Wednesday’s News and Thoughts

All over the news the past two days were a 6-year-old girl and her mom, with a video (Mom took) of a shark coming up to the little girl just feet away from the sandy shore. Mom filmed the whole time without intervening. I get it happened quickly, and Mom maybe didn’t have time to grab her girl. (See? I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.) It’s hard for the Mom in me to fathom not grabbing the girl first. Things could have turned out differently for that family. But by the grace of God go I. I never thought my son would drown, but he did. Revived (several times), he is perfectly normal. Thank God. But by the grace of God go you, too.

In Nebraska, there is a new license plate to raise awareness about childhood drownings. This is not something you every want to witness or survive in your lifetime, believe me. Even though we were lucky that 1. He survived. And 2. He escaped brain damage. The time he was without oxygen (our estimate) was long enough he could have had brain damage. Somehow, the water must have been cold enough (it was a chilly day), his systems slowed because of the temperature. It is by the grace of God we get to celebrate his 50th birthday this year. Yes, I think about this whenever there is a report about this topic. I’ve dealt with the PTSD (undiagnosed) that followed. The mere smell of wet sand or suntan lotion could drop me to my knees in tears. All my doctor (I was pregnant) could tell me was I had to not think about it. I always knew it was more than just get over it. My then-husband said the same. God’s been good to me, and I’ll never forget it. But now I can manage. I can talk about it without crying. The emotions are still there, but don’t trigger the tears, the shakes, the gut-wrenching stomach spasms.

It’s hard not to judge people (parents) whose kids have terrible accidents. I’ve been there. Because of the news coverage my son’s drowning had, a cousin told me if she hadn’t known me, she would have thought I was a terrible parent. She knew better. I try to stop myself from judging. We all have to realize it could be us. Pray for them instead. Never let the words, “my kid would never . . . ” pass your lips. Kids will do whatever they think they can get away with. Even good kids. Part of being a kid is learning to make better choices. Hopefully, you get another chance to. Some poor decisions result in death. Teenagers need to understand this when they drive.

Is anyone else having a bad allergy day in Nebraska? It’s half cloudy and breezy. My right eye feels like it’s on fire, and allergy meds haven’t helped yet. Next step, eyedrops. Hard to do with mascara already applied. Well, that helped little. Trying Mango Tea next. Already took meds. Bear with me! I’m aware a lot of you suffer as well.

I think I’ll take it easy the rest of the day. The symptoms are all better now, and I hope they stay that way. It’s supposed to rain later that should help all the allergy sufferers. Off to drink lots of liquids and rest. Have a beautiful afternoon. And take your Zyrtec! You’ll feel better.

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate you spending the time. We’ll meet again tomorrow. And we’ll all feel better. Be Kind. Be Generous. Help a sister out. And treat others how you’d like to be treated. It’s hard, but you’ll feel better for it. Until tomorrow, be happy as these folks are. “Achoo!”

Overflowing with Gratitude Thursday

Sometimes you have to find another word for Thankful. So, it’s an overflowing with gratitude Thursday. The Babe and I saw our friends at the VFW Post last night. Everyone is well as far as COVID-19 goes, so that’s a good thing. We do have a gentleman in our group who is seeing a return of his cancer. Along with his dementia, it’s really a labor of love for his wife. It has to be hard to be watchful every moment of every day. It’s sad, he had such a dry sense of humor. He still does, it’s just tucked away in there somewhere. I hope God keeps him safe from any harm, and he makes the way easier for his wife. Prayers are always appreciated. Nugent and Lora are their names. Thanks.

One thing has never occurred to me in my whole life. How fireworks affect a combat veteran. What a terrible experience that must be, to have PTSD and be triggered by fireworks. Aside from “ooohs” and “aahhhs” for the first spectacular ones, I really don’t care for them anymore myself. We’ve had several dogs who are afraid, and that can be bad for the pet and their surroundings. No one considers the veterans, though.

Here is a link to a You Tube video explaining a little about the connection between fireworks and PTSD. Although the video is produced in South Carolina and lists their VA as a contact, feel free to contact the VA in your area. In Nebraska, it is: VA Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Ave, Omaha, Ne 68105. The phone number is: (402) 346-8800.

There are a number of differing opinions about PTSD and Veterans. An organization has created yard signs asking for compassion with fireworks, as a Veteran resides at the home. Military.com has lambasted the signs and organization. It says if your PTSD is so bad you can’t go to work after July 4, or if you need total quiet to function, you need more help than a sign can offer. True. I believe it’s up to no one to judge the situation. Please, make that call to your local VA. They can get you headed in the best direction. There are many organizations who help veterans cope. Locally, we have a “Guitars for Vets” group. There is a national group, “Hunting with Soldiers.” It sounds as if there is a place among those who “get it” for anyone who wants or needs that place. Get there. Soon. You’ll be glad you did.

Back to the matters at hand. My current work, “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons,” is underway. I need to investigate the genre of Creative Non-Fiction. Truthfully, I cannot believe there are so many genres and variations thereof. Way different than when we were kids. Anyone know of a great reference tool for Creative Non-Fiction? The more I can learn, the better off I’ll be, and so will you, my readers.

I’m finding bits and pieces about writing Creative Non-Fiction. Things such as: vulnerability and honesty are crucial to writing it well; don’t give advice; watch your tense; zoom in on action; ruthlessly cut-back the story; stick to tone-setting details; unexpected, w/punch. I like this one the best: Treat your past self with dignity. We should always do that, I believe.

And the five R’s of Creative Non-Fiction? Real life, Research, wRite, Reflect, Read. Clear as mud, right? I’m with you on that. It sounds as if elements of great fiction writing are present in the writing of CNF. That appeals to me. More reading ahead, as I learn what to do, then do it.

Time to go do some errands with the Babe. Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I’ll be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you here tomorrow. Have a good Thursday, be grateful. Wash Up, Show Up, Be Uplifting, and Wear your mask! I want to keep you all for a long time.