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Sunday, December 18, 2016


The snow falls softly
Through the dawn
While we keep 
Our covers on.

We look outside
When we awake
Sipping steaming tea.
All is quiet when
At dawn it snows 
Let this peace
Please stay with me.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do?
Let me tell you this, my friend: I feel that way too.
Maybe we should take a breath and clear our busy minds,
Remembering that those we love want with us to spend time.
Gifts and cookies are very nice as well as decorations,
But just being happy with each other is a stunning revelation.

The Christmas season is supposed to be one of peace. Yet how many of us actually feel peaceful? I'm struggling just as much as anybody with that concept. We seem to have created a season of stress and chaos instead of joy and peace. There are expectations we put on ourselves and others that cause us to feel overwhelmed and inadequate. It seems as if this has become a time when over abundance is what we strive for. If you buy into what the media, both mainstream and social, tell us, sugar cookies with colored sugar on them and a nice meal of perhaps roasted turkey and vegetables isn't good enough. No! Your cookies must be elaborate works of art, that turkey dinner needs ten fancy side dishes with it. Your Christmas tree must be color schemed and the gifts underneath it need fancy bows and rhinestones! Ummm, how does all this lavishness relate to Christ? He had the humblest of beginnings, and as far as I can tell from my limited time spent in bible study groups lived a humble life trying to spread the message of love and peace. Yet here I sit early on Christmas Eve morning in the soft glow of my Christmas tree thinking of everything I "must" do today to be ready for tomorrow. There is no quieting the voice in my head telling me to get moving and get it all done. I think many of us struggle with this every day of the year--the feeling that we need to do and have more--and during this season even more so. Yet when I look back on the past, I don't remember the food, or how the cookies looked, or the bows on the gifts. I remember the feelings of being loved, and having enough, and the inner peace that comes from that.  As I sit here by my tree which is decorated with a mixture of decorations both hand-made by us over our lives and store bought (some that were my mother's and graced my childhood trees, others were gifts), I wish for you a peaceful, loving Christmas. May you also have enough.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Frenzy

Frenzied days and sleepless nights

We all twirl round and round

Rushing through our daily tasks

Feet pounding on the ground.

We try to fit in all the fun

Alongside all our work.      

We rush and go without a break

Risking our common sense and peace,

Take the time to sip some tea

And savor some cookies or cake.

Christmas comes then Christmas goes

Do we enjoy it while it’s here?

Or before it’s over do we start to plan

Everything we will do for next year?

         I feel like the time goes so fast between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.  As if somehow time speeds up, and the hours have fewer minutes in them.  With all the things I want to do to make things special for those I care about in addition to all the regular tasks I do every day, I can barely find time for relaxing, reading, writing, watching a movie, or playing a game.  This year I find myself needing to choose between things that are on the same day and I can’t possibly do both.  I want to do them all but of course I can’t be in two places at once.  I am sorry I have to miss any of them!  I also find that I am so tired that I must turn down invitations because I just can’t have an event to attend every single day or evening.  Such is the quandary of the person with a life full of family and friends.  How lucky I am to have to choose between things to do, even if I feel extra stressed by making that decision.  I can’t imagine if I had no invitations, no concerts to attend, no friends to hug, and no family to care for. I don’t think that situation would be stress free, I think I would feel empty and on edge trying to fill up my time.  I hope I never find out how that would feel; I hope I always have people around me to have fun with, and care about.  The people in my life are the reason for merriment, cookie baking, gift buying, and decorating; to share with others is my favorite thing about Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Thoughts

Time is passing so quickly and we are now into December!  I kept meaning to post on here but somehow things just didn't work out that way. A broken iPhone, broken refrigerator and all the general busyness of life kept me away from this.  I did, however manage to compose a few poems for my Facebook page.  So here they are with a few thoughts about each one.

When everything is said and done,
And things are figured out,
You'll find it's who you see each day,
That really, truly counts,
All the anger will subside,
We'll live our lives as we must,
Love your family and your friends,
They're the ones that you can trust.

