Removing the Lenses of “Okayness”

Photo courtesy of Ramesh ram

We’ve all worn them at one time or another, the eyeglasses of “Okayness.” They are colored lenses, shades which give us an impression of Okayness when something has gone too bright or we don’t want anyone to see the black eye. “There’s nothing we can do” we may say as we put on the colored eyeglasses “so, we shouldn’t try. We’ll just pretend we see something other than the truth.”

The lenses we wear offer a fake view of what’s actually taking place, framing something other than the truth. We get so used to wearing the frames that they’ve became a way of life, a way of being, a way of “truthing.”

What if we never removed lenses which wonderfully bent our reality for us so that we could survive a distorted childhood?

The precious child of a mentally ill parent may find himself in a unique position as an adult. We may have been instructed verbally or by example by the other parent to “put on the glasses,” pretend, to keep the secret, to harbor the shame. If we keep viewing a mentally ill parent through a colored lens, then the hope we hide might actually come true in the best of ways. What kid doesn’t want a parent to be whole? If we tell ourselves a parent is OK then surely they will be, eventually.

These colored glasses we wore for school, church, community, and at home, especially at home. We were taught to view the circus fun house as “just fine,” the hall of distorted mirrors as wonderful. We were taught to pretend madness was okay.

But the popularity of being the family with the monkeys, the place where strawberries were grown not for the family but for a family of slugs — (“Don’t you dare eat them. They’re  intended for the slugs!”), the sheer weirdness and novelty were not OK. You have your own equally astonishing stories. No one can say we children of mentally ill parents lived a boring existence. But underneath was felt an uneasy, churning earth we could not see.

Though some lucky kids may figure out a way of early escape from the fun house, others are unable to until they reach adulthood. You may be one of those kids. For those left behind, living with the madness of a mentally ill parent is reduced to mere survival with no escape hatch. Those who remain behind are forced to wear the eyeglasses of Okayness, knowing full well they will be stuck, for what feels like a very long time.


Image by 자유 천지 from Pixabay

We wore the lenses to keep parents comfortable with the status quo. So they wouldn’t have to answer questions our friends asked us: “Hey, what’s up with your dad, or mum?” Or, “Why does your mum do _________?” Or, “How come your dad keeps____________?” We simply adjusted the glasses on our noses and gave a pair to the friend who asked the questions.

The distortions may have continued well into adulthood. We may have forgotten to remove the glasses which served us so well in childhood, or we may not know how to remove them, or we may not think we have permission to remove them.

Just because we’ve been trained to be unaware that we have the power to make things better for us and for our children doesn’t mean we don’t have power now to wake up, say a firm “NO” to abuse and aberrant behavior and say “Yes” to getting help for us to cope and help for the loved one who suffers.

Here’s the thing: all the colored lenses in the world cannot hide the unease we call our gut, or intuition, our questions, our VOICE. This is the truth. Our gut, our truth has been tugging at our shirt sleeve for years. It has always tugged. That voice is little kid us tugging on the shirt sleeve of grown up us saying,

Do something.” 

The little voice is patient. It wants to be heard. It will keep saying our name until we…

  1. Rise up
  2. Remove the colored lenses
  3. Turn our full attention upon truth
  4. Listen to what truth has been trying to tell us

So then, let’s not forsake ourselves or others. Help will come if we seek it. Let’s wake up, look, take off the lenses of “Okay-ness. ” Let’s stop pretending. Help is available. Let’s deal in truth for our happiness and for the happiness of those we love.

Breaking the Chain Starts With Us

It is said that, of all the senses, sense of smell links us most powerfully to memory. Smell is a chain taking us back, sometimes way back, uncomfortably back.

Like when I talked to a homeless person the other day at QFC ,who was living in a borrowed car without access to a hot bath or a dentist.

There’s always a kind of conversation taking place in a grocery store, a conversation engaging all the senses–Dungeness crab clacking claws onto a silver scale as the fishmonger weighs in on how to serve the thing (simply cracked, drawn through butter is best). Push your cart through the dairy department over to the deli where crispy fried chicken crackles out of the fryer. You can smell fried chicken all the way out to the parking lot. The sensual conversation continues with apples and kale and carrots and lemon. Sleepy Time tea perfumes the air, fresh ground coffee civilizes the senses. There’s another wonder: an entire aisle dedicated to ice cream. All of it white noise now.

