Sunday, July 16, 2017

Are You Dying?

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Are You Dying?


Call it a thoughtful moment, one perhaps long overdue;
I saw her out and about, and spoke in turn, as if on cue,
"If you don't mind me saying, you are looking nice tonight."
She stopped dead in her tracks, asked if she'd heard me right?

I suppose a compliment coming from me seemed out of place,
and this was not the first time I'd noticed her pretty face.
Granted, for an instant I felt empowered; I cast a smile,
I was expecting one in return. She said, "Not your style."

Normally, I would back up. I just asked what she was implying.
She ruined the entire mood, asking me, "Hey, are you dying?
Seriously, if something is wrong, tell me. I need to hear.
As much as you annoy me, I don't want to see you disappear."


I shook my head from side to side, and quietly walked away.
For all intents and purposes, it should have ended that day,
but I could not get those words she said, out of my head;
I was in the best health of my life, no thoughts of being dead.

For years, I had prided myself on being cynical, as intended;
while it is considered part of my charm, some get offended,
but really, all they need do is chill, and consider the source.
I was comfortable in my sarcastic skin, for better or worse.

It took her little time to share her viewpoint, so slanted;
soon, our small circle of friends feared I would be planted.
Phone calls and text, social media remarks, coming my way,
mostly beating around the bush, wondering how I felt today?


"What's the matter," "Have you seen a doctor?" "How do you feel?"
Honest to goodness, this couldn't be happening, but it was real.
No matter at the efforts I expended, I was not able to deflect.
I treated each one with kid gloves, showing nothing but respect.

My smart ass persona fell by the wayside, as if put in reverse.
Wouldn't you know, that only served to make the situation terse.
Now each was witnessing my "transformation" in person, firsthand,
at how conciliatory I had become, though this was not planned.

Eventually, the sad tidings brought about a negative effect.
I began to ponder the eventual outcome of my real health neglect.
It was a good thing I had insurance, and a decent pharmacy deal;
two visits to a doctor, a sniffle and a physical; spin the wheel.


I stopped taking calls and messages, setting my sites to "away,"
putting my social life on hold, going straight home at end of day,
opting to sit in the dark and dwell, or cast a mirror a glance;
became a bonafide germaphobe, not about to take a chance.

With no one available, I turned to the mirror to plead my case.
"On the verge of pushing up daisies, can you see it on my face?
Am I about to check out in the near future? Look into my eyes!
Tell me what I need to know, and be straight; tell me no lies."

We worked it out, that glass and me. I'd fallen prey to a ruse,
and it was up to me to turn it all around; I just had to choose.
Determined to get my feet on, not under, solid ground, but how,
was yet to be determined. I needed a believable way to disavow.


I put my master plan together, one that was cunning and bold.
She stepped forward with a revelation that put my move on hold.
She said, "If anyone should sense sarcasm, it was you the most.
That line about you dying was a joke, about giving up the ghost."

This startling revelation she brought, left me dead in my stance.
Was she conciliatory, ridding herself of guilt perhaps by chance,
or was she cleverly spinning my dial, to yet another station,
to leave me further bewildered, toward a deeper resignation?

We eventually worked it out, that girl, the mirror and me.
I found an acceptable attitudinal ground, for all to see.
I still see the girl on weekends, when our schedules allow,
so all things considered, at least I'm not dead to her now.


Michael Todd (2017)

93 comments:

  1. This, I think, is one of my favorites from you. It gives me a lot to ponder, but the line about giving up the ghost, really gave me pause to wonder.

    I love you madly, you know <3

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    1. Just some light fare, that many of us can take twofold, and to heart, Dahlia. Love you back, and...

      Nice FRISTING !!!

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  2. Truely a masterpiece, Myke! I enjoyed this weavings emmensly.!!

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    1. Thanks, Andrew... This one was a lot of fun to conjure.

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  3. A haunting journey , that glass makes one face many things in life's fate , seems the girl felt a few things that soon surfaced. It brings this ole heart much happy thoughts that you are at a place that makes you happy. ' giving up the ghost ' speaks so much

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    1. If these two are never more than just friends, they will at least be assured of having a friend for life, Cherry Rose.
      There is much to be said for that... Thank you.

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  4. Your best ever! It is a wonderful Onion.

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    1. Sallon... if you're happy, I'm happy... Thanks so much for visiting today. :)

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  5. YOU my friend
    maybe smoldering
    now SPARKED
    and it feels good on you? hehe

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    1. It feels fantastic, Brenda.
      I am on a roll...
      Thanks bunches.
      Hope you are having best Summer ever.

