There are times when children are right and parents are wrong. We’re so often trained to think that children know nothing when they actually know quite a lot when it comes to their thoughts and feelings. It’s just too easy for parents to overrule their children just because they “say so” and because they’re older and taller and heavier than the kids below them. Sometimes parents need to obey their children.
“When Sunny Gets Blue” is one of the greatest Blues/Jazz songs ever written. You can sing it slow and creeping with an oozing loss, or you can snap it up and make the song fast and raspy. The lyric is especially keen — you can take it as a comment on a personality, or a conundrum of living in the sunshine when the world is dark around you:
When Sunny gets blue, her eyes get gray and cloudy,
Then the rain begins to fall, pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
Love is gone, so what can matter,
Ain’t no new lover man come to call.
Many of us probably have a Sunny or two in our lives — some versions gloomier than others, but today, I want to share a 10-second memory of a ray of sun. Her friends and co-workers call her “Sunshine” and the name fits her without a fog.
by Nancy McDaniel
Not my mother
Nor my stepmother
Nor even an official godmother
But my “almost mom”
Who has loved me for over 60 years
I’m an “almost sister” to her two sons
For those same 60 years.
Maybe better than a “real” mom
Because we are first of all friends
I can talk to her more honestly and openly
Than I could to any of my “other” moms
Laughing over silly mistakes
That we each make
Or things we both forget
Helping each other with projects
Reminiscing about old recipes, old parties
And funny stories from 50 years ago:
Our lives are performed in dramatic arcs that intersect and reflect and repulse and reflex: Are we divinely predestined or merely reflexive? The other day, I was thinking back on when I was a young child and, feeling alone and frustrated, I would climb a cherry tree in our backyard to get away from all the noise and hubbub of earthly living. From my vantage point 20 feet in the air, I could smell the wind and get a sense of a horizon that was far and above my current station.
David mentioned to me the other day that I had broken one the cardinal sins of the internet, in that I had mentioned my cats in a post and had not provided pictures of them.
I introduced Black Momma and Touriga in my last post. These are the matriarchs of the tribe. Next in seniority is Fleabag. Fleabag holds a special place in my heart. His mother Touriga sought sanctuary in the house after a particularly loud and vicious fight during my first weeks here. She arrived meowing on the doorstep with this tiny little scrap of a kitten audibly begging to be let in.
If we are lucky in our lives, we get unexpected windows of opportunity, a chance to do something totally different, to change tack or to travel a different path. Two years ago this month, I was offered an impromptu visit to Portugal – it was to change my life for ever. I knew if I missed this opportunity I would regret it for life. Six weeks later, I relocated here.
I moved from South West England to South West Portugal. As one of my best friends rather quaintly put it, “I moved from the ass end of nowhere to the ass end of the ass end of nowhere.”
From Here to there:
As we continue to mourn the death of Dr. Howard Stein, we are left to ponder the joy of knowing him and, in missing him, we begin the healing process by remembering the important lessons he taught us.
One of the most poignant conversations I had with him in the last few weeks of his life dealt with age and growing older. Howard reversed an important expectation for me, and I appreciate the reality of that sobering.