We are in the middle of a Virus spike. The health authorities have warned against gathering in large groups for the Thanksgiving celebration. The suggestion to stay home ,or celebrate with just one family.It is short of a mandate ,so most people will gather with some responsibility . This includes me.I have quarantined this week. We will travel to see my brother and his wife on Lake Michigan at their cottage. Plenty of fresh air and masks with social distancing.Next week we will visit my daughter and son in law for Thanksgiving Day. Again we will practice social distancing , masks and frequent hand washing.We will travel without stops to both places and we will wipe down items we may touch.I hope and pray it will be enough to keep us and the ones we love safe.I believe many others will do the same. We know the corona virus is real but we can’t live in a box or vacuum. May our precautions be enough.Whatever you choose, may you stay well and protect your family members.
With sanitizer and a bags of wipes
We travel to visit safely
masks and social distancing
we try not to cry.
We are drawn to each other
to gather without touching
fresh air flows around us
Will it be enough?
The voting is complete. The people have spoken. We as a country are grateful to the poll workers, observers and vote counters that worked long hours to assure a fair election. There is one group that has been overlooked. The United Postal Service.As the Post Master General Louis DeJoy, ordered equipment to be removed and the work force to be decreased, The mail was receiving millions of voter’s ballots to be processed.As legislators called for daily sweeps of postal equipment to assure all votes were processed. The postal service has done daily sweeps as a part of their daily route tasks. The workers did their job, to get the mail to it’s appointed destination .No Penalty overtime will be paid for in the months of Novenber and December during the holiday rush. The workers are expected to volunteer to work overtime as part of their regular job. They do what has been requested of them.We should recall that at the start of the pandemic. the post offices were open and delivery service was daily except for Sundatys and holidays.The postal workers made sure that mail service wasn’t interrupted. Our letters and packages were delivered in a timely manner.So I wish to add my thanks to the clerks, mail handlers, truck drivers ,sorters and carriers as they have done their jobs for over two centuries.We may complain when we receive only advertisements but think of the cards and Holiday notes that keep us informed and in touch. We can hold a physical reminder of friends and family near and far.Thank the postal service for keeping us in touch.
Neither snow nor rain or sleet in the night
Not colds or flu or corona virus spikes
Not less equipment nor reduced staff,
They do their jobs despite the gaffs.
I was a guest blogger on Joan Miles’s blog. Please check out this blog and the amazing woman behind it.
The link is below.
Restroom DramaI touched on one of the most difficult and funniest places that a blind person can experience. If you want a small taste of what many visually impaired people experience, close your eyes next time you go into a large bathroom. Can you tell where the stalls are located? How about the sinks? Will you be able to find the soap, towels and then find you way out? Let me tell about some of my experiences.When I enter a large restroom by myself, I usually stop and listen for flushing sounds to locate stalls. This stopping gives people time to evaluate the situation and decide if they want to help. Sometimes I appreciate it and sometimes I don’t. One time I was in a restroom at the airport. I couldn’t locate the stalls because of people talking . That time I asked the room if someone would direct me to a stall. A very kind woman showed to a stall and pointed out the toilet paper dispenser , the flush lever and the lock. I thanked her and used the commode. When I opened the stall an airport employee was waiting there to help me locate the sink, soap and towels. She informed that the woman that had helped was called for her flight and wanted to be sure that I could get out and continue my travels .I also have been given help when I didn’t need it. This happened on the Natchez Trace in a public restroom. I was going in to change into biking clothes. The room was empty and quiet. I started to travel the wall. A woman entered and without talking pushed me into the first available stall. The lock was broken, and the toilet continued to flush every minute. I was trying to change while holding the door closed. To make matters worse this woman was pushing against the door and asking if I was all right. With all the noise, I dropped my wallet and didn’t hear it hit the floor and lost my wallet . I called the rest stop and was told it was given to the guard minus the money , it was not worth going back a hundred miles ,I just asked them to destroy it.In some states a person of the opposite gender can go into a restroom to assist . This makes my husband very uncomfortable. He will look first for family restrooms that are not gender specific. If he can’t locate one he will take me into a men’s restroom , if not crowded. I use to be leery of this until I lost all sight. Now I just hurry into a stall and get out as quickly as possible.I heard a story from one of my blind conference friends that he looks for a handicapped stall in large public restrooms because they have the sink and junk container in the stall. He said that he has gone over to wash his hands. Only to discover that he was washing in the urinal!In this time of corona virus, people may not be comfortable approaching a person in a restroom. I pull out a small bottle of hand sanitizer while orienting to the space. When I leave the stall, I again use the hand sanitizer while listening for the sink area or the exit.If you notice a person using a white cane in a restroom ask if they need assistance and listen to what they may or may not require . Both you and the visually impaired will feel good about the experience.
