Thursday, February 25, 2016




  1. a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations:

I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or perhaps a healing thing, but lately I have been feeling very nostalgic.  
For Christmas I scanned a box of my father’s old slides that were my sister’s.  But then I realized that quite a few of the slides had pictures of us together so I had them published in a book called “Sisters” and wrote sentimental quotes under them like “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." I really enjoyed the stroll down memory lane, especially the pictures of us with our parents.  Wistful affection.  Lot s of happy personal associations..

The most amazing thing happening is warm memories of Daphne are bubbling up out of nowhere.  As long time readers of this blog know, the horrific memories of our assault have always obliterated all else.  In fact, until a lot of therapy helped, I couldn’t let myself even think about Daphne because the images were so triggering it would put me in a dark hole for days.  Any memories of a tender three year relationship were reduced to a three hour nightmare.

But recently the memory files are opening at random, in no particular order or significance.  Happy memories.  Silly memories. Sexy memories. Deep soulful memories.  Even memories of arguments.  

I am taking this as a huge sign of healing, that these doors are now opening.  It is a wonderful gift to have such sweet memories resurfacing and to be able to feel nostalgic for my past rather than horror and trauma. Ia m deeply grateful.

Of course, with such a sentimental remembrance of the past there is also a sense of regret and remorse about what could have, should have been.  I try not to dwell there too long and just accept that things are unfolding in a way I can’t control.  And I hope that in another 20 years, I’ll be sitting with Martha in our rockers, feeling nostalgic for today, when our daughters still lived at home, we laughed a lot, and we could still stand up out of a chair unassisted.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Full of Grace

  • Our weather keeps yoyo-ing from record breaking lows to unseasonably warm.  On those freezing cold mornings nothing beats snuggling under flannel sheets and down comforter for an extra few minutes.  Or later walking the dog in just a light jacket.
  • Filling my last annual prescription for cancer drugs.  I can hardly believe that it’s been over 4 years since my mastectomy.  Only one year to go on the meds.
  • Starting to plant flower seeds indoors.  I love getting my hands in the soil and thoughts of Spring are delightful.
  • Getting a letter stating that the taxes at our lake house are going down.  That’s a first.
  • Working with our local school district to plan a solar farm that will greatly reduce the district’s energy dependence.  This will be my Town’s first solar farm and I am very excited to be part of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Full of Grace - Why I Love Her

Martha loves basketball.  She has run a recreational travel program for girls for as long as I’ve known her.  As the director she has always given scholarships to girls who can’t afford the registration fees or uniforms.  And because she works in an elementary school she often hears about girls who are at risk and makes the effort to get them involved in sports.  She often drives girls who have no rides to practices or games and follows up with them after the season is over to help them stay on course.  It’s one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with her.  

Last year she accepted the High School Junior Varsity coach position.  Although not technically her boss, the varsity coach, Marc, runs the program.  I think I am being kind when I say he is more suited to be a Marine drill sergeant than a girls’ coach.  Martha has clashed with him on many, many occasions but my favorites are why I love her:

Last year Martha became aware of a young woman who was cutting herself.  Martha immediately talked her into trying out for the JV team.  Of course Marc said that she wasn’t good enough to make the team and there were only enough uniforms for the players who would make it.  Martha paid for an extra uniform and Sky became part of the team. She didn’t get much playing time, but whenever the team was up by a lot or down by a lot, Sky went into the game.  At one game Martha told the rest of her team not to shoot but to keep feeding the ball to Sky.  It took quite a few attempts but Sky eventually scored her first points.  The team and fans gave her an ovation.  Her mother was crying. And when Sky came off the court she gave Martha a huge hug.  Marc sat on the bench scowling and after the game gave Martha quite the dressing down.  She smiled through it all because she knows. She knows what’s important.

This year I went to a game and saw a young boy with Martha.  Cody was a special needs kid she knew from school.and found out he loved basketball. She got him a team jersey and let him sit on the bench. Marc was glaring at her but she just shrugged and told him the kid was the team’s biggest fan. When the team scored, the Cody started running up and down in front of the bench clapping and waving his arms incessantly.  Marc had steam coming out his ears and Martha very gently told Cody that he had to stay behind the bench if he couldn’t stay seated.  Later Cody’s mom called to say that it was the best night of Cody’s life.  Marc also called that night to say “Never again. The bench is for players and staff only”.  At the next game Cody was next to the bench, at the scorer's table, where he then was at every home game.

And this is why I love her.  We have our problems.  We have our arguments. She can push all my buttons, as I’m sure I do to her.  But at the end of the day, there is no one I’d rather share my life with than a person who stands up for children, especially those who need a little extra help and attention.  I am so proud to be with her and so very grateful to have her in my life.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

One Dimension

I am not politically unaware.  If fact, I was a political science major and used to be heavily involved with local and state politics.  I eventually withdrew from the political circus when the ‘up close and personal view’ became too disillusioning.  So, while I still remain very interested in politics, work on and support causes dear to my heart and never fail to vote, I have become much more of an observer of the political election process. And I rarely write about politics until something gets my goat.  Which is now.

Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright decided to reprimand all women who do not plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. Ms. Albright going so far as to say there was a “special place in hell” for women who do not support other women.  

Gloria Steinem  has since apologized for inferring that young female voters are only “boy crazy” but the message was still that she still believes that Clinton is the best choice for female voters.  Because apparently being female is the most important agenda political concern? (unless that woman is Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorini, I presume)  If you're only argument is that your candidate has the same genitals or sexuality as me, then you have already lost the argument.

Personally I am pretty tired of the ‘one issue fits all’ mentality. I am particularly tired of people who reduce entire populations down into base stereotypes and one dimensional characterizations.  

  • I once knew a woman who said something I thought was pretty gay offensive.  Her response?  “Well, I have another gay friend who did not find it offensive.”  Oh that’s right, because every gay person thinks and feels exactly the same way on “gay issues”.

  • I once got into a discussion with a blogger because she emphatically stated that “southern black poor people don’t vote in their own best interest.”  What?  First of all the blogger is a wealthy, educated white woman living in California.  What the hell would she know about poor black people in the south? And why would she assume that every poor black person has the same ‘best interest’?  I politely suggested to her that perhaps some poor black folks actually voted based on their own individual values rather than their economics.  That perhaps there were still a few people in the world, rich and poor, who care about other things over their own financial situations.  And further, what is important to one person might be different than what’s important to someone else.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s treating people as individuals rather than homogeneous labels.

People seem to think I should support any gay (or pro-gay) candidate just because I am gay.  Any female candidate just because I am a woman.  Any progressive candidate just because I am socially progressive.  But I don’t.  Those things are only a part of the things I care about politically.  I  would love it if a candidate embraced every plank in my personal platform, but that rarely happens.  And so I have to choose based on my own personal priorities, and sorry, being gay or female does not top my list.  

I would be happy to discuss who I will be voting for, and why, with anyone who is interested.  I would be happy to hear how other candidates are the best fit for your particular set of principles and priorities. But please stop telling me how to vote if you know nothing about me except for some demographics.  I am not a statistic.  I am more than my genitals or sexuality.  I am more than one dimension.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Full of Grace

Last Sunday - a fire in our town totally destroyed a home and sent 2 kids to local hospitals with minor injuries and 2 adults and 2 children to a major burn center. We have 5 all volunteer fire departments, all of them respond. Volunteer men and women who left their warms beds in the middle of the night, unpaid, and still had to go to their day jobs the next morning.

Monday - an email goes out asking for gift card donations and some clothes for the 2 kids not badly injured so they could return to school.  They are staying with neighbors.

Tuesday - an email goes out asking for volunteers to help sort the mountain of donations coming in.

Wednesday - an email goes out asking if anyone has any warehouse/storage space, donations are now overflowing the firehouse.

Thursday - an email goes out that there will be a party at the firehouse, the volunteers want to thank everyone for their overwhelming help and donations and support.

Every day I am bombarded with news of horrific events committed and caused by greedy and evil humans. Sometimes it seems like they are the new world normal.  But then I realize that, no, evil people are the minority.  The vast majority of the world is really filled with caring and compassionate people whose goodness and kindness and generosity, day in and day out, we never hear about.  

Last night - a 6 unit apartment building in my town went up in flames.  Fortunately there were no injuries but the residents lost everything.

Monday - an email went out asking for donations.

And I know my community will answer the call again.  And again.  And again.  

I am so very grateful to share the world with such everyday incredible people.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Overheard Conversations

My youngest daughter is dating a former All-American football player.  He is a huge, burly, manly-man with very conservative, manly-man views.  This is a conversation I overheard between the two of them:

Her:  Well, what if your son wants to be a ballet dancer?

Him:  Absolutely not.

Her:  But what if that’s what he really wants to do.

Him:  Absolutely not.

Her: But what if he was really good and it was his passion?

Him:  Well, then he would have to be really good, like that guy Baryshnikov, and dance for the Russian Ballet or something.

I actually gave him a couple of points for that

Him:  Well, what if your daughter wanted to be a cheerleader?

Her:  Absolutely not.

Him:  But . . .

Her:  There are no buts.  End of discussion.

Yes, I see the double standard.  Truth is, when my daughters were in elementary school and flyers about cheerleading were sent home in their backpacks, Martha threw them out before the girls even saw them.  They both took tap, ballet, and jazz dance from 3 to 16 years old, but cheerleading was forbidden, and they both became 3 sport athletes.  It has me wondering about how we steer our children and what possible dreams get crushed at an early age.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Full of Grace

  • Doing a winter check of our lake house and finding no burst pipes and no leaks and everything in good order.

  • Getting badly bruised, but no broken bones, when I wiped out hard trying to push Martha’s car, which could not get any traction on the ice covered lake road.

  • AAA who finally came and winched the car up the hill.

  • Surviving a 45 minute knuckle surgery done with just a local anesthesia.  And now I have penis finger.

  • Game changer.

  • I typed this yesterday while my hand was still numb. Now it's morning and I can feel the pain. I am adding being very grateful for hydrocodone.