Arranging Things…


Me, Kina and Karl - photo taken by her mother
Me, Kina and Karl – photo taken by her mother

A couple of weeks were spent with Kina.  I met her family and she showed me around the city with at least seven cities ( like suburbs but each with a personality of its own.) inside of Manila.  She showed me the Mega Mall in Quezon City and a bigger mall I had never seen; (that was before the Mall of America) it was equipped with an ice rink on the lower level that could be viewed from the upper floors.

Fast forward to the present, 2014:     Hong Kong (CNN) — A Philippine teenager with a shy, crooked smile and expressive eyebrows — who also happens to be the first figure skater ever to represent a Southeast Asian country — qualified for the free skate after his performance on Thursday.  Michael Christian Martinez, the lone athlete for the Philippines, is an

Michael Christian Martinez in Sochi at the Winter Olympics from a country without snow...
Michael Christian Martinez in Sochi at the Winter Olympics from a country without snow…

unlikely competitor from a country without snow.

He got his first glimpse of skating after going to a shopping mall with his mother at age 8. He became mesmerized when he saw skaters spinning and jumping.

He gave a country with little to cheer about, hope, and inspired many with his can do attitude; he left the Philippines an unknown but returned from Sochi a hero, bravo Michael!

Continued…

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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