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Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

100 Things I’m Thankful For

I ‘m thankful for trees, just any old tree. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

          In all my 81 years I’ve never lived through a year like this one. Covid and hateful politics have turned America upside down. I’m ready to get off the Merry-Go-Round and live in a kinder world where people can disagree but still work together to try and make life better for all. The sooner people realize no one can have everything they want, the quicker this can happen.

          Is this even possible?  I’m not hopeful, but I’m still going to think of my glass as half full and not half empty. Thinking about all my many blessings and the little things that fill my days with joy actually makes this easy.

          So here goes: In no particular order, my annual Thanksgiving blog listing 100 things I’m thankful for.

          1: It begins with my large family of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all their spouses and partners that I so dearly love, and who in return make me feel loved. I spent half my life searching for love, sometimes in the wrong places, before realizing it was around me all the time.

          2: My canine companion Scamp, who has now been with me for 17 months. I’ve always owned dogs but never had one as challenging as him. He was supposed to be a small Schnauzer-mix, eight months old and female when I adopted him from a shelter. He turned out to be a 42-pound Siberian Husky-Shih Tzu mix, male and most likely much younger than advertised – and he wasn’t house broken. He’s been a challenge from the first but has kept my life interesting and I would hate to think of life now without him.

          3: Tucson sunrises and sunsets. I see the sunrise from my bedroom window, sometimes before I get out of bed, and I try to make time to watch the usually awesome sunsets from my living room balcony.

          4: My friend Jean’s chocolate chip cookies.

          5: A nightly hot bath that always relaxes this old broad’s body so she can sleep better at night. It was the only thing I missed when I was living on the road in a small RV that had only a tiny, cramped shower.

          6: Books. As long as I can buy a book I want when I want it, I’ll never feel poor, or lonely.

          7: My journals, 50 years of them, some of which I’ve finally begun rereading for the first time. The early ones are missing months and are sketchy, but the ones I write today allow me to have long conversations with myself and many of the authors I read.

          8: The New York Times: As a longtime journalist, it’s been sad watching one newspaper after another fold, including The Dallas Times Herald, which I grew up reading, and The Houston Post, which I was a stringer for during my early journalism years. Just as sad has been watching some media take sides on issues and slanting the news instead of just reporting the facts. I feel the NY Times still exhibits the values I, and the publications I worked for, had during my 37-year journalism career.

          9: A soft bed with clean, sweet smelling sheets to crawl into every night.

          10: My pain doctor, who gives me a steroid shot in my back every four or five months that allows me to keep trekking up and down three flights of stairs at least six times a day. Advil helps, too.

          11:  Social Security.

          12: America, with all its faults, because it still is the land of the free.

          13: Birds, whose fascinating lives fuel a late-blooming passion within me to see them and learn about them, even if it’s just watching their behaviors from my third-floor balconies.

          14: Soft blankets to snuggle beneath when it’s chilly.

          15: My female role models: Anne Richards, Margaret Mead, Molly Ivins, Maya Angelou, Helen Reddy, Ellen Goodman, Susan Wittig Albert, Susan B. Anthony, Pearl Buck, Nelly Bly, Osa Johnson, Barbara Jordan, Amelia Earhart and all the other women I knew or read about who never let gender get in the way of their goals.

          16: Rainbows after storms.

          17: Daisies and gardenias, and all the other species of flowers. 

          18. Comfortable shoes.

          19: Aspen trees in the fall, and live oaks, and sycamores and well, just any old tree.

          20: Road trips with just me and my dog.

          21: Chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate milk shakes. OK, anything chocolate.

22: A stormy day with a good book and a comfortable chair.

23: Surprises.

24: My morning cream-laced coffee.

25: Friends, who enrich my live in many ways.

26: Daily telephone chats with my oldest son, D. C. And the less frequent calls from my other children as well.

27: A Jack and Coke nightcap.

28: That I still have a zest for life, and learning.

29: Story Circle Network, my support group of wonderful women who helped me find my voice, write my book Travels with Maggie, and actually get it published.

30: The Internet, which while sometimes annoying, brings the world to my fingertips, lets my see my great-grandchildren as they grow up, and helps me find answers to my million and one questions.

