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Dawn Corrigan Archive

Dawn Corrigan

Where’s Dom?

November 3rd, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

As I’ve written about here on TNB previously, in August my 89-year-old grandmother fell and broke her hip. She had surgery, during which her hip was pinned, and did a month of physical therapy. At the beginning of October she returned to the assisted living facility where she lives with her husband.

Yesterday she fell and broke her other hip. I’m sitting in the ER waiting room right now while she has surgery on her other leg.

Since the surgery was scheduled for late afternoon, we had the whole day to kill. “C’mon,” she told me earlier in her hospital room. “Let’s get out of here.”

Then: “Put this down,” indicating the bed rail. When I ignored her–my new strategy for anything short of pulling her IV out–she said, “Come on! Put it down and let’s go. Don’t make an ass of yourself!”

Then she offered to carry my laptop if we could leave. Even with severe dementia, her negotiating skills remain formidable.

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Dawn Corrigan

On the Persistence of Jealousy

September 20th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Four weeks ago my grandmother fell and broke her hip.

She hasn’t been home since. First she was in the hospital, and now she’s in a nursing home to receive physical therapy.

My grandfather visits as often as he can. But because he doesn’t drive anymore, he has to rely on others to drive him to visit her. And even when he does visit, it’s for an hour at a time. Whereas my grandmother is used to having him around all day, every day.

Because my grandfather isn’t around and my grandmother doesn’t understand why, like anyone in love, she imagines the worst. She pictures him whooping it up with others.

And then, because she has dementia, she believes what she’s imagined is real.

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Dawn Corrigan

George Clooney and I Have a Fight

September 8th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

A little homage to Paul Toth’s hilarious “Interview” series, which you can read here. (See 8 of the last 9 posts.)

George Clooney was at the coffee shop where I hang out. He stopped by my table after he got his latte.

“You and I are pretty much on the same team, you know,” he said.

“I beg your pardon?”

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Dawn Corrigan

My Day

August 24th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

When I got home from the hospital, where I spent approx. five hours wrestling with my grandmother so that she would not either:

1) Rip out her catheter; or

2) Climb out of bed and break her other hip

I found this notice waiting for me on the front door:

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Dawn Corrigan

A Thousand Words: Rubbing Off the Wrinkles

August 10th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Since March 2007 my grandparents have lived in an assisted living facility here in Gulf Breeze. My husband and I moved down a year later, in part so I could spend time with them.

My grandmother has fairly severe dementia. On the Global Deterioration Scale, I’d place her at a Level 5/6.

Lately she’s been seeing my parents on the TV. From the way she describes it, it’s as though she’s tuning in on them while a conversation is already in progress. She always expresses astonishment when she tells me about these occurrences. “I didn’t know they could do that!” she exclaims.

“I didn’t either, Nan,” I’ll say.

But the odd thing, of course, is that I do know they can do that; it’s only my grandmother who doesn’t know. It’s like her imagination has independently invented the web cam.

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Dawn Corrigan

A Thousand Words: My Dancing Career

July 28th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Last week I received a package in the mail from my cousin Kelly.

It was the tap dancing outfit I wore in my 4th grade dance recital.

That recital marked the debut, the apex, the anticlimax, and the denouement of my dance career.

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Dawn Corrigan

Am I Having Fun Yet?

July 14th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

In June my husband signed us up for a program called “Golf for the Fun of It!” at the local country club.

“Golf for the Fun of It!” is a free class for beginners. It runs for six weeks. The lessons are taught by a PGA Professional, and the country club supplies all the equipment.

During the six weeks of class, students can go to the club anytime and practice at no charge.

When the class is over, the country club provides graduates with a set of clubs for 30 days afterward, also at no charge, so they can continue working on their game.

That’s a lot of free stuff. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

I mean, you know. If you’re into that sort of thing.

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Dawn Corrigan

A Thousand Words: My Incestuous Family

July 4th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

The setting is Greenwood Lake, New York, during the summer of 1951. A small resort located 50 miles northwest of New York City, Greenwood Lake first gained national attention in 1936, when it was the site of the first successful U.S. rocket mail demonstration. In the ensuing years, celebrities including Babe Ruth and Greta Garbo visited the resort. However, it was also the vacation spot of considerably less chichi visitors, the four figures in this photograph among them.

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Dawn Corrigan

The Story of Feldman the Dog

March 30th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

An homage to The Story of Ferdinand, only about my dog.

Once upon a time there was a little dog and his name was Feldman.

All the other dogs would run around and bark and sniff each other’s butts, but not Feldman. He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers. He had a favorite spot out in the yard where he liked to sunbathe. He would sit against a brick wall next to an orange tree and sunbathe and smell the flowers.

