Surrender Dorothy!

Filed Under All Posts, Courage, Melissa Howden | 18 Comments


Melissa Howden finds heart, patience and peace, in an unexpected way.

Just as Dorothy tripped the light fantastic down the Yellow Brick Road, so of late have I.

I liken the start of 2010 to my own private storm—raggedy emotions and best-laid plans, turned upside down in quick succession. Perversely stubborn and independent, it’s begun to dawn on me that life is not created on will and persistence alone. In short, nothing in my life has been flowing with ease.

The most recent and hopefully final insult being a freak accident during a ski lesson (part of my “plan” to improve my skills, face my fears and get in the best shape possible) on a mogul made of ice topped with fresh powder. Going down, my pole stuck in the wrong position with my wrist trapped in the strap; I heard the snap, snap of two bones breaking.

Adding insult to injury, one of the first questions posed to me by the young brawny ski patrol was, “Have you had a bone density test?” If Kansas was my youth, I knew I wasn’t there anymore. To his credit, he was very skilled and he did refrain from calling me “ma’am”. Read more

Where the Wild Things Are

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Reinvention | 18 Comments


It’s more than a month away, yet Cathy Fischer is already obsessed with spring cleaning.

“A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”
—George Carlin

There is a spider web in the back of my brain, and at its center a big fat spider waits patiently. It started a few years back, after moving in to my 860 square foot apartment on the 22nd floor of a mid-century high-rise.

If you came to visit, you’d probably think, Gee, she is neat (as in tidy). Nothing is obstructing the magnificent view, and everything is in its place. There are no kids’ toys to trip you up as you walk across the gleaming hardwood floors, and with Rosa’s help every other week, the place stays pretty clean.

If you were to go through my drawers (but of course you’re not that type of person) you might think, Hmm, pretty orderly: socks with their respective mates, underwear… color-coded?
(When black and leopard are dominant, it’s easy.) Clothes hang on flocked hangers and t-shirts sit neatly in their cubbies. The bathroom is small yet uncluttered, but wait… what lies behind the gold curtain to the right of the front door? You may have missed it (I was hoping you had). Read more

Oh God!

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Miscellaneous | 9 Comments

Mixed media on canvas by Gregory Vorbe

Mixed media on canvas by Gregory Vorbe

From miracles to manipulation, nature to nurture, Carine Fabius ponders the big questions.

God has been on my mind lately, but that’s not unusual; God is often on my mind. Maybe I’ve been thinking about God even more because I am from Haiti, and the subject always comes up after a great disaster. You’ve got the typical questions about How can God do this to a people already so down on their luck? And then, there they are, those unlucky Haitians themselves, publicly thanking God for saving their lives (those not crushed to death, anyway). Something bad happens, blame God. Something good happens, thank God! So, who is this entity, that seems to arbitrarily bestow luck on some and tragedy on others? Most likely, no God.

I am not an atheist, but this Judeo-Christian God, who sits in judgment of our tiniest transgressions and promises to deliver eternal damnation if we don’t behave seems downright petty. So, here’s my (still-developing) take on God: Read more

It Could Happen To You

Filed Under All Posts, Health, Prudence Baird | 15 Comments

Falling by Tom Bagshaw

Like a sign post that screams Watch Out!, Prudence zooms in on one of midlife’s challenges.

Falling. It happens to the best of us. One minute you are putting one foot in front of the other, and the next you’re on your ass. Or your face—with absolutely no idea how you got there so fast.

When young, falling is funny; slapstick even. Occasionally falling is painful, but having friends sign your cast or getting out of P.E. makes it all worthwhile. In fact, there’s a notorious t-shirt that mocks falling:

“I don’t have a drinking problem. I drink. I get drunk. I fall down. No problem.”

Ha-ha. Try that at age 54.

This brings me to the other morning when I heard a crashing and thrashing sound coming from the bathroom. Read more