Category Archives: We’re in this together

Honoring My Uncle, James Solomon

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The remains of my uncle, James Solomon, who died as a 19 yr. old sailor on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor, have finally been identified and returned home to Texas. He will be buried on Saturday with full military honors in Forestburg, Texas, so, I am flying to DFW tomorrow and will join my family in honoring him on that day.

Forestburg is a tiny farm and ranching town about 2 hrs. northwest of Dallas and I will get to see, not only my brother, his wife, my sister and several close family members, but also a number of cousins from near and far. I don’t think any of us really knew that James was not actually buried there in the cemetery by his mother – I sure didn’t – but I’m glad DNA technology was finally able to help resolve this and get him home. JS

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Hurrah for beautiful people and good times

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Big day yesterday and, as it turns out, loads of fun, too. Sam and I drove to Eugene to pick up Sarah and Ruthie, then we drove to Portland for a delightful rooftop wedding in the Pearl District of downtown Portland, of two young people who have been together for 14 years – since they were in high school. I had not seen Melissa since she was a teenager, nor had I ever met her fella, a sweet guy named Adam, and I kind of wondered if Melissa would even remember me. I was wrong about that. She was thrilled to see all of us and was so grateful we had driven so far for her wedding.

Melissa was raised by our two dear friends, Sharon and Robin, and co-parented by Sharon’s ex-husband, Bob. I’d say they all did a great job with this wonderful young woman. Introducing me to Adam, she said, “This is Jody, Stef’s longtime partner – oh, wait! – you’re a spouse now. You guys got married, right? ” I replied, “Yes, we did. We finally got included in WE, THE PEOPLE…, so we tied the knot.” Melissa said, “You know, lots of people couldn’t figure out why Adam and I waited so long to get married, but I didn’t want to get married until it was legal for my moms to get married, too. Unless everyone has the same rights as everyone else, really, it all feels like bullshit to me.” Wow. Like I said, they all did a great job with this girl. I get tears in my eyes now just thinking about it.

So, after a very sweet wedding and dinner, some sterling toasts to the newlyweds and some serious socializing, Stef, Sam and I drove the 3 hours back to Roseburg and arrived about 1:30am. Toby was beside himself, as you might imagine, even though I’d promised him we’d be coming right back. So, today might be a lazy day. I haven’t decided yet, although I am leaning seriously in that direction. JS

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Standing O for our little blueberry bush

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Standing O for our little blueberry bush from whom I have harvested two quarts of organic blueberries in just the past couple of days. Now, I am enjoying part of that bounty with some greek yogurt and toasted walnuts, which makes for a tasty breakfast. We have never fertilized that little bush, nor have we ever sprayed her with anything. Each year, we just thank her for the wonderful berries, keep her watered, and leave her alone to do her duty – and, she does, to a tremendous degree.

Being grateful and enjoying something delicious is a nice way to start the day. Enjoy. JS

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Chores

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Got the watering done in back – well, almost all of it. Went to the Post Office, COSTCO, the car wash, the Overturned Grocery Cart (it’s called Grocery Outlet but we call it the Overturned Grocery Cart because we never know exactly what they’ll have or what will be spilling out of that joint, but it’s close and pretty cheap, mostly, and the clientele is sometimes interesting.) Anyway, it’s all part of the THINGS I GOTTA DO WHEN I GET HOME ROUTINE and it takes lots of time to get it all done. It’s a gorgeous day here, though, nice and sunny and not hot, maybe in the mid-70’s, which is pretty nice for summer, I must say. JS

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Unpacking

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Home now. Exhausted. Stef has gone to Canada for her brother’s memorial service up in Squamish, B.C. Traffic was really, REALLY thick and slow getting out of Portland today although I never saw any wrecks or what was causing the delay. The sun was shining, though, and it was a gorgeous day.

I am all unpacked now and that feels good. I used to dread doing that and usually left my suitcase out in the middle of the bedroom floor where I would step over it, in it, and trip over it for a week before I got it all emptied. Then, I read a little book called HOW TO BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. It spoke of going ahead and doing the things you’ve been putting off because the feeling of accomplishment is so much greater than the momentary sense of relief you feel by NOT doing whatever it was that you’d been putting off – again and again. The author was right, too, and that’s when I began unpacking that giant suitcase as soon as I get home each time. As tired as I often am, it just makes me feel better to have it done and not have to think about it again.

So…going to bed soon. Tomorrow will be here quickly. JS

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Piranha-infested waters

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Wow, there’s a real fight going on over the Red Hen Restaurant expulsion of Sarah Sanders. I don’t know what FB page it was on, but, if it shows up and you make a comment, just know that it’s rather like chunking a pot roast into piranha-infested waters. (I’m pretty sure I misspelled that one.) Anyway, be careful. You might lose a hand or an eye. Right-wingers have definitely gotten their knickers in a twist over this one. It appears that the “…strongly-held beliefs...” of the owner of this restaurant don’t count as much as the “…strongly-held beliefs…” of the baker who didn’t want to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, not to the conservative crowd, anyway.

