Life Doesn’t Turn Out as Planned

Little Patuxent Review represents a literary and arts community. Most of our posts focus on literature and arts. Today we focus on our community, specifically highlighting a special member of our staff, business manager Phyllis Greenbaum. She’s our Swiss Army knife. The one who works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure your subscriptions get mailed, events are orchestrated, and vendors receive payment. Just like the Swiss Army knife, she’s got surprises hidden behind a beautiful exterior.

Phyllis Greenbaum with her daughter Tracey

Phyllis Greenbaum with her daughter Tracey

Phyllis joined our tribe 18 months ago, but she’s no stranger to the publication world having spent over 20 years at Patuxent Publishing Co., in Columbia, MD. You may recognize her name from The View from Ellicott City, a weekly newspaper she launched in 1996 with two partners and ran for ten years, growing the franchise to include two monthlies and various specialty publications. The list of Phyllis’ successful entrepreneurial ventures, volunteer positions, and leadership roles is long.

But there’s so much more to Phyllis’ story.

How did you come to volunteer for LPR?
I had lunch with my very close friend and mentor Jean Moon shortly after I retired in May 2014. She had heard that LPR needed some administrative help and thought it would be a good fit for me. I met with Tim [Singleton] and Mike [Clark]. Mike was beginning to downsize for his move to Miller’s Grant and was delighted to have some help. Mike and I met for several months, and by the January 2015 Launch, I was ready to step in.

What appeals to you about working on a literary journal?
LPR is a terrific organization. Besides producing a beautiful journal, we host events (and a terrific website!) that truly promote the literary life in Howard County and beyond. The editors and board members are an amazing group of committed and hard-working people, a true pleasure to work with.

What’s on your nightstand right now?
I assume you mean bookwise, not the medicines and body lotions I use before bed! I have some novels from a World War I literature class I took in the winter (Regeneration, 1914, and Her Majesty’s We) and some novels from a Contemporary Literature class I just finished (Saturday, Crow Lake, The Tortilla Curtain, and Lila). I’m still trying to figure out what to do with them now that I’m done. I don’t usually buy books for that reason. I’m a big library and ebook person. There also are some books I haven’t gotten to yet but like to keep close by … just in case!

When you’re not working on LPR, what fills your days?
I take water aerobics and Zumba classes several times a week. I play mah jong once or twice a week. I’m also pretty busy with my daughter, trying to keep her spirits up during this difficult time.

Tell us about your daughter.
Tracey is an amazing young woman who has had some bad luck. She’s been on dialysis for five years now and is waiting for a kidney transplant — and the wait is a long one! Dialysis has taken a lot out of her. She’s exhausted most of the time. She’s a preschool teacher, and while she was working six days a week just a little over a year ago, she is now able to sub only a couple of times a week, if that much.

What’s your Six-Word Memoir?
Life doesn’t turn out as planned.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Is healing a super power? Because I definitely wish, I had the power to make Tracey better.

Online Editor’s Note: For those of you who are parents, you understand the gut-wrenching worry that comes with the territory. To stand by and watch your child suffer is perhaps the worst kind of torture. You’d do anything to take away the pain. Phyllis is our star on dark nights, and we’d like to be her’s by raising awareness about kidney disease and asking that you keep Tracey and others on the transplant list in your thoughts and prayers. Any messages received in response to this post, here or on our social media sites, will be passed along to Phyllis and Tracey.

There are 100,791 people on the organ donation waiting list for kidney transplants, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The median wait time for someone who needs a kidney transplant is 3.6 years. Here are a few sobering statistics:

  • In 2014, 17,107 kidney transplants took place in the US. Of these, 11,570 came from deceased donors and 5,537 came from living donors.
  • Over 3,000 people get added to the kidney transplant waitlist per month. That’s one every 14 minutes.
  • Every day, 13 people die while waiting for a kidney. Those people leave behind parents, children, siblings – heartbroken families.
  • In 2014, 4,761patients died while waiting for a kidney transplant. Another, 3,668 people became too sick to receive a kidney transplant.

If you’ve ever considered organ donation, giving a kidney is one you can donate while you’re still living. To learn more, visit The Big Give.

One thought on “Life Doesn’t Turn Out as Planned

  1. Rhoda bobis

    To phyllis, it’s been a long time since we last saw each other. Live near San Francisco.still married in50years! Gregg is a cost account and lives in s.f. Pam is a retired alcohol and drug therapist and lives
    In Rochester n.y. Work with rich after kids left home. Only person I contacted was Laura Bergen. My thoughts and prayers goes out to Tracey. Love to hear from you. Rhoda😎


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