Just Walk Beside Me

Don’t walk behind me I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ~Albert Camus

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The Elusive Creative Muse

The Elusive Creative Muse

Beauty is everywhere. As I write this, I can hear the geese flying overhead through my open window. It tugs at my spirit to come and play and dance on the wind. Looking around me I see all the unfinished projects and “things I need to do” instead. No wonder I’m such a procrastinator! Hmmm, follow the geese to the lake, or take care of duties. Yikes! So instead, here I sit writing about it all, looking inside for the elusive flow of creativity that helps fuel my life. Inspiration seems to have been hiding lately. I feel a need to track down my creative muse and drag her kicking and screaming from whatever box she is hiding in among the remaining chaos from moving. Perhaps she fell asleep curled up in a box of special treasures gathered over many years. Oh, and there are far far too many of those gathered treasures, and choices to be made. It is starting to sound like a search for my muse might include more sorting and eliminating! Ohhhh the choices… they become overwhelming, and soon i wander off to follow a dream.

May 18; Moms and Mountains

May 18. Lots of memories associated with this day, most of mine having to do with mom’s birthday and one birthday in particular when Mount Saint Helens blew her top.

May 18, 1980. It was my moms birthday, and my husband and I were in the old truck with mom and dad driving up in the hills past Trout Lake. We saw the column of Ash, and thought at first that it was a fire, but quickly figured out it wasn’t. We drove up to a place we could see a little bit better and watched for awhile. Then Jerry and I drove back home to La Center, and drove up back roads into the mountains on the south west side. We were sitting on a cliff all night watching it blow and you could feel the ground shake. Red tail hawks and eagles were soaring overhead.

10 days later on May 28, we were up in north eastern Washington seeing ash everywhere. While we were there the mountain blew again, to the south west this time. We couldn’t go home back down I-5, and had to travel through Yakima on the east side of the Cascade mountains back down to the Columbia River gorge and then west along WA-14. When we got to our trailer in La Center, there were several inches of ash piled on the roof.

Mom was fascinated by the mountain blowing in her lifetime, and thought it was a pretty interesting birthday present!

May 18, 2019. This year for Mom’s birthday, she gets another of her children, Roger, joining her in the spirit world. I’m pretty sure she’ll put him to work right away. Roger Black passed on May 16, 2019.

Mom, you are Missed, and Loved forever! I remember you talking about how strange it felt to be almost the last one left of your siblings. Now I understand all too well. You raised us to believe in the afterlife, and family being together forever; gratefulness fills my heart.

Mount St. Helens and me, in recent years. Taken at McClellan Viewpoint in GPNF

This is posting only now because for some reason my mobile app has not been uploading posts like I thought it was.

Stimming as Self Therapy

At long last, some research and discussion on stimming, from the perspective of actually autistic adults.

“Through interviews and focus groups, we asked 32 autistic adults to share their perceptions and experiences of stimming, including the reasons they stim, any value doing so may hold for them and their perceptions of others’ reactions to stimming. Using thematic analysis, we identified two themes: stimming as (1) a self-regulatory mechanism and (2) lacking in social acceptance, but can become accepted through understanding. Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as an adaptive mechanism that helps them to soothe or communicate intense emotions or thoughts and thus objected to treatment that aims to eliminate the behaviour.”

journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1362361319829628

Roger’s Walk of Honor

Roger Black, born May 8, 1942, died May 16, 2019. This beloved Navy veteran from the Viet Nam war was a Wonderful husband to Connie, father to Carmen Knopes and Sarah Vantinteran, grandfather to many, adopted Papa to dozens, and brother to myself and Boyce. We had three more siblings and two nephews who already passed on to join our parents in the spirit world; Nora, Sheldon, and Dennis. Seems like there must be a homecoming party happening on the other side.

Roger was a rock in our lives, Full of love and hugs, and good advice. He seldom got worked up about anything, and like mother he loved everyone and saw the good in them all. He taught us all so much just by example on how to be a better person.

In this last journey, Roger was escorted by another Navy Veteran who is 100 years old. The kind man from the funeral home was also a veteran, and the VA care home provided the beautiful flag. Employees and residents saluted, or put their hands on their hearts as we walked by.

We are so grateful for all the love and kindness from so many.

Roger at the 2018 Alumni Reunion

Beauty of Sunset

“Clouds can dim the light of life,

But in return they can be the source of great enlightenment. ”

~Darlisa Black

Clouds can dim the light of life, But in return they can be the source of great enlightenment. “ ~Darlisa Black. Photo of Columbia River Gorge Sunset, from White Salmon, Washington

Columbia River Gorge Sunset, from White Salmon, Washington

Many of you have read and shared this article about  My adopted niece Erica Kuneki.   She continues in her battle with cancer, dealing with a great deal of pain. This brave young woman  still continues to find things to laugh about, in spite of  the trauma of the cancer.  Recently, a platelet transfusion caused a reaction similar to anaphylactic shock, and had to be discontinued.

Erica and her family continue to need help financially for help with bills, laundry costs, even bridge tolls.   There are several fundraisers listed in this original article for anyone willing to help.  Thank you!

 

via Warrior Stronger Than Cancer

Warrior Stronger Than Cancer

So, about that autism “girl gap”…

This was a fascinating and extremely well written post about autism and the disparity in diagnoses.

echolaliachamber

I received a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, and OCD a few years ago after I started grad school. PTSD would soon follow. I had been in and out of counseling for over 10 years, where the only labels I was given were anxiety and depression. I now feel pangs of rage when I meet someone else with just these labels. It seems to be clinical shorthand for “you’re welcome to pay us but we find your problems unworthy of further consideration”.

Though I was proactive in seeking care once I had access to the University’s services, I was and am privileged to have access to these services. It was also a privilege that I was able to “speak the language” to get the triage counselor to put me with the psychiatry clinic. Other friends, particularly my black lab mates, are sent to “group counseling” for other black women. It’s a…

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Winter in Trout Lake

I wanted to share a few pictures with you from the month of February 2019, in Trout Lake, Washington. We had one of those heavy snowfalls that came fast and furious, Beautiful and dangerous.