Age is in the mind: Do you know where your keys are?

IMG_5198DMFAnyone blowing out 49 candles on a cake knows that age is in the mind…and back, hips, and down there, too.

The “age is in your mind" and similar nonsense comes from a category of higher education. The awarded degrees, although somewhat different, begin with the B.S. (Bull Shit), followed by the M.S. (More Shit) and Piled Higher and Deeper, Ph.D.

animated-elderly-image-0063

Before we know it, we exchange scotch for green tea, red beef for tofu, coffee for stool softeners, and dirty magazines for cross-word puzzles. Forgive the clichés, but youth really is wasted on the young. The kid using the blower to clear the lawn of autumn leaves, and smacking his hands to turn off the lamp makes me cry. Sits and plays video games when he could’ve been chasing girls–me oh my!

Old age strikes out of nowhere isn’t true. It begins the minute we’re born and creeps up while we’re having too much fun to notice the warning signs.

Help is available. Same as a Big Box hardware store has everything needed to renew the appearance of a weathered house there are shops on every corner loaded with tonics, lotions, and treatments that disguise the wear and tear of old age.

It’s the lie that rubs me the wrong way and gets under my skin (please note the above cliché apology).

Before you send nasty comments, let me say that I support both positive thinking and higher education. Having said this, I avoid stepping in my degrees.

I’m a bit confused where I was going with this, but today is Bingo day at the Senior Center, and I have to find my keys.            

1 (1)DeadMorguefile

The real writer please stand

IMG_5198DMF

The writer and two imposters faced the panel and answered questions. Among the highfalutin words sprinkled in the questions were artistic, clever, imaginative, inspiration, and creative spirit.

He could be profiled as visionary or daydreamer, but so could the plumber and banker beside him. The author wanted to discuss the force that drives him to write, but the question was never asked.

2The force that drives the writer

Bone-chiling fears during youth took root in the corners of his mind. He feared the dark, heights, and loss. Shadows appeared in the night. Evil hid under the bed and behind the closet door.

Loss of money, possesions … love, success. He checked the door locks twice, three times, and two more.

Childhood memories cluttered his head–racing home from horror films at the movie theater, Grandma’s bedtime story of Ole’ Lady Longfingers who made her home underneath the bed, and Grandpa’s stories of the Great Depression.

Heated voices waked him. A door slammed, an engine started, and a mother wept. Relationships are colored with fear.

1 (1)DeadMorguefile

He never woke one morning and decided to become a writer. It struck and never lay at rest. Journal, notepad, or whiteness of a computer screen, the act of writing paved the road to meaning and understanding. Characters and plot forced him face-to-face with inner demons.

The taping ended. The author went home, poured a drink, and fired up the computer.

dejectedboyincorner

Writing, kids, and ADHD

1-IMG_5349 (1)

Sit at the desk. Don’t wiggle, don’t bounce, or turn upside down. Stay.

Ha ha.

If a prankster posted a Keep Out sign on the school’s front gate, a number of kids would conclude the sign meant them.

keep-out-sign

As teacher and principal before ADD/HD became common teacher jargon, the kids struggling with moderate/severe ADD/HD symptoms were often placed in emotionally disturbed (ED) special education classrooms.

When I retired from teaching, I put two novels on hold that were in various stages of outline, draft, and research and wrote Running Nowhere, a coming of age trilogy. The three books tell the story of Conor Kelman—a boy with ADD/HD during a time before the disorder was recognized.

I wrote the trilogy in hopes that those familiar with ADHD would find solace, and a weird comfort in recognizing the hardship and struggle children-parents-students-teachers face coping with ADHD.

The books are fiction, written for entertainment. Nothing clinical inside the pages, but those familiar with ADHD will recognize the symptoms and the addictive, obsessive, impulsive behaviors. Yes, behaviors that many kids coming of age have. However, the ADD/HD group will recognize the struggle and inward pain of being different.

Today, the ADD/HD acronym is everywhere. Yet, kids suffer. Frustrated with teacher conferences one after another that produce no change, parents panic when ringtones announce a call from the school.

Sadly, ADD/HD is the butt of jokes. To many, it’s a non-existent cop-out, not a disorder but an excuse for poor parenting and run-away behaviors.

*  *  *

What do you think? Real or excuse? Over-diagnosed? Meds or natural treatment? What are your thoughts and experiences with ADD/HD and school? Your input will benefit others.