**I wrote this one the evening of the election, before watching any of the results coverage.  I confess to being unhappy with the results and removed the post the next morning as I was finding it hard to feel the way the poem suggests.  Now that we are a few weeks past that and trying to move forward I can say that I do feel that way again.  However, I have much concern about what will happen in the future in our country.  Hopefully there are enough sensible heads helping to keep things going in a positive direction.**

Thanksgiving Ditty

May your turkey be moist 
And your stuffing be yummy 
May you have enough food
To fill up your tummy
May goodness surround you,
Your loved ones as well,
And thankfulness fill you 
To make your heart swell.

**So I skipped ahead to Thanksgiving because that seems to be how things went, we recovered a bit from the election and suddenly it was time to prepare for the feast.  We had a very nice time, although tinged with a bit of sadness from missing Alison. Her sudden death the end of August has left the family feeling a bit off balanced.  Seeing my brother and his kids making their way forward through the grief of losing his wife and the children's mother is as heartbreaking as it sounds. The holidays will be  especially difficult for them. Still, we were all glad to be together for the day.**

Are you making turkey soup?
Or shopping 'till you drop?
Perhaps you're watching football
Or wielding broom and mop?
Perhaps you're working at your job
And helping others out
Or maybe you are reading?
Well whatever you're about
I hope this day's a good one
And you get some time to rest
Don't forget that in yourself 
Some time you should invest.

**This was written the day after Thanksgiving, on so called "Black Friday"".  I did not go near a mall, and never do. Since I host Thanksgiving every year, I take that day to rest and putter around the house cleaning up from the big event and putting away the holiday dishes, silver, pots and pans. I also take some time for myself and work a nap into the afternoon since I'm exhausted from all the preparations. I wouldn't change a thing, though. I love hosting Thanksgiving! The leftovers are nice, too!**

Thanksgiving's over
The feast is done
Just turkey soup remains
The rush has started
With the shopping and stress
Of Christmas and New Year's again
Shouldn't we pause
And take some time 
To enjoy everything we plan?
To consider the meaning
Of the season we love
Before it all comes to an end?

**The Monday after the Thanksgiving break is a tough one for me. Getting motivated and returning to work are challenging  enough but then thinking about getting all the Christmas preparations started feels overwhelming.  It all seems so rushed knowing that the biggest holiday of the year is bearing down and there are only 4 short weeks in which to shop, wrap, decorate, send packages and cards, bake cookies, attend parties and concerts, visit friends, and prepare for another family gathering. Yes, I host Christmas dinner as well. It's easier with Hillary and I do enjoy having everyone here.  So, I try to slow down and simplify and enjoy all the things that make this a meaningful time--extra time with family and friends, and thinking of how Christmas came to be in the first place through the birth of Christ. It's not easy to avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of this season, but it is important to try because daily life is stressful enough without adding unnecessary and unreal expectations to it in the name of Christmas. It's supposed to be a time of peace.  I'm trying. I hope you will too.**

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Thoughts

Here are a couple of Halloween themed poems from my Facebook page, followed by a couple thoughts about the holiday. I hope you enjoy them.

Many moons ago
I was a kid,
Trick-or-treating on Halloween
Is what we did,
It wasn't done before
Nor after,
Just one day
Was all we asked for,
Now towns seem to
Change the rules,
Some don't have it
In their schools,
The whole thing is 
Now so complex,
When are the kids coming?
Just guess your best!

It was early in the morning
With the water running warm
When the creature stalked its prey
And a new fear was born.
The unsuspecting victim
Began to wash her hair,
Looking up she saw it
And it gave her quite a scare.
Cowering in the corner,
No weapons at the ready
She struggled to be calm,
To keep her breathing steady.
With one eye on the creature
She grabbed whate're she had,
The menacer soon realized 
The only option that it had.
It fast began retreating
Back from whence it came,
Our heroine amazed
That her washcloth saved the day.
Halloween is a strange holiday. It has become an excuse to let your weird show and collect candy. Some people love the scary aspect of it; I prefer the cuter side. Little kids in cute costumes are delightful, teenagers and adults dressed as zombies or the Grim Reaper are not. It has also gotten to be oneof those  things that is celebrated for more than just the one day. There are community events, parties, school celebrations and some schools not celebrating during regular hours. One  thing is for sure: either you're into it, or you're not. I could do without it. Now, on to November!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 Remembered

