Showing Up!

Balanced stones in water

I love when the universe delivers additional confirmation of my beliefs.  I believe we are here to share our unique gifts and to connect with other beings doing the same.  I believe that the connections we make help to support the impact we make during our lifetime.  I believe that love is bigger than we can fathom.


This past weekend I had my soul lifted (just in the nick of time) and my fire lit (figuratively that is) and after pondering like I do, I realized some things.


I am not alone.  I have many tribes to which I belong.  They sustain me, encourage me and challenge me to be the best version of myself.


When I wonder if I’ve had an impact, I only have to meet with my motorcycling tribe and marvel at the connections.  When I started the journey in the motorcycling world nearly 17 years ago, I had no idea what a thrilling ride it would be.  I have met wildly wonderful people, seen wildly marvelous parts of the country and gotten to travel places I normally wouldn’t or couldn’t have.  But that’s how I was changed which is cool, but not nearly as exciting as the other side.


I have taught people who have taught others who have become teachers of others all across this country.  If I were a pebble and you threw me in a pond, the ripples would go on endlessly.  And I’d get wet.  It’s hard to get my head around how far out the influence of one of us can go.

Now you think I am talking about motorcycle safety but that has only been the conduit for a greater thrill:  seeing people gain confidence, inspiration and self-love.  I have gathered in my damaged brain, a collection of stories and memories of lives I’ve influenced. I don’t say that without tremendous humility and honor, believe. I have no idea how I got to share some of these things, to share these experiences.  Let me give you some examples.


Many of the stories are as simple as a change in confidence.. People discovering tha they can accomplish something that seemed impossible, something that they dreamed about for a long time and finally jumped in.  Though the story is simple, it makes me tear up sometimes when I think of how many mornings on the second day of range exercises, students showed up thinking it would be the day they failed.  I would find that people, particularly women (we are culturalized not to take risks like riding big, powerful machines) on their second day of riding, would start having doubts about their skill.  And how many times I would remind them that they showed up for this.  While we were up and teaching and learning at 8:00 in the morning on a weekend, there were thousands of people still in bed that will wake up one day and wish they would have taken the risk, taken the chance.  So day 2 of riding might not be perfect, but it was further along than those people in bed.  I believe we have to show up! And get dirty and feel fear and feel passion, excitement, adventurous…feel it all!


I had a young woman in one class who had just lost her newly-wed husband.  She had made a pact with herself to accomplish three big things in the year after in order to not give up on life completely.  She wanted to jump out of a plane.. She did.. She wanted to go scuba diving.. She learned..  Day two of class she was struggling but I knew she was just doubting herself.  She told me she didn’t think she could do it.  I talked her down, pointed out how far she had come.  She finished the class and passed.  Afterwards she thanked me for saving her life.  You see, motorcycling was the third thing she had on her list and she shared that on day two she didn’t think she would do it.  She was on the edge of an abyss that was dark and hopeless.  She saved her own life, but wow!  To be a small influence.

Then there was the hard-core Marine sharpshooter who burst into tears after passing the course.  He shared that his entire life he was told how stupid he was. He went into the service because he didn’t think he could do anything else. But now, in his 40s, he passed a motorcycling class.  He had decided that he would go back to school now.  I think the entire class cried with him, myself included.  Those were only a few of the stories I have, and there were just as many that I never heard either.  When I think about these stories, I find myself asking, “Why me” but I know why.  It is because I love life and love connecting and accidently or on purpose that leads to becoming involved in other peoples’ stories.  I show up.  On my bad days I try and remember that, I’m not perfect, I’ve made some really poor choices but, I showed up for life.  That knowledge makes me feel like I got some of it right.  It’s not always neat or pretty, but it’s real.


So this was just going to be a short blog because I hadn’t posted in a while.  I guess I had some stuff that needed to come out.  What started off as an emotional reunion with like minds, ended up releasing my inner pebble.


Tomorrow is a new day.  I’ll show up, but I’d better go figure out what I’m going to wear!  Live fully, love hard, laugh harder.  Show up!


