Friday, October 30, 2015


I was in an antique center with a friend when I happened to see something that I'd been wanting to get for years. After negotiating a price with the owner I grabbed my phone and called my husband, Steven.
“You're never going to believe what I just found!” I cried when he answered.
“Try me.” he said with a laugh.
“Remember Mom's Seth Thomas Cathedral clock she had on her mantel?”
“How could I forget that thing!” he said. “It chimed every fifteen minutes! It drove me nuts!”
“Really?” I was surprised. “I loved that clock.” Now I wasn't sure how to proceed. “I just happen to be standing in front of that very same clock right now.” I decided to test the waters, “I was thinking about buying it for our house.” I said.
“Is it chiming?” he asked.
“It is.” I said. “I had the owner wind it up for me.”
I remember, as a little girl, watching my Mom use her key to wind her mantel clock every few days. No one else was allowed to touch that key except her. I'm sure she was afraid we'd over wind the clock and break it.
But now I had a chance to own my very own mantel clock. I smiled as I looked back at the clock.
“Do you want me to hold the phone up to it so you can hear it chime?” I asked Steven.
“No thanks.” he said. “I remember what it sounded like.”
“It's one of my favorite childhood memories.” I told Steven. “I wasn't a very good sleeper when I was young. I can remember laying in bed at night listening to the chimes then waiting for the gong to strike telling me the hour.”
“Did it ever occur to you that maybe you weren't a good sleeper because of the clock?” Steven asked.
“What do you mean?”
“You never thought you were up because the clock was waking you every fifteen minutes?”
That stopped me for a moment. “I never thought about it.” I admitted. I looked back at the clock sitting on the shelf of the antique store mesmerized by pendulum as it swung back and forth.
“You sleep through the night now, don't you?” he asked.
“That's because between work and kids I'm so exhausted nothing could wake me.”
“I can guarantee if you buy that clock you'll be up every fifteen minutes listening to it.”
I was disappointed but I knew what he was saying was right. “I guess I'll pass on the clock.” I said.
“You made a good decision.” he said.
After I hung up I was still feeling a bit sad. The owner of the store came over to me. “Do you want me to take the clock up to the front desk for you now?” he asked.
“I'm sorry, I'm going to have to pass on it.” I said. “My husband talked me out of it. But thank you so much for winding it up for me.”

The owner shook his head. “Great.” he said sounding a bit disgusted. “Now I'm stuck listening to that thing chime every fifteen minutes for the next few days!”  

Sunday, October 25, 2015


I was on a road trip with my sister Donna. We'd just gotten into the car when she asked, “Did you step in something?”
I quickly checked the bottom of my shoes. “No why?”
“You don't smell that?”
“I don't smell anything.”
Donna shook her head sadly, “My nose is just so sensitive.” she said. As we drove out of her neighborhood we saw a man walking his dog, they were stopped on someone's lawn. “Now I know where that smell came from.” she said with disgust.
We continued on our trip. About twenty minutes later we were on the Thruway. “Do you smell macadam?” she asked.
“Macadam?” I took a deep breath in through my nose. “Nope! I don't smell a thing.”
Seconds later we were passing a crew of trucks paving one of the the lanes. “Wow!” I said. “I smell it now!”
Donna just shrugged her shoulders. “It's a curse having this nose.” she said. “Now all I can smell are oak leaves.”
“Well it's fall and we're on a leaf peeking trip so I'm not that impressed with that.” I said. “But how can you just smell oak leaves?” I asked.
She turned to look at me, tears streaming down her face. “Because I'm allergic to oak leaves.” She pointed to the box of tissues in the back seat. “Can you grab me one?” she asked. “I’m having a hard time with my allergy’s this year.”
I handed her some tissues and watched as she mopped her cheeks.
By now we'd reached out first destination, a farmer's market.
As soon as we opened the car doors, Donna was overwhelmed. “Wow, do you smell the pickles?”
I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, “Nope. I don't smell anything.”
“It's a curse I tell you.” She said as we started to look at the different booths.
Sure enough there was a pickle booth. As I got closer I could smell the garlic pickles. “Oh my gosh, they smell so good.” I said. “I think I'll get a jar.”
By now Donna's nose had moved on. “Someone's selling lavender.” She said.
“Wow! It's like walking with a Bloodhound.” I said. Then changed my tone as if I were talking to a puppy. “Which way to the lavender, girl?”
“Very funny.” Donna cried but then pointed behind us, “It's that way.” she said sadly.
We got the the lavender booth and I was trying to choose between a satchel or the oil. Inhaling both I couldn't decide. “Which on do you like?” I asked my sister, handing her both to smell.
She held both up to her nose. “I'm sorry.” she whispered to me. “But now I'm smelling lavender and fish.”
“Ewww.” I cried, but backed into the isle to look at the other booths. Sure enough someone was selling fish a few booths down. “You're right again.” I said.
“It's a curse.” she said again.
By now we'd finished our shopping and were headed back to the car. “Alright, now I'm smelling oranges.” she said.
I looked around, but no one was selling citrus. “Sorry, you're wrong this time.” And had to smile. “It's apple season! No one is selling oranges!”
She pointed over to a little boy sitting at a table eating a bagged lunch. I looked over as the Mom was peeling an orange for him. “It's a curse.” she said again.
As we put our bags in the car and climbed in I closed my door and was ready to put on my seat belt Donna asked again. “Are you sure...
But I cut her off. “If you ask me to check my shoes again I swear...” I left the threat hanging. “Maybe you should check your shoes.”
Just then we both saw the dog at the same time. “Okay, you win.” I said. “What you have is a curse.”