I am in the candy aisle now, forced to take in the full effect of the person talking to me. I see a soul housed in a bald, thin, leather coat once-black-now-pebbled-charcoal, her breath forcing me back a couple of yards. A wild, familiar look haunts a green, accusing eye, too rough hands–these things take me back, right back to childhood.

And they tell me who I really am without all the trappings.

Sometimes I don’t like knowing who I am.

This mentally disordered person blames everyone else for her misfortune, something I, too, have been guilty of. But hey, I came by the justification method honestly, I learnt it from my mentally ill father.

  • “If they hadn’t been ___, I wouldn’t be ___,”  
  • “Those goll-darned___!”

Let’s all be the fast talker, fill in our own blanks. It could be anything. I’ve already filled in my own blaming blanks, too many times.

Then, I think, if I keep blaming I will end up like my parents or like this person I am in conversation with. So in effect, I’m no better than they. It’s true, I am they.

We are all they, aren’t we, really?

“They,” the other us, they are our teachers, aren’t they? This is an uncomfortable truth.

An encounter like this teaches me to fight the urge hardwired into my cells that says my life is everyone else’s fault. True, I was abused worse than the others but at some point I must take responsibility for my own choices now, no matter my beginnings.

It angers me that even mentally ill people have choices, to try and get help. Or not, which is what angers me, and why don’t they, when help may be found? This is a hard thing for me to say. 

I back up in the aisle, close my eyes and I am reminded of TV blurbs about homelessness and an animal hoarder which may trigger me for days, which I have learned to avoid like the plague.

And I wonder what this mentally disordered person fooled away in exchange for a lifestyle that hurts all of us. Because of my personal reference points I confess to you my initial cynicism, then some anger, too, with the homeless, with hoarders. Not outward anger–I’m too nice for that. I keep up the civilized veneer. I don’t let it show. 

I wonder how much land or money do they secretly still have? How selfish were they with family members who loved them once, love them still, families who, for a long time–years maybe–fought harder for their presence–whole or in part–than for anything else on earth for at least a sort of affair that says I love you back, and finally gave up because it hurt too much to try. Most of us will settle for the conversation which says I see you. But no, many make a choice to feed the hoarder inside, instead. I wonder about dis-integration, what made that happen, what choices were made and when.

And I wonder what degree of abuse and neglect played a part. As a result of neglect and abuse how many loved ones have the homeless and hoarders discarded, carelessly? I wonder at what point is the inverse true.

Then comes the guilt. My frame of reference is too small. As I process their blaming and excuses, my guilt turns to shame and I wonder how many of these souls suffered as little children.

  • Many mentally ill souls were the recipients of long time horrendous treatment in childhood.
  • Abuse can trigger those genetically susceptible to mental disorders. These kids have nowhere else to go but to stay and receive, receive, receive. They have to keep family secrets for the sake of the “family” so no one knows, no one witnesses. Some kids are resilient. Some are not.
  • Some grown up messed up kids have loving families and did not receive abuse or neglect.

Abuse leads to loss. Loss may be helped. That is, unless abuse leads to, as in my father’s case, a highly disordered individual. Narcissism almost always refuses help. Narcissism nearly always loses everyone completely.

So the chain tries its darndest to continue in those susceptible to mental illness.

A mother may say to a questioning child, “There’s simply no choice. You have to stay in this awful situation and pretend everything is fine.” But we do all have privilege of choice, though admittedly, some choices we make to flee an impossible situation may deliver terrible consequences. Maybe what she means to say, but considers herself far too impenetrable to state is, “I refuse to take action for you, my child, because I am afraid.” Add to a lack of courage more abuse and neglect and, my friend, you have immense loss. Familial, material, relational, societal.

This kind of loss costs all of us great heaps of everything.

So then, who will break the cycle? Why, of course, it has to be us.

  • Stop childhood abuse or get them away from it.
  • Stop withdrawing, which is the worst kind of abuse. 
  • Give our child a blanket for their bed, build a fire to keep them warm, read a story, hold them close when they are afraid of monkeys. Tell them they aren’t imagining the monkeys. 
  • We must see our children, every day stop our frenetic lives and take a few moments to see them and, by our witness, love them. 
  • Let’s not ask then, “What is wrong with you, for Pete’s sake?” Let’s not tell them “You are too sensitive,”  create a chaotic home then tell them “You’re the reason for the chaos.” 
  • Let’s not withhold.
  • Let’s not ignore.
  • Let’s not refuse to get help for own hurting ourselves. Let’s not be so arrogant as that. 

