Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I know a girl who is one of the nicest girls you'd ever want to meet.
One of the prettiest.
She drives me flipping crazy.
The thing is, she does not pull her weight. She does not pitch in and help. She tells people "This is not my job" a lot. Her projects are overdue. She spends a lot of time at meetings that she does not participate in, although she is quick to blame the rest of the team if there's a problem. It's easy to do that when you've played no part in the project except for showing up at the meetings.
She stresses over small things, is oblivious to the big picture, sort of lingers at the side lines, hoping no one notices she's there.
I try to be patient with her, but it's getting increasingly difficult. But I wonder what it is like to spend your life on the periphery, avoiding action, avoiding involvement, avoiding commitment, never saying what you think. I try to imagine that kind of a life, and have decided that spending your life in the shadows is not really living at all. Sometimes I find myself wondering if she is really even real, or merely a figment of my imagination, a wisp of a person who disappears in the wind.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday All Day

It's been so gorgeous, weather-wise, that it was kind of hard waking up to a cold rain, temps in the 40s. To make matters worse, it was 3:30 and the weather change had brought on a wicked, stomach turning headache. I tried to go back to sleep but could not, so I finally got up, took a couple pills which guaranteed that going back to sleep was not an option. By the time the alarm went off an hour later, I was getting the idea it was not going to be a great day.
Before I even had my morning cup, there was a great tragedy. How lucky we are that we can not see what the future holds for us. Still, I couldn't help was Sunday morning when I'd last shared time with the dearly departed. If I'd have only known, would I not have savored those last moments? *quavering sigh* Damn. I'm really going to miss that cappuccino machine. I love my morning cup. *small tear*
But the show must go on. I kept a stiff upper lip (except for the quavering sighs and small tears).
I got ready for work, and dragged my caffeine deprived, shortsleeped, aching head self to work.
Because I'm noble like that.
Also they have a coffee pot there.
Really, though, mainly it was that I was so noble.
So I put the flag up at the new building and dragged my mosquito larva into the office (I'd gone dipping for larva Sunday morning, right after church. In heels. How's THAT for noble?), only to discover that this day was not going to get better any time soon. We had a coffee maker. We were, unfortunately, out of coffee. The tears got somewhat larger, and my mood got somewhat darker.
The good news is, I survived this day. No coworkers were injured in the making of this horror, although one or two might have been considering killing me (and I was considering letting them). I think I may have scared the new guy some.
I headed out the door for home. I made up my mind. I was stopping at a store before heading home. I was buying a coffee maker. Further more, I was not going to comparison shop. (If you knew me, you'd know that this was a sign of my desperation.)
Guess WHAT?
Walmart here does not sell cappuccino machines. I thought that Walmart sold everything. I've never gone to Walmart and not been able to find what I needed. I was stupified, and not just from the lack of coffee, either.
I went to K-mart. I stay away from K-Mart because Tim's sister works there, and she's a snotty thing. But I was desperate. I'd take on snot. I needed my caffeine. As it turned out, I didn't see the sister. I did see my cappuccino machine. None left on the shelf, display had pieces missing. There was no box. Looking it over, I thought that I'd take it anyway. I had the pieces I needed at home, and I ought to be able to get a good price on it. Triumphantly, I grabbed it from the shelf and headed off. Halfway to the register, I noticed that the frothing tube had been broken off. That wasn't going to work. I was out of luck.
*quavering sigh*
No coffee pot.
It's supposed to snow tomorrow.
It was Monday all day today.
It looks like it might be Monday again tomorrow.


We had our first thunderstorm of the season on Saturday. The thunder rumbled and the lightning crackled in a most satisfying way. I remember being a very small child, laying in the dark, and crying silently in fear during a storm.
Now a night time thunderstorm is one of my favorite things.
Along with stones,
garbanzo beans,
waking up slowly,
potted plants,
fountains (inside and outside),
big loyal dogs,
friendly purring cats,
fresh baked bread,
blue jeans,
and books.
Let's see Julie Andrews make a song out of that mix.
The best thunderstorm moment I ever had was in the desert. I was driving a car in Arizona, and there was a blinding flash of lightning that was so near that the crack of thunder was simultaneous.
The whole thing scared the wits out me.
The hair on my arms stood up.
I was surrounded by electricity.
It was awesome.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

On the Road Again

They should be in Acworth, GA by now.
It was a nice visit. The beast did not surface, although there were a couple of time that there was a stirring and roiling of the water, as if, suddenly, he might.
Mike's mother writes. She sent a portfolio of e-mails she wrote during Mike's last trip to Florida. How strange that she would think I might open doors for her. Anyways, last year, Mike went there because she couldn't help him. He lived there in an apartment with another friend. Dad set them up. It made her happy to see his father struggling with what to do with Mike. Mike came back to Michigan because 'Prozack' was making a movie. It was called 'Blood, Screams, and Killers' or some such thing. He wanted Mike to star. Mike's mother was happy. She did not want his life to be 'woulda, shoulda, coulda'. The movie was delayed three times and then abandoned, because 'Prozack' had recorded another album, and had to tour. Brianna explained it to Cara. 'Prozack's' style is a combination of rap/screaming heavy metal. He was having a hard time finding people who liked it. Mike stuck around his mother's house, making money by doing odd jobs. According to his mother, you cannot pay him in advance, or the job never gets done. She related her trials with him in a very humorous way.
I did not think any of it was funny.
It made me a little sickish.
I wondered.
Was the sheaf of e-mails sent to me because she considers me a 'successful' writer'?
Or as a warning, so we knew what we were dealing with?
Brianna is thin, with alarming circles beneath her eyes. Maybe they look worse because of her goth hair and make-up. Mike is a big guy, with a gruesome tattoo, some sort of beast. His head is shaved. He wears baggy shorts, a tank top, a red bandana on his head. He tells Brianna that he feels as if he is Gandolf, visiting in the hobbitshire. We are short folk here. He seems like a personable fellow. Brianna is glad to be home. We all talk politics at the Bob Evans. Laugh. Have a good time. They both eat heartily. For some reason this makes me glad, and sad. "We are traveling on the cheap," Brianna tells me. They have makings for sandwiches, and cheese crackers. Lots and lots of cokes.
They sit up downstairs until 4:30 AM watching videos. They are driving at night. They stay up because they want to stick to the same schedule. This time Brianna has a valid reason for sitting up all night watching TV.
The next morning, as they sleep, I make homemade pepperoni rolls. I knead the dough.
I find some amount of peace in this.
I know how to make bread.
I know how to feed people.
I can pack nice snacks for the trip.
Tim takes their car for a spin, comes back and replaces the water pump, the spark plug wires, fixes the turn signal. I did not ask, but
I am sure that he finds some amount of peace in this.
He knows how to fix cars.
He can make sure the car gets to Florida.
And when it is time to leave, I stand at the open door, waving, and watch the car pull out. As always, there are tears.
It was a nice visit.
I'm glad they stopped.
I'm glad I had my 36 hours.
Now all that is left to do is pray.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


