Friday, March 10, 2017

Compass 2017 - Caption for Back Cover - Delivering the Compass

 Iris and husband Art.

The front and back cover of The Compass 2017 are in glorious color. But there is no caption on the back cover, so here is an explanation.

Iris Arenson-Fuller is my friend from Goddard College in Plainfield VT, where she met her first husband Kim, who passed away. They had started an adoption agency, which she closed several years ago, after placing thousands of children in new homes.

Iris and her second husband, Art, a retired cardiac nurse, visited two years ago. View blog.

The photo on the back cover is a family portrait. It shows Iris and Art on the bottom left. Her tall child Jesse, who looks much like his father, Kim, is shown surrounded by his wife Yvonne and their daughter Tasya.

Son Ben is in the military, the Air Force, and is holding his dog Inu. His sister Crispin Abbot is the last one on the right.

Sitting next to Iris in the front row is little Gabriella - Gabby for short - and her mom Helena.

That's diversity for ya!!! Proud and unafraid.

Iris has been a poet her entire life. Four of her poems appear in the Compass. 

And now my friend from Goddard is Coach Iris! 

Picked up a few boxes of the Compass from Mark at Buxmont Stationers in Hatboro. I'd never use anyone else. He's still printing them out.

He and Rene at Boggs Printing are a great team.

Hold on, while I take a sip of my tea, Cinnamon Spice. Today is a no-coffee day for me.

Took the boxes home and spent a couple of hours addressing envelopes to send to contributors. Put em in a huge garbage bag to take to the Hatboro post office and left Jim, the father of 12-yo twins, and Jackie each a copy, as I know they like to read the Compass.

BTW, lemme know if you'd like a Compass and I'll tell you how to purchase one.

Total mailing cost was something like $40 for today.

The Compass itself was the same price as last year. About $2,300. In case Warren or Bill and/or Melinda are reading this, we'd love to have your tax-deductible donation. I think you'd learn a lot about mental illness.

But that doesn't leave you out, Dear Reader. Send in your donation too.


My barista sister Donna slept over the night before. She sleeps in my crumb-filled bed, which I brushed off first, while she removed all the books and hankies and pens n paper from the husband's side of the bed.

Let's go out for b'fast, I said. She only wanted to go to Starbucks. Not me. We went to my fave local place - TNT.

I injected 14 after ordering:  corned beef hash with 2 eggs on top, hashed browns, no toast.

Donna had a scrambled egg burrito.

She was SHOCKED at how good the food was. Leo was our waiter. A Mexican, he reminded us of Daddy who like Leo, used to say, "My pleasure."

We talked Leo's ear off as he was a great listener. And me, I'm thinking, What can I use in a story someday.

Generous to a fault, I said to Donna, who has more money, you or me. She really does but I paid cash for both of ours and left a nice tip.

Image result for hundred dollar bill     When I finish this blog, gonna cut out this bill, and see if I can buy a new pair of shoes with it over at Impact Thrift, new renamed Heavens Treasures, which Donna thinks is a terrible name.

Then I insist we walk over to Willow Grove Therapy on the corner. It'll only take three minutes, I say.

Says Donna, one-one-thousand, two-one thousand.

I open up the door - and btw, my right shoulder is aching, I dunno why - and there's Margaret Fitzpatrick herself, the owner.

Image result for willow grove therapy margaret fitzpatrick  Photo from the Internet.

This is from her Regency Tower office.

I see a man I know who is doing shoulder exercises!

Then Donna and I drive to her old condo - Woodwinds - which was bought out b/c it flooded - by FEMA and another thing.

Can you believe it Ruth? she said.

I used to live here and there's nothing there. Just a big green park.

We walked back n forth.

Image result for lesser celandine     Oh look! I said. Lesser celandines.

How on earth I ever remembered the name of these early-blooming wildflowers is a miracle equivalent to The Holy Virgin appearing to Bernadette Sousirus. Now, I'm not gonna look up her last name, but it was something like what I just typed up.

We chatted with a woman who was walking her cocker spaniel Cody in the park. The dog was old but quite lovely. The woman hated Woodwinds Condo. They shoulda bought her condo too as it's flooded about four times since then and the condo fee is now $700.

Now it was time to delivery the Compass.

I parked in the Abington post office but had already sent my Compass out of the Hatboro office.

Was gonna do my deliveries to AMH, which used to be the abbreviation for Abington Memorial Hospital before Jefferson Hospital horned in and joined with it.

Gorgeous day. Into a carton, I put many Compass. Judging by the weight, I stick in the amount I can carry in the 20 mins it'll take me to get to the hospital.


But you know what my mom said when I visited her later?

You were strengthening your arms, Ruth.

Image result for female strong arms               First I come to the Wunderly Lobby, but they've changed the name to The Buerger Bldg. There are wheel chairs in there, so I borrow one, and plop the carton on there.

WHEW, what a relief.

I take the elevator to the fourth floor psych ward and hand the carton to Nurse Staci, who's eating a slice of pizza.

She thanked me. What? She's gonna put me in four-point restraints?

I take three out as I'm gonna take em to my former psychiatrist Larry Schwartz.

I walk confidently to Suite 401A on the fourth floor, remembering as I do so, a piece I wrote for the Compass, Walking down this hall with its blue carpet and blue wall paper, gives me hope.

His office is dark. Locked. The receptionist when I walked in Wunderly Lobby said he had retired. Later, tho, when I sent out an email, a fellow said, He hasn't retired but is in Plymouth Meeting, near a Whole Foods.

Larry told me he would never retire. His wife did die, so maybe he moved. Who knows?

Image result for lawrence schwartz md psychiatrist    He used to go to conferences and I'd always ask him what he learned.

Then I passed Eldermed so I walked in and handed them the remaining Compasses.

Here's my poem of the day on Facebook.


Never knew his name
nor cared, but when
I tiptoed to the
window to see if
it was snowing - yes,
lovely slanting flakes
like arrows - I realized
his voice had a name.

Gregg Whiteside. He goes
on about the piccolo in
a Vivaldi piece and as a
true friend should, talks
about the weather.
All cares vanish as he
speaks. The outside world
does not exist. Only the
sound of his voice, dear
Gregg Whiteside, and the
smell of the newly falling snow.

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