POEM FOR DRIVERS GOING DOWN THE HIGHWAY NAMED “BATTLEGROUND”

I play “lane switch”

With a big long-haul truck,

With a “No Manners” driver.

I try to squeeze in his lane,

He lurches ahead leaving me

No room” in between,

The road narrowed for road-

Work- ahead,

What to do?

I have all the qualifications

For senior-slow driver,

Sticking always to the right lane,

But when the road narrows,

My mind has not enough

Room for all the twists and turns.

I finally head home on roads

Unknown, following my nose

East and North –

The good news is all the

Papers are in –

To a senior community,

With Rocking-Chaired patio,

Where I can sing a contented

Song –

Leave the car in the parking

Lot,

Just satisfied to be alive,

With

No roadblocks or traffic lights.

Nothing impeding.

Gayle Bluebird (Sept.’20) adds, “My driving days are limited. Best not drive on highways and only near home. (In this case my grand-daughter’s home.) When I move to a senior community end of this month, I will have much less need to drive. Just part of slowing down in a fast-paced world.”

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OUR MONTHLY QUESTION

Our July-August ques-tion, “When did you last sing to yourself and what was it?” brought a comment from Nancyann (Sept. ‘20).

She said, “One night in recent months I was going to sleep and happened to remember my repertoire of lullabies. As the older of several children, they were melodies I learned as a young girl. One was ‘Lullaby and goodnight…’ Another was ‘Sleep, oh wee one sleep… moonbeams…see who comes to three on dancing feet…the milky way….’ I also learn a French aria lullaby when I was taking singing lessons as a preteen. ‘Cache dans cet asile… dor, dor.’ (Sleep, sleep.)

I mostly sang the music to myself, just sticking in the words as I remember them.

Due to the CVOID 19 pandemic I am missing singing in our church choir.”

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REVISITING A FIVE-WORD OUTLOOK ON LIFE

Following is another comment on our April 2020 Monthly Question topic from Kay (See her book comment.) It is regarding one’s five-word comment on life. She writes:

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was elected the thirty-second president of the United States. His campaign slogan was, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Perhaps in a few months when everything is again “open” and we don’t hear “Coronavirus” mentioned daily, it can be resaid: “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

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OUR MONTHLY QUESTION

DVL (Also see his comments in LETTERS) has a few words in response to our What specific subject do you know better than another subject?” He says, I always preferred history over all other subjects in school. I’m not an expert on any subject but history would be my strong suit.”

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FROM FACEBOOK NINEPATCH:

Following are several responses from the earlier topic,

What does the world need?”

Gail (Apr.’20) says, Love is the answer! I’m usually blocking love, both giving and receiving, because I get in the way. When I step back and let go, I’m often rewarded with understanding that my ego and fear are getting in the way. My belief is that God loves us equally. I’m no better and no worse than anyone else, but I’m responsible for my own peace of mind; therefore, I need to do my best to understand where the other is coming from. It works – from my own experience. Compassion for others always does.”

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Linda Rosenthal (Sept.’20) replies, “Love and mental health.”

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Lynn D. (July ‘20) says, “Same-ness/ similarity. We are all Earth’s creatures and no one species or individual has the ‘right’ to judge ‘who’ or ‘what’ is ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ If we were to awake from this dream of difference and recognize that every plant, animal and even the Earth itself is a living creature, that we are all interconnected and interdependent, we would no more be able to harm our neighbor than we would ourselves.”

**

Simon Stargazer III (Sept.’20) answers, “A safe place to rest your head and recuperate…”

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Georgene (Sept.’20) says, “Common sense and kindness.”

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JUST READ

I just finished The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. (A Pickleball friend loaned it to me.)

I’ll be returning it tomorrow so thought I’d list it for you first. Here’s a small summary: “Imagine your husband wrote you a letter containing his darkest secret to

be opened after his death.

However, you discovered it accidentally while he was alive and it changed your life.”

Dottie (Sept.’20) adds, “I just got my car serviced for the first time since Covid 19 and was a little nervous going into the dealership. All the service people had masks, however all custo-mers did not. I’m always amazed at the people who don’t wear them. (Of course, I stayed away from them.)”

A NONFICTION READ

I’m reading Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemp-tion. This true story is about a falsely accused capital murder case and an African American man Stevenson defended as an attorney.

Traveling, observing and reading about different cultures and people is a gift. I think it has improved my life and made me more aware and conscious.

I like to evolve and I have trouble understanding those who choose to remain unchanged.

Linda Rosenthal (Sept.’20) adds, “The world is a wonder and I feel more secure in accepting the darker side of humanity. Choosing not to see it is not an option for me, even if I don’t like my part in it.”