'It is said that religion is for people scared of hell, spirituality for people who have already been there.'
Is it just me, or is this possibly
the most mind-blowing,
jaw dropping
truth that you've ever encountered?
I'll be stumbling around with a distant look in my eyes,
with this niggling around at the back of my mind.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Today, I was outside.
The redwing blackbirds watched me traipsing through 'their' field. They protect their nests pretty aggressively. Today I didn't get close enough to get divebombed. Today, I wandered through the fields, farther and farther from the road. The cacophony of modern life retreated, and I heard the birds. I heard the wind in the reeds. I heard the rumbles of very distant thunder. My heart quieted as I listened to these things. Today, I am listening to the same sounds that have been heard for generations come and gone before me.
Today, I am hearing what they heard yesterday,
and last year,
and last decade,
and last century,
and before the white man came.
And within the ageless, unchanging mutterings of this world,
I heard the voice of God.


My oldest daughter will be home any minute, with her new knight in tow. They are moving to Florida. She thinks life will be better there. I listen to her plans quietly.
I want to be happy for her.
Brianna is looking for a new life.
She wants the same things that you and I take for granted.
Money enough to pay the bills,
put food on the table,
put gas in the car.
She dreams of owning a home one day.
Bush Babe wrote a recent post on bunyips, monsters of aboriginal folklore. Bunyips live only in the water in Australia. Stay away from the water, stay away from Australia, and the bunyips will not trouble you. Unlike bunyips, untreated bi-polar disorder will raise up with gruesome and blood curdling howls to snatch my child where ever she is. Until she learns to fight it. Until she sees the need to fight it.
Brianna's problems will follow her to Florida.
I wish I could make her see
that the problem is not Michigan,
just like the problem wasn't Pennsylvania.
I've got 36 hours with Brianna. I will try to be happy, but inside I will be alert, stepping cautiously, listening intently for the gruesome and bloodcurdling roars of the beast. Unlike bunyips, this one is real. I've met him before. He travels with my girl. He'll take her, and in the struggle, everyone around her will suffer at the hands of the beast.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Darn Leprechauns


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bummer Revisited

This sucks.
Computer monitor died.
It may be a while before I'm back.
This could be good news or bad news, depending on your perspective.


Hillary Clinton beats rival Barack Obama in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, with early results predicting a 53%-47% win.For more details:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I got tagged by Susan over at Painted Promise Ranch. Thanks, Susan, because I'm tired and stupid and can't think of a thing to write about. I was up early and out the door to vote before work. Lots of paperwork today, getting ready for the county Envirothon. I fret that I'll miss some vital detail and ruin a memory for some teens. I'm probably making mountains out of molehills, but building mountains is my special talent, so shush out there.
Anyhow this is going to be a disappointment. I'm supposed to talk about the folks on my blog list, answer questions about them, tell how I met them, etc. Short story there. I've not met any of them. Not a one. I can't answer questions about number 22 or number 23, because I have 10 people on my list. That doesn't mean I'm not bopping around other blog sites, reading and thinking, and leaving comments, but these 10 are my favorites. So I'll just tell you why they're on my list of 'good people'.
Brummie Blogs is written by a transcriber who works out of her home in Birmingham, England. She loves her family and her dog. That's ironic. So do I. She's a cheerful typopath who makes me laugh regularly, and got me in huge trouble with the word 'bollocks'. I assumed it meant nonsense, which it does, but in a literal sense, it means testicles. Who knew? I didn't, until I asked another e-mail friend (male) who's a Brit living in Sydney, Australia. So I have my Brummie friend to thank for that bit of humilation. Of course, I humiliate myself so frequently, that really, it just sort of blurs together, and so she has been forgiven.
There's Bush Babe. She lives on an Australian cattle station. She is a mom to The Little Woman and Dash the Wonderboy. She is married to Strong Silent Bloke. She gives the most wonderful glimpses into her life, and what is ordinary to her is extraordinary to me. She tells horrible stories about goannas and tree snakes, and has convinced me that I'd rather live here where the dinosaurs have the good grace to remain extinct and the stinking snakes stay on the ground. Her dog Cruel just had puppies, and I want one. Tim is not a fan of dogs, and he is glad that she lives in Australia for that one reason.
The Horseshoeing Housewife is Mikey. She slays me. This woman is tough as nails, shoes horses for a living, has a cutie-patootie little helper named Mercy. Wade is her husband. She loves him dearly, but also sticks rattlesnake carcasses in the freezer, and then asks him to get the hamburger out to thaw, just to watch him jump. I read her, and I know one thing for a fact. Mikey could kick my ass if it came right down to it. She loves animals and has a gi-normous heart. She is also responsible for my blog. Mikey nags. I gave up and began blogging just to get a break from her.
Ifs of Og. Mike is funny stuff, a recovering fundamentalist. He wrote probably my favorite blog post of all time, The Law Concerning Beach Women'. Oh my gosh, I laughed until I cried and then promptly sent it to everyone that I know. The man is the master of stories with a moral. If you're not laughing, you're thinking. I love to do both. So Mike is one of those people I read each an every morning after I get Tim off for work at 4:30 am, and then spend an hour in front of the computer waking up slowly, reading the thoughts of friends I have never met, sipping my coffee.
Jeanie is another inhabitant of Australia. She is actually Bush Babe's sister. She has the same good nature, quick wit. I gave my own sister a mug for Christmas. It says, "I smile because you're my sister. I laugh because you can't do a damn thing about it." That's the kind of relationship these two sisters have. Jeanie is refreshingly honest about herself and her shortcomings. She knows how to laugh at herself, and I like that very much. There's some wild rumor that she's to be married this year. Some folk have been waiting a loooong time for an invite. Salina is her daughter and looks very like her cousins, The Little Woman and Dash.
Mary, at Jumping Off Cliffs, is a wife and a mother of 4 teenaged boys. She questions life, and faith, and writes. She navigates the swift and perilous waters of teenager angst, outrage and hormonal fluctuations with good nature. She's not throttled any of them yet, although we've agreed that her 18 year old son and my 18 year old daughter should never be allowed to meet lest they spawn a generation of rabid offspring that go straight for their grandmothers' jugulars when they try to cuddle the little cuties.
Susan at the Painted Promise Ranch is a friend of Mikey's (the Horseshoeing Housewife). She runs an equine rescue ranch. After her own disappointments in life, she has found joy, and she savors it as I myself do. She's joyous and kind and very thoughtful. After listening to me bitch about lady bugs, she found me a plant stake with a lady bug. She thought she was pretty funny stuff. I saved the box it came in, because she's going to get it back. Just as soon as I find something hilarious to ship out. Being that I am not a horsewoman, I've sought the expert advice of the horsewomen that I know. We're thinking. We're thinking. And to borrow a quote, Susan: 'We'll get you, my pretty...'
In the beginning, there was Ree, AKA the Pioneer Woman. She is the first blog I ever read, and I laughed myself stupid. She is also how I found Mikey. She is also how I found Bush Babe. And the Brummie. Her blog is so hugely popular that I'm not going to say anything more about her. Anyone who gets three hundred comments (three thousand if she's got a contest going) doesn't need me to say how great she is.
Scotty, The Frog Prince, is a good natured intellectual, a poetry writing fireman who's waiting for the woman of his dreams. (I think he's actually got her. ) You never know quite what to expect when you bring his blog up. That is what I like best about him. He is not boring. He seems as if he's watching the world go round with a wide-eyed interest, not missing a thing. I think I routinely leave my longest comments to this blog. He's always got some debate going on.
Finally there is Alison at Three Times Kewl. This woman lost her husband to a drunk driver, and is single handedly raising three toddlers alone. I admire her courage, and her devotion to her children, her free thinking. I think that I am in awe of someone who can find so much joy at a time in her life when she is still picking up pieces.
I just realized that there is someone missing from my list. Hal from over at Dispatches from the Away Dad Nation. He has a small son named Dylan, which is the name of my grown up boy. I have to say, this is a man who gets it. He understands the importance of being a good dad. He understands the importance of being a husband. He's quirky and funny, and as he puts it, a fine example of upper white trash.
And these are the people I start my days with. I love them all for lots of different reasons. And I've never met a one of them. Life's funny like that. Now let me get off my duff and get Hal added to my list.