31: My friend Jean’s dog Dusty, because she’s my dog Scamp’s best friend.

32: Smiles and laughter. Anytime, anyplace.

33: My granddaughter Shanna and her wife Dawn, who moved to Tucson to be near me, and who enrich my life.

34: People who wear masks out of respect for other people’s safety as well as their own.

35. Hand sanitizer. Who would have thought we would ever be thankful for this item?

36: Grocery delivery so I don’t have to go inside stores in this age of Covid, but also because someone else carries the weight up my three flights of stairs.

37: Scamp’s no-pull harness, because he’s a strong mutt,

38: Card and board games with friends.

39: Moisturize,

40: The Catalina Mountains, my outdoor backdrop.

41:  Art and Music that bring joy to my eyes and ears.

42: That I’m a writer because it keeps my observations skills sharp, and gives purpose to my days.

43: Hot tubs.

44: The helicopter ride I recently took over the Grand Canyon to help celebrate my dear friend Kim’s birthday.

45: The sweet-tasting naval oranges that came with my latest grocery order

46: My dog’s new groomer.

47: My Kindle and my computer. Still not that fond of a smart phone.

48: My daughter-in-law Cindi, who took on the job of being my guardian angel.

49: Scented candles.

50: A new tye-dye T-shirt.

51: People who are kind

52: Our National Parks, Refuges and Forests.

53: Washers and Dryers and all the other appliances that make life easier with time left over to read.

54: Electricity for all those appliances and reading lamps.

55: Vaccines that have rid the world of many diseases – with hopefully a new one on the horizon.

56: Audible books.

57: That I paid off my car this year.

58:  Morning walks with Scamp.

59: That I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.

60: Happy hours with friends.

61: A good haircut,

62: Favorite televisions programs: Survivor, Amazing Race, Sunday Morning, PBS Mysteries and my latest, The Pack.

63:  A hot cup of Lemon-Ginger tea.

64. People who read my blog, or buy my book Travels with Maggie.

65: A snail-mail letter from my good friend Charlie.

66: When I’m able to solve a computer glitch all by myself.

67: A good manicure.

68:  Finally realizing what a strong, good but feisty woman I had for a mother.

69: That my great-grandson Junior liked the Doctor Doolittle books I liked when I was his age.

70: That some of my family likes to hang my paintings on their walls.

71: Air conditioning.

72: Wolf Brand Chili, a quick meal on a day when I don’t feel like cooking.

73: That I had a job I loved all my working days.

74: That I finally gave up all notions that I could be perfect, and that I’ve finally learned to give myself credit for all the things I do and stopped beating up on myself for all the things I didn’t do.

75: My rubber tree plant on my balcony that has survived for at least 25 years.

76: The smell of a desert landscape after a heavy rain.

77: My travel memories of the Galapagos, Africa, Japan and many more big and small adventures.

78: That I can still travel.

79: Making new friends.

80: The Sonoran Desert in which I now live.

81: Wayne Dyer’s book Your Erroneous Zones, which set me on a whole new way of thinking back in the 1970s.

82: That I have a nice, safe place to live.

83: Clean water to drink.

84: That I live an independent life and can still take care of myself.

85: Nice neighbors.

86: Watching the stars through my bedroom windows at night.

87: Tasty soup made from leftovers.

88: Paintings that I love hanging on my walls.

89: Weekend pancake breakfasts with my friend Jean, and our dogs Dusty and Scamp, who always get a pancake, too.

90: A Zoom meeting with my friend Kim in Utah.

91: Colorful stationary.

92: Cajun food.

93:  A freshly cleaned apartment – and car.

94:  Temperatures below 100 degrees, which are rare during Tucson’s summer.

95: My brother Robert, who sees the world different from me, which makes our connection something we have both had to work on, which makes it even sweeter.

96: A good movie that makes me both laugh and cry, ditto for a book.

97: Days when Scamp lets me sleep past 5:30 a.m. before demanding his walk.

98: My recent view of the Colorado River from the old Navajo Bridge, just before it enters the Grand Canyon, and memories of floating beneath this bridge twice.

