My near death experience yesterday (Not like the usual ones you hear about).

Yesterday I went swimming in the lovely Rappahannock River with my good friend, Sharon. To get to the river’s edge, we had to climb up and down some pretty steep boulders. On the way out, I was carrying a shoulder bag with odds and ends such as towels, camera, water, etc. It weighed about 10-15 pounds.

I was carefully climbing the rocks while balancing the bag on my left shoulder. I climbed a particularly big boulder that was about 8 feet tall. As soon as I reached the top, I was right on the edge of it and suddenly I felt my balance shifting backwards…for a split second there was every indication that I was about to fall backwards-down 8 feet, onto more rocks. Head first. I barely even had time to panic because in the next split second, I somehow regained my balance and was able to keep moving forward.

I avoided a fall that would have probably killed me, or if not killed me, would have caused a traumatic head injury. It was just a tiny split second but I knew that if it had just gone the other way, I most likely wouldn’t be here right now.

I sort of shrugged it off at the time, and didn’t even mention it to my friend. But later, I thought about it. Today, driving down the road, I thought about how if I had fallen, I would probably be dead. How it happened in a split second. How some force must have intervened to keep me from falling–because, I actually did lose my balance and felt my center of gravity going backwards. So how did I keep from falling?

I have no idea, but I am very thankful. And that is how life goes…things happen in a flash. I guess it just wasn’t my time yet. I’m happy to be here!





Donald Trump is going to prison

Now we know that even on the slim chance that the Russia investigation into collusion doesn’t take him down, the financial crimes he committed when he was a private citizen will.
He knows that–he’s panicking. If he had remained a private citizen and not become president, he would have probably continued to get away with his crimes.
He just had to pay certain people off. But once he became president and exposed himself to extreme scrutiny, the law started digging, And digging. He was so arrogant that he thought as president he was above the law. He thought it would be the same as president. That all he had to do was surround himself with loyalists and if necessary he could fire people who weren’t loyal to him, then he would be immune from the law.  Things didn’t work out quite the way he planned.  Donald Trump is going to prison. 
I had a dream when he first became a presidential candidate that he was going to go to prison. At the time it seemed odd to me because none of his criminal activity had become public yet. I knew nothing about him at the time. So I thought the dream was completely out of the blue. But I received a message ahead of time that despite  the horror of having him as President of the United States, it would all turn out OK.  And, God willing, it will.
I won’t rest easy until he is no longer president. But I feel the momentum building.

Donald Trump is probably a Sociopath

The gas lighting behavior comes from a person who has some sort of severe personality disorder. Probably Sociopath or Psychopath.
I unfortunately knew someone that had eerily similar behavior–gas lighting, extremely manipulative, vindictive, creating clouds of doubt everywhere, pitting people against each other…while at random times could appear to be quite amiable. After knowing them for 10 years, I realized they were irredeemable.
Their darkness and deceit and indifference to decency and the truth ran very deep. To their core. I didn’t want to believe that there are people out there that are that disconnected from human compassion. Donald Trump is such a person.
There is nothing but darkness in there.

The sound of silence

Yesterday I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains in VA near Charlottesville. It was a Wednesday in May so there weren’t many people there which was nice. I stopped at an overlook along the way and sat on the stone wall and gazed out at the mountains and valleys below. Nobody else was there but me and my dog, Sal.

After a couple of minutes I became aware of something so soothing and beautiful. Silence. The only sound was the gentle wind whooshing through the trees, through the mountains and valleys. You really had to stop and pay attention to it. I sat, mesmerized.

Watching a hawk fly through the hills and valleys, listening to the most soothing and gentle sound I ever heard. Just a soft wind blowing through the mountains. Nothing else. So very soothing and relaxing.

Sound and Noise is so much a part of our lives, and I think most of us don’t begin to realize how much it can add to our stress. The constant blaring of the TV, traffic, people talking…there are layers upon layers of sound that our ears even tune out all but the loudest. Try sitting in a place where there is no sound at all except maybe a fan blowing, maybe soft music, nothing louder than a whisper.

How will historians see today 100 years from now

Sometimes I think about how the Trump era will be viewed in hindsight. Say, 100 years from now. Can you imagine how many books will be written about all of this? The endless discussions, commentaries, and debates people will have about it?
We are living in an extraordinary period in history. As awful and terrifying as it is for us, there is also an opportunity for each person to make a real difference. Every small action of resistance is important. The Resistance will be looked upon in history as a movement by the people of the United States. Everyday Americans who stood up for their country. A movement of patriots. Be proud of that. We are making history right now.
One thing is certain: Those who have supported, assisted, and been complicit in the Trump administration’s disgraceful thievery, deceit and abuse of power will not be looked upon kindly in history. In particular, House and Senate Republicans who have remained silent and assisted Trump in dismantling the Constitution of the United States of America. While evidence of Trump’s treason against our nation continues to mount every day, they remain silent, when they actually are in a position of power to do the right thing.
Those people will be held up as examples of hypocrites and cowards of epic proportions

An American tragedy -my personal experience with the Opioid crisis

Look at that happy, smiling, bright eyed little boy. Today I attended his funeral, after he died from a drug overdose 3 days short of his 33rd birthday.

How does one go from an all American boy with everything in the world going for him to a broken young man who’s life is ravaged by drug addiction?

