Summer Golden Haze

But there is only forward, no other way
Tomorrow is your hope at the end of the day
And gold turns gray, and gold turns gray

Stay Gold, First Aid Kit

As I listen to the melodious harmony of their voices I can’t help but begrudgingly admit that this *new* favorite song of mine may just be trying to tell me something. Again, the Universe whispers. Nothing gold can stay, like the poem says.

I applied for an advanced position at work but did not get the job, and that’s perfectly okay. Or should I say, that’s perfect, because it’s simply not my time. That’s sincerely how I see it. I did my best in the interview and believe it or not, (hold on to your collective asses here) I have not spent each moment since the interview ruminating on what I could have done better, or how I blew it, or what I should have said/did/not did. I did my best, I walked out with a smile on my face, and I MOVED ON WITH MY LIFE LIKE A GROWN ASS WOMAN.*

When I was younger we would travel to Northern Michigan to my Grandfather’s cabin for weekend visits. It had an old pot belly stove and an outhouse that I absolutely abhorred. It seems that most of my memories of the times spent there are awash in gold, like the above picture. I remember the fields of goldenrod and the sun high in the sky and the droplets of it dappling the woods as we would run out into the clearing as children, searching for arrowheads or even a deer sighting. Those memories are hazy and awash in sunlight. Simpler times, I could say but I imagine it just seems that way to me now. I was around ten years old. It seemed like the sun was always going down and I was never ready for it to. I guess even then I felt the essence of impermanence. In our youth times seems eternal, but we all know the adage of wasting youth on youth.

I work with a wide range of people, and most of them are much younger than I. I’m middle age at fifty-two** and most of them are just starting out and it’s both delightful AND painful to identify with some of their anecdotes and struggles. Renting, dating, life-sucking roommates, financial woes, and the rest. You know, life in general. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are days where I yearn desperately to talk with someone, anyone, who has seen an episode of TAXI***. We differ vastly on movies, music and pop culture, of course, and I do my best to; 1. keep up and stay kept up, and 2. drop some knowledge on my younger counterparts. Recently, I introduced The Police, flipper babies**** and the TV show Emergency One to their wheelhouses. YOU’RE WELCOME, GUYS. On the other hand, they’ve taught me to floss (yes the damn dance and now I can’t stop and yes, I also realize it’s already passé) and they’re very, very sorry.

Mostly though, I revisit the conclusion that we are more alike than we are unalike, like Maya Anjelou says. Young or old, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity notwithstanding, we are all human beings. Short, tall, religious, atheists, you get the picture. We all want to be heard and seen. In the last year I’ve met over one hundred new friends of all races, religions and backgrounds and most days I cannot wait to stand by their sides and learn and laugh alongside with them. We’re a team, you see. My heart is lighter working the job that I do knowing there are such people still out there in the world, and there are more and more coming up behind me. We are champions for good. We are champions of the right and just and curious. We throw it out there and make mistakes but I am better every day I work beside them and that, is not just a job folks, it’s a connection, and it’s something we all need and desperately crave. I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s not, of course we disagree and argue. Duh, as Billie Eilish would say.*****

So while not everyone may know Joe Walsh or the significance of Alice’s Restaurant, or even what a fax machine is, they don’t make me feel old-on most days, I do that myself. They make me feel seen and heard and connected to something bigger than myself, and that is ALMOST better than the Revolver album. Almost.

Billie Eilish. I know she looks a little sketch, but KISS and Cyndi Lauper caused some head-scratching back in the day.

* one of my new years resolutions was “be a grown ass woman” and I think we all really know what that means and I don’t really need to elaborate, but in case you’re unclear it basically means be a semi-confident-mildly-intelligent-adult-who-is-responsible-for-her-actionsand-seems-to-inherently-know-what-to-do, so clearly you can see how this may be a struggle for me, hence, the resolution. In my mind’s eye I totally picture Rita Wilson. I don’t know Rita, but she totally looks like she has her shit together.

* * middle age sounds about right, doesn’t it? I realize most folks don’t live to be 100, but my Granny almost tilted 107 and I know I have half a liver and all of that shiz but it would be just my damn luck to end up like Tom Hanks in The Green Mile where I just fucking live on and on endlessly and the big black dude, John Coffey represents my sobriety OMG OF COURSE HE DOES HIS NAME IS FUCKING COFFEE BUT NOT SPELLED THE SAME. GET IT!?! I think I just broke my own brain you guys, holy shit and now my sobriety will cause me to live an unnaturally long life because I still have to make up for all the bullshit/batshit stuff I did, and if that’s the case the Coronavirus can kiss my pink Irish sober ass.

*** Last week I had to explain the significance of Fleetwood Mac’s RUMORS and then, because this shit is important, explain in detail (that may or may not have involved a flowchart and diagram) the inner workings of the relationship dynamics within the band itself because that crap will blow your mind and DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON STEVIE NICKS IN HER OWN RIGHT, A GODDESS.

****of course no one I work with have ever heard of Thalidomide or the terrible side effects in the 1950’s and all of that and I know it’s not cool to say “flipper babies” but it WAS a thing and no one believed me so of course we had to google that and everyone’s minds were blown and it just occurred to be that this is the second time in my life at work flipper babies have come up, oddly. Maybe I’m the one with problem here.

*****I’ve been introduced to Billie Eilish and I think she’s pretty kick ass. I bet she’d like Debbie Harry. I was a goth girl at heart but my parents were strict and it was the 1980’s and Izod and Calvin Klein were in, and let’s face it, fucking peer pressure but I wore out The Hurting by Tears for Fears in my room at night while screaming into my pillow in excruciating angst.

It just occurred to me that I mentioned Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson coincidentally in this post and y’all know they are happily married and shit like this just makes me think that everything indeed just works out in some cosmic miraculous fashion and that’s all I have to say about that.



  1. Rita Wilson IS very, very cool… my mom was her kids pediatrician. lol. And I totally get connecting with the younger generation! No one believes I’m almost 57 and I recently realized one of my favorite life stories that makes everyone laugh (I went to college in Iowa and when I told people I was from Burbank they ALL asked if I knew Johnny Carson) I can no longer tell, cuz the newer generation has NOOOO idea who Johnny Carson was! And lastly…. have you heard the new Fleetwood Mac remake song? I don’t know which one it was nor who’s recently redone it… but Synchronicity!!

    Heather Barton

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