99. Arriving safe at friends Robert and Karla’s home in St, George, Utah, after a nine-hour drive from Tucson and being welcomed with love, hugs and a Jack and Coke.

100. Having Thanksgiving with friends who treat me like family.

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It’s World Kindness day

Just aa it took many tiles to create this mural, so it will take many acts of kindness to create a better world. — Photo of St. Louis Zoo aviary mural by Pat Bean

“Together we can change the world, just one random act of kindness at a time.” – Ron Hall.

I noted in my journal this morning that it was Friday the 13th, but I didn’t know until I opened my email that November 13 is also World Kindness Day.

          What a great idea, was my first thought. When did this happen was my second? I’ve been aware in recent years that something is being celebrated every day of the year, but this was a new one for me.

          With a little research, I learned that the day had been designated 22 years ago by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and is now celebrated in numerous countries, including the United States.

          My third thought was that every day should be World Kindness Day.

          Bean Pat: Check out this CNN post on ways to be kind. https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/13/health/world-kindness-day-acts-wellness/index.html

          Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Rest stop after a wandering-wondering day without stress. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien

A Page From My Journal

          It was my 22nd day on the road in a slow meandering adventure from Idaho, where I had spent the summer, to Nashville, Indiana, where I had stopped for two days while Mother Nature weeped her blessings.

          It was still drizzling when I began the day’s journey to North Bend Ohio, about 100 miles away. This was my preferred daily mileage as it allowed me start my day leisurely with cream-laced coffee, do some writing, and then take my dog, Pepper, for a long walk before we got on the road in our RV, Gypsy Lee.

           The first town we passed was a tiny one called Gnaw Bone. Why, I wondered, would somebody name a town Gnaw Bone?

          Perhaps they didn’t. It was originally a French settlement called Narbonne, which we Americans might have mistranslated as Gnaw Bone.

          But the question filled my head with nonsense for a while as I traveled down several Indiana backroads. Usually I have these to myself, but not today.

           The narrow tree-lined roads I had chosen were not untraveled roads.  I had plenty of vehicular company, including a lavender semi that passed me in a swirl of blowing autumn leaves. Now I’ve seen purple semis but never a lavender one before.

          Was a man or woman driving? I hadn’t been able to look because the large truck passed me on a curve, and I had wisely kept my eyes on the road.  

          And then I found myself quoting out loud to Pepper: “I never saw a purple cow. I never hope to see one. But I would rather see, than be one.”

          It was just that kind of day.

          Then a few miles farther down the road, there was a green farm truck with a rear sticker asking: “Who is John Galt?”

          It started my brain thinking about Ayn Rand’s book, Atlas Shrugged, and from there to how we seem to live our lives at either end of a pendulum swing.

          And so. this wandering-wondering day went, with my brain circuits traveling ever so much faster than Gypsy Lee.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.   

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A Manta for Writers

It’s is better to sit on my balcony watching the sun go down each night knowing that my butt was sitting down writing earlier in the day. — Photo my Dawn Lee, who enjoyed the sunset with me and my granddaughter this past week.

          “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

The Write Words

          When I write, truly write with focus, without interruptions or editing, I amaze myself with how many words end up on the page. When I do this, my fingers on the keyboard often go places my brain hasn’t yet reached.

          And after I have written, be it a blog, a freelance profile, an essay, or a bit more on my memoir, which has been languishing untouched for way too long, I come away with a great sense of achievement. Writing makes me feel good about myself, even if the writing is just for myself.

But physically sitting myself down in front of a keyboard, butt in chair as writers call it, is a daily struggle. This is the reason why these first words of a blog titled Rantings of a Third Kind sang so true to me this morning:

 “I am writing, I am writing, I am so totally writing! This is the mantra, I am always reciting. But, it so damned hard, as my mind is against me fighting…”

 I signed up six times for NaNoWriMo – which stands for National Novel Writing Month, a free program to help writers complete a 50,000-word novel in 30 days– and dropped out the first five times before actually getting a certificate of completion for my final effort.