To go where no blind person should be alone.
a public restroom filled with noise.
I stand still to get my bearings
To orient the room by sound.
A voice near my elbow says”Can I help you?”
I turn in the direction of the voice,”
Where are the stalls?”
“This way” the friendly voice says
“Let me take your elbow.”
“Here is the commode,flusher and toilet paper.”
I finish and leave the stall and restroom.
Now I can really relax.
Veteran’s Day or Armistice Day was special in our home. On the original day, my Mother was born. Her father kept the first pages of the three newspapers in Detroit in remembrance. As a child, I saw the papers framed and hanging in our den. I don’t know when Mom arrived into the world, but it could have been on the 11 hour the same as the treaty was signed.Mom was named Margherita . She never heard that name . She was called Rita. She didn’t learn of her real name until she applied for a passport. She decided to legally change her name to Rita. Mom’s favorite color was yellow. Her favorite flower was chrysanthemums. Today my brothers and I grow a yellow chrysanthemum plant in our yards to remember our Mother.This time year, Mom was busy and full of secrets. Her bedroom was off limits as she wrapped Christmas gifts and put them under her bed. She made sure that there weren’t any tags on the gifts to thwart curious young eyes. Yes, I was one of them.My Dad tried to take Mom out to dinner for her special day. Most of the birthdays were spent with us. She even had to bake her own cake.I remember a series of painted tins and play dough sculptures wrapped in tissue paper to present to Mom. One birthday, I recall the boys getting together to buy the largest and cheapest bottle of toilet water to impress Mom with the size of their gift. She smiled and graciously accepted all the offerings given with love. I think that stinky perfume was poured into her bath water for months.She was not one to spare the rod if we deserved punishment. She had a yardstick and a stick from a balloon on top of the refrigerator . She called these items, her persuaders. I remember being switched between my legs as I was chased home after wandering past my boundaries. My brothers felt the yardstick on their backsides for misbehavior. We didn’t know that after the punishment she retreated to her room for a good cry.She was loving, caring and good with the family budget. Many of our best stories about Mom comes from her handling a tight budget.My oldest brother, Bob, remembers being sent to the local A and P grocery to buy overripe bananas for 10 cents a pound. He was given just enough change in a small coin purse. He was embarrassed by the smell of the fruit and biking home with them.These bananas were turned into banana nut muffins and bread. to be fillers for her growing family. Growing boys were always hungry. She had a shelf of peanut butter, bread and cereal for between meal munching.Mom could take one round steak and divide it into 7 servings . I always receive the meat around the bone. When I complained, she told me. that it was the most tenter part of the steak. I believed that her portion was even smaller than mine.This Thanksgiving, her children and grandchildren will raise a toast to Mom and all she accomplished. With a strong faith and a motherly care for others, she continues to be a model for our family.Happy Birthday Mom!
Warm the room with closed door.
First the baby in the tub.
Then the girl
wash her hair.
Finally the young ones
in the nest.
Filling the tub,
Mom’s chance to rest.
All our lives we got the best.
Mom would take the rest.
Sent from my iPad
Blind Theatrics When I was in my early twenties, I was a part of a community theatre group. We performed musicals once a year in the local theatre.The first year we put on the musical ,”Brigadoon”. I was young enough to be cast as a dancer in the chorus. During the practice sessions, I wore my glasses so I would be able to learn the steps and see where all the props and cast members were located.As opening night approached, the director pointed out that young women of the 1600’s didn’t wear glasses. I was forced to perform without them. My sight was very poor without the glasses but I had learned all the dance steps and knew where all the props were to be placed.On opening night, We had a dance number dancing around a large trunk as the leading lady was packing her possessions to be married. Unfortunately for me the stage hands didn’t put the trunk in the correct position on the stage. It was in the way of a dance line. Most of the dancers adapted and went around the trunk. I however, danced right into it and flipped over it. The vibration could be heard below in the dressing rooms!One of the rules that you learn as an actor is never break character so after I did my flip I brushed myself off and continued to dance. I must have done a good job because my parents in the audience didn’t notice anything amiss.When we performed our next musical, ”Fiddler On The Roof”, the director cast me as an old grandma. He explained that I could keep my wired rim glasses on in that costume. I would be forced to move much slower . I didn’t have a problem and performed flawlessly. Performing with low vision has its challenges and dangers. With a little problem-solving, they can be overcome.
