A 1967 Christmas

This is an old but goodie from my book, “Whitley County Kid,” (available on Amazon).  The time and some descriptions have been changed to protect identity, but the gist of the story from my childhood is true.  And bears retelling every year. In the 1960s, I was an elementary school student. My primary concern each […]

A Democratic Endorsement from a Former Republican

A Democratic Endorsement from a Former Republican

I’ve loved politics since I was a small child.  I am a Baby Boomer, born in 1957, smack dab in the middle of the Boom after World War II, during the Eisenhower administration. My parents were “cloth-coat” Republicans, moderate in all things. (The term cloth coat Republicans came from Pat Nixon’s trip to China, where […]

These Winter Months, An Anthology

These Winter Months, An Anthology

Every life experiences loss.  Those with two parents for much of adulthood are blessed. Writer Anne Born pulled together a collection of essays about the loss of a parent during  adulthood. I am fortunate to have an article included, which I’m reprinting below. If you have lost a parent in your adulthood or have a […]

Jim Cantore, Hurricane Elena,  and the Stuff of Nightmares

Jim Cantore, Hurricane Elena, and the Stuff of Nightmares

August 31, 2016 — I rarely take a vacation by myself.  After a visit to a writer’s conference last spring, I experienced the benefits of a retreat. Getting away alone to read and write for a few days recharged my batteries.  It’s been a long, hot summer and I need a break.  On a whim, I […]

Lowered Standards

Lowered Standards

August 26, 2016 — I don’t like to cook.  Yes, I sincerely mean it.  Being in a partnership means I have my share of responsibility for our food. Frankly, I have about one miserable failure a month. I learned the hard way early in life that you shouldn’t put Saran Wrap in the oven. The […]

My mother's wedding rings

My mother’s wedding rings

August 14, 2016 — My mother’s hands intrigued me.  While she had long, slender fingers, Mom’s hands were smaller than mine and much smaller than her mother’s. My dad gave her a small diamond engagement ring at Christmastime 1954.  She wore it until her 2012 death, and I don’t remember her ever removing it. She […]

Lost Again, But This Time in Comfort

Lost Again, But This Time in Comfort

Last weekend, without any forethought, I recreated the day my husband and I met nearly forty years ago. We met on an early, sticky August 1977 morning in the parking lost of the West Quad building at Ball State University. Both of us had partied with friends the night before; we were both mourning break-ups. […]

Perspective

Perspective

July 6, 2016 — Over the weekend, we watched a TV show that features people hunting for a perfect private island. A couple, Larry and Lubya, toured three islands near Fiji, with a realtor.  Each island had fantastic views. Who can imagine purchasing an island for several million dollars? No wonder these shows are popular; most of […]

Gays and Guns and Grief

Gays and Guns and Grief

June 15, 2016 — I  have not been this angry and sad in a long time. The events of early Sunday morning in the Orlando nightclub Pulse stay right with me, in my heart and mind. I can’t stop thinking about the 49 dead young people and their grieving families, who are forever changed. I […]

3 Hackneyed Pieces of Advice for New Grads

3 Hackneyed Pieces of Advice for New Grads

So I’ve grabbed you with my pithy headline. Not so much? Likely I’ve attracted your 50-plus mother. She’s reading with pink rhinestone readers she bought at Costco. She sat next to me — stifling hot in a black mortarboard and gown — on a humid May day in 1979. Like your mom, I’ll never give a […]

Irreverent travel advice from an unsophisticated rube

Irreverent travel advice from an unsophisticated rube

June 1, 2016 — With the kids grown, the dog dead, and the mortgage whittled down, midlife tourists are off to exotic locations this summer. As an unsophisticated rural dweller, I’ll shares experiences from mistakes made and lessons learned. June 1 is the official start of the Rube Travel season. Middle-aged men pack Sansabelt pants, while […]

When you want to dislike your father’s girlfriend, but she’s lovely

We were in the Detroit airport, ready to board our flight to Rome. My cell phone rang. Figured it must be an emergency, as we headed over the pond. It was my father, so I answered immediately.  “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” he said.  “I just want to talk to you about something.” “Okay, but we’re boarding […]

Where Are They Now? Ms. White and Crew

Where Are They Now? Ms. White and Crew

May 14, 2016 — Yes, it’s me, Snow White. Do you remember I won an Oscar in 1939? Child star Shirley Temple presented Walt Disney a special Oscar for his first film-length animated feature “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”   Seven small duplicate Oscars accompanied the larger one. The diminutive Oscars were for my dear […]

Fundraising, Schmundraising

Fundraising, Schmundraising

This week I’ve been approached to support a children’s dance class, a high school mission trip, a college sports trip, an elementary soccer league, and a private school fundraiser. Are we solicited because we have a soft touch, or are we simply soft-headed? My husband is worse than I am. He’s contributed to “Laplanders for Botox” […]

Our Being and the Nothingness

Our Being and the Nothingness

May 7, 2016  Perhaps the planet Mercury in retrograde is the reason today is not a good day. Or, perhaps it is the more prevalent and less cosmic force “Shit Happens.” I’m on call for work, so the Administrator on Call iPhone is my constant companion.  And I’m in the middle of a multi-hour asthma […]

We Don't Go Out Much Anymore

We Don’t Go Out Much Anymore

Vintage Raven Lunatic published by Senior Wire News Service, July 2015, and written on a cocktail napkin sometime between 1984 and 2009.  You figure it out. (Reposted April 23, 2016). There’s an old expression, “You need to get out more.” It’s good for us to travel and experience new things, but some of us have […]

Erma Bombeck's Forever Legacy

Erma Bombeck’s Forever Legacy

Twenty years ago today Erma Bombeck died at 69 of complications from a kidney transplant. Bombeck, a native of Dayton, Ohio, rose to fame as a newspaper columnist, author, and ultimately, regular guest on “Good Morning, America.”  At her peak, she wrote three columns a week for 900 newspapers. She never won a Pulitzer prize and […]

On Loss: Here's the Thing

On Loss: Here’s the Thing

Aging brings expected and sudden losses. I think it’s in the contract, and we can’t do anything about it. From early on, we know none of us is getting out of here alive.  And the longer we survive, the more reminders we get of how precarious and fragile our earthly bonds are. We lose dear […]

I am Mrs. Olson's Love Child

I am Mrs. Olson’s Love Child

April 16, 2016 — My husband is the Love of My Life. But high on the list is coffee. I love coffee. I love everything about coffee. I love the smell of coffee. I love the feel of coffee on my tongue. I love the sound our coffeemaker makes as the fresh brew gurgles through the […]

Blind, Demented, Toothless, Deaf, and Arthritic

Blind, Demented, Toothless, Deaf, and Arthritic

This is my life now.  Never mind I have a busy full-time job, an active secondary writing career, a human family, and a home. Never mind all that. The complete and entire focus of every free waking minute is caring for and feeding an 18-year-old blind, demented, toothless, deaf, arthritic feline. About three months ago, […]