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Friday, November 17, 2017

Clay feet

Went to bed sick to my stomach, or my mind, last night. Slept badly. Al Franken, too. I feel like we’re in a virtual three dimension tic tac toe game, pitching men through space. Who’s in charge? What’s going on. What is the point? The biggest offender holds the biggest office in the world, and nothing has changed.

I’ve reached the point of “so what.” Until the biggest boil is lanced, nothing has changed. We struggle against more power than can be overcome. It’s good we are taking sexual assault seriously. If more abusers step up to the mic over time, and confess, good. But until the biggest bully is gone, there will be no mic drop.

Bullying starts at home. I wish every parent understood that. Treating children as less than people, shaming, confidence destruction are bullying. Sibling against sibling; child against playmates. It can be stopped at home and it will never spread like binder weed and crab grass.

We’ve excoriated Bill Clinton; we’ve called out every third movie mogul; it’s time to let go. Reserve a right to shun or prosecute every old offense that comes to light. But, we need to stop, cut, move forward the business of this country. And that does include removing President Pussy Grabber.

The world has not ended since January 20th. A lot of sleazy legislation has been passed. A lot of stupid world deals have been made. More wildlife has died. The oceans are rising. We’ve learned to mobilize and prepare to keep making change. We can outlast Pence. We can keep on voting more intelligent people into office.

That’s all. Calm down. Keep calm and carry on.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Red shoes

I see the world in pictures and in stories. I see people by what I see around the people. Often I recognize them by their hair, by their size and shape, but not by their face. I don’t know why, or why this even came to me, as I set about clearing a batch of pictures from my phone.

A little batch of pictures has hung around on my phone since election day. Not that long ago, but light years in my world of file them or get rid of them. Flags were at half staff that day. I had to look it up. The church shooting in Texas. What changes?

Of everything I lost to the Red Bus, my job was the worst. It connected me to the world more than any other piece of my brain that went spinning off. I have an email almost daily from the new fiscal officer: How does she do this or that or the other thing. And I know and I tell her. I did not lose that job for want of competence.

The new fiscal officer was appointed by the trustees to fill the vacancy when I left. She had to run for election in the next general election, in November. She had an opponent, which I never did in four elections. And, she won.

I vote in the town hall, and took my chances at finding Ron on my way out. The door still opens to the same key code, and the same voice from the office observed “I hear footsteps in the hall!” Ron moved Winston, the skull in wool hunter’s cap, from Doug’s chair, and I settled in for a catch up chat. Doug is off, nursing his replacement knee, you may recall.

First we talked grandbabies. Ron has his first, a boy who’s closing in on a year now. Actually, we shook hands on our way out the door, me to DC and him to Czechia, where the little fellow was just born. That’s the little guy, on the phone.

“I have a picture for you!” Ron said. This picture is so Ron, I must explain it. That’s the hood of a thirty five year old Ford tractor, on the last trip mowing ditches this year, “on Wetmore, your favorite road. It was a beautiful day! I had to take a picture.”

Here’s one more picture I didn’t use the other day. The branches over the road at Kendall Lake. I take this picture almost every spring and every fall, for the last many years.

And, for the end, our little girl with red shoes. Now her care is in the hands of a fifteen year old girl every day. Often in the afternoon I see her and her brothers coming down the road with the caretaker. The complex maintenance fellow says they’re still using space heaters in the house, but that’s all he knows. All I know, too. I need to figure out how to upload the doctor forms to the Rotary site.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Out and about today

The year abroad to study story must have a twist, or it wouldn’t be mine. That’s how my life works.

Laura is so pumped about the idea, she had her half of the document completed and emailed to the coordinator before bedtime last night. No idea what she sent, but perhaps that’s the best for now.

I spent the morning preparing doctor, dentist statements. We must give the documents to be completed with the applicant’s personal information completed, and have a scannable document with original signature in blue ink returned to be uploaded. By lunch time I had them all prepared, together with a cover note, to courier to the doctors this afternoon.

My last flurry of activity before leaving the house was a note to the program chair, a fellow with a hundred percent Irish name, to the effect we had come late to the event, and I would appreciate some more information on who we were to contact as a Rotary sponsor, so I could take care of that.

Off to the races, being the person with all day and no commitments. Our primary physician is not in the office for a week, so that one is on a desk. What the heck; the deadline and interview isn’t until December 2nd.

One stop was for Children’s Hospital doctors, in the renovated B.F. Goodrich factory. Since forever I have said I would take pictures and show how this building has been renovated, and we’ll close with them. Meantime, I came home to an email from Mr. Great Irish Name that basically said, “What are you talking about?”

I put my scant knowledge of Laura’s weekend together, and realized she had been on the trip with Kay to retrieve her son from his overnight and interview for the same scholarship. Now many tidbits of the conversation repeated to me fell into place.

Son: They have more scholarships than applicants. They asked us to spread the word. Laura, this would be great for you to try.

Son forwards email of information to Laura. And so the process began.

I was so impressed by her can do attitude last night that I composed a new email to Mr. Irish Name myself. It says a very qualified young woman wants very much to be part of this program. In addition, a great Rotary member, my Uncle Hank, would have sponsored her in a heartbeat, and may still be involved. So, can we meet for lunch and see how we can make this work for Laura.

Details to follow.

Here are a few phone photos of the renovation of Goodrich into offices. 

The basement, looking up from one direction.

The basement, looking up four floors. There are about nine stories in the building.

The concrete pillars are original.  Consider the weight of manufacturing they supported.

The first four floors are mezzanine style, with the centers cut away. The floors above are solid.