Jul 232020
Pandemic Birthday

I celebrate another trip around the sun today.  Either I’m 36 (what my head says), or I’m 163 (what my body says). Since my mother died, the week before my special day is always filled with weeping and grief.  Though this mini depression happens every year, it still surprises me.  This year was no exception, […]

Jul 062020
One Crocodile, Two Crocodile

July 6, 2020 — Today was my third session back at the hospital’s cardiopulmonary gym since the pandemic started. I’ve been going to this remarkable place since late spring 2019 when I began the cardiopulmonary rehab program. After my “graduation,” I started in the after-program. I’ve had asthma for 29 years, which had morphed to […]

Jun 282020
Somebody Else's Mother

She was not my mother.  Jean Germann had three smart and beautiful daughters, one five months older than me, the other two bookending my younger brother.  Still, Jean was a huge influence during my childhood.  To borrow a cliche, she was from “the village” who raised me. Earlier this week, Jean left this world for […]

May 262020
Hair Club for Girls

May 26, 2020 — I wear my hair short, in the same Pixie cut I wore as a toddler.  My hair is unreasonably thick and unruly, and five cowlicks means it goes where it wants to go.  My hair doesn’t grow longer, just wider.  My mother — God rest her soul — tried taming it by […]

May 232020
Reading in the Time of COVID

  For many, a small silver lining in these months of unprecedented global disease is  time for reading. I’m usually not a fan of fiction, and I prefer non-fiction and primarily narrative history. But since I was in junior high school, I’ve enjoyed the secret pleasure of apocalyptic novels.  Do you remember reading “On the […]

May 192020
Strange Times, Indeed

All Creatures Great and Small–We moved to our present home in the mid- nineties, and, it is May 2020. And what happens in May besides Mother’s Day and usually Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500? It’s the annual return of Fat Bastard, 25th anniversary season. As my husband gazed out the kitchen window this morning, […]

May 152020
Next to Godliness

I wasn’t really clear on how dirty our old world was, until we entered this new normal. Now, everywhere I look, advertisements try to convince consumers that their service or product is the cleanest. What does this say about our former life? The car dealership where I bought my last car is running a commercial […]

May 142020
Fluffy, Light and Plump

Cooking is not my strong suit. I’m very good, however, at eating. As we wait for the locusts and the rest of the plagues to arrive, we have to have something to eat. I’m the cook; my husband is the shopper. In these strange times, this means he’s the one who goes to get the […]

May 062020
Testing, Testing, Testing

Not opening business will cost more lives due to suicide and drug overdose — POTUS May 2020. Is it any wonder we stay up late at night and watch hours of “Fraser” on the channel with the disgusting lovey-dovey romance movies? The news is bleaker with each passing cycle. Flipping channels this morning, I heard […]

May 022020
Random Thoughts from Paradise

Week Seven or is it Nine of Quarantine here in beautiful Paradise, Indiana. Who knows what day it is? Those of us privileged to be retired live in a haze of “no time.” But getting a prescription involved contact with the Real World Out There. I have various problems with my lungs, so I am […]


Apr 222020

When this Whole Nasty Bidness started, I did what any other red-blooded American would do, I ordered a boatload of coffee. We can do without a lot; but we cannot do without coffee. Perhaps I should have studied more chemistry, because I failed to consider the properties of matter in my decision to buy only […]

Apr 132020

If my brother or I complained that we were bored as children, my mother went off on a tear.  “You aren’t bored. You are boring. Look around you. You have every possible way to entertain yourselves from dozens of toys to the great outdoors.”  (Or something like that.)  Her point was that being bored is […]

Apr 052020

In the small town where I grew up, many people had access to multiple generations, aunts and uncles, grandparents, second cousins once removed.  My maternal grandparents lived six miles away on a farm, but were away a few winter months, as snowbirds in Florida.  It certainly wasn’t Walton’s Mountain, at least for us, but there […]

Dec 042019
Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my father’s 89th birthday. He’s outlived his mother’s death age by three years; his father died 84 years ago when Dad was five. He’s outlived all five of his siblings, even a nephew and niece and several grand nieces and nephews. Dad is a person who is bound and determined to squeeze the […]

Apr 242019
A Name Spelled Incorrectly

One of the mysteries in my family is what happened to my great-great-grand parents, the parents of my great-grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandfather. They likely came from Germany in the 1860s or early 1870s, though I cannot find them in the 1870 census. The couple had two daughters, the first, my great-grandmother. She […]

Mar 202019
Every Family Has One

Studying family history is not for the faint of heart.  This morning I found these notes from another family tree about my third great-grandfather, and upon further research discovered multiple newspaper articles that described his suicide. The letter seemed to whitewash his dark side, while the newspaper left nothing untouched.  There were at least six […]

Mar 182019
Dark Haired, Green-Eyed Researcher Seeks Sweets

The media has, and rightly so for privacy and other reasons, cast aspersions on the relatively new industry of DNA analysis for family history. My husband and I took tests about five years ago and found that, in both cases, our report mirrored what we knew of our family background.  For me, it nearly mimicked […]

Mar 122019
The Great Vastness of the Universe

Earlier in the week I watched a documentary about Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Without Einstein, there is no Hawking. Without Einstein, we may have never understood the concept of time and space. Without Hawking, we would not understand the Big Bang theory. The TV show hosts used simple metaphors to explain the concepts of […]

Mar 062019
Henry Kellis Hoard, Age 62

When reviewing old documents and photographs, I’m generally not emotional. I’m not a cryer at all; it takes something huge to make the tears fall. When I cry I generally have an asthma attack, so I guess I’ve trained myself not to cry. The emotion of finding my great-grandfather’s death certificate caused huge tears to […]

Mar 042019
Why Bother

I was thinking this morning about a “vertical file” kept at the newspaper office where I worked in college during summer vacation.  The editor, Hester Little Adams, filed everything from jr. high band concert programs to magazine articles about Mickey Mouse.  My colleague, Anne Shrock Ott, who worked full-time was the unfortunate mistress of the […]