Privacy? In Today’s World??

Standard

 

 
Privacy…can we expect it anymore?

We have always heard of privacy and confidentiality between people and lawyers, doctors, priests, and psychologists.   We expect privacy from these people….and I guess I was naive and stupid enough to believe that other officials also had to respect confidentiality and privacy.  But today, I was wrong.  And honestly, I was shocked and surprised.
I was talking to a friend who had had a motor vehicle accident last week and asked how he and his SUV were doing.  He told me the tale of the battle of the car insurances and body shops and who was doing what and when and why.  And then he mentioned that 2 attorneys had called inquiring about his injuries and if he was having any headaches, pains, etc.

My first thought was:  how did they get your name and number.  His answer surprised me: it’s a matter of public record when you are in an accident.

Excuse me here for a second.  I work in a medical office.  If I so much as leave a name, or account number, or a random birth date and someone sees it, I face thousands of dollars in fines AND jail time.

But the police can release accident reports that have the same information: name, birth date, address, phone numbers, what you drive, etc.  So my question is: do they verify that the people asking for the report have a right to that report?  I mean, can I call up and say: hey I want to see Ted Kennedy’s accident report??

All I can think of is with the increase of identity theft these days, can we really expect privacy?  Of all groups, I would expect police to protect my privacy.  Afterall, they will be part of the group to arrest me when I release the wrong thing to the wrong person.

And this falls into my other favorite topic—the government is forcing physicians to get electronic health records (EHR) or electronic medica records (EMR).  This means that not only is your personal information forced to be online, but your medical history is also available online.

If your information is hacked and released, your doctor and his staff would be liable for fines, penalties and an entire host of aggravation.  The government decided that a locked doctor’s office is not as secure as the World Wide Web where anyone with half brain cell could hack into your system and take your identity—even half way around the world.

The government has satellites floating around in space with enough technology to count the hairs on your head or track your pet ant running away from home.  Our cities and towns have cameras on stoplights, street corners, and various other places to watch our every move, legal or not.  All for our so-called security.  (Yet we have no plans to watch the borders for intruders.  And rules and regulations not to detain the ILLEGAL entry into our country).

I am losing all sense of security.  I feel like soon there will be cameras in every home to make sure we aren’t scratching our behinds or picking our noses.  Everyday I’m beginning to feel what those in 1917 Russia when they lost all of their rights.

We are forced to change the way we receive health care (did anyone ask you if you wanted your health record online??).  We are forced how we bank (if you didn’t know, banks have to report many transactions that in my humble opinion should not be anyone’s business).  They even record phone calls and check mail to see who we call, what we say, and who we get mail from.

Yes Big Government joined Big Brother and they are watching.  Now we need to find out who ‘they’ are.  And what do they do with all that information?  Is it secure?

And my biggest fear:  it won’t matter who is in the Oval Office.

Something to think about……..

Advertisements

Obama Must Go…..America please wake up!

Standard

I received this email today and it was so well stated that I copied & pasted it.  I did not write it, but I do want to share it.   We are losing our rights…and too few are protesting it.  Between the laws and Executive Orders that Barack Hussein Obama has enacted, we are becoming a socialistic-communistic country.

  …Is it already too late?

Obama’s Second Term Transformation Plans

The 2012 election has often been described as the most pivotal since 1860.This statement is not hyperbole. If Barack Obama is re-elected the United States will never be the same, nor will it be able to re-capture its once lofty status as the most dominant nation in the history of mankind.

The overwhelming majority of Americans do not understand that Obama’s first term was dedicated to putting in place executive power to enable him and the administration to fulfill the campaign promise of “transforming America ” in his second term regardless of which political party controls Congress. That is why his re-election team is virtually ignoring the plight of incumbent or prospective Democratic Party office holders.

The most significant accomplishment of Obama’s first term is to make Congress irrelevant. Under the myopic and blindly loyal leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats have succeeded in creating an imperial and, in a second term, a potential dictatorial presidency.