It is a day that shook us up as a nation. Living here, 50 miles from NYC, and about an 8 hour drive from the other points of impact, it was and is tough to avoid all those horrible images. I admit that I can only look at them on the tv or in print so many times before I cannot look any more. Because I watched it as it happened and those raw images are forever embedded in my memory. What I also remember are the events of my personal day. 
It was a day like any other, at the beginning of the school year. Hillary had just started her second year attending our town's middle school. That morning I drove to the school and dropped off some of her supplies that I didn't send on the bus with her. Since I still had nearly an hour before reporting to work in the kitchen of one of our elementary schools I went back home. I turned on the news and saw what I thought was old footage of the early 1990's attack on the World Trade Center when a car bomb exploded in the underground garage. But the news anchors were the (at the time) current ones. The time was a little past nine and as my brain tried to process what I was seeing and hearing, the second plane hit the second tower. My mouth gaped, my stomach froze, and I struggled to comprehend what I was seeing and hearing from the tv. All I could think to do was go to work, although I called my husband first because where he worked there was no tv and generally too much noise to hear the radio. He was, of course, shocked by what I told him. 
When I got to work, the ladies that I work with were trying frantically to get in contact with their loved ones. L's oldest daughter lived in Manhattan, and M's husband worked there. At the time, cell phones were not as ubiquitous nor as advanced as they are now, so it was more difficult to contact people. They eventually were able to get in touch with them, but leaned on each other throughout the day as events unfolded. Although staff members were aware of the attacks, the principal did not want the young children told. Our custodian turned on the big screen tv in the lunchroom and as I did my job filling the vending machines we watched as the towers fell, people ran, and reports came in about the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. I recall seeing staff members in the hallway crying, hugging each other. The children were as they usually were. As we left work that day, the skies were eerily silent. Generally there are jets on their way to and from NYC and area airports, as well as the occasional single engine plane or helicopter. Only birds were flying that day and in the next few days to come. Our town lost a paraprofessional from one of our elementary schools that day on one of the flights, neighboring towns lost citizens who were employed in offices at the towers. Most towns around here have 9/11 memorials. Most also sent first responders to help in the aftermath. I don't know about other parts of the country, but in this area, the impact was huge, and is felt keenly to this day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bittersweet Summer

Summer is bittersweet in so many ways.  We savor the days of sunshine and days of gentle rain, while at the same time realizing the danger of  sunburned skin, strong storms, tornadoes, flooding and hurricanes.  Summer is a season where we slow down a bit, take time off, and let our minds wander; our thoughts blowing through our brains like those white puffy clouds the wind pushes and changes as they move across the deep blue sky on a hot afternoon.  As my memories meander around in my head I realize that it is this time of the year when I miss my parents the most.  Most people I talk to about their parents once they have passed on say they miss them most around the winter holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, or around Mothers Day and Fathers Day.  Those days do have a poignant emptiness to them once your parents are no longer here but for me it’s the summer time that leaves me with an emptiness quite unfillable.

It was in the summer that we seemed to have the most fun with our parents.  Whether it was a family game of softball in the field across the street, a trip to explore and picnic at Tillman’s Ravine, or a trip to visit my aunt at the shore we did it together on the weekend.  During the week, my mother packed picnic lunches of cheese sandwiches, iced tea and vegetable sticks and we walked up the street where there was forest now many houses) where we walked through the coolness of the trees and stopped at “Diamond Rock” for lunch.  Other days we’d simply yell into the house through the screen door to let Mom know we were going to a friend’s house, bike riding, or to the playground.  She was always there; she was our anchor as we navigated our way through childhood.  The evenings were spent either sitting together in lawn chairs on the porch drinking lemonade and talking and laughing about whatever four kids and two adults would, or playing games; usually either Scrabble or Rummy.  Even after we were all grown, when I visited my parents Mom was always ready with the Scrabble board or a deck of cards once the dinner dishes were washed and put away.  She was really hard to beat as she knew so many words and was a strategic player of letters.  In Rummy she always seemed to get the cards she needed, I don’t know how she did it but she usually reached 500 before anyone else was even close.  Those were such nice times, the cool of the evening, a citronella candle on the picnic table, glass of iced tea, and a quiet game which invited casual conversation and fostered a closeness of which there is no comparison.