November is NaNo Month, by the way, and the program began today. You can check it out at: https://nanowrimo.org/

My daughter, Deborah, is attempting the program this year. I, however, have just vowed to spend at least 30 minutes every day writing. I started my goal at the beginning of the week, and it was easy as rolling downhill — until today when I started coming up with every excuse in the book why I didn’t need to write on a Sunday.  

          But then I read the Rantings of a Third Kind blog and picked up the author’s mantra:  I am writing, I am writing, I am so totally writing!

          Bean Pat: A writer who struggles as I do. https://gunroswell.wpcomstaging.com/2020/11/01/on-my-sunday-seat-i-do-write/

          Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Updating My Profile

Scanp, right, and his best pal Dusty. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.” – Ted Nelson

It’s All About the Buttons

          I have been a computer user since 1978, forced, as a reporter, to write my newspaper stories on one. Less than 10 years later, I bought my first home computer, one that operated on floppy disks because it didn’t even have a hard drive.

          My first word processing system involved a black screen with green text. I became determined not to be left stalled on the “information highway,” and forced myself to learn all about DOS, an acronym for Disk Operating System. I was, so to speak, hep, an old-fashioned term for groovy, with-it, trendy, hip, and up-to-date.

          But things changed overnight – and I never caught up. I bought myself updated computers over the years, but depended on the tech guys at my work to simply tell me what buttons to push to make the dang machines do what I wanted them to do.

Then along came smart phones. By this time, I was a retired old broad without tech experts at my beck and call. While I was on the road traveling the country in my RV, one of my sons bought me my first smart phone because it tracked my location – which he wanted to know at all times. He spent good money on that phone but all the time my brain was thinking: Dang caring, loving son!

I hated that phone, and never learned to use it for anything but calling and texting. And I went back to my old flip phone when I ended my life on the road in 2013, using the excuse that the cost of service was cheaper – which was actually true.

Most of the stuff others did on their phones, I did on my computer, whose bigger screen works better for older eyes, and whose eccentricities I was able to eventually figure out – despite the convoluted, operating explanations provided for users by people who clearly didn’t know how to go from A to B without inserting Gs and Zs between the two.

But the smart phones with their apps, I finally began realizing at this late date, were being used for things my stay-at-home lap top couldn’t do, like gain entrance to movies, serve as maps, and act as coupons at grocery stores, just to name three simple ones.

Without my tech guys, I’m not sure I will ever learn how to do all of them. But I’m proud to say that last night, I did finally learn how to use my new phone — finally a smart one — to take a picture of my canine companion Scamp and then send it to my granddaughter, who was sitting across from me, and who had shown me which buttons to push to do so.

Time to update my profile, I think.  

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Too Many to Count

If you saw a Bald Eagle when it was only two years old, you would see a ratty-looing bird with no white head. It takes these birds of prey four years to gain their magnificence. If all goes as expected, it takes many more years for humans to become their best selves, I believe. — Sketch by Pat Bean

What am I now that I was then is a line from Delmore Schwartz’s poem, “Calmly We Now Walk Through This April’s Day.”  The words sent my brain working overtime to answer the question.

I am not the same person I was over half a life ago, so much so I tell friends today they wouldn’t have liked me back then, when I was insecure, took things too personally, tried too hard to please everyone, cried too much, was searching for love while ignoring the love I had all around me, and thought of myself as two Pat Beans, one dull and following all the rules while the second one was learning to color outside the lines.

When I did the latter, I would say to myself, often aloud, Pat Bean doesn’t do that. It took a 16-day rafting trip, when I was in my 50s, on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon where nothing that was important in the outside world mattered, for the two Pat Beans to merge.

The one Pat Bean that stepped off the raft at the end of the adventure was both a stronger and a weaker person. She, at least I like to think, was a more likeable person because she was comfortable with her faults, didn’t have to prove she was perfect, and finally bold enough to accept and use her strengths.

But even that Pat Bean is not the same today, or even the day after. It seems each action, each book read, each new thought, each new experience, whether good or bad, changes me. I think that’s how life is supposed to be.

What do you think?

