River of Life
One of My Stories / March 14, 2018

I love rivers. With all respect to ponds, pools, lakes, and oceans, I love being by a river the most.  Landlocked on two sides, it’s still a continuum of water that chuckles as it moves and brings down the heat in summer.  My rivers are peaceful most of the time but the last thing they are is boring, not only because they hold so much life but they seem to be living creatures themselves.  I guess I see life as a river. More than anything, all rivers are made up of water, great googolplexes of H2O molecules, all moving in the same direction. Some of the droplets came up from underground springs, some fell into place with a rainfall, but the source isn’t what’s important here.  What’s important is that once those droplets meet up it’s hard to tell one from another and they impact each other.  It may be on a scale too small for us to see but the molecules of water bump against each other on the way to their common destination.  And each encounter changes the path of each droplet, however minutely. I think all life is like that.  Our lives are continually changed every day by…

The World Famous Author I didn’t Quite Meet
One of My Stories / March 2, 2018

This day should be remembered each and every year. For the birth of an author, many of us still hold dear. Though he’s no longer with us, his books hold renown When it comes to kid’s lit, Old Doc Seuss holds the crown But I must add, in a tone of defeat He’s the most famous author I didn’t quite meet When I was small, Dr. Seuss was the Man and I read each of his stories, like a number 1 fan Like the Sneeches, my belly once had a small star I recited his rhymes while we rode in the car. I grew up and learned to love reading aloud I’d choose Seuss to read to the younger kids crowd That’s what my job was one year, long ago At the main library branch in old San Diego That place hosted a party each Winter to cheer Any locals who’d published books in the last year. For the party, my off-day, I agreed to forsake And serve the literati their coffee and cake I don’t want to brag, but I must confess, I looked good that day! I wore my best dress. I buffed up my nails and styled my…

#ObeseNoMore
One of My Stories / December 14, 2017

The one question I kept asking myself: How in hell did I get this big? We all live our lives by labels.  Those governed by birth are immovable.  Whether you’re a baby-boom, Gen-X or millennial, you’ll be one for the rest of your life, even if you lie about it.  Some birth labels, like nationality, look permanent but can be changed, and some we have even more say on, at least in theory.  I’ve lived with one label too long. Obese. If there is a word in the language I hate, that’s the one.  Clinically, it means someone whose Body Mass Index is higher than 30; when the extra weight can really starts to compromise someone’s health. But to the many non-medical people, obesity is a character flaw, not evidence of a health problem, a weakness in someone else that can be exploited. 60 lbs. down and I’m still OMG obese And that kind of thinking can be hell to live with when you’re obese. See, part of the pain of being really big is how that kind of treatment undercuts your confidence.  Graduate with honors? Yeah, but you’re still obese.  Complete a 5K? Doesn’t matter if you’re big as…

The Evolution of a Door: The Misadventures of a Would-be DIY’er
One of My Stories / November 28, 2017

Madison Avenue thinks it knows what presents women wish for. They tell us through commercials all the time. What love token should you give a lady? Give her diamonds. Give her shoes. Give her a new car.  Well, Madison Avenue never heard of me. I wanted a new front door. Door, the First In all fairness, I’ve wanted one for the past 27 years. Our little house came with a rather standard, wooden door; one that let in the weather, but kept out the light. Can’t say I liked it much. Matter of fact, I hated the thing. But, with one thing and another, the door never got replaced when we were a double-income family.  Now that we’re living on one, what were the chances my front door could change? You’d be surprised. Not that it was easy.  First off entry doors aren’t cheap, at least entry doors that have lots of glass.  Go ahead, google “3/4 lite entry door”. and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  I’ll wait. Scary, isn’t it? Well, I started scouring.  Craig’s List, LetGo, Facebook selling, you name it.  And I finally found this beauty at a price we could afford.  Only one small issue. …

A Tale of Autumn’s Light
One of My Stories / November 3, 2017

If you listen to painters, they are obsessed with color and light.  Well, if you listen to stories of artists, that’s what they talk about.  Me, being a word instead of a picture person, I didn’t understand what they meant.  Color is color, light is light, right?  You either have it or you don’t.  Then I took a look at Autumn around here and I began to see what all the fuss was about. The qualities of light vary, hues change and the infinite combinations can blow your mind.  Then, I began to think that if we are made in God’s image, then the Supreme Being is also the Supreme Painter and autumn is when all the crayons come out of the box to vary the leaves with the light. The light of Autumn has its own peculiar illumination.  If Winter is a pale, fluorescent bulb, and arc lights imitate summer, then Fall is like Edison’s first bulbs, full of amber, dim, uncertain illumination.  And when that yellow, watery light comes up underneath the clouds and hits the variegated leaves, the foliage seems to….glow. For example, my neighbor has this incredible tree that puts on a show every year. (By the way,…

