Is it Time Yet?

Time, time, time, time.

It’s coming. That time of year again. You know, the time when you change the time to a different time. The trouble is – which time is the correct time? Now that I am not working, knowing what DAY it is has become the thing I revolve around. Is it Monday? Friday? And do I care one little bit??? Not really. So now I have to worry about what TIME it is, too?

The rule is Spring Forward, Fall Back. But, I tend to relate things to my personality. And I’m basically known as a phenomenal K.L.U.T.Z. So, in MY world, the rule would be Fall Forward and Spring Back. And this particular time change (in the fall) is further complicated by my mind going through the motions of falling forward AND falling backward. It all works for me. I KNOW that 5:00 tomorrow will be dark like 6:00 today. So, if it is darker tomorrow at the same time as it is lighter today, does that mean I make the time on my clock “fall forward” or “fall backward.” See what I mean?

So, I mentally have to picture today (pre-time change) at 5:00 as still light out and 6:00 is just starting to get dark. So – if 6:00 is starting to get dark, then tomorrow at 5:00 it will ALSO start to get dark. So – I will move the hour hand forward from 5:00 to 6:00 to get the dark effect. Forward, get it? But for normal people who aren’t klutzes, they are actually using the rule of “Fall Back” (not Spring Forward). So – they Fall Back but they move the clock forward an hour. Get it???? No, I don’t either.

So, what time is it again????? I forget. . . . . And I have a week of going back and forth, backwards and forwards, to and fro, hither and yon, up and down. Are you with me?



Send in the Clowns

Once upon a time, several Halloweens ago, my co-worker talked me and another co-worker to arrive at work dressed as clowns. She supplied the costumes, hair, and red noses.

She arrived late to work and said she was driving along when a Sheriff's Deputy pulled her over. He approached her and cautiously said, "We've been looking for a clown like you." So, we knew our day was going to be interesting.

Then we could hear this hysterical laughing coming from outside the office building and looked out to see our third clown, ROLLER SKATING from her car to the building, looking like Bambi on ice. She hadn't skated in 30 years since she was a kid. She kept the skates on all day long, skating down hallways wherever she went. And giggling all day long.

Later that day, after a lot of guffawing by non-clown co-workers, the skating clown went to the airport to pick up her husband. He arrived at the same time our Director arrived from a different plane. They were standing in the overpass from the airport greeting each other, when the husband looked down on the street below and said, "um, excuse me, John, but I think I know that clown." And there she was, skating for all she was worth, legs splayed, arms pumping, trying to keep her balance as she traveled along the sidewalk.

As for me, I simply went through my day with my clown hair, my clown nose, and my clown outfit and nobody thought anything of it. What does THAT say about me???


My Favorite Person

My favorite person in the whole world, outside of my grandmother, was my fourth grade teacher, Hazel Beaulieu. She started teaching as a second career when she was 49. She was absolutely the most loving teacher I ever had – a combination of your grandmother and your favorite aunt. She was one of those people who touched you – physically and mentally. She didn’t hesitate to hug, embrace, pet, and fuss. She was BEFORE the little rules that came along – don’t spank, don’t hit, don’t hug.

Miss Beaulieu loved each one of us as if we were her own children. She is one of the only teachers I can remember who wrote to each of us during the summer after we left fourth grade and headed on to bigger and brighter things, like eighth grade and boys and mixers.

I still have her letter addressed to me and telling me personally what a bright girl I was and that I could be anything I wanted to be.

Hazel Beaulieu never married but she adopted one son, whom she doted on, along with about 700 fourth grade students who all grew up to be special, especially to her.


Words to Nowhere

There used to be a bridge abutment just north of the Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane. It was there for a gazillion years, or at least since I was six years old in 1956. In my mind, it was the start of a bridge to nowhere. It just stood there, alone, facing the bridge, acting like it might be part of something big – but what? Maybe a trestle for a train bridge across the Spokane River? Maybe a trestle for a foot bridge?

What it became was a communication panel for a million messages from birthday wishes to marriage proposals through decades of people coming together with their paint brushes and paint buckets. Never during the day time. Always in the middle of the night. Like some secretive society, spontaneously appearing, swathing out their message for the world to see as they idled in traffic during countless treks across the bridge.

Why do I know??? One night of shooting pool and three beers later, I found myself on the bridge with several other people as we whitewashed the abutment for the probably ten millionth time, and then prepared our message: Happy Birthday Diana! Black letters on white background. Sitting on layers upon layers upon layers of countless messages before it. It was 3:00 in the morning. On a work night.

It stayed there for at least a week, until the next group of phantom artists rendered their own, new message in the middle of the night.

It was a sad day when that piece of artwork was torn down with its thousands, or millions, of words splashed on its face.