Let’s break the chain before we lose everything. In the recesses of our being we all are mere children, too, but we must reach for maturity at some point.

When my mother hoisted the responsibility of “breaking the chain” onto my shoulders she had no idea what results her prophecy would bring. Neither did I. She, the loss of me–though I am not so sure she noticed–me, my nearly complete loss of birth family, loss of everything except for one thing: I got to keep my soul.

Where was I. Oh, yes, the sense of smell.18-11_webster-029.

After my encounter with the homeless soul at the grocery I could not defuse the memory bomb so I called my life coach so she could help talk me off the ceiling, the place where the memory of smell took me. I am not averse in getting help from my life coach–a gift of a person who reminds me that I always come from choice. Once I reconnect to choice, she then reminds me to choose from a place of love rather than fear. 

After all of it, I am alright.

I do not, nor will I ever own an abundance of cats, nor will I ever own monkeys.

Just sayin’.


No Reindeer in January

It might be an intruder. I lay twisting, my heart pounding, in a cold sweat. After months of insomnia, at last I’d enjoyed a great sleep–with dreams, too. I looked across the room to the big red dog who lay a dark heap fixed, unperturbed. Maybe not an intruder, then.

My neighbors and I have been putting off taking down our outside Christmas lights, reluctant to let the season go quite yet, we had so much fun. In December neighbors were adding outside decorations to their Christmas wonderland daily, making the property as inviting and lit up, comforting and happy as Whoville. Strobe lights swept green, blue and red from their yard into my window, across the wall opposite the bed, and around again. I rather enjoy it. There goes flash of silver.

“Mia! Did you hear that?” A heavy clatter galloped across–the roof, I think.

The dog ignored me.

I called her again, but if a sentence doesn’t have treat or chicken or walk in it it doesn’t register. Must be a critter up there. The neighbors have four cats who like to get up to my roof via the great tree in the yard.

I flopped over with a pillow over my head. It can’t stay long, whatever it is. Doesn’t a nocturnal critter have something important to do, like, scrounge for food? A couple months ago an owl hung on the branch of the big tree and talked to whomever would listen, then I was sad when she went away. When the rooftop erupted again, like wild horses thundering afield, I wished for Miss Owl.

There is one word that will rouse Mia from a slumber: KITTYCAT. Actually, it’s two words, but to her, one, for the creature which holds more fascination for her than the others. She has asked me repeatedly for a KITTYCAT and I’d been to the Humane Society to interview KITTYCATS for the job. Did you know for ten bucks you can get a feral fixed KITTYCAT who will slink around the alley all night and you never have to let it in because it doesn’t want to come in because it doesn’t like you–it will never like you no matter how hard you try–but if you feed it it will still hang around? I wondered if a KITTYCAT like that would be enough for Mia. For sure, enough for me.

“Up! Let’s go see the KITTYCAT! Up she leaps first, before I drag out of bed. We can’t get to the door fast enough. Sometimes when a good sleep is interrupted I get mad. Only half afraid because I’m mad, I slung open the door to a whirl of light on the lawn and I looked up.

A raccoon! Deceptively adorable and unafraid. I stood there in my fuzzy white robe, the angel of righteousness and I sent fire and brimstone up to that raccoon. “Why you, you jerk! How dare y–”

Two more sets of eyes appeared, unblinking, as if I were the town drunk, a mere curiosity, something to gossip about later after I went away. I shook my fist. “You’ve got a lot of nerve,” I shouted. To clarify, normally, I prefer to do the polite thing and not wake my neighbors. Not waking my neighbors matters a great deal to me. I don’t want them to see me the crazy lady just now.

I got absolutely no response so I kept saying stoppit because saying something made me feel like I was getting somewhere with them. Then, with paws folded above their furry tummies, like Dali Lamas,  he perfectly adorable masked trinity sauntered closer, struck a reverent pose, and gazed out over the gutters at me and, evidently, decided not to answer my prayer. I grew madder. “Mia, KITTYCATS!” I pointed to the roof. “See?”

I felt like a mad woman, an apparition all lit up yelling in visions of strobe lights like a performer onstage, whilst flinging insults at an unanswering roof. Not caring, I took a step forward. The holy raccoons remained unmoved by my display. My pine tree gives off big fat pinecones so I picked up one and lobbed it. Missed. “It’s one thirty!” I yelled, “A.M!” As if raccoons cared about that kind of thing.