Personally, I think any business has the right to have the customers they want. Usually, this weeds itself out. If I had gone to a baker who didn’t want to bake a cake for me, I’d just go spend my money someplace else, but that’s just me. People can choose to run their businesses however they want, in my opinion. Giving Sarah Sanders the boot from the Red Hen Restaurant was the owner’s choice and now customers will choose to support her business or not. I don’t think she’s a horrible person for having made the choice she did; I think she was following her own convictions and that is an honorable thing. Oddly enough, I feel the same way about the baker in Colorado. There are plenty of bakers who’d LOVE to bake your cake – go to them.

On very rare occasions over the past 38 years, I have had to send clients on to other practitioners, or just send them away from me and hope for the best for everyone. The reasons have varied but, most often, it has boiled down to the fact that this person and I just didn’t like each other and needed to be away from each other. I am okay with that, and it has NEVER been over politics, either, just in case you are wondering.

I rolf in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Chances are, 80% of the people who lie down on my rolfing table are more conservative than I’ll ever be, so, I have to figure out something else about them to love. And, I do. I am also smart enough to know when someone is trying to bait me into a political discussion or some sort of verbal volleyball match and I just won’t play the game because it will be of no good purpose. We will only wind up mad at or frustrated with each other, which really defeats the purpose of our work together, and I’d rather honor the work I am blessed to do than win a political argument. In the long run, that’s way more fulfilling.

Well, it’s time to start the day, and I’d rather do that by thinking about someone other than Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose left eyebrow is probably stuck to the back of her head by now. JS

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“CARRY ON, McDUFF!”

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My friends, Kay & Stephen, at whose home I rolf when I am here in Tulsa, have been hiking in the mountains of Colorado for the past couple of weeks. Stephen has been posting videos of their adventure from time to time and I have enjoyed seeing them, especially the one from yesterday.

Stephen and Kay have what you might call different styles of hiking. Stephen is the Master of the Saunter and he stops to photograph, or, just admire, the scenery surrounding them. For Kay, hiking is more like a Marine Corps forced march and she blasts forward, charging full-out up that trail, like she’s delivering a satchel for the Pony Express, or she’s got a pocketful of plutonium she’s got to unload before it burns her leg off. From the video Stephen posted yesterday, what we see is the back side of Kay 50 yards ahead and we hear him muttering about the beauty of the mountains and the spectacular view of the canyon below. Occasionally, Kay looks back over her shoulder to make sure Stephen is still there, that he hasn’t been clawed and chewed up by a bear, nor has he slipped off into the canyon and river below. Whenever she looks back to check on him, we hear Stephen, in that wonderful British accent of his, shout out, “CARRY ON, McDUFF!” It is comforting to me in an odd way. I am not entirely positive of just what that means, but I assume it’s from a movie or book I’ve not seen or read. Still, I understand it and it makes me smile.

I appreciate it so much because it reminds me that two people can approach something in different ways, with their own unique styles, but that those styles can still be tolerated – even celebrated – when they know they share a great love, and, these two do, which also makes me smile.

They will be home in Tulsa late tonight. I hope I am still awake when they come in the door so I can welcome them home and so I can say, “CARRY ON, McDUFF!” It will be good to see them. JS

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Every Hug

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What if, at the moment we leave this life, we get to feel every hug we have ever given, ever received? What if we get to hear every laugh that has made us laugh out loud, too? What if, rather than seeing our own silly little life flash before our eyes, we get to see every majestic sunset, each dazzling, heart-stopping sunrise, every gathering of birds, every ocean’s surf blasting and foaming against the rocks, every salmon leaping in a silvery arc out of a quiet river in the mist of early morning? What if we get to hear the joyful secret of every baby’s first laugh? What if we get to witness a tiny bee’s exploration of the most luscious flower? What if we get to see the faces of people who’ve heard our stories over and over and still laughed anyway? What if we get to watch all the dogs we have ever adored, their hearts full of mischief and love, running full-out and strong on the beach? What if we get to smell, once more, the inside of a barn, run our hands across the smooth, worn leather of a saddle, and see a new mama horse nuzzling her foal? What if all of our senses are suddenly bombarded with all of those sights and smells and sounds and feelings, those things and moments which have made our breath catch in our throats, the ones that brought us to tears and to joy all at once – what if?

If all those things are true, if all those things happen to us with our final breath, it really might not be a bad way to go. What if, suddenly, right at the end of it all, we realize with such clarity that the whole thing has been so exquisite, just so perfect in all of its joy and angst and wonder and glory, that the very last thing slipping out in a whisper from our lips is the the only thing left to say, the greatest prayer of all: THANK YOU. That’s what I’m thinking. JS Continue reading

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