Monthly Archives: February 2012


‘You Americans have no idea …’

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The Greek financial crisis is on my mind this week. Not because I’m a European financial markets expert – far from it. Because something I learned several years ago left an indelible mark on my American brain. In 1995, I … Continue reading

What writer’s block

No well, oh well. (Pinched from "The Modest Peacock.")

Sitting at my computer; fingers hunched over the keyboard ready for words of wisdom to come rushing out like water from a well-primed well. Nothing. Not even a slow drip. I send signals to my brain; scan the cortex left to right and back again – searching. Nothing.

How can there be a loss of words? There is never a loss for words. Sometimes, there is a loss of confidence – not clever enough, no verbal advantage, no unique insight. Too many thoughts obfuscate the task at hand: sore shoulders, amending a tax return, preparing for a houseful of family tomorrow. That’s the small stuff that’s right at the tips of my fingers.

“Big stuff” includes the “underwear bomber” going to prison for life – a good thing, I suppose, but did you see that baby face on the news last night? How many 20-somethings do you know who followed bad advice? A lack of leadership in Washington, the Greek financial crisis. Even bigger and looming thoughts that block my fingers from being oh so clever today: a friend facing terminal cancer, elders making end of life decisions, loved ones in unhappy relationships. No wonder my writing well seems dry right now.

It’s not bad to have an off day. We have them and remind ourselves, that “flat” spot in the week or month or year is a place to just sit. Like finding your sailboat in irons – accept the lull, knowing the next big wave of an idea is coming. Patience is key. And when it comes, we lunge forward on our life path. Look out! Don’t know how big this is going to get!

Besides, I remind myself, nothing is bad if you have a grateful heart. I am grateful to be getting a massage this afternoon to ease the tension in my neck and shoulders, to be able to pay my taxes, to live near my family so we can enjoy each other’s company.

The lack of leadership in this country is causing me to pay more attention to national and global issues so I can make more informed decisions, and I am grateful for this heightened awareness. And while I’m not grateful for the Underware Bomber nor others with similar schemes, or worse, I am grateful we have more systems in place to thwart their plans.

The word well opens … drip, drip, drip.

What do you do when life’s detritus keeps you from accomplishing tasks at hand? Please tell me. I’d like to know.



I’m gonna love you, like nobody loves you …

Who loves you?

Now, think about this. Who’s the one person you can count on – to comfort you when you’re down, to celebrate your accomplishments and to truly appreciate you for who you are? Who is that one someone who can read your mind, who will do the perfect thing for you at the perfect time?

It has to be you. Wonderful you. Who else can it be? Even our closest intimates can’t read our minds all the time. Continue reading

So-long, Buster Brown

My family celebrated life and death last weekend.

While we were gathering to visit with Erica and Chris who were in from Seattle, we learned of the death of the last standing member of my mother’s generation.

“Buster died,” my brother told me as he put down his phone.  We didn’t know he’d been ill, but then the call wasn’t terribly shocking.

Helen, "Buster" Brown, me and Pat – July 2010

Herb “Buster” Brown was 91. He lived with diabetes much of his adult life but made it a point to eat right and exercise. In fact, his legs bothered him too, but that didn’t keep him from golfing into his 80s. Even met his partner, Helen, at the golf course.

My mom, Gert Brown, was two when her cousin Buster was born in 1920. Continue reading