Monday, February 20, 2017

The Nine


Down the gravel road away from my house, they take their chatter, laughter, and energy.
There is a food stain on my new table cloth, dirt on the carpet.  The sofa sectionals are askew, and a blue ball hides under a chair.
Half-full water bottles sit abandoned throughout my house. Someone ate the leftover rolls.  The roast is gone, so is the mac and cheese, but there will be lots of salad for Grandpa HoneyBunch and my dinner tomorrow.
My grandchildren came to visit and they brought their parents with them. My two sons, my daughter, and their spouses are their chauffeurs and they generously include us in the upbringing of The Nine.
The quiet is deafening.  The house sighs.  I need a nap, but first I sit and smile, remembering the day and missing them already. 
Watching The Nine grow reminds me of how quickly time escapes through our fingers.  It brings back memories of when my children, their parents, were little and their chatter, laughter, and energy filled my days. The memories are sweet. 
So when I watch The Nine run about, chatter, eat up all the food it took hours for me to prepare, I am grateful to be around to see life repeat itself.  It is comforting to see it all happening once again, the wonderful moments I once took for granted.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Why Get Married?

      
The headline said she was divorcing her husband because he voted for Trump.  Another said a woman shot her husband over a taco.  Some have tried to divorce their spouses before claiming their lottery tickets, but that never works.  The ex always finds out and sues and still gets his or her share of the dough.
          The truth is they married for the wrong reasons. They are divorcing because of them.
          Why get married, especially in this permissive day and age when no one raises an eyebrow if you don’t?
          I married HoneyBunch because I wanted to live with him, day in and day out. I wanted to sleep with him in the same bed and wake up with him the next morning.
          I married HB because I liked him and cared for him and I wanted to be around him, holding his hand, kissing him, and making his life easier for him. If he was sick, I wanted to warm him a can of soup and offer him medicines.  When he was well, I wanted to laugh at his corny jokes and shake my head at his stubborn opinions. 
          I married him because I wanted to be acknowledged as his legal partner.  I wanted the security and the legality that the home and the life we made together would still exist after one of us didn’t.
          I wanted him to be my permanent date in life, my dance partner, my plus one to parties and family dinners.
          We don’t always agree on politics or how we like our tacos, and if I ever win more than the usual dollar playing Lotto, I would most certainly share my winnings with him.  The love I feel for him is grounded in something deep that mere words cannot explain. It’s the same kind of love I feel for my children and grandchildren, my family, and my belief in God and country. It is as much a part of me as the blood that courses through my veins.
          So, the next time you read about people divorcing over Trump, tacos, or legal tender, they shouldn’t have married in the first place.  

          PS:  HB wants me to note that he is hardly ever sick.  He soldiers through colds and pores hydrogen peroxide on boo-boos, so his health is an unintended plus in our marriage. 

          

Monday, February 6, 2017

Loose Lips


          The politician’s wife walked next to her husband.  My eyes were drawn to her blue outfit. 
          “She’s lost weight since the convention.”  I look over at my husband and his eyebrows acknowledge my statement.
          It is inauguration day and we are watching a TV station that limits its commentary and editorializing. It lets its viewers think for themselves.
I press the remote and it instantly transfers to another TV station.  A tiny man perched on a stool sits center stage.  He peers at a paper clutched in his hand and reads a comment “someone else” has said about the woman in blue.  It is mean and derogatory, but the commentator is blameless.  He is only repeating what “someone else” has said.
I switch back to the station without the snide remarks and look at the politician’s wife.  Word has reached her long before the little man voiced them on national TV.  It is evident she has lost weight and changed her hair style and wardrobe in the last few months, but no one on this station comments on her looks, no one reads the mean comments of “someone else.”
SOMEONE says something. ANOTHER repeats it, but the blame is not on them.  It is on SOMEONE else. And so it goes.  The opinion, whether it is true or not, takes on a life of its own and it does not matter who it harms. 
It becomes gossip, mean, ugly, demeaning. 
I switch back one more time to the little man.  He could use a meal, maybe a doughnut or two.  He too is trying to fit in, to build up his own worth, but he does it at the expense of someone else’s discomfort.  