During the first two years of the Obama administration when the Democrats overwhelming controlled both Houses of Congress and the media was in an Obama worshiping stupor, a myriad of laws were passed and actions taken which transferred virtually unlimited power to the executive branch.

The birth of multi-thousand page laws was not an aberration. This tactic was adopted so the bureaucracy controlled by Obama appointees would have sole discretion in interpreting vaguely written laws and enforcing thousands of pages of regulations they and not Congress would subsequently write.

For example, in the 2,700 pages of ObamaCare there are more than 2,500 references to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There are more than 700 instances when he or she is instructed that they “shall” do something and more than 200 times when they “may” take at their sole discretion some form of regulatory action. On 139 occasions, the law mentions that the “Secretary determines.” In essence one person, appointed by and reporting to the president, will be in charge of the health care of 310 million Americans once ObamaCare is fully operational in 2014.

The same is true in the 2,319 pages of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act which confers nearly unlimited power on various agencies to control by fiat the nation’s financial, banking and investment sectors. The bill also creates new agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not subject to any oversight by Congress. This overall process was repeated numerous times with other legislation all with the intent of granting unfettered power to the executive branch controlled Barack Obama and his radical associates.

Additionally, the Obama administration has, through its unilaterally determined rule making and regulatory powers, created laws out of whole cloth. The Environmental Protection Agency on a near daily basis issues new regulations clearly out of their purview in order to modify and change environmental laws previously passed and to impose a radical green agenda never approved by Congress. The same is true of the Energy and Interior Departments among many others.

None of these extra-constitutional actions have been challenged by Congress. The left in America knows this usurpation of power is nearly impossible to reverse unless stopped in its early stages.

It is clearly the mindset of this administration and its appointees that Congress is merely a nuisance and can be ignored after they were able to take full advantage of the useful idiots in the Democrat controlled House and Senate in 2009-2010 and the Democrat Senate in the current Congress.

Additionally, Barack Obama knows after his re-election a Republican controlled House and Senate will not be able to enact any legislation to roll back the power previously granted to the Executive Branch or usurped by them. His veto will not be overridden as there will always be at least 145 Democratic members of the House or 34 in the Senate in agreement with or intimidated by an administration more than willing to use Chicago style political tactics.

The stalemate between the Executive and Legislative Branches will inure to the benefit of Barack Obama and his fellow leftists.

The most significant power Congress has is the control of the purse-strings as all spending must be approved by them. However, once re-elected, Barack Obama, as confirmed by his willingness to do or say anything and his unscrupulous re-election tactics, would not only threaten government shutdowns but would deliberately withhold payments to those dependent on government support as a means of intimidating and forcing a Republican controlled Congress to surrender to his demands, thus neutering their ability to control the administration through spending constraints.

Further, this administration has shown contempt for the courts by ignoring various court orders, e.g. the Gulf of Mexico oil drilling moratorium, as well as stonewalling subpoenas and requests issued by Congress. The Eric Holder Justice Department has become the epitome of corruption as part of the most dishonest and deceitful administration in American history. In a second term the arrogance of Barack Obama and his minions will become more blatant as he will not have to be concerned with re-election.

Who will be there to enforce the rule of law, a Supreme Court ruling or the Constitution? No one. Barack Obama and his fellow-travelers will be unchallenged as they run roughshod over the American people.

Many Republicans and conservatives dissatisfied with the prospect of Mitt Romney as the nominee for president are instead focused on re-taking the House and Senate. That goal, while worthy and necessary, is meaningless unless Barack Obama is defeated. The nation is not dealing with a person of character and integrity but someone of single-minded purpose and overwhelming narcissism. Judging by his actions, words and deeds during his first term, he does not intend to work with Congress either Republican or Democrat in his second term but rather to force his radical agenda on the American people through the power he has usurped or been granted.

