Can We Talk?

>> Sunday, September 21, 2014

It’s been forever since my writing “grrrr” went on a rampage. My blog has cobwebbed waiting for my return, but I just haven’t had anything to say worthy of putting fingers to keyboard. That all changed with the death of Joan Rivers.
Public Domain Photo

My muse went on the loose.

I was not a fan. Comedians often make me feel stupid because I don’t “get” their brand of humor or worse, their material is rude, crude, and crass.

I’ll give Ms. Rivers’ her perks: She was very good at everything I hate. Her style of entertainment annoyed me at best and appalled me at worst. To hear someone so outrageously mean and filthy-mouthed be applauded as a genius of her “craft” was just a bit hard for me to swallow.

That being said, her death was a loss to many. Her family is devastated and friends and fans mourn. I feel bad for those personally effected and would never discount their pain. Too bad the media never learned the fine art of empathy.

From the moment she fell ill, the press has dissected and regurgitated every second of Joan Rivers’ career. Her success and failures have been hashed and rehashed, her personal tragedies splayed in the headlines. One in particular shook me to the core.

To further her career, Joan Rivers took a job hosting her own talk show. Because of that, Johnny Carson, her ‘friend’, never spoke to her again. The show was a failure, her producer/husband was fired, and as a result, he committed suicide. Her daughter held Joan responsible for her father’s death and a breach in their relationship pushed Joan to the brink.

She too considered suicide. . .until her dog jumped on her lap and sat down on the loaded gun. When she realized there would be no one to care for her beloved friend, she changed her mind.

Talk about an epiphany.

We lost Robin Williams just a few short weeks ago then another high-profile celebrity shares the pain they suffered that nearly caused them to take their life. We ‘tsk-tsk’ and shake our heads in wonder at how those that “have it all” could possibly consider such an action.

I think we forget something: They’re just people like the rest of us. Their hurts are no less intense while the world magnifies their agony by making comments on social media.

But maybe there’s a redeeming rainbow that comes out of a storm of lives lived in the public eye:  They’re lives are in the public eye. Oxymoron? Maybe, but hear me out.

The death of Robin Williams, sadly enough, zeroed in on the subject of suicide. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, but if I’ve learned anything in the last couple of years, it’s in the talking that lives are saved.

I can’t help but wonder if because we live in a world that now eats, lives, and breathes the information highway, just how many conversations about suicide took place in the few days after the death of Mr. Williams.

Same thing with Joan Rivers. How many people considering suicide stopped short when they heard her story? Were lives saved?

We can only hope.

Two years ago, I became involved in a local suicide walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. To find out more about what lead to that, check out this post

In two weeks, I will again be walking in the Branch County Out of the Darkness Walk. If you'd care to donate, your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Timing Is Everything

>> Friday, January 31, 2014

I'm posting at The Barn Door today, too.

A few weeks ago, Michigan was part of a phenomenon known as a polar vortex. I’d never heard of such a thing but Al Roker said, “Think of it as a polar hurricane.”


But it didn’t matter to me as I had boarded a plane for Cozumel on January 2, the day before everything cut loose.
Off my balcony

We’d heard bad weather was coming, but all we ran into on the way to the airport was some light, fluffy snow. And really, we couldn’t have cared less anyway. The only focus we had was sunshine, beaches, and tropical temps.

Sure, it had been raining in Mexico for a month and the forecast indicated more of the same while we were there. But compared to temps that ran in the 30s…BELOW 18 inches of snow, it was all relative.

Soggy but having a blast!
Sometimes I think technology is a detriment. I watched the Weather Channel app on my tablet and fussed: Would my kitties be okay? What if no one could get into the house to feed them? Would the pipes freeze? Sure hoped someone plowed the driveway. . . .

It did rain often during our trip. We had one sunshiny beach day and even then, there were intermittent showers. It was cold (mid-60s), windy, and monsoony often. One of our excursions turned into a muddy, drowned-rat experience. We laughed ourselves silly, froze, and got sopping wet. It was awesome.

All too soon it was time to go home. The world back here was still trying to recover. So many flights were delayed and cancelled during the event, the airports were still a mess. One of our group missed her flight and ended up spending the night in the airport. She finally got home 24 hours later.
The water was cold. Really cold.

Our vehicle wouldn’t start after sitting several days in sub-zero temps and we needed a jump. The highway was still icy, making driving hazardous.

When we got to my house, fortunately the drive had been cleared, but later on, I heard my cat-sitters had quite a time getting in and out. Thank goodness one of them had the presence of mind to leave the faucets dripping. Can only imagine what a disaster I could have come home to.

I’m still basking in post-vaca glow and my tan hasn’t totally faded. And yet another weather event is on the way. Too bad I can’t hop a plane. Guess I’ll just have to sigh over the pictures.


It's (Simply) A Wonderful Life

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2013

 I'm posting at The Barn Door today. Pop over there or read on. And...
Happy New Year to all!

Most everybody has seen the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." Frequently repeated throughout the month of December, it's one of those classics you never get tired of.

In the movie, we meet George Bailey, a man whose dreams of getting out of small town USA are dashed at every turn by circumstances, coincidences, and just plain bad luck. George decides the world might be better off without him, but his guardian angel, Clarence, steps up to prove otherwise.

He takes George on a journey through time and helps the distraught man realize just how important he is to those who love him.

Through the ordinary, everyday, and mundane, George begins to see the light.

Which leads me to consider my world and the end of 2013. Not in a discontented manner-quite the opposite. I have a terrific life in my own little small town USA.

It's a simple existence, just the way I like it. I prefer my daily routine uncomplicated. Easy-going. The less drama, the better. Some may term it dull and boring. Even monotonous. Often I would even agree with that assessment. But for the most part, it's all good.

I've learned to appreciate the simple. The little things. The routine.

Like winter.

I'm not a fan. Totally detest it and look forward to snowbird status in the future. But even I can appreciate the beauty of a Michigan blizzard as long as it's from my easy chair wrapped in fuzzy jammies.

As a kid, I didn't indulge in outdoor winter activities much. I tried, but it just wasn't my thing. My mother figured that out after spending large amounts of time bundling me up and being annoyed when I reappeared very shortly after going outside. Was probably a big relief when I opted to skip the whole thing and stay inside with a book.

Not too long ago, I sat and pondered winter while being stuck inside during an almost-blizzard. I was antsy and bored, wishing there was something to do besides stare at the swirling snow as it piled up out my back door. Eventually I worked myself into a a state of near-whining

Something needed to be done.

So I forced myself to look for the positives. Think about the importance of every season in regards to the workings of the earth--instead of just the ones I like.

I also tried to find the beauty out my window instead of being depressed. Fluffy snowdrifts and fluttery flakes in the sunshine were enough to bring a smile even to this grumpy hater of winter.

And then there's the wildlife. This picture by my friend Cari was taken somewhere in Michigan. Isn't it gorgeous? (Despite the pile of white stuff.)

Photo by Cari Povenz
So I learned a few lessons from good old George Bailey: Be grateful for what you have instead of whining about what you don't. Find beauty in the ordinary, the simple, the everyday. Watch the attitude. Be quick to love those around you. Be willing to try something different.

I'm excited about 2014. A new year always gives us a chance to start over. Right the wrongs in our world. Hope for the better. See what adventures lay ahead.

Time to go for it.

What about you?

Do you (simply) have a wonderful life?

I do.


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