Summer, for me, is the time I most wish my parents were still here.  It’s the time that I feel the loss of them the most, yet I have to smile at all the happy memories I have of those long lazy summers.


Since my daughter has never been able to walk or talk, I've always wished that people could see how she is a person who likes and dislikes things the same as everyone does. When she was very young I tried to let other children see that she enjoyed the activities they did, but in a different way. Just because she couldn't run, it didn't mean she didn't enjoy the feeling of moving fast.  She loved it when whoever was pushing her in her wheelchair ran.  She loved the way it felt to swing, and being with other children.  Now that she is older, I wish that people could see past the ways she is different.  I wish they could know her as a young woman.  Let me tell you a bit about her.

She loves parties! The sound of people talking and laughing, loud music and the general festive air bring her joy.

She hates tuna, really truly hates it! She does love cake, though!

She gets mad at me when she has to get up early.  She doesn't like being woken up and expected to function any more than anyone else who wants to sleep in on the weekend.

She is Daddy's little girl, even at the ripe old age of almost 24.  Seriously, she could be scowling at me or complaining because I'm touching her arm  but let my husband come in the room and try the same thing and she's suddenly happy.  She simply adores him.

She feels sibling rivalry yet loves hanging out with her older sister watching movies or listening to music.

She likes watching baseball on tv, SpongeBob, movies, and funny videos where people are getting hit with balls, falling and just doing dumb things.

She loves going places and seeing new sights.  When we go out in the van or she is on the bus for her day program she looks out the windows.  When we go on vacation she likes seeing all the different things, taking a tour boat ride, and walking through the tourist shop areas. (although that tends to be difficult since most places are crowded). She also enjoys a day at the mall, especially if an ice cream is included!

She is a person in her own right, and I really just wish more people could see that.

 Here she is next to my husband on the tour boat at Lake George, NY.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dish Towel Club

Many years ago, before every home had a computer, we kept in touch with faraway friends and relatives through either mail (now called snail mail) or telephone calls. Long distance calls could get expensive, so many of us used mail except in cases of emergency. Getting a letter in the mail felt like winning the lottery! Sometimes, though, you'd get a chain letter, the precursor to the "click like and type amen or something bad will happen in your life" memes on Facebook. Mostly I didn't participate in those and wondered why on Earth a friend had decided to buy into the superstition of not making 10 copies causing some horrible calamity to befall their loved ones. There were also fun ones such as sending recipes or postcards to the first person listed, scratching their name off the letter and adding yours to the bottom. The idea was that you would get many new recipes or postcards from  many different places. I did enjoy those and still have some of the items around my house. I think by far my favorite chain letter was " The Dish Towel Club". It was well worth the trouble of buying a towel, putting it in a manilla envelope and mailing it off. My friend's mother thought it was a cute idea, although I doubt she participated. I received many cute towels and still have one of them in use. Although it is a bit faded & stained it's useful as a dust rag or for wiping up spills. I doubt that now anyone would participate in such a thing, but everyone on social media seems to share recipes and tips and tricks for doing things. I guess we still want to be connected and help each other as well as sharing our knowledge and talents but we do it instantaneously. That's nice, but I miss getting those surprises in the mail box.

This is the towel I still have. Cute, right?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Unique But Alike

We are all unique and we like that we are. At the same time we want to be with people who are like us. I think that's why we have clubs and different organizations. Maybe what we want, underneath it all, is to feel like we belong. We seem to really enjoy spending time with like-minded people. Sometimes we join groups only to realize that we are too different and feel as if we don't fit in. Like say a tulip petal on a daisy. Each daisy petal is unique, yet when viewed as a group look the same. But a tulip petal is a different size and shape and doesn't belong on a daisy any more than I would belong in a group of rocket scientists or rugby players. I think what I'm trying to say is that we like to know that we are not strange yet we want to retain our individuality. To belong is a wonderful thing, to be lost in a crowd isn't. It seems like it's one of the contradictions of being human. Celebrate your uniqueness, it's what makes being you so enjoyable.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Time

In the hush of Sunday morn,
The mind is able then to roam,
Through the future, present, past,
Before the hours go so fast,
And we find ourselves at night,
Marveling at Time's swift flight.