Bean Pat: You can read or listen to Delmore Schwartz’s poem here. https://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/calmly-we-walk-through-this-aprils-day/

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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One of the best ways to jog my memory is to reread my journals,, which sometimes include sketches, like the one above about the day I watched a ruby-crowned kinglet.

          “Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories – and telling others a somewhat different version of our stories.” – Alice Munro

          While reading Mustard’s Last Stand, by Kathy McIntosh, I came across a fictional character who popped a rubber band around his wrist because he had a negative thought.

          The action took me back over 40 years, back to when I dated a guy who frequently popped a rubber band that he wore around his wrist. Why? I had asked. He had been evasive.

         His name was Jon, and he was a very nice guy, a reporter at the Fort Worth Star Telegram where I worked for a couple of years. But we dated only a couple of times, and never became more than just good friends. He went back to an old girlfriend whom he was still carrying a torch for, and I moved 1,500 miles away.

          If I hadn’t come across that rubber band passage, I might never have thought of Jon again. The passage also answered my unanswered question about why someone would purposely give themselves a jolt of pain, as I imagine a rubber band does when snapped against skin.

          I wondered if Jon had snapped the rubber band every time he thought about his old girlfriend? And then I wondered if people still wear rubber bands around their wrists to break a habit?

I wonder a lot.

          Meanwhile, at 81, when I have forgotten more than I can remember, I’m glad when my little gray cells are jogged. It’s almost always fun.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Dang Pack Rats

I love that I can see Gambel Quail around my apartment complex. Too bad, however, that Pack Rats are also my neighbors. — Photo by Pat Bean.

Living in Covid Time 

          “Fate is not an eagle. It creeps like a rat.” – Elizabeth Bowen

I just spent $592 on car repairs because I live in the Sonoran Desert, home to Pack Rats that used my vehicle’s engine wires and parts as chew toys

Dang-nab-it!

That’s a lot more costly than when my newly acquired canine companion, Scamp, chewed up 13 rolls of toilet paper during his first couple of months in his new home last year.

Dang Pack Rat! — Wikimedia photo

But it’s not my first run in with Pack Rats. The first time I learned about these ratty critters was shortly after I took to the RV-ing life. After spending a week camped in Yellowstone National Park, I noticed my engine-problem light had come on. When I took the RV in to be checked out, the mechanic discovered a Pack Rat nest under the hood.

Fortunately, the only damage that time was a loose wire.

My next encounter with these came after I bought my current car in 2014, and left my RV parked at my daughter’s home near a wild desert landscape. Since it sat there for quite a while before the Pack Rat invaders were discovered, the damage was even more costly than my recent repair bill.

Pack Rats have to chew constantly to keep their teeth, which continually grow, to a manageable length. And since many new cars have soy-based wiring, the rats have learned they can chew and enjoy a snack at the same time.

Although I live in a large, well-lighted apartment complex, it is located next to an undeveloped landscape that is probably full of Pack Rats. And since I have been isolating myself because of the coronavirus, I have rarely been driving my vehicle, and those dang Pack Rats saw an opportunity they couldn’t resist.

Strobe lights beneath a vehicle are about the only remedy that works against the Pack Rats, although some have suggested that the rats don’t like the scent of Irish Spring soap. I tried that remedy when the danged critters were first discovered under the hood of my RV parked at my daughter’s home. I think the rats used it as just another chew toy.

Danged-nab-it.

I guess I’m just going to have to at least drive my car around the block every day – or take it and Scamp for a scenic drive somewhere in the Pack Rat’s Sonoran Desert home. Actually, I like that last idea.

Bean Pat: To kind, caring and loving people all over the world who, I optimistically believe, make up the majority of earth’s population

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Gloria Steinem, still speaking out for equal rights for all. — Wikimedia photo

“At my age … people often ask me if I’m passing the torch. I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much, and I’m using it to light the torches of others.” — Gloria Steinem

The Times Are a Changin

Gloria Steinem was a magazine journalist, just five years older than me, who was at the forefront of the fight for civil rights and women’s equality at the same time I was a working mother who was a newspaper reporter. She is now 86 to my 81 and she still has fire in her.

This magnet hangs on my refrigerator to remind me there is still life to be lived.

