Archive for March, 2017

I May Have Missed It…

Yesterday I witnessed the most beautiful thing.  There in the hard ground springing forth were two little flowers blooming ever so slightly.

I have never really noticed “spring” before.  Not that I wasn’t observant, but living in a sunny climate for the last 10 years I saw flowers throughout the whole year.

Moving up to the Great Northwest just two months ago I have witnessed many changes, but perhaps the biggest change has happened inside of me.

Appreciation for the raindrops that fall from the sky making this part of the world beautiful shades of green.  Appreciation for the snow flakes that float down covering the earth with a beautiful white blanket.

Spending time with my granddaughter and watching her grow and change each week.

Taking the ferry across to my island home where I look out upon the waters from my desk as I write this.

I couldn’t have imagined a life like this a year or two ago.  Surrounded by love and beauty each day.  I always knew that 2017 would be an amazing year if I just opened my heart for new adventure.  So here I am, in a new place that I call home realizing that I am grateful for what I witness and observe.

And just as those flowers broke through and strived to live, I am like that flower, growing and blooming where I have been planted.

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And then it hits you…

Don’t you love it when you get those aha moments in your life?  I just had one such moment, when I was doing laundry of all things!  As I was putting the clothes into the dryer I realized that I was now doing it exactly the way Melitas showed me how to do it.  Yep, just like my driving I guess I never knew how to do laundry either until she showed me.  I would just transfer the clothes into the dryer in one big clump and turn on the dryer and go about my business.

It worked for all these years and I didn’t see a problem, no one complained, my clothes were always just as clean as the next person…the problem came several years ago when I was the Jr. Deputy at Casa Agave.  It was December of 2011, the warden was off having a great time with family and Melitas and I were enjoying our week together and then….(dramatic music playing) I started my laundry.  As soon as I took my laundry into the laundry room I hear Melitas come in behind me.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me: I am just going to do my laundry real quickly, you go sit down and relax, I can figure out the machine.

Melitas: You know I used to own a fluff and fold, remember?

Me: Yep, that must have been a lot of laundry (me throwing things in…)

Melitas: Hold up, that’s not how you do it, fill the machine with water and the suds first before you add your clothes.

Me: Does it really make a difference to do it that way?

Melitas: See this shirt?  I have had this since 1963, the year before you were born, it wouldn’t look this way if I did the wash the way you are doing it.  How old is that shirt you are wearing?

Me: Ummm, I don’t know a year maybe?

Melitas: Looks like it will be ready for the rag pile if you keep it up.

[Melitas scoots me over and begins the process of adding the detergent, then some dreft, then something else I can’t quite remember.  Then placing what would have been one load into two and sorts them by color.  I keep trying to say, it is ok, I can do it.  But no use. I have to just let her finish]

30 Minutes later Melitas is on her computer across from me on my computer and the washer stops, I get up to go put my clothes in the dryer and I turn around and before I make it to the laundry room door there she is breathing down my back.

Me: Melitas, I am just going to put them in the dryer, I can do this part. (Feeling nervous but knowing I can’t get it wrong just putting the clothes in the dryer, how hard can that be?).

Melitas: Hold up….that’s not how you put the clothes in the dryer!  You can’t just throw them in like you are doing, now step aside.

Me: (I have learned by now it is Melitas’ way or no way)

Melitas: Listen kid, you take one piece at a time and shake it out and then put it in the dryer.  It saves energy and your clothes will dry faster.

Me: Awww, yes,  I see. (looking at my watch knowing what would have taken me 2 minutes we are still in the laundry room 10 minutes later).


To be honest with you, the next 6 plus years I did laundry my way.  I was just too darn busy to sort and shake and whatever else she did.  But today I noticed I no longer am in a hurry.  I take each piece out of the washer and shake it out before putting it in the dryer.

I know that Melitas, if she is looking down at me is smiling at me and saying:” It’s about time, kid!  I knew one day you would know I was right!”

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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