Time has a way of passing quickly, doesn't it? Although there are weeks and days that feel longer than eternity, in the blink of an eye years go by. I've been thinking of this a lot lately as my daughters are both well into their twenties now. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were spending summer days in the back yard inflatable pool and sitting on the back steps eating watermelon? How could time have gone so fast? Those are the days I miss, the easy summer afternoons spent playing in water, swinging at the park and eating ice pops and watermelon.  Those times, those memories are, to me, better than any grand trip. Like pearls on a string the simple times that comprise our every day lives strung one by one are the most beautiful.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Early Mornings

Clouds aloft sail the sky
Like a fleet of ships at sea
Rising sun lights the underside
Of each and every tree
Once upon a time I slept
Through every rising sun
Now I awaken with the birds
Who greet the day one by one.

I'm not quite sure how I came to be someone who routinely wakes up on weekends with the sun. I suspect it's a combination of having kids, some mild chronic back pain, and aging. I used to love staying in bed until at least mid morning on the weekend and any day I had off. Things change over time and sleeping/waking habits aren't exempt from that. When I was a young child I remember being outside on the swing set in the summer early in the day, before the sun heated things up too much, the grass still wet with dew and the bees not yet buzzing from flower to flower. I remember the joy of it. My mother hanging out the laundry, checking the berry bushes, and pulling stray weeds from around the flowers. I love those memories and going back to that time in my mind, and feeling those feelings. Early mornings, especially on weekends, are a time for reflection and walks down memory lane.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hair I Am Again!

The new 'do!

Hair I Am Again!

         Today I went to get my hair cut.  I went to my usual chain salon who claims to take no appointments, walk ins only.  I’ve gone there for six years or so.  I arrived 20 minutes after they opened and they said they were booked until noon.  There were no names on the sign in sheet but a few people sitting in chairs waiting.  I left, I’m not going back.  Today is the only day I have for a while to get my hair cut because I have off of work and once back at work it gets tough trying to go at a convenient time.  I went to the park and googled hair salons in my area because if I’d come home I would have given up and then either remained shaggy looking for another month or tried to cut at least my bangs myself and my daughter could tell you from first-hand experience that my bangs cutting skills are not great. At any rate I called a couple of places but although they said they do take walk ins they couldn’t get to anyone until at least 2:00 which didn’t work for me.  So, I decided to go to a large salon I went to a few times many years ago and stopped using because it’s like a little hair cutting factory and not the atmosphere I prefer when treating myself to a little pampering.  I figured that most likely they’d have a couple stylists on hand for walk ins and I was right.  They took me almost immediately; I was in and out in less than an hour which suited me just fine.  I might go back there next time I need a trim since it was such a quick in and out and the cut and styling are good.  After I left, as I was driving to a coffee shop to treat myself to lunch, I reflected on how different things are today in hair salons (at least in my corner of the world) than when I was growing up.  I used to go with my mother when she got her hair done to a salon called “Coiffures By Georg”.  There were, I think, 2 other stylists besides Georg himself, and many wigs displayed in the shop front window on the street.  He used to let me try on the wigs while I was waiting for my mom.  I really loved doing that!  There was one in particular I liked trying on, it was platinum blonde, had thick straight across bangs and was very long and sleek.  I always wanted long, sleek, straight hair like my friend Dina had and this was my only chance to have it, even if it was just for a few minutes.  Trying on different wigs is like trying on hats or shoes.  It’s a chance to see yourself and feel differently, a nice little break from reality and a chance to daydream.  My reality, hair wise, is that I don’t control it; I let it do what it wants and do my best to make it look presentable.  There’s a cowlick on one side which on occasion forces me to clip ¼ of my bangs off to one side and brush the rest to the other side.  It grows very fast so it may look one way one week and the next everyone’s asking me if I got it cut.  Growing fast can be a good thing if I don’t like a haircut because I know it will be grown out in just a couple of weeks.  Quick growth is not so good for keeping those gray roots covered. Whatever!  For today at least, I’m happy with my hair and feel good that I did something for myself.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Early Sunday Morning

In the quiet early morning
Of a warmish day in winter
When the sun is slowly rising
And the birds are all atwitter
You can hear your thoughts
More clearly as you sip your morning brew
And reflect on what it is
That means the most to you.

