Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Summer Afternoon

We are two young girls, barefoot on a sizzling
    street; August heat - Dante's Inferno!

Faster and faster we go; upward pointed
 toes; lips O-ed as we scurry to find a
   cooler spot. At last, thick clumps of grass offer
relief. We accept. Our giggles bounce back from
   surrounding hills; breathing returns to normal.

We lie on cool grass watching big, puffy clouds 
float across a cerulean sky.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

#TBT - A Really Old One of Mr. H. and Me!


We were leaving for a weekend trip to Cincinnati. My parents were babysitting.
Fun times!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What A Narrow Life!

Jenny Lee Smith is dead!  

Jenny and I go all the way back to first grade! She was such a cute little girl. The first thing one remembers about her is her hair. It was a shiny chestnut brown and hung all around in long, individual shoulder-length curls. She reminded me of one of those big-eyed, porcelain-faced dolls I’ve always feared. I don’t mean to imply that Jenny looked scary; it was just that looking at her sometimes made me remember my Pediophobia.

The second thing one remembers when Jenny’s name is mentioned is the way her mother doted on her. She brought her to school each morning – all the way to her classroom – to her desk! Nobody else’s mother did that. I watched curiously as Mrs. Smith preened her daughter, touching her hair lightly, inspecting every curl and adjusting the bow attached to the top of her head. Finally, she’d kiss Jenny on the cheek, smile and take her leave, waving as she exited the door.

I shuddered, imagining how embarrassed I’d be if my mother did that! But Jenny seemed okay with it.

We went to school together throughout elementary and middle school but separated to attend different high schools when we were about 14. Although we no longer saw each other every day, we still lived in the same town and never completely lost touch – until I got married and moved away. Even then, she and another friend paid me occasional visits for a while but that, too, began to wane as time and dissimilar lifestyles separated us.

Jenny lived in the same house her whole life. Literally. She was brought home from the hospital to a modest home smack-dab in the heart of a small town that parallels the Kanawha River. She grew up there and when her parents died, she and her husband continued to live there, and according to the obituary, she died there. I suppose Jenny was happy but I can’t help musing: What a narrow life!

And so... recently, when I found myself needing an answer to some questions from long ago, I thought of Jenny Lee first. If anyone would have the answers, it would be her; she knew everything about the town and its residents. Dialing the number I had for her brought nothing. Checking social media didn’t turn up anything either, so that’s when I resorted to Google. How simple! Once I’d entered her name in Search, the first thing that came up was her obituary. I almost fell out of my chair. So I did what I’ve always done when I was shocked or hurt or upset – dialed the number of my lifelong friend, Caryn.

“I’m depressed,” I said, as soon as she answered.

“Why?” came her reply. “Everyone we know is dying,” said I.

Caryn is so level-headed! “You’re looking at the glass half-empty,” she said. “Just be thankful you’re still walking around.”

“I am, but Jenny Lee Smith is dead!”

“I saw her obit on Google. She died in 2014. How can that be? We just talked not too long ago.”

“Uh,” Caryn reminded me: “the copy of Jenny’s obit is four years old!”

“Yes, but it doesn’t seem possible it’s been more than four years since we talked. I can’t believe she’s gone.”

Attempting to lighten the mood, Caryn blurted, “Well, at least she finally got out of Taylorsville!”

Chuckling, we said our goodbyes and hung up.

My last thought before going to sleep that night was, I wonder if Jenny Lee’s mother was waiting to fix her hair when she got to Heaven...


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Coincidence or ESP?

Sometimes my ESP astonishes me! (Of course, I know it's coincidence but it still surprises me each time it happens). I was in the kitchen this afternoon drying a few dishes, my mind wandering, as always...

... Paris, France on a beautiful March day – on my own for the afternoon, as the people I was with had chosen to do something that didn't interest me. So, off I went strolling down the Champs-Élysées, browsing the shops, people-watching, and soaking up local color. After a while, I decided to stop for tea at a sidewalk café. Sitting there alone, sipping my tea in the bright sunshine and cool breeze, I felt awestruck! The Tuileries Garden was not far away, also the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, The Opera House and many other historical places that I’d read about, but only dreamed of seeing. 
My heart was full to the brim!
Draining my cup of the last drop of golden liquid, I rummaged in my change purse for a few coins to leave on the table and left, feeling weary enough to head back to the hotel and catch an afternoon nap before getting ready for dinner with the others.
Later, when my friends returned, one of them asked, “What did you do today?” Eager to tout how well I’d done on my own, I said, “Well, I strolled leisurely on the Champs-Élysées, taking in the scenery and observing the people, and then I stopped at a sidewalk café for tea -- and oh! I even left a tip for the waitress.” (I should confess that I’d had a difficult time learning to deal with the French currency and my friends loved teasing me about it).
“That’s great, Peg!” my friend said. “How much did you leave her?” Opening my change purse, I pulled out a couple of coins that looked like the ones I’d left, opened my hand and said, “These!” Trying not to laugh, my friend said, “Good job. You left her two cents!” 
Suddenly back in my kitchen, still chuckling about an incident I hadn’t thought about for many years, I heard the TV in the adjoining room blaring:
“Breaking News!  Stabbing attack in Paris, France leaves multiple injured.”