In a recent NY Times interview, Gloria said, “The progress we’ve made is not sufficient, but there is an advantage to being old. I have a role to play in the movement by saying, ‘Here’s when it was worse.”

I, too, remember when it was worse. I had a boss who told me I was the hardest worker in the office. Then I discovered that the guys in the office were making three times my meager salary. When I asked my boss’s boss, who controlled the purse strings, for a raise, he said it was hard for him to consider giving me a raise when all the men in the office had families to support.

I pointed out that all the men in my office currently had working wives, and that I was putting my then husband through college and was the sole support of him and my five children. “Oh,” was all he said. I got my raise. Such a situation hadn’t even occurred to him.

When Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine was published for the first time in 1972, it was the same time I was fighting for equal pay for equal work.

Also, while I wasn’t raised to be a bigot, and Blacks were never disparaged in our home, I was indoctrinated by the teaching “separate but equal.” I heard the phrase often, and saw evidence of it growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s, with White and Black Only water fountain and restroom signs being the most common.

It wasn’t until I saw beyond what I had been taught growing up, while covering school integration issues as a reporter, that I quickly discovered how unequal things truly were. Reading books about the issues gave me even more insight.

Being a journalist reporting on the true facts, let me feel I was doing something positive to change things for the better. It gave me a false hope that true equality would actually happen. Maybe it will but it hasn’t yet.

Meanwhile, being retired and an old broad has made me feel helpless that there was nothing more I could do to make the world a kinder, fairer, better place in which to live. But reading that my elder journalist sister Gloria is still out there promoting equal right issues for all, made me rethink my plight.

I can still speak out against injustices. I can write letters promoting fairness and kindness. I can publicly support Black Lives Matter. Yes, all lives do matter but that is not the issue), And I can vote for people who give a damn about all America’s people.

Thank you, Gloria, for relighting my fire.

Bean Pat: To old broads everywhere who still have fire in them and who try to make the world a better place for all.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Joy is taking pleasure in little things, especially in nature. — Photo by Pat Bean

Political foolery, political bullying, political lying, political egotism, political shenanigans and political partisanship favored over what’s in the best interest of this country make me want to scream. And scream, and scream! I feel this way partly because I feel helpless to change things for the better.

Joy is my canine companion Scamp. — Photo by Pat Bean

What this country needs is a political party that’s not so far right, and not so far left, and is devoted to truth and facts. I would call it the Common Sense Party. All in favor, please stand up and say AYE!

I’m assuming the idea passed, so now all someone has to do is create it.

Meanwhile, since I need to stay sane during these chaotic times, I’ve started a list of things that give me joy. I try to put something on it daily. Here are a few recent joys from my list.

Joy is my third-floor balconies that look out on the Catalina Mountains, proving me a daily show of their changing moods

Joy is the almost daily phone call from one of my sons who tries to keep up with his old-broad mom, and the daily email chat I have with a daughter-in-law who has taken on the responsibility of being my guardian angel.

Joy is a hot bath in a deep tub, hot enough to turn the skin pink and send warmth and ease all the way down to my bones.

Joy is a call from a 10-year-old grandson who is reading the Dr. Doolittle books I so loved as a child, and who is loving them, too.

Joy is me getting to hold my great-granddaughter Cora. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas

Joy is getting a snail-mail letter from a friend, or from one of my grandchildren.

Joy is playing a competitive game of Frustration with my oldest granddaughter and her wife, and cussing and laughing a lot as we play.

Joy is solving and fixing a computer glitch all by myself — after an unsuccessful hour on the phone with a computer expert.

          Joy is my dog Scamp, who is my companion, bedmate and exercise trainer. Having to walk him up and down three flights of stairs daily has become my foolproof exercise plan.

Joy is listening to the gurgling sound of coffee brewing, and smelling its toasty aroma while it is still dark outside.

Joy is sitting my butt in a chair and writing – or reading.

Bean Pat: Watching birds is one of the things that always give me joy, like watching these West Texas humming bird feeders on one of Cornell University’s live bird cams. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/west-texas-hummingbirds/

Available on Amazon.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining

 

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