I really do love weekend mornings and Sunday especially. It just seems as if it is quieter, background sounds are muted and bird songs somehow sweeter. If there's a light breeze the wind chimes which hang outside my front door tinkle and ding with a pleasant melody of their own. Thoughts and reflections wander softly through my mind and a clarity for the week ahead makes its space waiting for those times that I need to go there for a momentary respite from whatever the weekdays toss my way. I hope you have a time when you regularly let your thoughts wander and create a place of calm to help you through your week.
These are the wind chimes that hang outside my front door. We bought them on vacation years ago and have hung there ever since, year round.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


And then she laughs,
It's what she does,
She laughs at the thought
Of all that was.

And then she cries,
Like she can't stop,
She cries at how she 
Came to this spot.

And then she smiles,
And lifts her eyes,
She smiles at the things
Life makes her try.

And then she sleeps,
And then she dreams
Of who she is, who she was
And who she seems.

"Don't ever change" and "Stay the way you are" are phrases written in probably every high school yearbook.  When we are graduating from high school we cannot imagine what will happen in our future.  It is a little scary and a lot exciting but we want to think that those happy fun times will continue forever.  We don't want things to change, and we want our friends and relationships to always be how we know them at that moment.

Life brings changes.  It's how we grow.  We don't always like what happens in our lives, sometimes we out and out hate what happens.  Loved ones pass away, or go out of our lives; sometimes they go for a while, and sometimes permanently.  Jobs, where we live, what we have and what we enjoy don't always stay the same. We can make that choice, or it can be made for us against our wishes.  But we must accept this thing called change.  Without change, how would we feel alive?  How would we know what happiness is if there is never sadness?  Resisting change in our lives is a futile endeavor but we do it any way because the familiar, even if it isn't good for us, is comfortable.  We know what it is and how to react to it; how to be ok with it even if it's not the best thing for us.  I can see some changes coming this year and they'll ultimately be for the better, but in some ways oh so difficult to get used to.  Time will move forward, and I will grow in the process of change.  It's what makes me who I am at this juncture of life.  We are always becoming someone new, dreaming of who we would like to be one day, and wondering who people think we are.  If we didn't care just a little bit about how others see us, would we change?  Would we grow? I don't think so because if we didn't care what our parents thought of us when we were growing up we'd be out of control as adults.  So we change to please them, we stop sneaking cookies before dinner, we keep our faces clean, we dress up for occasions which demand it and in the end we like these changes and adopt them as our own habits. In that way changing ourselves to suit others teaches us how to live in a society successfully.  So, too, the changes that come as we are adults keep us moving mostly forward toward whatever lies in store.

So maybe instead of writing "don't ever change" and "stay the same" we should be telling each other to "grow as much as you can", and "be happy with who you are". Embrace changes, become who ever you do and love that person.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Morning

My Sunday morning radio
Plays songs both sweet and sad
Sending my thoughts strolling
Through the youth that I once had
The world "back when" was different
And yet it was the same
We laughed and loved and dreamed.
It all circles 'round again.