Peculiar that I’d just been visiting that very area in my daydreams...


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Time is An Illusion ~Albert Einstein

     Only four more days of April left. One-third of the year has disappeared like a stone in deep water. April, my birth month, seems to come around faster every year. And when it’s over, I’m a year older.

    Time passes so fast, it makes me dizzy.

    Why didn’t it pass this quickly when I was a child? A day in school was l – o – n – g! A week was endless, and a year - infinite! From one Christmas to the next seemed to take forever, but now, we may as well leave the decorations out because we no sooner put them away until it’s time to take them out again.

     Just think. We’re almost into the second third of our “new year!" We’ve paid our income taxes – or received a refund – and we’re on our way to the next holiday.

     I think it’s interesting the way we measure time by the holidays. Now that the Easter candy and stuffed bunnies are off the shelves at the stores, there will soon be, if not already... oodles of flower arrangements for Memorial Day, the next holiday, at the end of May.

     And, for my family, in particular, June brings a flood of special occasions: we have five birthdays and Father’s Day! It seems the whole month is one of celebration... and gone before we know it. Immediately after, we have a big splash for the Fourth of July and mid-summer is in full swing! The hustle and bustle of summer activities makes me tired! It seems to me that everyone works so hard forcing themselves to “have fun.” It wears me out just watching. Forced fun doesn’t do a thing for me!

     It has to come naturally.

     I guess that’s why I long for the fall and winter months. It’s a restful time. What could be nicer than curling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy fall evening or a snowy winter afternoon? 

     With the first third of the year already gone, I’d be wishing for the next third to pass as quickly – except for one thing:

      It would only put me closer to my next birthday!


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Birthday Boxes - Plural

                                                                      Box 1
                                                                               Box 2
“Don’t you dare touch that box!” said my daughter yesterday at the end of a texting session. And, to make matters worse, she added, “You’ll get another one in the mail tomorrow.”

“May I open it?” I asked innocently.

“No!” she said. “Your birthday’s not until Monday! Don’t open anything till then.”

“Geez!” I told Mr. H.  “That’s a lot of temptation! One box on Friday and another on Saturday and I can’t open either of them for two days! That’s sheer torture!”

He chuckled.

If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about and would like to know, you can check these links for the full story: 

I'm not sure if I can wait until Monday or not, but I'm gonna try. On closer inspection, Box 1 looks like someone has already broken the tape on the end and tried to take a peek.

I swear it wasn't me!!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Such is Life~

     As I waited my turn in the doctor’s office yesterday, a woman started a conversation with me, “It’s kinda cool today, isn’t it?” she said. “Yeah, a little,” I said, “but that sun sure is nice!”  She nodded and there were a few moments of silence before she started again.
“I had to come out here to get a prescription. They don’t phone them in like they used to. I guess it’s ‘cause so many people get addicted to drugs.”
“Guess so,” I answered.
“Not me!” she said. “I’ve lived 82 years without getting addicted to that stuff. I’m not gonna start now.”
I smiled.  She continued. “I had a knee replacement and the doctor wanted me to take pain pills but I said, “No way! I’m not taking that stuff and getting addicted. So I got up and went home! My grandmother said I was the strongest person she’d ever seen.”
“What did you take for the pain?” I said—“Aspirin? Tylenol?”
“Nothing!” she said. “I just fought through it.”
“Wow!” I said, starting to doubt her word a little.
But she wasn’t finished. 
“You can’t tell anything about this weather, can you?” she continued. “I told Mom this morning there’s no use putting out any tomato plants until we’re sure it’s not gonna frost anymore.”
“Right!” I agreed. Finally! The young doctor’s assistant opened the door and said, “Mrs. Smith” and she went in.
Sitting there alone, I started processing what she’d said. Talking about her grandmother was easy enough, I guess. She was telling a story from the past, but if she just told “Mom” this morning that they shouldn’t put out any tomato plants, that sounds about as current as it gets! 
And if this brave lady, who needs no medication for joint replacements, is 82, I wonder how old Mom is.  
And is Dad going to plow the field this year?