“Doing Our Best” is good advice from Susan Poulin

In my opinion, the talented Franco-American writer Susan Poulin represents the virtual image of the proverb about making lemonade out of lemons. Her talent has been recognized by the fans who follow her performances and entertaining blogs. In recognition of her writing and popular monologues, Portland Magazine named Poulin as being among “Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine”. She and I were inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame, by the Maine Legislature, at the same time.

Susan Poulin Just Ask Ida

Susan Poulin is the author of the “Just Ask Ida” blog. She and her husbnd Gordon Carlisle live in Eliot Maine.

That’s why I am thrilled to welcome her guest blog! Writing in her “Just Ask Ida” blog, Poulin gives us permission to lighten up a bit during a time when stress seems to be as epidemic as the COVID-19 virus.

Susan Poulin is a leader in bringing a female voice to New England storytelling and humor.  Be sure to check the website https://www.poolyle.com/ to access her excellent TEDx Portsmouth Talk, a meaningful autobiography about being Franco-American, titled, “Can you find your identity through a heritage language?” Susan lives in Eliot, ME with her husband, artist (and Charlie poem writer), Gordon Carlisle.

Also, she is the co-presenter in the upcoming University of Maine Franco-American Centre, free on-line program, on June 11, from 7-8 p.m., titled “Around the Kitchen Table: Family Heirlooms. What do we do with them?”, with Maureen Perry, a member of the Franco-American Collection board at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC) and the campus librarian. Visit the website for more information here.

It’s my pleasure to post this guest blog by the always entertaining Franco-American writer Susan Poulin!  She has generously given permission to share her timely creativity with the Franco-Americans and followers of this blog. The title is “Doing our Best” published in Just Ask Ida.

Doing Our Best!

Most of us are doing are best right now. Sure, there are those yahoos at the Corner Mart that don’t wear a mask, even though there are signs everywhere saying you have to. These are the same folks who think “14 Items or Less” is there to make the express lane faster for them and their 24 items or more. But for the most part, people seem to be hanging in there, trying to go by the rules.

But sometimes, you forget. Like yesterday on my walk ‘round the neighborhood with Scamp, I saw my elderly neighbor, Paul, sitting on his front porch. He’d been failing over the winter with pneumonia and a fall and I hadn’t seen him in a dogs age. He struggled to his feet to say hi, and I was so concerned about him falling, I completely lost my head, went up onto the porch and hugged him! And I wasn’t even wearing a mask! Then I thought, Oh my God, I hope I didn’t kill Paul. I’ve been worried about it ever since.

One of the hardest things for people is standing behind the line when they’re waiting to cash out. They intend to, but get distracted or just naturally wander forward. Happens to my friend Charlie all the time.

Stand Behind the Line

Joyce, down to Agway
Always greets me with a smile
But with that mask she wears
I haven’t seen it for a while
Now she’s strictly business
It’s not that she’s unkind
She just would like it better
If I stood behind the line,

“Stand behind that line, now Charlie
Stand behind the line
Come this way when it’s your turn
I’ll tell you when it’s time
Then you’ll stand upon that dot
And for that stuff you’ll sign
I’ll say when, but until then
Stand behind the line”

Some guys I know don’t wear the mask
They say it’s all just hooey
They’re still fond of burning rubber
When they turn a U-ey
You cannot talk to guys like that
They’re always blowing steam
For them, there’s nothing to discuss
They just wanna scream

Lois at Town Hall’s the one
Who registers my truck
But this spring it was Gladys
And I was out of luck
To try to share a joke with her
Would be a waste of time
When all she wants to tell me
Is to stand behind the line

“Stand behind that line, now Charlie
Stand behind the line
Come this way when it’s your turn
I’ll tell you when it’s time
Then you’ll stand upon that dot
And for that stuff you’ll sign
I’ll say when, but until then
Just stand behind the line, OK?
Stand behind the line.”

“Thank you.”

That’s it for now. Stay safe and catch you on the flip side!

Merci beaucoup to Susan and Gordon, for putting our stressful surreal pandemic experiences into a real life perspective!

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.