Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two years and a lifetime

So much has happened. I just retired on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, 2015. I have had a health scare that I am still in the middle of. I am planning on changing everything, and for the first time in my life I am not afraid in the least...except about the possibly dying part. The leaving my job, the selling of my house, the moving to South Carolina... That doesn't scare me. On the contrary. I am excited.
I want it to be done already. But baby steps.
Not exactly the illuminative blog post I had hoped for after a two year absence.
Woo hoo!

Friday, June 14, 2013

For Father's Day: 10 Lessons from Daddy


Lessons my daddy taught me

  1.  Stay off the path
    If you always walk the same route, you’ll create an ugly rut that is not easily remedied
  2. Watch where you’re going
    When you don’t pay attention you’re apt to stray, get lost, fall. Look ahead and choose your way carefully
  3. Don’t ride the fence
    Pick a side. You can ride a fence down and render its purpose lost.
  4.   Keep your eyes open
    Things are easily missed and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
  5. Life is precious
    Even an ant  has a life it wants to live. Don’t kill indiscriminately.
  6. Enjoy a good storm
    Storms have an unparalleled energy. Embrace it.
  7. Always make music
    Strum a guitar, sing a hymn loudly, whistle a tune, yodel if you can.
  8. Hold onto your money
    Pay attention to what you truly need and spend accordingly.
  9. The pitch makes the game
    Strike, ball or homerun – it all hinges on the pitch. Infielders, outfielders, catchers, batters are all reactionaries. A good pitcher is the one in control.
  10. There’s always a way
    Never give up. With a little wood and glue, with a little milk and flour, with a little patience and love, all things are possible.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here is my Fun Things To Do calendar for the summer. It is a strange blend of things Karen Morgan, Daily Press Features Editor thinks you should do and things Karen Morgan, fun-loving member of the Dysfunctional Group likes to do. I hope you find it useful and you come find me when you are there. I'm usually with the biggest, loudest group there.

To learn the details of the events I posted here, click on the event, and at the bottom of the window click more and then click on the website url listed there. That will take you to the event's own website. And remember, if you make a Facebook event, you can let me know and I'll get it listed in our calendar (and if you are an organization, make an internet calendar and send me the url so I can get a permanent feed to the community calendar. We want to know everything that is happening in Hampton Roads.)

Get out there and have fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Today is President Barak Obama's second Inauguration Day. Today is Martin Luther King Day. Today I should be thinking deep thoughts and sharing my insight on the monumental nature of this moment.

But I'll leave that to others. Lots and lots of others.

Today I am thinking about the library I just unloaded from my office closet. Today I am thinking about the boxes and stacks of science fiction and fantasy books I am getting ready to send out into the world.

I moved many boxes of books to this house 10 years ago. Half have moved on. But none that lived in the closet, the ones nearest to my heart, the ones that opened my eyes to worlds and realities I had never considered. Some of those worlds were vast and mind-boggling in their differences, populated by folks just like us. Others were only a hair's-breadth akimbo, and yet that tiny shift caused earthquakes and avalanches in societies so different from ours that they left us forever changed, on guard against any hint of their existence coming to light.

Like "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
Like "Brave New World."

My old, dusty, yellowed and faded babies, you hold many of my lives : "I, Robot," "Catch 22," "Crome Yellow," "Fahrenheit 451, "The Others," "Greener than you Think," "Grass," "A Canticle for Liebowitz," "Stranger in a Strange Land," "Ringworld," "Dune," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Mists of Avalon," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Ender's Game," "Planiverse," "Flowers for Algernon," "Lord of the Rings" (two sets), "Foundation Trilogy," "The Stand," "A Clockwork Orange," "Watership Down," "The Belgariad," "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever," "Wicked," "The Crystal Cave."

And 150 Analog and Science Fiction, Science Fact magazines circa 1988-1993.

There is one shelf full of those I still cannot let go: "Slaughterhouse Five," and all other Kurt Vonnegut works. "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe," and all other Douglas Addams works.

To the rest, I let them go with love. It's a little sad to say goodbye, but they haven't been touched in a decade.

It is time for other hands to hold them. It is time they welcomed other eyes, other minds.

