I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.
This past weekend, I went to dinner and my friend and I decided to go for a walk. It was Friday night and the weather was slightly chilly. I had not truly dressed for the occasion, but fortunately had remembered a light jacket in the trunk of my car. As we walked along the river, we noticed a flurry of activity. I love the east side, especially along the lakefront. Walking is what I do, usually around the pond and also the four sets of stairs from the pond area up to Prospect. It literally takes your breath away, and no, I am not only talking the scenery. After 25 sets, a total of 100 flights of stairs, you are literally drained and exhilirated all at the same time. Occasionally, I will sit and do your average people watch session, but normally it is in and out for me. No matter what, I always feel safe.
Getting back to last Friday. My friend and I are casually strolling along the river. It is quite a stretch, but I love to walk. We reach a point that I have heard of so often. Yep, you got it, I see "The Fonz". How cool is that? The statue sits on the river, with a plaque very close to it. Within 15 feet of the sculpture sits a woman, on a chair of some sorts. She is wearing a smock with the words "Miss Katie" across the front. She is around 5 feet tall and has a cute roundish face. She reminds me of my grandmother, yet younger. She is comfortable, yet I wonder. Who is this woman? And, why is she here? Does she need help, does she have a home? So many questions run through my mind. She offers to take a picture of my friend and I next to The Fonz. "No thanks", we respond. I am slightly hesitant to hand my electronic devices to strangers. Although she seems safe, the inevitable always pops into my mind. The traveling adventurer, the seemingly harmless "photographer". One hands over the camera, and the next thing you know, the photog is running as fast as he or she can with their new possession. Quite a few things ran through my mind. Yet, a journey of an adventure began. Miss Katie begins to describe The Fonz, head to toe. She mentions in his right thumb-print there are initials, representing Henry Winkler and his wife. Also, along the hand are initials of I believe the creator and his wife as well along with a heart. Miss Katie pulled me in. She began to describe her family history. At one point I glanced down and noticed a smock. Inside she carried paints. I questioned her motive for being in this particular place. She stated that she paints faces and arms. I request that she paint my arm and she happily obliges.
Ok, so I may be dating myself here, but I recently attended my 20 year high school reunion. Yep, believe it or not, Laura "Hendricks" decided to go for it.
I had gotten a couple of emails from previous classmates throughout the past couple of months. I was excited because not only had I know most everyone in the graduating class, but had also attended grade school with a few as well.
With the current election closing in on us, most of us are pretty set regarding who we are going to vote for. One of the main concerns of us as an American people is our National Security and the War at this time.
Being a member of the United States Army, I can honestly state I support our troops. I have many friends who have not only served, but have been deployed numerous times. I received an honorable discharge in 1991. My children's father served a 1 year tour in Kabul, Afghanistan which I believe changed his life. My children and their father kept in touch via letters and email.
When you hear the word "institution"
what is the first thought that comes to mind? Is it more in the
direction of positive or negative?
When I think of institution, I recall a conversation with a Great Aunt years ago. About 50 years ago my Aunt gave birth to a daughter with down syndrome. The doctors and nurses at that time had very different ideas regarding children who were "different" . They stated that the best care for my cousin would be to eventually allow her to be raised in an institution. Fortunately, my Aunt and Uncle disagreed and raised their daughter on their own. She is one of the most loving and kind persons you would ever meet. She is very active, holds a job and has a boyfriend as well.
Today, regarding the word institution, we now associate it with something which should be a very positive experience. The Institution of Marriage. I am sure you have heard of it used in that way, correct?
Marriage today is quite different than 50 years ago. Divorce was a curse word, at least in the Catholic Church. Men worked and women stayed home. Oh how times have changed. More likely than not, most children will have numerous step parents and siblings as well. It is more common than not to be divorced and multiple marriages are on the rise. Dissolution is not prejudice. It hits every race, age and sex. We have now opened the doors and the word marriage has a completely new definition. Instead of this union being approved between a man and a woman, it is now open for everyone regardless of sexual orientation. It almost appears that if you STAY married for more than 10 years, you are a rarity. Marriage extinction is on the rise and soon enough we will be at a 75% divorce rate for all persons.
What has changed something which was the core of our society? Can we pinpoint an exact point in time when this institution became so very negative?
If any one of us has ever lived in the City of West Allis, I am sure at one time or another you have spotted the WAFD logo on the side of an ambulance cruising down your street. You will notice, for those neighbors who are home during the day, a crowd gathering out of “curiosity”. I am sure each and every one of us hopes for the best possible outcome for any patient who needs assistance and transporting.