The governmental structure of the United States was set up by the foundersin the hope that over the years only those people of high moral character and integrity would assume the reins of power. However, knowing that was not always possible, they dispersed power over three distinct and independent branches as a check on each other.

What they could not imagine is the surrender and abdication of its constitutional duty by the preeminent governmental branch, the Congress, to a chief executive devoid of any character or integrity coupled with a judiciary essentially powerless to enforce the law when the chief executive ignores them

Conservatives, Libertarians, the Republican Party and Mitt Romney must come to grips with this moment in time and their historical role in denying Barack Obama and his minions their ultimate goal. All resources must be directed at that end-game and not merely controlling Congress and the various committee chairmanships.

Steve McCann
May 12, 2012

I would add but 6 words to those above mentioned, Conservatives, Libertarians, the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, to say “and we the American people also”, must come to grips with this moment in time and our role in denying Barack Obama his life long goal of “transforming” us into his slaves working on his government plantation.

Please forward this to all you can, maybe together we can save America for ourselves and those who will follow after us.

 

I think we’ve just grown lazy and used to someone else doing things for us….and if we don’t speak up now, we might not ever have the ability again.

New Product in my Life

Standard

Working for a physician today requires most personnel to be computer literate and have a few ounces of common sense.  And if you are the office manager, you just about need an IT degree to keep everything flowing and working correctly.

Using Electronic Health Records requires scanning capabilities…and so as the office manager, I finally was able to order a scanner for my office.

Oh what fun I’ve had scanning to patient charts!  And then I was shown how I could scan documents and other pages that I save to email–such as contracts, agreements, certificates, and other documents.

The problem became multi-page documents that scanned in as .tif or .jpg formats instead of the preferred .pdf format.  Searching for a program that could help me proved unfruitful until today!

Today I found a website that offered a simple, easy to use program that allows you to ‘build’ a .pdf document from .tif or .jpg formats that are already saved on your system or from scanning from your scanner.  This has changed everything!

The program is offers a free trial version and is just one of many products offered at a reasonable cost at:

http://www.a-pdf.com/blog-it-and-get-it-free.html

I was ecstatic when the download was fast and easy; with a very user friendly interface that was simple to understand and use.  I was up and running in just minutes testing out previously scanned .tif formatted files and then scanning in new ones.  Simple, quick, and clean formatted documents.

I am excited that I finally have a program that I can finally use to save documents to my computer and not have to fill up my filing cabinet past overflowing.

So, if you are looking for an easy to use, quick to learn program (with video if you need it!!) then check out Affordable PDF and their products!

51 years…..25 years

Standard

Today I turned 51….and I have to say, so far so good.  I love being in my 50’s.  I have my AARP and my AAA.  I have a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, a family practice doctor, a gynecologist and probably need a dermatologist, an endocrinologist and a few more ologists i can’t afford.

I feel like I’m still in my 20-30’s and still love going and doing ….I just do them a little slower and with a few snaps, crackles, and pops like Rice Krispies.  I have a job and own a home, have 3 dogs that are like my kids and a boyfriend who is 28 years younger than myself.

I have a van and I have bills.  I have a life….boring as it may seem to others, I enjoy myself and my quiet little hobbies, such as writing on this blog, reading and playing cards or putting together puzzles.

And though I celebrate my birth and relish the fact that I have accomplished what I have and dream and wish for the future, I also take time to think of my dad.  On my 26th birthday, my father, my dad, my daddy passed onto his eternity.

And today marks his 25th birthday into Heaven.  I know he is up there taking care of things with my nephew and uncles, aunts, and grandparents.  I’m sure he looks down and smiles as we, His Girls, grow up and raise kids, work, and think of him….and I’m .  sure he frowns when we are sad or when we do things he wouldn’t approve of.

I miss him much…as the oldest he taught me all sorts of things that a father would normally teach a son.  I cherish those times and wonder ‘what if’ he hadn’t left so soon–what would I be learning from him now.

