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April's Perspective

looking at news and our lives

Juicy Tidbits

My job as a newspaper correspondent was to sit in meeting, and then sum up what was said for the readers of my community.  I looked at it as if I was the eyes and ears of everyone in my community.  If you were busy with little league, choir practice, reading bedtime stories and tucking your little ones, you had no worries about what was happening at the council, school board or planning meetings.

It wasn’t usually very exciting.  Most of the business of local government is routine. Community business was routine, but important.  Are road repairs causing closures during your commute to work?  How much are the bridge repairs going to cost, and where is the money coming from from?  The city budget, the police reports, the accountants review.

My neighbor came to me with a story on how badly the building committee was treating her, by insisting she follow code.  A fellow worshiper stopped me in church to tell me the council was shamefully disregarding the law.  My hairdresser would wonder why I didn’t report on the abuse of police handing out traffic tickets for speeding as a city fundraiser.

There are rules that govern what can be discussed behind closed doors, and what must be discussed in the public eye.  There are also rules that determine who can be used as a source.  If the secretary says council is discussing something illegally behind closed doors, that may be interesting, but it is not something I can report on.

If a councilman is discussed with the lack of public conversations and produces reports on a study done in secret, then the reporter has a very juicy piece of news to report on.  This is where a reporter will legitimately keep their source secret, no matter what the mayor may feel about the legality or appropriateness of the action.

Just to be clear, the source is never a secretary, janitor, housekeeper, or other support personnel.  This is what is often called a leak, for no other reason that that the person or people in charge do not want to explain their actions.

This juicy scenario never happened  to me.  No, I had people saying things in public meetings that they wanted off the record.   Statements in a public meeting are never off the record.  The result for my community was longer executive sessions behind closed doors, and legislation presented for public discussion with carefully crafted statements for or against.

Some people did question if this situation was an abuse, but no-one who wanted to take a public stand.  That was the end of that story.

 

Short

I am not very tall.  At 5 foot 2 inches, I may not exactly be considered squat, but I am considered short.  In fact, my mother was on the tall side, and my siblings are all taller than I am.  Throughout my school years I was usually the shortest in my class, and during my middle school or junior high years I was the shortest person in the school.

The beautiful people are tall people.  There are no 5 foot 2 inch models.  The longer the legs, the more beautiful a woman is rated.  The really beautiful women are nearly a foot taller than I.

It’s okay.  Good things come in small packages.  My body carries my spirit through the world just fine.  I’ve got a husband and family that fit me just fine.

I occasionally come across people near my height, and sometimes even smaller.  I have to look up at most people.  I don’t mind looking up at you.  Height isn’t what matters. What matters is how we express ourselves.  What matters is how we communicate our ideas. What matters is the way we think, and how that thinking causes us to treat others.

When it comes to those measures, I am as big as anyone!

Night Sounds

The clouds are painted pink, the sky streaks with red and gold, as darkness falls like a blanket over the earth.  The creatures of the day retreat and night creatures stretch to wakefulness with moon and stars their only light, unless reluctant to sleep humankind pierces the dark with incandescence and halogen.

The sound of night can be soothing to us.  The call of frogs in trees and ponds call to each other in the night.  The song of crickets become part of our lullaby, punctuated with the hoot of an owl.

Owls fly silently looking for their meals.   Skunks and possums move silently through our neighborhoods.  Mice scurry in fields, and sometimes our homes.  Bats fly devouring mosquitoes. Moths fly about their business.  Raccoons forage, build their homes, and raise their babies.  Rabbits and foxes and coyotes are also on the move.

While we are dreaming in slumber, the world comes alive with creatures.  If we are awake, we may hear the sound of these creatures normally hidden from our sight.

In the predawn hours, birds of all kinds start their day.  The sound starts genteelly and raises to a crescendo.  Normally, these sounds to do not wake us, but when we are disturbed we don’t understand how we ever thought that nature was a place of quiet peace. Eventually, we arise for another day, and the night creatures go to bed.  We swap dominion of the earth for half a rotation of the earth.

Two Peas

“What was your expectation” she asked.

