Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Midweek Musings

Good evening,

The news last night of the passing of my father's last surviving sibling caused me to feel a bit guilty. I had not seen my aunt Irene for six or seven years, and I don't recall speaking to her in that time. I toyed with the idea of going to the funeral, but the arrangements coincide with some client responsibilities that I do not think can wait.

I sat over coffee after court this morning, in a funny little restaurant that I did not previously know existed. My stopping there occurred entirely by chance. I had spent 45 minutes looking for the Liberty Department of Revenue License office, only to learn that my Property Tax Receipt had an error that prevented me from renewing my plates. Disgruntled, hungry, caffeine-deprived, I tried to make my way to the Starbucks on Route 152 but went the wrong way. Instead, I found myself west of the highway, gazing at my choices: one to the right, one to the left. I have no idea why I picked the latter, but there I was, with a bad cup of coffee, a soggy biscuit, and a runny egg.

I called my office and let my receptionist know that she could refrain from canceling my Thursday appointments, and scrolled through my e-mail messages. I pushed the egg around my plate and stared into the cooling coffee. After a few minutes of pretending to eat, I heard a voice on my right ask if everything was okay, and looked up, expecting to see my waitress.

Instead, a man hovered over me. I felt my brow tighten, wondering what he wanted, as I assured him that I was fine, all was well, I did not need anything. He smiled. "You probably don't remember me," he said. "You helped me out in a little matter over in Clay County about ten years ago, and I've never forgotten you."

I glanced at his name tag, but it bore only his first name which afforded me no clue to trigger the lost memory. I studied his face, but could not remember him or his case. He told me his surname, and that he has never missed a weekend with his child. "You were really great back then," he told me. "I appreciated everything you did for me. I've been on the straight ever since. A lot has happened. I've grown. I take care of my kid, and it's wonderful." I smiled, and nodded, and strained to recall what I might have done to cause him to look at me with such dazzling gratitude, this tall young man who seemed strong, confident and calm. I thanked him for remembering me, told him that I was really glad things had gone well for him, and returned his smile.

I finished my breakfast, and left, standing just a bit taller, no longer worried about the lines at the tax office.

Later, I looked on Case.Net, and sure enough, I had done a paternity action for him in 2000. Since the docket items are not visible due to privacy laws covering paternity cases, I couldn't tell how contentious the matter had been. His file probably had been crammed in one of many document boxes lost in a storage room flood. I can't event browse its contents to refresh my recollection of his case. I don't suppose I will ever know.

But if you get breakfast in Liberty one day, and a kind young man with a radiant smile asks if he can help you, leave him a big tip. He's got a kid to support.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Musings, 24 September 2011

Good morning,

Unfamiliar surroundings greeted my slitted, foggy eyes this morning. My beloved and I slipped south on old 69 yesterday, bound for the Coves on Grand Lake near Afton, Oklahoma. Our lunch stop led to the discovery of a dusty used bookstore in Fort Scott, Kansas, at which I chatted with a Dead Head whom I stopped just shy of calling aging, realizing that we come from the same generation. I found a mystery by a Swedish writer whom I have been wanting to try, whose books apparently defy procurement by our public library. We drove around the perimeter of the Fort, then headed south again, arriving at our friends' golf course residence just in time to see a small doe dart across the road near their home. I marveled, until an hour later, on our way to dinner, when I saw the entire herd and listened to stories of the annoyances they cause.

The overwhelming beauty of their home and its serene air eases the tension from between my shoulder blades. We watch the finches sneak from amidst the dense foliage to settle on the perches of one of the many feeders tended by the lady of the house. My eyes flutter closed, and I let the quiet conversation fade into a pleasant blur.

I irritated yet another hearing officer this past Thursday. Among the thorns that I pressed into her side was a slightly snotty comment that slipped from between my lips before my brain could engage. For that, I rose to the occasion and sent a faxed atonement, but for citing law, I make neither apology nor lament. To my raising of a statutory defense to the action that the agency sought to have endorsed, the hearing officer snapped that she had no time to read the law. When she offered the agency's file into evidence, an act that should have been undertaken by the agency representative, not the allegedly impartial 'tribunal' , and I objected as it had not been previously served on me or my client, she nearly came undone.

