Archie, Nat, and the White Feather

 

Natalie Thomas, a medium who lives in Australia, sent us this story. The “beautiful little man” she refers to is Archie, the dog whose photo is at the top of the post. Mark is Nat’s husband.

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This weekend would have marked 4 weeks since our beautiful little man got sick. Last weekend (he was still with us but very poorly) was Mark’s Birthday. We all needed a break, so on the Saturday, we took the kids to the beach for some fresh air. While walking along by myself, I heard clairaudiently that I would find three gifts from the beach. The first one would be a special shell for my collection.

We walked and picked up odd shells here and there, though none were special. As we were heading home, a couple was smooching on the stairs we came down, so I suggested another exit. There, right up near the stairs, was a special and perfect shell for my collection. Nowhere near the waterline, someone must have dropped it on their way home.

As we walked along the promenade towards our car, I saw something silvery in the grass. The late afternoon sun was illuminating it. I bent down and retrieved my next treasure. It was a silver “happy birthday” decoration, that must have fallen from someone’s gift. I handed it to Mark and said, “Happy Birthday from those who love you on the Other Side.”

The third gift was a white, fluffy feather right next to my car door. I thanked the Universe and especially my Nan, as she leaves me feathers whenever I am distressed or anxious. I put the feather in the left pocket of my navy blue jacket.

The next day was Sunday and we had a dinner date. On the way out the door, I grabbed my  new black jacket and there in the right hand pocket was the feather! It had moved from the left pocket of my blue jacket, to the right hand pocket of my black jacket by itself.

Day D was Monday, when we were going to take Archie to the vet to have him put down. We had a morning appointment at the vet. I got into the car and as I clicked my seatbelt, the feather appeared on my left thigh! It had followed me! I was feeling very low, so I knew it was my Nan trying to comfort me for what was about to happen.

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The first white feather experiences we read about were on Mike Perry’s blog. Since then, we’ve read many others, But Nat’s story is a first in terms of the feather moving so deliberately!

 

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Avocados and more avocados

 

A little levity from the news:

One of the fallouts of Hurricane Irma was that about 125 avocados fell from our tree, the entire crop all at once. Of course, there is no way that we could eat all those avocados, which would be ripening about the same time. So I’ve been giving away grocery bags of avocados, leaving them at places where people gather or pass by. With one bag, I included a note about it being a great opportunity to make guacamole. I came home after dropping them off and noticed on my iPhone that the word of the day in Words with Friends was…guacamole! Synchronicity!

So how did that synchro play out? The next morning out of the blue Trish and I were offered a small editing project with a tight deadline. We finished it in a few hours and made $375. Not bad, especially since it was quite easy. The guy liked it and says he’ll call on us again. Interestingly, the store value of the avocados we gave away is just about what we were paid for the editing!

Here’s another one. I’ve been working on a mystery novel in which the main character, Jake, has the ability to travel out of body, but I’d been stuck for a couple of days. Nothing I did seemed to work. Finally, one evening I came up with the idea that Jake has trouble  getting out of body, and it’s right at a point where he needs to do so. He’s frustrated and blocked—sort of like I’d been feeling.Then, as I was working on it, I received an e-mail from Wes Meeks, whose out-of-body experiences have been featured here. But he told me he was feeling frustrated because he couldn’t get out of body, nothing was working. He basically told me that he was having the same problem as my character! So, for me, that means I’m on the right track with the novel!

My suggestion for Wes, btw, was to watch for synchronicities.

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Mexico City Quake and Planetary Empaths

 

On the morning of September 19, 1985, an 8.0 earthquake hit Mexico City and at least 5,000 people died. Ever since, on the anniversary of the quake, drills are held in Mexico City to commemorate the event and to keep the residents up to speed on what to do when a quake hits.

On September 19, 2017, 32 years after that 8.0 quake, the people of the city held their drill and several hours later, the city was struck by a 7.1 quake.

That’s a global synchronicity.