WHY SLEEP MATTERS

I’m plodding through a book called Why Sleep Matters by Matthew Walker. (I’m plodding because there is an abundance of detailed science in the book that I find tedious. I’m skim-ming through some of that.)

The book is of interest to me because I have read books about how to sleep but never successfully implemented the recommended practices. Now I have information about what activities the brain is going through in sleep stages. It is serious stuff.

I have good reason to work on my sleep habits in an effort to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. So far, I haven’t made much progress. But I also know I can’t undo years of sleeplessness by changing a few habits in a short time.

Elaine (Sept.’20) adds, “Matthew Walker has a short TedX talk that might interest you if you have any sleep issues.”

FOUR BOOKS A WEEK

I’ve been reading about four books a week for at least twelve weeks! (That’s a lot of books!) Here are several I enjoyed:

1.Gone, A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym

2.Sunset Express by Robert Crais

3.Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott

4.Bobby Gold by Anthony Bourdain (Ya. The late food network one.)

5.The Church Ladies by Lisa Samson

6.Saving June by Hannah Harrington

7.Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (Not a “romance novel.” I don’t read those.)

8.Final Target by Steven Gor

9.Speaking in Tongues by Jeffrey Deaver

10.Void Moon by Michael Connelly

11.The Night Women by Sara Blaedel

12.The Expats by Chris Pavone

These twelve titles represent my first twelve weeks in isolation! I had bought each book some time earlier but had not gotten around to reading them!

Chantal (Sept.’20) adds,My branch library is now open. I have also checked out a ton of titles there, too.”

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ENJOYING MORE BOOKS

I enjoy writer Nora Roberts who also writes under the name, J.D. Robb. I have a reserve on the latter’s new book in a policewoman series: Shadows of Death

Under the name “Nora Roberts” she also has a new title, Hideaway. That one I checked out to read!

Imagine coming up with so many stories! Even writing two books a year is a feat!

Kay (Sept.’20) adds, “This summer I enjoyed reading Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini who also wrote Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker. (I bought the Sisters title for a friend’s birthday!)”

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Divorce yourself…

Divorce yourself from harm’s way.

James (Aug.’20) adds, “Make choices that keep you safe.”

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STEREOTYPING

Recently I was watching some really good commercials about the dangers of racial stereotyping. They got me to thinking about my own life. I came to the realization that – as a friend puts it – “I’ve got that T-Shirt.” I’ve dealt with stereo-typing as long as I can remember.

It’s true that many people on the autistic spectrum do struggle with things. However, some will hear the word “Au-tism” or “Aspergers Syndrome” and almost immediately they want to jump to the “Syndrome” (the behavioral part) without getting to know the person. Strangers assume an autistic person 1) takes meds, 2) throws tantrums and hurts people, 3) doesn’t know how to have a relationship with God, and 4) needs to be healed by Jesus Christ.

These assumptions are not true of us all. As a person on the autistic spectrum, I do take an antidepressant. (Not so unus-ual in our culture these days.) However, I do not throw tan-trums and have never hurt any-one. Moreover, I have a good relationship with God and therefore I do not need to be healed!

Bookworm (Aug.’20) adds, “I do have some sensory issues. For instance, because of my sensitive skin, I have trouble in this Covid 19 age wearing a mask. I am also sensitive to different types of foods and their textures including liver and – when I was a little kid – oatmeal. (Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace and appreciate oatmeal!)”

FALL OBSERVATIONS

Most of the leaves are gone from the trees up here on the mountain. Down on the flats, the colors are still on. Amazing to see a “line” in the tree colors.

During past seasons when snow falls, sometimes the leaves have still been on the trees “below” a certain invisible line. But above it, bare trees are covered with snow.

I love the seasons up here. every one, every year is so different.

Malaina

Malaina (Sept.’20) adds, “I had written a much longer article, but I lost it by hitting the wrong key on my keyboard. (That happens occasionally.)

I refuse to rewrite anything that took me over ten minutes of sweating blood. One, because it’s difficult for me to remember what all I dragged out of my mind. And two, it ain’t because I’m lazy, it’s just that I really cannot recall what all I had written. And Three – I just ain’t gonna. (Believe it or not, writing is rather difficult for me and to attempt to repeat it is nothing short of – well, I ain’t never.”)

FORUM oct 2020

Dear Malaina,

I loved the images of your porch! I, too, like to hang out in my outside area. I have not been as productive with plants though. I am shaded by three hanging geraniums.

Liz

Liz/Moascar (See also her letter to the editor