Never stop being a good person because of bad people

Here’s something to think about among the general meanness we read about every day. At the risk of sounding like a rather dumb Pollyanna, “…everything will be fine once the bluebirds return…” mentality, this post by PSYCHOLOGISTMIMI bears re-posting on my own blog. My new motto: just because someone is “bad” doesn’t mean they won’t take a moment to admire a kitten or another thing of beauty. (I know, it’s not much of a motto, but it’s all I’ve got this morning!)

psychologistmimi

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I look and read the news wondering what is going on with us. I’m wondering in part about our collective sense of humanity. I read an article that said some businesses are closing for a day here and there to reestablish some semblance of humanity and kindness. Apparently, after a year of being locked down people are struggling to be nice and establish just general human to human connections.

Here is what I have to say about all this: Never stop being a good person because of bad people. Try to find your kind spot and “ooze” out from there.

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Ekphrastic poem written for Colleens weekly poetry challenge, based on photo by Annette Rochelle Aban.

I have decided that I need to get back to my poetry writing, which I dearly love but for some reason I have veered away from it, and it seems as though I am looking at enter these challenges as a stranger timidly seeking acceptance into the group. Really? Back to the drawing board, or more specifically: back to the blank page awaiting a poem.

I never heard of Ekphrastic poetry, but I like it. It just means describing a photo or art work in words, aside from the image. Often a picture has deep meaning which may have little or nothing to do with the actual visual picture. This is true of the photo by Annette Rochelle Aban, which features a collection of starfish and sea shells. The first notion that came to my mind was of a collection accented or contained within a border that is simply a string of beads. The meaning (for me) was one of a collection of personal treasures which remains private to me and unknown to anyone else. Those treasures of course may be actual things acquired sometime in life, or memories that have nothing to do with the sea or any things of the sea.

Here is my contribution, in the form of a Haiku. Although I am especially fond of free verse, Haiku is my go-to form when I want to poetize (is that a word?) a thought or a vision in a succinct and intuitive form.

secrets

my treasures abound
safely forever obscure
secured in my heart

(Sometimes, 2021)

I am Who I am, no matter how hard I try to be someone else

Here is a post I wrote in 2015 for a WordPress writing group. I thought of it just now and thought I would repost it now.

SOMETIMES

Yep, here I am in Blogging-101 again.  This time my intentions are good, but that is normal…and we all know what they say about good intentions.

It occurred to me once when I was embarking upon a “reality trip” to Mexico, that I would soon be meeting a whole new group of people who had never heard of me before.    “This is my chance,”  I said to myself.  “I can be anything I want to, change my demeanor, background, speech, and present an entire New Me.”

Right.  No dumb comments, no Shy Me hiding in the shadows…New Me could be sophisticated, well-spoken, and always in control of my cool personality.   In fact, I could buy a new jungle-adventure wardrobe, and wear head-bands, pretty flowing tops, and jeans with zippers instead of Mom-jeans.

Great ideas.

First, at the airport, I had to accept a stranger’s help in hoisting my backpack into position.  I could not…

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me and the BMV…who the heck goes there on a Friday afternoon?

So as usual I have to get an e-check on my old Toyota (2003,) and get new registration. I managed to put the procedure off until the last minute, thought I carried the paperwork around in my purse for months.

The e-check attendant was polite and sweet as he could be, until he announced that the <check engine> light that pops on and off…was on… and no amount of old lady charm could dissuade this public servant from his duty to reject the e-check.

I went from e-check place to my chosen mechanic, who does not have an opening for appointment until July 26. I had been there twice in the past year or so having them check the <check engine> light. Of course they never heard of me or my car, and the computer not only did not know me…it didn’t care.

Boot-stomping and hand-wringing would be counterproductive in this case, because the old-lady card doesn’t work on women who are themselves age-peers. So there was nothing for me to do but follow through on getting the check-engine light righted. To do that would take longer than the time before the current plates run out, July 13, it would be necessary to obtain a 30-day permit so the car could be driven legally about two more weeks.

Now here’s the thing. On the last visit my son and I went in (on an appointment) and waited in the little customer waiting room for a diagnosis of the infamous <check-engine> light. On that occasion, about a year ago, when the mechanic came out and announced that there was nothing going on regarding the light. He also stated, and I quote: “the check-engine light will come on and go off for numerous reasons, and unless there is something else wrong with the car it isn’t necessary to come back in every time the light is on.”

As fate would have it, although my son was with me throughout the rather lengthy wait, he had left the little room to visit the restroom. My daughter had not yet arrived to pick us up, had it been necessary for the car to be admitted to the shop, so I was alone to hear the diagnosis from the owner himself.

Well… the owner actually told me that he did remember me…but not my son. He reiterated the advice about not running back into the shop every time the light popped on, as long as otherwise there were no problems with the car.

However…no matter any of that, the two-week wait still applied.

(Please note: I know what my options were, but I want to deal locally, and I want to build a relationship with this dealer. Our former mechanic shop closed down a few years ago when the owner died or suffered other debilitating circumstances, and his son did not want to continue the business. OK, that is conjecture on my part, but the bottom line is that my old mechanic is no longer available. I refuse to go to the Toyota dealer in the next city, because I know the flashing “she’s backkkk” light will signal that the cash cow is back. My sister-in-law, who passed the car to me when she no longer could drive safely (94 or 95 at the time,) had the dealer on speed-dial, and her Toyota was legend.