So Dad….know you are missed and loved.  And next year…we’ll see where I am and see what changes have come around.

 

Pride and Respect

Standard

It has begun to really bother me the lack of respect and lack of pride people are giving and showing these days.  And it is not just in the younger crowd, but in generations from young to old alike.

We’ve lost our manners.  Instead of, “excuse me” we hear silence or see angry looks.  This is disrespectful of others…and more importantly disrespectful of self. It’s as though we think we are the only person on the planet of some self importance and that no one else matters.

We don’t seem to care about our responsibilities, our jobs, our families, or ourselves.

More and more I see people who decide that they need to play at work more than do their jobs.  Or they can’t handle their job duties, so they cry until the boss splits their work up amongst everyone else.  Where is the respect in self to do your job?  Where is your respect for others is not making everyone else do what you are being paid to do?  How can you take pride and gain self-esteem in knowing you can’t or won’t take responsibility for yourself and your obligations?

That goes for deadbeat parents who don’t take care of their children.  No I am not talking about those parents who do their best and just can’t make ends meet, I’m talking about those parents who work and have the money but choose not to fulfill their parental obligations.  Not just in money but in time, energy and emotional support….those things that don’t cost money, but take humanity.  Apes take better care of their children than some humans.

I’m tired of seeing people who are at dinner at what looks like a date, yet one is punching away on their phone texting or on the phone ignoring their date.

Or worse, a doctor who takes personal calls while seeing a patient.  Emergencies one could understand, but a personal call is almost the epitome of rudeness in a business that is supposed to be one on one and personal.

It seems that no one wants to do it right the first time, they’d rather do it partially and not care that someone else will probably have to fix it.  They don’t care about what others might think or need.  Instead of being the best at what they are doing, they’d rather be mediocre.

Could it be because of the liberal push that everyone wins and grades might hurt egos?  Are these thoughts of everyone wins and nobody loses causing us to be a mediocre society?  Even our President seems to want to equalize everyone with money and benefits where no one will want to work and support all the freeloaders of society.

I, for one, am tired of the inhumanity of ambivalence.  We don’t seem to really see the people around us.  We don’t think about taking am minute and showing a little human kindness now and again or a little respect for those around us.

Respect goes a long way in being civil.  So put the phones down and talk to each other.  Do your job and do it to the best of your ability.

And you will be happy when you hear: ‘Job well done!’

 

 

Aunt RoseMary…..Aunt Mickey

Standard

My father had 2 brothers and 3 sisters–all older than him.  His oldest sister, Audrey, died in 1996 and I have shared my thoughts and love for her already.

This week, their sister RoseMary, aka Mickey, joined them in heaven.  The day after what would have been my father’s 74th birthday, Mickey had a heart attack that ended her life.

Even her name is special….RoseMary….not Rosemary nor Rose Mary….but RoseMary.  This was not unusual for a German family.  She had no middle name, but a very unique first name.

Her family nickname was Mickey, as she was born the same year as Mickey Mouse.  I remember when my father died, his brother Don came to me after he had read dad’s obituary.  He said to me, “You know that Aunt Mickey’s real name is RoseMary?”  I said, “Yes, but since we all grew up knowing her as Mickey, we decided to go with that.”  He just shook his head at me.

She was a wonder to me.  I didn’t know her like I knew her sister Audrey and like her sister Janet.  Mickey and I never exchanged letters on a monthly or even yearly basis.  If anything, an occasional phone call and the Christmas card were our main forms of communication.  And the family reunions where we could hug and talk and just spend time with each other.  So I am thankful that she was able to attend the last one in 2011.

Image

She always amazed me.  She was the first person in our family to divorce her spouse…and that sent shock waves through the family.  I remember when it first happened, everyone tried to hush it up, as if not speaking about it would make it not so.  I talked to her daughter about it last year at the last reunion, where I learned what happened and how hurt Mickey was that her family seemed to ostracize her over it.  I told her, it didn’t matter what the reason was.  I knew Mickey and I knew that Mickey would not divorce over something silly or ridiculous.  I knew it had to be something serious.  And I told her daughter that I admired her mother for having the courage to get out of the situation.

