Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Decision from the Supreme Court

The Decision is in.
The Supreme Court has ruled.
And oh my God the firestorm has just begun; with opinions, celebrations, anger, screaming, applause and all that one could possibly imagine happening ever since.
Rush Limbaugh is saying he will take his millions and leave the country now.
Yay for that great news.
Others say this is fabulous news and those who have not been able to get insurance or be treated will in fact now be able to.
Those hard working individuals who have paid into systems, have gone on COBRA and received letters of guarantee that they could in fact get major medical insurance only to be told "NO" as a result of a "pre-existing" health problem who are not without; now will again be able to have insurance.
that is good ... right?
say it is the beginning of the end;
seeming to think that they will have to pay for the insurance of others.
The debates are intense, anger is spilling over into friendships that are now strained and accusations are being hurled at our White House, our Justices and such disrespect like one has never seen.
Or that I don't remember ever hearing.
All of a sudden it appears that 
"experts" are everywhere.
From lay persons; those who are unemployed to those who are plumbers and electricians, preachers and musicians,
all now seem to know the law better than the Justices on the Supreme Court.
It is mind boggling,
and I will be the first to admit;
I don't have a clue to all that is in that 200 or so pages of papers that were put to the test of the laws and their contents.
I have no idea of all the many facets of details and understandings that were considered in weighing into our Constitution and the laws into a final decision that was rendered by the highest of the high who sit in those robes.
I do know this;
now the decision is made,
and people who are talking, commenting on the news online and on social media are passionate, opinionated and their views and takes are as different
 some are healthy, some are varied, some are just nutty and fruity and co-co puffs
while others make me snap crackle and wanna POP.
At times I find it interesting when I see funny or profound sayings, pictures or thoughts on the pages of Facebook; some I cannot resist but to share.
I notice that many will like them, some will comment on them,
others will not have the courage to post them on their own walls
yet will at times unload their thoughts on my page.
People are interesting that way.
Now it seems that everything is political; even cartoons or sayings that do not have anything to do with politics gets taken somehow into "what would the Republicans do/think/say or vice versa".
Quite frankly there are times that I don't really care what "they" either party would think/say or do.
I do however care how "we" the American people treat each other and those in the positions of President and the justices of the Supreme Court are being slandered and viewed in our country and across the world where we are always watched, viewed and scrutinized and often being looked upon as a target to others.
At times it seems that people forget
the old saying,
If you don't like it, LEAVE IT.
But we would be a stronger Nation if we would stand together
as we did during the days, months
As one Nation Under God
who stood by and with each other
with flags that flew
as brothers and sisters traveled to places unknown and fought for our very freedoms and still do.
It does not matter who is in residence in that White House,
but it sure as hell matters that we support them while they are there
 We are busy hearing of everyone who is now FEARFUL
as a result of the Affordable health care act.
Fear is what is making so many have these initial "I'm the expert" intense reactions to the Supreme Court ruling; the "I know best" and "this sucks" reactions.
We are blaming/shaming our country and yet we LIVE in OUR COUNTRY; enjoy the benefits of warm beds, hot showers, the ability to free speech, and a hot meal.
While our brothers, sisters, children are in Uniform, sleeping in sand, changing their underwear every 4 months, carrying 70 pounds on their backs and hoping to see the day end with all their limbs intact and a letter from home or a scent on an envelope or hear from home that everyone is still alive here.
we have the nerve to bitch and complain about the weather
to challenge the Justices of the Supreme Court?
We want to gripe and moan over those who need insurance and not understand the need of individuals yet lump them into groups and say we understand it all?
We want to judge and play God
and have the true mind at play that we alone have a "better plan"?
Guess the First Americans had a better plan before the treaties were broken and the Trail of Tears was walked; before they were forced to be removed, before the first genocide on American soils happened; the first slavery on our soils.
Now with the highest alcoholism, highest rates of suicide among youth, in American Indians still mainly being ignored
seems no one is jacked up about that still...
Unresolved grief that is inter-generational; post-traumatic stress syndrome, losses that are monumental... and promises broken.
 All hell is goin to break loose in the days ahead as a result of this landmark decision.
We will see it on local levels, on National levels.
It will be used in the campaigns and it will be ugly; uglier than it has already been.
Mitt boy will use it against Obama and the songs will sound like records that are scratched and sounds will be like nails on a chalkboard to the nervous system.
We'll hear many who think this the best thing and will applaud loudly for Women and children
and for those needing insurance.
We will hear many who think this is just socialism and compare Obama to Hitler.
We will hear Republican/Democrat
Devils and angels
oh I am just sick with the thoughts of it and may have to subscribe to 
just to watch television without those commercials.
There will be fights, ugly words and just plain out disrespect.
I just don't like disrespect.
Tempers will flare, feelings are bound to get hurt, humor will be lost.
Many will have those knee>jerk reactions as they read and respond to the thoughts and reactions of others, and friendships might get strained or blankets torn
all for the love of freedom of speech and the left/right/middle of the ground wings.
i do believe that when the Supreme Court renders a decision;
it is 
"the final answer".
But what do I know?
There are some things though that I do know; miles I have walked in these mocs of mine;
and many lives I have been honored to be a part of;
from that wisdom, I do know this.
I am proud to be an American,
I am grateful to be alive.
I am blessed beyond measure.
I am not qualified or smart enough to be President of the USA nor a member of the Supreme Court.
I believe.
And before I say disparaging things against our President I will always remember the feeling I got when I looked at this picture and read the words