A week ago, almost to the hour, my phone rang.I saw that my best friend, Sharon was calling. I answered the phone, and I heard the words, “Patty, I’m calling because Matt died of an overdose.” Matt was her son—her only child. Instantaneously, I burst out crying in shock and pain. It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise at all, after watching the nightmare of his drug addiction unfold for eight years. But when the moment finally came, it was a shock.

I rushed to her house, 15 minutes away, still crying. I was greeted at the door by her next door neighbor, who informed me that his body was still in the house, in his bedroom. His mother had found him, dead. Almost every night for eight years, she would stop by his bedroom door in the middle of the night to listen to make sure he was still alive. When she did so at 2 am, he was sleeping. She could hear his rhythmic breathing. When she woke up Saturday morning, she went about her business as usual, waiting for him to get up. 9 am came, then 10 am. Finally, around 11 am, still no sign of Matt. She opened his door and he was laying on his bed, lifeless. She knew he was dead right away, but she felt his skin. He was cold.

It’s all sort of a blur, but there was a police officer there, in the living room, telling the small group of close friends that had gathered already that they were not going to do an autopsy and that they found two needles next to him. That they were running toxicology tests but they had no doubt that it was a drug overdose. The police officer looked very mournful. She had seen this too many times. When they came to remove his body, we all went outside and walked around the block so we didn’t have to watch. But I turned around and saw a body covered in a maroon cloth being carried out on a stretcher.

I have had a long, complex journey with Matt and his mother, my friend, Sharon. We became friends when Matt was just about 7 or 8 years old. My son was the same age. We used to sit and talk at the community pool while our kids played in the water. Sharon was a karate instructor, and part of our history is that she was my teacher all the way until I got my black belt some 20 years ago.

Matt was a typical blonde haired, blue eyed all-American boy.He grew up in a typical middle class suburban family with good values. His family loved him. No family is perfect, but his home life was happy and typical. He played several different sports growing up.

But this story begins later, when Matt was in his mid 20’s. To an outsider, he seemed to have it all. Everything had seemed on track for him–he played high school football and had graduated. He had been away at college for a couple of years and had come home after he apparently decided he didn’t want to continue college. He was very, very handsome and the girls flocked to him like a magnet. He had the biggest, bluest eyes. He had a big infectious smile with perfect teeth. He literally could have been a male model. He seemed to have a great life ahead of him.He was friendly, polite, respectful. He always greeted me with a big smile and a hug.

Sharon and I had drifted apart for a few years, and we weren’t in contact that much when it first started. I don’t remember what actually led to us starting to be in contact again, but when we did, She began telling me of troubles with Matt and drugs.

He started out by abusing prescription opiate drugs. A few years into his journey with drugs, his mother showed me the prescription labels she had saved that showed that a doctor had been prescribing massive amounts of drugs like morphine, and Dilaudid to him. I don’t know how that got started –don’t know if he originally had an injury. But the way he became addicted to opiates is clear–an unscrupulous doctor who would end up going to prison for illegally prescribing controlled substances for cash. By the time that doctor  went to prison, Matt was already a full blown addict at the age of 25.

When he could no longer obtain opiates legally from a doctor, he turned to heroin, like so many do.

By the time he died last Saturday, drugs had ravaged every ounce of his being, and his drug addiction had ripped through his family for 8 years like a vicious storm and there wasn’t much left but trauma and pain.I don’t really want to go into the whole dark story. I don’t know if I will. I feel like I have to, but probably not today. It’s not a happy story at all. Actually, it’s a horror story. Today was the funeral. I watched my best friend speak at her only child’s funeral. She looked really tired and sad. It has been a long, hard 8 years. Longer and harder than anyone that has never been affected by drug abuse could even begin to imagine.

Fuck you Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been President for a month now. I got sick with Pneumonia shortly after the Inauguration and the March on Washington and am still recovering. It started out as bronchitis and turned to Pneumonia at some point….I have never had Pneumonia in my life. It really put me out of commission for weeks–I had to cancel two trips that were planned.

I can’t speak for others but I know many people share my feelings on this: Life in America has become a nightmare with Trump as President. He’s insane. He’s irrational and hateful and a stone cold racist. Now he’s trying to shut down the press by saying they are enemies of the United States. My emotions go from rage to terror and depression, pretty much every day now. I am part of the Resistance and I will continue to be until either he is taken out of power or I die. My life has changed. Each day I am horrified by the things he says and does. I know that later, when he finally is no longer POTUS, there will be hundreds if not thousands of books written by historians about this very dark time in America’s history. There will be much speculation about how he rose to power and how Americans reacted to his terrifying rise to power.

I am not going to get in to Trump supporters. All I am going to say about that is, anybody that supports that despicable man has a screw loose or is a racist. A reasonable intelligent person would not support him. That’s all I have to say on that topic. Racists are now openly spreading their hate all over the country. They feel empowered by having one of their own in the most powerful position on earth. Hate crimes are escalating. Trump’s lies and hatred get more outrageous each day. Many speculate that as crazy as he is, he won’t be in power long. I pray they are right.

I know that most likely, things are going to get worse. My worst nightmare is happening. We are on the verge of losing our right to free speech, dissent, and a free press. I know that my participation in the Resistance could ultimately get me killed. If that is what happens, so be it. I refuse to hide and be silent. I won’t go down without a fight. I have no desire to be involved in any sort of violence, and strongly believe in peaceful protest and resistance.

I can’t and won’t give up this fight. I love my county and I will die for it if I have to. Many, many people feel the same. There has been an enormous uprising of people all over the country and actually the entire world, against this evil maniac. I pray for divine intervention before he destroys America and everything it stands for.