Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rats in Mazes

This is a continuing post of the last one entitled "Car in the Ditch."

It's interesting how often people instinctively react the way they are expected to react, as if it were their own choice. My husband didn't want me to go outside last night to see what was going on. He said I was nosey and always trying to get into someone else's business. Yes, I'm a curious sort but I basically obeyed. I like to talk to people. I like to find out what's going on. I went out and just took my picture, stayed a safe distance, and then went back in the house. Les always warns, "don't get involved" and "stay in the house." It reminds me of the line in the Steve Martin movie, "don't trust whitey!" Leslie grew up in Rogers Park in Chicago in an apartment with warnings from his mother of the fat janitor who would throw him in the furnace in the basement and other such horrors. This is why Les likes it out in the middle of no where on his own land. This is his dream.

It's 8:12 a.m. and the car has already been removed from the ditch. That was quick! Usually the cars in the ditch remain a little longer.

I had asked my husband to close the gate to the driveway last night because of the newspaper article saying the county wasn't going to be patroling. We are at the far end of the county and they usually don't patrol much anyway but it did feel like we were on our own a little bit more, if something were to happen.

When I went outside last night to get a little closer to see what was going on and saw the car in the ditch, I saw the police car in front of the driveway that said K-9 unit so I knew there was possible drug involvement in this. I went out of our gate because I knew it was safe with police cars and fire trucks. After I got my photo, I walked by a couple shrivering. My instincts were to ask if they were the owners of the car in the ditch, feed them or give them tea, and offer a place to stay for the night, if needed. I saw Ilene out there in her volunteer firewoman's uniform who owns John Boy's Merchantile and who owns the local bed and breakfast so I used that as one excuse in my mind to not get involved since I figured Ilene would "take care of it" if it was needed. Les would have hollered if I had gotten more involved so I was basically a good girl for just looking and coming back inside. I was already skating on thin ice with him for going outside. I tend to be too trusting.

Something seems to be wrong with our water this morning. Usually Les isn't out there at the well house at this time of morning. Who knows? It's always something around here. I guess that's what makes life an adventure and interesting. Take what comes. Try to turn everything into a positive. Do your best. Be kind to people along your journey. (I guess I fell short on that one last night since I ignored my instinct to want to be kind to the shivering strangers near the ditch.) And try again the next day for each day is a new opportunity to be your best.

In this day and age, you just can't pick up people stranded on the edge of the road or invite strangers into your home. I guess people are taught with crime statistics to stay a safe distance. People are basically rats in mazes who stay within their own safe permeters and operate within the expected boundaries.

Car in the Ditch

There's another car in the ditch this evening. This event happens quite frequently in front of our house. We have a severe curve and several times a year, we see cars face down in the ditch.
I was staying up late this evening sewing a shirt for my four year old grandson, Jack out of Curious George fabric. I went into the kitchen to get another diet Coke out of the refrigerator around 11:30 p.m., when I saw lights flashing in the kitchen window. I looked out and there were two fire trucks, two police cars, people standing in the middle of the road, and an ambulance. I didn't hear a thing. I was watching David E. Kelley's new comedy that I had recorded on the TiVo, The Wedding Bells.

I went outside to find out what was going on and took my camera so I could add to my "car in the ditch" photo collection.
Today was quite productive. I sewed four pillow cases for gifts. I finished sewing a dress for my granddaughter, Lizzy, and the Curious George shirt is almost finished for Jack--all but the button holes. I even drove into Corvallis to buy interfacing at Joann Fabrics so I could finish his shirt tonight.
I'm usually not up this late. I'm usually in bed by 8 or 9 and up at 5 a.m. so this is unusual.
It's 2:04 a.m. right now as I am writing and trucks are still outside finishing up. At a time when Benton County is pulling back services due to budget cuts, it looks like Alsea is taking up the slack and is out protecting everyone in full force. I feel very safe with all the trucks and cars out front. There must be a little more going on than I know about because there is a K-9 unit police car. There must be someone involved with drugs that they are investigating.
Excitement doesn't stop in the small town of Alsea. I think it's time for Wendy to go to bed and try to get some sleep.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

American Idol

I love to see talent! Thanks for all the fun, the magic, and outstanding performances showcased on American Idol. I don't want anyone to go home. I like everyone.

