Archive for September, 2011

"Escaped Patients Killed by Train" by Samantha Prust

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

I used to collect weird newspaper headlines and stories. One of them inspired the poem below.


"Escaped Patients Killed by Train"

was the headline

that would have everyone believe

in irony as flesh:

hot-blooded and glamorous,

gorgeous and deadly;

always poised perfectly

to strike.


On the other hand,

may I point out

that the story itself

tells a different tale:

how the two women

"had walked out of the mental health unit


even though the two-story facility was locked,

and lay down

in front of a freight train

that struck and killed them."



in this case,

not hot-blooded at all,

but actually a bit clammy

and somewhat annoyed

at having to crouch patiently

under bridges

and wait for victims.


The Train,

in this particular case,

entirely free

from any real guilt,

just in the wrong place at the wrong time—

yet, to the women,

wholeheartedly right

on schedule.


Good Storytelling

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

My Left Foot is story of Christy Brown, brought to life on the screen by Daniel Day-Lewis.

Christy Brown was born with cerebral palsy to a Dublin couple who eventually had 22 children; Christy was one of the 13 who survived.

As with all amazing movies, it leaves you with haunting messages that return unbidden throughout the day. The boisterous family life depicted in the movie is said to have been accurate. There is a short clip in the special features section of Mrs. Brown, Christy's determined mother. Thinking about Christy Brown and how incredibly resourceful and utterly undefeatable he was in his quest for normalcy makes me search deep within myself for any shred of such traits.

It is a huge gift to engage thoroughly with excellent story-telling, and this movie proved to be a Monday night surprise we won't soon forget. For further reading see the wikipedia entry here and the entry here.

The biggest surprise, though, is not only that Christy Brown wrote the book that led to the movie. He also did the illustrations. All with the only limb he could control - his left foot. It is no wonder Daniel Day-Lewis got an Oscar for his performance, which included typing with his toes.

But what brought tears to my eyes was another clip of Christy Brown himself, slipping a new page into his typewriter and typing away - no hands - just with his left foot.


Did I complain when my computer was at the Apple Hospital? Shame on me!

Wrong Number Brightens My Day

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Last week I needed to renew a prescription, so I punched in the numbers for what I thought was the Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy. A male voice came on asking, “What can I do for you?”


Thinking I had reached a recording, I said in a hesitant voice, “Refill a prescription?”


The male voice chuckled, “I can’t do that. In fact, it would probably be illegal.”


Seems I had misdialed and reached a call service for a plumbing company inOhio. The gentleman asked me where I was calling from. “Loveland,Colorado.”  Another chuckle. “Well, I could arrange for a plumbing house call for you, but the travel expenses might be prohibitive.”


We both shared a hearty laugh. A lovely way to begin my day!

Times Changing For Grandma

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The eVite arrived over a month ago. It read:  Patricia and Andy's baby girl is on the way, so let's help them prepare for the big day! IT'S A COUPLES SHOWER honoring Patricia, Andy and soon-to-be Charlotte!

I immediately responded, “YES, of course!”

Two weeks later, because I forgot to write it on my calendar, I checked the email again…Oh dear, I thought as I carefully re-read the invitation…I can’t go. It’s a COUPLES SHOWER and this grandmother is not part of a couple. So, I reposted my regrets.

I guess that sent everybody into a frenzy because, the cell phone hummed away, people wanted to know what was wrong, why I wouldn’t be there or if I needed a ride.

I explained my change of heart about attending. “It’s a “couples” event. And since I’m not part of a couple anymore and those who will be there would probably be married friends or dating friends of Patricia and Andy I shouldn’t go. I’d be out of place. I may be older, sometimes forgetful, but I’m not stupid. After all who wants grandma to be part of that party scene?” I proceeded to explain that back in my day…baby showers were usually for female family members and friends…the men were not included. Then added, “I assumed there would be another one…ladies only and I'd go to that one.”

Not the case at all! As this dilemma came to an end and after being reassured I had misunderstood the e-Vite, life is good!

“Oh, no.” I heard. “The intent of the word ‘couples’ is the contemporary approach to include everyone (spouses and dating partners) to come along to the party and celebrate.” Ahh…now I’m up to speed!  You can still refer to me as  older,  forgetful, but you can't call me old fashion...I'm hip to what's happening these days!

And I will be at the big event this weekend, to enjoy the celebration and help welcome Charlotte into the family.

Times are changing and, “Isn’t it great?”


Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Here is a short poem I wrote last year, called "Imagine:"

Could you imagine

Life becoming

A plain in Nebraska

Not fighting for space –

Give me time –

The crowd too much

I could rise up

Let dreams

Give me back

To finding

That words let this and that

Just be.

Tolerance and Gratitude

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

I admit it. I am overwhelmed by the information explosion surrounding me. I can't keep up. Fast paced rapid fire info confuses me, especially if it comes thru gadgets smaller than my hand that fill my head with details.

My disability has become apparent with situations with friends, like horseback riding pals. Something as simple as what time to arrive at a trailhead gets tangled up in a series of cellphone calls, and I miss important details.

For example, two times this week I showed up at what I thought was the correct time only to find them waiting for twenty minutes, horses already saddled--the morning air filled with tension and hostility of unmet expectations all around. Not pleasant for anyone. Now, I too dislike waiting, especially when I have hurried to get there on time. But I was there; I thought I was on schedule; I did what I agreed to. For these particular friends, I had not done enough.

The lesson of the week--give yourself a break. You tried to show up for life and inane details got in the way. Some of my friends and family are more into high expectations than I am. And they get snippy about it. My style is more along the lines of gratitude that another human decided to spend time with me on a horse outdoors. Horses don't know about time, or being late or early.  They just are. Horses also forgive easily, naturally, and I can do that, also. Why is it always the people I have the most problems with?

To my horse pals, I say "Seriously girls-- Tolerance and forgiveness make a nicer morning ride."