On the stage, everyone wants to be a star.
But they don’t want to stick out for a mistake.
Blending yourself with your character is the key.
So the mistakes aren’t yours but the part you play.
This is what many of us do every day.
We play a role formed for us.
If we act out of this role.it is perceived as a mistake.
Can we step out of our roles to become the people we were meant to become?
After the Vote, Then What?
November 3, 2020We will wait for votes to be counted.Glad to not hear more political ads.No more calls to get out and vote.But what will change? Little at first. One party will having bragging rights and the other party will challenged votes numbers in close states. We will be happy or disappointed depending on our vote.The important lesson is Americans exercising their right to choose their leaders.With the grace of God, we will overcome this virus and the divisions that limit us as a people.With help and guidance we will become the leaders in caring for each other
With Our Hands
with our hands
we can wave in greeting
or shake our fist in anger
With our hands
we can offer help
or push another away
with our hands
we can pray for another
or curse those in our world
with your hands
what will you choose to do today
Halloween has been a safe activity for children and adults. Allowing trick or treaters to don costumes and masks to experience the dark while getting treats from smiling neighbors. Its been a traditional day for children to look forward to. This year, parents are racking their brains to provide a safe Holiday. Some neighbors are putting out treats on a table in the middle of a driveway. Others are participating in Trunk or Treat during the day. Still others will turn their front lights off during the early evening. This is real fear. The corona virus will change this holiday celebration as well as others to follow.A day that should be filled with fun can be really scary.No matter what your choice it will effect our children.I believe that children can be masked with their costumes to prevent virus spreading. Walking with your children to point out safe treats areas. Finally , households can watch the trick or treaters from a social distance with masks to comment on costumes and greet their parents. Let’ us think about a safe Halloween and leave the scary practices off the streets.Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween.
O scary night
The moon is brightly shining.
It is the night of really scary stuff.
We are all in fear ,for the virus to catch us.
Do we follow recommendationthat doctors request.
Packaged treats for kids can be handled safely.
With masks and distance.trick or treating can be done.
I have talked with several aquaintances in the last several weeks. They are complaining about the politics and the upcoming election. Predicting that if their party is defeated on November 2nd, there will be economic collaspe, rioting and the need for military intervention to maintain social order and security. All this even without the Carona Virus.I listen to their laments trying to understand their concerns and fears. I just don’t get it! Do my friends think so little of the American people and the democratic system to have so little confidence in us to fear the worst?A look back in our country’s history will show that we , as a people , have been at many crossroad and flurished. About every 20 years or once in a generation such a crisis has occured.From our country’s founding up to the bombing of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, we have been faced with chalenges.Whoever becomes our nation’s leaders will have a long road to heal the nation. It is up to each of us to do our part to heal ourselves and our communities. Why wait? Lets start today before the votes are counted to go forth greeting each other with kindness. We know that not all of our choices will be accepted. Instead of throwing our hands in the air and giving up, let us strive to work with the newly elected by phone calls, letters and email . This helps to know the people’s needs.I hope that we can see the importance of the whole forest and not focus on individual trees. Trees come , grow and disappear but the forest remains.
All must stand together.
Merging to become one people, under God.
Each has the right to an opinion.
Rights that can compromise.
Individuals stand joined as one nation.
Can we put aside our differences?America
All of the kids in my family were expected to learn to read music and play an instrument. We had a piano in our home so the instrument of Choice was to learn that first and if there was an interest, then another instrument could be included in the instruction.I started my lessons with a wonderful older woman , Miss Helena Christian, who had been taught at Juilliard School of music. She was very patient with all of her students.I tried to learn to read the notes on the score but I had distortion when I tried to read the Bass cleft. I had sufficient vision to read the Treble cleft. I learned to memorize the chords while I read the melody line.My teacher realized that I would never be able to read both clefts at the same time. She bought me a music book that had the words and guitar chords above the melody line. I was able to play most of the songs in the book.She struck a bargain with me. If I learned the fundamentals of music on the piano, she would teach me to play the guitar.During this time I started to sing along with my music. She listened and put aside a part of the lesson time for singing lessons.I went from dreading the piano lessons to looking forward to each weeks lesson.With some insight and understanding my teacher was able to modified my lessons to get the best result and pleasure in playing music.I will always be grateful to that teacher, and others who took the time and allowed me to learn in my own way.
Notes with words
waiting to play aloud,
explode with joy