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Summing Up

December 31, 2015




In her song, “the village is ours”, songstress and composer, Tina Lear, wrote:

“There’s sure no tellin’ what kind of weather is headed our way,
But that’s OK,
‘Cuz the village is ours –
the garbage and the flowers….
It’s just a big old mess, you see
a mess of humans as screwed up as can be…”

Tina is now in New York, pursuing bigger dreams. But that song keeps running around in my head; somehow, it seems to sum up the year now ebbing away. What an incredible   combination of  “garbage” and “flowers” 2015 has been! But – as Tina said – the village IS ours… and we have to come to grips with it and do what we can to preserve and strengthen it.

We all try to do that – in whatever way works for us. Within my roles – professional, community, and personal – I try to do that. As a storyteller, I have done what I could to enrich the lives of elders in my community and taught and performed for students and teachers. I have shared stories with veterans and former Peace Corps Volunteers and grandparents and their grandchildren under a starry Arizona sky. Exploration of my Celtic heritage (an Irish grandfather and a Scotch-English grandmother) came in a ceilidh in Northern Ireland and with a Scottish Revels audience in New Hampshire. In my community role, I “retired” from my final position – as a Volunteer Escort – after almost twenty years of working for, with, and beside Planned Parenthood. Month after month watching patients deal with horrific images, lies, and verbal abuse has given me a deep respect for them – and a deepening dismay at the situation. There are no easy answers, but there IS common ground… and somehow we –all of us – have got to start looking for it. My grandmother tasks were much easier: listening to saxophone practice and shouting support at swim meets. My grand-daughter and I also explored together our joint love of animals, learning about llamas, reptiles, eagles, wolves, and marine creatures in a summer inter-generational program. And in a last minute whirlwind just before Christmas, I flew to Las Vegas to be with my daughter, Beth as she married her Luke.

So…2016…bring it on. We’re ready…I think.

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