Not what I was expecting from a getting-to-know-you cup of coffee.  What I expected was something more along the lines of what do I do for a living?  Do I have any hobbies?  I glance at the door, “I don’t really expect anything except a little pleasant conversation to see how we get on together.”

“Really!  You weren’t expecting someone taller, thinner, more glamorous,” she asked.

“I was expecting to meet the nice girl I saw in the photo with your profile,” I said, and when she didn’t respond I added, “She looked nice.”

She blushed and looked nervous.  “I’m so sorry. I was just at the store picking up some donuts and a movie for my nieces and a college student in the store told me I should do the world a favor and lay off the donuts.  I guess, I was taking it out on you.”

“That’s body shaming.  Was that young man a perfect specimen of manhood,”  I asked with disdain.

“Well, No.  He had skinny little arms, and too much grease in his hair,” she said.

“Then maybe someone should tell him to spend some time lifting weights in the gym,” I suggested.  “Maybe he could wash that hair, but that greasy look is probably in style now.  With a little luck, maybe he will grow up!”

After a moment she relaxed and tentatively said, “I apologize for taking my anger out on you.  Can we start over?  What is it you do for a living?”

Laughing I answer, “Now that’s more in line with my expectation.  I’m a manager with a boring office job.  I could go the gym a little more often myself,” I said giving my stomach a pat.

“You look fine,” she said with a blush.

“You look fine,” I said taking her hand.  “I think we look just fine together.”

 

Flights of Fancy

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It’s just a routine day, with nothing special on the schedule.  The kind of day you need once in awhile, just to settle back into the everyday routine.  A day of sunshine, and mild temperatures, to activate one from the sleepy drowse of winter.

The groundhog, perhaps looking for a mate, came up out of his hole in midwinter and saw his shadow, confirming yet another few weeks until spring.  The big mid-winter festival of Superbowl has ended, the small holiday of Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, and thoughts of spring come to mind as days get longer.

Even a person with complete seriousness, such as myself, can’t be blamed for flights of fancy that take one to the sun-drenched days of summer with leg- and arm-revealing clothing.  Our fancy turns to porch swings, while sipping lemonade during the heat of the day, with floppy hats and sunglasses to shield our eyes from the sun, enjoying warmth and sunshine as we try to catch a stray breeze.

And then there is that reflection in the glass before me, and all I can think of is, why?  Why did I eat out every day last week.  Why did I eat that chocolate cake and cheesecake?  Sure it was a celebration, but really, why didn’t I say no dessert and second helpings on those chilly wintry days of snow and rain, wrapped up in sweaters,  and think of summer.  Why did I eat, watch TV, read and hang around the house rather than getting out and getting some exercise.

Why?  Because it was cold, I was warm and content with the people I love, and not thinking about tomorrow.

Today I can see clearly.  No longer is it the fancy of the young on the beach in a bikini that I see, but with a little effort, I can imagine this little retired couple on hikes with grandchildren and dogs, and picnics in the park.

As more sunny spring like days appear with flowers pushing up from the ground, the more clear that image will become.  It is time to start getting ready.

Borrowed Time

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Here is our little old lady, resting after a long night.  It has been a rough week with several sleepless nights.  Penny is a miniature pincer, a little overweight, deaf, 13 years old, and in the sunset of her life.

Min pins are known to be high-strung animals.  If you have never owned a min pin, you may not know what I mean my high-strung.  Penny has lived up to the high strung reputation of her breed.  Intensely curious and clever there is hardly a place safe from a min pin.

Penny could levitate from the floor to the back of the sofa without a perceptible exertion.  In her younger years, she was found on kitchen counters or even the table.  The sight of a treat or a leash is completely overwhelming, as she runs in circles, her tail waging her entire body, jumping and crying with delight.

Finally Penny realizes there will be no treat (or walk) until she sits.  Responding to the request, she bounces up and down to run in a little circle until expending enough energy that she can, with great effort of will, hold herself to one spot on the floor, showing she can behave in a ladylike manner, as long as we insist.

Her days of jumping onto the back of the sofa, and being found in the middle of a table or up on the counter are long gone.  Penny can’t even get up on the bed or the sofa for her favorite activity, cuddling under a blanket, which earned her the moniker of “blanket ho.”  The moniker was given to her by my son-in-law, with ho being short for hound.