At the same time, Maria, a category 5 hurricane with a central pressure of 909 MB, lower than that of Irma two weeks ago, was headed for the northern Caribbean islands – many of them still recovering from devastation that Irma delivered on September 10.

Several days ago, we received an email from a woman who was experiencing planetary empath symptoms. We posted about it, put it up on facebook, and received additional information from other empaths.

So what’s going on? It certainly appears that these empaths pick up information in advance on these various disasters, through various physical symptoms that they’re learning – slowly – to decipher. Four years ago, we started a static page on our blog where empaths can post whatever they’re feeling. It’s a running record of this strange phenomenon.

And in most instances, there’s usually a disaster – natural or man-made – within several days.

So, my question to you planetary empaths – have your symptoms abated? I wish there was some way you all could come together and try to figure out: 1) the nature of the disaster – volcanic, quake, fire, wind, terrorist attack 2) the location 3) a time frame 4) the extent of the devastation.

Most of the comments from empaths included some common symptoms – a clicking sound in the ears, persistence anxiety, weeping and grieving for no specific reason. Several people commented about possible conflict with North Korea.

So, please let us know if your symptoms have abated or continue.

PS Our friend Alexis Brooks who has a radio show called Higher Journeys, did a recent show on 11:11 and has some info on planetary empaths as well. Take a listen here.

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Calling Planetary Empaths

(wave painting by Megan)

UPDATE: As tonight, September 18, Maria is a cat 5 with 160 mph winds. Could this be what empaths were tuning in on?

Maria will be hitting many of the same islands that Irma did. Puerto Rico is supposed to get a direct hit.

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The last round of empath emails occurred several days before Hurricane Harvey struck Texas. This evening, I received this email from Angela Willhoft. Anyone else feeling symptoms? She feels something may be  coming up within 24-48 hours:

Hi, there, we were talking on messenger about global empathy a couple of months ago and I wanted to touch base again. I am experiencing an uptick in my symptoms, which mimick anxiety. I wanted to tell you I feel something is coming, something global, or a major event on the global stage. I usually feel this within 24-48 hours of the event. I have been trying to document this sort of thing and I guess I just enlisted you, also, haha. Please let me know if you would rather I keep this to myself. But I figured since you study it…. I pray this is nothing.

Thanks and best regards,

Angela Willhoft

 

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OKJA – the movie

 

If you love animals – or if you’re just a lover of good stories – then rent Netflix’s original movie OKJA. Here’s a summary:

For 10 idyllic years, young Mija has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja – a massive animal and an even bigger friend – at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when family-owned, multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where an image-obsessed and self-promoting CEO has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission.

 The bottom line here is that OKJA is a genetically modified pig that the Mirando Corporation has created – along with thousands of others like her – for food. Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain)plays Johnny Wilcox, the face of the Mirando Corporation, a drunk zoologist and fading TV star who detests his job but is so morally compromised he can’t help himself. Tilda Swinton plays the head of Mirando Corp – a nut case by any definition of the word. But the real stars of this film are a young Korean actress Seo-Hyun Ahn and her friendship with the lovable and intelligent OKJA.

The friendship between these two speaks to the friendship all animal lovers have with their animal companions, with wildlife, and is reminiscent of Babe, the Pig, but larger in scope and far more emotional. By the end of this movie, Megan and I were sobbing and I am seriously reconsidering becoming a vegetarian.
For several years in the 1990s, Rob and I became lacto-vegetarians. We still ate eggs, cheese, and fish, but no other meat. This came about as a result of listening to Diet for a New America as we crossed the Hopi reservation. I think it was during that trip that I had my last hamburger – at a restaurant on the reservation. I can’t say I’ve missed them. Or hot dogs. Or steak. Or pork. My body, in fact, developed an allergy to beef, something I discovered when, a year into this new diet, I had some soup that turned out to be beef-based, and got violently ill.

When my dad moved in with us during the late nineties, he asked if we could eat something other than fish and veggies and fruits. So we re-introduced chicken and turkey into our diets. But after watching OKJA, I’m going back to that lacto-vegetarian diet. It means finishing off or giving away the turkey paddies and chicken in our freezer, but after watching this movie, I don’t think I can even look at meat without feeling nauseated.

