Hope…and Handguns

Today’s blog post. I was telling Phillip about my blog post about hope. He resounded with “I need a handgun.” Click here to listen.

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Relying on Words of Hope

I am going to have to rely on every word I write from now on.

Phillip and I, like many of you, are having to figure out our new lives. Our usual skills, the ones we used every single day, the ones we clung to as a profession, or a craft, are no longer as necessary as they once were. So many of us are out of work, have no reliable income.

However, falling into the pit of feeling useless, invalid, or non-essential would be fatal. These are one of those times were adaptability is crucial to survival. You have to look in your tool box, use what skills you have that can help you.

I first started knitting teddy bears when I was homeless because I needed money to eat, I would find a home later. I cared more and more every day just about feeding myself. I’d worry about the rest later. I couldn’t get a job, but I knew how to knit, and I found a way to make teddy bears, sell them…..and the rest is history.

Throughout that time, people became aware of me because of this blog, the articles I wrote, and the interviews I did. The words brought people here, my story brought people here wanting to read more….and they left here with a teddy bear.

That teddy bear symbolized not just my story, but every conceivable concept of hope and comfort you could think of. That teddy bear wasn’t just something to clutch…it was a reminder that you can, even in your darkest days, find a way out. But, you have to have hope. I have relied on those teddy bears for a long time.

Obviously, those teddy bear days are over.

(If your neighborhood is doing one of those “Drive-By Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunts” I’m hoping you’ll put one of mine in the window…or in a tree).

You may no longer be able to get one of my teddy bears, but you can still hopefully walk away from this blog feeling hope. Because I have no doubt in my mind that the writing I’ve done over these last 10 years has made so much of an impact on people. So many of you appreciate the work I’ve done.

If we cannot hold each other right now, then we can at least cling to words that inspire the desire find hope in a very dark world.

It’s perfectly fine to tremble when you realize that the life you had designed for yourself is now completely over. And the only thing that can ease that shivering of fear is the comfort of words and the reliance on hope.

So, I want to be absolutely certain that the words I write from this point forward are of some good to this world.

Because I’m relying on these words for my future, just as much as I’m relying on hope.

We will get through this.

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A Response to “Bread in Isolation”

Well, my husband and I took another swing at this podcast thing. Phillip tried to bake bread during isolation. Anyone need a house made of bricks? Listen along….will only take a few moments. Enjoy, laugh and be please be safe. Click here to listen.

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Pardon Me, But My Cat and I Have a Few Questions…

I asked my apartment complex if they were going to continue our “valet trash” service (again, another snobbish term). The county is in lock down, no one who is non essential is allowed to go anywhere. Simple question, wondering if while we’re all in lock down, am I supposed to take out my own trash. Is my “valet trash” essential or not.

They sent me an email back….Yes, “valet trash” will be in service during this time….by the way, your trash can should never be out between these hours and those, should never contain these and policy reminder, policy reminder, policy…

…..and I couldn’t help but laugh and cry at the same time. I think my complex has a bad case of “picket fence” syndrome. You know, safe behind a barrier of perfect denial. “Everything is fine!

But, upon reading another slew of emails about their trash policies, I decided to send them a rather honest email. I don’t like hiding things from people. You can read it yourself. And I am quite sure there are MANY people out there wondering the same thing.

“I have to confess that the reason I have asked all these questions was to see what sort of leadership, what sort of response Linden would have. I regret to inform you that your responses were policy ridden, out of date, and lacking a necessary answer in these unquestionable times. Rent is due next week….I’m watching U-Hauls and Hot Guys Hauling Crap move people out in steady droves. No one is moving in. Everyone is moving out. So, as much as I thank you for your admonishing reminder about my trash being outside my door when it isn’t supposed to be, I’m more concerned about how you haven’t said a word about next week….when we’re all supposed to pay rent. I need someone from Linden to step up and let us all know if next week will be business as usual, fees imposed for late payment, letters left on doors.

But, I would prefer you make some announcement that you’re going to do something SOMETHING to ease the need for everyone to leave. What are you doing to make people stay?
Thank you for your time, and be please be safe.
Gregory Patrick”


My Friend Needs a Hug

Hand shakes may be a thing of the past, but hugs could never be. It just wouldn’t be right, it wouldn’t be natural to the human experience. We’re almost designed to wilt in the moment of tragedy, if only so we are in just the right pose for comfort….for a hug.