This is the first time I've noticed the name of Nigel Lythgoe as Executive Producer, my favorite from So You Think You Can Dance, another one of my favorite shows.

I voted for three tonight--Gina, Blake, and Jordin. They were my favorites tonight. If I had the money to buy a ticket, out of everyone, I'd go to see Blake Lewis.

LaKisha gave another great star performance tonight. Chris Sligh is one of my favorites. He's needs to let his magic show through. I like him. Gina Blocksen has a strong and powerful voice. I'm not a rocker but I can see her becoming a big star. Sanjaya is coming into his own and developing his own fan base. Great job! I like him too. Haley Scarnato needs to let the power come out. It's in there. You're great on stage, Haley! Phil Stacey knows how to sing a song and belongs on stage. Melinda gave another professional performance. Blake is easy going, mellow, and has that edge going on that lifts him above. Jordin was outstanding tonight. Electric! Chris Richardson is really good. Remember how good you are, Chris. Own the stage and believe.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cinderella School of Modeling

When I was in high school, I went through a course at Cinderella School of Modeling in Salem to learn from Sue Ferguson, the lady who coaches talent to compete in Miss America, Miss Oregon, and other beauty pageants. I learned a lot from her. She's truly a gem.

Yes, I love dressing up, wearing makeup, and having my hair and nails look just perfect. However, through the years, I had to give up all this because I chose to stay at home with my kids and I didn't have the money to primp. If I ever start to make money again, I will have my nails done, I'll buy make up again, I will have my hair done, and I will buy clothes for ME on sale at Gottschalks. Now there are too many other needs and wants with a higher priority.


Almost every morning when my husband gets up, we play a game of Canasta to 5,000 points and drink coffee. I deal out 30 cards and it takes two canastas to go out. I made up these rules that we agreed upon. Otherwise, it would take several hours to get to 5,000 points. This is the one of the best times of my day. I love playing canasta. It's a challenge and it's fun to win.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saving Face

I wonder how many sins are committed each day because of the need to save face and to appear to others as if innocent. Murders are sometimes committed because the murderer didn't want the individual to tell the truth or reveal evidence. All you have to do is read a few mysteries or watch them on television to see a common thread. Find a patzy and blame it on them. Cast suspicion on the one who could rat you out.

Respondant and classical conditioning in experimental psychology teaches that if you push someone down into the ground far enough and do it enough times, that individual will stop trying. That's the lesson of the rat mazes.

If I were rich, I would hire a detective to find out the truth about what has been happening to me the last few years. No one will tell me. I don't have any friends so that doesn't help. I see clues that things aren't right but because I have the need to be fair, ethical, and nice, I wait until I see the truth unfold. I believe that everything will turn out great in the end. I believe in God and that I am protected even though my path has been difficult.

I know that my house has been violated when we have been gone. I have found evidence of things that are missing that I KNOW should be there in a particular place. Once I found photos near the floor by a door when they had been in a drawer. Three cruise photo albums are missing. Some of my journals are missing. Other family photos are gone. Personal things that are important to me and some things that whoever has come in must have snatched for their wife as a gift. Once I called 911 about it to report a theft. No one did anything about it. I said that we have a security system and that the installer told me that there is an installer code that allows them to come into any home by bypassing the code chosen by the home owner. The officer said on the other end of the phone, "Oh, so that's how they do it." I figure this is no ordinary thief. It has to be something official but I want answers. I want to know why. I asked the undersheriff in an e-mail but she didn't answer. I haven't done anything wrong so I count that in the end the truth will win out. Isn't that what is supposed to happen?

It all started when I discovered that the people I worked with at DMV were skimming money from the car dealers and putting it in the safe. I let the cat out of the bag by telling a car dealer who had no idea that he had money coming back to him. Then my life was turned into a hell. I ended up with bleeding ulcers and almost died. I should have just changed jobs or reported what happened to authorities. Instead I reacted like a victim and trusted. Next came a doctor from hell who despite my protests gave me medication that I said I didn't need and didn't want but I trusted and I obeyed because he was a doctor. He said it was stress. He didn't try to help me. When my son died, he didn't even help me through the grieving process. He didn't even discuss it. Why?