“Told you.” she said.

Friday, October 16, 2015


I looked out my kitchen window and saw a large gray bird sitting on the top of my bird feeder. “What kind of bird is that?” I thought to myself but it was too far away for me to get a good look at it.
That's when my son, Alex walked into the kitchen. “What are you looking at?” he asked as he stood next to me looking out the window.
“Do you have any idea what kind of bird is sitting on top of the feeder?” I asked him as I pointed to the bird.
Alex looked outside, then looked back at me, “You're kidding, right?”
“Then I'm going to say a gray bird.”
“You're no help.” I said, as I looked back at the bird. He was perched on the top, not eating, but keeping all the other birds away from the feeder. “I thought it might be a Mourning Dove.” I added. “But they usually hang out under the feeder.”'
Alex didn't seem impressed. “Whatever you say.”
“See, this is why I want a pair of binoculars.” I said. “I'd be able to get a better look at him and be able to use my bird book to identify him.”
“We've talked about this before.” Alex said, in a warning tone. “You can't sit out on the deck with binoculars. The neighbors will think you're spying on them.”
“That's where I think you're wrong!” I argued. “I'd be looking up in the trees. Who's going to think I'm looking in their windows?”
“That bird on the feeder isn't up in a tree.” Alex tried to reason with me. “If you were standing in here with binoculars the neighbor behind us would think you were looking at them.”
I tried to ignore him as I pleaded my case further. “But if I'd had them last spring when the Cooper hawk made that nest in the top of our neighbors' tree I would have been able to watch the babies grow. Instead I had to be satisfied with just hearing them call for the next feeding.”
“Okay, maybe if you were only looking up in the trees.” Alex said.
“See?” I sounded hopeful.
“But you know if a bird were sitting on the neighbors windowsill you'd be trying to get a look.” Alex added.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Only if it were a bird I didn't recognize.”
“See?” Alex cried. “That's what I'm trying to stop. Do you want you're neighborhood nickname to be Creepy Binocular Lady?”
“I'm just warning you.” Alex said. “Because that's what your neighborhood nickname would be.”
“Wait, that reminds me. Have you seen Oven Mitts lately?” That's what we'd named a nice older gentleman who walks the neighborhood everyday. He got his name last winter when his giant mittens looked a lot like oven mitts. “I haven't seen him in a few days.”
“I saw him yesterday.” Alex said. “But that's what I'm taking about. We like Oven Mitts. We worry about him.”
“Of course we do.” I said. “He seems like a nice man.”
“Do you think the neighbors are going to feel the same way about Creepy Binocular Lady?”
“Creepy Binocular Lady.” I said under my breath. I shook my head in defeat. “Why do you do this to me?”

“Just trying to protect you.” He patted me on the shoulder as he headed for the refrigerator. “You're welcome.”