Out to vote

Happy birthday to Hal and Jeanie. It just kind of tickles me to think that Hal's big day is Tuesday, April 22nd. Jeanie's big day is Wednesday, April 23rd. Because of the international time line, I can wish them both a happy birthday on the same day.
'And that's all she wrote.'
The polls open at 7 and I'm casting my vote for change. You know, I've heard a lot about Obama and his naivite. I guess that I'm pretty naive as well. I think this: We've actually had a lot of experienced people running the show here. I don't think that experience has done us all that much good.
Usually, by the time Pennsylvania gets to vote in a primary, it has ceased to matter...there is usually a clear cut winner.
It's going to be an exciting day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Older Man

Today is Tim's birthday. I'm fixing his favorite meal: a venison roast, nicely seasoned, with carrots, onions, celery and potatoes. It's not fancy, but it's what he likes. He's not much of a cake eater, so I made him an apple pie with a crumb topping. I made a double batch of crust so that we can have a pot pie made from meat and vegetables left over today for tomorrow's supper.
(I guess I'm having an organized moment too, Jeanie).
Tim is 51 today. One month from today exactly, I'll turn 51 as well. I woke up in the middle of the night. I always figure that when I'm awake in the night, there's a reason. So I laid there thinking in the dark, about life, about where I've been, about where I'm going, about our kids, about my husband. I realized that my life really is my blog, chock full of good things, and not so good things, funny moments, tears, irrevocably tangled around the lives of others. I don't imagine that my life is really all that different from everybody else's, when you get right down to brass tacks.
Thinking finished, I turn over on my side. It never fails to happen. Tim, sound asleep, rolls toward me. His arm goes around my waist. He never misses a snore. And in a few minutes,
I fall back asleep as well.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life Story

Today as I waited in line to check out in the grocery store, I watched a 3 year old boy. Blond curls, lively eyes, questions bursting forth like machine gun fire. I don't think the fellow stood still for more than a minute. His mom was patiently answering his questions. He stopped what he was doing for just a moment to look me over. "Hi." he said, in a very matter of fact way. "Hello," I said right back. His mom chatted while we waited. Her little boy reminded me of a little boy that used to live at my house. He's 21 now. Lives on the other side of the state.
I pack up my groceries, thinking. It's been a busy weekend. We went to a party for my nephew Bill, home from Afghanistan. He's been home for a while, but we haven't seen him. Ironically, after all the praying while he was in a war zone, he came home safely, but a grinder exploded while he worked towards getting his warrant officer rank. They had to do surgery on his eyes. But he looks good. His wife, Ang, looks serene and happy to have him back at her side. Bill's brother, Jim, was home too with his wife, Sarah. He got badly injured in Iraq about 6 months before Bill went to Afghanistan. After nearly a year and a half at Walter Reed, Jim's been discharged from the Army. He looks good too. His limp is not something you'd notice unless you were looking for it. Even though he talks with his hands, you don't even really notice the missing fingers too much. He's our Jim and he's back. Kellie was there with her new baby. Kristie came with her two children. Cara was there. Nieces. Nephews. My own girl. Grown up and moving along in their own directions, some with children of their own. I remember them all as babies. They all had blond curls which darkened as they grew. All of them were lively. Full of questions. Full of beans and childish giggling. I remember how each one of them fit comfortably on a hip. Couldn't do that now. They're all taller than me. Every dadburn one of them except for my own Cara.
What a lovely night around a bonfire. The children are gone, but the adults laughing together in the firelight are pretty amazing people.
I do so love life.

Oh Happy Day!