Throughout it all I was home doing what I needed to do but I could have been more, doing more, creating more. I trusted and reacted like a victim.

When my son died I realized that maybe if I hadn't been taking the medication prescribed by the doctor, maybe I would have prevented my son's death. I read the book PROZAC BACKLASH and went off of the medication slowly by myself lowering the dosage slowly and carefully watching myself. I could have died but I had no one to help me. My husband didn't care at the time. My husband has been in control of our money all these years and didn't watch out for me financially so that's another way of saying he didn't care about me.

About this time I decided to leave my husband. He refused to keep distance from a woman who called daily and kept coming over. They left together alone at times. He said nothing was going on. It was too much so I decided to leave. He lied and said I was suicidal and put me on a mental ward to be watched. I decided I would consider it a vacation and I rested for a few days. I obeyed and trusted. No one bothered to ask me about MY story. I didn't want to leave my kids so I went back home on the condition that I wouldn't have to keep dealing with the other woman. I trusted again.

Then there was the next doctor who continued what the first doctor started. When I wrote my first article in a major magazine, BIRDS AND BLOOMS, I thought it was finally proof that I was right and that he would be happy for me. I thought he would say that he was wrong and that he would help right the tragic wrong I had endured. Instead, he protended he wasn't my doctor and distanced himself from me. Easier to cast suspicion on the patient than to say "I'm sorry and that I made a mistake." I've never taken medication that wasn't prescribed by a doctor.

I've reacted through most of my life as a victim. When I did have the courage to speak out, I was cut off at the knees and lost everything or no one would believe me. We bought property in Gates. Our deed was rerecorded. There was problems with the property. The builders tried to put too many houses on the hill when the natural water was too close to the surface causing a runoff that damaged property in lower areas. We couldn't sell it. We didn't want to lie. We walked away from it and gave it back to the bank. Two lawyers were there to take what we had left in our savings account. Another attorney said later that we didn't receive proper representation.

We did have money at different times in our life because of two major law suits that my husband won but he didn't take care of the money.

I know there were a lot of crooked things going on in Gates. We lived there for a couple of years. Les' friends told him. I was part of the City Council for a short time and I witnessed an illegal meeting take place. I questioned it and because I wouldn't sign the document saying that I was also guilty, my name is still in question. Why, when I was one the one who questioned whether the meeting was legal and wanted to see proof in writing?

Over and over situations come up like the guys who stole the money in the safe. They say I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, like the soldiers coming home from war. Yes I have been through lots of trauma and loss. I think the cure is to create lots of new, happy memories and create new neuron pathways in the brain. It doesn't help when family doesn't want you living next door, you have no friends, church family or support system, and no money in the bank. So I find my own fun, my own joy, no matter how short or fleeting.

I could write a book about all the crap that has happened to me. Why can't I just get this cleared up and move on? Why does there have to be persistent roadblocks put in my way? I have a right to win and I have a right to flourish. This is the home of the brave and land of the free. Isn't it? It isn't right that people have come into my home and take things without my permission to make me feel off balance. It isn't right that I don't receive all the mail that I should receive. It isn't right that my reputation has been questioned when I haven't done anything wrong. How do you defend yourself against shunning, looks, questioning your ethics, and on and on when no one comes right out and says what you've done and who is the accuser? This isn't how it is supposed to be in the United States? Or have we lost all our freedoms already?

I must have an invisible sign on my forehead that says chump or sucker so that people feel they can do anything and blame it on Wendy. This needs to stop. I need to take my life in my own hands and not allow people to hurt me or blame me for things I haven't done. I need to learn how to protect myself better.

I have a right to exist.
I have a right to live in a home where no one trespasses and takes my possessions.
I have a right to not have my mail tampered with.
I have a right to an opinion.
I have a right to protect myself by standing up for myself and telling the truth.
I have a right to live in peace.
I have a right to have medical care from a smart doctor who cares about me.