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Now that the weather is turning a bit chilly I'm back on spider watch. I walk around the house with a tissue in my hand just waiting for one to show up so I can squish it before it gets away and hides.
It was early Saturday morning when I heard my son Alex calling me. “MOM! There's a spider in here!”
I rushed down the hall, tissue in hand, and saw Alex standing outside his bathroom door. He pointed in the bathroom, up towards the ceiling. “That thing is huge!” he said.
I looked up to where he was pointing, and he was right, the spider was the size of a quarter.
“Why does everyone call me when there's a bug in the house?” I asked.
“Because you like bugs.” Alex said as he backed away to give me more room to work.
“What are you talking about?” I said as I inched my way into the bathroom, the tissue in my hand ready for battle. “I don't like bugs!”
“Sure you do.” he said as he closed the bathroom door a bit. “You're always talking about the great bug you just found outside, or looking them up on the internet if you don't recognize it.” It sounded as if he were trying to convince me.
“I think they're interesting, but only when they're outside.” I said as I slowly climbed up on the toilet seat, trying to sneak up on him. I was keeping my head down low so if he turned out to be a jumper he wouldn't land in my hair. “I don't want them living in my house touching my stuff or biting me!”
“Oh, my mistake.” Alex said through the crack in the door. “So, did you get him yet?”
By now, my husband Steven had come down the hall. “Get what?” he asked Alex.
“Mom's getting a spider in my bathroom.”
“Oh, she's good at that.” Steven said.
“Hey!” I called as the spider and I were now staring at one another. I moved my tissue to the left the spider moved to the left, when I moved to the right, so did he. “If either of you would like to come in here and help, that would be nice.”
Steven peeked in the door. “There really isn't enough room for two of us in there.” he said as he looked up at the spider I was about to squish. “Wow! He's huge!”
“I know!” I cried. I could feel my legs start to shake as the adrenaline coursed through me. My fight or flight response was kicking in and at that moment, flight was starting to win.
I finally decided to lunge at the spider at the exact same moment the spider decided to jump down from the ceiling and disappear from my sight.
I'm pretty sure the neighborhood could hear my scream as jumped down from the toilet seat and raced to the door. Because the door had only been left open a crack I ran right into it pushing it closed. Now I was in a very small space with a very mad spider. I kept screaming until I found the doorknob, at the same time looking over my shoulder picturing that huge thing coming after me. When I was safely back in the hall, leaning against the closed door I sadly looked at Steven and Alex.
“I didn't get him.” I admitted.
“I was going to take a shower.” Alex said.

“You'll have to use our bathroom.” I called over my shoulder as I went to the linen closet. I got a towel and placed it at the bottom of the bathroom door making sure he couldn't get through the crack by the floor. “We'll let him calm down a bit before I go back in there again.” I said as I sat down on the floor and waited for my heart to stop pounding against my chest and my legs to stop feeling wobbly.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I was just getting all snuggled up on the couch wearing my sweatpants, tee shirt and an oversized sweatshirt – what I like to consider my pajamas – when Steven walked in wearing the same thing.
“I guess we both had the same idea.” he said as he sat down on the couch and picked up the television remote.
“I love this time of day.” I said as I pulled the afghan off the arm of the couch and wrapped it over my legs. “I've done everything I needed to do today and now I can relax for a few hours before it's time for bed.” I listened as the wind howled through the trees making me pull the afghan up closer to my chin.
“It's my favorite time of the day, too.” Steven said as he began surfing through the channels. “Do you know there are days when I actually get up in the morning and count how many hours I'm going to have to be in my work clothes before I can run home and change into my sweats and do just this?” he said.
“You're preaching to the choir.” I said as I adjusted the pillows to get more comfortable.
Steven finally settled on a program on the Discovery Channel, that's we'd only seen a few times before, when our son Alex walked into the room.
“Do you want to go get your sweats on and get ready to settle in for the night with us?” I asked him.
He looked at Steven and then back at me. “Do you two realized it's only three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon?”
“Sure we do. That's what Saturday afternoons are for.” I said, moving my feet to make room for him to sit. “I'm hoping to get in a good nap before I have to start making dinner.” I added.
Steven smiled over at me. “A nap sound great.”
Alex shook his head and laughed. “I'm going over to the mall to catch a movie with some friends.”
I listened to the wind howl outside. “Are you sure you want to go out in this weather?” I asked. “It's miserable out.”
“It's not that bad out.” he said as he held up my car keys. “Can I take your car? Mine's out of gas.”
“Sure. It's not like I'm going to be using it anytime soon.”
“I can see that.” he gave us both a kiss on the top of our heads before heading out the door.
I sat up and looked over at Steven. “Are we pathetic?” I asked.

Steven shrugged his shoulder, Maybe.” he said looking for another show to watch. “But at least we're warm and dry and pathetic together.”