Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Shed That Fed A Million Children

The Shed That Fed A Million Children

Adult nonfiction
"We all agreed that the vision for Mary's Meals should be for
every child to receive a daily meal in their place of education.
Clearly there was a lot of work ahead of us. We just had to decide
where to begin."
Take a few minutes to think on school lunches as aspirational.
It's probably hard to imagine. Many of us have fond or not so fond
memories of cafeteria sloppy joes, burgers, and meat loaf, not to
mention plenty of jello, washed down by cartons of milk. Many of us
sent or are sending in lunch money and packing sandwiches and sides
when what's on the menu isn't a child's cup of tea.
In his The Shed That Fed A Million Children Magnus McFarlane-
Barrow takes us into a world where starving doesn't mean an hour until
dinner or nothing "good" in the fridge. There are no refrigerators,
electricity, or running water in the simple one room huts he's
visited. Bad harvests mean literally nothing to eat. Tribal warfare
can mean returning to a ruined home and weed choked fields to start
anew...maybe for the second or third time.
After years of raising money for and delivering goods to
impoverished and war-torn nations, Magnus had a visionary idea.
Perhaps children who had a meal at school would gain the nutrients
they needed to grow and thrive and the skills to support themselves in
the future. That was the inspiration for Mary's Meals, an
organization that provides over a million children on four continents
with daily meals. This seemingly simple program has drawn children to
school and improved attendence and achievement.
The Shed That Fed A Million Children is the fascinating story
behind this program. It's a must read these days when hopeful news is
so hard to find.
What do you take for granted that others are in need of? You
don't have to launch a movement. If all of us do community
volunteering or activism it will make a huge difference.
On a personal note, we're almost done getting Clean Sweep ready. All
the merchandise is in place. Today we're marking prices. Tomorrow we
open the doors to a mob of bargain seekers. Community garden is
looking beautiful. I am so happy to once again be playing in the
dirt. This year we're adding the little herb garden I wanted.
A great big shout out goes out to my clean sweep crew, the customers
whose purchasing will help finance Bodwell Center projects including
the student food pantry, and my this year's community garden family.
jules hathaway


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Give It Up!

Give It Up!

Adult nonfiction
"One morning, while trying to decide which pair of shoes to
wear, I was behind schedule and was clearly going to be late for
work. To make matters worse, while reaching for my black sling backs,
an avalanch of designer shoe boxes hit me squarely on the head. For
some people, a subtle signal can lead them to a change in life; others
need a stronger message. In my case, it was being literally hit over
the head with my own shoes. This was my wake-up call."
Mary Carlomagno, author of Give It Up!, had hit a point where
she felt that something was missing. Her life was too complicated by
a plethora of distractions. Nothing really satisfied her. She read
the entire newspaper to be up on water cooler conversation topics
rather than out of curiosity. Shopping was getting way out of hand.
It was time for a change.
Carlomagno was familiar with the concept of Lent. As a child
she'd regularly given up candy or soda. She wondered if she could
give up some of the things that seemed so necessary in her life.
"...Would it be possible to live without a hundred boxes of designer
shoes, costly microbrewed coffee, or the ever present cell phone that
fueled my everyday existence?"
Carlomagno embarked on a year of Lents--12 to be exact. Each
month she temporarily gave up something chosen to move herself out of
her comfort zone and force herself to really look at her life. Her
experiences form the substance of the book.
Give It Up!, however, is more than a description of
deprivation. Each chapter yields thoughtful insight. The month she
gave up alcohol, after being startled by how much her social life
revolved around booze, she became more confident of her decision
making and able to say no when appropriate. A moritorium on shopping
led her to do so only when necessary. Giving up tv helped her
discover more creative alternatives. She ended up feeling privileged
rather than martyred.
Give It Up! is a very worthwhile read even if you lead a very
different life style. (The majority of my social life, for example,
revolves around UMaine campus activities and involves nothing harder
than cranberry punch. My shopping is all thrifts and yard sales. And
television doesn't tempt me in the least.) Give it a try. You might
discover aspects of your life you want to tweak.
On a personal note, I'm enjoying my Clean Sweep break. Yesterday I
decided to tackle all the bags and boxes of food that were donated.
Bodwell Center runs Clean Sweep. They're the go to people for
connecting students with campus and community volunteer
opportunities. They also operate the Black Bear Exchange which is a
clothing exchange and food pantry. Sadly in this country there are
rising numbers of homeless and food insecure students. You can't just
put any old food on the shelves. Containers can't have been opened.
And food can't be past its expiration date. Looking for those little
numbers is time consuming. So I sorted the good stuff, tossed the bad
stuff, and organized snacks that were safe but didn't meet standards
into a snack bar for my coworkers and me. True confession: I took
some of the candy home. Plus a bag of lollipops and three boxes of
gum for the neighborhood kids.
A great big shout out goes out to my Clean Sweep coworkers and our
peerless boss, Lisa Morin.
jules hathaway



