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Articles in "Spiritual Smart Aleck "

I was asked to write a blurb about the island Labyrinth Tour that is coming up, and I realized that the blurb needed a picture.

I mentioned this in an email to my friend Susan, who is a retired journalist, and told her that it would be hard to get a good picture of a labyrinth because a labyrinth is a pattern on the ground, and I wasn’t sure how I could get a picture that looked like anything more than a lumpy bit of lawn with some rocks set in. I mentioned that perhaps I could climb up on a bench that sits at the edge of the lawn where the labyrinth is located, and from that height I could get a better picture.  

It is September again, and the spiders are in full bloom. We see them and their webs everywhere.

I will not say that I am not afraid of spiders. Just the other day I picked up a plastic cup in the sink and a spider came galloping around the corner headed for my fingers. I yelped and gave my hand a short sharp shake, and the cup flew clear across the kitchen.

How old was I when I first realized that one of the greatest things I could do to increase my happiness was to lower my expectations? Perhaps it was about the time that Mick Jagger was informing us in his iconic rock whine that you can’t always get what you want. Probably later than that. I’m a slow learner.

A couple of months ago I found out that I didn’t have cancer. It was a huge relief. Not two weeks later I found out that a dear friend of mine has stage 3 lung cancer.

Her name is Susan.

Today went well right up until I dropped the cell phone into the toilet.

The phone was in my pocket, as it often is. I went into the bathroom. You don’t need to know why. I was in the bathroom, minding my own business.

My old friend Sonya is here this week. Our friendship goes back to the mid-1960s, when we were alternate lifestyle ladies together, sashaying around in our long skirts and thrift store glad rags.

My birthday was last week, and a couple of people wished me “the happiest birthday ever.” Oddly enough, that is exactly what it was. I had some biopsies done six days before my birthday and I was waiting for the results. Many of my friends and family members have had cancer, and I thought it might be my turn.

As I am writing this, it is May 20, 2011. According to some people who have been getting a lot of press lately, the end of the world is supposed to occur tomorrow, May 21. If that is the case, it won't matter that I didn't get my column in before deadline today. 

When I started writing a column for this paper nine years ago I wrote about you and titled the column, “Grandma's Diary.” You were my newborn grand daughter then, and the apple of my eye.

It’s been a good week for doggerel here at Casa Tuel. It started out innocently enough. It began as I was digging out buttercups: