Monday, August 31, 2009



New word, old idea,
family or friends
living together
making it work
under one roof
like I remember,
cooking, eating,
laughing, singing,
sharing expenses,
worries, stories,
too familiar to be new
old idea, co housing.

Victoria Hendricks

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our health care delivery system is so broken. Being part of it is hard, offering services which are only part of what people really need. Real people struggle every day in ways that more accessible health care could change. I feel sad and angry and want to be part of making a change happen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mortality Noted

Everyone who was old when I was young
died years ago. Buildings are named after
men and women who bought me ice cream,
carried me across the street. Memories.
Memorials. Teddy Kennedy died last night,
the little brother who mourned his slain
big brothers. Called immature, impulsive,
He lived with his losses, his mistakes,
worked for ideals, spoke out, died alive.
Good night. Well done. As young lions
of my childhood die old lions, I feel my mortality ,
not the enemy, a reminder, increasingly familiar.

Victoria Hendricks, August 26, 2009
I just read President Obama's (still love to type President OBama) letter to the nation about Ted Kennedy's death and was touched on many levels. So much time has passed since I was a girl and Camelot was new - so much gained and so much lost on many fronts. The piece of the letter that got to me most was more personal than political. When writing of Senator Kennedy's battle with cancer our President wrote

"His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives."
President Barack Obama

That reflects the way I feel about death. Sudden death, without a chance for good bye and thank you still scares me - not the actual death but the suddenness and the possibility of unfinished connection. So important to say thank you every day, and I love you, and I'm sorry. We never know when good bye will come, said or not.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I just read on CBS breaking news that Ted Kennedy has died. I remember when he and his brothers were young and vital - remember seeing him last summer at the Democratic convention and being struck that I had not seen another Kennedy man of his generation grow old. So many losses in his life and so much perseverance too. Peace to him.

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on." - Jack Kennedy ace

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Life is a celebration of awakenings, of new beginnings, and wonderful surprises that enlighten the soul." --Cielo

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I think I'm tireder than I've been in years - so much change. Good though. Thanks to Ruth and Chris I have working wireless internet in every room (Wow!) and the long messed up bathroom sink is fixed. There is so much they know how to do that I don't and Bob hasn't had time for.

Bob is excited to be starting school tomorrow - with the back pack program in place and lots of good ideas. I'm excited for him and his kids. When he comes home next weekend he will see lots of change - probably lots I can't envision yet.

Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men -- the balance-wheel of the social machinery.
: Horace Mann

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Co- housing. I just learned the word today (thanks Ann) about a week after we commited to the idea. Ruth and Chris and Bob and me and Liam sharing space and resources in the Stardust house Kerry and I bought 32 years ago to start our family. He alwyas talked about having a "family compound" someday and the idea appealed to me greatly. We considered co housing with Jean and Mark and Monica way back (didn't know the word then) It's exciting to me. And this seems like a good small beginning.

On a practical level, this is great for me. I have so much stuff I don't need or want - overwhelm - too much and I can't organize it. Now with Ruth and Chris helping, cabinets work right that never have. They have a knack for making nest. This is about interdependence - higher goal than independence, about sharing and mutual benefit. It's a lot of work right now sorting, changing, discarding, reworking, but great to have more adults focused on a project. Doing it together instead of us helping them or thm helping us - all doing it for a shared cause - ours. Separation has been too great. And of course Liam is a shining light in all of this.

Trick is making sure Joanna and her brood are included - keeping the usness of the whole family, keeping boundaries where people want them and avoiding false boundaries. This has (to me) to operate on an abundance not scarcity model - plenty for everybody, especially plenty of love, time attention.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving."
Albert Einstein

And moving we are - lots of change afoot in our familywith plans to consolodate and simplify resources, live in more community. I'll share the details here when we've worked them out better, but right now I'm excited and challenged. Change takes effort, but I think I will LOVE the new balance we will attain.

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Our lives are a mixture of different roles.
Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is . . .
For me, that balance is family, work, and service."
Hillary Rodham Clinton

This is a good quote for me at the end of a busy and challenging first work week back from travels. Balancing roles has been tougher than usual this week and I went into Friday night tired but happy to have Bob home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

“There’s no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves” Frank Herbert

This quote really suits me and my life philosophy - so many waves of feeling, all equally real and important - no good or bad, positive or negative - comfortable and uncomfortable maybe, but all equally real. I can live with feeling the waves.

After a month of travel, I've started doing the prompts again for my writers' group and Peggy asked us tonight to write about painted toe nails. I came up with three very different short poems which fit my sense of riding the waves. The details in the poems may not be exactly right. Daddy may not have painted Mama's toes every week - but the feeling fits. (Thank you Peggy)

Painted toe-nails -1

When Daddy was dying
in the hospital in Houston
I found a salon (strange word)
between hotel room and his bed.
Between, I stopped for manicure,
facial massage, eyebrow wax,
hair cut, painted toe nails.
Unfamiliar comfort items,
unexpectedly effective.

Painted Toenails -2

I painted K.K.'s toe nails red
white and blue the Fourth of July
she was five. Every year since,
she's asked for a repeat. Now
she paints my toenails too,
red white and blue, tradition
expanding, bonding, sweet.

Painted Toenails -3

Daddy painted Mama's toe nails
every week after she lost her words,
three years - pink, red, peach, gold.
every week, tedious tender love.

Victoria Hendricks, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." --Albert Einstein

Bob took Danny to his favorite Corpus highlight tonight and found it GONE. The beautiful carousel Jean took Monica to so many summers, so loved by K.K. Danny, and Zachary has been removed from the mall. Andrea and Liam will never ride its horses or spin in its spinners. That seems so very wrong and makes me want to cry - a trivial sadness in one way, when I think about cancer, war, starvation, but a loss of a cherished tradition and a real loss.

It thundered this evening, even rained a little and cooled down to 81. I'm not usually weather obsessed but the heat and drought this summer are so intense, exceptions need to be noted.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home again, back at work for real today - good day. The house is still strewn with bits and pieces of travel gear - also new to me clothes from Ruth's closet. I'm wanting to get my closet set up for fall colors, put away the soft yellow and periwinkle, the butterflies and flowers. Maybe it's wishful thinking since the temperatures still hover above 100. Bob and Danny are in Corpus for Danny's Sea Camp and for Bob to start organizing the classroom. He is tired, hot, trying hard to get his grant funded program for parent involvement back packs off the ground. He took Danny to the beach tonight, even tired as he was, and Danny, beach lover that he is, had a blast building sand castles and making new friends. I wish I'd been there, but I'm glad I was where I was, so at home in my office doing what I know how to do.

Our travel was amazing. Anybody who wants to read about it and hasn't check out It's not quite finished - still have some of Zachary's notes to copy off paper and want to write a trip summary. This was one of the top trips of my life - got to document properly. And if you ever get a chance to go to Yellowstone, or Grand Canyon North Rim, grab hold tight.

AS I resume routine, it's probably a good idea to have a theme for quotes, something centering. I hereby delcare that the theme for the rest of August is balance. We'll see what I can find on that theme. Here's the first.

“The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Carl Jung