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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Power Of Half

The Power Of Half

YA/adult nonfiction
"Our family is a fairly typical Atlanta foursome: two baby
boomers (Joan and Kevin) and two teenagers (Hannah and Joseph). Our
days consist of the standard American life--school, work, and youth
sports. For more than a decade we aspired to the usual "stuff": new
cars, a spacious home, nice vacations. Sure, we took on the
occasional volunteer activity, feeding the homeless and building
Habitat For Humanity houses, but largely we were consumed by our own
careers and enhancing our lifestyle through bigger, newer, better. We
were focussed on us."
Reading the first paragraph of Kevin and Hannah Salwen's The
Power of Half, you know two things. Their family is doing peachy keen
by contemporary American standards. Things are about to change
drastically.
One night Joan was driving Hannah, then 14, home from a
sleepover. When they paused at a stoplight Hannah juxtaposed two
images: those of a homeless guy and a man driving a Mercedes coupe.
Perhaps if the Mercedes man had a less posh car the homeless man could
have a meal. But it wasn't just a too bad, so sad moment. The
sadness and anger stuck with her.
A few days after the incident Hannah announced that she wanted
her family to become a family that actually did things instead of
talking about doing things. Joan decided to test her commitment.
Would she be so eager if an action involved giving up her own
possessions? She suggested they sell their humungous house, move into
one half the size, and give the left over money to charity.
Hannah signed on immediately.
That's what they ended up doing.
There were snags. The house took longer to sell than they'd
anticipated, so for quite awhile the family was paying upkeep on two
houses. Picking a charity and a way to get involved took them way out
of their comfort zone. But they persisted and, in addition to making
a difference in the world, became stronger and more unified as a family.
My favorite part of the book is Hannah's additions to each
chapter. Addressed to peers, they give really good suggestions for
getting self and family involved in volunteering and activism...
...even if you have far fewer material resources than the
Salwens. Eugene and I raised our kids in a trailer park. But I
immersed our kids in volunteering and activism from the beginning. I
have very fond memories of taking the kids on the overnight buses from
Maine to DC to war protests with a bag of snack food to sustain us.
One year for Mothers Day they and their friends organized a protest
with signs against the war along Route Two in front of where we
lived. They have grown up to be involved, empathic, and very good
people.
On a purrrrsonal (Joey cat is beside me singing his love song) note, I
had an AWESOME weekend. Amber held her birthday party Saturday. All
3 kids and their significant others were there. The theme was
Goosebumps, a family favorite series. I spent so many precious hours
reading the books over and over to the girls. When we did the choose
your own ending ones Amber always had me choose. The decor was
perfect, starting with the elaborate graveyard in the front yard.
Amber had written her own Goosebumps choose your own ending book: #1
THE CURSE OF THE BEWITCHED BIRTHDAY PARTY. She read it to us and had
us choose at all the decision points. Brian did some dramatic acting
as a wizard. We also had other games and picture taking against a
very dramatic backdrop. The party food was all delish. (I suspect
Amber may share some of her party awesomeness techniques in the near
future. Http://amberscraftaweek.blogspot.com)
After the party Katie and Jacob stopped by for a nice visit on their
way back to Portland. Joey cat was SO HAPPY to see Katie again and to
meet Jacob.
Then today we had flower communion at church. The Sunday school
joined the choir. I got to be one of the lilac dancers. People took
lovely spring flowers home. Who could ask for more?
A great big shout out goes out to Amber and Brian (the hosts with
most), my dear growing family, and my church family with whom I
celebrated. Special congratulations to Pastor Steve (Orono United
Methodist) for achieving his PhD and his talented wife, Judy, without
whom attaining the degree would have been a lot more challenging.
jules hathaway