I had the nicest general doctor several years ago who cared about me until something happened that changed her mind. What? After a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found out where I was receiving free medical care and that I liked my doctor, all of a sudden her attitude completely changed. She didn't like me anymore. Cooincidence? I don't think so. Too many opportunities have suddenly had a wall put up when leaders of this church find out where I send my writing or try to create an opportunity for myself. The last time I was at this hospital, I had a mamogram over a year and a half ago. I questioned what happened in my mind. I nicknamed the woman the Savage Squisher in my journal who gave me a dose of radiation that lasted almost two minutes. Was she TRYING to make sure cancer would come back? Again I smiled and acted like nothing was wrong, just like a victim.

I've been accused of many things or at least people have hinted that I've done things. I've never taken illegal drugs. I'm not a lesbian. I've never done anything against the law. I'm honest. I'm not lazy. I have never cheated on my husband. I'm not stupid. I have a genius IQ, for Pete's sake! I'm not crazy. I don't see things that aren't there. I'm a nice person who has been kind even to those who have been cruel, mean, and nasty to me. In fact, I've taken it as a personal challenge to be kind to those who have caused me harm. Isn't that the lesson of Jesus? I've forgiven over and over. I'm a royal nice person and I deserve to be happy. I believe that it is important to be kind to people--all people, to not judge. I try hard every day to do my best. I want people to use their words and to tell me what they mean, instead of trying to manipulate me into doing things they want. I don't like tricks or manipulation.

Will I be murdered or legally silenced because I speak out against wrongs in this blog? Will my house burn down when I'm gone? I've been threatened in the past. We moved into the house that had an official inspection that said everything was perfect and yet nothing worked. It was staged. No heat. The well didn't work. Our house was an electrical wiring puzzle from hell. A water system that had been put in that required over 10 forty pounds of salt dumped in our drinking water every month. I thought something was wrong and I demanded that we change that. I bought drinking water from the store instead and I still do. Things are getting fixed slowly now after almost 6 years. My husband is nicer to me than ever before. He's been trying to fix things. He's doing his best.

My kids are all strong. I need to be strong too. I need to finally stand up for myself and say

I want to be happy, have friends, dance, not have to worry about money, write best-sellers and fight for gifted kids, have dinner parties, see Broadway plays, art museums, the symphony. I want to be loved and cared about because I am nice. I am a survivor and I deserve to be happy too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Silver Scissors Award

I'm so proud that I received my first Silver Scissors Award at work yesterday. I work at Joann Fabrics. It may seem silly to some that this means so much to be recognized for my work but it does. I love working there. It makes me happy. This award makes me feel like I belong, that I'm accepted and appreciated. It means a lot to me.

Everything inside this store is something that I enjoy or want to enjoy in the future. It represents creative fun and nice people walk through the door every day who share in this love of creating something new.

Even if I am tired when I walk through the door, I mentally turn on a switch to become a Joann Girl who works hard, tries to give great service to each guest, and do my best. I love retail and I love my part-time job. I love helping people. It's fun to have the extra money and it's fun to work at a job that I enjoy. I'm grateful. I work with so many nice people and I enjoy every day that I go into work.

I do love to sell merchandise but I need to believe in what I am selling. When I believe in something, I become a walking commercial. Take for example these great Joann Crafting books that have been on sale for only $5. They are an amazing reference book and the original price is $34.99. For only $5, you can afford to buy several to tuck away as a Christmas gift. I didn't figure out the extreme value but it must be at least 300% off. What a savings! What a buy!

So come into Joann Fabrics and Crafts often. Sign up to be on the mailing list so you can receive the great coupons and so you will know about all the great sales. Remember that you always save at Joann Fabrics. Learn about a new hobby and receive help from all the smiling Joann Girls who work at each store. We care and we are there to help you.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Home Depot

Home Depot just came to Corvallis in January. I testified at a hearing over a year ago to say that they should come to Corvallis and now they are finally here. I'm glad.

Home Depot has everything you could want for home improvement. My husband loves to spend hours there and his favorite gift is a Home Depot gift card. The people at Home Depot have helped him through many projects here at home that we couldn't afford to have someone come to fix.

