I am feeling what can only be described today as generous emptiness.  Walking around in my day, in my room, in my head, through the leaning walls of my soul, around the jagged pieces of my heart and feeling almost nothing.  Last night, as we held our heads in our hands, in the moments between fixing our eyes on a screenful of horrific tales from Uvalde, there were so many feelings.  Horror at the violent end for 19 children and 2 of their teachers at Robb Elementary School. Aching all over for every parent, sister, brother, grandparent, aunt, uncle who sat and waited, fearing or hearing the worst news imaginable.  Utter disbelief over our powerlessness to end such gun insanity in this crazy Land of the Free, Home of the Brave Little School Children.  Rage at the people offering insane responses during the early tragic hours of our collective grief. People like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton . "Stay off TV..." we implored, shaking our fists and our heads. Do something. Anyt

S#*t Gets Real (Happy Spring Break)

 My husband is a Boy Scout to the bone. Prepared. Ready for the worst case scenario - whether filling a suitcase for a whirlwind vacation, packing up gear to go camping, stocking a portable tool box for mountainside deck-building, or getting through the average day during a global pandemic.  Here he was in the mid-2020s - pre-vaccination, pre-KN95 mask saturation, smack dab in the middle of WTF-ery.  You can't see it, but there's a HEPA filter over the end of the tube of that full face, underwater snorkel mask. #PreparedMan. And yes - he wore that standout virus resister everywhere that wasn't here inside our super-sanitized, hyper-bubble-only home.  It worked. He did all the family errand-running in his "scoober" (as our eloquent granddaughter called it). I did curbside pick-ups, Door Dash ordering, and backyard distance-seated happy hour planning. We stayed well. When volunteers were requested for a Texas antibody study, we signed up for 3 blood draws. Last draw

Give Beets A Chance?

Every compassionate human I know is fighting despair this week.  We are suddenly international peace thinkers on alert - we study maps of Eastern Europe on our laptops, retweet memes of Vladimir Putin, and search our closets for anything yellow. Anything blue . We read. We watch documentaries . We donate money . We propose to know what's going on, what needs to be done, what looks like a win, and what looks like an immeasurable loss.  The more I think I know about Ukraine v Russia, the more I know I don't know. Every time I dig in, I uncover something that requires 15 additional Googles to understand. Where, I wonder, was my attention in 2014 during Ukraine's Maidan Revolution ? Why, I ask my husband, can I not answer your question about the fairness of  pre-Maidan elections for Ukranians? What, it is impossible to fathom, kept me from learning about 1941 Babi Yar from a teacher or a parent? How, it seems prudent to imagine, does Vladimir Putin respond when he's cor

March 21. Selma.

This is the town...  That wanders a river... That "boasts" a bridge...  That carried a movement... That changed a country... You likely know about Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettis bridge. March 7, 1965. The day 600 marchers left the Brown Chapel AME church in Selma, Alabama and walked, by twos, six blocks to the middle of the road bridge stretching across a wide swath of the Alabama River. You probably know a 25-year old John Lewis was at the front of the line of marchers who set out to walk 54-miles of rural highway to the steps of Alabama's capitol building where demonstrators hoped to meet with then-Governor George Wallace to talk about voting rights for Black Americans.  You surely know the group was met by a force of law enforcement that stopped the march in its tracks with billy clubs, dogs, and tear gas. 17 people were hospitalized that day. Almost 60 were injured - beaten back by police the entire 6 blocks from whence they came. Yep. The whole six blocks.  But

It's Grief

It's been a week of realizing our grief, hasn't it? Recounting the days before and after. Telling the stories that begin, "Last year at this time." We do this when we lose people we love. I call them the Walking-Through-Jello days of grieving that include the phrases, "Last week at this time..." and "Last month I was..." and "Remember their birthday last year?" These days are followed by the still-grieving conversations that gather around the words, "A year ago we..."  Many - so, so many - have lost people they love to COVID-19 over the last 12 months. 526,815 families in the United States have buried at least one person who was not supposed to be taken away by a virus. That's an average of 1,443 deaths a day for 365 days.  2.6 million families across the globe have done the same.  45,837 families here in my home state of Texas have said unexpected goodbyes - 124 of them today.  The rest of us have simply lost days and month

Texas - You Can't Have It!

We had dinner last night with our friend who devoted months of his life a decade and a half ago to balancing a career he was called to and a passion he could not resist. The first was a job with the State of Texas, the second - everything Alamo. The San Antonio native let his facial hair go wild, his boots go muddy, and his family go husbandless/fatherless during weekends and evenings, all to play the role of Extra #57 in the 2004 movie you've probably seen at least once - The Alamo . It was something from his bucket list.  Friends - you have now met a true Texan. He is not a crazy person. We have other people in our lives who used to send "Happy Early Texas Secession Day " greetings to everyone in their address book during the holidays instead of Christmas cards. You know - in case we forgot our streaks of We're-Biggest-and-Best Texan thinking. They are not stupid people. Our favorite native Texas singer-songwriter has a tattoo on his leg - an outline (nothing more

Deep in the Heart. Of Here. Now.

Hello new readers/old friends. Thanks for clicking 'round to this 12-year old blog. Take a breath. A good deep one. I was told by a lovely yogi years ago that Americans could turn their worlds upside down if they'd just stop 12 times a day and take a deep breath. Do it. At least take one.   See?  Stop hurrying for a sec. This won't take long. I only want to tell you what happened at my 12th breath today... I unpublished over 400 blog posts from this site. It was in the fidgety, wee, no-sleep hours of the morning. This was my rationale for archiving about 250,000 words at 3 AM (point of reference, the average adult novel is 70K-120K words long, so I ditched 2-3 novels - poof!):   1. It was time. I started writing here in September of 2008, with the express intent of directing people down a path of Hope - right behind Barack Obama. After that was done I was hooked, and found myself sitting at this blank Blogger page every day, believing people enjoyed my musings on the strug