On her best nights, Penny will go out once or twice.  On a bad night, Penny pants, paces, cries, barks, and scratches incessantly at the door.  She doesn’t seem to want or need anything in particular, except for Mom or Dad to do something to make her feel better.  Just as we have done with fussy babies, we hold her, rock her, and pat her to try to calm her down.

Sometimes, we even pull her into the bed with us as we did when she was a tiny pup.

Does It Surprise

I’ve been unplugged for days, first due to home maintenance requirements, and then due to days spent in the Canaan Valley of West Virginia without an internet connection.  So this evening I had a humongous amount of e-mails, including junk mail and all of you whom I follow.

After deleting the junk, I began reading blogs, and the more I read the more animated I became, which is really not a good thing at bedtime.  After disturbing Hubby’s sleep repeated with thoughts inspired by your blogs, I finally told Hubby I was getting up to write.

Hubby recommended I get two pencils.  From a sleep standpoint, pencils would be a better choice than writing with the glow of my computer’s monitor, but one has to do what one has to do.

So this is to you, my inspiring fellow bloggers:

Does it surprise you that I find you political, without a word about politics?  Between  the lines I read protest delicately framed with subtly and beauty.

In your anxiety and depression, I find sensitivity and intelligence.  If you wore a red suit that anxiety would be called the tingle of intuition.  Instead of a call to your shrink or reaching for anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants, you would fly off to battle injustice and fight for the American way.

Your sensitivity has arrived at the same conclusion as think tanks, and scientist who claim the world has gotten closer to doomsday , bringing us 2.5 minutes away from the brink.  People are acting out, getting careless, and generally showing stress.

Some of you use kindness and beauty to heal the world.  Some of you carry the pain of the world in your soul.  Some of you have the ability to deflect the pain with humor.  Some of you are so clever with your words that you can reveal the truth without accusation nor criticism.

You are awesome, and I want you to know that.  All of you.  I wouldn’t follow you if I did not sincerely think so.  Give yourself a big hug from me.  I can’t wait to find even more of you great photographers, artists, philosophers, poets, and essayists.

Keep up the good work, and good night.

Success is Always Waiting

Yvonne L. Certainly did a nice job with the word of the day – successful.

Peaceful Journey

Successful
successful

Hello,

I’m Success…

I’m on the other side waiting for you.

Just stick to your plans and keep your focus.

Yes, there are distractions along the journey.

Yes, you might get discouraged and may face some obstacles.

road

Just keep moving towards me,

I’m waiting right here.

There’s so much success in store for you.

There’s so many opportunities for you to do.

While on your way,

Here are some suggestions if I may…

Keep your focus on your goals,

have a clear vision of your plan,

prioritize, organize, and push your way.

Trust me, the struggle gets easier day by day.

success

In the end, these are the most valuable things you can do.

You’ll find persistence was well worth your time too.

After all, success does not always come easy.

Trust me, put a pin in it,

I’m Success, I should know.

success-principles

If you don’t mind me offering you advice,

it…

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Secrets

I’ve never worried much about privacy.  I try to live honestly, and be a good person, so what is there to hide?  If you meet me tomorrow, I will not be a person different from the person you know from my writing.

My secrets, which are few, are not something I casually write about, nor talk to others about.  They are not recorded in a journal or diary.  My secrets are not on-line.  Anything I want to keep secret I keep on my heart.  If you are one who knows one of my secrets, I can only hope I have chosen well, although I am not sure that has always been the case.

I have secrets from my family, just because not everything is their business, and I am pretty sure they would not agree with my choices.  I don’t want to be in the position of having to be dishonest by keeping the secrets of others.  I have no secrets from my husband.

However, if I think there is a reason to share a secret, I will do so without hesitation.  If you are struggling with something I have passed through, I will share every last detail in an effort to help you through.

It now occurs to me, that the things we keep secret are the mistakes that bring us shame.   These secrets show us we are only people, like other people, no better nor worse.  These secrets help us develop compassion, and forgiveness for others.

We all make mistakes.  We all have things we are not proud of.  Isn’t this enough of a reason to be kind to each other?

 

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