tandem flight

For the Ragtime Daily Prompt: lingular.


Singular lingular lobe of the lung
infective invective now what’s to be done?
rolling and trolling and speaking in tongues
vote heath here not wealth here until healing comes

Look at this pair of eagles flying in tandem, together. Maybe they don’t agree with each other about everything. They are both individuals. But they fly together. A symbol for our country?

many flags

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: language.

I spent three days with the Rotary President Elect Training this past weekend. I am part of District 5020, which stretches from the end of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada down the Olympic Peninsula, WA, United States. There were people from ten districts.

The Rotary’s Polio Plus program is working hard to eradicate polio. This year the match from the Gates Foundation will be 2 dollars for every dollar the Rotary brings to end polio.

The flags from all the different countries and people working together: that speaks the language of peace and hope to me.

snow day

I am having a snow day. It snowed yesterday! Schools are closed and the roads are ice and it was 25 degrees when I walked into clinic. Clinic is cold and power and phones and computers are all out.

Now I have power back but internet is iffy. I have cancelled today’s patient. Some are 45 minutes or an hour away on good roads! We only have an inch of snow but the people north of me are reporting 6-8 inches. I have called people about tomorrow as well. Clinic will proceed if we have power and heat, but the people an hour away are cancelling. The weather forecast is that it will freeze at night all week, which is unusual here.

I am less than a mile from clinic and have ski clothes, so I should be able to get in unless we have an ice storm. We have paper files for back up so I could find phone numbers even with the power out. All except one new patient and now I’ve tracked that one down. We also have a battery lantern because the bathroom is really really dark with the power out. No windows.

I took the photograph last night. My ornamental plums were budding. I don’t know how happy they will be with a week of freezing weather!

gridiron

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: gridiron.

This is my son in 2010, grilling.

Cooking off the gridiron.
Trey and friend Otto.

By 2012 the high school team is the Redhawks. My son played football, though he knew I didn’t approve. Too much brain trauma. He was fast or lucky or both and no concussion or broken bones there.

all blue

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: chores.

I am not blue about chores. Not at all. I like chores. Being an independent stubborn woman, I don’t do them in the order or way that society currently seems to think we should do them. I do them in the order I think is important.

I was divorced in 2007, with a 14 year old and a 9 year old. My Ex promptly left town. He stayed in very close touch with the kids, calling about 5 out of 7 days, but did not see them for a year. I was working full time and had over night call.

My goal was that the kids would both know how to do lots of basic chores by the time they left home. Vacuum. Sweep. Clean the bathroom. Do laundry. Replace lightbulbs. Cook. Grocery shop. Plan a meal. Change a tire. Check the oil in each of our cars. We have a 1986 Honda Civic 5 speed, so include drive a clutch. Avoid debt and some basic money handling. Discuss insurance: car insurance, health insurance, others. I started turning over the responsibility for their own health care, dental, vision as well. I want them to know the family medical history and we discussed addictive substances and politics and justice. When my son was in college they asked for cell phones for Christmas. I asked them to research phones and a family plan and said, yes, I would do that. They did a great job bringing me the information. I wanted them to disagree with me as well. If they wanted to do something, they could argue their case and might convince me. I did not hire someone to do our household chores because running a household is work, honorable work, undervalued, and underappreciated. And expensive if you hire people to do all of it.

Both of my kids are much neater than me. Less packrat. At least, they are now… I think it’s a late expressing gene….

I took the photograph two days ago, on a walk in the evening. All blue.

door to the past

For Norm2.0’s Thursday doors.