Something to call his own

Jimson Weeds Cover image
Among the Jimson Weeds has been re-edited and published by the author through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Conor Kelman comes of age during a time when hyperactivity was unlabeled. Teachers and parents considered him to be insolent, stubborn, and difficult to control. After all, he never paid attention and was always in the wrong place. In those days, parents and teachers used the switch, belt, and paddle to correct him.
The fifth-grade teacher called striking students with her hand or whatever she held in her hand, love pats. Conor’s best friend, Billy Dill, said Conor was the most loved kid in fifth grade.
Conor’s first love was Gabbie the Gibson guitar he brought home from a pawnshop. The ghost of Red Nolan came with the guitar, but they had a love and hate relationship.
His second love was Wylina. He met her in third grade and she introduced him to coffee and cigarettes in the fifth grade. They planned to marry until Conor’s folks moved him to Minidoka County, and Wylina went to the Caldwell Fair with another boy.
Seems as though Conor had spent his entire life trying to fit-in and searching something to call his own.
_____________________________________________________________
People of all ages struggle with their own behavioral and learning disorders and/or relationships with those who do. Your thoughts and ideas will help others. Comment Below.

Bully Target: Smart, Pretty and Shy

file6551262382184

She put the hairbrush away and smiled at the reflection from the mirror. She couldn’t remember the last time she smiled before going to school.  But, this was a new school; it would be different.

She looked at the floor to avoid the stares as she went to her first class. Two boys whistled at her and mumbled words she was happy not to hear.

When she reached her math class, three girls stood in front of the doorway. She smiled tentatively and said hello.  However, the three placed their folded arms against their chests and glared back. They had something to say, but there were no smiles.

“You look like a tramp in that skirt.”

“And, it violates the dress code.”

“Maybe she’s blind.”

“All we need is another bitch in this school that thinks she’s hot.”

A boy wearing a letterman jacket approached and the girls parted. “We’ll talk to you when we walk you home,” one of girls said, following her friends into the classroom.

She fled to the restroom, locked the door to the stall and sent a text. She huddled over the toilet with her feet on the lid and waited for her mom’s answer.

Footsteps hit hard tile. Her body jerked from the bolt of nerves that shot through her.

A voice echoed.”It’s the resource officer. Come out.”

“Sit,” the resource officer said, pointing to the chair. She looked down at the girl. “Make friends and you’ll be happy here.” She paused before turning to leave. “You’re safe in this school–you need to get that in your head.”

Through the glass of the outer office, threatening eyes watched her.

Clutching her phone, she drew in rapid breaths, searching for air that had disappeared.

Please share your views on bullying in the schools: Is it a problem? If so, how can we eliminate bullying in our schools?

If you find this blog interesting, please Share Below

Making It

zThumb_playing-guitar-(2)  He received the invite. Nashville’s Grand Ole’ Opry. Now, it was real. Satisfaction cut through the engraved stress marks on his face that belied his young years. He had earned it. Rough schedules, racking up miles across the country, opening shows with a mixture of envy and admiration for those who had paid their dues.

Billed as the new Hank Williams those close to him shuddered at the commonality.

Blinding lights, applause, screams, hands reaching to touch him played in his head as he splashed water against his face and patted down his hair. The paraphernalia used earlier set on the counter beside the sink. One more time to pull him through. Good that he forgot to put it away, he told himself ignoring the real reason. The effect didn’t last that long, just enough to get him on stage.

“Twenty minutes,” the chauffeur said through the phone.

Muscles tightened. His stomach quivered. He washed white pills down with bourbon to calm the nerves, but his thoughts were on the bathroom counter. One last time his mind reasoned. Before the show, before walking onto that famous auditorium with pieces of wood from the Ryman auditorium.

The wood Hank Williams stood.

The stretcher disappeared out the door. That close to making it his chauffeur thought with a tear in his eye.

Your Comments and Shares are appreciated. Thank you, Paul.

Stale donuts from the bakery

file661267495258She loaded the children into the shiny Lincoln and drove down the tree studded drive to the highway. Every Saturday, the mother watched from the window as her aunt took brother and sister to the bakery. The donut run, as the mother called it, never failed to bring joy to her children.

When they returned, the eccentric aunt  set the bag filled with soft, warm donuts on the counter next to last Saturday’s bag. It was a simple rule. You eat the old donuts before getting into the new bag.

Knowing that they would never experience the taste of the fresh donuts, how many Saturdays before the children’s joy faded? It had been seven months since the spinster aunt invited them to move in and the children were as enthused as the first time.

“What is so great going to get donuts knowing they will be hard as a rock before you eat them?”

“It’s not eating the donut, it’s imagining how it tastes,” said one. “It’s like going to the dog pound even though you can’t bring one home,” said another.

“They are beautiful. Covered in frosting–pink, white, chocolate, sprinkles, dusted in powdered sugar, filled with jelly–different shapes and sizes.”

“It’s hard to choose.”

“So Auntie let’s us take all the time we want.”

“But,” the mother said, “you always bring back a dozen plain cake donuts.”

“That’s what Auntie orders. We eat ours at the donut shop.”

A smile spread across the mother’s dampened cheeks.

What lessons, if any, have you learned from children?  Please share comments below in Leave Reply.

If you like this blog feel free to use the Share Button.