The real beauty of this movie, though, aside from the human/animal love, is that it illustrates the lengths to which each side goes to perpetrate their cause. The corporate guys are as morally questionable as the animal activist groups and the techniques they employ to accomplish their agenda.

And yet, in the end, the real message is about the power of love between human and animals.

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The Trickster Strikes Again

The Independent is a British newspaper and one of it’s freelance reporters, Harry Cockburn, wrote a story about a carjacking in Kent, Washington that was published online Aug. 28. The only reason the story received any attention is that someone took a video of the carjacking as it happened, catching the carjacker being dragged down the street.

The headline of the article read: Carjacker in America dragged down the street with pants falling off. You can see it here. Apparently, the man was identified as a perpetrator of several such carjackings. But this one was caught on video and he lost his pants.

That in itself might seem like the trickster event, but it takes on a more hilarious nature when you see the video and look at the name of the reporter. Dale Dassel, a regular visitor to the blog, sent this one and noted the trickster synchro. But he pointed out something else that seems quite hilarious. The Independent or whoever put up the video blurred out the lower part of the man’s body after he lost his shorts, and the blur follows the SUV down the road!

For my part, I wasn’t familiar with The Independent and wondered if it might publish spoofs, like The Onion, and just made up the reporter’s name as part of the joke. But no, it’s a legit British publication, and Harry Cockburn is indeed a reporter, apparently a freelancer. And the perpetrator apparently made several carjacking attempts that same day. What was he on, we wondered. He ended up arrested and in the hospital and so did several of the driver’s whose cars he attempted to carjack.

Thanks, Dale. We love these trickster synchronicities!

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PS Now that we have power and internet again, we’re moving forward. Our hope is that the Caribbean islands, Cuba, Miami,the west coast of Florida recover quickly from Irma!

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WHILE WE WAIT FOR IRMA

Noah (big dog) and Nigel (little pup) are getting acquainted while we wait for Irma.

The hurricane is forecast to hit the Florida keys as a cat 5, with winds of 160 mph. However, the track has shifted farther to the west of Florida, with a landfall in the keys, then in southwest Florida. Ft Myers, Sarasota, Tampa. This is good news for the east coast of the state in that it won’t get the cat 5 winds. It means that Fort Lauderdale and parts of Miami are no longer in the “cone of uncertainty.” But the storm surge on both coasts is going to be huge.

Forecasters caution people not to focus on the exact track because Irma is so huge it will cover the entire state. BUT. And it’s a big BUT. The spot where the eye makes landfall is critical to everything. That area within the eye wall will experience the greatest winds and potential destruction.

I’m not a TV binge watcher. But in the last 3-4 days, I’ve become a binge hurricane track watcher. There has never been a storm like Irma – Andrew was as strong, but not as large. Andrew moved from west to east across the state in just 4 hours.  Irma is traveling south to north and will take about 24 hours to traverse the state.  Irma set a record for the longest period of time – 35  hours – that a hurricane has maintained a speed of 185 mph. With more than 5 million people evacuated, it’s being called the largest mass evacuation in Florida and possibly the largest evacuation in the history of the U.S.

Given how large this storm is and how far it’s going to push into the southeast – to Tennessee – getting back to normal is going to take time. A lot of it. It’s estimated that millions will lose power and it’s unlikely that it will return quickly. We downloaded an app called Zello Walkie-Talkie- and have tried it out with friends in Asheville, Orlando, and points farther south. Snopes says it doesn’t work without WiFi or broadband. That’s not exactly true. It will work with a minimum broadband signal. It was used in Houston and the aftermath of Harvey, so we’ll see how it performs during this storm.

