Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Divine Chorus

Becoming one with God is often seen as moving towards totally unison with God. I've been thinking though, after reading a discussion of how God could be a divine concert, and it made me think that becoming one with God might be more like moving in harmony with God, joining in a divine chorus.

I like the thought that we seek harmony rather than unison.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The day Heather was grabbed by the Mexicans

We were in the Wichita Falls Airport and three Mexican ladies grabbed Heather. Good thing too, a rattlesnake had just fallen off of the luggage conveyor belt (it ran from outside under a rain cover to inside -- a very small airport) and she was going forward to try to pet it. It took awhile before they calmed down enough to speak English instead of Spanish, but they understood we were grateful for their help.

This story -- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23784226/ -- reminded me of the event.

I'm still grateful to those three ladies. Funny the things you look back at with thanks.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Trees

We had a year that having a tree was too painful. But Heather needed a tree, so I bought a small tree (in a pot) at Albertsons and she had it in her room. She and Alison decorated it with ornaments they made from the gold foil Reese's Peanut Butter Cup seasonal candy. So we had a tree, without a tree in the front room.

Today we bought a tree and put it up in the front room. I was in charge of pruning away excess decorations. Then Rachel asked me which decorations were the most valuable. I pointed her to the ones Jessica made in the month before she died. Just Popsicle stick reindeer ornaments.

Suddenly it is too much for me, so I'm here. I'll be back in with them in a minute.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Escaping from utter poverty

Marion Zimmer Bradley used to advise people on how to escape utter poverty. A successful writer, well regarded speaker and family person, she also took a fair amount of time to help others. Her preferred path was to have people learn typing and filing skills. One high school typing class is all the training it takes and local government, health care and business had an almost endless appetite for workers at that level (the classic "clerk-typist" position). My summer before law school I worked in one of these jobs when my internship was disrupted by someone who held my mail.

Photocopies and word processing dropped the number of typists by 70% or more. The career path no longer exists as it once was. There are few replacements. They are not as easy physically or as pleasant. Filing jobs still exist, though computers continue to consume them. I'm posting about an alternative.

The first alternative is the certified nurses aide. It is a six week class, often a hospital will subsidize it for a worker. Bottom rung job in health care. But from there, there are a number of related training opportunities. CNA -> tech -> advanced tech or practical nurse -> advanced nursing degree or advanced tech or physician's assistant. Working and going to school or training. From the bottom rung to more than $200,000.00 a year (without becoming an M.D.).

Harder, not as pleasant, but you can start that path without any skill but the ability to read at a sixth grade level or less and the ability to work with alacrity. Many women take the path to escape abusive or hopeless situations, many men to find a place to start working when they've bottomed out of school and life. I've taken the depositions of doctors who got a similar start.

The road can be very long, but it is a road and one that almost anyone can start.

There are not that many lifelines out there. This is one.