Weekend mornings are my favorite times. I usually wake up early, out of habit I guess. The predawn hour is quiet, I turn on a soft, low light and have the local radio station playing just loud enough to hear from the couch nearby. It's this time of day more than any other that, armed with a mug of tea and a blanket, I let my thoughts run free. I write poetry, mostly in my head and write down only one and not every time. Some are simply thought, maybe wistful wishes that form and then dissipate as smoke in the wind.  Sometimes I get an hour or more for myself, without anything pressing to do. As long as Hillary remains asleep I have this treasured quiet time to myself.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter Joy

Many people say they don't like the winter; it makes them sad, they have to stay indoors or wear a bulky coat just to go to the car, and of course there's the snow and ice to deal with. I admit to feeling all those things about the cold season occasionally but other times I find good things about the season. Here are a few:
The first few sips of my morning brew taste and feel so much more comforting on a very cold morning before the heat comes up.
The night sky is clearer and the stars seem so much brighter on a crisp cold night.
The sounds of nature are different when all is dormant and frozen. Tree branches creak as they rub together, the wind whistles through the leafless trees, less birds twitter and chirp, and there is a special kind of hush over all when a storm is imminent.
The daylight begins to last longer after the winter solstice and by mid January it is quite noticeable.
Bare tree branches silhouetted against the moon's milky light remind me of lamp light glowing through black lace.
I can see the bones of the landscape and am surprised by things like old house foundations in the woods that are hidden by underbrush in the warmer growing season.
Finally, the smell of cooking food is very comforting when I come in the house from the cold, especially homemade soup which I have simmering on the stove.
I hope you have your own list of joys  to help you through the cold months.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Here's Dot!

Recently I was shopping in Kohl's with my older daughter and a lady walked up to me and told me I look like her friend Dot. But I don't have a cane & Dot uses a cane so she knew it wasn't her, but I have a twin! I have a friendly face. And she walked away. Good to know....

And that is how my alternate persona “Dot” was born.  Dot has many adventures, usually with my daughter.  Odd things seem to happen to us when we go out together. Shortly after the above episode we went to a concert my niece was in.  As we stood talking to my brother in the lobby after the concert the son of my high school band director rushed over, and smiling, introduced himself saying, “Do you remember me?  I’m Dave.” Giving me no time to answer, he shook my hand and turned to my brother, extending his hand.  My brother took the offered hand and said, “I’m Dave,” (because he is).  With that, the man walked away as quickly as he had approached and disappeared into the crowd.  It was a curious encounter which my daughter and I decided was a Dot thing.

A few weeks later we were again out shopping on a Saturday morning and decided to stop into the pizzeria next to Home Goods and order subs to bring home for lunch.  We walked in and ordered and took a seat in a booth near the register.  We watched as they worked and it appeared they were getting ready for an offsite catering job as well as making food for customers who came in.  After about 15 minutes all the employees began loading their catering van, carrying trays of food out the front door, passing us each time.  It seemed as if they forgot about our subs.  We watched with amusement for a few minutes and then I caught the owner’s eye as he hurried back inside for more of the food to load.  Realizing why we were still there, he asked one of the employees to give us our sandwiches and ring us up. We laughed once we were in the car chalking the experience up to another Dot adventure.

Just this past weekend I ventured out to our local Shop Rite along with most of the town it seems to replace the leftover holiday food with so called normal food since it was the end of the holiday break and life would be returning to normal on Monday. As I traversed the very crowded aisles and tried to look for the items I wanted I first did laps around the produce department because it seemed as if there was an odd traffic pattern of shoppers and carts happening and I kept missing my turn at the items I wanted so had to keep looping around. It was dizzying going in circles and trying to stop in front of the lettuce, peppers, and bananas. Once out of the traffic flow there I was able to make my way through the store.  Until I got to the aisle with coffee on one side and canned fruit on the other with several of those cardboard displays of featured items in the aisle.  As I inched my way along trying to find canned peaches while avoiding the other shoppers and go around the displays the wheel of my cart caught the corner of one and down it went, canisters of coffee skittering across the floor.  A very kind woman helped me right the display and pick up the canisters, several of which were lodged under my cart, and place them on the cardboard tower.  We then each continued our perusal of the goods and another shopper, new to our aisle, said as she walked by, “they have too many of these displays in the way,” I agreed and caught the eye of my helper and we both chuckled.  Another Dot adventure for the record!

Now whenever I have an offbeat encounter while I’m out, whether alone or with my daughter it becomes another chapter in the “Adventures of Dot”, a fictitious book.  Hmmm, maybe I should think about taking that from fictitious to real……