Nosy Nelly.

photo-38I used to read “Dear Abby” in my daily newspaper. One issue that came up frequently was “How do I answer when a friend or acquaintance asks me a personal question that I don’t wish to answer?”

Abby had a number of possible replies – Why would you ask me that? Why do you want to know? That’s personal. – Or sometimes, when Nosy Nelly is persistent, That’s really none of your business. Or perhaps a gentler version would be Let’s not go there.

Unfortunately, when Nosy Nelly is being her most inquisitive self, there is no gentle version that will deter her. She goes into a rapid-fire mode and makes numerous inappropriate inquiries, causing me to want to throw something at her, like maybe a serious reprimand about how damn nosy she is and how she needs to get a life.

Here’s the thing – the other side of Nelly is a kind, gentle, caring woman who goes out of her way to do for others. She doesn’t call attention to her acts of kindness. I truly believe she would take the shirt off her back and hand to a friend (or a stranger) if she thought they needed it.

The last paragraph doesn’t solve the problem of Nelly’s inquisitiveness, but it makes me pause and reevaluate my relationship with her. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Neither do I want to spend a lot of time with her. Somewhere there’s a happier balance. I’ll keep pondering. Any suggestions?

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Ancestry – What’s in your DNA?

Recently I spit in a test tube and had my DNA examined. I thought it would be interesting to know a little more about my ancestors. I can’t say I learned anything new. Heck! I didn’t even validate what I thought I already knew.

I was not particularly thrilled with the results. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina so, of course, I was hoping for a smidgen of Cherokee. Nowadays I think most North Americans wish for a little Native American. Why is it we pine for a drop of native Continue reading

Be brave. Bloom.

IMG_2026“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

Almost every day I stumble upon a quote that speaks to me. This one might seem to some my age a bit delayed – even too late. I don’t think so. It’s never too late to bloom.

Clever insults.

Opiod addiction — modern day plague.

Needle-syringe-clipart-620x400Everyone’s talking about it, even the President. I’m glad. It’s time. But the more we talk, the more I realize it’s important how we talk about addiction.

There are studies that tell us who is addicted and why they’re addicted. Some think the addict made a bad decision in his youth. Doctors are to blame, say others. Many think the addict is weak and if she would be tougher and stronger she could recover. The theory that addiction is an illness is gaining ground. If only he hadn’t smoked pot when he was twelve maybe he wouldn’t have started the strong stuff. Parents blame themselves. There are as many reasons as there are persons who are dependent on these drugs.

To (mis)quote a Catholic priest who was also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “It matters not how the donkey got in the ditch. JUST GET HIM OUT!” Please, let’s get them out. They’re dying at an alarming rate.

If you don’t have a family member or friend who is dependent on drugs, count yourself lucky and don’t hold your breath. It’s just a matter of time. I don’t say that to be a doomsayer. It’s who and where we Americans are now. It’s our reality.

When (not if) you find yourself confronted with an opportunity to interact with an addict and/or the family of one, don’t forget that they are human beings. Flawed? Maybe. Troubled? To be sure. Sick? Yes. But they are people all the same. Just like you and me. They have hearts and souls and hopes and dreams. They hurt more than you and I can imagine. They are someone’s child, sibling, parent, grandchild, aunt, uncle.  The rest of us have an obligation to help them.

As with everything in our society this could, and probably is, going to become political. Don’t let it. Addiction knows no political affiliation, no socioeconomic level, no gender, no age, no ethnicity, etc. Our job is to see that our politicians don’t politicize this issue. Call them daily. Write letters/postcards. Keep after them. Most of them surely know personally someone who needs their help. We need their help and lots of money.

 

 

 

 

Before the nightmare begins (2)…

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I dreamed about President Obama last night. We were standing side by side and I had my arm around his skinny little waist. I looked up at him (He’s way taller than I.) and I said, “I love you Obama.” I suppose it was too up close and personal for him to respond, “I love you back.”

He did, however, give me that famous sparkling smile.

I learned recently that I actually know a person or two who are going to PEOTUS Trump’s inauguration (or as I sometimes say in-nausea-ration.) I suppose any inauguration is historic and worth attending. This one is especially so because it’s the first time we’ve elected a fascist.

I’m seventy-three years old and have voted in every election since I came of age. This is the first time I have feared an inauguration would be the beginning of a very long four-year nightmare.

I pray I’m wrong.

Shirley – my sister, my friend.

img_1392Losing a sibling is a unique personal tragedy. My original sib club consisted of five, one boy, four girls. Now we are three sisters. We lost our brother a number of years ago when he was only 61 years old.

Last night, my oldest sister Shirley died. Over her lifetime she suffered from numerous serious illnesses, any one of which could have ended her life, but didn’t. I can’t recall how many times we thought she was slipping away from us. Somehow she always pulled through for another stab at this thing we call life. We sometimes joked that she had nine lives. If we took the time to count, I think it may have been more than nine.

Shirley had been on kidney dialysis for the past three years. We, her family, watched as she appeared to get weaker and more tired by the day. I wasn’t terribly surprised when her oldest daughter called me a few days ago to tell me that my sweet sister, after discussing her condition with her three daughters and her doctors, had made the decision to forego any further treatments. She was exhausted. She simply couldn’t take it any longer.

I’m exceedingly proud of my sis for making a courageous decision but I have a huge hole in my heart, as do we all.

When I saw her at the hospital on Friday (the last time she was able to talk with me) she had a peacefulness about her that let me know she was at ease with herself. And she still had her sense of humor. The nurse pointed to me and said, “Shirley, who is this?” She smiled and replied, “That’s my sister and she’s the oldest.” That was the last giggle I had with her. I was hoping for a few more days.

Shirley leaves behind three beautiful daughters: Sandy, Toni, and Sonya. She was also the grandmother and great-grandmother of a whole bunch of wonderful children and young people. We miss her.

Shirley Winkler Earp (02/22/1939 – 10/16/2016)