Wishing you a day that you will be able to:
Stop, take a moment to breathe and think
Caution, before you speak or press enter
GO>>> with grace and gratitude

Walk in Beauty



Friday, June 29, 2012

Lake Tarpon after Debby

Oh my goodness,
last evening I'm listening to the News and hear that 2 Manatee were found in Lake Tarpon after Tropical Storm Debby!
So of course I had to text Laura quickly to inform her and let her know we would be right there;
get the boat ready for us to go and see if we could render aide to the poor creatures of the gulf,
and also take a boat ride to see the once again calm waters!
The "crew" once again to the waters, just what my dear friend needed after a day of work and trip to USF for a follow-up appointment for MS I was sure; along with Mitch who had worked all night and had to return to work at 330AM
yep just the thing that was needed.
 So off we go in DLB's hot little clean car, to the canal of Lake Tarpon, hoping against hope the waters have left the road!
It was only yesterday that Laura had told me she saw a fish swimming like mad in that very road to her home (I forgot to tell DLB that) as she commented on her fresh car wash when we jumped in thinking of seeing Manatee in the lake!
 It may be that all this rain, sogginess and wind had gotten to all of us; that we just needed an excuse to get on the water; that made this so very exciting.
Now that I think on it, it was quite funny and rather silly to jump spontaneously from the comfort of the couch after all had worked all day long and drag our family of choice out on the waters in search of two Manatee that by now may have been rescued without really knowing where in the world they were or how to help in waters at sunset would surely have the gators crossing the lake!
Laura had already let me know,
"well if you don't come and make us go, can't see it happening"!
So really it was an act of great kindness to get them out on the water don't you think?
And we did just that, like crazed people on a mission
we went, we did just that,
and oh it was so worth it!
To be on the water is about the best thing I can think of, and oh that water was so calm and beautiful!
And the effects of the storm were visible as well as we were on our search.
Boats that now are up on hills with props down. I sure wouldn't want to be the one trying to get them back into the waters there.
And as we went through the lake that was smooth as glass we saw a gator that was HUGE
just laying there.
Tried to get a photo from my phone but it sure does not do it justice!
  Look to the left of the drain pipe
and you will see the head and beginning of the body of what was about a 9' gator!
 Yep it was sure a big one!
So we did our search, we looked for those big ole circles in the waters, for a rescue team, for other boaters doing the same,
but we saw nuthin!
We hoped that the Manatee are safe, that the rescue went well without us;
and we sure did enjoy a beautiful sunset, we found our local place open from the water to have a burger and steak fries and catch up.
We returned in the dark and did an admirable job of Laura and I tying the boat up as we slid right to our dock, and laughed at ourselves and the fast gathering after what Laura and Mitch described as the worst of the worst storm they have been through here in Florida even more so than Hurricanes.
Oh yes, we did get the update on our beloved Laura who you all know as our warrior here and her follow-up appt at USF with the Neurologist and all those testings they do in order to see how you are doing.
After asking her over and again,
"well what did they say, how are you doing?"
I received a long and thoughtful pause; to the point of it being painful in the waiting for the reply.
And then she looked directly at me and said these words:
"Damn the bad luck, they told me...
I have MS"!!!
I almost fell out of my chair laughing; right before I threw something at her.
That's our warrior; she may have MS
but MS will never ever Have HER.
I may have to watch the news and text her again today telling her that a dolphin has been seen in the lake
just so we can get out in that boat again, just to get out in that boat again!
 This was our view
as we ended our Manatee search,
and went to dinner by water,
but ohhh was it dark on the way home!
Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all as Helen Keller once said.
And life is fragile, beautiful and waiting for you
to leap, lark, love, laugh
through the storm and into the moment of NOW.
This is your moment.

