Look Ma……No Hands

As each of my children left the nest, I thought of this old phrase. I said it myself when I learned to ride a two wheeler at the age of seven and proudly yelled ‘Look Ma…no hands’ when I also mastered that.

All three of my kids have gone their separate ways; one still here in my city, the other two, far away. Now, the youngest is going even further away. Not permanent, mind you, but still to a place that is frightening to me because of the civil unrest and terrorism in that country.

As a celebration to herself for getting her Master’s Degree in Special Education, she has decided to do a special ed internship at a school in Africa. It will only be for a month but when she announced it to us and wanted our opinions, I had to bite my tongue. While I’ve always tried to support them in whatever choices they made, this one terrifies me.

She will be leaving Sunday evening to go back and finish up the final semester and graduate. I’ll be flying visiting another daughter, then we will drive in for the graduation, drive back to home, then I'll fly back home.

Suzy will be off to Africa after she graduates.

To all my friends, please accept my apologies for my absences. After the flooding in North Dakota where one daughter lives, issues involving the child here in Arizona, and now this……well….my mind is spent. I’m having difficulty sleeping, thinking or commenting. When things are a bit more settled, I’ll be catching up with everyone.

Thank you.

p.s. The program she will be volunteering for is a very good one. She will be working with children and young adults with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.

Below is part of the travel advisory from the U. S. Government. Here is the link:

"Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today, Thu Apr 09 22:36:59 2009.

November 14, 2008

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. American citizens in Kenya and those considering travel to Kenya should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime. This replaces the Travel Warning of August 22, 2008, to note increased security concerns in northeast Kenya near the Somali border.

The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of potential terrorist threats aimed at American, Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts could include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Many of those responsible for the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in 1998 and on a hotel in Mombasa in 2002 remain at large and continue to operate in the region. In November 2008, armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners. Travel by U.S. Embassy personnel to border areas of Kenya northeast of the town of Wajir has been restricted until further notice." …..

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Look Ma……No Hands

  1. Dacotah says:

    Pam, I'm so sorry to hear this. Please try not to worry. I know it's hard not to.I wish we could meet when you come to ND. Take care.

  2. Huong Lan says:

    Warm hugs for you, your daughter and the rest of your family. :heart:

  3. ricewood says:

    I am sorry for all the unrest. These are troublesome times. I do understand your thoughts.There's really only one thing to do with adult children, in my opinion. Speak your mind and let them do what they want.And forty years ago? More than enough of terrorism, as far as I recall.

  4. BabyJay99 says:

    God bless.

  5. SummerAngel says:

    Pam, my heart goes out to you. As a mother, I know the pride you have in your child's accomplishments, and the extreme fear of some of their decisions. You and she will be in my prayers until her safe return. :heart:

  6. wickedlizard says:

    Pamela, I don't know what to say. I totally understand your worrying. I hope you find some peace soon. :heart:

  7. Unasia says:

    Take care Pam. and I never bite my tounge with my kids. You and yours are in prayer

  8. ellinidata says:

    "As a celebration to herself for getting her Master’s Degree in Special Education, she has decided to do a special ed internship at a school in Africa. It will only be for a month but when she announced it to us and wanted our opinions, I had to bite my tongue. While I’ve always tried to support them in whatever choices they made, this one terrifies me"Pam,I wish her well and I know she will come back to you safe.As a mother I can relate to your worries,as a person that spend time in Kenya ,Nigeria,South Africa etc I am telling you your kid will visit the most beautiful places on earth.(my mom was in Medical research and my summers were spend in African Nations).Remember Kenya it is a safe place.thousands of people visit it on Safari trips.that made the security of Kenya,and the protection of foreigners much more advance that any other African Nation.At times even safer than in the US.you gave her wings Pam,it is her time to fly…Be happy and maybe you can visit her there and see first hand the beauty that words are too poor to discribe! :heart:

  9. PainterWoman says:

    To all of you, thank you for your thoughts. There is absolutely no one I can talk to about this except here on Opera. I tried talking with my ex. I mean, afterall, we share in parenting of these children, but he has never been one to want to talk about the serious stuff. Yesterday, he accused me of trying to scare him and hung up the phone on me. This was the second time in a week I have been accused of something I am not. For the first time in a long time, I allowed myself to get angry with him and called him right back to speak my piece. He hung up on me again so whatever I said may have been to a dead phone. As for biting my tongue when first talking about this, I meant that I spoke my piece but didn't let her know how terrified I was. If I had the money, I would go with her because the pictures I've seen of African safaris are breathtaking. I am trying very hard to match her enthusiasm. Reading the responses from my Opera friends will help me not to worry so much. Thank you all.