Tomorrow we wind up our preparations. Close up the last few shutters, make sure backup batteries are fully charged, that our supplies are situated at various spots in the house. We have a safe area – the back bedroom and bathroom of the house – and my walk-in closet. All the art and  travel memorabilia  that decorated our walls has been wrapped up in plastic garbage bags, taped shut, and stashed in high, safe spots. We have a generator for the aftermath, gas in our cars, propane for the grill, food, ice, coolers, and more than 100 bottles of water.

So, tomorrow by noon, outer bands of tropical storm force winds move in. After that, my hope is that the track moves farther west and out into the gulf, where Irma, a sentient beast,  dies.

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Staying in place

We didn’t evacuate. The path of the hurricane shifted to the right yesterday morning, September 6, along the east coast, and we were concerned about the shortage of gas en route to Atlanta. So we moved to plan B – staying with a friend in  Cassadaga, then learned that the town was under an evacuation order because the buildings are so old.  So here we are.

Today, the county of Palm Beach asked residents to stay where they are because of gas shortages. Lines at the pumps around town were half a mile this morning to twice that this evening. As of tonight, 30 percent of gas stations across the state are empty – and that’s not good for the people who are under mandatory evacuations from the Keys and Miami-Dade County.

Our house is concrete – with a wooden addition that makes me uneasy. We have accordion pull shutters, easy to close up. I have removed stuff from the walls- like Megan’s paintings, memorabilia from our travels, photos, other art – and sealed them up in garbage bags and taped them shut. They’ll go into the dish washer and oven when the storm moves in, and in high spots around the house.The dish washer and stove are appliances ensconced within the counter (or under it)  and are considered to be solid “safe” places.

We’re fortunate in that our town, Wellington, is structurally strong. No high rises, most of the electrical poles are concrete, the roads have been raised recently, the drains enlarged so that runoff of water is much better. And yet. Lake Okeechobee, the largest fresh water lake in the state that  supplies drinking water to most of us,  is about 39 miles from us. If its dike is breached and the water pours into the numerous canals around here, no telling what might happen. Maybe nothing. Maybe another Katrina.

Our local Publix has been out of water for several days. Today, the other aisles looked nearly as empty as the water aisle in the above photo. Fortunately, I bought water – plastic, bottled water, not known to be environmentally friendly, folks, but readily available and when you’re hot and thirsty, it does the trick. And now there’s none left in this town.

I’ve always been fascinated by hurricanes because they seem almost sentient, conscious in some strange, unknown way, but this one is too close, too personal, too powerful. My hope is for a shift farther to the east, so that Irma does what Matthew did last summer, the eye staying out to sea. Irma, though,  is much larger than Matthew, so that every part of the state will the impacted in some way. Hey, maybe Mar del Lago will be inundated, a trickster thing.

And yet, today,everything seemed pretty normal and we took Noah and Nigel to the dog park. They waited patiently for squirrels. For dogs, life is infinite, timeless, unfettered by hurricanes.

 

 

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IRMA

WE ARE GOING TO EVACUATE TO ATLANTA. WINDS ARE NOW GUSTING TO 220 MPH. NO NEW POSTS WILL GO UP UNTIL THIS STORM IS OVER. HOPEFULLY, THAT WILL HAPPEN SOON!

Hurricane Irma.

I’ve been watching this system since it came out of Cabo Verde a week or so ago. It has concerned me since it first formed.

Initially, I felt that a high pressure system developing across the central U.S, would do what forecasters were saying – keep the system south of the U.S. But as we’ve gone through this Labor Day weekend, the track – that awful dome of uncertainty- has crept steadily north of the Leeward Island and Cuba and Florida.

My first check is usually the National Hurricane Center. Over the years, I’ve found their forecasting to be accurate. They were right about Harvey – but predicted 25 inches of rain, with a possibility of as much as 48 inches, something that appalled them because it seemed so unlikely. Instead, the final total was 52 inches.