Monday, January 30, 2017

Here Comes Another Birthday

   Here comes another birthday.  At my age birthdays zoom by faster than mile markers on an interstate.  I’ve never been one to putter along at the speed limit, so before I know it, there’s another candle on the birthday cake.
          Should you feel the need to wish me a happy birthday, here are a few do’s and don’ts.
          One, do send cash or gift cards.  Any denomination will do.  I have a healthy respect for money, both my own and that of others, so any form of moolah is appreciated.
          Don’t waste your money on anything else, especially if it has to be dusted or worn.  I abhor dusting, so anything that requires display or upkeep is a no-no, likewise with clothes.  I do not wear pink, ruffles, or spandex.  I look ghastly in anything from the “autumn palette,” and should you buy anything in my correct size, I will be forced to deny you guessed it right.
          I also suffer from lactose intolerance and cannot eat bananas or anything with brown sugar.  My IBS makes me less pleasant than I used to be.  
          So, it is best to stick with a gift card.
          Two, do lie to me.  When you send your wishes, be advised lying to me about my age is not a sin but a kindness.  Feel free to shower me with blatant charity about my age.  Yours will be a heavenly reward.
          Tell me how youthful I look for someone in her “fifties.”  (Any younger and I will suspect sarcasm is your motivation.) Ask about my anti-aging regimen since I do not look a day older since the last time you saw me.  Practicing in front of a mirror before we meet is a good idea.
          Never, ever, use the word “spry” in your birthday wish to me.  It is a nasty, little, four-letter word I have come to despise.
          Now that I have stolen your good will and cheer, now that I have completely discouraged you from coming near me on or around my birthday, please know that I wasn’t always this touchy and crotchety.
This isn’t really who I am.
          It’s those infernal birthday candles that keep growing in number on top of my cakes. It’s that old lady with gray hair and wrinkles who looks back at me in the bathroom mirror who is to blame.   

          It’s that constant reminder that I zoomed past my youth and the golden years, and I am racing toward the end zone. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Tazas (Coffee Cup) Book Club


Six years ago, nine, cool, writer chicks decided to start a book club.  Fascinated by the magic of words and how they come together to create stories, we wanted to talk about the books we read.  Half of the nine were published authors; the other half wanted to be. 
          Once we agreed on the idea, we thought it best to wait until the new year.  We chose our first book, our meeting date, and on some basic rules. As the day approached, we needed a place open late enough for us to meet after our regular, weekly writing group.  We chose a coffee shop that had just opened in the area.  
          Hey, we cool, remember?  Writers, books, coffee shop.  Where else would we meet?
          Our coffee shop closed this past fall, but the book club is still going strong.  Six of the original nine members are gone, but we have replaced them with three others.  Whenever you get a discussion group together, it is always difficult to make sure everyone gets a say.  By keeping it to a group of six, those of us with “stronger opinions” are reminded to let the quieter ones speak.
          We started 2017 with book number forty-six. We meet every month or six weeks.  We have read historical and modern fiction, a lot from best seller lists, but we have also read mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and memoir.  We have read books from all age groups and books on craft as well. We have read some amazing books and some real stinkers.
          Now that our coffee shop is gone, we have searched for a new place to meet.  We tried Starbucks, Panera, and a new sandwich shop, all in the same general area.  None have the same feel as Tazas did, so we keep looking. Out of necessity and hunger, we met at IHOP one Monday, and we find ourselves returning there.  At nine in the evening, we have the place pretty much to ourselves, besides their Harvest Grain pancakes are healthy and delicious.

          Since the coffee shop is gone, we have dibbs on the name.  The Tazas Book Club sounds much cooler than The IHOP or The Harvest Grain Book club; after all, as writers, we are aware of the importance of branding ourselves.