My husband, Leslie has called all over the place for advice on the wiring in our house. A switch in the front of the house also controls the back of the house. A switch in the bedroom is also connected mysteriously to the back. Someone did some creative wiring in our house years ago with 6 to 8 wires coming out at every circuit. No one has wanted to help him. My husband with the help of Home Depot was able to solve every problem so far on his own with success.

I love Home Depot. You can always count on low prices, great variety, and the best merchandise to help solve every home need.

Starting Over

I watched the last episode that I saved on my TiVo of Starting Over last week from last spring. I took my time watching this series since I was taking notes. I filled two looseleaf notebooks with notes on notebook paper. There were many experts on the show with important messages, the life coaches, Rhonda and Iyanla, and Dr. Stan were always saying bits of wisdom. So I took my time.

Where is Starting Over? I have repeatedly searched for it on my TiVo and nothing came up. Each person on the show taught me something about myself. Each pointed to lessons important to learn that are universal. I haven't had common experience with some on the show but everyone deals with life struggles and we all share a common bond.

I applied for the show twice sending in a tape. Maybe kind of silly to some but I saw a great opportunity to learn. I've also sent in a tape to Biggest Loser. This year I applied for Survivor. Yes. Me. Laugh if you want but I did it. I went to Eugene and did the two minute audition tape. I figured I have survived lots of trauma and loss in my life and in 2003, I even walked 18 miles of the Portland Marathon.

Survivor is a great show and I love watching it. I assume I didn't get picked because I wasn't called at the end of February and the first of March. It was fun to think about. Maybe someone that I stood with in line is going to be on the show. That would be nice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

American Idol

I love American Idol! American Idol celebrates and encourages talent to soar. It's one of my favorite shows on television. The level of talent coming into the competition this year is higher than ever before. Several of the contestants have years of performance time on stage giving an edge. Melinda and LaKisha are in a different league and perform as if they have already won. And now there is Jordin in direct competition with Melinda and LaKisha. Stephanie has the big voice and the big talent. I love watching Blake from Seattle. He puts a new spin on everything to make it his own. Sanjaya has the spirit and loves being on stage for being so young. Haley is beautiful on stage and has the talent to match. Phil has the big voice and loves it on stage. Gina is showing great talent--edgy and strong. Brandon has that infectious smile going on with the big voice. Chris Sligh is popular with everyone and I love watching him. He has great talent. Chris Richardson is another big talent. Who's going home? I wish they could all stay the length to keep getting better and better, mentored by the biggest talent so they could all go out there and each win a grammy. Wouldn't it be something if they could each stay the distance, receive the coaching, bond for life, and all go on to be major stars?

In my heart I am up there performing with each one of them. It sure is fun. They are all amazingly talented. I want all of them to win.

It was so much fun to see Diana Ross coach the talent. No one is better than Diana Ross. She's my favorite female vocalist of all time. It's not as simple to pick a male vocalist. I love listening to American Standards so I love Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond and then there is Mick Jagger.

I'm grateful to the producers of American Idol, Simon Fuller, and Simon Cowell for bringing this show to America. You give hope to everyone with talent to work hard and never give up making the world a better place for everyone.

So when is So You Think You Can Dance going to start? This is another amazing show. I guess there can't be too much fun at the same time on television. No one would do anything else.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mal-practice in Oregon

I have to chuckle. I justed scanned the Corvallis Gazette Times for a couple of minutes. My husband is reading the paper so I just glanced. Sometimes I think we should get two subscriptions--one for him and one for me.

It says on page A8 in headlines that "Oregon malpractice rates among lowest." I have to laugh because of my own experience. I had two doctors years ago that an attorney in Portland said that I have a clear case of malpractice but he said that no doctor in Oregon will ever testify because they will never practice medicine again.

In another instance with my mother-in-law, a doctor said to my husband that he couldn't discuss the case because if he did, he wouldn't be allowed to practice medicine in Oregon.

One courageous attorney was willing to take our mal-practice case against two fellow good ole boy attorneys until he was stopped in his tracks and shown that he wouldn't practice law if he continued.