Besides—I rarely drive anyway, daughter lives next door, so being without my wheels for awhile is ok.

THE BMV:

So I went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, where upon entering a person assigned a number and determined why I was there, and a page of instructions. Go back to your car and wait for a message on cell phone. Upon reading the instructions, I realized that I would need the title to the car, which was back home. Then I rushed home, (about 15 minutes drive,) grabbed the title, and returned to the BMV.

About two hours later I got a text message: “Go into the lobby and wait.” Another brief wait (about 10 minutes) they called my number…I proceeded to the window where a friendly, courteous county worker proceeded to give me my 30-day tag to put in the rear window until I could have the appointment with the mechanic. That only cost $20 and assorted extras.

P.S. In the event that the light is off long enough for me to get back to the e-check site, I will be able to finish the adventure relatively quickly.

My first glimpse of Paradise zooms back from the West: from Ohio to Arizona via Kansas (a repost from 2015.)

adventureNaturetravelWriting and BloggingWriting101

[The prompt for Day Two — Writing 101.    “If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”]

Now that is an easy assignment that took absolutely NO thought.  The question did indeed have the “zoom” effect.  My place that my inner image brings up is as much a place as it is a time, and a concept, a memory.  Perhaps it has to do with a past life experience, or a memory from the Akashic Records.    My site is like walking into a dream, the kind that features the doorway that opens to reveal a huge pastoral scene.

By way of background, the story starts out as pretty mundane.  It was 1960.  My soldier husband has just returned from Korea, and  with our three-year-old daughter we are heading for a new army base — Fort Huachuca, in Arizona.     We have packed up our 38-foot mobile home and set off across the country from Ohio.  Not exactly a covered wagon, but a similar concept.

We got as far as Kansas…and had a flat tire on the trailer.   We were driving along a highway, heading West, surrounded on both sides by very tall corn fields.  Every several miles there was a grain elevator operation, near a cross-road, where we had a brief glimpse of a town in the distance–but otherwise it just looked like someplace out of Stephen King’s horror flick,  Children Of the Corn.   

After limping along on the tire, we did manage to head for one of the little towns.   So help me, it reminded me of one of those old movie sets where the little town has sprung up along both sides of the road, and a few businesses existed–a gas station, garage, restaurant, motel, sheriff’s office, grocery store–until the town just…ended.    OK, I suppose there were some signs of habitation, but they have been crowded out of my memory.

To cut to the chase, the garage people were able to fix the tire enough so we could continue on our way  the next day.  There was some vital mechanical part that was not available in the town and had to be brought in from somewhere else.

We drove to the next big city…I have no idea what city it was, but it was large enough to have at least one mobile home sales place, and we bought a spiffy new 10-foot wide, 50-foot long trailer home.   Since we were a long way from home, on a very limit budget, the purchase required some communication with our parents back in Ohio to help with the financing arrangements.   We had to stay in the city for I think four days until that was all settled.  But soon enough we were back on the road–not pulling the new mobile home, which was too large, and had to be delivered to us in Arizona.

HOME AT LAST… and here comes the point of this tale.

We got to Sierra Vista, which was the little army town that had grown up around Fort Huachucha, late at night.  It was very dark.

TA DA…

In the morning, the sun had come up (it’s Arizona, after all) —and the Huachuca Mountains were glorious!   The desert was in bloom, and I thought I was in Paradise for sure.

The actual idealistic picture, as portrayed by my feelings upon arriving in Arizona, in the Desert…among the cactus and the sand, and the typical army town trailer park where we lived…has blended  into a fabulous panorama  fixed in my mind  over the 55 years since I discovered southern Arizona.   We  lived in Sierra Vista until 1961, then moved to Tucson, 85 miles to the north.

One of my great joys in life is the first sight of the Santa Catalina Mountains when I arrive at the Tucson airport, coming in over the mountains from Houston, Texas, along the southern route.  It always makes me feel that I have come Home.

Butterflies and Cameras

Here’s a blog entry from ten years ago, possibly my very first SOMETIMES post. My recent adventure with my traveling toilet has had some positive comments from my VCBs (Very Cool Bloggers,) amd it prompted me to reach back into my archives. TEN years—holy mackeral, I started the blog in 2011, and at first had not a clue what to say. The VCB All–Time Favorite of my blogs was about cinnamon rolls. Incidentally, I have only seen this particular patterned butterfly once since.

SOMETIMES

 At first I thought it was artificial, a butterfly made of painted wood, with wire legs and antennae.  One of the kids had put it there to fool me, or as a surprise.   I stared at it closely, and one of its legs twitched almost imperceptibly.  Its black body was covered with white polka-dots, close together in horizontal rows.  It appeared almost surreal, its delicate wings black and a cobalt blue, with yellow and white dots.

My cellular phone was in my pocket, and I took three photos before the phone’s camera froze up.   It would not shut down, save, change functions… the light would not go off.

[Here’s where the plot thickens, in maddening illustration of Murphy’s Law of Cameras.]

My trusty Nikon had died, and I had been using my son’s camera.  It works well enough, as long as the packaging tape holding the battery case stays tightly in place.  But there was a…

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