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  6. This left me welling tears of happiness and sorrow, one heck of an emotional twist in the subliminal. This is fantastic on many levels.

    So tell me Myke; how do you really feel

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    1. I feel fantastic, Sir... Really happy you enjoyed this round. Thanks, as always, for spending time with me.

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  7. I'm blown away.... the dance of life, captured in a moment of truth. -Dave Raider

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    1. Thank you kindly, Sir. High praise, indeed, from the master of seeing from both sides of an equation. :)

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  8. Quite the interesting read, though the subject a knife to the heart, As I consider one thought healthy, but now we are apart. Your writings always stir me, take me to new places to see, Your writings always touch and guide, showing the heart that does within you abide...

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    1. People who think in rhyme, Rebecca... well, we are just unique in our ways, and how we perceive the words around us.

      Which is good. Thank you!

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  9. quite a lot to take in, almost made my head spin

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    1. Spinning is good, twirling is better...
      Thanks for visiting, Sir Tyler. I do appreciate that.

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  10. Fantastic Michael! I thoroughly enjoyed!

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    1. Thank you, Tanya... I am truly honored by your visit.

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  11. Excellent rhythm, and just fantastic overall! Hope to see you and your poetry posts around for a long, long time, my friend!

    --Trish (Dances With Vodka)

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    1. Thank you, Trish. You are far too kind.
      Let's stay together for a long, long time, indeed. :)

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  12. I am sincerely and utterly relieved that you are NOT 'dying'--can say the same (with utmost conviction) of myself. Enjoyed this illuminating jaunt through a relationship that seems destined to go 'the distance' 😊👍

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    1. I am hanging in there, Demme, right along with you. Glad you enjoyed our account of this little tryst. It was a fun ride.

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  13. Wow...what a ride! Much to ponder and feel here, I even found myself laughing out loud after reading, "became a bonafide germaphobe, not about to take a chance." Not that it's funny, but I understand, the struggle is real. I'm so glad you are standing on solid ground. This is really great, Michael. ~Debra

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    1. Thank you immensely, Debra. I was never good at caring, so when the notion hits me to do so, I tend to struggle as to what is really care worthy... Something like that.

      Great to see you here. :)

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  14. The shadow of the scythe passed over you head. Maybe I should wonder what is in that bread.

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    1. If you find out, share it with me... the knowledge, not the bread. Oh, and speaking of bread, the garden tomatoes are in, so today was all about bacon and tomato sandwiches. Today was a happy day in West Tennessee, Christopher.

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  15. excellent write , spinning in circles between thoughts of life and death, so good to see you , the girl and the mirror worked through the questions, keep up the writing !!

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    1. Goodness knows, Linda, the unanswerable questions are piling up in the doorway, and more are on the way. I may need an intervention allocation before all is said and done. ;)

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  16. Oh, that's a good tale,one that I can see,
    Such a shift in your demeanor might
    An indication be.
    That it led to mass hysteria from family and friend
    Thinking that your time on earth
    Was coming to an end...
    Well,it came to give you pause and muse
    On what direction you should choose
    For betterment of life and and be more secure of health,
    More than mere existence, a more important wealth.
    In the end, her comment caused reflection
    A joke, perhaps,but it gave you new direction.

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    1. It really was a definitive query delivered, Sandra.
      I am loving your riff, so much above-ground covered.
      Thank you for that. So much fun to read aloud here.
      You are the best.

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  17. It is good to see you writing again! Life has a way of meddling in our words, yes? I found I could very much relate to this writing. I have a tendency to outwardly treat my health as on ongoing calamity of bad jokes all while I get mad as hell inside. I think I do it to ease other people's stress forgoing the logical choice to ease my own. Go figure. Very cathartic my dear friend! I am always pleased to read your writing!

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    1. I am in awe of your response. So often, you see things I say, that I did not realize were coming out. Thanks, Briana Rose. <3

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  18. Wow!! This completely takes my breath away. You know, sometimes those special friends indeed have a sixth sense about these kinds of things.... Life is such a journey, sometimes full of joy and other times with roadblocks which cause us to stumble and pick ourselves back up again. Like all concerned, I am so grateful that you are doing well, my friend!!! A powerful and sobering piece. xoxo Much love!