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Dawn Corrigan

My Not-So-Secret History

March 15th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

I did my B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.

Ah, Sarah Lawrence. The subject of much mirth among graduates of other, slightly less kooky small liberal arts colleges in the northeast, not to mention the Ivies.

I don’t mind. I grew up in New Jersey. I’ve been hearing place-of-origin jokes all my life.

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Dawn Corrigan

Found Poems on Craigslist

March 8th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

Magic Couch

This fabulous sectional couch
just came out of my house
and has been well loved by all.

No stains or odors
that I can see or smell.

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Dawn Corrigan

Night of No Iguanas

February 15th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

In 1996 I flew back to Salt Lake City after spending several months on the East Coast because of a family member’s illness. My roommate Ron picked me up at the airport.

We spent the drive home catching up. In the midst of our conversation, Ron suddenly asked, “Did I tell you about the mice?”

“Erm, no,” I said.

“Hm. Did I tell you about the snake?”

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Dawn Corrigan

Like the Ballerina in a Child’s Jewelry Box

February 5th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

One Wednesday afternoon, during a February when I was still living in Salt Lake, the weather was so unseasonably warm I decided to walk home from the university instead of catching the bus.

I lived in a working class neighborhood that I loved. It had large spreading mulberry and oak trees and charming little houses, most of them at least fifty years old, with Alice-in-Wonderland gated alleys and gingerbread trim everywhere. In the summer, the yards bloomed with a proliferation of roses and odd succulents with branches that reached out like hands.

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Dawn Corrigan

Mr. Hovel

January 17th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE -

In honor of Monday night’s new episode of House, I imagine my husband the cable guy merged with the TV doctor in a short play.

CHARACTERS

HOVEL     A maverick cable guy genius.

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Dawn Corrigan

Random Notes from Wal-Mart

January 14th, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL-

The other day I was at the checkout line in the Wal-Mart. I was unloading the cart, so had my back to the cashier. She got to my bottle of wine and said, “Can I see your ID?” I turned toward her. “Nevermind,” she said.

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Dawn Corrigan

The Bookstabber

January 2nd, 2009
by Dawn Corrigan

THE LERKIM -

   with apologies to Mr. Geisel, his Lorax, and Dr. Bookstaber

It all started way back…
such a long, long time back…

Way back in the days when money was green
and interest was simple
and energy clean.
It began on a farm that belonged to my dad.
What a wonderful farm my family had!
A wonderful farm
with chickens and mares
where the Truffula trees bore Truffula pears.
In winter the bulls would battle the bears.

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Dawn Corrigan

Oh What a World It Seems We Live In

December 27th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

When I listen to Rufus Wainwright’s Want One, particularly the opening song, “Oh, What a World,” I’m immediately taken back to 2003.

Although Want One wasn’t released until September, its melancholy optimism summed up what I’d been feeling all year.

The previous fall I’d been through a painful breakup. I moved out of the place where my ex and I lived and into my dream apartment.

I knew it was my dream apartment because it matched a picture I’d cut out of a catalog a few years before.

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Dawn Corrigan

The Villas People

December 7th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL -

   You can get yourself clean,
   you can have a good meal,
   you can do whatever you feel …

The Villas is an assisted living facility in Gulf Breeze, Florida. All residents live in a single, three-story structure not unlike an apartment building in certain respects. One enters The Villas on the second floor, which is where the dining room, kitchen, staff offices, and a TV lounge are located, as well as resident apartments. The first floor houses the rec room, a fireplace lounge, the beauty salon, and additional resident apartments.

The first two floors are occupied by residents who fall into the “independent living” category, while the third floor is devoted to those who require more extensive care. I’m a little scared of the third floor, where, I’ve been informed, the residents are essentially kept on lock down. Thus far I’ve managed to avoid the third floor.

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Dawn Corrigan

Hot for Barack in Pensacola

September 6th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

PENSACOLA, FL -

Just got back from seeing Representative John Lewis speak at the opening of the Florida Campaign for Change headquarters in Pensacola.

John Lewis, as you no doubt already know, is a former successful community organizer perhaps most famous for the terrific beating he took at the hands of Alabama’s finest on March 7, 1965 as a peaceful participant of the first Selma to Montgomery march.

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Dawn Corrigan

The Calm Before the Storm

August 12th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL- 

Gulf Breeze, Florida, where I live, is basically a suburb of Pensacola.

Frequency with which Pensacola is brushed or hit by a hurricane: once every 2.98 years.

Frequency with which Pensacola is hit directly by a hurricane: once every 8.06 years. 

Statistically, when Pensacola should next be affected by a hurricane: before the end of the 2008 season.

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