Online dating observations

So, I decided to try the world of online dating.  I’m just gonna start off saying, “Wow”.  The desperation and low esteems.   It saddens me that we (especially women) are culturalized to believe we must be partnered to be successful or valid.  This, in my opinion, leads to some incredibly courageous (translate “desperate”) attempts to find love.  For some, it’s simply an attempt to find companionship, find some validation from total strangers.  At any rate, online dating for me has gone from testing the waters to a great source of entertainment.  I started making some mental notes and found myself laughing out loud at times.  I want to share some of my observations because., well, I think they are humorous, and because, I am still saddened at the extreme measures we take to conform.  So, for my venting and your reading amusement, I hope, I give you:

Online dating observations

It’s been a while since I have done the dating thing but I’m not stupid.    I can read between the lines of a profile.

What it says                                                                     What it really means

SAYS:  interested in dating but nothing serious  MEANS: just looking for one night stands, but couldn’t find that category.

SAYS:  Seriously looking to get married   MEANS: “I will suck you into the vortex of                                                                                                                                 my  neediness.”

SAYS:  “You have a cute smile, I think you’re my soul mate”  MEANS: “I’m so desperate at this point, I am looking for any connection.”

SAYS:  Drink socially. MEANS: “My sponsor says drinking alone is not good for my sobriety”.

SAYS:  “Some college”    MEANS: “I’ve been to a few keg parties”

SAYS:  “Business Owner “     MEANS:  “I’m unemployed at present but I have yard sales every spring”

SAYS:  Animal lover”   MEANS: crazy cat lady

SAYS:  “ Body type, “a few extra pounds”,                      MEANS:  “friends tell me I look like a celebrity…Jaba the Hut”.

 One word description of your personality….freaking field day of between-the-lines.

SAYS:  “Adventurous”     MEANS:  “can’t keep a job, get bored easily”

SAYS:  “homebody”         MEANS:  ”My ankle monitor limits my travel”.

SAYS:  “Love to travel”        MEANS:  “I’m in the Witness Protection Plan.  You don’t know me!”

SAYS:  Ambitious”             MEANS:  “If after a week, I sense no connection…I’m outa here!”

Then the screen names:

Bitchplease                               You want clarification on that?!

“Marathon”                             you’re in for a long, tiring relationship

HowcanIburs?                        (start by writing in complete sentences with complete    words).

Tigress, Onaroof?”                  you looking to date or terrify me?

“Monkeypaws”?                       I just can’t.  Come on…


And if you go by Kattyfish, well, one of us is not too bright.  It’s not me by the way.

If you are an online dater, or if by some very slim chance I mentioned your screen name or your profile info, please forgive me.  Again, the thing that has been most enlightening about this experience is how we are so strongly influenced by the needs that society puts on us.  Sad, really, so naturally I find humor since I am fairly irreverent.

I participated in a wonderful training recently.  One of the activities was to answer a partner’s question.  The question would be the same, over and over.  The question was, “Who are you?”  The first few answers were easy, my name, my profession, my hobbies etc., but as the time drug on and the question stayed the same, it was apparent that I haven’t asked myself that too much.  We use things that generally others use to define and describe us.  But really, who are you?  After the activity was debriefed, I realized how very little we know about who we are and how quickly we fill it with what we think others believe.  This whole online dating thing is an example.  Describe yourself.  Profession, body type, gender, religion, ethnicity, drug and alcohol history.  That doesn’t tell me the important stuff, like, how do you feel looking at a really great sunset?  What’s the best thing about you?  Who are you?  Who were you before you were you?  And I am looking for the one who responds,”Who am I?  I am enough.” but they generally don’y need the dating sites.  I will have some fun with it for a bit and then remember that I am also enough.

So Katfish, who seem too good to be true, we know you ARE.  I am an experienced fisherman.  And shame on you if you prey on the doubts and insecurities of those just hoping there are treasures left to find.  Shame on you and sad for you for your own insecure need for validation.   catfish1


Getting what we want versus what we need.

I stumbled upon this this morning and it really resonated.  It reminds me that there is a purpose, a connectivity that we don’t always like or understand at first.

In my youth, I respected the world and life.  I needed nothing but peace of heart.

And yet I changed despite myself and believed in the world’s lies.  The world seemed to know all the truth, and promised to make me happy.

I me asked for wealth, that I might have power;  I was given poverty, that I might find my inner strength.

I asked for fame so that others would know me.  I was given obscurity, that I might know myself.

I asked for a person to love so that I might never be alone.  I was given a life of a hermit, that I might learn to accept myself.

I asked for power, that I might achieve;  I was given weakness, that I might learn to obey.