  10. ricewood says:

    Well, at least we're here, then 🙂

  11. Moabdul says:

    I don't have children, so I don't know how you really feel, but I can relate to that. Africa is scary, and being not able to express your fears, these are bad times.You don't have to be sorry for you absence, you have more important issues.As ellinidata indicated, Kenya is a safe place. Terrorism has very strong reputation, but sometimes you shouldn`t over think about it.If you have extra money, go with her, enjoy visiting new places. I know I would!We are always here for you. And I wish I could be with you, to listen and help.

  12. BabyJay99 says:

    Yes we are.. °hugs°

  13. ellinidata says:

    always here for you Pam,feel free to use a P/M or my direct line to vent,I do it lots too! 😆

  14. PainterWoman says:

    I'm sure glad you are all here. With something like this, it helps to be able to talk about it. Just getting it all out in the open keeps me from getting too sad. It's not good to keep things bottled up inside. With the help of Jean's little Easter pic, I'll wish all of you a Happy Easter too.

  15. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Darko. And thanks again to everyone else although I didn't acknowledge each one of you separately. I was beginning to feel better after reading all the comments then I had a real breakthrough. What I mean is, I did something really funny and had to laugh at myself. I took a shower and accidentally used the dog shampoo on my hair. When I realized the lather felt different and saw that I'd used the wrong stuff, I started to laugh, then wondered if it would change my hair, laughed some more, then thought at least I won't attract fleas and ticks. 😆 That's all I needed….to talk about it, read everyone's thoughts, and do something dorky. It has lightened my mood considerably. We're all getting ready to go out to our favorite Mexican food restaurant and have margaritas, so will be back later.

  16. Dacotah says:

    Have fun Pam, drink a strawberry daiquiri for me. 😀

  17. gdare says:

    I don`t think you should be that afraid for her. I am sure she will have unforgetable time in Kenya. Something she will remember to the rest of her life.I was 21 when I started to travel through Europe at the beginning of 90s by myself and it was not the best possible time to do that, USSR and eastern block falling apart, a lot of robberies happening, even cops were not someone to believe . But I will never forget driving in a taxi all over Budapest, hitchiking in Slovakia, making love in Prague :whistle: and warm jelly doughnuts in Vienna. Freedom to do what you want to do :happy:

  18. gdare says:

    And some beer for me :happy:Wait, I just had few beers with my friends… :left:

  19. lokutus-prime says:

    Pam, I understand your worries and your deep anxiety and concern. You love your daughter, you gave her life, you feel you need to protect her all the time because it is in your mind and heart and very soul and it's the most wonderful and natural thing and you will always feel this way. I see what our friends say here. As usual it's a combination in unity, of wisdom, good advice, loving thoughtful comment and collective support from friends who love and care about you.:)I hitched – they say "travelled nowadays – across europe and north africa back in the 60s. Allan and I are in a similar generation and he's right when he says "And forty years ago? More than enough of terrorism, as far as I recall." . Pam, as you probably know, the world tends to forget the past, to some extent, and would wish to view it with "rose colored glasses".I'm not going to imagine any "terrifying scenarios" for your daughter's venture-adventure. There are bad people everywhere, in every country, no matter what the culture or level of civilization is. That's what life contains, along with the many good people everywhere. If I have any advice to offer to your daughter it would be this"1.Stay with friends and go about doing what you have to do in the company of friends.

    2.Don't fall for any flattery. While it's always nice for the ego to receive charming compliments and 'adoring' company, try as best you can to always listen to your "inner voice" and if you have any doubts about anything or anyone talk to those whom you can trust – your friends, and in doing these simple things you will be doing all that you can as best you can.