I don't weigh myself much. I have a scale. What I have discovered is that my weight varies back and forth, and when I'm watching the numbers, it makes me a bit nuts. So I watch my weight by judging how my jeans fit. When my jeans get snug, it is time to do something. Winter is not my best time, weight wise. You've got the holidays, and that is coupled by my intense disinterest in anything outdoorsy in the winter. I'm not fond of being cold. So my jeans have been snug these last couple months. Thank goodness spring has come.
The other day I discovered my Lee jeans were not snug. They were tight. Especially around the hips. You know how sometimes jeans will sort of ease up after you've worn them a hour? Well, these jeans did not. My jeans do not lie. So I passed on snacks that day. It was never far from my mind that I was getting too big for my britches. I fretted. How do these things happen? After a lifetime of not having to worry about my weight, here I was. Worrying about my weight. Gloom. Despair. Agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.
That night when I took them off, I looked at the pants. Much to my shock I discovered the uncomfortable pants were Tim's.
I think I heard angels singing the 'Hallelujah Chorus'.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Woman for Tim

Tim and my brother-in-law, Dave and I were sitting around the new house having lunch, with a college girl, Abby. Abby is not related to us, but she is one of 'ours' all the same. She's earning extra money, working with us. My sister, Eileen, was there, having spent the day with me bundling trees, seedlings, and plants for our annual fundraiser at the conservation district. We had just arrived with the bags containing supper and to work a few hours.
We're eating supper talking quietly, about this and that. Suddenly Eileen says, "Oh, guess what Tim? I got you a concubine today." Dave's eyes get big. My sandwich stops halfway to my mouth, as I stare at her, wondering where this particular line of conversation will lead. Completely unaware, my sister continues. "You can plant it this weekend." Tim looks quite interested in what she has to say next. Usually, Abby is quite a chatterbox. She just looks dumbfounded, eyes darting between me and Tim and my sister. She doesn't say a word.
It blurts out of me. "What are you talking about?"
Eileen looks a little confused.
"The plant that Judy gave me for helping out at the plant sale..."
"Eileen," I explain. "That's called a columbine."
Tim looks crestfallen.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

There are a lot of houses for sale here. Lots. We bought one at the first of the year for $13,500. It is sturdy, structurally sound, two apartments, river view, back deck.
I couldn't believe it.
You could not have done that a year ago.
Gas prices went from $3.37 yesterday morning to $3.51 on my way home from work the same day.
The shock of it made me gasp out loud.
Tim did not get a paycheck this week. His company could not make payroll. They do machining work for other companies. One of those companies laid off 100 people a couple weeks ago. Another company claims that they sent their check. Tim's company has not received it. Another check will be issued when they figure out what happened to the first. This is the second time that Tim's company could not make payroll since he's been there.
The cost of fertilizer has tripled since last year.
Farmers are hard hit by this.
It could be worse.
After all, we could be in a recession.
We're not, they say.


I was getting ready for work when Cara walks in the bathroom and says, "Do I look alright?" I looked at her. She was wearing a tee with a vee-neck that was a little deeper than I'd ever seen her wear. I said, "I've never seen that tee before."
Turns out that she borrowed it from Sarah.
She needed a nice tee to wear.
She had to dress up.
According to her, she has no nice tees.
I sighed.
But I digress.
Anyways, I said, "What's the occasion? And she said, "Don't you remember? Bill Clinton is coming to Warren. I'm going to hear him talk." I pointed to her bedroom door. "Back to your room and don't you come out until you've found a turtleneck!"
That was a joke.
I don't have a lot to worry about here because, sadly, my daughter is a Republican. She's going to see Bill because, after all, this is history. She's going to teach history one day. So she'll go to see Bill Clinton, so that, one day, she can tell children that she did. In the unlikely event that he'd speak to her, perhaps invite her to lunch, the beast would fix him with a sad and sorrowful look, much like the one she gave me, and she would say, in sonorous tones, just like she said to me: "I've got to say. You disappoint me. How can you be a Democrat?"
I voted for Bill Clinton. He actually was a good president. He did what I elected him to do. It always amazed me that such a good leader would have such poor self control. The media is a hot bright light and there are no shadows. He should have kept his pants zipped. For all of that, however, I think it wasn't our business to know about his indiscretions. I think it was a private matter between him and his wife. I really think if the media would have stayed out of it, Hillary would have fixed him. No pun intended. Instead, the media went into a frenzy. For weeks, you didn't dare turn it on with a small child in the room. I tried to explain this one, in an e-mail to an acquaintance. It was late. I was tired. I described the media hullaballoo as overblown. Terse reply back. He had copied "The whole thing was overblown" and added, "Will reply properly when I stop rolling on the floor in laughter." He possesses a very quick mind, and I always re-read my e-mails before hitting send. Not sure how I missed that one.
But I digress.
I've got a daughter who's a Republican going to see Bill Clinton, who I voted for. I can't vote for Hillary. I can't stand her when she talks. I can't stand what she says. I can't stand her innuendo. Sorry. She reminds me of a female Richard Nixon. She wants to claim the experience of her husband's presidency, but if she is criticized for something that happened during his time at the helm, she's screaming 'Unfair!' I'm not voting for Hillary next week.
But I digress.
Cara came home from school that night to tell us that Mr. Clinton is a wonderful orator. He spoke so much about what Hillary was going to do for us all here in Podunk, Pennsylvania. He spoke about her commitment to jobs, and to education, and to the poor, and to the handicapped. It went on for some time.
Cara said, "You really walked out of there thinking "Yes! I'm voting for Hillary." She mused. "That is the sign of a truly great speaker."
When it was time to leave, a mother tried to push her son's wheelchair to the front of the crowd so that he could shake Bill Clinton's hand. By the time she got there, Bill Clinton had passed. A secret service man went to Bill and spoke with him, gesturing toward the little boy. Bill Clinton continued on without looking back.
Cara said, "The magic faded."
There is no happy ending here though.
Cara is still a Republican.
Luckily, a mother's love is unconditional.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I'm sitting here in a bathrobe.
Sipping coffee.
Nothing to say.
So here's a laugh.
I've heard this attributed to different places, but I always wonder if it's true.

A young woman was pulled over in Morgantown, WV for speeding.
As the WV State Trooper walked to her car window,
flipping open his ticket book,
she said, "I bet you are going to sell me a ticket to the West Virginia State Police Ball."
He replied, " West Virginia State Troopers don't have balls."
There was a moment of silence while she smiled
and he realized what he'd just said.
He then closed his book, got back in his patrol car and left.
She was laughing too hard to start her car.
or this.


Disclaimer: I neither encourage smarting off to the men in blue

or the feeding of small children to wild animals.