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Friday, May 18, 2018

Daring To Drive

Daring To Drive

Adult nonfiction
"The secret police came for me at two in the morning. The
second knock on the door quickly followed the first. They were loud,
hard knocks, the kind that radiate out and shake the door frame. My
five-year-old son was asleep, but I was awake still, sitting up with
my brother."
Those knocks on the door were the beginning of a real life
nightmare for Manal al-Sharif. After interrogations during which she
was not allowed to have her brother present she found herself in a
filthy, cockroach infested prison, unable to contact family members or
anyone who could potentially rescue her.
"It turned out that I didn't need to call anyone in my family to
let them know where I had gone. The newspaper, the television, the
radio, and the Internet had already done it for me. By the time I'd
fallen asleep, all of Saudi Arabia knew that Manal al-Sharif, the
woman who drove, was in jail."
That was the crime Manal was jailed for--driving: not driving
under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not driving to endanger, but
driving while female. If you're asking, "What kind of nation can do
that?" you must read her Daring To Drive. I guarantee this memoir
will be an eye opener right from the beginning.
"I was born on the floor of our cramped apartment in the city of
Mecca on April 25, 1979. My mother was alone, except for my older
sister, who was barely much more than a toddler herself. My father
had been out when she went into labor, and under Saudi rules and
customs, my mother could not be admitted without a male guardian or a
mahram to accompany her to the hospital. There were no exceptions.
She couldn't even call for help because our apartment had no phone."
Seriously!
If I was to list all Manal had to endure because of her gender,
this review would well exceed anyone's attention span. I guess you'll
have to read the book yourself. If you're a feminist you'll really
want to.
On a personal note, yesterday was my first work day at the UMaine
cafeteria system. I helped make sandwiches. Everyone I was working
with seemed really nice. After I got off work I went over to Alfond
(ice hockey) Arena to work on Clean Sweep, the yard sale all other
yard sales wish they were. The rest of this week and all of next week
that's what I'll be up to. My vacation summer camp. In a few minutes
I'll be grabbing the bus to campus.
A great big shout out goes out to my new work family and my clean
sweep crew.
jules hathaway


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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Second Coming Of The KKK

The Second Coming Of The KKK

Adult Nonfiction
"A July 4 picnic in Kokomo, Indiana, held in 1923, was the
town's event of the decade, a lollapalooza of a carnival: some said
fifty thousand came, while others said two hundred thousand--no doubt
a wild exaggeration, but one that reflected the celebratory mood.
Reserved train cars brought in people from throughout Indiana and
nearby states. This giant gathering made its participants feel part
of something vast, patriotic, and noble--a celebration of Americanism."
Most of us see the 1920s as the Roaring Twenties, a gilded age
that sadly gave way to the Great Depression. Images of flappers with
bobbed hair and elegant garments, speakeasies, and talented jazz
musicians easily come to mind. Few of us ponder on a much darker side
to the decade that actually gives it a lot in common with today's
world. Linda Gordon admirably shines a light on it in The Second
Coming of the KKK.
For every flapper there were scads of people we'd characterize
as religious conservatives, a silent majority fed up with being silent
in a time they saw as rife with moral decay. Their formerly great
nation was going to Hell in a handbasket. It was their duty to make
America great again. The villains in this drama were basically anyone
who wasn't a native born white Anglo Saxon Protestant.
All the angst and anger created a propitious time for the KKK to
make a comeback. Only this wasn't the secret society of the post
Civil War South. This was an out-in-the-open fraternal organization
that recruited and advertised openly and threw extravaganzas like the
one described above. It shared a passion for white supremacy with its
parent organization. To draw in people who weren't especially
threatened by blacks, job stealing immigrants, Catholics (seen as
infiltrating America for a Papal take over), Jews (portrayed as both
money grubbers and socialists), and urban elites were added to the
list of those not considered true Americans. Northern chapters
thrived. Oregon and Indiana had the highest per capita Klan membership.
Although its heyday was short-lived, the reborn KKK had a major
impact on American and world history. Eugenics laws (legalizing the
forced sterilization of "undesirables") spread rapidly state by state,
culminating in the 1927 Buck v Bell decision that was cited by the
Nazis during the Nuremburg trials as justification and precedent for
their genocide. Immigration quotas were changed drastically to keep
out ethnic "undesirables". (During WWII a lot of Jewish people trying
to escape Hitler's Germany were denied entrance.) Hate speech and
actions were given increased legitimacy in public discourse while
dissent was increasingly considered unpatriotic.
"...This obligatory patriotism was expressed symbolically,
visually, in the mass pageants with their extravagant displays, and
literally in speeches and texts asserting that 'right Americans were
the chosen people, that the American governmental system was the most
perfect on Earth, that profit seeking was the grounds of American
greatness'."
The Second Coming Of The KKK is a must read for everyone who is
concerned about the trajectory America is following under the current
administration.
On a purrrrsenol note, yesterday Joey had his check up with Dr. Laura,
the vet who saved his life with a 4 1/2 hour operation 3 years ago.
She was delighted to find him in EXCELLENT HEALTH!!! (We agree this
is amazing where he was born with health challenges and is about to
turn 15.) He was only three when he had his first life or death
surgery. Before that I'd thought it was impossible up love my sweet
little cat more than I did. I was wrong. Almost losing him made
every day with him precious beyond measure. Every day from the moment
I hear him call me in the morning til my night cat assisted reading he
makes my heart sing. Dr. Laura has seen few animal-human pairings as
emotionally synchronized as we are. From protecting me from heart
disease that runs in my family and building the courage not to give up
on my dream to making impossible to say any day was just another day,
Joseph Jacob Hathaway gives me more than I could pawsibly give him.
I was also glad that I had saved up enough cash without touching the
credit card and that Joey and I got home before the rain.
My dafodills seem to have enjoyed yesterday's rain.
A great big shout out goes out to Joey and all the companion animals
who add to much to our lives and the dedicated vets and their
assistants who keep them healthy.
jules hathaway