So long my friends.

Thanks for all the fish.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

The best part about New Year's Day is the hope. Everybody has it. No matter how good or bad the past year has been, everyone welcomes the new one with arms wide, hearts open.
To do otherwise would be an invitation for despair to come to dinner and camp out on the couch. Even those who engage in daily flirtations with him are willing to bar the door, stoke the fires and hunker down on this day, where it is warm and cozy and all manner of comfort and potential exists. Even those who know him well will try -- on this day -- to pretend they can't hear him knocking.
This day is dedicated to possibility.
This is the day good wishes flow out to all without regard to ethnicity or religion. There are no underlying dogmas or potential offenses to shadow the good will. It is given freely, joyfully and with the utmost sincerity that all experience a happy new year.
You can tell yourself it is just another day.
But you know it is not.
And you can't help reflecting on the path you have taken since last you crossed this threshold.
For me, it was a blissfully uneventful year except I watched my daughter embark on a journey of wellness and fitness that is already reaping great joy for her, and for that I feel blessed and grateful. 
And now that I think of it, I feel pretty happy with what I have accomplished as well.
I finished a full year of physical therapy and celebrated an anniversary of not smoking.
I saw to the publication of three amazing books, though I personally wrote none of them.
I am still employed and still loving my job after all these many years.
I am still healthy, though a new hip awaits me in 2013 (thank goodness...oh to take long walks once more)
I have reconnected with an amazing friend, a soulmate of many lifetimes.
I have tried to reinforce all the many friendships I have, although I know I am not the friend they deserve, and if I have a resolution for the new year, it is to be a better friend to them all.
I have tried to keep the family ties going, but ditto on the doing better.
I could go on and on, but I won't. That would just be an exercise in self-indulgence best done elsewhere. But this much I know. I enter this year with as few expectations as I can. I have goals. I have desires. But the universe can and will surprise me, often with greater things than I ever could have dreamed.
I think I'll enter it with joy and love and little else.
And I'll keep the sarcasm, thank you very much. It makes me happy. So, while you haven't seen it here today, I promise it will return.
It is, afterall, a part of who I am. Hello 2013. Watch out. Here we come!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

DIY Jewelry rack

And now for something completely different.
I am very proud of the jewelry rack I made out of an old decorative frame thing I found at a yard sale for a dollar. I didn't have any cage screen, but I did have some new, left-over window screen in the garage. I invested a few dollars in some nailhead thumbtacks and small hooks and put this together in about an hour.
I was very happy with the result.
It now hangs behind my bedroom door.

Stolen moments

I’ve put the coffee on. Can you hear it gurgling in the kitchen, smell its perfume? I think there’s some bacon in here somewhere at the back of the fridge. Yes, found it! 

I rummage under the cabinet for my favorite cast iron skillet and set it on the glowing eye at the back of the stove where the cats dare not go. Soon your mouth will be watering and you’ll wake to the soft glow of sunrise slanting through the venetian blinds.

I know it’s hard to climb from between those crisp white sheets. There’s nothing like lingering there, breathing the aroma of morning and listening to the sounds of  someone puttering with pots in a room down the hall. It feels like childhood, waiting for that call that it’s time to get up and get ready for school.

But school’s out, my love. We are free to explore this great, wide world and this vast inner one to our heart’s content. Isn’t it exciting? And we can do it together! Oh what wonders we will see, what mysteries we will experience. Are you packed? We have quite an adventure ahead of us and who knows where it will lead.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be back here, perched on the brink of discovery. When I disappeared oh so many years ago, I didn’t even quite realize I had gone. I don’t now know where I had been. But now … now that I’m back … it all seems so obvious. I was lost to the world, to myself.
And I am back.

Don’t tell me there isn’t magic in this world. There’s so much fucking magic we should be tripping all over it every morning on the way to the bathroom. What’s really puzzling is how we fail to see it much of the time. God knows how we could go years, even decades, and look right past it or brush it off us like some annoying mosquito.

Then a single, simple act. A few words. A tiny transmission. And the world shakes you awake. Eyes fly open, hearts fly open, souls do a naked dance of elation. 

Good God, child. Where have you been??????

Welcome home!