Unfortunately, the tree didn’t offer fallen sticks, but what I do have is a long blue foam yoga cylinder I use to relieve cramped muscles. It might be useful right now, so I ran into the house to retrieve it. When I came back outside the dog wasn’t staring up to the roof. Instead, she sniffed around the daisies that somehow manage to bloom in December. “Oh you. You’re a lotta help!” I said, disgusted. “I roast turkey for you. I make gravy with fish oil for you and this-this is how you thank me?” I hiss at her. “And let’s not even talk about the Denta Stix I give you after every meal.” I hoist the cylinder and bonk the living daylights out of the roof gutter. BONK. BONK, bonk bonk bonk

I was shocked that not so much as a twitch, not even a whisker moved or claw clicked. It seems I am no match against Mother Nature. It also seems I know little about raccoon behavior. The Great Stan Stanfield always said we need to let Mother Nature take her course. I didn’t believe for a second letting Mother Nature take her course included letting three (or possibly more) raccoons chase strobe lights back and forth across my rooftop all night long. No fear in those bandit eyes, neither interest nor disinterest. Certainly not pity. All blandness. I believed this behavior might be what the psychologists call the grey rock technique. My aim wasn’t great the first time, so I threw another pinecone. BINGO! I hit the big one. That oughta do it.


I continued throwing several more pinecones with the thought that surely this would be the one that moved them and, because the yells had been so effective I lobbed a few more of those, too.

I went back into the house last night defeated by blandness of the grey rock technique. I understand it works on difficult people. They stayed and played and played until three. I got up this morning, cut up roasted turkey, made gravy for the dog and went to work bleary-eyed. Tonight, I actually want them to come back because I have a few tricks up my sleeve, mainly the garden hose. It should work, as long as they don’t come down after me.

It’s just that, in January, water is so darned cold.




Happy Halloween!

Dear reader,

Here’s a good little read for Halloween…


Water rises. I careen toward the bridge beneath which, not a moment ago, water raged, and where is the bridge now? A line of sweat forms at my hairline, trickles into my eyes, stings my eyes. I talk to the bridge, Please be intact, I say, as I gun the engine. River rages, swirls, scrubs the planks as if to erase the bridge’s memory. Bridge jabs back at me with a bony finger, much like an ancient grandparent would, You should never cross a bridge in a flood, it admonishes, as if it has experienced this kind of thing before, and it has. 

Weirdly, bits of Simon and Garfunkel float like water on the brain. “Like a bridge over troubled–” Well, you know.  

The song will not leave me alone. “…I will lay me down.” Well, let me tell you something, Simon and Garfunkle, this chick isn’t ready to lay herself down yet, so go trouble someone else’s friggin’ waters.

Before. Yet. Past. Future. Neither matters for the Now I’m in.

For reasons I cannot explain, I don’t dare back out of the canyon, back up that long hill to where strangers warned us not to cross.

“Don’t do it,” they’d said. “Happens fast, Stay here. Hunker down.”

“Drive!” someone familiar urges from the seat next to me.

Observers sit wordless in the row behind me and why are they silent? Why do they stare? I know they stare because I feel it. Go ahead, I say to them, drill holes.

The van is running over a large tree limb and someone has packed thirty gallon drums of gasoline into the third row and who would do such a thing? The van heaves upward. Barely contained gas thumps against curved ribs.

Thump thump.

Muddied water torn down by broken hills seeps into the crack of the driver’s side door. Sqidgy toes, windshield wipers inadequate for torrential downfall might as well not be there. Objects–bikes, cars–fade into the whorl until they are no longer distinguishable.


Without warning, I am not kidding without so much as a moan, too late the front of the van lifts up, the wheels up and off, horrifying, now the back wheels lifting off, and I am a toddler walking on top of my daddy’s shoes light and effortless while he walks me around the room, my fingers locked in his, and I should giggle with delight at great strides made with no effort at all. Instead, I gasp as a newborn for first breath, then cry out. I scream but no sound comes forth. I am rendered soundless by the flood. I am born mute, and who will hear me?

blake-cheek-803253-unsplash-1-drowning-photo-e1539105026316.jpgBrown sepia foam dims vision while blackened trees float by, branches scrape the van, poke bony fingers into windows like great screeching banshees on the hunt for innocents.

He’s laughing now, the one in the seat next to me, high pitched, crazy laughter.

