Speaking of the Long, Hot summer

African American Music Appreciation Month

This month is one for the history books. When I think of June, it’s usually with happy, uneventful thoughts—weddings, summer, school’s out, long evenings with friends, recreational activities galore, only six more months until Christmas – heck, what is there to complain about?  This month, however, has been what I’d call tumultuous for lack of a nickel word to use instead of this 50-cent one.

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On Monuments

Confederate Flag

Can we talk about monuments, protests, military bases, flags?

I’ve said it in almost every way I know: we must respect and build relationships, we must work to understand and be understood, we must listen, we must walk a mile in the moccasins… I’m beginning to think I’m talking to myself. I’m reminded of a Wendy’s commercial from the 80s when the bun was big and the burger was really small. The lil’ lady kept asking “Where’s the beef?” After she got no answer, she finally decides “I don’t think there’s anybody back there!” Today I’m asking is there anybody back there? Back there at civility, at common sense, at respect for others, at tolerance and appreciation? Apparently not.

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Uncertainty, Angst, and Confusion Will Not Define Us

Confident woman

I believe what we do today is more important than what we say. When it comes to what makes us human, and what makes us powerful, our actions are more powerful than words. For instance, if I say a million times that I love and honor you, but I show you contempt, neglect, and disrespect, my words are hollow and useless.

This week I am struggling with what I’m feeling, and how to express it. Since fourth grade I have taken to my pen when I was troubled or happy or inspired, and I’ve found solace there. Considering recent events, I’m not sure if I’m inspired, tired, sad, angry, hopeful, troubled, a combination of all of these, or just overwhelmed. Thankfully, from everything I am reading, hearing, and seeing, I’m not alone in my angst.

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Congratulations to 2020 Graduates

Fresh Graduates

Congratulations to 2020 graduates – here’s to new beginnings

I’m loving all the ways our neighbors and friends have found to celebrate this year’s graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parades, virtual ceremonies, celebrity speeches—this virus brought out tons of ingenuity and creativity, so this rite of passage got the attention it deserved.

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What a Difference a Week Makes

Protest over George Floyd's Death

We are our brothers and sisters’ keeper…let’s act like it!

What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday our concern was COVID-19 and a return to “normalcy.” This week I watched the Coopers—Amy calling 911 when Christian—no relation—asked her to leash her dog. When he refused to stop recording their conversation, she threatened to falsely tell police she was being accosted by an African American man. She began acting hysterically and made the call.

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COVID-19 is Serious, Take it Easy

Life during Covid-19

I think I’m going to fare poorly when it comes time to fully return to a post COVID-19 world. I’ve been faithfully wearing my masks and gloves and staying home, using the bank and pharmacy drive thru, and staying away from people in the grocery store. I haven’t been shopping since March 15, and I canceled all deliveries, repairs, cable and telephone upgrades. When I say I have been sheltering at home since March 15, I mean it, and I intend to continue.

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This is National Nurses Week, Let’s Celebrate

Elderly couple thanking a nurse

Over the past year, Roger and I have had lots of chances to see nurses in action. I was hospitalized for the first time in 15 years and he was hospitalized twice and each time we were blessed with wonderful nurses and assistants who were careful, safety-minded, responsive, kind, and patient. Each time their non-anxious presence was calming, and we wondered if they ever went home because they always seemed to be around. Their concern for our well being made being sick not so bad.

This week’s recognition of nurses is well deserved. During this COVID-19 crises we have heard about the shortage of nurses, their working conditions, dedication, family sacrifices, and the risks they’ve taken to care for their patients, often putting themselves at the bottom of the list. Their long shifts, increasing patient load, added risk of caring for sick and dying patients, all should help us remember and appreciate these unsung heroes and heroines in the days ahead. I pray as things reopen and settle down, we remember to recognize and celebrate these important medical professionals.

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If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

Thank You Teacher

I read this message on a bumper I was probably too close to the other day and I smiled. May is National Teachers Appreciation Month so if you’re looking for an opportunity to say thanks, this is it. After parents and grandparents spent the past month helping with teaching and homework for home bound students, I suspect there will be extra thanks swirling around our teachers, principals and other school personnel.

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