Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are My Words Coming Out Right?

Like many people, I felt horrible for the television reporter who had a "complex migraine" while reporting from the Grammy awards, and ended up talking non-sensically, while looking amazingly normal.  It looked like she was having a stroke, and your heart went out to her.  (Your heart also went out to people who had to listen to some of that music at the Grammys; really, Gwenyth?  They should all just be Mick Jagger; he is amazing.  I hear it's his macrobiotic diet.  Or his perennial bachelorhood.)

A few days later I was in attendance when a guest speaker suddenly went blank, struggling to find the word "adventure."  We in the audience were leaning forward just willing him to say it - "come on Mister, adventure, you went on an adventure..." you could feel everyone thinking.  Luckily he was okay as well.

So, in what is pretty normal for me, I am now afraid that this will happen to me, at work, at home, or while I'm on the phone.  Sitting in a Ninety-Nine restaurant, I said to my husband, "Oh my gosh, I'm like the reporter; I want a..." I started mimicking drinking froma very large glass.  "You want a coke," he interpreted.  "Yes!" I squealed, pointing at him.  "I couldn't remember what you call it - what does that mean?"

It means one of these things - menopause, exhaustion, or extreme suggestibility...I am going for the third one (although it could be any of them, really.)

So...if this does ever happen to you, call an ambulance if you can't get over it pretty darn quickly.  Also if you have numbness, tingling, or cannot make your face smile.  It could be a stroke.  But if you are watching the Grammys, it could just be Lady Gaga arriving in her fantabulous egg.  Barf.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Don't Let Familiarity Breed Contempt!

Okay - enough with the snow already!!

I have always loved snow - as a writer, I seem to attach symbolism to everything, even Nature's natural shifts, turns, and surprises.  I believe that nature has always meant something more than just "weather."  It is God's expression of artistry, beauty, and boundlessness.  Few people have stood looking at a mountain range at sunrise and not felt a pull towards something; have not attached a significance beyond their understanding to what they are observing.

What happens when the beauty of nature hits you in the face - and keeps on punching until you, the once-smitten observer, is bruised, battered, and exhausted from shovelling?  "I hate snow" is just not a sentence I am used to uttering.  I feel about flowers the way I used to feel about snow - I get all misty when I remember the huge peonys that will be blooming in my yard soon, if we can just make it through winter.

A neighbor's roof collapsed last week, and an ice dam that fell off our roof sheered a grand old shrub in half in my front yard.  Snow flakes bring cringes, not smiles of contentment.  Winter 2011 will stand in our New England memories for a long time.

Or will it?  Like childbirth, somehow the painful memories may disappear, and when we see the new snowflakes next year we will run out and stand in it again, happy for it's return, welcoming it's mystery.  When you love something you love it - even when it drives you crazy sometimes.  Snow, you are welcome back anytime - just spread out your visits somewhat - like any visitor is encouraged to do.