Enough Already

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I’ve worried obsessively about two things each day for the past month, and that one month has seemed to last forever.  I worry that I’m going to fall down and break something, and I worry that I’m going to crash my car. It’s damn cold.  It’s so cold that I have been wrapping my scarf around my face and wearing the hood up on my coat.  I’ve worn tights under my slacks, and layers of shirts and sweaters.  I crave fleece, hot coffee, and my space heater.  I can’t get my bath water hot enough to relieve the cold that has crept into my bones.  At night we all cuddle together under blankets.  We eat foods that warm us and add to our bulk.  We’ve become slow and deliberate as we move around the house wrapped in blankets. Continue Reading »

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The Women Who Came Before Me

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My grandma was 96 years old when time caught up with her.  Her body started breaking down in a variety of ways even while her mind remained alert.  One of my last memories of Grandma was visiting her in the hospital several hours before her death.  She had been hospitalized with complications from congestive heart failure and and diverticulitis.  She looked at me, and she apologized.  She said, “Pami, I’m sorry you have to see me this way.  How did this happen?  I never thought I’d find myself in this situation.” Continue Reading »

Being the Bad Guy (Or Woman)

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“Though it be honest, it is never good to bring bad news.”

William Shakespeare

A lot of people are mad at me tonight.  Well, maybe it’s not me they’re mad at, but there has not been a shortage of people who have blasted their anger and disappointment my way this evening.

I knew this day was coming, and I have dreaded it.  I have secretly cherished conversations or email exchanges with certain people, because I knew that SOON, they were going to be upset with me.  The ax was going to fall eventually, and they would know the truth, or the results, results that I have already known for about a week.  Having people upset with me is part of my job.  It’s a role that I have voluntarily accepted, however reluctantly. Continue Reading »

The Old Piano

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lola piano

My grandparents gave me a piano over 40 years ago. I was about 5 years old.  I had shown an interest in playing any and every keyboard that was near me.  If I was in a church, I found eventually found my way to the piano.  I loved to play on my aunt’s old pump organ.  The neighbor girls were teaching me how to play on the piano in their dining room.  I’ll never forget the day Grandma and Grandpa followed the truck carrying my piano to our house.  Through eight houses or apartments, that old piano has been a part of my life.  I have pictures of me, my grandma, and my great-grandma sitting together on the bench.  There is another picture of my sweet dog, Susie, sitting next to 8-year-old me while I practiced my lesson.  My parents and I posed on the bench one year for our Christmas card photo. My long gone pets,  Abe, Hank, Pete, Puffy, and Violet all sat by my side as I played.  Boo and Pepper sit on the same bench now. Continue Reading »

One Snowy Day and Night

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In keeping with my quest to figure out how to make my life happy and rewarding, I spent some time examining my own actions with regard to those people who are the key players in my emotional life.  I wasn’t very pleased with what I observed about myself.  I am an island.  I have relationships that I enjoy with work colleagues, but I never let them become personal.  I have relationships with my family that I love.  We are a solid, steady, and kind foursome living in this house.  T and I, along with the girls, enjoy each other’s company.  We have created an atmosphere of harmony.  Our home is a refuge of peace, and I treasure that feeling of sanctuary at the end of the day.  As much as we love the boys, the four of us notice that the zen peace of our home is off kilter when they visit.  As much as we love them and enjoy their company, we always treasure the return to our quiet routine of four.  I suppose this is a good thing.  It means we have adjusted to their absence as a daily fixture in our lives.  We love visiting them in Chicago or Milwaukee.  Now that we all live closer together, we see them more often.  It’s when they come here, to our home of four, that we feel a shift in our peaceful routine. Continue Reading »

Wild Variations

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lightbeam

One thing I have found is that if I am not able to maintain some kind of regular routine in my life, I quickly lose perspective in all areas.  I question myself and lose confidence.  I question others and wonder about their motives, or I perceive imagined slights.  (What did he/she mean by that???)  I become overwhelmed by anything even slightly resembling clutter.  The pile of mail on the kitchen table makes me feel like I’m very close to being eligible for my debut on “Hoarders.”  Worst of all, I see a look of wariness in the eyes of my staff.  (Oh, no!  She’s on the warpath!)  Thankfully, while my family notices my craziness, they don’t seem bothered by it. They usually just roll their eyes and ignore me. Continue Reading »