespoons

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

Garnishes:

Sour cream

Thinly sliced scallions

Fresh cilantro

Toss the cubed pork with the flour while you heat over medium-high heat a heavy pot large enough for all ingredients.  I use my 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven.  When the pan is hot, add about 4 Tablespoons olive oil, let it heat up to a shimmer, then add about 1/3 of the cubed pork.  Brown lightly on all sides and remove from pan.  Add a bit more oil and repeat until all of the pork has been browned.  There will be a fond on the bottom of the pan.

Add the onion, chiles with juice, garlic, spices.  Cook 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionaly until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add about ½ cup of the chicken stock and scrape up the fond from the bottom of the pan.  Add the browned pork, the chopped tomatillos, and the remaining chicken stock.

Bring to a boil stirring occasionally, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, until the pork is very tender.  Do not taste or adjust seasonings until it has been allowed to cook for an hour or so.

Serve with sour cream, thinly sliced scallions, and fresh cilantro to garnish as desired.  Hot crispy corn bread on the side is a nice accompaniment.

I’ll Make the Popcorn

So I was almost hit by a car tonight while out on my walk.  No worries, though.  It was only TT coming home from a girls’ high school basketball game.  No harm done.  He said he didn’t see me, because he noticed my car in the driveway, realized that I had gotten home from going to hug a friend at the visiting hours for her grandfather’s funeral, and he was thinking that he was glad to see that I was home.

Wouldn’t that have been a mess?  Glad to see me home, and then thunk!  Oops, sorry honey.  Bummer.  I wouldn’t even be able to stand by his side as he faced the vehicular homicide charges, because I’d be dead.  And then his insurance premiums would run sky high, and that would be a drag too.  Not to mention the guilt, and having to tell JT.  Shudder twice.  May neither of us ever even come close to experiencing anything like it again.

That aside, since that little ditty happened a couple of hours ago, just as I was starting out on my walk, literally in front of my own home, it gave me a little something to think about while walking.  Ah, life’s little gifts.

I think it was Norman Vincent Peale who suggested that when we’re feeling overburdened with our business problems or feeling like we have too many responsibilities in life to take a walk through a cemetery and notice all of the grave stones.  From his perspective, it’s a great way to remind ourselves that life goes on.  To me that truth is both comforting and cruel.  I recalled how I accused the sun of having a lot of nerve to rise the morning after my mother died, 23 years ago.  And how dare those people drive by my house on their way to work as if nothing had happened!   But, on the other hand, life did go on without her.

And it occurred to me that if the awful thing had happened tonight, right in front of my own house, there would be people in my own neighborhood of only 16 houses who wouldn’t hear the news, and not even notice something was amiss, ever.

What does that say about us?

Maybe it’s time for us to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again.  I’ll make the popcorn! Who wants butter?

 

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