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Unequal Childhoods

Unequal Childhoods

Adult nonfiction
"Laughing and yelling, a white fourth-grader named Garrett
Tallinger splashes around in the swimming pool in the backyard of his
four-bedroom home in the suburbs on a late spring afternoon. As on
most evenings, after a quick dinner his father drives him to soccer
practice. This is only one of Garrett's many activities. His brother
has a baseball game at a different location. There are evenings when
the boys' parents can relax, sipping a glass of wine. Tonight is not
one of them. As they rush to change out of their work clothes and get
their children ready for practice, Mr. and Mrs. Tallinger are harried."
The Tallingers are one of the twelve families portrayed in
Annette Lareau's Unequal Childhoods. Now in a second (2011) edition,
it's a must read for teachers, social workers, clergy, parents, and
basically all others who work with children. It exposes a hidden
classism that allows Americans and American institutions to disallow
relative privilege as a crucial factor in children's life trajectories
and demonize poorer children, families, and communities for factors
beyond their control. This bias also sees the practices of the
relatively well off as across the board superior to those of the less
affluent rather than ascribing assets to both.
"America may be the land of opportunity, but it is also a land
of inequality. This book identifies the largely invisible but
powerful ways that parents' social class impacts children's life
experiences. It shows, using in-depth observations and interviews
with middle-class (including members of the upper-middle-class),
working-class, and poor families, that inequality permeates the fabric
of the culture. In the chapters that lie ahead, I report the results
of intensive observational research for a total of twelve families
when their children were nine and ten years old. I argue that key
elements of family life cohere to form a cultural logic of child
rearing. In other words, the differences among families seem to
cluster together in meaningful patterns..."
More affluent families engage in what Lareau calls concentrated
cultivation. Family life centers around a plethora of structured
activities children engage in. A month in Garrett Tallinger's life
includes 34 organized activities, 3 involving travel or overnight.
(And he's one of three siblings!) Parents engage in reasoning rather
than directives and other linguistic techniques of improving
vocabularies and verbal skills. They also intervene with schools and
other institutions when their children experience discomfort and use a
plethora of advantages to place and maintain their offspring on a
track to the best colleges and an elite future.
In contrast, working class and poor families engage in natural
growth. Children participate in few, if any, organized activities.
They are free to structure much of their nonschool time. Playing with
neighborhood friends and engaging with relatives are central to their
lives. Parents use directives instead of reasoning and speak to kids
a lot less often. They are much less likely to intervene when
children experience school discomfort and lack the insider knowledge
and connections for advancing their children's post secondary school
prospects.
Unequal childhoods is highly readable, skillfully interweaving
background, narrative, and theory. I see it as a must read for anyone
concerned about the decidedly unequal (and becoming more so) prospects
for a decent life that our children face. I can only hope that people
in the more privileged segments of our society will read it and
realize (in an image Lareau presents) that they started out on third
base instead of hitting a triple.
On a personal note, I had a lovely weekend. Saturday I wrote poetry
outside near my dafodills and wind chimes. Eugene and I started
Mothers' Day by stopping by his mom's house to give her a card and
flowers. Then we went on a drive. We stopped at thrift shops and a
flea market. I found really cute shirts including TWO CAT SHIRTS.
(Shirts with cat pictures for me, not an attempt to improve on Joey's
purrrrrfect natural tuxedo). We had lunch at Mickey D's. I saw my
son and his fiancée. They plan to take me out for ice cream. I heard
from my girls. I'll see them Saturday.
From a global perspective, I'm a privileged parent. Our kids grew up
with good food, a warm home with running water and electricity.
Religious extremists didn't try to keep my daughters out of school.
Bombs, land mines, and AK47 bearing soldiers weren't everyday perils.
Eugene and I didn't have to entrust our family to a treacherous sea
crossing.
If you are raising or have raised children under similar privileges
please don't ignore those parenting in dire circumstances. A little
money to organizations that help refugees, welcoming any who make it
to your neighborhood, fighting for laws that don't betray the promise
most of our non indiginous ancestors arrived here under...it all
helps. I will continue to seek out and publicize books that bring
their plight to your attention.
A great big shout out to mothers striving to parent under treacherous
conditions. I can't help being reminded of a teen mother who gave
birth in a stable, the inns being full, and had to flee people who
wanted to slay her child.
jules hathaway




