We celebrated our one and only’s high school graduation today. What a day … and what a guy!
In 1997, my soul mate and I kicked off an adventure in a little town called Apex, in a beautiful little house on Acorn Hill Lane. Nineteen years, one son, three dogs and three cats later, we’re moving on to a new adventure half an hour down the road in a new little town. When we moved into this house, I was four months pregnant; I had breakfast one morning with my husband, went to work, and came home to a different house in a different town. Today, our son woke up and had breakfast with us, went to school, and will come home to a different house in a different town. I’ve passed the torch. I’m going to miss our house, where the most exciting (the birth of our son) and the saddest (the death of my father-in-law) events have occurred.
But we are nothing if not adventurers, we Sickles Three, and anticipate that our new house on two acres in the meadow will bring with it more of the good stuff, and likely more of the sad stuff … eventually. Either way, we face our new adventure head-on, where being together makes any house a home.
So, so long house … and thanks for all the fish!
My grantwriting class met again last night, and I got the nicest note from a student.
I so appreciate your class. I have been inspired to write on a personal level more since last nights class … I am taking back my love for writing.
Though I still struggle with writing anything long-form — my current approach is now more of a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race kind of thing — I find my mind whirling with creative ideas this afternoon. So when you have a good experience at work or at school, or in line at the grocery store, make sure you share the positive feedback. You never know who may need a little pep in their step.
Normally, this writer avoids anything mathematical like the plague. Seriously, when was the last time I needed the binomial theorem to calculate a restaurant tip? But the Fates have a funny way of intervening, and saw fit to deliver my son on Pi Day. Yesterday was his 18th birthday, which means that today he got to vote in the North Carolina Primaries.
He was so excited to vote … clearly, growing up in an activist household hasn’t scarred him. The officials in our district announced “First-time voter!” and the whole place broke into applause. That’s how it’s done.
Did you know that HIV disease is a communicable disease spread through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk? It’s spread through shared needles during intravenous drug use. It’s spread through sexual contact when one partner isn’t aware of their positive status. It does not discriminate based on gender, race, culture, age, economic status … it affects everyone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “an estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide … Around 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the United States, and 1 in 8 don’t know it.” There were 1,566 new HIV diagnoses in North Carolina in 2013, and there were 541 deaths due to HIV disease in 2012.
HIV disease is preventable, and it’s treatable – but it’s not curable. Yet. If you have HIV disease, you need to know how to not spread it; if you don’t have HIV disease, you need to know how to NOT get it. If you have young people in your family, love and respect them enough to get past the discomfort of discussing sex, disease prevention and responsibility, and provide straight talk. It’s unrealistic to assume your children are waiting because it’s what Jesus would do, or through the sheer force of YOUR will. Kids are smart nowadays; educate them as to why they should wait until they’re more mature to handle the emotional side of being sexually active, and how to be as safe as possible. Teach them to protect and respect themselves, and in turn to protect and respect their partner. The smart choices need to be present in the quick, stolen moments when intimacy will occur, and your conversations are only a memory.
So know your status; knowledge is power. And wear a condom. Every time. Until the cure …
Learn more about HIV disease
HIV Test Locations
“Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
– St. Francis
Interested in funding a project for your non-profit organization, or a need in your community? It’s not too late to sign up for my Introduction to Grantwriting course at Wake Technical Community College. This seven-week course is part of the Continuing Education program, and is offered at Athens Drive on Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 9:30, from October 27 – December 15 (skipping Thanksgiving week).
While my sweetie was conferencing, I tagged along to get in a little adventuring. I found Vancouver to be a rather functional working city, with pretty spots peeking through on occasion. The Stanley Park area was our favorite, particularly watching the rowing club in Coal Harbour. I walked about 45 miles over four days, took the city bus, the Sea bus and the water taxi. All around, a fun week.
Put your thinking caps on … it’s time to sign up for The Business of Writing for Children!
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
– Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
On any given day I’m happy to follow my flights of fancy to see where they’re going. I’m an optimist and an idealist, after all. And loathe though I am to admit, numbers can tell a story as good as words (had I not spent years as a technical writer and grant writer before turning to fiction, I never would’ve admitted it). Here are some numbers for you.
Today is my twenty-first anniversary with Matt.
So here’s to 21 x 21 to infinity more … I’d still stop the world and melt with him.