Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Back to Auntie's Bookstore we go, I was reminded.
At my place of employment, I freely exercise my cynical tongue about how many calendars we all have these days. Correct, too many. You got your smart phones, Outlook, day timer books, desktop blotters -- which I use for doodling -- unsightly magnetic stick-to-the-fridge things, and the list goes on. But just this morning, I added yet another one to the list -- Mother Nature, a.k.a., my bladder.
You see, I drink copious amounts of water throughout the day, as is the habit of germ-a-phoebe's. (And isn't it ironic how we suck down water all day in order to flush gluck from our system so we stay healthy, yet as a result, spend a lot of the day in the most germ-infested room in the building?)
I was exiting a bathroom "stall" for about the tenth time this a.m., just as a coworker was entering another stall. Just as her stall door shut, she stuck her head out and said, "I hear you're talking at Auntie's tomorrow night."
I had no idea what she was talking about, which is a frequent occurrence for me and one for which I am normally well prepared. Typically, in this situation, I look at the speaker with my refined I-have-no-idea-what-you-are-talking-about-but-I-am-not-going-to-let-you-know-that look, at which point the person usually says something that gives me some hint of what I should know but don't.
Not this time. Nope, all I could offer was an astute "I am?"
"Yeah, you and Judy are on Auntie's events site -- you're talking about how you wrote Hot Cross Buns together," my work cohort explained. "I'm going with my son."
I be-lined it back to my desk, Googled Aunties' Bookstore, scrolled to Events, scrolled further to Feb. 20, and low and behold there it was at 6:30 p.m., a little ditty about us talking to the Inland Northwest Writers Guild about our "harrowing experience" getting HCB published.
Judy assured me we agreed to this engagement way back when we had our HCB reading at Aunties' in December. Heck if I know. I was so sick I hardly remember December.
But back to my point. I may have no fewer than five calendars, but what kept me on course today? Mother Nature and its timely call.
Yes, it the mind-wandering string of thoughts that help explain why it took six years to write HCB.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013
She lives about 14 blocks down the South Hill from The Manito and all the beautiful tree-shrouded streets in Hot Cross Buns. However, she is moving further up the hill, albeit foot by foot. Last week, she trundled half a block south up under the I-90 overpass between Third and Fourth on Wall Street. For weeks before that she was perched on a Third Avenue sidewalk closer to downtown Spokane between a pizza place and fast food market/adult video store.
At least now she has a roof over her head.
I wish she'd moved just another half block south where she'd benefit from the sun, but moving just half a block could not have been easy. God only knows how long it took Josie to move her copious number of blankets and tarps, radio (Thank you Red Cross.), paper towels and cleaning fluids hanging from one cart handle -- a sort of utility room -- and most important, her chair, half a block.
Anyone traveling along Third saw Josie. I've heard a lot of "Yeah, I've seen her." Josie and her mobile ranch-style home were hard to miss. Now, I worry she's not as visible in her new location. The "location, location, location" mantra applies to the homeless, too.
So I feel guilty for offering chocolate chip cookies when I stopped to visit the other day. Good god, why I didn't take something healthy? And what did Josie do? She immediately offered me a pastry from a clear plastic container commonly found at supermarket bakeries -- not at all like the scones of HCB. "Only three left," she said, like she didnt' want me to miss out on a tastey treat. I declined, but was relieved to know I wasn't the only dim-wit to present sweets rather than substance. And then I felt guilty I probably declined the pastry offer more because of my germ-a-phobic personality than reluctance to take food away from her.
It's easy to see Josie as one of those people whose fallen off the grid. For all I know, Josie never was on the grid. I doublt the crack would have to be to large in order for Josie to fall through it. The thing is, she hasn't. Not entirely anyway.
It shook my tree a bit talking with Josie. She became very real, not just a dramatic magazine or newspaper feature story. I left feeling pathetically helpless and righteous. Something needs to be done for Josie!
And then I spoke with a women at Transitions. She had kindest voice in the world. She let me speed banter about Josie's location, my concerns about edema, etc., and when I finally shut my yap, she said "Yes, we know her." She didn't have to say another word. Her voice said it all. It said Josie doesn't want help. Josie always leaves. Josie won't stay on her meds. The woman's voice was full of concern and compassion and experience, not a lick of criticism.
And so it goes.
Maybe I'll take Josie a copy of HCB, if only for her to get her feet a few inches off the concrete