I agree that maybe we should be more Japanese and simply nod and smile, rather than shaking our hands and passing our recent bad habits from one person to another. But, I think the hug should remain.

I mention this for two reasons. The first was a because I heard a conversation people were having about how we “greet” each other in the future, once this pandemic has passed. Now, the conversation ended with nearly everyone in agreement: no more handshakes, no more hugs.

Well, I couldn’t help think how ridiculous that was . Many of us have never crept into our darkest places wishing for a handshake….No, we wish for nothing more than just the comforting hug, the earthy warmth, the angelic protection of another human wrapped around us, shielding us from hurt, easing our pain.

The second reason is that my friend’s father died last night from the corona virus. And when I received the news, I couldn’t think of what to say, when writing him back. The usual things pop to mind. “My thoughts and…..” no. Not enough. That’s not enough. He lost his father…..at this time, when he wasn’t allowed to be near him when he passed, and not allowed to be with him when he’s buried.

I couldn’t write him back. I didn’t want to write him back.

I wanted to give him a hug.

I have never shook this man’s hand in my life, but my gut reaction was to say nothing and just give him a hug.

So, when this madness is all over, finished, done…..And once we’ve all adapted to a new way of life and how we “greet” each other, I’m going to stand face to face with my friend. I promise you, one day we will see each other face to face, in the same room, in the same city, country, place.

I won’t shake his hand….But, I am going to give him the biggest hug I’ve ever shared with anyone.




Let’s Have Fun and Do a Podcast!

Well, well, well….Orlando is going into lock down on Thursday for two weeks. But, don’t get stressed, Phillip and I did what we do best. We sat back, had a few cocktails and just laughed our way through the news. Click here to listen to it on youtube. We had a ton of fun in just a few short minutes. We hope you will, too. And I have a feeling we’re going to be doing quite a few of these 🙂


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Corona…With a Splash of Paranoia

Lord, I guess if ever I was supposed to deliver a blog post that ruminated in optimism then this should probably be it, right?

…and I stare at the page and just huff….

I’ve got one hand under the chin, the other hand tapping on the top of my desk, ready to type, just not sure of what. My face is twisted in to the painful gaze of a philosopher.

I type….I backspace. I type something else, then backspace again. Nothing sounds right, nothing sounds real, everything I write sounds like it came out of a can. And when it does sound real and homemade it is poisoned with just a pinch of paranoia.

Why? Well, because I’ve never had to write about optimism in a time of fatality. Fatality sounds like such a strong word, but I have to use it. Oh, that’s not sensationalism, that’s just….reality.

So, I turn to my own religious heroes for inspiration.

Mother Angelica would say, “You shouldn’t fear death, nor the end of the world….I’m not afraid to die and meet Jesus. But, personally I’d like another 20 years before that happens….”

Girl. Me, too.

And Then Thomas Merton who had left his monastic hermitage for the first time in 30 years, met the Dalai Lama, discussed a spiritual bridge between the two faiths to stop the war in Vietnam. At a speech at that conference he said, “It’s every man for himself, brother.” He died a few hours later after accidentally electrocuting himself.

Then you’ve got the Buddhist who’ll say, “If worrying accomplishes nothing, then why worry?”

Then you have the Jews have already suffered enough. You think you have social distancing problems? Well, go tell that to Anne Frank.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

…and you read that KNOWING she’s going to die in a VERY cruel way.

Now, just pause for a second. Take a breath. Give it a second. Now, proceed….

So, my life has changed only slightly in comparison to her’s. I went out only rarely, but now, not going out at all. Phillip is now going to get the groceries. He’s bigger, stronger, more immune. I’m not so much.

He came back one day with groceries…and a little dinosaur planter. Yes, this cute, simple little nick-nack intended (I guess) for the tiniest of plants.

“I had to have it.”

People are nose diving into grocery stores to buy peanut butter and toilet paper…and my husband comes home with cookies, ice cream, and a pterodactyl planter. The minute I saw it I was ready to whoop his ass for wasting money on something so silly….then I thought about it.

And all I could think of was Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.

“Life finds a way….”

You’re in inclined as a writer to just keep typing when you feel you’ve got it. That’s why we need editors (still in need of one!) to reel us back and make us focus. So, as a writer I was inclined to expand with delightful, arrogant, philosophical tone about the meaning of “Life finds a way….”

But, that would be stupid. It says everything. And I feel so much better now. I hope you will, too.


If you appreciate my writing and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. Every single dollar helps and I couldn’t do it without your support.