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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Longing And Belonging

Longing And Belonging

Adult nonfiction
"What does buying mean to children and their parents? Why does
buying for children seem to generate so much anxiety and concern? If
consumer culture is the 'enemy' of good parenting, why do so many
parents invite the enemy into their homes?"
As the mother of three young children, Alison Pugh struggled
with the above questions. Lucky for us, she logged serious research
time. The result of her quest was Longing And Belonging: Parents,
Children, and Consumer Culture.
I think most of us who are parenting or have done so recently
have experienced 'anxiety and concern'. Why does my child covet that
video game, brand of sneakers, doll...with such intensity? Why are my
fellow parents caving, even when it would seem to go against their
values? Will it really hurt my child if I don't go along?
One of my most anxiety provoking parenting experiences started
when my younger daughter came home from Girl Scouts with a permission
slip. Her troop had won a mall sleep over opportunity. Stores would
be open exclusively for them with all kinds of perks. In an already
consumption obsessed society, why were they making shopping even more
glamerous and addictive? Girl Scouts? Weren't they supposed to be
all about camping and ethics and values?
I did not sign the slip. I knew at least two other moms who had
a healthy dislike of materialism. I counted on them joining me in
abstaining. When I was the only hold out, I approached them
individually and asked why they allowed their daughters to
participate. Both indicated a great deal of discomfort in their
resignation. Yeah, I hate this. But what can I do?
Then other parents approached me more aggressively. Obviously I
didn't love Katie. If I did, I wouldn't make her miss out. All her
friends would be talking about the experience and she'd be on the
outside. How could I?
I have described this experience in such detail because it
segues so neatly into Pugh's findings. Although ubiquitous
advertising manipulates children and very much leads to too much
buying, it isn't the whole story. Children covet key belongings and
experiences, not only due to the genius of Madison Avenue, but because
of what she calls economies of dignity.
"The dictionary defines dignity as 'the quality or state of
being worthy,' but we might reasonably ask, worthy of what? I suggest
that for children a vital answer is 'worthy of belonging.' I use
'dignity' to mean the most basic sense of children's particpation in
their social world, what the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen
called an 'absolute capability...to take part in the life of the
community.' With dignity, children are visible to their peers, and
granted the aural space, the very right to speak in their own
community's conversation.'"
Of course the parents criticizing me couldn't have read the
book. Katie was in high school when it was published. But basically
they were accusing me of denying my daughter the right to be visible
to and heard by her peers.
Pugh spent years volunteering and observing chldren at a poor
school's after school care, an elite public school, and a private
school. She talked to their teachers and staff. She did extensive
interviews with parents from fifty-four families in their natural
environments. (At one point when she talks to a child and her mother
she and the daughter are painting their nails).
Pugh's narrative tells us how economies of dignity play out for
children in different economic groups, how children approach parents
to obtain the items they believe will lead to more securely belonging,
and how parents handle these requests. This includes the feelings and
thoughts behind their responses. Not surprisingly kids across the
spectrum coveted pretty much the same items, electronics holding a
very special status. Also not surprisingly, rich parents' mental
gymnastics were qualitatively different than those of poor parents for
whom even providing the necessities was a struggle. Surprisingly kids
across the spectrum experienced the same insecurities and
vulnerabilities.
One of the concepts in the book made me feel very angry because
Eugene and I brought our kids up on the "wrong side of the tracks" of
a relatively wealthy town. It was the concept of noblesse oblige. It
was exemplified by the mother who would routinely have her children
give some of their clothes and toys to the poor in a town in Central
America but kept them away from the local poor.
"...Like Dorothy, most of the affluent parents in this study