Most days, anyways.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Customer Service, Verizon Style (Part II)

I've been having lots of trouble with my DSL.
We had to go back to dial-up for nearly a week.
It was enough to make a grown woman weep.
Not really.
Mostly, it just pissed me off.
I've talked to the fine folk in India more than I've talked to my own flesh and blood.
Maybe talk is the wrong word.
I waited to talk.
At one point I was listening to Hawaiian music.
Ukeleles. Lots of vowels. Sounded a lot like
'Maka luna a'ai puka a' a' e' wa nu pu'a'
Try listening to that for 20 minutes.
It will make you wonder why the heck they call it 'Paradise'.
Any hoo.
In case you don't know, Verizon's sweet and polite Indian operators have a script.
The third time that I called,
spent 47 hours on hold,
finally got a human being,
she started with the script.
"Please, I like you to check the connection..."
I said, "No."
She said, "I need you to check..."
I said, "No."
I said, "I've gone through all of this with you before.
It is not my connection.
It was not my connection when I called yesterday.
It is not my connection today.
My modem flashes a red light,
my computer tells me that I'm not hooked to the internet.
Yesterday, Verizon called to tell me my connection was fixed.
I had DSL for about an hour.
Now I don't.
I did not unplug anything.
We're going to assume that it was the same problem I had when I called yesterday.
I've already done the whole connection thing yesterday.
I won't do it again."
I don't think she'd ever flipped ahead in the manual.
It took a long time for her to figure out the next step.
She did.
It was their problem.
Two days later:
I tried to call to find out when I could expect to have DSL.
As soon as I verified my phone number, I got a message telling me
they were 'aware of my problem and working on a resolution'.
Then they hung up.
What they do with the folk who are not 'valued customers'?
Verizon sent help.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Cara's classmate is dead, and the lessons begin for the rest. The night of the accident, a bunch of kids went to the school and, in their grief, spray painted the walls with messages to their friend. I am surprised at the number of parents who see this as acceptable. Their children need to express their emotions. I'm with that. However, their 'children' (who will be graduating in a couple months) need to learn to express their emotions as adults. Hand lettered signs tapped into the ground would have given them the same opportunity to express their emotions. We'll be paying to have the walls cleaned, unless the school intends to leave those macabre messages to a popular dead girl forever.
Cara went to school yesterday. She signed herself out. I did not know that she had done so. I guess I'm a little on edge, too, because this made me very nervous. She rode the bus to school, she signed herself out early, rode home with someone, retrieved her car, and was gone. I was not happy. I could have called her at any time, but I assumed she was at school. I didn't see the need. At 4 in the afternoon, I was talking to her on her cell phone. "Where are you? Why did you leave school? How did you get home?" I was surprised to find that the teachers were not teaching yesterday. They were consoling. I understand this. My own Sunday School class was completely derailed by the children's need to talk about the accident, and the crying teenagers they'd seen. It was a good opportunity to discuss the importance of our church community. We talked about what they could do to be positive examples of God's love to those hurting teenagers. So, yes, I understand the importance of consoling these teens. What I do not understand is the wisdom of allowing them to hop into cars, head off to parts unknown. This seemed like a potential tragedy in the making.
Grief is a part of life. There are lessons in dying. If you are wise, you learn them. As awful as this horrible thing was, there are lessons here, about caution, about love, about life itself. You learn them. You apply them to your own life in tribute. You grieve. You allow yourself to be consoled, to be loved. In that consolation, you are pulled back into the river that is life, and the currents of that life sweep you down river, away from the grief. You shouldn't forget, but you learn about the inexorable pull of life. I believe that in our pain, wisdom takes root and begins to grow.
I am sorry that Cara grieves.
I am sorry for this class.
It makes me sad that there are so many people that are missing a chance to teach a valuable life lesson.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I was shocked to find that Foreigner's summer tour is being sponsored by AARP. That is the Association for the Advancement of Retired People. As hard as it is for me to imagine, there is a certain rightness to it. "Long, Long Way From Home" fits the lifestyle of many retirees who head off to Florida every winter.
I was amazed to find myself humming along the piped in music at the grocery store. It was the Moody Blues 'Nights in White Satin'. I wonder what they did with Frank Sinatra and Brenda Lee? That was the kind of music my mother hummed along to while she shopped. I used to think that was weird and hung back a little so that people wouldn't guess we were together. Here's a strange thing.
The day that I was humming away to myself in the grocery store,
I lost Cara.
That was kind of aggravating.
She was with me when we walked in the door...
Then she was gone.
It surprises me that the very same music that I used to listen to as my parents shrieked in the background, the same music that was considered the antithesis of everything good and American, is now being used to sell products ranging from cars to hair care products. The counter culture anthems have now become mainstream.
My friend Mary is having her gall bladder removed next week.
Until now, I always thought of that as 'old people' surgery.
I was waiting at the deli counter the other day, and a woman peered closely at me, and asked me if I were Debby (maiden name). Since I have not had that name for about 30 years, I was taken aback. She told me her name, and a face from the past sprang to mind. I peered closely back at her, and yes, there that face was. More mature, glasses, different but the same. We went for coffee and showed pictures of our adult children.
How strange it is that the whole world has changed so much, that my old friends are, well...getting older. I'm glad this hasn't happened to me.
Except for the hair coloring...
the 10 extra menopausal pounds that come and go...
There's the reading glasses thing...
and the fine line reducing make up...
there's the flipping mustache waxing...
Except for a few things, I'm exactly the same.
Pretty much.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh my God

