“Everything has a solution” July 28, 2012 Story 1

Was it Paul Revere who said, “sorry for waking you, but the British are coming?”

Fortunately or unfortunately (it depends on which friend or family member of mine you ask) the martyrdom side of my personalities, along with my natural protectionist neuroses, combined with my sociolinguistic tendencies are working in overdrive these days telling me to share my Chinese drywall story with every person I meet.

And yet my intellectual insecurities manage to suppress my natural sagaciousness every time.

“Will people think I’m batshit crazy if I tell them my Chinese drywall story”, is almost a daily dialogue with myself.

Yes I know, some of you are nodding your heads profusely and smiling broadly having long since figured out my combination of overwhelming ego alongside my lack of emotional control and authority problems stabilized by my ever increasing intellectual appetite has already led me to the batshit crazy cocktail hour.

Nevertheless, my Chinese drywall story begins last summer sitting on the beach in Florida telling my Mommy Gah (my spiritual and literal Sensei) “I can’t get rid of my doom and gloom attitude toward my business life”.

I describe my overpowering sense that something bad is getting ready to happen and yet I have no clue where this feeling is coming from. And though I have had bad, crappy experiences before (as I’m sure you have too) my anxiety is overwhelming.

I talk with my Mommy Gah for several hours about my business life and how I want to regain some sense of perspective and balance. I tell Mommy Gah,  “I’ve balanced my personal life, why can’t I find a balance in my business life”?

My mother listens intently as I describe the constant weight I feel and my constant sense of loss. I wrap up my diatribe with a question, “do you have any advice for me Mommy”?

Holy Mother of Jefferson Davis, let the question and answer session begin!

By the fifty-eighth or so question, my Mommy Gah slowly draws to a close and I look in the blue eyes I’ve been staring in my whole life and I ask sternly and without generational regard,

“MOMMEE..GAHHH, do YOU have ANNNNYY advice or do you just have a million questions?”

And in classic Mommy Gah fashion, the words of wisdom ring out,

“WeLLLLL (my mother doesn’t really have a southern draw, it’s a sweet Winnie the Pooh mixed with a soulful Appalachian person meets a Yankee know-it-all kind of a draw) you know my philosophy in liiiifffe Michele, Evvveeerything has a solution”.

Aren’t Moms the greatest free therapy and bastion of open data!

Everything has a solution, Everything has a solution, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

After enduring her fifty-eight questions and overanalyzing my six answers, after looking in the great vast Atlantic Ocean for three hours, after putting off the first Corona thinking somehow this will keep my mind sharp, after twenty-seven sighs, after thirty-two butt shuffles this is all the wisdom my Mommy Gah can come up with? Jeeez what a waste of time.

So with a growl and a quick roll of my eyes, I get up from my big bone beach chair, grab my first Corona, kick the soccer ball to my 5 year old nephew and throw my hand in the air like Jackie Gleason on steroids,

“Greeeaatah! Everything has a solution, what the hell does this philosophy have to do with MY problem” I yell back at her.

Little do I know, the “everything has a solution” philosophy will become my roadmap as I traverse through the environmental tsunami that’s getting ready to hit my world.

“Retirement day” July 27, 2012

Good morning!

As my Olympic talker career slowly comes to an end and my verbal business-retirement is imminent, reflection is upon me. Like every great olympic talker before me, I hope to use my gifts and talents to make the world a better place .

I bring with me; my golden East Tennessee inflection, my silver tongue dialect, my bronze storytelling ability and my monetized gift of gab; to the non-verbal, non-profit and socially responsible public sector.

This decision is not an easy one but as I traverse uncharted public waters I promise to be honest, socially responsible and economically sustainable with my public stories.

But first, I thank all the people behind my voice; my family, my employees, my teachers, my coaches, my compadres and my clients. I especially thank my secondgrade teacher, Mrs. Palfrey, whose words on my third grade report card still resonate with me today…. “Michele talks all the time; to her classmates, to me, or to herself”.

I take great pride in these words and great pride in being from the storytelling capital of the world.

Michele E. Peterson
A Storyteller

Happy Anniversary to Me

Prayer for our City

Hello Nooga-Lawners

I very rarely share my nightly prayers, for many different reasons, but tonight is different. With tragedy so close to home, I share because I care

I pray for the members of the families of the fallen and all innocent men and women across the world who die at the hands of senseless bigotry and selfish acts of cowardice perpetrated in the name of God or Allah

I pray somehow love and forgiveness, not hate and retribution, will fill the sadness of those stricken with the duties of carrying such soul burdens

I pray this circumstance will never be a burden my friends and family will ever have to endure. But if we do, we will not look to hate-blaming and bitterness for our consolations

I pray our military, our police men and women, and our first responders on accidents and crime scenes, who risk their lives every day to make sure I am safer, be kept just as safe

I pray for the family of this lost young man, who whether right or wrong in terms of religion and fear meets generational frustration, might have comfort in knowing there are people in Chattanooga and across the world who are also praying they find peace as well.