seemed to prefer that inequality serve as an abstract lesson in
charity and the responsibilities of the wealthy, rather than as a
concrete experience in empathy and what we owe each other as fellow
humans...."
This is a practice that perpetuates divisions rather than
ameleorating them. It also perpetuates the process of othering we see
across so many other spectrums (ie gender, race, religion) that allows
people to feel virtuous by helping those across the world while acting
crappy closer to home. I am sure the residents of my town who didn't
let their kids go to events as innocuous as a kindergarten birthday
party in my neighborhood wrote generous checks to organizations like
UNICEF and missions. I am by nature a very nonviolent person. But I
am going to share two instances when I had a sincere desire to deck
someone.
When my son was in I think first grade he visited a boy in his
class and came home with a haircut and new outfit. He seemed to like
them so I thanked the other mother. She and I went to see our sons
play rec sports. I was horrified to overhear her talking about how
she helped a poor little neglected child. Several parents looked my
way, not disguising a desire for drama. I did not act in a way that
would have confirmed every one of their class prejudices.
(Ironically, a couple of years later when my status was boosted by
being elected to school committee, I was a paradigm of parenting and
her chum).
When my older daughter was in third grade there was a well
attended school event. The mother of one of her friends loudly asked
her daughter why she wasn't doing as well (grade wise) as "that little
trailor park trash." My daughter whispered for me to not respond. I
couldn't help noticing that the other parents and even the teachers
said nothing to indicate that the mother had crossed a line. Maybe in
their minds she hadn't?
Anyway the book is really interesting and reader friendly. I'd
recommend it to parents, people who work with or plan to work with
children, and public policy creators.
At the end of the book Pugh speculates that adults may have
economies of dignity--required belongings and experiences that allow
one to be seen, heard, and accepted. Hell, yes! I used to belong to
a book club. Members all had kids in the same school. We updated
each other on our kids' news and chatted about school events, upcoming
holidays, weather, and the book. Then we had an influx of new
people. Suddenly to be heard and seen and belong you had to have
renovated your fancy house, gone to ritzy vaca destinations, belonged
to ski and country clubs, and acquired luxuries.
Wanna guess why I dropped out?
I just noticed that this review is lengthy compared to my usual
ones. Let's say it gave me lots of food for thought. Maybe it will
do the same for you.
On a personal note, Thursday I went to Lavender Graduation. It's a
lovely intimate graduation for LGBTQ students and allies that comes
before the official graduation. (Incidentally, I learned about the
grad program I will be starting in September at Lavender Graduation
2016). I had a number of people graduating but most especially
Russell who is one of my favorite people in the world. (I'm so lucky
he is staying around and not heading off somewhere far away like
Alaska). If you have a friend you can share any thoughts without
being afraid of judgement or work with in silence with the silence not
feeling awkward you have that kind of friend. I could tell Russell
was pleased that I was there. One of the most special ways we can be
real is mattering to the people who matter to us.
Then yesterday I went to the funeral of my husband's aunt, Arlene
Woodman. Her oldest daughter read a poem Arlene's husband had written
for her for a Valentines Day decades after the day she had caught his
eye by giving him a flower. That poem told people a lot more than the
preacher's whole sermon which seemed to be an infomercial about
getting right with Jesus to join her in heaven. During her time on
Earth, for better or worse and in sickness and health, Arlene Woodman
was adored by her beloved.
The take home message from the two events, which is one of the major
principals by which I live my life, is never pass up an opportunity to
tell or show the people you love how much they mean to you. Then you
won't be blindsided by regrets if they die or move to Alaska. I'm
sure my counselling center chums will agree with this.
A great big shout out goes out to all our UMaine students who are
graduating today and the grads of other fine institutions. You did
it! Congrats. Also to all the mothers who will be celebrating
Mothers Day tomorrow.
jules hathaway






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