When the phone rings at our house after 10 PM, my response is always, "Uh oh." I assume that something is wrong. It was Johnna, one of Cara's friends. She asked if Cara were there. Cara and Johnna had been at a birthday party the previous night. Cara was pooped and had gone to bed early. She staggered out of her bedroom half awake to take the phone. That's how we discovered that last night, one of Cara's classmates was dead.
No one knew.
Down over our hill.
What happened?
No one knew for sure, but it was bad, really, really bad.
I stood there watching her receive this news. For the second time in three days, Cara drops the 'f' bomb in front of the parental units.I think this one thing. I am so glad, so very, very glad that she was taking this call before my very eyes. I cannot imagine hearing this news and not knowing, even for a second where my own child was. We live in a small town, and I know phones are ringing all over the valley, up and down the mountains, all across the county.
Parents, everywhere, got a snippet of news.
'Oh my God, oh my God, where is my child?!!!!!'
All over, cell phones were ringing and our children were saying,
"What? No. I'm okay. What's the matter?"
Two sets of parents did not get that same comfort. Cara's classmate died last night. Her boyfriend died as he was being life-flighted. Last night two sets of parents got the most horrible news of their lives.
Oh my God, oh my God.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Family meeting held last night. It was well attended. Both parties sat looking at each other across the table saying things like "Well, sometimes I get mad and say things that I don't mean."
Cara seemed embarrassed that she used the 'f' word. I got to say, "I don't want either one of you running to me to complain unless you're willing to voice that complaint to the other's face." Mostly they sat there and said, "What do we need to say to make this meeting be done?" Valid question. Mostly, I just want my peaceable little house back.
So I made them talk until I felt like it was.
When it was time to go to bed,
there were kindly uttered 'good nights'.
It's strange being back at work full time. My winter hours were 24 hours a week. I've been busy this week planning an event for the children's fun fair. A local newspaper reporter e-mailed to say that he had been attacked by a large mosquito and what was I going to do about that? I'm pretty lucky. One of the seminars that I had attended at our annual meeting is how to get public information in the paper. West Nile Virus and mosquitoes are pretty deadly dull. If it ever gets exciting and front page, this means that we have a big problem. Preventative measures are the big deal. I guess that I'm lucky to live in a small town, with a small paper, and with an amiable reporter who gets hold of me to find out what's shaking.
I don't have to plot and strategize.
Which is good. I suck at strategy.
I have a meeting with the National Forest representative. I did a presentation for them last week. I found that there are two sewage treatment plants in the county that I did not know about. Mosquitoes like sewage treatment plants. Excellent breeding sites. Which is why I inspect them twice a month and keep them treated if necessary.
That's the crappy part of my job, I suppose.
The old house is being jacked up and floors leveled. That's hard work. Dirty work. The house makes huge, alarming groanings from deep within itself. Kinda scary. Being that this past week has been a week that's heard some pretty huge and alarming groanings emanating from my own self (kinda scary), I find myself in sympathy with my old house. But the thing is, the floors are leveling nicely, and the new supports are actually making it stronger. Writing about bi-polar disorders and speaking openly about it for the first time (it helps that you are all faceless strangers to me...) has really been cathartic. But the support has been wonderful. I was contacted by a mother whose daughter had just been diagnosed, asking for information. I have not heard back from her, and I
hope that all is well.
For all my groaning, I, too, feel like I am leveling nicely.
The new supports might be making me stronger.
So that's it really.
I feel like the dust is settling here.
Life goes on.
Oh-bla-dee, oh-bla-da.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4 AM

This is a story about the trash.
Cara's job is to take out the trash.
We have a back deck.
It is not a trash can.
The trash can is about 3 steps off the deck.
Winston is the neighbor's dog. The neighbors say that they keep hoping that he will go to the neighbor's house and not come back. We are the neighbors that they are referring to. We keep hoping the neighbors will go somewhere and not come back.
Winston is always hungry. He likes trash.
This is a story about the husband that gets woke by the dog that gets into the trash that my daughter takes out and sets on the back deck.
A story about the wife who gets woke up by the husband who's been woke up by the dog that gets into the trash that my daughter takes out and sets on the back deck.
A tale of the daughter who gets woke up by the wife who is now trying to soothe the husband who's been woke up by the dog that gets into the trash that my daughter takes out and sets on the back deck.
The continuing saga of the husband who is now furious at the daughter who got woke up by the wife who was trying to soothe her husband who was woke up by the dog that got into the trash that my daughter takes out and sets on the back deck.
A family drama about the rumpled, half awake daughter who stands defiantly in front of my husband saying, of all things, "This is about the fucking trash?" which further infuriates the husband already furious at the daughter who got woke up by the wife who was trying to soothe her husband who was woke up by the dog that got into the trash that my daughter takes out and sets on the back deck.
This is the wife who ends the argument, right there, because when people are being rude they have no business talking at all.
This is the wife who makes the daughter take the trash to the can.
Good morning.
It's been a stressful week for everyone here.
Family meeting tonight.
Attendance mandatory.
The end.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I read to 4 groups of preschoolers today. I'd forgotten how much I love to do that. I remember when my sister-in-law was expecting her first child, I bought her the complete A. A. Milne set of Winnie-the-Pooh. She was pretty horrified. "Who's going to read those to him?" I said, "I will, I will!" I meant it too. I read aloud to all my kids, the big books, the children's classics, and they loved to listen. It was one of my very favorite things about their childhoods...
rediscovering the beloved books from my own childhood.
It's been a while since I've read to my kids. They are all grown up now, and live on their own. Except for Cara. She spends so much time in her room, or out with her friends that, really, sometimes it seems as if she's already gone too. So it was great fun reading to the tykes today.I looked at all the eager little faces leaning forward, anxious to see what happens when I turn the page. And I read. I read three books to each group, and you know, I did not want to stop.
Childhood is such a precious time, and I wonder if I realized that at the time. For all the joys of childhood, it is also frustrating, and plain hard work. Trying to juggle a marriage to a type A personality who was big on the material things while savoring those childhood years was a struggle. Sometimes I just got tired. But I loved being a mom. It's truly the very nicest thing that's ever happened to me in my life. For all of the frustrations, there were plenty of joys. When I sit quietly thinking, I can still hear the echoes of voices long changed..."Mama, I forleft my doll." or Brianna's sweet voice as she made up stories about Smurfs or Ewoks. Or the big hug around my waist as little Dylan said, "Oh, I can't wait for Christmas. You will be so surprised when you open the microwave." Cara crying because she couldn't stand wrinkles in her clothing. She was such a funny pipsqueak. I always thought she'd either grow up to be a genius or some obsessive control freak. The idea that she wind up to be a little of both never occurred to me. I enjoy thinking of them as they were, even though I do love what they are.
If I can say one thing to the parents of little people today, it would be this one thing: take a few minutes to read them a book, to listen to their little voices, and to really savor this day. Make a nice memory. Your life doesn't end when they move into their own lives, but it changes.
And you will miss what was.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I grabbed the ringing phone at the office, and lo, it was my son, Dylan. Since he doesn't often call the office, it was a shock to hear his voice. A nice shock, as far as shocks go, anyway.
"What's up?" I ask.
He tells me that he's filling out paperwork and needs some personal information. He begins asking his questions. I begin answering. "What paperwork are you filling out, anyways?" I ask.
"Oh," he says, "I have to pick my beneficiary."
These are the decisions that adults make. I take a deep breath. It keeps hitting me anew. Dylan's all grown up. It just doesn't seem possible. I'm not quite sure what to say next.
Dylan solves that problem. He offers up the opinion that he might blow his tax refund on hookers, hard drinking, and games of chance in Las Vegas. He knows I'll lecture him.
He's just trying to make me feel better.
It works, a little.