Ultimately, the hearing collapsed of its own weight, ostensibly to be re-set, but I have triggered agency action to end the farce and evidence that they might take the bait has already surfaced. The local agency representative called my client on Friday, asking if I had sent a request for termination of the matter. I have, indeed, in three-part harmony, with notary seal, authentication, and tersely cited supporting authority.

It was a good week for the Indians.

I'm wondering, as I sit with my Mac resting on the scarred surface of an old French butcher table, how many mornings I have sat in other people's kitchens. From Murray Valley in Newton County, Arkansas, to the gentle slops of Epworth Heights in Ludington, Michigan, I've perfected the art of house-guesting. As I write, bacon lends its wicked fragrance to the air of this kitchen, here amongst the grove of thriving plants and scabrous stone that surrounds our friends' home. My husband has taken yesterday's Wall Street journal to the deck, which looks out over a steep ravine, at the bottom of which, I believe, is the lake itself. I have no responsibilities. I am free to sip coffee made by someone else, and stretch my aching neck, and wonder if my son got his anthropology paper done by midnight, as required.

I squander the quiet morning wondering why pillows cradle my head more gently in other people's homes. As a traveler, I abandon concern for whether my clothing demonstrates my dislike of ironing. It came from a suitcase -- of course it has wrinkles. Never mind that they are permanent: when one is traveling, one need not iron.

I think about my pro bono client of Thursday's hearing. As we waited for the hearing officer, whose call came ten minutes late without comment, she told me about her children, who range in age from thirteen to twenty-nine. I felt my forehead tighten as I calculated. Either she had started very young, or wore her age better than I do, the latter of which seemed unlikely given her two years in prison. I'm forty-five, she offered, seeing my confusion.

I could not believe it. She looked thirty or slightly more to me, with her thin, short stature and her smooth complexion. I only did drugs for a couple of years, she assured me. I got caught, and they made me for a felony because my youngest child was in the car. Preconceived notions splintered on the tile around me. I slid my eyes along the notes that I had written. I realized that there must be more to her story, since her youngest two had been in the guardianship of her sister since 1998. Oh, that, she whispered, and slightly shook her head. It was a bad time. Bad. I didn't ask her to explain. I have seen enough of other people's pain to make me keenly aware that my own pales by comparison.

After the aborted hearing, I followed her outside the building. I had assembled a bag of clothing to take to our local DAV, and it had occurred to me that the things might fit her, and might be put to better use in her hands. She accepted them with quiet and unapologetic gratitude. I offered to take her home, rather than making her haul the bag of clothing on the bus. She declined. I think we both felt relieved when I accepted her decision, and said goodbye. I watched her walk up Pennsylvania, past the gaggle of men waiting for the evening soup kitchen to open its doors at the corner church.

I represent this woman pro bono. I took her case in a moment of uncharacteristic weakness, not out of a sense of social obligation but because I've gossiped behind the back of the old acquaintance who asked me to do so. I feel guilty about my cattiness, despite the fact that every word I spoke was the absolute truth. Over the last few months, as I met the various deadlines of this proceeding for which I am receiving no monetary compensation, I have lamented both my snotty comments about my old acquaintance, and the punishment that I let the universe mete out. But on Thursday, watching the unintended third party beneficiary of my self-inflicted penance resolutely trudge towards the first of two buses that would take her home, I had no regrets.

Breakfast begins to appear and its fragrance beckons. I leave my reverie about the events of the week, and turn my attention to a pair of perfectly cooked eggs, a jar of Michigan jelly, a toasted English muffin, and three smiling, robe-clad companions.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Musings, 17 September 2011

Good morning,

I felt a sharp bite of fall air on my skin as I reached down to get the newspaper from the porch. The white cat slipped passed me into the house, casting a brief, indignant glance in my direction. I am to be blamed, I suppose, for getting married late in life to a man whose cat allergy necessitates her nocturnal banishment in all but the most inclement weather. Her indignation does not deceive me; I know she shares my love of the beautiful porch, and sleeps quite comfortably on the orange cushions of the metal furniture on our gorgeous new deck.