My other checks for reliable information are the Weather Channel, the Weather Underground (but they don’t post often enough) Accuweather, and the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel’s hurricane center. I also listen to the planetary empaths, who days before Harvey hit Houston were emailing us. (scroll down to the latest entries)

There’s a lot of talk on all these weather sites about the American and European models for forecasting the paths of these hurricanes. And the spaghetti models have been all over the place – throughout Florida, veering away from Florida and out into the Atlantic, staying South and tracking through the gulf. But most of the models comes through Florida. But the bottom line is alarm: Irma is now a cat 4 hurricane with 140 mph sustained winds and gusts of 165 mph. Its central pressure is 943 mb; Wilma, the strongest hurricane on record, has a mb reading of 882.

Our house is concrete, with a wooden addition added several years after it was built in 1994. There are two skylights that were supposedly built to Hurricane Andrew standards – to withstand cat 5 winds. I somehow doubt this. During Wilma in 2005, which struck us and stalled when it was only a cat 2, those skylights vibrated and hummed and I felt extremely uneasy about being anywhere near them. Fortunately, Wilma, in spite of her stall, moved rather quickly. We were without power for 10 days in the aftermath, our Dusky Conure, Kali, died, and everything commercially was shut down.

Last year, Hurricane Matthew was predicted to hit West Palm Beach as a cat 4 or 5 and, in the 11th hour, veered away from the coast and we got nothing more than a bad thunderstorm and several hours without power. But it tore up the coast, just offshore, and went inland around St. Augustine and the devastation was bad.

Today, we went to the dog beach, taking all three dogs for a fun day in the sun. But we stopped at our local Publix first to buy some sandwiches – and found that the water aisle was cleaned out. Empty. I think that’s the moment when I realized Irma may not be like Matthew. There’s a collective knowing that happens with hurricanes. It’s as if people sense, at some deep level, that they’d better pay attention and stock up. The caveat to this is that Harvey was so recent, the scenes so heartbreaking, that people generally are more aware now. But.

The bottom line here is layered. I don’t think our house, even with hurricane shutters, can withstand winds of 160 mph. We live 39 miles from Lake Okeechobee, the second largest fresh water lake in the U.S., which supplies water to all of South Florida. It’s surrounded and enclosed by more than a 100 miles of a dike built in the 1930s, reinforced in the 1960s, and still at risk. When the lake level reaches 15 feet or higher, water is released into the surrounding canals and rivers, just as it was in Houston, and that potentially puts millions of people at risk.

Astrologically, what concerns me is that in late October 2005, when Wilma hit, Jupiter had just entered Scorpio, which it will enter again on 10/10 this year. My dad had died a month earlier, when Jupiter was in its final degrees of Libra, as it is now. Some of the broad astro patterns were the same. That worries me more than anything.

I really don’t relish the idea of standing on the rooftop of our house with two dogs and two cats and whatever else we can salvage waiting for an airboat rescue.

The day after Harvey devastated Houston, Rob remarked that 52 inches of rain would leave Wellington underwater and maybe it was time for us to  get the hell outta Dodge.

And go where? Back several years ago, it was estimated that the evacuation of the 4 southernmost counties that include  the keys, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach – would take 3 days. Now, given the population growth, it probably would take twice that time. The only thing worse than waiting on your rooftop for rescue is being stuck in an endless line of traffic on an interstate as the flood waters around you keep rising.

And rising.

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The Many Worlds Theory

If the Many Worlds Theory of quantum physics is correct, that all possibilities are possible, then there’s a world where Bernie Sanders won the Democratic candidacy and the election, Imagine it.

If Bernie stuck to his agenda, and he probably did because he’s a no bullshit kind of politician, then in his first six months in office, he managed to push through universal health care in the same way that Obama pushed through Obamacare, by bypassing a do-nothing repug congress. Medicare for all. A human right. And maybe he even got his free tuition thing passed and forgave all those kids who are facing a hundred grand or more of college/grad school debt. Radical, right? And maybe that upper one percent of uber wealthy individuals and corporations now face the biggest tax bill ever – called, this is what you owe!

