Platform: Introduction and Health Care

The Peggy Party Platform:

I'm writing these as though for a political party platform. Any reader is welcome to revise them, embrace them, excoriate them, share them, etc. Topics in my mind so far include health care, housing, jobs, infrastructure, climate change and minimum wage. If you are particularly keen on any one of these, please feel free to draft something; I'll post it here and give you complete credit. I'm not going to footnote and document these. I'm just going to write them, to start a conversation. All the research and details can come later. Cool? Cool.

Health Care
The concepts on which this is based are inclusion; simplification for citizens, providers and government; cost savings; comprehensive and complete care; and reduction of over-prescribing (opiods aren't the only over-prescribed drugs, just the most devastating). While it is important to allow choice, it is also important to restrict excessive use of resources. This is soc…

Dreaming New York

In my dreams there are several houses I may visit.* The one I visited this morning is on the banks of the Niagara River, a palatial home with park-like grounds. It has three floors, the third mostly unfinished. It is the house where my Grandfather Peck lived "with his second wife."

I arrived at this house with my sister, by a circuitous route that included a visit to some sort of medical professional (for her) and included a side-excursion to a basement room where the staff was doing some sort of installation which Cheryle insisted on helping with. Contrarily, as dreams can be, I was the nay-sayer, the cautioner, telling her of dire results if she was less than perfect, or even mildly unlucky. As in real life (sigh), she ignored me and did as she would.

The final test of the installation was conducted: a clever device that sped along on magnetic rails, ultimately crashing through to the restaurant next door, where it destroyed 20 tables' worth of china and crystal - and …

To breakfast

When I went out this morning, the yard was full of fat robins, prospecting for the emoluments of a weather break. I was going to a friend's house, and we were going to breakfast together. Her yard was full of crows, cawking derisively and only reluctantly clearing a path for my car.

This day was for the birds, it seems.

We were contrary, though, and went to Country Cat. We both had eggs Benedict with shaved ham, and coffee. She had a cough, and a Bloody Mary. The drink was lunch: a thin slice of jerky, green beans, an olive - I don't know what all! It was an amazing drink.

But the conversation, the connection, was the best.

Like so many people I know, she's better than she thinks she is, more skilled, more gifted, more aware. She knows herself better than she likes to admit.

I sometimes wish these old eyes could be shared
so you could see yourself as I see you,
your shining intelligence, your passion, your heart.
Maybe then you'd have the courage
to reach for the job, the p…

What I did in writing class

The writing class I have begun is called "Writing from the Heart," and I believe it will be a good class for me. I'm an undisciplined writer, and this class creates a sort of "free discipline," if that makes sense. We critique the words, not the writer, and that will be good as well (I'll maybe learn to be less judgy!).

We started with a 2-page guidelines document, followed by a 2-page "inspiration" document, with poetry from Mary Oliver. (If I can, I'll insert them at the end of this.)

These are the two pieces I wrote. I may not post everything I write every time; some of it may be too personal, and some of it may simply be too awful. But here you go:

Writing 1
Death will come for you, I told my husband, my love, in 5 years or 10 years or 15 years. But it will come, and sooner than you expect, because death is like that.
He thought I had called him lazy or incompetent. I had not. I was just frustrated with his idleness when I asked for his he…

This "Retirement" thing I'm doing

"So, how's retirement going?" I've had several people ask me, so I thought I'd try a recap.

It started with a truly great party on Saturday, 1/14, thrown by the best boss I've ever had, Jeff. It wasn't as well attended as we thought, because there was a monster ice storm/deep freeze/snowpocalypse in Portland. But a good number of dear friends struggled in, and I felt all the warmth of their friendship. And scotch. Can't forget the scotch!

On Monday, I entered into what may be an endless, ongoing ground war with Medicare. I haven't prevailed, but there appears to be a chance that all will be well. Maybe.

The first week (1/15-21) was housekeeping: a mammogram, a doctor visit, two trips to the dentist. For fun, there was Theology Pub, where we had as a guest a woman who had assisted with the translation of the Bible into the Hawaiian pidgin language. The week was topped by brunch at Salty's with Teddie and Martin, where we drank prodigious amount…

It's only a matter

I'm a time bomb ticking,
I can feel it drawing near -
the explosion, then the triumph
of pain and grief and fear.
Like a train on a downhill
With no brakes, all friction lost,
A smooth slide into chaos
where depression is the boss.

I fight it, oh I fight it,
but I also long to stop;
To lay down my arms and armor
And embrace the endless drop.

In the end, oh, god, what difference
If I triumphed or I failed?
When every day's a struggle
In a prison with no bail?

Still I get up every morning,
Put my cheerful game-face on
Go to work and do my duty
Then stumble my way home.

And I try to offer cheerful
Happy faces to my friends
As the days get ever darker
with the pain that never ends.

Self pity is my Nemesis
My comfort and my bane
And sometimes my only ally
In the struggle with the pain.

Thought for the Day

Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say? -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., novelist (1922-2007)  Thank you, Anu Garg, and A Word A Day!