I spent the week in trial. Ten hour days, missed meals, a tension headache that defies all efforts to soothe. I found a new aching spot each time I shifted in my seat at court yesterday. Years of practice enabled me to keep the plasticine smile in place. Towards the middle of the afternoon, I nearly lost my composure listening to my client's ex-wife testify that she routinely spent $600.00 per month at the beauty salon. Appearing pro se to try to induce the court to increase my client's maintenance of her from $600.00 per month to some unspecified number north of there, this woman, who receives maintenance, disability, and works part-time, screeched at the judge that she thought the fact that she drives a Mercedes to be not relevant, not relevant, not relevant. The judge overruled her objection, and, with a rare show of impatience, told her, I think the fact that you drive a Mercedes-Benz is very relevant to the issues before the Court. Indeed.

As I cross-examined her -- bearing in mind that she fell into the "crazy like a fox" category -- I trod with careful feet on the issue of the beauty salon. I did not wish to suggest any racially motivated criticism to the woman, who sat in the witness box with what I mistakenly took to be long extensions. She corrected me, explaining that she has a weave. A weave, I repeated. I have to admit that I was not even sure what that meant. She placed a delicate hand on the side of her head, caressing the locks. I have to maintain my looks, she fussed. I'm very grey. If I don't get a color and a weave every month, it really looks bad.

My client is not wealthy. He has made his way up the pay scale at the Postal Service, and has a comfortable salary. But he took custody of their daughter at the time of the original divorce, and that daughter is now in college. He also took the home, the mortgage, all of the credit card debt, and the loan against his Thrift Savings Plan. During their marriage, she worked part-time, did volunteer work, and hung out with her girl friends -- which I know from her own testimony at the divorce trial. She also, to be fair, spiraled into periods of depression, and I think it is also fair to say that the records did support her disability claim. She's fairly taxed with only part-time work ability, based upon those records, and my client could not afford to have me investigate her current mental state. But I also know that the land-line she used for court proceedings from her home in Phoenix is listed in a man's name at the same address, and if I had unlimited funds, I am sure my investigator would bring me information that she avoids the trigger of termination of alimony by re-marriage in name only.

As I drove from court, muttering to myself to help me recall the details that I intend to put in my proposed judgment, my mind drifted to a time, decades before now, when I volunteered at a program that prepared adults to take their G.E.D. testing. At fifteen, with idealism in my heart, I found validation in the person of my first student, a working single mother in her thirties named Janet LeSeur. Each week, we bent over the training documents, she and I, my long brown hair falling forward, hers cropped tight against her skull in the way of serious black women of the day. We hammered at the materials, week upon week. I rode to the center with a carload of girls from my parish and the parish north of mine. She came by city bus. She never missed a week. Had I been tempted to skip a night, her diligence would have shamed me, and so I did not.

At the end of the school year, my participation in the program also ended. I spent the summer working, and in the fall, our project had changed its focus. We were now helping children at a center downtown. I did not see Janet again.

One evening that winter, the phone rang in our home. My father answered and I saw him standing, puzzled, beside the wall phone. Finally, he rested the receiver on the top of the phone and said to me, Do you know a woman named Janet LeSeur, as though it seemed inconceivable that his fifteen-year-old daughter might have such an acquaintance. I do, I assured him. I took up the phone, and listened to her excited voice. I can't believe I found you! she told me. I called every "Corley" in the phone book, asking if you lived there! She told me that our having a city exchange tricked her into thinking it couldn't be right, so she tried our number last. I thought you lived in Jennings, she said, and I explained that I did, but that years before, we had gotten a city exchange for reasons that I no longer remember.

At any rate, I found you, she said. And the reason I'm calling is to tell you that I got my G.E.D.!! I couldn't have done it without your help. In fact, I would have quit that program after a couple of weeks except that I couldn't stand the thought of disappointing you. If you hadn't been there, week after week, I would have stopped coming.

Other than having served as bolster for each other's best intentions, Janet LeSeur and I had nothing in common. We talked for a few minutes, and then said our goodbyes, and I have not seen or thought of her in forty years.

But during a break in yesterday's proceedings, the judge asked me to try to reach an agreement with my client's ex-wife, and so, I stood, talking to her, and in the course of that conversation she asked me, Why should I have to support myself when I was married to him for nineteen years? Suddenly, the face of Janet LeSeur popped into my mind, and I saw again the concentration on her smooth brown face, the focus which imprinted itself on the fatigue beneath it, and I heard again the triumph in her voice when she called to tell me that she had attained the first goal on her path to success.