End of Summer Report Card
One of My Stories / September 5, 2017

“I’m just a Summer Girl,Living in a Summer World…” The only thing is, Summer is ending. That much is obvious, even without the store displays of Halloween Costumes and Football gear. Days are shortening, outside light is yellowing, and the trees have begun their annual game of pelting our metal roof with nuts. (it’s amazing how something that small can make that large a noise!) Autumn is coming again, and it’s time to take stock of what did and didn’t happen this Summer. See More of Friends and Family: Well, yes and no.  Sadly, I missed my High School Reunion again, and I only hope my classmates and hometown will forgive me. On the other hand, my nephew came to see us in June, and I talked with my sister almost every day, which is very good.  Our folks would never have believed we’ve learned to be sisters and friends. Learn to DIY on a Dime: Check.  So, I’m a slave to all of those H&G/DIY shows/pictures/ideas, a truth that frightens my husband no end. (His lawn and garden dreams involve Astroturfing the yard.) The only thing is, we haven’t got the budget for hiring Home Improvement teams.  So this summer I…

Assaulting a Boston Fern: Confessions of a Broke H&Ger (Part 1)
One of My Stories / August 10, 2017

It’s time to come clean First Confession: I’m a lifestyle/Home & Garden nut. Even though I nearly flunked Home Ec (twice!) growing up, I really love a pretty house. Ditto, lawn, and garden.  Set me inside a home-improvement store and I will happily spend us into the poorhouse.  Second Confession: We’re already too close to the poorhouse for me to do much home-improvement. Hey, that’s how it goes.  When my husband and I both worked, we had the cash for decorating but no time. Now I have the time and energy needed but insufficient valuta for the home-improvement store.  What’s an H&G addict to do? Answer: Find a cheaper choice. For example, I’ve always loved the look of potted ferns. They say “summer” when I see them  on a front porch. But have you priced those suckers lately? Anywhere between $10-$50 bucks each.  And I wanted at least four ferns, two to hang and two to stand.  Given that price tag, I figured my house would stay fernless this summer. What’s a porch without hanging ferns? A sad thing indded Then, Sunday before last, I noticed my local hardware store was having a garden sale. Big racks of season ending plants were displayed in…

The Lessons of Old Wood
One of My Stories / June 30, 2017

Some projects take more time than others. Twenty-seven springs ago, when I knew we were moving into this house, I bought an old, cedar lined, wardrobe trunk, to use as multipurpose furniture. “It can be a coffee table or a lamp table” I caroled to my overwhelmed husband. “While it stores extra blankets and quilts.” “What we need is more floor space,” he replied, eyeing the battle-scarred box, “and we’re not going to get it with that ugly thing.” “Just you wait, once I paint it, this thing will be beautiful,” I said. And, because I was in a hurry, I poured a quart of ivory paint over the entire trunk and hauled it into the house. It didn’t look good or hold the out-of-season linens like I planned, but it served as table and storage container for decades, first in the living room and then on the porch. With the construction of Darling Husband’s garage, the cedar trunk was emptied of its cache of tools and finally ready for the restoration I promised it years ago. Trunk after years on the porch. This should be an easy cleanup, right? That process has taken the best part of a week…

Tump-TAY-shun
One of My Stories / June 15, 2017

Ever been slapped upside the head by a forgotten Memory? I’m not talking about the memories with short-cut, easy-access triggers.  Those are the ones you use from every day, stuff like your computer password, social security number and how to drive a car. Other recollections get misfiled in dusty cranial drawers so when you need the information, you walk around feeling stupid for five minutes, saying, “I know (fill in the blank) like I know my own name, what is it?” I’m talking about the memories that pop up out of nowhere and surprise the heck out of you.  That happened to me today. You could say it was a random accident or because Father’s Day is coming up soon. Personally, I think the culprit is cake. See, dense sugar/carb sweets are like cocaine to me and I’ve been trying to live without them for the last 14 months or so.  I’ve been doing pretty well with that too, not even missing the pastries I couldn’t live without before.  At least until a couple of things that happened lately…. See some friends did us a wonderful favor.  I mean HUGE.  And nothing says “Thank You” to a friend like bringing them…

Traveling Hopefully
One of My Stories / May 9, 2017

When we were young, And Broke, And starting out in life together, Nothing was more fun than a drive.Over the roads and around the curves we’d go,Grinning like fools, Shouting with laughter, Harmonizing with the radio.Our future, always just over the next horizonThat we sped to on paid-with-pennies gasI didn’t care how poor we were then.I knew great things were headed our way. Well, we didn’t get famous, or start rolling in gelt, But we’ve taken a few bows in our time, And tripped some fantastic lights. Those moments were fine, though not all I expected, And usually not worth the fuss that came with them.I’m happier back in the car. Belted into the shotgun seat, One foot propped on the edge of the dash. Drumming on my thigh to the rhythm of a song That left the charts decades ago. As gray-haired, we still speed down the road, around the corners, and over the hills. Rolling toward an unknown future.Traveling hopefully.

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