Night Writer

Am I a night writer? I don’t think so, but I have been many times during this March SOLSC. I wonder why. Maybe it’s the pandemic. It has changed the rhythm of things. For weeks at a time on and off during this past year, I didn’t read much. That is not like me! I went through some times of binge watching series on TV. I enjoy watching TV, but I don’t have time for binge watching! Like almost everyone I missed going a lot of places I usually go. I got used to ordering groceries online and just picking up the order. It’s so easy, I may keep on with that. My hair grew longer than I’ve had it since I can’t remember when. About a week longer and I’ll be changing that with my first haircut in over a year. I got back into cooking more than I had for awhile- that’s a change I will keep, both making some old favorites and trying new recipes.

Of course, the change that was hardest on us all has been social distancing. I know we still will need to continue masks and distance in public. But as more of my family members are fully vaccinated, we will be able to see each other more. I am excited about that! Also for getting together with friends. I am ready for porch visits with friends and neighbors again as the weather warms up. Those visits are worth continuing.

Will I still be a night writer? I just don’t know…

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Old Memories

You never know when they are going to come back, old memories. I was watching American Idol tonight and a young singer performed an old country song, Silver Wings. It took me back a long time, to the 1970s, sitting in the NCO Club at Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. I was a young wife, and my young husband was an airman. He was a country music fan, too, and it was country music night at the club. A band of Japanese singers was performing Silver Wings. I remember a fun night and feel so much nostalgia for how young we were then, both carefree and earnest. Carefree and able to just enjoy being together. Earnest, trying to figure out who we were and who we wanted to become.

The memory expands to my husband playing his guitar and singing the song at home (he could sing!) and sometimes me singing along (I could not!) just having fun. So glad to have memories that make me smile!

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Spring Symphony

Birdsong in the air

Music from morning to night

Hymns to lift my soul

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Goodbye to the Girl from Yamhill

I thought of several things to write about today, but all that was thrown right out of the window when I heard on the evening news tonight that a Living Legend, author Beverly Cleary, has died. She was 104 years old- just weeks away from 105. Her first book was published just two years before I was born… I grew up reading her books. I enjoyed reading her memoirs as an adult. I even lived in Portland for 10 years near the neighborhood she wrote about. I have read her books aloud to my own kids and in classrooms. I enjoyed reading her spirited comments in interviews… one of the best when she was asked her secret to living so long on her hundredth birthday, and she responded, “I didn’t do it on purpose.”

She was a reluctant reader who struggled with learning to read after suffering several illnesses during her first year in school. She was mostly bored with children’s books that were available to her, but her love of reading soared when she found a series of books she truly enjoyed. She became a librarian, and her writing career started after a boy’s question, “Where are the books about kids like us?” prompted her to write some.

Beverly Cleary wrote more than 30 books. Her characters- Henry, Ramona and Beezus, Otis and Ellen, Ribsy and Socks, and of course, Ralph the Mouse are well-known and beloved friends of children around the world. They will live on and many more children will become life-long readers because of them.

Goodbye to the Girl from Yamhill. We will always remember you!

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Rainy Night

The rain is pouring down tonight, and the wind is blowing. It is a melancholy night. A night that makes you think of all the sadnesses of this year. Sickness. Death. Violence. Separation. Loss. Storms. There has been so much. Sometimes we need to just be still. Remember. Feel. Think. Pray.

A rainy night is good for that.

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So Fast

Honk, honk, honk

Flap, flap, flap

Two geese fly past

Where are they going so fast?

I like to imagine they are going toward something, not trying to get away. They seemed so purposeful, flying so fast. They looked free… and joyful.

Today I was in our district Racial Equity Summit. The keynote speaker was Dr. Bettina Love. In her talk, she spoke of a long history and and a long struggle. And she spoke of hope and joy.

Could we start moving faster toward equity, fly with purpose? Can we speak up louder, make sure truth is heard? We cannot run away from the past, it is part of us all. But we can go forward to a better future.

It will be noisy… honk, honk, honk.

It will be strenuous… flap, flap, flap.

But it looks free and joyful.

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Is watching the game show Jeopardy! part of your weeknights? Fans of the game show are loyal. Long time host Alex Trebek was popular and became an inspiration to many during his battle against cancer. Four months since his death, the closing credits on the show still include a tribute in his memory.

Several guest hosts have been featured on the show. Who has been your favorite? The champion with the longest winning streak, Ken Jennings, hosted for six weeks. He was good, but I liked him better as a contestant. I enjoyed Mike Richards, one of the show’s producers. He had a great admiration for Trebek and shared many personal anecdotes. The current host is Dr. Oz. Apparently, this stirred up a lot of controversy, but it seems to me he is comfortable hosting a TV show. Some future hosts will be quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actress Mayim Bialik, and newscasters Savannah Guthrie and Anderson Cooper. In my mind, Anderson Cooper could be a strong contender. But my favorite new host has been Katie Couric. My guess, though, is that she’s probably not considering it as a permanent job.

We all are going to have to wait until the new TV season to find out who will be the new permanent host. With all the serious news of this year, speculating on who it might be is a fun distraction.

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Swan on the Lake

Swan on the lake

Graceful and serene

Swan on the lake

Gliding toward sunset

Swan on the lake

Goodnight, goodnight

Photo by BAH

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Best Thing Today

If I don’t write soon, the day will slip away without a slice! I don’t want that to happen, so I told myself to think of the best thing today. The first thing that popped into my mind was the Blue Jay I saw early this morning. What a beautiful bird! Several shades of blue, highlighted by black and white.

Tonight I googled “blue jay” and watched a video and read a few facts. I was thinking about how I’ve always heard blue jays are mean, but when I saw the blue jay this morning, it made me smile. The video said there are many other birds that are more aggressive. Their call is very loud, maybe that is partly where they get the mean reputation. Both male and female blue jays have the same coloring, very unusual in the world of birds. The male is usually larger. For birds, blue jays have a long life span. Many are found to live close to ten years. They are in the crow family and are very clever. They have unique personalities and observant bird watchers can get to know them individually.

I will look for that blue jay again. I’d like to get to know him!

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2nd Shot

Ten more minutes to wait and I can leave the vaccination site. All I felt was a tiny poke. If I am lucky, this will be like the first round, and there will be no symptoms. But even if I do have some side effects, it will be worth it. I pray for those who are sick, those who have lingering effects, those who have lost loved ones, and those who have given so much to care for others. I have quarantined, I have social distanced, I wear a mask, and I sanitize my hands endlessly. I order groceries online and have them loaded in the trunk of my car in the parking lot. I order food with no contact pick up or delivery. I have asked the screening questions hundreds of times. Getting vaccinated is easy after all the other health and safety protocols. I hope as more and more people are added to the number of the fully vaccinated, we will be able to one day declare victory over the virus that has taken so much from us all.

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