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    1. I am going to make it my life's ambition, to listen intently, to those I know, who have this gift, and are willing to share. From what you say here, Colleen, you are already on this clear path... Great to see and hear from you today, partner. :)

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  19. Master plans never work out. But maybe that's okay.

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    1. We never really have the time for so many details, Doc.
      Great to hear from you, Sir. Thank you immensely.

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    1. Thank you, Barbi-Kay. You are very sweet to say such. :)

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  21. Well done Myke!! Love it and love the way you display the power of words and the effect they can take on people's psyche. ~Christine

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    1. Thank you, M'Lady... No doubt the power of a word wield is yours on this day. ;)

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  22. *bows* I do believe this is my new favorite of yours. I enjoyed it tremendously. xox

    Irene

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    1. I am deeply flattered, Irene. Coming from you, that bears considerable weight. Thank you for saying.

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  23. If I didn't know you're well I would not have read this with certain tone of humor, maybe I am wrong but I could see bits of mischievous behavior all along. Of course there's a lot to ponder here too.
    We are all dying, that is a fact.
    Niceness, Myke.

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    1. Niceness is what we are all about, Leigh. <3

      Reading with a sense of humor helps, when I am in the mix. It is essential... ;)

      Hey, glad we were able to get together today.

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  24. There is always a chance that there is more to "just a comment" than most will acknowledge, until that comments hits close to home. Which then may cause us to reflect it directly inward. It is a chance to right the path, tip the scale or awaken our inter us. Creating a determination and joy that we are most not certainly in the state reflected by "just a comment." A new start is always glorious....thankful for the chance. Love this Myke

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    1. I love this directive you have shared, Stephy. You always some with purpose and resolve, tempered with kinder, gentler notions. And, you bestow order, which is really important.
      Thanks bunches... Great to see you this evening. :)

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  25. This one is an obvious hit, Michael! I enjoyed it thoroughly too! I was startled at first by the title. LOL. We always have a takeaway with your writing and I think this ranks up there as one of my favorites too.

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    1. Thank you, Don. The best part of a takeaway is when you all leave a portion of yourselves with me, when you depart. That, in a way, is timeless.

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    2. Hi Don. good to see you again. Voo

      https://bluevineyard.blogspot.com/

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    3. Voo!! OMG! So good to see you too! Special thanks for Michael giving me the heads up to your greeting posted here! I have really missed your words! I'll see you at your site linked here!

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  26. Hi Mike. this kinda floored me at first then I got it. I had a heat stroke recently and almost died for real. Not fun. Good to read you again and hi to all the people I see on here that used to be on myspace. good to see you all..........Voo

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    1. Voo, believe it or not, I am recovering from a heart attack in April, so there is irony here, for me, as well. Eighty percent of this poem was written last Winter, and set aside, then forgotten. I almost finished it, four months ago, but Lainey gave me a different direction to take. So, by the time I got back to this... well, things may have appeared more dire than they really are... Stuff happens.

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  27. I have been asked this question several times...especially with all my health issues and after a bit it does get us contemplating...of course I always said "No, I am not dying. In truth we are dying from the day we are born but it is the in between that we need to focus on as we never know how long that span will be. Realizing our own mortality though does often give us a new perspective and maybe (hopefully) in a positive direction. Now when I am asked, I say "Yes, but hopefully not today." Loved this by the way...I bet she had no idea she would become your muse by her jokingly asking "Are you dying?" Fabulous! I always enjoy your sharing <3

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    1. All of my Muses, except for one, have lead with a question.
      That Muse always leaves me questioning myself.
      Then she wonders why every day brings a new epiphany...
      For me, I mean, not her. She never seems to have them.
      I once declared, Gail, that we all write our own eulogies, beginning with the day we are born. I feel as though you would understand that more than anyone, even now.
      Thank you for visiting and sharing notions with me.
      I got a lot out of it.

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  28. The girl,the mirror and me. That phrase alone intrigues me to want to read more!!

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    1. A girl in Tennessee mentioned the mirror to me today, as having great relevance. Since then, I have been trying to put it into proper context. You just reminded me, it is a part of three. How quickly I forgot...
      Hello, Ellie! Lovely to see you at your approaching midnight hour... :)

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  29. Michael, this piece is very well written and interesting. You endured a major medical trauma and, in certain ways, it's changed you. For the better? It's not for me to say. I've left the train station of "Who ... me? Sarcastic?" and don't plan on returning.