I asked for health, that I might lead a long life;  I was given infirmity, that I might appreciate each minute.

I asked  Mother Earth for strength, that I might have my wayI was given weakness, that I might feel the need for Her.

I asked to live happily, that I might enjoy life;  I was given life, that I might live happily.

I received nothing I asked for, yet all my wishes came true.

Despite myself and the what the world said I should be, my dreams were fulfilled.  I am richly blessed more than I ever hoped.

Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota

Enjoy the day, the season, the gifts that we get despite what we ask for.










noun: recovery; plural noun: recoveries

  1. a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

“signs of recovery in the housing market”

  1. the regaining of substances in usable form, as from refuse material or waste products
  2. the extraction of usable substance out of waste.


People still pose questions about my recovery.  I continue to have residual issues with my left side and so I limp (I’m working on eliminating that) and my left arm and hand continue to have a mind of their own.  Any rehabbing at this point is on my own, forcing myself to use my limbs as much as possible.  People often comment on how well I have recovered.  It’s true, I’m just a little more of a perfectionist.  I want more.  I’ve accepted that things are different but I will not accept that I cannot fix my walk and get more hand and arm use.

I broke down and joined a writing group.  I’m going mostly to meet people and avoid isolation but it is also dedicated time to just write.  I have toyed with writing about the stroke in more than just disconnected blog posts so I am trying to organize and capture things that might be helpful to the survivors of stroke or even for those around them.  Everyone is impacted when a stroke happens.  So as I did some surface level research, I came across the basic definition of recovery.  I love the last one:  “extracting something useful out of waste”.  It makes me even more determined to make something positive out of what is otherwise a devastating experience.  I have written before about the gifts that this has brought to me such as patience, vulnerability, awareness on so many levels, but it may be time to extract more usable substance for others’ benefit.  So, it was either a book or a standup routine.  Maybe I’ll do both.

As the winter and coldness approach, I must find ways to stay focused.  Writing helps me with this too.


No, it’s not another Trump post.


I will not write about this Trump

I will not write about his rump

I will not post about his tweets

I’ll post about the coming Eats!


Tomorrow.  The big day of thanks.  I am grateful because I get to share it with family.  I am quite fortunate that the end of my relationship with my son’s other mother did not end our friendship.  We worked hard to make things civil and stable for the sake of our son.  The reward has been to continue our “family” and share special occasions.  Families look differently these days.  Two-mom families are no longer unheard of, unseen.  I’m sure that with the changes in our world in general, families will continue to look differently and we won’t have to avoid conversations about our home life because of the make-up of our households, emphasis on the plural.  Families are sometimes in different household.  Sometimes families are in different states, different countries.  (Read Families part I in my January 2016 blog.)

I am particularly grateful for my original family, the one I was born into.  They looked past my crazy (but in my defense, they caused some of it) and created a stable foundation on which I could build.  Even the simplest shelters built on solid ground will stay standing, despite weather, natural disasters, etc.  You know where I’m going with this.  At any rate, they created a safe place that was surrounded by unconditional love.  A spot to which I can always return.

I was thinking of my crazy just this morning:

My parents both decided to drive me to school that day.  At 7 years old I had become a handful at school.  Before school, during school, thinking of school.  The only part of school that didn’t bring negative physical responses was “leaving school”.  So there we were, Mom, Dad, and I, parking the car in the school lot.  I’m sure my parents had good advice as we sat in the car waiting to go in.  I remember none of that.  But I clearly remember the moment my Dad got out of the driver’s side and my mother out the passenger’s.  I’m not sure if I had the conscious thought that they had just made a critical error in judgment but on some level I knew enough to lean over and lock the doors…on both sides.  It was at that point my parents realized their mistake and the games began.  Pleading, threatening, and waiting.  None of these tactics made a difference.  I knew, however, that the longer I made my parents wait outside, the scarier my life would be later.  I scooted over towards the driver’s side. My father and mother were both there to grab me.  On that side of the car.  The passenger side was left unguarded.  My 7 year old brain could find opportunities under pressure.  I jumped out of the car and started to run.  Now my parents only had their level of fitness to blame for my eluding them.  However, I get bored easily, a major flaw really.  I ended the chase and turned myself in.  I share this true story to make my point that, I was not then, nor ever, a fan of going to school.  Every August I would begin mourning the loss of summer and my freedom.  Every August until my college graduation.  No matter that a job meant working through the summer, I did not feel the dread of impending return to school.

