Sunday, August 5, 2018

Why I Do Medical Missions

I was sitting in this same spot almost exactly two years ago. (Actually, I think I was in the room next door, but what are 15 feet between friends?) I’d just arrived in Namibia for the first time. On that day, I had some idea of what the next two weeks would bring. Today I have a better idea, but I’m well aware that much changes along the way. Volunteering is often a good exercise in flexibility.

In 2012, a friend gave me an opportunity that would change my life. He invited me on a medical mission. I’d already been managing the group's blog and social media for a few years. But the chance to actually travel with the team was something I’d hadn’t expected. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly adventurous, but I knew I had to go. And so, I found myself in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta with the International Extremity Project.

Not only did my first trip provide an amazing life experience, but it helped fill a void in my heart. I realize that sounds a bit dramatic, but I’ll explain.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sending My Kid to School After Parkland

My kid has questions I can't answer. He wants to know how he's supposed to go to school and feel safe. I have no answers. I can't tell him that everything will be fine. I can't guarantee that. I can't lie.

On the same day that a Florida teenager went into a high school and killed 17 people, my son's former PE teacher turned himself into the local police for child pornography and other related charges.

Boom, crash, splat. He's 14. His sense of safety at school is shattered. 

How does he know that someone won't come onto the campus armed and determined to do damage? How does he know that he can trust the very adults he's been conditioned to rely on since pre-school?  

How do I answer those questions?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Table: A Story of Need vs. Want

I try to make purchase decisions based on need vs. want. I'll often see something that I really like but opt out of buying it because I don't need it. I'd rather be happy with what I have than focus on wanting things I don't. (Yes, I did need the motorcycle. For mental health reasons. Yeah, that's it.)

OK, let's not get distracted by facts.

Admittedly, sometimes this need/want thing goes a little far.

Exhibit A: I still have a bra that the dog chewed during her awkward post-puppy supportive undergarment chewing phase. She absolutely disabled another one, but this one survived with an interesting fringe in the cleavage area. It's serviceable. It's more of a yard-work bra than an office bra, not that anyone would really know. Until now, anyway. Bonus: I smirk every time I put it on.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Details + Details + Details = TMI

TG likes to explain things. All sorts of things. And he likes details. Lots of details. Like today, he didn't have a level in Soquel because he didn't bring one from home so when he went to the store with J, B, and the kids he bought a new one.

I made the mistake of making a pun about "taking things to a new level." And somehow that jump-started a very detailed discussion of cabinet installation. And about 17 other things.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Birds of Protest: When Words Don't Work

Sometimes you can't do the things you're supposed to do. I was supposed to go to a memorial for a friend today. I couldn't. They're adding up. It would have been the fourth such gathering this year. Maybe that's not a lot, but it's enough for me right now.

I'm tired of loss and focusing on loss. Real loss, impending loss, potential loss, metaphorical loss. There's a lot of it swirling around, near and far. I started running out of words. OK, I had words, but more often than not, they started resembling an unpunctuated string of cursing. I was running out of coherent sentences and paragraphs. I couldn't find them.