These are taken on a 2004 school trip to a pioneer farm and native american village site with a school trip. I don’t think I got a photograph of any of the cabin doors, but it was certainly an interesting trip. The parents chaparoned the kids, staying in the cabin over night. We all slept in sleeping bags on the floor. I did sleep, since I am lucky enough to be able to ignore noise. The kids got to dip candles, explore the cabin, explore the village, and were assigned the farm chores in the morning. My son was delighted by a young pig. I think the parents enjoyed it as well and were glad not to wash clothes using washtubs and a wringer.

students hanging dipped candles to dry
Dipping candles
student in vest, cowboy hat and bandana
dressing as a settler
students at pioneer cabin learning about curling iron that you heat in a fire
curling iron and other tools
two students in sun bonnets using washtubs outside a cabin, while two others watch
old style laundry
three students patting a sleeping pig
morning chores

Mnemosyne

I am reading The Female Trickster: The mask that reveals, by Ricki Stefamie Tannen.

Regarding Mnemosyne, she writes: “The power of memory was recognized in Ancient Greece by the goddess Mnemosyne who ruled over the Elysian Fields. The nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus are the muses, with Thalia, the muse of comedy imaged with a Trickster’s mask as she playfully composed comedy and ironic poetry. The muses were women unto themselves. According to the myth, upon death a person makes a choice to either drink from the river Lethe or the spring of memory. If you drink from Lethe you forget your pain and all the lessons of your life and are reborn again on earth. Those who choose to drink from the spring of memory go to the Elysian Fields, where there is no strife or pain. The myth tells us that the path to psychological integration comes from a willingness to value and interact with memory. Those that repress memory are doomed to repeat it, over and over again.” (pp72-73)

This seems apropos both to my personal and professional life and also to US culture. Our President speaks like my stage IV substance abuse patients. He says things that are obviously lies, obviously not true, obviously refutable and yet to all appearances he believes his own lies entirely, even when he contradicts himself. He manufactures his own reality and just laughs when someone else disagrees. But my substance abuse patients crash: they eventually find that they are isolated with their own lies when they become so fantastic and bizarre that no one believes them any more. We are watching that play out.

Re my personal life, I think of my maternal aunt’s memorial. I wrote two memories for the memory book. One was about my father saying that she had perfect pitch. I did not know what perfect pitch was when I was little, but I knew from my father’s voice, the respect, that it was special and important. That he was envious. That he admired it. The second was about my aunt and uncle’s divorce, that I had seen them as a unit and liked both of them better when they turned into individuals.

My cousins wanted to use the first memory but not the second. They said that family wouldn’t like it. I thought about their request and finally said no. Use both or neither. They chose neither. And this pretty much illustrates why I have very little contact from a large part of my family. I want to remember the whole person, light and dark, love them all. And that is not what that part of my family wants. An old family friend has not spoken to me about my sister since my sister died 6 years ago. I asked her directly about it a few months ago. She wants to talk to me “only about happy memories of your mother, father and sister.” I respond, “Why don’t you ask me what sort of relationship I want?”

She was and is silent. So I am too.

It’s not a lack of love but it’s a difference in philosophy. I think it is crazy to whitewash the dead: how will our children understand their own dark feelings and impulses and mistakes if they think that their ancestors, grandparents, parents are angels? Why aren’t we honest as a culture? How can we expect our children to be honest with us when we lie to them? The curated lives on Facebook are an abomination, false, lies and look what we have in the White House.

I like the dark as well as the light. If we truly love everything in the universe, how can we not love the dark as well as the light? If each of us owned our dark sides, our dark impulses, the myth says that we will not enact them over and over each generation. Owning the dark, acknowledging our own dark does not mean that we have to act it out in the world and then lie to ourselves and others.

And now I want coal for my stocking: just a small piece, to remind me that I have not always, or will I ever, only be good.

family escape

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: family.

My daughter and I are out visiting my son and his girlfriend on the east coast. My son wanted ideas for Christmas, since he and my daughter know I have enough stuff. I suggested tickets to something: a play, music, something in the DC area.

They took us to Georgetown on Sunday and we did an escape room! We were in the prehistoric one and solved it before the one hour timer. Lots of clues and math and letters! It was great fun! We escaped being eaten by solving all of the clues and leaving the escape rooms, hooray!