Why I Write

Me = cute baby

Smart, cute kid

Really smart, awkward kid

Sit in the back row, keep your head down kid

Don’t try out for vocalist spots when you are second chair violin and tune everyone’s instruments every day.

Get called in by the music teacher and be forced to sing intro to Bridge over Troubled Waters in front of my entire family, friends and their families.

Make sure you have two sisters and a brother and get paid for babysitting.

Learn a bit about what troubled waters mean when it comes to parents.

Be a jerk in high school because I didn’t want to be smart but I did beat a guy in ping pong and he told me I should have let him win because he was a man. I knew even then that no real man would ever say that to me. I’ve doubled my husband’s score in bowling and we both did badly and laughed about it.

Learn a a bit in college and have professors that matter and help stitch the world together. Make them priests, Franciscans who are the protectors of animals.

Take off after working for a few years, for Europe and learn even more. My work taught me volumes. I’ve always cared for people and animals and this made me want to do even more.

Quit and become a lobbyist. Yes. I did. Then I quit and became a non-profit consultant helping organizations find their missions and visions and donor bases.

Volunteer. I can’t tell you how many years or hours I’ve volunteered. That’s neither here nor there but is a good part of my life.

Agitate/aggravate. Yes I became a volunteer political advocate for a cause dear to my heart, one that led me to meet neighbors and have children yell out my dog’s name when I walk into our park.

Cry when my dog dies and the entire neighborhood gives a tree to the city in her memory and we all water it in a ceremony. Think Nat King Cole and sing “Smile.” That’s my old dog.

Marry. Meet the man you want to talk to over breakfast for the rest of your life. Make sure his mother is your second best friend (next to hubby, of course).

Get a dog. Hubby asked about children and I said no, we have to get a dog first. We have to find out how bad you are. He’s BAD. He spoils her rotten and would never let a daughter out the door until she’s 40. All the while he’d have a workshop with the son and shoot off rockets and do other chemical experiments that hopefully would be downwind of the house and land on our property. Yes, he has asked if he could blow stuff up. Those were my parameters. He’s a physicist so can control things.

So we got the dog at six weeks with coccidia and hookworms. And she had bad hips that had to be taken out as a pup by our dear cousin Val the Vet.

Ten years later we’ve lived in eight places (two were right next door to each other). If anything builds character, it’s moving. I grew up with it and have renounced the theory that everything has to be put away before we all go to bed the first night. That’s Dad’s thing. Of course he wanted to get to his new job right away so we were left to do it alone. Don’t ask my husband about this. We still have a few boxes and it’s been a year.

Now we’ve been married over ten years and look for some peace. You only have a bit of the story here. We’re happy. My husband’s parents could have insisted on an “and Sons” sign and brand but wanted their two boys to go off to college and make their own way in the world. That, they did.

I forgot one important thing. Get a brother. I did. It took a few years but as long as I don’t have to break down a deer or a wild hog, I’m the sis he never had.

Family and friends are important. Childhood memories I’ve never shared are key in my life today. With respect to all those we love, Dee

ps Dad, there are two round steel wool marks over our stainless steel microwave. Remember when I was cleaning the whitewalls on your ’64 Buick Special Coupe? Yes, I found tar on the door and used steel wool to remove it. You …. well you weren’t very happy about my ruining the paint. If they try to charge us for this infraction please tell them I learned my lesson about steel wool and steel/paint at age eight. Thanks, Dad. Yes, I love you too. D

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