Witness

I was walking out of the gym when I noticed one of the fitness instructor’s dabbing at the corners of her eyes with a tissue. I gave her a half smile bowing my head ever so slightly to acknowledge something might be amiss.  As our eyes met she took my wrist and said, “Can I tell you something?” “Of course.” “I just found out a dear friend of mine passed away. I knew it was coming and she was old but I’m still so sad.” “Oh, my goodness I’m sorry […]

I was walking out of the gym when I noticed one of the fitness instructor’s dabbing at the corners of her eyes with a tissue. I gave her a half smile bowing my head ever so slightly to acknowledge something might be amiss.  As our eyes met she took my wrist and said, “Can I tell you something?” “Of course.” “I just found out a dear friend of mine passed away. I knew it was coming and she was old but I’m still so sad.” “Oh, my goodness I’m sorry [...]Keep reading...

Final-Finals

Finals week–finals week–finals week, it read on my calendar like a news ticker rolling past me at every glance.  I don’t think as a student I thought about it nearly as much as I did a parent.  Ever since the boys started high school I’ve always calendared it so I’d be available to help with whatever they might need. This semester was different though. It was the last finals week, unless one of them decides to get a graduate degree.  A thought I can barely wrap my head around because […]

Finals week–finals week–finals week, it read on my calendar like a news ticker rolling past me at every glance.  I don’t think as a student I thought about it nearly as much as I did a parent.  Ever since the boys started high school I’ve always calendared it so I’d be available to help with whatever they might need. This semester was different though. It was the last finals week, unless one of them decides to get a graduate degree.  A thought I can barely wrap my head around because [...]Keep reading...

It’s Not Personal

I could see the numbers climbing and feel my anxiety pulse like someone was taking my blood pressure. Two hundred and seventy-five developmentally disabled people and their hundred plus caregivers are a lot of folks to be responsible for.  What if someone has a seizure on the dance floor or trips the fire alarm?  Or far worse–what if someone intent on doing something horrible shows up? The list of what-if’s is as long as the guest list for Prom. I know I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I […]

I could see the numbers climbing and feel my anxiety pulse like someone was taking my blood pressure. Two hundred and seventy-five developmentally disabled people and their hundred plus caregivers are a lot of folks to be responsible for.  What if someone has a seizure on the dance floor or trips the fire alarm?  Or far worse–what if someone intent on doing something horrible shows up? The list of what-if’s is as long as the guest list for Prom. I know I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I [...]Keep reading...

Spin Cycle

At the intersection of Clark and Atherton there was a gas station, 7-Eleven, and Laundromat. A five acre dirt field separated our house from this strip mall. It was filled with gopher holes so it wasn’t smart to run across it for a Slurpee. With laundry you’d have to drive the long way around. We didn’t have a garage so we had to load and unload our car parked on the street. My job was to help with this—and clean out the dryer vents. I thought this was the best […]

At the intersection of Clark and Atherton there was a gas station, 7-Eleven, and Laundromat. A five acre dirt field separated our house from this strip mall. It was filled with gopher holes so it wasn’t smart to run across it for a Slurpee. With laundry you’d have to drive the long way around. We didn’t have a garage so we had to load and unload our car parked on the street. My job was to help with this—and clean out the dryer vents. I thought this was the best [...]Keep reading...

Rigged

Every year the winner’s of the Palisade Peach Festival’s baking competition have their recipes published in the local paper and every year I say I should enter.  It would be fun I tell myself and yet I’ve never followed through until this year. The adventure started when my book club chose a novel called, “Kitchens of the Great Midwest”.  The online description didn’t enthuse me at all, but out of loyalty to the club I went to Barnes and Noble to at least flip through it. When I found the […]

Every year the winner’s of the Palisade Peach Festival’s baking competition have their recipes published in the local paper and every year I say I should enter.  It would be fun I tell myself and yet I’ve never followed through until this year. The adventure started when my book club chose a novel called, “Kitchens of the Great Midwest”.  The online description didn’t enthuse me at all, but out of loyalty to the club I went to Barnes and Noble to at least flip through it. When I found the [...]Keep reading...