Naturally, I found myself becoming a teacher.  Thus far I have made it sound as if I had no control over my life’s direction.  That could not be further by the truth.  I discovered later in my career that I am a born teacher.  I have been teaching informally all my life really before teaching adults.  I enjoyed it very much and toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher of youths.  My previous career was in criminal justice so young children didn’t scare me.  Until the eve of my first day of school as a teacher.  I had procedures in place, my room was set up, I practiced being firm but friendly.  I read many books, but was starting to feel ill-prepared for the world of little people.  The first day I broke up fights, played bouncer and went home feeling defeated.  I am not a crier but I did spend many evenings crying at my incompetence.  I remember bursting into tears in a colleague’s room and trying to say convincingly that I was good at some things. Really.  Even brilliant in some things.  Self-esteem still intact?  Check.  Ego still inflated?  Check.  My strategy became quitting my job every day at the final bell.  I could walk out knowing I was done with teaching.  By the next morning I would come around and remember that I needed an income and benefits.  I got dressed and drove to school.  That’s the trap now isn’t it?  Find a job that provides some sense of stability and security, even if it takes a daily toll.  With eight years in, I decided to make a change.  I left the classroom to teach and support other teachers, most of them grown-ups.  There are still stressful days. (I think the stress contributed to my stroke).  More often than not there are uneventful, unfulfilling days.  Perhaps the stroke woke up the part of me that at one time thought I would love my job so it didn’t feel like work.  But walking away seems like no option as I need that pay and benefits.

As I contemplate the next few days though, I realize that I do enjoy the benefits of being off when my son is off.  I can also engage with children when I want but legitimately leave the classroom knowing I don’t have to go back in tomorrow.  I’m thankful for the flexibility and uniqueness of every day.  I am slowly learning to be more than just “comfortable” with my vocation.  Some days are still very hard.  I had to learn how to adult again and I’m not great at that.  Grown-ups are more challenging than little ones, maybe because we are stuck in our ways, clinging to archaic ideas and beliefs about how things look and how they should work.  I push back more than I should.  I push forward as much as I can as well, and try to find balance between the two.  There are always breaks though.  They are never long enough but they are always enough to recharge so that the time until the next break is more forward pushing and less pushing back.

Hurrah for Thanksgiving and the 4 days of rest it brings.  I would thank the pilgrims except that they were the ones who started such a puritanistic education system further influenced by the industrial age of mass production.  So I will thank my family, my mom and dad for talking me out of the car.  I might have starved to death if they hadn’t.  And I thank the turkeys who provide the source and centerpiece of this holiday.

I will also, once again, thank you the readers for hanging in there until the end of this post.  What stamina and blind belief that it will get better you have!




Change in Gratitude

IMG_0144As I find things I’m grateful for tonight before I sleep, I must say I am grateful for Mrs. K. She is an 88-year-old woman who I visited with tonight. She is in the final stages of her life and as a hospice volunteer, I was providing a final hours visit.   Mrs. Kip was alert and responsive. Typically a final hours case is just as it sounds… and patients are unresponsive. But Mrs. Kip responded when I told her I was with her. She continued to look up at me frequently and when I smiled, she smiled back. I generally just sit quietly and provide company.


After about 20 minutes of silence, Mrs. Kip looked up at me and said something that was too quiet for me to hear. I leaned closer and she repeated, “How are you doing?” She was asking about my comfort. I told her I was doing well. She continued to check in several more times, making sure I wasn’t too sleepy. She told me that she was tired. I’m thinking now that she meant she was ready to die. I told her to close her eyes and sleep if she wanted, that I would be with her.


Let me say more about hospice. I have been blessed beyond belief throughout my life, showered with love and friendship. I knew that I wanted to give back and hospice seemed a logical choice. No one should have to be alone in the final hours of their life. We have huge celebrations when we come into this world but we uncomfortably separate from death, just another inevitable stage of life. We in western culture ignore and avoid the subject of death to the point that people are sometimes left to make this last transition all alone. For some, there is no family, no friends or companions to share the final hours. Such a sacred passage if we only acknowledge the perfect cycle of life.


I do not know what comes after death, but it must be much easier to transition if there is someone to see you off and I believe someone who will greet you on the other side. Perhaps someday we will view death as just another journey that we all will take. It really is one of very few things that everyone has in common.