 There are moments in my day when I actually envision this reality – and embrace it. Then I remember that the debates were stacked in Clinton’s favor, thanks in large part to Dennie Wasserman Schultz, and that at some point MSNBC got the call from higher ups that Clinton should be the candidate. That was sad and pathetic, really. I would love to see a female president – but give me an Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, an Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, not a tired Clinton with too much baggage. Yeah, Clinton had the experience, she’s smart, she’s savvy, she knows how politics works. But she lacked Bernie’s vision and his passion, that most of all.

I know others have said this, but it bears repeating. Bernie would have beat Trump, even with the Russian hacking, because he had the powerful youth vote, those twenty and thirty somethings who are drowning in college and grad school debt, and who, under this administration, won’t be able to afford basic health care if the repug health care bill passes.

Trump and his infantile administration is setting this country back by fifty years, maybe more. How is isolationism a plus? Why should we bond with Russia on cyber security? Putin is a despot like Hitler, Pinochet, Mussolini, Maduro, and, yes, like Trump.

Do we, collectively, as a country, a nation, need Trump for some esoteric reason that should be obvious – but isn’t? Isn’t the whole Russia connection so obvious now that we can proceed with impeachment? With unfit to serve? If he’s impeached or deposed, of course, then we have Pense, OMG and WTF, worse by far, but more subtle and we should all be watching The Handmaid‘s Tale to find out how that would be. The entire Trump administration should be thrown out. Give us a new election.

That’s the Many Worlds Theory I’m advocating for now.

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A Probable Neighborhood?

After hearing us on Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland, Carol McElheney wrote us about a baffling experience she had in 2002. It seems to  involve probabilities in Riverside, California, a place she had once lived and knew well.

“In 2002 I went to Perris CA for a herding trial with my dog Tycho. We were staying in Hemet in a hotel. It was raining really hard even as we arrived in the area on Friday evening. As we were dropping down the hill into the valley, I thought about visiting my grandparents’ graves; just then the smell of cigar smoke filled my car. Memories of my Grandpa.

“Each day’s trial only took a few minutes, so Saturday I decided to visit Riverside. It was still raining really hard, to the point of interfering with visibility. I got to Riverside (15 min away) and went to where the cemetery was supposed to be, and found an empty weedy lot surrounded by chain link.

“I had a paper map (no cell phones back then) and drove around for a minute, looking. No cemetery. I had been there quite a few times to put flowers on my grandparents’ graves, but now it did not exist. Next I tried to find my Grandma’s house. The street and numbers were there but the big Tudor house with the tall trees was gone. It was a bunch of newer houses. The numbers fit, but the street looked nothing like I remembered. There were tall trees there, so I can’t see how they could have torn down Grandma’s house, cut down her trees, and built those houses and put in mature trees on a paved street with sidewalks. My aunt’s house was gone. The whole terrain was altered.

“Next I decided to look at MY old house. I lived on a cul-de-sac so certainly I’d see something familiar. Nope. Numbers were right but my old craftsman bungalow was gone, replaced with another old house. All this time it was raining really hard. On a Saturday, early afternoon, I did not see another car or human being out and about. Even with the rain, someone would be out shopping, you’d think. I had the feeling that if I got out of my vehicle I’d disappear forever.

“I decided I’d seen enough. I took Magnolia Blvd to University to get back to the freeway to return to Hemet. University Ave used to be a vibrant boulevard catering to UCR students; bookstores, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops. Now it was a boarded up ghetto mess with graffiti all over. Nobody to be seen but very creepy.

“I made it back to my hotel safe and sound; I had never felt so safe as I did when my room card worked and I saw my stuff in my room, all normal.

“In 2010 my Dad passed away and we buried his ashes next to his parents in the cemetery I couldn’t find. It was where it was supposed to be. My cousin was there and she said Grandma’s house and her old house are still standing.”

I asked Carol how long the experience lasted and for any other details she could recall:

“I’d estimate this experience lasted about two hours. I spent a lot of time looking for the cemetery, thinking I was lost. Ditto my Grandma’s house, but by then I had an inkling something odd was going on. I did have my dog with me, but it wasn’t unusual for him to ride quietly with me. I just knew that I’d better not stop and get out.