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    1. Your assessment of me, Eliza Anne, is accurate. It is up to me to lean toward the positive.
      Thanks for stopping by here. It means far more than I can openly express in a paragraph. It is, a true act of a friend. :)

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  30. Brilliant! So alive and kicking! And tongue in cheek as always! Loved it, Myke!

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    1. Thanks, Emy... We are both smiling... Perfect. :)

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  31. Excellent writing. You never cease to inspire me.... Hugs...

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    1. Thank you, Lyne. I am forever in your debt for your encouragement.

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  32. Oh, the thought of dying, how it shifts perspective, and what a powerful catalyst for needed change – and fodder for writing such an excellent poem! Kudos!

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    1. You get right to the heart of the matter, Debra. I really like that about you. What you say about things being put into perspective... there is weight to that, in volumes.

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  33. With some people, you're always one step behind. And it's not always clear in which direction...

    As a troubadour, you are certainly not dead. And somehow you make it look easy too. Keep it up, Sir Myke! :)

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    1. Sometimes, Sir Ruggi, I worry that things seem too easy, when I know they should not be... like maybe I am dreaming my days away... how crazy is that? ;)

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  34. The mirror is the one full of cynicism. I'm always fine until I involve the mirror.

    This is indeed though provoking, Michael, and yet oddly familiar to me.

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    1. I did not invent image angst, nor did I perfect it. Lately, I am wishing I had never discovered it, Matt. Walking away from it is not as easy as promised or insinuated... At the facility where I do my cardio rehab, mirrors line the walls...
      Nice. Real nice.

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  35. We die a little, we die a lot, we die from laughter, sometimes not. Looking into the abyss of ourselves is never as we expect but always entertaining. Good write.

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    1. I am nothing, if not entertaining, Barbara, at least on my good days. Your riff is spot on, and quite fantastic, like you.

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  36. Wow, that truly was a roller coaster ride! I, too, feel very comfy in my own sarcastic skin.
    This piece was truly brilliant. I had to reread it a few times, and I'm sure I will be back for a few more rounds. That doesn't happen often. ; )

    - Mercurychyld

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    1. You have made me very happy I wrote this idea out, Mercury. Thanks so much for receiving it so well.

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  37. Wow Michael,

    So good to be in touch with you. Good use of rhyme so share your thoughts. The emotion lives through your words. Good to reading your word, knowing your have found your muse once again.

    Blessings and best wishes,
    Karen

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    1. Hello, Karen... S'wonderful to have you in the house. I am not sure how the Muse is taking this one. She hasn't said yet. ;)

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  38. This deftly illustrates how words can sometimes have a profound effect on others. You are a masterful narrative poet, Michael. Glad to know you're not dying! ☺

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    1. Thanks, Debbie. You always say the nicest things, especially the part about not dying. ;)

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  39. Holy smoke...that was intense. Wow.

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    1. Hello, Michael... So glad this was well received... Thanks for visiting. :)

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  40. I have made that same sarcastic remark before to someone complimenting me. I don't accept compliments easily so always question the intent. This is something that I have been working on. Great story as always Myke. You reel us in with your words and we excitedly anticipate what will come next. Laura

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    1. Thanks, Laura... It is great to read an analogy from someone who has been there to witness first hand. And I do appreciate your very kind assessment. <3

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    1. Many thanks, Darla Sue... I did not see that coming, so positive a response. I am grateful.

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  42. Myke,

    The depth of emotion you conjure with your words is amazing. Maybe your friend didn't know what to make of your compliment, if you're prone to sarcasm. Perhaps, she's giving you a hint to do it more. ;)

    I think people who see a side of you they normally do not are caught off guard and don't know what to think. DH comes off being quiet and reserved to most people, especially those who not know him well. Sometime he'll make a funny remark in a serious but sheepish sort of way and these people think he really means it which makes me bust out laughing. It's usually not until that time they understand that he's pulling their leg. He's so funny and has a quick wit. These things are natural for him and I secretly envy him for having this ability, too. I wish I could be more like him in this regard.

    Anywho, every time a kind compliment falls my way and the master of these comes from DH, I always glance over my shoulder to makes sure no one is standing behind me. Naturally no one is, so I blush and say thank you. Most people like getting compliments even if they don't handle them well. Kind words are always uplifting.

    Thanks for sharing and visiting, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. You have seriously made my day here.

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  43. This was a well written piece with a fascinating concept. Something to think about.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thank you so very much, Arlee. I think about it every day.

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