Want to hear what I'd be saying if this sight ever presented itself to me?
I'd be saying, "Dang. I wish I'd have thought to bring the camera."

Sound Off

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I took my Sunday School class out to take a look at what I'd discovered on Saturday, that beneath the dead leaves, new life was uncurling. I wanted let them ponder how wonderfully designed our world is.
But when I got to class, I discovered it was a larger than normal class...and all of them boys. I worry about taking a large class out on my own, but had no other lesson plan in mind, so out the door we went. I had them 'fall in' and taught them a quick cadence with a Biblical slant (made up on the spot) and off we marched. This gave me some measure of confidence that they would not suddenly break ranks, head off in a half dozen directions and become the headline of our small town newspaper the next day. 'SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER CHARGED WHEN STUDENT HIT BY CAR' (or drowned in the creek, or some such catastrophic thing). My little plan worked like a charm. They marched, single file, had a great time doing it, were interested in the lesson, and anxious to fall back in and march back to church.
We were in our classroom counting out our money to St. Judes when the Sunday School superintendent walked in. She keeps a close eye on me. I tend to veer off the curriculum. Sometimes she is called upon to explain, which is actually sad. I'd be plenty happy to explain myself. Anyhow, the boys excitedly begin to tell her of our adventure. She is smiling.
"So tell me the song you marched to," she said.
And one of the more lively beasts shouted out:
"I don't know, but I believe;
Someone's pee'd in my canteen;
Sound off..."
I stare at him in shock, never having heard that cadence in my life. I shoot a quick look at the Sunday School superintendent.
Funny thing.
She was smiling just a minute ago.
Now she's not.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Begin Again

Today was a glorious day. We went hiking. Signs of new beginnings were everywhere. I collected pussy willows. Heard peeper frogs for the first time. Went back to the sound and saw the frogs, still and floating on the water. I saw scads of frog eggs, each with their own little moving eye. The first wildflowers were blooming. We even saw a butterfly. The first of the season.
I just wanted to breathe deeply of new life.
breathe so deeply that it was a part of me.
Nature begins again.
My daughter is not in the shelter anymore.
She's been saved.
Her knight is named Mike.
And so it begins again.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


My morning started out on the wrong foot. It's hard to know that your child struggles. It's hard to know that there is not one darn thing that you can do about it. Sometimes people will say, "God never gives you more than you can handle." Well, this is more than I can handle and I've been telling God this for some years now. He's apparently preoccupied. I understand. This whole world peace thing must have Him tearing His holy hair out.
I took myself and my black mood to the new house and began to attack the weeds that have grown up around the foundation of the house. I hacked and dug with vigor. It's good to exert yourself when you're pissed. You get a lot done that way. After working up a good sweat, I began to slow down a bit. I noticed something. I noticed that underneath the weeds, there are crocus. That was a nice surprise. I also found narcissus and tulips, I think. I saw lots of new growth underneath the dead stuff.
I saw the neighbors out and about. I walked over to introduce myself. The newest property is an eyesore between two neat-as-pin houses. The neighbors are glad to see the sad looking house getting a second chance. When I go back to work, I hear some bicyclists talking about the changes as they go by. They are pleased too.
It was a beautiful day. The sun bright and warm after our long winter. Why is it that I always start to believe that winter will never end? After 50 winters, I know that spring has never failed to come. It sometimes takes longer than I would like, but it happens, without fail,
every single year.
My spirits start to raise, like the tiny green plants I'm discovering under the decay. The black mood is being erased by the return of my optimism, just as spring follows winter. Like the sun warming this earth, my gratitude begins to warm and thaw my heart. I remember Camas: 'In the depths of winter, I learned that within me lies an invincible summer'. I remember Jesus Christ: 'Whatever you ask for in My Father's name, it will be given.' I remember Anne Lemott: 'Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don't give up.'
I know these things to be true. I just sometimes lose sight of the big picture. It occurs to me again that I really, really suck when it comes to faith. I am ashamed of my whining (whinging, if you're my Australian pals) and weeping of the last couple days.
I drop my head and begin a session of earnest praying for my child
right there in the garden.
And like this old house we've bought, I get a second chance.
Thanks be to God.

Words Fail Me

It's rare, but it happens. Sometimes words fail me.
Words fail me when things are so bad with my daughter that there is nothing I can do.
They fail me that the current situation is fodder for sensationalistic gossip.
Words fail me when my husband wants to wash his hands of the situation.
They fail me when my ex tries to pin this on me and poor parenting. Since he was not permitted contact with her, this nicely absolves him of any guilt in the matter.
They fail me when members of my own family look on, smugly,
glad to see that I am getting my 'just desserts'.
What about my daughter?
Do they believe this is her 'just desserts' as well?
Whatever my failings be as a mother, I can tell you this one thing for sure.
She doesn't deserve this.
She was a beautiful little girl. I marveled at that, never expecting to have beautiful children. She talked, beautifully, very early on. I remember her earnestly telling me that she had 'forleft' a favorite toy at home one day while we were out. She forgot and left it behind. She was charming. She was fanciful and comic.
I can't begin to pinpoint where it all went awry. Hindsight is 20/20. I can see plenty of things that should have raised warning signals. In my inexperience, all I saw was perfect. I say it again. Whatever my shortcomings as a mother, I can say this for certain.
Bi-polar disorder is no one's just desserts.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bipolar Roller Coaster

My daughter called tonight.
She's somewhere in Michigan.
She has no job.
She has no place to go.
She does not know what to do.
I've seen this day coming.
I've tried to warn her of it.
She doesn't listen to me.
She's pretty willful, pretty enough, with a story sad enough to attract the boy-men who want to be knights in shining armor.
It doesn't last.
The knights in shining armor get tired of being taken for granted and they ride off on their chargers. It doesn't matter, because there's always been another knight at the end of the day.
This time it's different.
There is no one lined up to take care of her.
She's crying.
I force myself to say in a neutral voice, "I love you, but I cannot save you. You have to save yourself. Look in the phone book. See if you can find a women's shelter. You need help. Admit it to them. There are plenty of programs designed to help women with problems. You have to get psychiatric help."
Again, I say it.
I want to make sure she knows this, whether she believes it or not.
"I love you, but I cannot save you."
And she cries.
She's used to someone coming to save her. She lives her wild chaos, knowing full well that someone will always come to save her at the end of her latest ill fated adventure.
The phone call is short. Once she realizes that no one is coming, no money is being sent, she has no reason to talk further.
I hang up the phone and stand with my eyes closed. I've been trying to save her since she was 14. As an adult, she cycled in and out of our home. Desperate circumstances led to desperate promises to follow rules. Within days, the promises would be abandoned, our placid household thrust into chaos. Screaming rages. Long, unexplained absences. Suddenly, she'd be slamming out of the house one last time, having found yet another knight in shining armor. Our efforts to lead her to professional help were seen as controlling, and in her rebellion against our control, she'd fall out of contact for months, until she needed help. Although I had explained to her previously that I would not save her from her poor decisions anymore, I don't think she expected that I'd hold steady to that vow in the midst of her latest chaos.
I know that this is the right thing. I know that the only way she'll change her life is if she sees that it does not work for her. I have to make sure that I'm not enabling her poor life choices to work for her.
And so it is.
My daughter is probably crying herself to sleep tonight.
Two states away, so am I.

Old Yeller

I'm feeling much better today.
If yesterday was indeed my just desserts,
the horseplay of April 1st was surely worth it.
I took my sister to her doctor's appointment this morning. It's about a 40 minute drive. One of our 'traditions' when we're there is to check out the second hand clothing stores. They were selling out their winter sweaters for 25 cents each. So I was looking through the things while listening to another shopper going on about her troubles. She's been sick. The doctors have got her on new medication. Her boyfriend is sick. He's on new medication too. He should not be drinking but he is. Her boyfriend's mother and she got into a huge fight about this, because his mama wants to baby her son, and she'll let him drink. So he's getting drunk and it's affecting his health and his poor health is affecting her health, and now she's so stressed that she's on 'nerve pills', and her doctor is very concerned about her poor health, and he's the only one, because, Lord knows, her boyfriend and his family could not care less, just burdening her
with all these stressful situations...."
and on it went.
To me. the solution to her problem seems so clear that I really can't see how she can miss it.
The thing is, she probably sees it too.
What is it that causes people to cling so tightly to something that's not working,
that is making them miserable?
Is she addicted to the drama?
Is she addicted to the sympathy that she gets from others when
she tells them her long and sad story?
Is she so poor that she can't afford to be on her own?
I study her from the corner of my eye.
She is an angry looking person,
probably close to my age,
dressed poorly,
with an ironic bow in her hair,
adding a touch of childhood to to an furious, disappointed life.
I would like to take her aside and make her understand that I also have my own time when I clung as tightly as I could to something that was not working. And when it was done, I thought that my life had ended. Seemed like it. Couldn't see past it to visualize any kind of future at all. But there was one, waiting right around the corner. She needs to make her own life choices with a mind that her own future is waiting,
By the time that I leave the store, she's got herself worked up to a furious pitch, and people are beginning to stare. I know for a fact that there's no sense in saying a thing.
She's a yeller.
She's not a listener.
I'm in yet another store with my sister, when this woman enters.
And begins her story again.
Her life is half over and the foolish woman is wasting it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What the ????!!!!

I guess I got what was coming to me. Grown 50 year old woman running through a parking lot and crouching in bushes and leaping in the back of a pick up and laying there getting jounced and bounced by the driver who is a nutwad of the very finest caliber. I'm sitting here in the very first throes of a cold. Although I know that colds are caused by viruses and not by exposure to a chill wind, I still am enduring this patiently as my just desserts.
I do not think that I'm having a hard time understanding this news story because my head is stuffed, and I'm sneezing and my eyes are watering, and I want nothing more than to curl up with a good book in a comfy warm bed. I'm pretty sure that this article is hard to understand because it simply doesn't make sense.
I'm pretty laid back. I have all sort of friends. I know some gay people. I know they're gay because other people just feel like they've got to tell me. Me? I don't give a rat's behind. I see it like this: I don't care whether you're gay or straight. I just don't want to know what you do in bed or who you do it with. Not my business. The less that I know about other people's sex life, the better it works for me. It's not because I'm a prude. I just consider some things to be private. I don't ask questions, I accept people for who they are. If I don't like you, there's a perfectly logical reason...and it will have nothing to do with your sexual preferences.
Pregnancy. I loved being pregnant. I actually had a real talent for gestating. I believe that I raised it to the level of art. It was such a natural and ponderous, wonderous time. So it isn't
the pregnancy part.
I just can't seem to wrap my aching, stuffed up head around this one.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Foolery

Today was a fun day at work. I shot my boss a quick e-mail to tell her that co-worker Josh got a DUI, that it was in the paper. Since this would affect his ability to drive the shop truck, it would also affect his job. This is a big deal. It's also an April Fool joke. Next thing I know she's shooting past my desk to snatch up the newspaper.
April Fool on her.
We all went out for lunch and had a great time. We told the waitress that Wes was paying for all 7 of the women with him. "We're his harem," I said. Liz, his wife, said "He's a Mormon." "Old-order," I helpfully explain. "And next time we're bringing all the chilluns." Wes blushed. For a long time. He looked so abashed,
I gave him my poppyseed muffin.
We laughed ourselves silly during lunch. Eating salad, talking about just any old thing, laughing and having a fine time.
Heather and Laura tried to fool us on the way out the door. They moved the truck to the different side of the restaurant. We caught on. A few more hijinks in the parking lot. I climbed into the bed of the truck. Heather drove back to the office hitting every bump and taking corners sharp, just to make sure that I had a rough ride.
It was a warm spring-like day today. The snow is nearly gone. I feel as carefree as any child laughing with friends, romping outside,
acting the fool.
Dear God, everybody needs days like today,
regardless of how old they are.

Current Events

I received an e-mail from a friend that I don't hear much from. She tells me some late breaking news in her life. She goes on to note:
"I am no longer a virgin.
The South has lost the war.
It looks like computers are not a passing fad."
I may not hear from her for months, but really, it is such a grin maker when I do.