Peanut Butter & Jelly Burritos

We were driving to a meeting with his job coach when Chase asked, “Mom you don’t have a $12,000 coat do you?” I laughed. “No, I don’t have a $12,000 anything.” “Well did you hear about Hillary Clinton’s coat?” “I saw something on Facebook about it.” “Can you believe that?”  “Yeah I can.  Designer clothes are expensive but to be fair men in the presidential race spend a lot of money on their clothes too.” “Not Bernie Sanders.”  He had me laughing. “Probably not.” “I’ll be glad when the election […]

We were driving to a meeting with his job coach when Chase asked, “Mom you don’t have a $12,000 coat do you?” I laughed. “No, I don’t have a $12,000 anything.” “Well did you hear about Hillary Clinton’s coat?” “I saw something on Facebook about it.” “Can you believe that?”  “Yeah I can.  Designer clothes are expensive but to be fair men in the presidential race spend a lot of money on their clothes too.” “Not Bernie Sanders.”  He had me laughing. “Probably not.” “I’ll be glad when the election [...]Keep reading...

Quacked

“Hello, this is going to sound silly but I’m calling about a couple ducks with injured legs.” The young man answering the phone laughed. “This is the Department of Wildlife ma’am it doesn’t sound silly.” “Oh good, well these ducks were born in my yard and moved to the ponds behind my house. They’re eight weeks old and something’s happened to two of them. They’re struggling to keep up with the rest of their family and I’m worried.” “Can you capture them?” he asked. “Probably not.” “You can’t get close […]

“Hello, this is going to sound silly but I’m calling about a couple ducks with injured legs.” The young man answering the phone laughed. “This is the Department of Wildlife ma’am it doesn’t sound silly.” “Oh good, well these ducks were born in my yard and moved to the ponds behind my house. They’re eight weeks old and something’s happened to two of them. They’re struggling to keep up with the rest of their family and I’m worried.” “Can you capture them?” he asked. “Probably not.” “You can’t get close [...]Keep reading...

Bigger Than Me

School was easy for me.  That’s not to say I was a scholarly kid I just didn’t have anything working against me other than being a leftie.  When spiral notebooks are your worst enemy you don’t have much to fear. That hasn’t been the case for my kids and between the two Chase has had it the hardest.  I suppose that’s why in early spring when he sailed through the last class he had to pass to graduate I breathed a sigh of relief.  This was followed by more than […]

School was easy for me.  That’s not to say I was a scholarly kid I just didn’t have anything working against me other than being a leftie.  When spiral notebooks are your worst enemy you don’t have much to fear. That hasn’t been the case for my kids and between the two Chase has had it the hardest.  I suppose that’s why in early spring when he sailed through the last class he had to pass to graduate I breathed a sigh of relief.  This was followed by more than [...]Keep reading...

A Year to Remember

“This is a year to forget!” he wrote in his message.  When I first read it I laughed.  Rick with his perfect mix of humor and compassion had nailed it.  The saying “when it rains it pours” has come to mind often in the last year.  Between my health and my kid’s it’s been a physically and emotionally challenging year to say the least. When his message arrived, it was four weeks post-op and life without my gallbladder wasn’t going so well. Gone were the problems I’d struggled with before, […]

“This is a year to forget!” he wrote in his message.  When I first read it I laughed.  Rick with his perfect mix of humor and compassion had nailed it.  The saying “when it rains it pours” has come to mind often in the last year.  Between my health and my kid’s it’s been a physically and emotionally challenging year to say the least. When his message arrived, it was four weeks post-op and life without my gallbladder wasn’t going so well. Gone were the problems I’d struggled with before, [...]Keep reading...

Turtle Soup

I sat down winded.  I’d rushed to get to youth group Wednesday and needed to catch my breath.  The kids were lining up to get their dinner so I had a minute to collect myself before I had to be sociable.  The dinner I’d inhaled at home felt like dead weight in my stomach. It must have shown because the minute she sat down, Chloe the group’s most inquisitive member said, “Does your stomach hurt Kären?” Chloe would never lean over and ask me anything quietly so now all eyes […]

I sat down winded.  I’d rushed to get to youth group Wednesday and needed to catch my breath.  The kids were lining up to get their dinner so I had a minute to collect myself before I had to be sociable.  The dinner I’d inhaled at home felt like dead weight in my stomach. It must have shown because the minute she sat down, Chloe the group’s most inquisitive member said, “Does your stomach hurt Kären?” Chloe would never lean over and ask me anything quietly so now all eyes [...]Keep reading...