I admired her for not only divorcing, but then at her age of over 40 to go back to school and earn a degree in social work so that she could support her 3 children and herself.  That was almost unheard of 40 years ago that someone would be an older student going to college, working, and supporting 3 children at home.  I know women today that wouldn’t do half of that much less be successful at it.

My biggest regret over my aunt, is that she was the only aunt I was not able to visit in her own home.  I still kick myself when I think about the year I tried to go up to see her, and was not able to.

In the past 2-3 years, Mickey survived breast cancer…and the treatments.  She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  And just 3 months ago, she had fallen, breaking her hip and clavicle.  She had just come home from rehabilitation when she had a heart attack and died later that night.

Mickey was devoted to her faith.  In many ways she surprised me in that regard.  She told me once of some Catholic traditions.  One was placing a statue of St Joseph upside down buried outside of your front door if you are trying to sell your house.  Another was having a Mass said in honor of someone 30 days after their death as a Month’s Mind.

Image

She was admired and loved and she is missed.  Although I lived over 2000 miles away, I feel as though a piece of my life is missing.

Mickey….Rest in Peace….and may God eternal light shine upon you.

Independence….Freedom

Standard

Image

INDEPENDENCE DAY!!

Today we once again celebrate the beginning of our country….the day we told England that we would no longer be ruled by them.  We told them we wanted to be free to rule ourselves, to have true representation and to decide our own destiny.

And so our forefathers wrote a paper explaining in no uncertain terms that we were all created equal, that we had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We celebrate with fireworks, get togethers, and other festivities that promote family, friendships, and country.  We thank our military and hold parades to remember our victory after what became known as the Revolutionary War or the War for Freedom.

Image

We celebrate those that have fought to retain and keep our freedoms….and we celebrate ourselves.  We celebrate our daily struggles to find our freedom.  Living in this society today, 200 plus years from that day when our American ancestors said, “Enough!” we have our own system of twisted laws and taxes, fines and penalties, and all those things that we fought against all those years ago.

Our flag has grown from 13 stars to 50 and could grow again.  Our country has grown from importer to exporter.  Commerce, trade, industry, business of all sorts have supported us, enriched us and pushed us into more productive citizens.

But citizenship is more than just what we can take from this country.  It entails knowing the heartbeat of the country, the bounty that it gives and the lessons it takes out of each of us. Citizenship also requires us to know what our country stands for and to defend its rights and freedoms, to share ideas and to vote for our representatives.  Freedom is not free—-it requires our dues in the voting booth, in the newspapers and in our hearts and minds.  Freedom requires that we be alert and attentive to our surroundings, and the world around us.  Freedom….to live and be who we want to be!

Our country has cultures, ideas, inventions, faiths, and ingenuity from every latitude and longitude of this planet.  We are all blended together into on nation with the hopes and dreams birthed on that day in July, 1776.

Image

And so on this day of celebration…take time to think of the real United States of America.  Think of the people, the land, the dreams, and the future that we, the current citizens, can bring about.

Enjoy your day….and remember to thank God for blessing this country with all it has to give!  Let freedom ring!!

To My Father……

Standard

 

Dad.  Father.  Pop.  The Old Man.  Daddy.

The names we call the first man in our lives.  The man who is afraid to hold us because we might break and then is amazed when we grow up and cause all sorts of trouble.

My dad was always there for us girls, ‘his girls’ and he called us.  He worked and supported us financially and emotionally, mentally and physically.

He carried us on his shoulders, held us in his arms; He laughed with us, cried with us, and shared himself with us.

I was his oldest girl of 4 girls…no boys.  I was the one that was called on to help with the plumbing, the painting, the carpentry work, the handy man jobs, and all those things a son would have been assumed to help with.  And then we wondered why I went into Technical Theatre–putting all of those skills to use.