    3.Keep in regular contact with your mom. She is your best friend and will never let you down and will always be there for you, to help, comfort, guide, and to give you her unqualified and enduring love and support.God bless you and yours Pam :up:

  20. ellinidata says:

    hahahahah "took a shower and accidentally used the dog shampoo on my hair"you are precious!!!! ROFLi know I feel great when I see this face :

  21. Suntana says:

    Pam, no need to apologize for any absences from Posting and Commenting. It's not like we're getting paid. 😆 Wait a minute. The rest of y'all AREN'T getting paid, are you? :eyes: I don't have any children, so I can pretend to know exactly how you're feeling, Pam. I can only imagine on some level what you must be going through. I don't want to add to your worries by possibly saying the wrong thing. So, I'll just say that we can hope that your daughter did her homework on the exact locale where she's going to be doing her internship and hopefully her research yielded positive word regarding safety in that particular area.

  22. gdare says:

    *counting money*Nice. Soon I will have enough for another trip to Japan :happy::P

  23. norfrid says:

    I envy your daughter for what she is doing. I've always loved going to foreign countries, but as I'm a little short of money most of the time it doesn't happen too often. Many years ago i went to the US to work at a cattle ranch in the state of Washington, and after a couple of months i got a job at a trotting horse stable in New Jersey. Unfortunately I didn't have a visum for more than six months so I had to go home. Three years ago I walked alone the pilgrims road from Pamplona to Santiago in Spain. It took me one month to walk 700 kilometers. I had the time of my life. I'm sure Suzy will have a wonderful stay in Kenya.

  24. FIFINELEB says:

    Do you know this song,Pam? The only thing you can do for Suzy is to give her your good advice . What will be ,will be. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdhAfMor9BM&feature=PlayList&p=B66FBE3231E5E51D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=54

  25. PainterWoman says:

    Thank you all my friends. You have no idea how much all of your comments mean to me. Dinner last night at Macayo's Restaurant was fun. My daughter and I each had two Sunset Margaritas on the rocks. Everyone else shared two pitchers of the regular frozen margaritas. Not sure of all the ingredients in the Sunset but they included Peach Schnapps and were a beautiful red. Macayo's has about ten different flavors of margaritas and each month they have a special on one of them. I personally prefer the flavored on the rocks kind as opposed to the regular frozen. Everyone thought it was quite funny when I told them about my dog shampoo mistake. But, you know what? It was very windy last night and when I walked into the lobby, I checked my hair in the mirror and I noticed it had a nice shine. Seriously, I've never noticed a shine in my hair before. I might keep using the dog shampoo. It's cheaper too. Now if I start barking on here, please tell me.:D The program looks to be a very good one. She has done her homework and has been in email contact with a friend who volunteerd two months there the summer before.

  26. Huong Lan says:

    Dear Pam, Happy Easter to you. Hopefully a bunny comes and brings you some more laughter and happiness. :love:

  27. Suntana says:

    Pam, now your Dog Shampoo incident is reminding me of an episode from the TV Show Seinfeld. I believe what happened was that Kramer went to a Veterinarian to try and get some Cold or Allergy Medicine for Dogs. He was doing it on the premise that HE had the same symptoms as this particular DOG. 😆 He was trying to get medicine more cheaply. His friend Jerry was like, "You did WHAT?" :yikes: Kramer goes, "Hey! We had the same symptoms." Jerry, still shocked, goes, "Kramer … he's a DOG!" :jester:

  28. Dacotah says:

    😀 Ok, I will tell you if you start barking. :DHmmmm, dog shampoo and have you heard of Udder balm ?

  29. PainterWoman says:

    Woof, woof, woof! …..translation? More food!:lol: Actually, I did taste it once. 😀 Yes, I'm very much a dork.

  30. gdare says:

    "I might keep using the dog shampoo. It's cheaper too. Now if I start barking on here, please tell me.":lol: 😆 :lol::sst: just try to keep your paws hands off dog food 😀

  31. PainterWoman says:

    😆 I remember that one. You know, one of my dogs, Camie the Keeshond, had valley fever for over two years. She had to take meds the whole time and it was $45 every three months for a refill. People can get valley fever too. The spores are in our wonderful Arizona dirt. I have heard the meds for people are exactly the same thing but much more expensive. We just have to take more miligrams I think. Anyway, no, I'm not advocating doing that and not sure I would but on a tight budget, I certainly wouldn't blame someone for doing so.

