They Are…

August in the Midwest can be a relatively gentle time on the farm despite the ripening of much of the produce. Kitchens are busy with canning tomatoes as quick as they drop from the vine and between the sounds of back porch corn shucking and the screen door slamming, batches of apple butter and fruit preserves are being put up to carry the family through until next season. Mason jars still warm from the pressure cooker and rich with the colors and the labors of the season are taken down the road and exchanged with neighbors and relatives amid bushels of tomatoes and apples and that oft repeated “just won’t be able to get to all this” during gravel driveway conversations of catching up that last just long enough to stay on top of the latest and are always cut short because, “you know how it is. Got to get back to it.”

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The Sound of My Voice

A few days ago, as I checked most of my self-assigned coronavirus projects off my list I took advantage of a free offer to watch a documentary for which I’d neglected making time to see in the theaters last year. As much as I knew I needed to see it and wanted to see it, I also thought it would be a difficult 95 minutes of viewing. I can’t remember any other film that I ever had the same hesitation. Watching it at home seemed a better plan since I could pause the show whenever I wanted.

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It is Sunday, isn’t it?

The dogs have been fed and had their first fetch of the day. I’m hopeful I can have a quiet moment to write, so I’m sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee; the window is open to chirping birds, budding trees, and the crisp smell of spring.

Tiny Charlie is biting Emma’s ear. Two of my three dogs.

Aaaaaand…we’re finished. There is a playful growl to my left and I look over to see this. Yes, Tiny Charlie is in fact trying to eat Emma’s ear.

So much for a quiet Sunday. It is Sunday, isn’t it?

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The Rest of the Story…

Yesterday I attended my second Transgender Spectrum Conference in St. Louis. This year I also agreed to participate in two ways I had not the previous year.

I spent a chunk of the morning being interviewed by a volunteer interviewer for the Trans Spectrum Oral History Project for the Washington University archives. It was basically 45 minutes or so of narrative with a number of questions and conversation with the orator/interviewer. The subject was the story about my transition from female to male. It was a pretty laid-back exchange and the time passed quickly.

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Post-op Progress Proves Challenging

As with most surgical procedures, one must have follow-up visits or therapy to improve the healing and overall outcome. My vocal cord surgery was no different. I had made the decision to switch vocal therapists in the department and met with the new therapist. She explained her background as an opera singer and her plan to work with me to strengthen my voice, try to reduce the raspy sound that resulted from the surgery, and see if she couldn’t return some of my singing ability. She advised me that she could give no guarantees and that it would be a long process. She taught me the first series of exercises and sent me with instructions for alternating the process with some vocal rest to prevent a repeat of my first attempt at therapy exercises.

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