Walk in Beauty


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Waves, Views, News, Words,

Tropical Storm Debby has left us; heading east and we are ever so happy here. We are now cleaning up, assessing damages; hearing from those we care about news of
"sinkholes" appearing in backyards, of warriors of this page now staying places other than their homes,
of being stranded at Siesta Key and feeling yukky and mukky and out of hand sanitizer yet enjoying the waters and the ever changing views they are honored to be alive to see.
Yard messes have been swept to curbs in hopes the city will pick them up; hopes that the businesses have not suffered tremendously and that homes will be restored and made whole, and that personal lives will be restored as folks continue to shake their heads
in awe of what has been called a 
Tropical Storm dumping 11-15 inches of water around Tampa Bay;
leaving folks in their homes as a result of streets filled with water and cars now rendered not drivable secondary to water damage.
Debby has humbled all; lives and homes have been lost.
Waves have been like those of the Atlantic and Pacific; and people have been amazed to find yesterday and today with blue and beautiful skies while hearing of neighbors who did not fare so well;
and watching the news of
Colorado; Colorado Springs
burning like an inferno.
Our prayers are with them,
we wish we could have sent them Debby to wet their lands there.
Waves, Views, News and words can astound and shock us;
leaving us to wonder and often say or do things that make no sense in the larger scheme of things.
We at times forget to search for and express gratitude in these times;
to look around us at the beauty in crisis or in storms and to awaken with a sense of remarkable thanks.
Someone just yesterday told me it would be a more wonderful world
"if everyone cared".
But doesn't everyone care?
Even if they put themselves and their issues first; they care.
It is in the extension of self I think that this person was talking;
and in the knowing that there is a light of the Creator within each of us; that provides us with all that we need to do all that we choose in caring and doing and sustaining storms and fire and illness;
that allows us to care for and about others. In that very caring our own light burns brighter; and we grow.
Perhaps that is the reason many do not give so readily, they are fearful that their light within will grow dimmer, or that they will have less not more.
Views, Waves, News, Words
each process differently, think differently, act and react differently.
I'm reminded of loss/grief
of how and what we say during times of hearing bad news; of those views, news, waves and words.
the power of words and the impact of them once a mouth is opened and those words fall upon the ears of those we speak to.
Just yesterday I spoke to my dear and beautiful friend EE
and the news she shared with me
left me speechless for a moment.
She had returned from a pulmonary testing that shows she has declined significantly in her breathing secondary to Pulmonary Fibrosis
of which there is no cure.
As I listened, my heart was heavy,
but I was not really surprised with her news, nor was she as she told me of the results.
What amazed me is the "lack of care" she has been and continues to receive from those who call themselves medical providers in her community; their lack of compassion for one who is chronically ill and disabled.
My heart aches for my dear friend;
and bursts with her spirit and resiliency to fight and to continue to stand UP even when weak and with the aide of 4arm crutches as Medicare will not pay for the repair of her motor scooter; leaving her unsafe and weak to walk.
When she is so ill, so weak;
many will tell her to rest and feel better. Will tell her upon hearing that she is declining that
"once you take a nap you will feel better and things will be alright".
Can you imagine how that must make her or others so ill feel?
I found myself saying over and again;
"I am so sorry", or "Oh my God this just sucks", and "You must be exhausted from the tests and drive, and should just get a coke, take something for pain and try to rest".
I found I was out of comfort, out of words, and so very sad to hear this news, 
yet I was outraged.
Yes outraged; that a system of care has let her down so profoundly and actually placed her in the position she is in now by their lack of care, lack of necessary referrals and follow-up in the last year.
And there is no recourse, no going back to "fix it", no way to make it right.
My dear friend is not well, is chronically ill, weak, and fighting to maintain her fragile health after being told by an ass of a health care provider she now needs to see about 13 specialists all of which are about 2 hours from where she lives.
It does NO GOOD for me to open my mouth with my rant of thoughts,
it does NO GOOD for me to say
"take a nap you will feel better"
it does NO GOOD
for me to tell her of a life time of working with people with similar diseases and how they did things.
it surely DOES NO GOOD
for me to tell her
I have no earthly idea how my friend feels, how she is coping, how she is able to get through each breath, each day with such precarious health and such a tremendous attitude of a warrior.
I stand in awe of her spirit,
I encourage her to raise hell with each visit to a provider and advocate for herself.
I try to listen with compassion and love; and attempt to make her laugh
and segway the pain through humor and stories of life here and the 4 leggeds.
No, I am NOT her therapist, I do not try to be; I am her friend.
And yes
at times I suck at that; as I say the wrong things when I open my mouth and step on my tongue.
People must be mindful
as we do not know the path that others walk, we cannot imagine
what it must be like to struggle with illness and the fragility of life each day.
When you ask "how are you"
those who are sick or grieving might do well to respond,
"do you really want to know or are you just being polite".
That would probably weed out a lot of
B.S. along the day and those who really want to know might want to have a cup of coffee and sit prepared to listen to waves, views, news and words they were not expecting to hear.
once those words are heard,
think before you speak,
speak with your heart
remember there are things you cannot FIX, times you cannot change things, and moments when it is very true that you may say it best,
"when you care and say nothing except I love you and leave it at that.
It may be that those calls, emails or old fashioned cards mean more than words can say.
It may be that asking or saying what is it I can do may be the best you can do.
It may be that conversations and moods change as someone you love is struggling or adapting to the constant changes of arranging appointments to see so many that are supposed to help, that energy is at a low, that times are fragile.
It may be that the very words you speak will be heard differently that you intended and cause hurt rather than help.
Choose wisely
as you may create a wave when you wanted to instill calm,
Views are always shifting and changing, News is changing when health is fragile; you cannot change nor control it with want or desire.
It is what it is.
Words are powerful,
love is never ending.
Sometimes an email, that you can look over and review is great;
you can send along great visuals, information
that a loved one can read at their pace, when they feel stronger, when they have the time.
when someone ill tells you they go out, or they went out,
it doesn't mean they didn't pay a huge price for that nor that they will not pay a great price of 3 days in bed to recover from it.
With each step you take today, each dance you do,
each view of your world,
do all with great gratitude that you woke up this morning.
Many did not have that opportunity
and many are waking in horrific pain and struggle
as we dance into our day.
Just keepin it real.
Prayers goin UP
For my beloved EE out in Colorado,
love you my friend and we are standing for YOU,

