Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dear Lord

Thank you for the beauty and contentedness that cushions our lives
Thank you for my husband and life partner, who is so good to me
Thank you for our families that are very important to us
Thank you for the dear people directed into our path to be friends
Thank you for our good health that allows us to be strong and active
Thank you for providing so many opportunities to enjoy your world
Thank you for the leisure we have after long work careers
Thank you for your patience in suffering my weaknesses
Life is good

Just one thing…
Dear Lord, please guide my mother to prepare for her surgery by helping her stop smoking.  Expect a battle of wills.  Please dispatch an angel to keep her under a wing while they shore up her heart.  We would love to have her here with us for a while longer.  Thank you.

Ἅγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς
Holy God, Holy Almighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sturm und Drang

As the seasons are transitioning, so is my peaceful, sheltered life – and not in a good way.

There’s turmoil within our condo association in Chicago that requires me to travel to attend an important meeting of the owners.  Our Board has resigned en mass, and we need to elect a new one (if we can find anyone willing to serve).  A change to the By-Laws to cap the number of rentals allowed is up for a vote.  Some of what is being proposed will affect me and Ron financially, and I have to protect our interests. 

A dear, long-time friend of mine was recently diagnosed with two serious medical issues.  She was very supportive of me when I went through my life-threatening illness, and I am trying to figure out what I can do to reciprocate for that kindness.  I’m aware that this is her crisis, not mine; but I ache for my friend.  I am thinking of her all the time.

Finally, and most importantly, Mom is scheduled for open heart surgery for a valve replacement next week.  I’ll head to New Hampshire from Chicago to do anything I can to assist during her recovery period.  Mom is feeling confident and has a great attitude.  I have all sorts of “What ifs?” banging around in my head that are not particularly helpful and are stressing me out, big time.  It’s important to take this one step at a time, but my own heart is pounding in sympathy and trepidation.

So for a while…  Goodbye to quiet mornings on the golf course, leisurely lunches, afternoon naps with a breeze blowing in the window, and fun with friends.  I promise to stop whining and step up to the plate as needed, and pray that everything will turn out well for those involved.  We all would like to return to our precious quiet and comfortable routines. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

As Summer Slips Away

Nights are already getting cooler, and days are not quite so warm. Soon my golf tan will fade. Summer is slipping away. I'm looking forward to fall, but can't help but take a visual look back at the fun of our first full summer in Prescott, and the beauty of the land that surrounds us.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hooray for Me and...

My old boss, Bob Wishon, was a tough guy who grew up poor during the Depression.  He had a way with words – sometimes blunt, but always effective.  When someone took an intractable, self-serving position on an issue, he would point out their failings with a sarcastic, “Well, hooray for me and fuck you!”.

There’s a lot of “Hooray for me” attitude going around lately.  I’m now four and a half years removed from office politics, but still am affected by selfish bickering and bullying taking place around me.

Our lady golfers have become divided between a competitive group and a social group.  I would venture to say that when we are on the golf course, we are all “serious” golfers.  Whether some of us are very good (yet) is another thing.  We play by the rules of the game, and strive to improve.  However, some want to impose more stringent policies on us that could adversely affect our fun.  Why can’t they let people enjoy the game as they wish?  We’ll follow the rules to ensure that our handicaps are valid.  Other than that, we want to play in a relaxed environment.  The Mean Girls need to back off, play with those of like mind, and swallow their insulting criticisms.  You aren’t going to ruin the joy I have discovered in golf.

On another front, the unfortunate real estate market conditions are causing our Homeowners Association in Chicago to consider imposing new rental restrictions in our Declaration By-Laws.  There are valid concerns, such as insurance and financing issues that could arise if our 12-building development has “too many” units rented.  Three of us (25%) are already renting our units, due to personal situations and financial considerations.  Market conditions won’t allow us to sell without substantial losses.  A rental restriction could disallow any more rentals and/or restrict owners currently renting from renewing leases that expire.  We could be forced to let our unit go empty with no rental income to help us cover the costs.  Some owners don’t mind hurting others to protect their interests.  "Hooray for me and...", well you know the rest.

As we slog through this political season toward the Presidential Election, it’s impossible to ignore the vitriolic rhetoric all around.  Rhetoric is too nice a word for some of the insults, belittlements, and threats so casually tossed around.  If I don’t have the same viewpoint as you, I’m not stupid.  I still deserve to vote, and you are not going to bully me.  I’ve hidden some of my Facebook friends' status updates so I can avoid their attempts to “educate” me with their political posts.  The "fuck you who do not agree with me" attitude reads loud and clear and repels me.  Have your beliefs, and I will have mine.  If you knew how to debate in a civil way, I might join in a healthy discussion.  God forbid, we might both actually learn something and gain some tolerance for opposing views.

So, Wishon, may you Rest In Peace.  Your spirit lives on when I encounter those that are so self-absorbed and intolerant that I find occasion to channel you and growl, “Well, hooray for me and fuck you!”.  Now I'm going to go hang out with my kinder, gentler friends who give me gifts of peace and happiness instead of sleepless nights.