So is this a correct assessment of what is going on in Oregon? I think not!

My Mom

My mother taught piano lessons in our home and was a stay-at-home mom. She worked hard at keeping our house clean, the yard tended, and made nice meals on a small budget. I grew up in houses that my parents owned first in Libby, Montana and then in Salem, Oregon. They took pride in our home.

When I was five years old, I wrote a song that I wanted my mother to drive me to Spokane to have published. She said that I didn't have any talent in music because I could play by ear. Yes, I can pick out songs on the piano based on songs that I hear on the radio. That stunted my progress in music for years. I still have a block.

When I was in the seventh grade, I was told to take algebra. My mother told me I shouldn't ever take algebra so I didn't. To this day I haven't taken algebra. This is a real trick since I have graduated from a four year college by substituting other classes. I was great in math and it was my best subject. Her logic was that she flunked algebra so this was a danger zone. I know she wanted to protect me and meant well. I am a Sudoku fanatic now!

During my senior year in high school, I started to think that I wanted to go to college. I had good grades. My mother said that I should go to business school and be a legal secretary. I went on to college and graduated from Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University with a B.S. in Social Science. My senior year in college, I added a second major so I also have a major in corrections. I wanted to be a high school history teacher. I've wanted to be a lot of things. I have also thought social research was interesting.

I wonder if I would have done what my mother had said, if I would be a lawyer right now. I wonder if my ambition would have kicked in and I would have wanted to try law school too. I have thought about law school for years. Now college is so expensive and for people my age, it's even harder since it's now possible to garnish your social security payments, if you don't pay your tuition payments. If you get sick, it could be disaster!

I'm 59 now. Next year I'll be 60. The big 6-0! That's getting into the area where you can't say you are really young any more, maybe young at heart. This is the area where you are supposed to be financially secure, thinking about traveling, grandchildren, and hobbies.

What does life hold for me? I look forward to it. Will I be a best selling mystery novelist? Will I write award winning children's books? Will I write inspirational biographies? Will I find the opportunity to go back to college to get my masters and Ph.D., teach, and do social research? Will I have more opportunities to travel? I want to go to Sweden since I'm half Swedish.

Or will I continue working my part time job, have a bigger and bigger garden every year, sew beautiful quilts, knit Scandinavian ski sweaters, and continue to work on my novel? The later is more realistic and something I know I can accomplish. I know that I do love working at Joann Fabrics. It's fun. It's hard not to want to spend my whole paycheck there. So many great sales. So much fun.

No matter how my life turns out, I'm determined to work hard to learn new things, enjoy life, and do the best I can. My mother did the best she could. She taught me how to enjoy the little things in life and to find joy everyday. That was a great gift. I miss her. She knew how to take an ordinary day and make it special.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Be Your Own Answer

Too often in life, I have trusted authority figures to provide answers and I've followed, giving up my power. If they had a Ph.D. or medical degree behind their name or if they had a genius IQ, they had the answer even if it directly contradicted what I knew to be true. Some of my biggest mistakes in life has been trusting in others and following.

This is odd but I think a common problem with women, especially those my age. I took the Mensa test in 1986 and I scored in the 97th percentile. So why do I do this? It is so easy for me to see that everyone else is capable of great things but me. My husband took the mensa test at the same time, scored in the 99th percentile, and joined mensa. Why didn't he encourage me to take the other test they recommended? They said that since I had such a high score on the pretest, better than my husband, that they were sure that I just needed to take another test to join. I know it would have upped my self confidence. Why didn't I stick up for myself in this instance?

Now more than ever before, it's important to be your own answer and to be your own expert. It's important to scour the library and books to search for the information you need to solve your own problems.

Every year I'm determined to work on goals so that I am a better person with more skills and abilities. I've never understood the individual who didn't want to improve themselves. I enjoy this process. It keeps me in the uncomfortable zone but I've seen progress. I learned to swim for the first time without fear of the deep water at the age of 56. That's pretty good.

This year I want a bigger and better garden. I want to finish my mystery novel and my children's book manuscript. I want to read more. I enjoy the fun of sewing, quilting, and knitting projects.