My first bike was a bike that was passed down in the family that he and I tore apart, repainted blue and silver and then re-assembled.  We built my first private bedroom together in the basement–that’s when I learned about doing electrical work, hanging drywall, and other fun carpentry jobs.

He was the driver on vacations and the chauffeur when we needed rides to friends.  He was there for report cards and first days of school.  He was there when we were sick and injured.  He was there with his camera, his flip top sunshades, black socks with converse tennis shoes and fishing hat as the epitome of a tourist.  He was there with handkerchiefs and strong shoulders for scrapes and bruises.

He was there for first jobs, first dates, first steps and first words.  He was there standing tall and proud as we became young women.  He was there when we graduated 8th grade, high school and college.

He got up early so that he could make the coffee, make our lunches, and get ready for the day before waking up mom and us kids for school.  He even took special orders!

He did the laundry and mowed the lawn.  He did most of the housework (mom was allergic to the soap and cleansers—and he didn’t like her going up and down the stairs with her heart problems).  And yes….he taught us how to do all of that too.

He took us to playgrounds and amusement parks, tourist attractions and historical sites.  He loved for us all to sing on trips, though he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket—-but he sang and laughed with us for hours as he drove.

He taught me to read a map and encouraged me to figure out directions and alternate routes.  He took me for my driving test and then told me ‘to get lost’ so that I wouldn’t panic if I ever got truly lost. (Good advice!  It worked!)

He and I would have late night discussions about history, and politics, and religion, and life.  He explained the world as he saw it and pushed us to look at various sides.

But most of all….he was there.  Through the thick and the thin, he was there.

Until he wasn’t, having succumbed to death’s call.  But he lives on in “his girls'” minds.  His love and guidance virtues that we seek in our life partners.

Dad—we miss you and love you.  You are thought of and missed immensely.  Thank you for being mine 🙂  Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

MOTHER’S DAY 2012

Standard

ImageMoms….especially mine

Fifty years ago today, my mother celebrated her 1st Mother’s Day.

I was 8 months old and still needed to be carried and fed and changed.  I was a babbling baby

of needs and wants.  And she was pregnant with my sister.

By the next Mother’s Day, i was a walking, talking toddler with a baby sister who needed

all the attention of being carried and fed and changed.

Many Mother’s Days have come and gone since then.  In total my mother had 4 children,

of which, i am the oldest.

Mom saw us through childhood shots and diseases, broken bones, scrapes, bruises and boo-boos.

She saw us through kindergarten, grade schools, high schools, colleges, and/or tech schools.

She dressed us for church, for school, and for graduations.

She fed us, our friends, and planned parties for celebrations.

She baked for birthdays, Christmases and bake sales.

She taught us to cook, to clean, to think, and to imagine.

She became a Camp Fire Girl leader.

She sewed clothes and costumes, and made impromptu instruments.

She played piano for us to sing or dance to.

She taught us Catholic catechism.

She helped with homework.

She read us books.

She took us shopping.

She taught us how to love and how to forgive.

She taught us the values of family and friendship.

And in time, she saw us through boyfriends and dating.

And then, of course, weddings and pregnancies and miscarriages.

She was there for births, first baths and all the firsts for not only her daughter as mother,

but for her grandchildren’s firsts.

And in all these things, she talked with us.  She was part of our lives.

She instilled values and morals in us to guide us throughout our lives–

whether she was there or not.

As I have told many people throughout my adult life:

My mother raised 4 very independent strong women.

And she is grandmother to 27 men and women, boys and girls.

So today, on Mother’s Day 2012, as my mother celebrates her 50th Mother’s Day–

I want to say, thank you Mom.

For everything you have done,

and all you still do

for your girls,

for your family

Thank You!

and most importantly,

I love you!

God bless and keep you always!

