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Year Four, Day 68: The Chicken and the Violin

I am going to start running (once again until the end of days...err my end of days) tomorrow!

It's the least I can do. In honor of my family member in crisis and for me! I need to relieve some stress.  And lose weight.  AND I need a goal. I am determined to do that marathon yet!

I am feeling better today. I am breathing better at least! I feel like I am glowing. It must be all of this prayer. Prayer is good for the soul!  Not just for the person you're praying for, but for you!

A funny thing happened on the bus just a moment ago. I was getting caught up on the news, when a message popped up. 

"I'm on the same bus as you". It read. There was a man's face that I did not quite recognize attached the text. My heart started to thud.  In my head the tone of voice was slightly threatening.

But when I looked up, I saw his grinning face!  He waved. Then texted me some more. It is a young man I met a few years ago on this very bus.  We exchanged numbers, but never real…
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Year Four, Day 67: In My Own Little Corner

I spent the morning in court.  This process is opening my eyes to the plight of inmates.  Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. Some learn from their mistakes.  Some are destroyed from them. 

I'm not even addressing the evil criminals. Those that get pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Or those who feel they are above the law.

I'm talking about people who make mistakes due to poor judgment.  Often due to addiction. Which should be considered an illness, in my opinion. But that is another soapbox.

What I saw today simply saddened me.  Many inmates went before a judge who asked if they had read the charges and understood them.  Most had not read the paper. Some didn't know there was a paper.  Most did not understand.  They were told to read it and come back. And if they had questions, they could ask their attorney.

One man looked up sadly and said, "I did not even know I had an attorney".

I realize our jails are overcrowded. Legal language is confusing.  I …

Year Four, Day 66: The "Knot" of Not Knowing

Still praying.

Still putting one foot in front of the other.  Teaching, caring for my granddaughter, doing legal research online.

But what I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. For a very long time.

I told my family member in crisis that we are all praying for him and doing what we can for him here on the outside.

I am still emailing nuns, and some monks all over the world.

The following is from the website of the Dominican Nuns:

"As contemplative nuns, our primary duty for the Church is prayer.  If you have a prayer request, simply enter it in the form below.  Upon receiving it, we will post it on our prayer board outside of our Choir for all the nuns to see.
Thank you for entrusting your needs and petitions to our prayers! We take them all to Jesus through Mary during Mass,  our hours of the Divine Office, Adoration and Rosary!

God bless you!
The Dominican Nuns"
I feel strengthened knowing women and men who have take…

Year Four, Day 65: All the Monks and Nuns

How I wish I could share with you, my reader, everything that is on my heart this morning
 It is 5:27 a.m. I have been awake since roughly 4:00 a.m.

Hopefully I can speak more freely after Tuesday.

That is when my family member in crisis goes before the judge.  Hopefully he'll be released shortly afterwards.

It has been a long week.

For him, for me, for his girlfriend. And for our whole family.

I've been waking up every morning about 4:00 a.m. I worry, I fret.  Sometimes I go back to sleep. But when I finally face the day, I also have to face the reality that I am missing my family member in crisis.

Missing him so much that it feels like a piece of my flesh has been torn off.

But I must be strong. And positive.  When he called yesterday, his voice sounded lighter.  He told me he was on to us.

"I know what you guys are doing",  he said with a smile in his voice.

"You are trying to act all as if everything is o.k. to keep me positive".

I told him I had a good…

Year Four, Day 64: Praying People

This will be brief.

My family member in crisis is in the crisis of his life. I am in tears, trying to remain strong.

I cannot divulge details at this time.  But if you are a praying type of person, please pray for our family.

I am fearful, but deep down I know we will get through this. I feel God's hand in this.

I am giving it up to Him right now.

Talk to  you soon.

Love and blessings,


Year Four, Day 63: Call Me Peculiar...

"Call me peculiar, but slate gray skies make me happy", I thought this morning as I leaned my head against the window of the Max train heading to downtown Portland.

Lately, I think in sentences that are perfect blog openers.

That's peculiar in and of itself!

It was chilly this morning when I left home. I walked through the park, kicking colored leaves with my boots as I walked. I could see my breath in little puffs in front of me as I walked.  I felt light-hearted.

I don't often feel light-hearted. I am often pre-occupied. Either worried, or pondering, or planning.

But I felt genuinely good and happy to be alive.

I have been pondering the connection between memory and emotion lately.  The slate gray skies and cool weather bring back memories of me being in a happy state.  I don't recall any particularly moment, just the feeling that I have looked at these same skies in this same emotional state many, many times before.

I wish my nose was functioning properly. I…

Year Four, Day 62: "I Am Not a Bum!" Love with a Capital L

Dear Friends:

This happened last week. I do not remember what day.  I blogged that evening, but fell asleep before I could finish it and post it.

So, a random day last week:

3:00 p.m. Belmont Library:
Another incredibly lovely day.  It is surreal, this weather we have been having lately. The sun is blinding. I wish I could find my sunglasses.

But I am determined to be present in this moment. The clouds will come, swollen with rain.  The skies will turn gray. And it will be damp for months.

At least that is how it has been in the days of the past.

I have noticed that I have been feeling stronger and more energetic lately. I believe it is mostly due to my increased activity.  Fall term is in full swing.  I am teaching three days a week, plus one evening of choir practice.  And I am walking more.

I do love to walk. But I am mindful of my stride. No more sauntering! I put on my sneakers in the morning, load up my backpack, and hit the road. The muscles in my legs are burning, my feet ar…