So tonight, sitting vigil on my chair, I am blessed with the sacredness of a complete stranger’s final journey. Mrs. Kip had pictures of family all around her. There were old wedding photos and other sepia photos offering proof of a life lived fully. Mrs. Kip has Alzheimers and most likely does not recognize the people in those old photos but they are in there, they have moved to a place that she can’t access readily, but who is to say that perhaps in dreams, they visit and laugh and cry and share their common history. When you have let someone into your heart, how can they possibly disappear forever?
I am grateful to Mrs. Kip and her photos and her compassion for yet another stranger who entered her room.

It is impossible to feel sadness and gratitude at the same time. It seems impossible to be unable to find at least three things to be grateful for each day. I participated in a daily practice for a while sharing my daily dozen, 12 things each day to be grateful for. I found that just looking a little deeper made me see the brilliance in the world.

I do not write these posts completely for myself. I hope to do my small part in raising the vibrations in this world. If we all just did a little each day, imagine how we could resonate! I challenge you to take just a minute and find 3 things for which you are grateful today. I believe if you do this daily, you will change your life and the world will notice. It has been a suckass week for me and after work this afternoon I was wanting a big cry. Sadness and self-pity do not serve me anymore. I am noticeably happier this evening beause of a change in gratitude. Thanks for listening. I’m grateful for all of you!


Quiet evenings make me contemplative. I must be careful to steer clear of many of my thoughts, designed for some reason to level me. As I look for meaning, my head spins a story of loss, sadness, betrayal, and wanting. So I try to turn my focus to my heart. My heart, which lives with spirit and seeks out the power in all situations.

When I think back over my life, I think I had a pretty good run. I traveled to many beautiful and sacred places. I have experienced big love. I have met the most amazing people. Some of them are reading this now! I have been humbled by experiences and the revelation of human spirits. If I were someone else looking at my life, I would be quite envious.

Times of struggle have helped define me. Times of sadness have made me more fully appreciate the joy. I have come as close as I can in this human shell to walking as spirit. I believe it’s where we come from, perhaps where we start. Some people might have a different name for it but I think it is that which makes us connected, pushes us to be taller, celebrates when we return with the awareness of our collective power. When I feeling lonely, I try to remember that the loneliness pushes me to continue on my path to spirit.

I wonder if I’ll know when I have gone as far as this trip takes me. I wonder if it matters if I’m enjoying the trip. I wonder if I am grateful enough for the experience, and I wonder how my brain got back into this conversation. A beer should quiet that.

If I haven’t said it to you directly, Thank YIMG_1875ou for your friendships and the mark you have left on me, all of you. It has made me a better person. I write to stay sane and focused I write to inspire and leave my own mark. I write to prove to my intellect that I don’t have to believe everything I think.

Thank you again for reading this blog. It validates the reality of my posts. I love you all.  Do something kind today.  Find something to be grateful for.  Live big!


I’ve looked at clouds…..


From my window. I can see the sky at night. The clouds last night were slowly floating by and it reminded me of Pema Chödrön, “You are the sky. Everything else id just the weather” It changes, it passes. It provides different experiences for different people. I love the heat and humidity of summer, (Yes I loved this past summer) and while I enjoy the sensory experiences that come with fall, I know it is a precursor for winter of which I am not a fan. Many of my friends prefer the cold to the heat. So who is right? What is the “good weather”? All of it. Every weather condition provides an experience. There is no good or bad. It all passes. I think it is the same for life. There are good and bad experiences based only on individual perspective but really, it’s all good, and the experiences pass.

from both sides now

It is so easy to get bogged down with the “weather” at the moment. With weather we know that it will be warm again or cold again, that the rain will stop. It is a bigger leap of faith to know for certain that whatever we are experiencing will also change. Maybe it’s scarier because we don’t know what change will bring. I wish I were trusting in the universe enough to know that whatever happens will be an experience, and my perception determines good or bad or simply experience.

It is a good example to see the clouds move across the sky. It strengthens my trust. I truly love watching the clouds. I bet everyone has tried to see something in the barometrically formed shapes. Sometimes I just wonder at the beauty of clouds. Even approaching storm clouds have intense beauty. Those are the best times because it only calls for awareness and appreciation. How amazing would it be to see life experiences that way. We try to find the shape, the form so that they makes sense. The human brain is really designed to problem solve. We have to understand why. What a cruel joke the universe played, giving us the mind and intellect hard-wired to question everything but presenting the experiences that defy explanation. Some day I want to just appreciate the beauty. Not dwell on the storm part of the clouds, just be aware and appreciative.

