Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2017

My 1963 Rambler, El Tanque

My first car was a 1963 Rambler.  My dad bought it for me in 1971 because I needed transportation to get from college to my student teaching assignment. A boxy looking sedan, engineered by the American Motors Corporation to be economical and sturdy, the Rambler was not exactly what I envisioned as my first ride.  A putrid pink, somewhere between flesh color and throw up, I nearly fainted when Dad drove home with it.   On one of my first outings, I turned the wheel too much while backing out of a parking space and scraped the whole side of the car parked next to me.  It looked like it had been hit by a semi-truck. My car did not have one scratch. Made of solid iron, I named my pink baby El Tanque, the tank.   A few weeks later, I t-boned a mustang that belonged to some high school football hero who lived down the street from us.  For the record, the kid was at fault this time and not I, so he got the citation. I was following him when he slowed down and rode along the curb on the right. …

Facebook – It’s the High School Cafeteria All Over Again

We enter the cafeteria in waves. We look around scanning for friends.  The self-proclaimed cool yell for each other from across the room. The louder we yell, the more important we feel.  All the cliques jostle for space in the lunch room: the jocks, the nerds, the thugs, everyone.  Importance is measured by volume and drama. Popularity is measured by number of friends, both true and imagined. Acceptance is decided by “others,” how we dress, speak, act. We pretend our privacy, but relish rumor about others.  Rumor becomes gossip and gossip becomes truth. Territories are marked, that club over there, that organization opposite, the undefined along the wall. We dread the cafeteria but it is a part of who we are and cannot resist its lure.  *     *    *    * One billion of us log onto Facebook. We scroll through the feeds, scanning for friends, some we have never met or will never meet.  The Pope, the President, movie stars. We know more about the lives of strangers than we do about family…

Stop to Smell the Zinnias

For a brief time in the 90’s, I owned my “dream home.”  It was this spacious, two-story, four bedroom, two and a half bath beauty. It had two living areas, but I turned one into a “formal” dining room.  This gorgeous expanse of HOUSE met you as you walked in through the front door.           The backyard was tiny compared to the half-acre we owned before so we built a deck that encompassed the whole back of the house.  I made it more welcoming by adding container plants, and we spent morning and evenings outside. Landscaped by the builder, the front yard had the usual sapling and the all-purpose shrubs most new subdivisions provide. I wanted to distinguish it from all the other front yards on our street, so I went out and bought fifteen envelopes of zinnias. I planted them all in that front flowerbed. By June, the shrubs were hidden among the zinnias.  They had taken over and created a beautiful display of color.           The flower bed was situated underneath this majestic…

Aging Angst, Bad Bladder, and Keanu Reeves

My intelligent, strong-willed, old-fashioned parents restricted my creativity.  I wasn’t allowed to do anything extra-curricular.  If it meant they had to go out of their way to take or leave me some place other than what the school bus provided, it was out of the question.           School was a priority in our household; straight A’s a must, so I was shocked to learn that any college money saved was intended for my older brother. There would be none for me.  I got my parents to agree that if I could get financial aid, I could go to college.  They were more than surprised when the offers started coming in during my second semester as a senior.            I was allowed to accept the one offer that kept me in town.  At first, they were their usual negative selves, putting up barricades at every turn. They complained I was costing them money, and I was wasting my time and theirs. Secretarial school would be easier and faster than pursuing a four-year, teaching degree. What cha…