Last evening, my husband, our youngest son Mac, and I went to dinner. The two of them let me babble about my day. After I had amused them with a high-pitched account of the hair salon testimony, Mac asked me why a woman would be entitled to get money from her husband after they were divorced. I tried to explain the history of alimony, the variance in standards for the grant of it as our society evolved, and the philosophy behind its award. My explanation sounded bogus even to me. And then there is the case of Janet LeSeur, a woman determined to be accomplished and independent, making her way one step at a time towards collecting the arsenal needed to attain her victory. In the final analysis, I cannot defend the system, and after a few minutes, I stopped trying.

Someone asked me a long time ago why I prefer to represent men. Although not all of my clients are husbands and fathers, many of them are. I formulated my response then, and have given it often. Most women ask me two questions: Can I make the bastard suffer, and How much money can I get? Most men, on the other hand, ask me two different questions: How much time can I get with my kids, and Can I make this as painless as possible for everybody?

Picking my clients by the measure of which set of questions they ask is easy. I do not discriminate by race, gender, religion, or political persuasion. I have my own litmus test.

It's 7:30 and the house has not yet stirred. On the other hand, the dog has fallen back to sleep and the white cat has stopped yowling. I think I will take a fresh cup of coffee out onto the porch, and have my morning session of yelling at the newspaper. Life has many simple pleasures, and that's one of mine.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Musings, 10 September 2011

Good morning,

Darkness clings to the room around me, and to the world outside my window. I have awakened earlier than I needed to be awake, but I knew, when I fell asleep a few hours ago, that an unidentifiable longing restrained me from the relaxation that I craved, pulling me into a watchful unease.

Four of us drove from Kansas City to Branson yesterday, to attend a planning committee meeting for next year’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. I settled into the back seat beside my neighbor, our husbands occupying driver’s seat and shotgun. Thirty miles east of home, my cell phone rang. Glancing at the face, I saw my sister Joyce’s name. Odd, I told myself, and answered with the inevitable question: What’s wrong.

She told me that our brother Kevin had had a stroke.

None of us can claim to be young. Kevin just turned sixty – a fact that I ascertained by adding four years to the milestone that I myself have recently attained. Heart attacks, arthritis and strokes appear in our family medical history on both sides, so we expect such maladies to plague in our generation. But I am not ready.

I leaned against the seat, listening to the details, sharing them with those around me, calling my brother’s lady to hear more – and all the while thinking, Not yet, not yet, not yet. I am not ready to lose another brother.

The room around me fades to a darkened bedroom in Boston, thirty-four years ago, and the gentle sounds of the hotel air conditioning yield to the timorous voice of my twenty-two-year-old-self reaching out to my mother across the miles between Massachusetts and Missouri. Moving here was a mistake, I told her. I want to come home.

Less than a day later, my brother Kevin arrived on South Street, outside the door of Number 27, in my mother’s car. He rapped upon our apartment door, and gruffly greeted me, asking if I had gotten everything packed. I gestured to a couple of suitcases and a few boxes of books, more than I had carried with me on the plane eight months before, less than he had expected me to have accumulated. Easy as pie, he said, and hauled the lot downstairs in one trip.

I took him out to dinner before we left, to the No Name Restaurant on Pier One. He cheerfully consumed a huge plate of clams, fried golden, and downed a steaming cup of coffee. You’ve got to order it black, I cautioned, or it will come with milk in it. “Coffee, regular” meant thick and white, with whole milk. He marveled at such folly as polluting one’s coffee,and lit a cigarette, sitting at the counter, lean and wiry, quick eyes taking in the noisy surroundings. I guess we better get, he finally told me.

He drove the entire way. We pulled into a truck stop for a few hours, parking between two semis and across from a highway patrol car. By the beam of the dome light, I could see the napping trooper, his head nodding over a clipboard. We cracked our windows to let the cool autumn air whisk away the smoke from my brother’s cigarettes. I slumped against the window, feeling like a failure, worrying about my boss’s reaction to the cowardly message I had left on her answering machine. I can’t do this, I can’t switch to working nights like you want me to do, I can’t find a new apartment when my roommates move, I can’t live here. Thanks for everything.

