My Glorious Summer of ’76

I seem to be in a nostalgic mood lately.

Growing up in the 70s was great. I’m not even talking about the movies and music from that era, although we had some darn fine ones, have to admit.

Unfortunately, we had some monstrously bad ones too. Muskrat Love, anyone?

No, what I’m talking about is the total lack of parental supervision we had. Even if a parent stayed home, they pretty much left us to our own devices. It was great.Kids-jumping-and-playing-outside-940x600

Brother and I had it even better, as both Older Sisters and Older Brother had left the house. We’re talking complete lack of supervision, baby! Frankly, it’s a wonder we didn’t burn the whole place down.

We came close, though  … Continue reading “My Glorious Summer of ’76”

10 Things I Believed Were True as a Child

Last week’s post got me to thinking about some of the weird things we come up with as children and what we fervently believe to be true. I’m sure we drove adults crazy with all our questions, but somehow we still managed to think up some pretty wild stuff on our own. Of course, sometimes the reason we came up with the wild stuff is because we were trying to make sense of what adults told us in the first place.

Here are some of the things I remember believing with all my heart and soul.

Don’t judge me. Continue reading “10 Things I Believed Were True as a Child”

How to Survive a Home Invasion — According to a Nine-Year-Old

Back when I was 9 years old, I devised a foolproof survival plan in the event of a home invasion. It was a masterpiece. It took into account every eventuality.

No kidding.

robberMind you, my neighborhood was not an especially dangerous one. It’s not like there were reports of these things happening to our friends or relatives. To my knowledge there hadn’t been so much as a bike stolen off a porch, so I’m not sure why I thought there was a need for a plan. Maybe I saw something in a movie or TV show? In any case, if it ever did happen to us, I was prepared.

Continue reading “How to Survive a Home Invasion — According to a Nine-Year-Old”

I Never Claimed to Be Erma Bombeck

My second year of college I took an evening class in writing. From what I remember there were only about a dozen of us in the class, including the teacher. It was called “Writing for Publication,” or something hopeful like that. We were young. We didn’t know any better.

The class was taught by a middle-aged woman who had some success in getting published. Her big claim to fame was getting an article published in one of the airline magazines. We were in awe.

Also, she wore the same green shoes to every class. I’m not sure why I bring that up. It’s just something I remember.WP_20150512_16_00_21_Pro[1]

Anyway, every week we had to present something we wrote, read it in front of the entire class, and then listen to everyone’s comments. Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Writers live by a code. If I say nice things about the crap you write, then you have to say nice things about the crap I write.

Continue reading “I Never Claimed to Be Erma Bombeck”

A Tribute to Nurses

Without going into too much detail, I have — through no fault of my own — had the occasion at various points in my life to spend time in the hospital.

Except for the birth of Son and later Daughter, none of these occasions were for pleasant reasons. As a matter of fact, they were for extremely unpleasant reasons. And were it not for the presence of those ministering angels, otherwise known as nurses, my time spent in those hospitals would have been unbearable.

WP_20140915_18_25_12_Pro[1]May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week. Did you know that? Well, now you do. It would be nice if we could give them all flowers, wouldn’t it? Costly, but nice.

In any case, if you know a nurse, or currently have a nurse caring for you (gosh, hope you start feeling better soon), then please stop for a moment and let them know how much you appreciate every blessed thing they do. Go ahead and do it now. I’ll wait …

I would like to pay tribute to all the women and men who serve in this noble profession by offering my memories of three particular nurses who helped me at different times in my life. I’m afraid I do not remember their names, because I’m not someone who remembers names even when I’m well. Yet each of them are wonderful human beings deserving of the highest praise. We mere mortals shrink in their presence.

Continue reading “A Tribute to Nurses”

A Little to the Left — A Tale of Political Leanings

Each day began with the same routine: upon rising from bed, he stretched, touched his toes five times, did a quick jog in place, and finished with a growled affirmation that this day, as were all days prior, would be his day.

Why it was his day, or what it was his day for, was never quite clear. Nor did his wife ask him. She decided early in their marriage that it might be best she not know. She also decided to wake up a full hour before he did, which on the whole was quite wise.

This particular morning, however, he did not stretch upon rising from bed, he touched his toes 10 times rather than five, and were his wife still in the room, she would have noted the lack of affirmation that the day was his.

For he did not feel the day was his. Nor did he feel it was not his. He merely felt that the day was.

This was the first sign something was amiss.

The second occurred when he walked into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and greeted his wife.

Continue reading “A Little to the Left — A Tale of Political Leanings”

Mockingbird Tales … With Pie!

Have you ever seen books or articles telling you how to turn your yard into a backyard habitat? I have. I followed their steps. My yard now meets all the requirements for being a backyard habitat. The only thing I didn’t do was pay for the certificate. I’m cheap.

Anyway, what I’m here to tell you is that I’ve uncovered a downside to attracting wildlife to your yard. Namely, you will be attracting wildlife to your yard.

At first I was charmed by the creatures choosing to visit my yard. The feisty hummingbirds, the delicate butterflies, the bad-tempered sparrows who I suspected were lobbing F-bombs at the feisty hummingbirds. All of it was quite interesting, in a Discovery channel, nature-programmy kind of way.

Then my yard turned into a Mockingbird prenatal ward and my life was turned upside down. Continue reading “Mockingbird Tales … With Pie!”

Give Us This Day Our Blessed Bread

The morning after Easter, I entered our kitchen and saw an unusually shaped loaf of bread on the counter. It was a cylinder, as many bread machine loaves are, but it clearly was not from a bread machine. This loaf was soft and delicate, and I’ve never met a bread machine that could accomplish that. Plus, it didn’t have the telltale hole in its bottom, where the dough hooks would have been.

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Later in the day, I learned from Son that it was a gift from friends of ours. It was Blessed Bread. A priest had blessed it.

Son proceeded to tell me the guidelines, as they were told to him.

Basically, under no circumstance can we throw it out. We can give it away, offer it to a friend, a neighbor, a passerby on the street, but we cannot toss it. Not any portion of it. We can’t use half the loaf and toss the rest. In other words, under no circumstance should any portion of the bread be wasted.

My first reaction was deep, deep concern. Followed closely by panic. Continue reading “Give Us This Day Our Blessed Bread”

8 Steps to Becoming an Old Lady

You may be asking yourself why someone would want to be an Old Lady, but hear me out. There are some clear advantages in choosing this path. For one, you get to wear orthopedic shoes. For another, you will have a smug, disapproving look on your face at all times and scare small children with your scowl.

Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to be a woman to be an Old Lady. Or old for that matter. I have met many a man, even young men, who were well on their way to achieving Old Lady status.

And just so we’re clear, not all old ladies are, in fact, Old Ladies. It is all in the attitude, my friends. That is what gives us a true Old Lady.

Here are the steps you must take to join their league: Continue reading “8 Steps to Becoming an Old Lady”