  32. I_ArtMan says:

    😆 the shampoo story. nothing like a good laugh at oneself to put things in perspective.i had a similar shock in 2000 when i heard my youngest son, ryan, was joining the marines… i began to imagine him dying and got very angry; not at him but the people who might have killed him overseas. i didn't like imagining bad things at all and stopped, completely, doing it.i sure hope everything works out o.k.. the odds are with you because it's only a month. :sherlock:be cool pam. keep a level head as they say. :heart:

  33. PainterWoman says:

    Carol, arf, arf….er….. 😀 I have bought something similar called 'Bag Balm'. Even though it states on the container 'for veterinary purposes' and 'cows udders', it is sold in the local Walgreens drugstore. It is excellent for putting on rough heels, elbows and cuticles. It was also recommended by the LaLeche League for putting on your nipples when breast feeding as it prevents chafing and cracking of the nipples….which is horribly painful. Of course, you wash it off before you nurse your baby. I am mostly back to my cool, easy going self Scott. I think it was the initial shock, then finding frightening things on the net, that knocked me for a loop. But I also realized there really isn't anything I can do to change her decision. We will gather at my ex's for an Easter brunch tomorrow morning. I'll be making my breakfast pizza again. I might add a spinach salad too.

  34. PainterWoman says:

    I might use the dog shampoo one more time, then go back to my regular stuff and see if there is a difference. 😀 Tomorrow will be another fun day and I'm hoping to take some photos to share. I take her to the airport at 7pm tomorrow night.

  35. I_ArtMan says:

    marvelous :up:i'll be alone myself but i'm celebrating with lobster and mussels marinara. :happy:

  36. Moabdul says:

    It's been a while since I've been here, catching up.. I'm happy that you are taking this easier.. can't help not to laugh at the shampoo story .. lol lolHappy Easter Pam, And everybody .. I'm sure you'll have good time tomorrow. 🙂

  37. Moabdul says:

    Only time would tell if there will be any difference .. lol lolWith photos or without, you're time will be very good and you will have so much fun with your family.. They are lucky to have you amongst themDon't ever worry, and I pray for her safe flight =)

  38. L2D2 says:

    Pam, if you feel the need, you can PM me. Your daughter to Africa and my nephew to Iraq. But bet she and he will come back safely.Is that a bunch of dogs I see following you? 😆

  39. Dacotah says:

    Pam, "Carol, arf, arf….er….. :D" 😆 🙂

  40. edwardpiercy says:

    Couldn't she have found a nice internship in Paris? — :lol:I wish her the best, and also congratulations on her graduation. :up: :up:

  41. edwardpiercy says:

    Don't forget to take yourself pottie before bed also. :p

  42. Dacotah says:


  43. Dacotah says:

    :lol:Wonders if you will start panting now. 😀

  44. PainterWoman says:

    😆 I just have to make sure I don't go out in the backyard with the dogs.

  45. PainterWoman says:

    I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday. I sure did. It was just my ex and I, my son and his wife and my daughter there. My breakfast pizza was a hit as always and everyone liked the new ingredient of fresh spinach added to it. I'm making it now with lean ham and swiss cheese rather than cheddar and sausage. Cuts the calories a bit. Yeah, Paris would have been a grand place for an internship wouldn't it? I think she chose Kenya because of the number of orphaned children all over there. This particular school/orphanage has 77. Some were just abandoned in the streets to fend for themselves and because they are all disabled, they would surely have died. Their ages are 5 to 29, all with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and other things. Oh, BTW, I did use the dog shampoo again. Besides my hair being shinier, it also seems to have more body. I was born with baby fine, thin hair so anything that will make it look a little thicker, I'll try. Will go back to my regular tomorrow. For some reason, I've started turning around in circles three times before I get into bed. Hmmmmmmmm……:p :DI will probably be doing some PMing as her time to leave gets closer. At least I'll see her one more time for a few days before she leaves when I go to Chicago for her graduation.

  46. SummerAngel says:

    What brand of dog shampoo are you using? I might just give it a try and see if I get the same results. If not I can use it on Brittany, my cocker spaniel.

  47. SummerAngel says:

    Hmmm…Seems urea is used in a lot of things. 🙂 http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-urea.htm

  48. PainterWoman says:

    It's called 8 in 1 Perfect Coat Tearless Protein Shampoo. It fortified and protects coat and has keratin proteins to enhance coat and resore shine. Ok, I just looked at all the ingredients in this. Most of it looked similar to what is in other shampoos, however, one ingredient was 'urea'. :eyes: mammalian urine! Maybe I won't be using it again…on me anyway.

  49. Dacotah says:

    😆 Won't go to the other dog things. :faint: 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s