This is my path today. “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott.

Some things are learned best in the calm, others learned best in the storm.IMG_1526


Wide Awake and full of charge

As I’m driving through Pennsylvania, and then Ohio, on my way through Indiana, Illinois and then to Wisconsin, from morning until dark, I realized that this is why I was born. I was born to travel and born to see the world.

This last time it was a bittersweet trip. After spending most of the summer staying with family in Pennsylvania, visiting with friends and family I haven’t seen for at least 15 years, driving through the towns and countryside that was once where I was from, I was returning to my new home, my home of 15 years, the place I now am from. I was traveling from state to state but I was also traveling from the past to the present. I was leaving the freedom of summer and driving straight into fall, the start of school, and the routine of it all.

I always got a bit of a feeling of dread when I was back in school, as the summer came to a close and school was about to start. I hated to see leaves starting to brown and smell the sweet smell of fully matured corn in the air. The rituals of back to school shopping, wearing shoes again and once again being slave to a schedule, I never liked the end of summer. And now, I am a teacher and experience the same dread every fall. If I listen to my heart, I would know, I’m a traveler in the world, and schedules steal my soul, piece by piece, I need to listen.

I think the stroke has given me great insight and delivered the gift of clarity. It is clear to me that I am on a path. This path will not change. It is the path that leads me to, lets me know my purpose. I do not wish to waste time going through the motions of living. I know you the readers feel this too. So, when did we stop following our true path in exchange for the path we are “supposed” to have? I have already wasted too much time. I have places to be, people to meet and impacts to make. Who’s with me?

“Wide awake and full of charge, enough to power up this city. Every last light bulb, every last power tool. “

This was part of a song I wrote this song many years back but it’s the feeling I have lately since the stroke. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, sometimes things just happen, but I DO believe that every situation comes with gifts. My stroke came with the gift of clarity. There is so much left to see and do. So many states to drive through. So many peoples’ stories yet to hear. I cannot be complacent anymore. And yet, I return to my present, with dread in my gut for the impending stagnant water treading that approaches. You know what I mean. You’ve felt it too. There is so much more, but we play the successful game, working 9 to 5 for income and benefits, too frightened to walk away to find our life. I’m wide awake. Who’s with me?

The Big River, and a Great Flood

Wow.  It’s been weird.  I’ve noticed that lately, the smallest thing can reduce me to tears.  A sad TV show.  A sappy video.  A gesture of kindness, and most recently fantastic music and acting in a local play.  The Susquehanna Stage Company presented “Big River”.  It is a musical version of Huckleberry Finn.  I was caught off guard by the touching moments when Huck and slave Jim realize in song that we are all more alike that not alike.  The rest of the cast sang tunes that were equally as moving.  By the last song of the show with everyone joining Huck and Jim, I had tears running down my face.  I was shocked.  I’m not a crier.  I can keep things pretty much in check emotionally.  I tried to figure out why there was this sudden flow(literally) of emotion.  The last time my emotions were this weird was when I left my job as a Probation Officer.  I remember a cute little Kibbles and Bits commercial that made me swell up with emotion.  I realized later that I had cut off all of my emotions, not just the “bad” ‘ emotions, but ALL of my feelings.  When it was safe to feel again, things came out at strange times.  So I got to thinking…

Quite possibly, I have buried some emotions over the past 2 1/2 years.  But some always means all and I think after recent break throughs, I’m feeling again.  Which means that I might cry at Kibble and Bits commercials or sappy videos.  But there is always good news.  I’ll be able to really feel the other stuff too.  Joy, Gratitude, Love… So my deluge in public, (which I totally gave my self permission to do) and my reclamation of feelings long suppressed, occurred with the safety of family and friends, and total strangers who I’m sure I frightened or at least confounded.  This long in coming breakthrough happened smack dab in the middle of “Big River”.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  Does the universe have a sense of humor or what!
So if you see me out somewhere, blubbering uncontrollably, take comfort in knowing that on some other day I will pee my pants in joy (or decreased muscle control).  Either way, it’s good to be alive, isn’t it?  (Say yes)