Thump thump


Foolishly, I gun the gas again, as if a gas pedal will prevent our shockingly languid three hundred sixty degree turn. Wheels spin in a galaxy of gas fumes and I become the river…


…By some miracle, water thrusts us to the other side! Wheels touch down, water lapping up into wheel wells. The engine gives a great sputter then it dies. We must get up the hill! I turn the key again, pray, listen to the whine until, at last, a spark catches! We should be cheering, clapping, sighing, spent.

I wake up, before the explosion



If we don’t fix Can Opener Deficit Disorder, then we have the perfect excuse not to try  a new way and we may hurt ourselves, instead.  As a result we may very well miss joy beyond mere survival. That, my friends, is a rut, an excuse, a bowl of leftovers from a poorly set children’s table, a rut lined with excuses…

Why try hard?                    

I can’t.

What’s the point.

My friends, we were made for so much more.


If, at the age of thirty I believed I was worthwhile, I would have also have believed I deserved a better can opener. The same would have been true at the age of seven, but the idea of worthiness was an impossibility given the circumstance. For some of us who survived to adulthood this paradigm runs like a deep fault line beneath the thin veneer of our grown-up lives. By the time we’ve grown up we are afraid of what lies beneath.

I’m gonna give up

We may have heard, “You can’t” or “You’ll never” or “Get your head out of the clouds” or “You’re too sensitive.” Or, my favorite: “Why do you make things so difficult for me?”

I still struggle once in a while with worthiness, purpose, joy, happiness, or fulfillment so, my point is this: when  those of us who come from extreme difficulty struggle from time to time, we may now have access to proper tools with which to open things up–for instance,  a good adviser, coach, or counselor, someone skilled at help you “open up the can.” Or…an actual can opener.

I, for one, am willing to try for a better way to open up that can. Because I believe, inside each of us there’s something good, something hopeful, something worth sharing. And I’m not about to waste it.

We’re not wasters.

So let’s go, get a better can opener, and actually use it.

If we don’t purposefully set out to reward ourselves with proper tools, our lives are bleak indeed. Let’s not fail to understand this: that to strive for something good is to strive for reward-worthy living. We are capable of doing so much good in this world. To strive for more means we believe our efforts are worthwhile.  It’s not too far a leap from there to conclude that we are worthwhile too.

So we get to the core.

We are worthwhile. We deserve a better can opener.

“You Deserve a Better Can Opener” concludes next week.



Let’s talk rewards.

Yes, rewards.

But first, may we talk about Can Opener Deficit Disorder?

I used to suffer from Can Opener Deficit Disorder and I’ll tell you why. For a very long stretch–years–my parents did not own a real can opener. Can openers cost money and therefore were considered a luxury available only to the well-off. My dad reasoned his spare change was better spent on cat food, which I was expected to open for him with the jackknife. Not that I minded, because I had no working knowledge of can openers. Hence, because I had no understanding, no witness to tell me any differently, I had Can Opener Deficit Disorder.

I only wished we could have afforded BAND-AIDS.

But BAND-AIDS belong to another story.

The point of this article is this and I’m not the only one who learned it early: the one necessity in life was the one that demanded we suffer in order to subsist. Forget about a reward. Many of us experienced similar survival events in childhood, and could not have possibly had any working knowledge of what a reward was. We were too busy surviving.

The idea of rewarding oneself may be new idea for those of us who hail from one of life’s bleaker landscapes, a place where a certain mindset, an automatic way of being  may support mere survival. You understand, some of us hail from that place where rewards sit like isolated cabins on far apart hills, rewards hidden in thickets of brambles that hurt too much to get through. It was best not even to imagine bestowing a reward upon ourselves, best not to think about them at all. Besides, if adults in our lives were disabled from teaching us their value, how could we possibly learn about rewards? A decent can opener that might have been viewed by others in a different situation as a necessity in the kitchen. In mine it would have been a lovely reward for a kid working hard to please a parent, but I had no clue about rewards or how lovely they could make my life. Neither did my parents, given their situation. Some may laugh at the saying, “You work hard, and then you die” but, for some of us, survival in childhood under the tutelage of a mentally ill parent was no laughing matter.

The silver lining to Can Opener Deficit Disorder? In spite of a flawed system I learned to work hard and expect nothing because nothing would certainly follow. This reached into my very core for a while, and supported my survival, for which I am grateful.

