All posts by Ellen

The day I might have died

Twenty-nine years ago today I survived a car crash that could have taken my life. Rather than perish, I managed to, basically, walk away from it with merely cuts and bruises. Never mind that there was an immobilizing backboard, an ambulance ride, and an emergency room visit in between. Never mind that the subsequent police report read, “Car damage: Total, all sides and top.” In spite of those truths, I managed to hobble through my front door on my own two feet that evening.

Continue reading The day I might have died

Looking askance at the smug

Amanda stood toward the back of the small room singing while mentally criticizing the woman standing front and center. Amanda noted the outstretched arms, the robust singing—nothing wrong there, but something undefinable about her stance screamed self-satisfaction. Her body posture looked less like worship and more like wonderful am I. Less like adoration and more like aren’t I amazing?

Continue reading Looking askance at the smug

ADHD: Grieving for the person I wish I was

from The Rosie Project:

“ ‘Is Gene all right?’ [Julie] asked. It was obviously a variant on that most common of formulaic interaction, ‘How are you?’

“ ‘He’s fine, thank you,’ I said, adapting the conventional reply to the third-person form.

“ ‘Oh. I thought he was ill.’

“ ‘Gene is in excellent health except for being six kilograms overweight. We went for a run this morning. He has a date tonight, and wouldn’t be able to go out if he was ill.’

“Julie seemed unimpressed, and in reviewing the interaction later, I realized that Gene must have lied to her about his reason for not being present. This was presumably to protect Julie from feeling that her lecture was unimportant to Gene and to provide a justification for a less prestigious speaker being sent as a substitute. It seems hardly possible to analyze such a complex situation involving deceit and supposition of another person’s emotional response, and then prepare your own plausible lie, all while someone is waiting for you to reply to a question. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to be able to do.”

(The Rosie Project, p. 8)

Adapting those last lines to my life would read thus: It hardly seems possible to keep track of and complete in a timely, consistent manner all that needs to be accomplished daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to do.

Continue reading ADHD: Grieving for the person I wish I was

Living life fully: mountaintops and ravines

When life is lived to its fullest, both stunning success and tragic grief will be known.

Three miles south of my home, Bellevue, Idaho celebrated with the world as one of their own, Kaitlyn Farrington, won Olympic gold. They and the entire Wood River Valley are now mourning the death of two others, both of which resulted from two different snow mobile accidents. Continue reading Living life fully: mountaintops and ravines

Vocabulary: sailing, faith, and having a clew

“Wind the lazy jib sheet around the winch and prepare to tack. As I bring the bow into the wind, be ready to release the working sheet then tighten the new working sheet for a close reach. Ready about?”

If you’re a sailor, you’ll understand that these are words I might speak while teaching someone to sail.

Here’s some other things you might hear me say while sailing:

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