I shared the apartment of two actresses in Brighton, near Boston College from which each had recently graduated. When word of our building “going condo” had come to us by way of a printed notice slipped under our door, the two of them got a house together in which, I was told without ceremony, there would not be room for me. We advertised for a roommate, not a sister, the dark-haired Marian bluntly informed me while blond Melanie stood beside her, expressionless, unyielding. My face froze in a glittering smile. I had thought we were friends. They had shared their social outings, invited me to cast parties, introduced me to men. I shuddered at the realization that I had been a bother to them.

My brother Kevin drove the whole way back to St. Louis. As we descended into the river valley east of downtown, I squinted into the strong rays of the rising sun. The place looked foreign, like the set of a movie, or an illustration of a science fiction novel. Home. He exited to take the I-70 loop into North County, and I began to worry about the look on my mother’s face, the disappointment in her eyes, the condemning shake of my father’s graying head.

None of that came to pass.

Kevin pulled my shabby belongings from the trunk of Mother’s car, and urged me down the steps into her waiting arms. Welcome home! My mother held me for a few moments, as my brother pushed the front door wider to accommodate his burden. I followed him into the living room, where my father sat in his recliner, sparing me only a brief glance that told me nothing of what he might be thinking. I brought your baby girl, my brother told him, and my father replied with a sound that told me nothing.

Later, after my brother had slept for eight straight hours on a bed in the sunroom, we all sat down to a dinner of salad and egg rolls. We traded only pleasantries, as though I had not been gone for more than half a year. Then, with a couple of hugs and a few gruff words of encouragement, my brother went back to his own apartment, leaving me to figure out how I would get my life back on track, feeling numb, my only clear thought a sort of grand relief that he had rescued me.

In the next few years, my brother Kevin made several other forages into the world to fetch other siblings. It became a kind of family joke in those days, at least between my mother and me, that Kevin’s job in the family was that of a St. Bernard, finding brothers and sisters who had gotten too far from the warmth and light of home. But I was the first to be saved, and I remain convinced, all these years later, that I would have spun out of control and fallen off the earth, if he had not tethered me and hauled me back into breathable air.

He lies now in a hospital bed in Washington, Missouri. I have talked at length to his lady and exchanged cell phone numbers with her. I have arranged berth with friends who live nearby, and transportation to the area should I need to get there swiftly, before Sunday, before another crisis. I have done all I can. But I am prepared to do more, for my debt to him is great, and my love for him has never been more clear to me.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

RIP Lucille Johanna Lyons Corley, 09/10/22 – 08/21/85
Happy Birthday Hot Lips Mama!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Musings, 03 September 2011

Good morning,

From a chair on my new deck, I see the blooms of my cultivated mimosa swaying against my neighbor's kitchen window. The growth of this little tree has been stunted by the lingering presence of the aging cedar which shades the back of our house. My mimosa started three years ago as a volunteer, which I watered, protected and nourished. Now it huddles, misshapen but eager, under the spindly, sprawling branches of the evergreen. I am not sure if one could be taken down without damaging the other, so we do nothing, pondering a replacement for both, as summer fades into fall.

My week brutalized me, save for a quiet evening with friends last night, with bounty spread upon their table and delightful, lively conversation. I spent the week roaring from court to court handling other people's problems. I missed a hearing that my usually diligent assistant had forgotten to docket, though I pulled that one out of the ringer thanks to a gracious court clerk. I yelled in outrage at a hearing officer who had called my client directly and held an on-the-record proceeding without me, despite the superseding entry of a judicial order rendering the issue moot, despite her agency's having previously told me that the hearing would not take place. I am not particularly proud of the manifestation of my fury, but I think it was understandable.

By midnight at week's end, my neurological system rebelled. The nerve running through my artificial knee knotted and spasmed until just before dawn, when I finally calmed it with repeated applications of balm and the ingestion of Vicodin. The human body recoils from a relentless onslaught of stress.

But this morning, the crickets sing to me, and the white cat has her morning bath on the decking beside my chair. I roll my shoulders and close my eyes, leaning back, feeling the cool air on my tired face. My own two divorces afforded me significantly less grief than the partings of the scores of strangers to whom I strive to give my staunchest defense. I carry their burdens between my shoulders, diagonally along nerves long encrusted with the shingles virus.

As I left the Platte County courthouse Thursday afternoon, tucking a file under my arm and rummaging in my bag for keys, the guard bade me a good afternoon and I stopped, considering the potential. He smiled, and I am certain he must have sensed my pessimism. Or have the best afternoon you can, he conceded. We shared a laugh, and I exited on his line.

Now I am scanning the neglected posts in my list-serve, contemplating whether solo practitioners should or can take vacations, whether the Democrats or the Republicans ruined our economy, whether I know any lawyers in any of the counties in which my colleagues wish to make referrals. I listen to the occasional honk of a distant, impatient driver, and the backnotes of songbirds, who seem oblivious to the demands of traffic. I find myself turning my head sharply, thinking I hear my mother's voice, my father's cough, my brother's Hey, Mare Bear. It is only the yowling of the cat and the drone of a small plane overhead.

As I exited my house yesterday to go to meet my suite mate for coffee, a mother walked down the sidewalk with her two children. The youngest sat, alert, in a stroller, while beside him, a small golden girl in a navy blue uniform tread carefully over the cracks in the old cement. She held a cup of juice. Off to kindergarten? I asked, thinking she might be going to the Catholic grade school that sits three blocks south of here. I'm only THREE, she announced, amused, as three-year-olds will be, at my mistaking her for a worldly five-year old. And I'm going to BORDER STAR!

Border Star is a charter school located about a mile west of my house. It used to be a public elementary school, but has evolved to survive. I was surprised that such a small child would be walking so far, and said as much to her mother. The woman raised an eyebrow as she trundled past, remarking only, Walking is good for you. I watched them for a few seconds, then got into my car. Later that day, when I returned, in my car, from work, I happened to see the same little girl sitting on her father's shoulders as he strode down my street, going home. The child still looked splendid in her tiny blue uniform, small white blouse and shiny Mary Janes. She still clutched her juice cup, smiling her radiant smile at the end of her glorious day in pre-school. I could not suppress my envy.

I like to think that I can remember such happy occurrences from my own childhood, but I cannot. The only time I walked home from school with my father was on a grim day in the 4th grade when I got suspended for slapping my teacher. She had jabbed my cheek with a ballpoint pen and made a check on my skin to punish me for poor penmanship, snarling that the red of the ink would match what she described as my horrible freckles. I backhanded her without hesitation. My father, the nonworking parent, had been summoned to fetch me.

I couldn't tell you why he didn't have a car that year, but he walked to my school and together we walked home. I would have hit her harder than you did, he admitted to me. But it probably wasn't the most clever response. When we got home, he made lunch for me, and a hot fudge sundae. The teacher, who visited such imprudent discipline on other students and had an annoying habit of sitting on boys' desk with her skirt hiked up above the edge of her stockings, did not return to school after Christmas break. We heard she got fired. The incident did not go on my permanent record.

I remember that sundae melting in the plastic dish in which my father served it to me. I swirled the sauce into the cream, and slurped its sweet stickiness. My father made himself a cup of coffee, and we sat in the breakfast room, the smoke from his cigarette drifting to the circular fluorescent fixture. I was nine years old. I got glasses that year, and heavy, ugly orthopedic shoes. In response to these indignities, I made my mother let me get my hair cut for the first time, which I later regretted. But on a cool fall day, my father spoke sharply to a small, ugly nun in full habit, and, in my defense, told a fuming lay teacher that she had no business being responsible for impressionable children. I stood beside him, trying to look repentant, thinking only that I could not recall another time when I had been proud to be my father's daughter.

I hear the slamming of car doors, and the quick roar of a lawn mower. Later today, the dead lawn in my backyard will be patiently Verti-cut by my persistent, persnickety husband. The seed of some desirable grass will be sown, and the dry earth will be watered. In the meantime, I think I hear a book calling me from the Half-Price Bookstore, and I am quite certain that there are freshly roasted beans designed for my Americano at Dunn Brothers Coffee.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

RIP Richard Adrian Corley, 12/27/22 - 09/07/91

The Missouri Mugwump™

My photo
I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.