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These were my observations this week:

The center at Howe Ave and Enterprise in Sacramento will close their entrance door tomorrow. This is how they did this, as shameful a way as they could manage.

1.Certain members were told of its closing last Friday by email. I was one who didn’t receive this email as did many others. I walked to the gym and saw the sign down and many of the gym equipment gone. Employees received a text message.

One excellent front desk person had, a few  days prior to her text message, registered for her senior year at the University by scheduling her courses around her job at the Center. She was not given any referrals to another job. Just a text message that she’s out of a job.

2.Yesterday, while we were at the gym, the manager brought in a team of workers and right beneath our noses, they began to take the equipment out. The fans were the first to go. I told the manager we still had two more days of membership until closure so none of the equipment ought to be taken out. He said he’s obeying Corporate Office. What? Managers aren’t given the freedom to use their common sense nor do they have the freedom to treat clients with more respect ? Don’t they know what is the right thing to do anymore, but are under Corporate rule who are interested only in profit?

3.This morning, once again, they arrived to take more equipment out and we were left to a few machines.

4.Does the Corporate Office care to know their clients? Most of the members at this small, friendly, FAMILY center are in the 70-80-90 age bracket. They live near-by and are able to make this short, comfortable drive to the gym. Many of us go for coffee after gym. We know each other by name. They were totally upset as they felt their health needs were being terminated.

5.Yes, they opened a new gym on Watt and Arden. As one elderly man said, “I walked in and it was totally Corporate. Cold, large and uninviting. I’m not going back.”

To the Corporate Office of men and women: Please don’t ignore your humanity behind your Corporate Office. You are there because we clients are individual human beings who deserve more respect from you. Once you lose this humanity, you have nothing left.

 

 

Have you ever gone through the belongings of your loved ones after they’re gone?

In 2002, I found in my mother’s bureau, every Mother’s Day card she had received from her children. Included were hand-written letters of thanks sent by her physician. These letters told me my mother had regularly dropped off orchids and papayas from the farm where she worked. I sent these letters back to the doctor and he was totally moved that my mother had saved each one. She lost to Alzheimer’s but I found her stories in her belongings.

Allow me to share a poem I wrote after observing two people exchange phone numbers. They deftly added numbers to their smart phones. What will we have after electronically saved people are deleted?

 

Address Books and Match Covers

 

When I am dead, my dearest,

Will you draw a  Sharpie marker

Through my name, write Dead in bold caps

Or simply press Delete

To eradicate me forever?

 

Or will you preserve my name under K

And years from now…

On a cold wintry afternoon when friends

Have deserted you and boredom sets in,

You flip through your address book and pause at K .

Under the slow – changing day into night, my name appears.

You say my name and soon stories appear and you  smile and even chuckle

When there was a me and a you.

 

Perhaps memories will take you to a shoe box labeled FHK

In a spider-webbed corner of the garage.

You find old faded match covers. Match covers?

Yes, match covers. You flip one open and see faded numbers.

Is it a hurriedly written phone number of a handsome stranger I once met

In a coffee shop or in a bar?   Did I call that number and did a story begin?

Should you play sleuth and call that number? He must be long gone by now.

Are there match covers in other garages?

A shoe box of mysteries keep you awake until dawn.

 

Ah ha…and you thought I was gone forever.

©frances h kakugawa

morikami bridge

The sound of my shoes

Breaks the silence of the fog.

Forgive my entrance.

 

The trees move slowly

Against the cold morning skies…

Or is it the fog?

 

The sound of geta…

A Samurai’s swinging sword..

A  silence, broken.

 

 

Haiku inspired by photo: frances kakugawa

Wordsworth is now in Germany with Teresa and her grandson.

Teresa was a first grader in my Jackson ,Michigan class years ago.

Some quotes from Teresa…on how Wordsworth is making a difference.

WW DAnces Teresa

I am in Germany visiting my 4.5 year old grandson Henry. We had a long car trip today, so we read Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, which I had brought along to share.

I got a little choked up reading parts of it, thinking of my own mom sitting in the nursing home room by herself most days. The story is beautifully written and illustrated.  It is the first Wordsworth book we have read.  I read it aloud in the car, so everyone heard the story, although only Henry and I saw the pictures.

Henry learned what a poet was, but I remember Wordsworth the Poet explains what a poet is much better than Me!  Henry was very curious about the children doing Karate.  He also counted 1-2-3 each time it came up in the story.  Of course, being a dancer, I counted 1-2-3 to the proper waltz beat.  I told him I would teach him how to dance the Waltz when we get back to Berlin!

While riding in the car, we then played the Wordsworth’s Rubber Band game with the clouds.  Henry has a vivid imagination!

This past week we spent a lot of time touring Bavaria and castles and going on hikes in the woods.  Henry protected us from dragons and wild animals with his wooden sword (or a stick if we left the sword in the car).  It was nice to see him so interested in everything around him, whether it be informational signs with animal footprints or tree leaves, new playground structures, patterns on the pavement stones, or learning to read a map.

Henry told me he wanted to read the other Wordsworth books too.  I have a good idea now for his Christmas gift!

4 WordsworthBooks

Your gift of writing has had an enormous impact all over the world, to all ages, and all types of people.  You are a gift to all of us, as you encourage us to look inside of ourselves and find love, grace, imagination and creativity.  Thank you.  ❤️ Teresa

I taught her well, didn’t I? This came in later from Teresa:

I told Henry that you taught me to read. And then later you taught me to be a poet too, by trying to write like Frances did in her poems. And then, even later, you taught me to understand what it’s like to be a caregiver, to grieve, to love so much your heart breaks, and to simply let life go at it’s own pace. You’ve never stopped teaching me! ❤️ Teresa


									

I met Margie in Denver a few years ago when I was invited to her book club meeting to discuss my book, Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii. At that meeting, I signed my book Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless,  to Margie: a fearless and dangerous woman, I inscribed. Like many books I’ve signed, that autograph often  becomes the only connection of that moment and thereafter.

Today, I received a call from Jill, who had hosted that Denver meeting. Margie is dying and on Sunday, she will take her final cocktail with her family nearby. Last week Margie hosted a Celebration of her Life party for friends and family.  Jill made her final visit today and Margie told her how she wished she could speak to me once more; that she had always loved being called fearless and dangerous. She, I was told, lived without any organized religion.

I called her, not knowing what to say but leave it to humor, it saw us through.I told her I had called to help celebrate the life of a fearless and dangerous woman and she laughed in her very strong voice.  I asked her a favor, that wherever she is going, will she save a place for me, not any old place, but a place with a recliner with a mink stole. She laughed and said this she can do. We ended our call with our love and she said, “I’ll see you later.” I ended our call with “I’ll see you later.”

I hope I can do it with humor when it’s my time.

Afterthought: Now why didn’t I read her a poem?

Thank you, Cameron, Lex and Cooper for your review of my Wordsworth books.

Folks, the three brothers Cameron and Lex are 13 and Cooper is 21 months. They each received a letter of thanks from Wordsworth and me, mailed in three separate envelopes.

I plan to read their letters to the lecture I’m giving this month on Wordsworth and children’s literature in my effort to show the difference between children’s books and literature. What makes it literature? These boys know.

Villa photo

cameronlex letter.jpg

Hi Folks,

Do let me know if you plan to join us…fhk@francesk.org

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