“Later I heard about Whitley’s similar experiences, getting off the freeway using a nonexistent exit that led to a strange neighborhood. The only thing about this version of Riverside that was really odd was University Ave; the way it was spray painted and blighted, but it had been a while since I’d been there and I figured it might have fallen on hard times. But no cemetery? What did they do with the bodies?

“Another odd thing about this was the rain. I had never seen it rain so hard and so steadily with no wind. Not a soul was out and about, driving or on foot on a Saturday. You’d think someone would be running an errand. Weird.”

 

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28 years ago- Happy Birthday, Megan!

28 years ago today, our daughter, Megan, was born in a Fort Lauderdale hospital. She was 6 pounds 6 ounces, had a fuzz of blond hair, these incredibly blue eyes, and the most beautiful skin I’d ever seen. The first thing I did when a nurse handed her to me was take in these details and then count her fingers and toes. All there.

Then I really looked at her hands, at the delicately formed fingers and thought, Are those fingers going to be typing away before too long, writing books? At the time, I had no idea what talents her soul held or how deeply I would come to value her quick laughter, her ease with people, the way she would shape her world. And I certainly didn’t have a clue that one of her talents would be art.

That elephant, the first in a series of wildlife paintings she’s doing, left me speechless the first time I saw it. Those eyes. The detail. The incredible color. The utter majesty she has captured of these magnificent animals. A friend asked if she did her paintings on photographs – in other words, painted on top of a photo. She does not. Megan has a blank canvas in front of her, her phone to the left with a photograph on it of whatever she’s going to paint, her paint brush in her right hand, and her easel of paints wherever they’ll fit.

The photo of the elephant she had looked nothing like her rendition. It was in black and white. She studied the photo for awhile, then she looked at her easel and started mixing colors. Since I’m not an artist, I don’t have any idea how she selects colors, how she sees it all in her head, how her unique perceptions result in a painting like this. But perhaps it’s like writing. When you’re really tuned in to what you’re writing, when you’re in that creative flow, the words move through you and out of you, just as the colors do for Megan. As she says on Instagram, “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like.”

She’s also writing a novel and from what I’ve read of it, the words flow out of her just as the colors do.

So Megger, here’s to your 28th year and may it be the best year ever! You are our greatest creation and we can’t wait to see what other masterpieces you create in this wildlife series and eagerly await the completion of your novel!

Happy birthday!!

 

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HARVEY

I’ve hesitated writing a post entitled Harvey, just that name alone unattached to anything else. I’ve resisted because it seems to empower the name, the event. But when I think about it, I realize this hurricane/tropical storm/rainmaker is like Trump himself. It won’t go away. And that, I think, is the global synchro here.

Regardless of how many records Harvey breaks – or how many laws Trump breaks or how many stories seem to piece together the Russian hacking of our 2016 election,  both of them stick around. They won’t fade away, move on, allow us to live in any sort of semblance of peace.

If you Google Harvey, you’ll find all the records it has broken – the 50 inches of rain, the horrific flooding, scenes worse than Katrina. If you Google Trump and climate change, you’ll find he’s a denier. His pick for the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is proof enough of that. The man is a climate change denier, who says that “science shouldn’t dictate American policy.”

Seriously?

And suppose science hadn’t dictated NASA’s explorations?

Or medical discoveries?

Or geographical discoveries?

If Trump is the human face of America’s collective shadow, then Harvey is the physical manifestation of that shadow’s destruction.

The message here is clear.

Democracy is an experiment. Right now, it’s hobbling along with a powerful free press that Trump despises, a dysfunctional congress where one party owns all three branches of government but can’t accomplish anything, and a few outspoken Repub critics. Few Dems support the progressive vision Bernie Sanders stands for, so who  are they now other than the minority?

C’mon, Democrats. Step up! You guys are the ones who established Social Security, Medicare, the safety nets that keep the country compassionate. Where are you now??

Harvey, Trump, the two are inseparable. Everything else? We’re collateral damage.

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