Regrets…I have a few (ok, maybe more than a few)

Standard

We have all done things in our lives that we rethink or look back and think, “gee, I could’ve” or “hmmmm, maybe i should’ve…”

The fact is as we get older we think of things we could’ve or should’ve done differently or better.  And usually we can forgive ourselves, change and move on.  But sometimes, there are those things that just fly up out of nowhere into our memories.  We dwell on them.  We again rethink them …..for the hundredth or thousandth time.  They just seem to haunt us….over and over.

So this time, I’m gonna just put it out there.  And hopefully this will quell this memory to stay where it belongs, a regret that I cannot change and that I truly wish I could make right….even after 33 years.

Back in high school, I met another student who I considered a friend.  I had taken choir (oh why did I do that!….like I could sing!)  But I loved the class–it was one of the few that had members from every class, freshmen to seniors.  It had the smart kids, the singers, athletes, and those just needing a class without homework. 

This student, Theresa, was in this class, and like me, an alto.  She had a strong sense of tone and I always seemed to be flat unless she was in my left ear.  So we made a deal that she’d always sit on my left side.  She also convinced me to join the smaller choir group that was limited to only about 15 students.  It was not a class, was not extra credit, just an extracurricular group that went to nursing homes during special seasons and competitions as a group. 

Theresa was a year ahead of me and was also in the ‘theatre’ group.  She was a performer, I was usually on the tech crew or box office.  And I admired her.  I came from what was (and is) considered a big family of 4 girls.  She came from a family of, I think, 7 kids. 

One cold November day, I saw Theresa coming out of one of the buildings as I was going in.  She had on a greenish coat with a fur collar.  It was a beautiful coat…and I truly liked it.  And I told her so.

She mistook my genuine comment as a cutting remark as she responded with, “It’s my mother’s coat! And I can’t believe you of all people would say something like that!” And something about money being tight.  I didn’t know their family had problems until that moment…and it didn’t matter.  I really liked that coat.  It was green…something different!  And I like things that are a little different. 

I tried to go after her, but she turned and told me not to follow her.  For the rest of the year, she avoided me.  She graduated and moved on with her life.  And to this day I still try to find her online–on the high school site, on Facebook (isn’t everyone there????), on MySpace, and just Google-ing her.  Because to this day is pains me that this was not settled all those years ago. 

It was not a put down….it was an honest comment.  And she looked good in that coat.  And yes, I know, it was just a coat.  And I have come up with hundreds of reasons of why ideas for her misunderstanding.  But none of that matters.  What matters is, I lost a friend.  Someone I valued and enjoyed being around.

I didn’t have a lot of friends in high school.  I was pretty much a loner, not always by choice.  I was in the Drama Club, I was in Girls Athletic Association, I was the manager of the basketball team and the Volleyball team (lettering in both!). I was in the Christian Life Community–going to Chronic Hospital once a month to entertain and to be part of a Mass for the residents.  I was part of organizations that fed into my interests, my beliefs, and who rounded out my persona.  And yet, I had no 1 group of friends or even 1 close friend.  But I had many that I enjoyed being with and participated in many activities with them.

So if anyone knows Theresa—or someone like her—let them know that they are still thought of. 

And of course, there are other regrets.  Such as, should i have tried to dated sooner?  Should I have tried harder to be whatever the men were looking for back then?  Should I have stayed in Florida when I left my job there or should I have gone home to Missouri like I did? 

OH the ‘what-if’s of life!  Was I right to move to where I am and buy a house?  Or should I have looked harder for a house to rent?

And now I am 50…and I say, right or wrong, good or bad….my life is my life.  I have a wonderful man in my life.  I have a wonderful house that is becoming a home….just need to get out of rent mode and start hanging pictures!  I have 3 dogs that love me and who make me laugh. 

And Theresa…if you read this….please know that I would never have ever intentionally hurt you emotionally like that.  I really did like that coat.  My mother had one like it in boring beige.