Black Crows

In the winter there are a bunch of crows downtown. When I get off the bus, it’s creepy to hear them cawing like crazy. The sidewalks are covered in crow crap. It’s cool to see them flying around though.

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Elder Dollar

Did I ever write about my elder dollar?

Last year I was at the Clark College pow wow. Because of some deaths, the turn out was very small. The MC was filling the space with teaching moments. My mind is a little fuzzy but as I recall they did a blanket dance to raise money for one of the young dancers. That means you throw cash onto the blanket.

The MC explained that often the kid would give some of the money to elders to share what they received and because in our culture we honor our elders.

There was only a small group watching and Bob had wandered off to talk to someone he knew. I was sitting by myself, enjoying the community and watching the kids dance. I see the kid who did the blanket dance walking toward me and I assumed he wanted to say hello.

Nope. He came over to give me an elder dollar.

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Crosstown Traffic

Some people aren’t cut out for public transportation. Most of them ride the express bus.

They get so anxious about when the bus is coming. They stand there staring up the street, one hand visor-ed across their brow, frowning at the oncoming traffic as if there is a prize for spotting it first.

They ask other drivers if our bus is coming.

I’ve been taking the bus for over a decade. I’ve never had a bus not come.

I get that people want to get home. I don’t love having an endless long day. But it is a bus, not a magic carpet. The driver wants to pick us up and get us where we’re going almost as badly as we do. Might as well just relax and wait until it arrives.

My favorite are the people who have to be one of the first ones on the bus. There can be people standing and waiting to board and they will just sidle right in front of everyone to get on first. (These are always the people who need to have a seat to themselves and a seat for their backpack.) Or my other favorite, they will sidle in front and then make a big deal of turning to some other person who just arrived and let them go first, I guess to counteract taking cuts.

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I Have Never

  • Tried Red Bull
  • Seen The Lion King
  • Been water skiing
  • Seen an episode of Law & Order
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    Better to Lie

    Last month the New Yorker had an article about caring for elders. In particular it talks about something called compassionate deception. For example, if an elder keeps asking about their deceased spouse, rather than keep reminding them that their spouse is gone, they would tell them they’ve just gone out and will return later.

    The article is way more complex than I’m making it sound, it’s worth reading.

    Part of the article discusses the idea that lying to elders is unethical and that even with the cognitive issues, it’s better to be honest with them.

    I think by the end it seems clear that it depends on the elder and the person who is helping them. But in my mind I always assumed it made more sense to lie — they aren’t malicious lies. Who wants to remind someone over and over that their spouse is gone? But I can see the other side of it although given the choice I’m always going to say whatever brings the elder the most comfort.

    And I’d like the same for me when it’s my turn.

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    One of My Favorite Photos

    Bald Hills Road, California.

    If you click on this image search you will turn up other versions of this same view during different times of year.

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    Something I was Wrong About

    This is a photo from a few years ago but this is Auntie Pat. We drove together for Mom’s birthday party in March.

    I have been resistant to audiobooks. Part of it is, I don’t have a lot of time to listen to things. I enjoy hearing my own thoughts and don’t feel like I have to fill every free second inputing content into my head.

    But I have found I enjoy podcasts, especially on the bus on the way home after a long day, and also if I’m doing a long kitchen project like prepping fruit for pies.

    For the trip with Auntie I bought the audiobook for All The Light We Cannot See because I didn’t think she would enjoy my gymnastics podcasts or hairband hits of the 80s CDs. (Yes, I still have CDs in my car. And cassettes. Not a typo.)

    I LOVED listening to it. I’m not always a careful reader and when you’re being read to, you have to hear every word. I felt like I got a lot of that book by listening. I read it too. This past trip I bought The Goldfinch, which I’ve already read but enjoyed listening to. Now I’m listening to 11/22/63 on my phone and it’s really good. Turns out I like being read to.

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    Does anyone remember the Battle of the Network Stars?

    It was this TV show in the 70s where they had the stars of all the big TV shows like Love Boat and Charlie’s Angels, organized by network and competing against each other for, I don’t know, glory? They must have paid them. I know there was more than one version and I watched them all.

    Can you imagine that now? Getting the Modern Family stars to race against the NCIS cast — taking turns getting in a raft and paddling back and forth across a swimming pool at UCLA? And since it’s 2018 they could bring in the Game of Thrones cast and Downton Abbey.

    I just did a search to check the dates and guess what? They made a version of this show in 2017 and it looks like the same old stars from Love Boat and that lifeguard show and other mature stars you haven’t heard about in decades were on it. I’m at a loss for words.

    13635 / 50000 words. 27% done!

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    There’s some Georgia O’Keeffe stuff going on there.

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    I did some physical therapy the last few months and my referral was on the east side of town. I would take the bus from the office to get over there. One day giant group of high school students was at the bus stop. When the bus door opened, one of them asked, “Can my whole class fit on the bus?”

    The bus driver waved them on.

    They piled on in their teenaged squirrely glory. They were doing a project of some kind. At least half of them carried a bucket or box. The bus was loud with their talking and laughter.

    Once I got over my instinct to be annoyed, it was delightful being in the middle of that energy. A few stops later a teacher yelled it was time to get off and they departed with the same energy, off to save the world with their beautiful youth.

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