For Vicki and Matthew as they deal with a sinkhole here in Tarpon Springs, we are with you and holding you up as you continue to watch and assess the damages

For Colorado we are sending you strength out there

For Kelly 2Wolves now back in the Black Hills of South Dakota

For Debbie Koenig as she steps into the day with Thomas O'Brien in her heart receiving messages of his closeness each day and night

For Ali and her beloved Dad

For all our warriors here and in the Next Place we are Standing

Walk in Beauty,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lovely Calm Morning

The waters were rough and waves
were crashing against the shores
of the beaches here yesterday.
Roads flooding, people running low cars and big ole SUV's through that water like they thought a prop was attached to the rear bumper,
forgetting or not knowing or caring that the waves they create will create more trouble for homes nearby that are already threatened by water!
 Many showed out at the beach yesterday to see it, to play in it
to watch what is usually calm and beautiful, now churn with fierceness and with wonder in the last days of
Tropical Storm Debby
that has left all shaken and shaking their heads.
She lingered in the Gulf waters is what made this so remarkable,
closing the Skyway Bridge for days now; a first for the area and the books.
Not even during hurricanes has that happened.
Many were evacuated in New Port Richey as the waters kept rising
and danger was viewed as necessary; many taken out by boat
from their homes.
Fierce rains, waters, and flooding.
Some of those same cars that we saw barrel through the high waters, we later saw STUCK in the high waters... hard lesson to learn, since common sense isn't so common anymore I guess.
There is always beauty to be found
during storms
times of wonder
and times like this.
 The usual beauty of the Gulf and colors of the waters is what made me want to live here;
it was during a hurricane that we looked for our home here,
as we drove and looked
and searched for somewhere to eat 
in the middle of a hurricane!
But this Debby?
She surely did leave a mess for folks to clean up, she left a mark with her rains, her winds, her lingering ways
and her tenacity.
On Sunday when it was at its worst
Tarpon Springs, the sponge docks little streets were flooded and you could see photos of folks in boats;
and yesterday
businesses were OPEN
and the sand bags were outside the doors although part of the main street was still with tremendous water, yet the water
could not compete with the 
tremendous spirit.
People were out and about,
they were looking and assessing the damages, living and laughing
and doing what they do,
feeling blessed.
The Sponge Docks
the people
Tampa Bay
will get back to business and will look for and to the sun as Debby makes her way East now.
This is just 55 seconds of our calm and beautiful Sunset Beach!

Wherever you are today,
whatever you are doing
make it your personal best

Take best care of YOU
and the rest will fall into place.

Prayers goin strong for Thomas O'Brien's Mom Debbie Koenig
(I'm trying real hard to not blame her for her name sake on this storm)
Prayers strong for EE, (I'm trying real hard not to drive to CO and slap her for Debby the tropical storm also)
Thoughts and a shout out to 
Irene/FIRM stuck on Siesta Key
where as of yeterday
there was no access to the mainland
and the flooding and stuff is goin mad there and sewage is spilling
and good she is in a fine resort
loving the waves and the waters!

Blessings to all who gather
 C'mon through the "gate"
and there you are!
I'll be waitin on ya!