Life is what you make it. I'm good at creating my own fun. Growing up as an only child, I've learned to do just that. It's easy to create your own fun, even if it's just the fleeting moment of watching a dragonfly darting about or gazing at the best sunset ever. It's fun for me to create words on a page that I hadn't anticipated or that surprise me. It's fun to find roasted tomato sauce in the freezer that I made last fall from all the tomatoes in my garden and put it on pasta. (I learned how to make this pasta sauce last fall from a recipe in the Corvallis Gazette Times.) It's always fun to be around my grandchildren or to talk to them on the phone. There's lots of fun in life. You just have to look for it and appreciate it when it happens.


I believe that a friend is a rare commodity today. Busy schedules make it harder for people to take the time to be a friend.

A real friend to me means someone who watches your back, warns when you are in danger, is loyal, wants you to win, offers advice, discusses plans with you, and is nice. Am I expecting too much? Maybe. Right now I don't have any real friends. I've been too busy through the years with my own life to take the time to cultivate friends so here I am at this stage of life without them, at the very time when I need them.

It seems like people talk to each other less and less. People hint, which can be confusing. Maybe this is because no one wants to be held accountable. I think people assume too much. This might be the reason behind the sage advice of not worrying about what anybody thinks. Be your own person. Find your own answers.

Maybe I just think I need friends because that is what society and pop culture says. A friend needing constant attention is hard to deal with so I tend to stay away from these types. Talking on the phone for hours is difficult when I have so many things I need to do. I'm not the kind of person that wants to meet for coffee every day and can't move a muscle without checking in.

I'm picky. That doesn't help. I don't want to be friends with just anyone. That sounds rather snooty but it's true. I don't want to be manipulated. I don't like games. I want common values. In the past, I have worked hard at being a friend to others and found that there are many takers. I've been betrayed so I'm less willing to put myself out there now.

What this means to me though is that it's hard to achieve any of my goals because I lack a support system. I had tivoed a show that has remained saved for over a year. I finally watched it last week. It said that those people without a mentor, a support system, or close friends are less likely to achieve their goals. They feel alone and it is much harder for them to move forward in life. People without a support system tend to remain stuck.

So what does one do without friends. I pray a lot. I look for my support system in books. I think I need to realize this potential more since there is tremendous support in books. I tend to read writing craft books and mysteries because I'm working on a mystery novel.

My Mom used to say to me often, "Love many, trust few. Always paddle your own canoe." I guess I took her advice to heart because this is what I tend to do. I think this is why I enjoy working in retail. People are kept at a safe distance. I love helping people and being around people. For this same reason, I enjoy interviewing people to showcase their talent or special ability in an article.

My mother also used to say to me that God is watching every thing that I do and can hear my every thought. That has always kept me in line!

Who do I like to talk to most? My kids but they have their own lives and they are busy. I talk to them on average at least once a week--sometimes more, sometimes less.

It comes down to this. I need to work harder at being my own best friend. I've been told several times that no one cares so I have to care.

I think the process of finding a real friend takes time. Maybe it will happen. Maybe not.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Special Education

I have a minor in special education and when I was in college I had a special interest in autistic children thinking it would be wonderful to study under Bruno Bettelheim at the University of Chicago. I had the opportunity to learn under Mrs. Nagy who later taught at Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University. This was a practicum at Fairview Home and Training Center in a classroom. Most of the children had documented IQs of zero. We spent most of one term trying to work on teaching the students to put their chair under the table. Yes, Mrs. Nagy had the patience of a saint. It was at this time that I discovered that this was not the way I wanted to spend my time. The situation lacked a certain kind of hope.

The Mrs. Nagy's of the world are needed because there is a reality in the world today that there are more and more special needs children. There are more children who are diagnosed as autistic today than ever before. Why? Is there something in the environment causing this? We have known for years that the mother can not expose herself to drugs and alcohol during the early months of pregnancy. Why don't we investigate and get to the bottom of the problem and correct it. We need to prevent the causes of brain damage. More medication is being prescribed to students for many reasons. What long range effect will this have when these young people marry and start having children?