I was thirty when the light finally cracked open the rewards center of my brain. When someone made the comment, “You know, Eva Stanfield, you could go out and buy a new can opener instead of struggling with that jackknife…” The light of that moment shone on something too-long stuck, unchanged in my psyche. I had a job. I could actually go to a store and buy a brand new can opener for myself.

What an epiphany! Epiphany which took only thirty years to sprout, grow, and break open my earth. Then, another one broke through: I didn’t have to suffer in that way any longer. More epiphanies to come, each gently breaking through those times when my earth softened and I was ready for them.

Life is hard, it’s true, so why make up additional suffering? Why not reward our work with some simple pleasures too?

When the earth beneath me started to shift: I no longer viewed a decent can opener as a necessity. Rather, I viewed the jack knife as the necessity.

You Deserve a Better Can Opener continues next week…

When a Pump Fails

I just have to share a dog park experience with you before I put the rocking chair on top of my car and drive to town. Yes, I will have the music blaring from speakers hung outside the windows playing “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I won’t disappoint you.

So here’s a question…Should I drive to the opera like that??? See column to the right.
Here’s the story. I hope you won’t mind my macabre humor here. Please just remember this story comes from someone who was raised with monkeys, after all…

DOG PARK CHRONICLE NO. 1: When a Pump Fails

It is fair to generalize that, in dog parks across America, a person may encounter a hefty cross section of  human and dog species. The local dog park is no exception.
Yesterday, as I entered the dog park with my dog and walked toward the shelter, I noticed a woman sitting, one arm draped over the back of the green bench. Apparently, she had come to give her service dog a break. She (the woman not the dog) proved to be quite chatty and knowledgeable. So chatty, in fact, that I believe I now know more about her after twenty minutes spent in her presence than I know about a lifetime spent with myself.
There was no subject about which she knew little. When I attempted to talk oh, say, about dogs, the weather, the area, her corrective personality managed to get my facts straight for me every time. Thank goodness. I had had no idea how wrong I had been about practically everything. During the course of the “conversation” I learned about where she’s from, why she’s here, who she’s with, and how long she’ll be staying, her health issues too, all without even asking! I also learned new inflections for phrases like “Mm Hm,” “I see,” and “Oh really? How interesting.” And, as if on cue, my Lamaze breathing method for childbirth from years ago kicked in. Also, in record time I developed a heightened appreciation for the amounts of snow fallen way over on yondro mountains, how wonderful the snow pack will be for our water supply come summer, over there, somewhere, anywhere but here in the moment.
So, the woman has this lovely service dog which she, in case of an emergency, trained to be super friendly with uniformed men–ambulance drivers, policemen, firemen and, by default, even UPS and mail men, a friendliness which mail and UPS men don’t appreciate when they see the dog approaching. In spite of the dog’s “impeccable” training they remain inside their trucks in a state of terror because the breed is the largest Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix “ever recorded since the twelfth century.” Then they lob packages into the jaws of the waiting dog,
The UPS guy has developed a tremendous aim as a result, same as the mailman. Not to mention the dog, who played catcher for the Baltimore Orioles at one point in his career.
Well, so far so good. Too much info for five minutes, though. But there was more.
Apparently the woman has had a pump installed in her head and, at any second, her head could explode. “So literally,” she explained, as I looked away feeling a tad ill, “my head could explode. At any given moment it could go off,” she said. “It could happen now!” Evidently the dog could save her from that.
I decided a protracted stay at the dog park would be, well, unsafe, so I turned to leave. As I said my goodbyes she said, “You’ll be seeing a lot of me at this dog park in future days.”
Not if her head explodes.
Never mind.

A Little Red Riding Pants Thanksgiving


Little Red has agreed to a radio appearance!


Fun for the whole family! Tune in to KSQM Community Radio to hear LITTLE RED RIDING PANTS’ NARROW ESCAPE, written and narrated by Eva Stanfield. Two airings: 9AM and 5PM. For bonus laughs at the end of the story, the 5 PM airing will include Little Red’s Handy Vocab List! Total running time 40 minutes with two breaks for station identification.

Go, Little Red, go!

The Rose

(First thing I ever wrote, circa fifth grade.)


Green her stem

Green her leaves

Red her garment but then–

I was there on that day in fall

She had lost her leaves, her garment, her all.

But wait! There’s still a hope–part of her garment is still there,

Torn from her heart, her heart so fair.

Then I discovered a very sad thing,

She wouldn’t be back ’till the coming of spring.