I pray for all those who think violence begetting violence, through war plus death, is a human equation that will never result in the betterment of our humanity.

I pray for those who live in a world where absolutism and broad stroke cultural paintings, sketched by historical interpretation, class and bigotry, will not set a young person in the footsteps of evil, nor give a lost individual the roadmap and gasoline they need to start driving towards the rest of us

I pray that Allah, or God, or whatever you believe publicly, you will have the courage to step forward and speak out when you see religious doctrine being hijacked in the name of political agenda, hunger of power meets hate mongering alongside individual financial gain

I pray all faiths and families will believe putting consideration before selfishness is indeed a religion, one without the need for communal public acknowledgment and acceptable recognition.

I also pray hope and selflessness might become an establishment that more folks might want to belong

I pray if you are reading my prayers you might know how much love is always around you. I pray you will find the courage to side step judgment and hate by turning off your TV and Internet to step outside and say hello to a few neighbors and friends; I promise if my prayers are answered tonight you will be met with an infectious inflection made of  trust, sincerity and love; giving you the light and generosity Jesus himself spoke about and lived

Lord hear my prayers tonight, for so many are questioning and worrying; let those who question and judge remember the power of resurrection, as we say good-bye to our befallen and they say hello to the Heavens

Lord Hear My Prayer


Good Morning,

You know, I’ve been praying a lot these days for folks who are suffering a silencer’s toll, and I’ve been praying for my graduating guidance and wisdom to always lead me in the right direction as I move forward in my wonderful life.

My Ma-Maw, my Uncle Freddie and my Aunt Patti taught me long ago how the power of faith and prayer can help you have the courage to face anything in life if you just open your heart. My Grandmother Nonnie taught me to open my mind to all that is possible in life even if mine and others obstacles appear too difficult and too challenging.

The one rule they all taught me, I’ve never broken;  to never waste my wishes and prayers on selfish things like the desire for money or stuff to arrive, in order to bring me an abundance of self-happiness or awareness.

I was also taught the only way to true happiness is through unselfishness, managing your reactions to challenges and continuing to understand life’s perspectives via self discovery and the recognition of other’s less fortunate than you; always remembering to set aside my bad times, in favor of Jesus’s prayer,

“Lord take from me and give to them.”

It is news from Ferguson that underscores why Catholics fall to their knees as they ask for guidance, patience, hope and wisdom; so much violence in the world these days and yet I feel helpless. Only reacting by setting my alarm, by writing this post and by following through with another day.

“Just justice, not violence y’all”, said by a mother back in August who’s eighteen year young, three week old son was gunned down in the streets of Ferguson.

Justice cannot be something to regale, like a funny looking olive hanging on to a martini glass; injustice must be viewed via social temperance and outcry when something so horrible and senseless happens next door to you, lest we all expect to drown in our country’s martini glass filled with fear and hate.

Please say a prayer for the folks in Ferguson, for our leaders and for anyone else who has ever been pickled by the unjust hand of intolerance, impatience and fear. It might not seem that unusual anymore to turn on the TV and see yet another young person maligned and shot dead for justice, or for street gang retribution, in the streets like road kill on Interstate 75, only to find out they might just have been at the wrong place, at the wrong time and might not be making the best decisions that day, but who most certainly was acting like other arrogant, full of hubris young folks can act.

Please help this Ferguson family find peace as they move through this difficult time. Please help folks understand how hopelessness and mass incarceration of one group is effecting all of us, in untold ways. And how our over-reactions plus sensationalized collisions of media isn’t helping anyone.

It is those of us who see the fallibility of class marketing, generational tariffs, anti-trust laws not being enforced and that the collusion of marketplaces have all of us running amuck, afraid and scared.

“Michele, the idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, my grandmother Peterson always said, was working on overdrive that day back in August in Ferguson, when one man decided to take a boy’s life, not once but six times.

Please help folks understand why this feeling of injustice and our modern-day media attitude of, “look what I have and what y’all don’t”, is tearing at every fiber of American culture, regardless of skin tone, vernacular or intellect.

Lord hear my prayer