Saturday, March 26, 2016


My husband, Steven walked into the kitchen to find me standing at the counter holding a handful of little yellow leaves. “It seems that I'm slowly killing it.” I said sadly.
Steven's sister had sent him a bonsai tree for his birthday. I was so happy when it first arrived. I read the card that came with the tree. “When it blooms it's going to be covered with rosy pink flowers!” I read to Steven as he was busy unwrapping all of the protective material that a bonsai seemed to need when it traveled.
“I'm glad you like it, because these things need a lot of care and I'm never going to have the time or patience to do it.” he said.
At the time I couldn't believe how silly he sounded, but now that I've been trying to care for this unbelievably needy plant for the past two weeks, I'm beginning to lose patience myself.
“I read that you can't let it dry out because that would be a huge shock to its system.” I said. “But I keep forgetting to leave the water out for twenty-four hours so all the chlorine will evaporate. Now I'm guessing that it doesn't like our tap water.” I complained as I picked up another yellow leaf from its delicate limb. “Then it has to have just the right amount of morning light that I can't seem to find in this house. Even if I could find the right exposure it can't be too close to the window because it might feel a draft.” I was still picking more yellow leaves and throwing them in the trash. “It also can't be too close to any of the heating ducts because we have forced hot air and that will kill it in an instant!”
“I told you they were a lot of work.” Steven reminded me.
“For all the nurturing and care I've had to put into this thing your sister could have sent you a puppy for your birthday! At least puppies are cute and give back some love and show some appreciation for all you do for them!” I whined.
Our boys, Alex and Max, walked into the kitchen. “Has Mom killed the bonsai yet?” Alex asked.
“Not yet, but it looks like it's on its way.” Steven said as he pointed to the pile of yellow leaves in the trash.
Alex looked disappointed. “I guess I lose that bet.” he said.
Max started to smile. “It looks like I might win this thing after all.”
“Hold on a minute.” Steven said. “It was my birthday present. I should really be the one to win this bet.”
“She's going to have to keep it alive for another week for you to win.” Alex reminded him.
Wait a minute.” I couldn't believe what I was hearing. “You three placed bets on how long it's going to take me to kill this thing?”
“We all know you're not very good with plants, Mom.” Alex said. “I never really thought it would make it through the first week, so I thought I was being generous taking the two week bet.”
“I had more faith in you.” Max said. “That's why I gave you three weeks before it got tossed in the trash.”
I looked over at Steven.
“I've got the fourth week.” he admitted.
“I can't believe you guys!” I was actually a bit hurt by their bet. “You've seen how much time and effort I've put into this thing.”

“We know that.” Steven said. “But come on, it's a bonsai.” he reasoned. “You have to admit the odds were against you from the beginning.”

Friday, March 18, 2016


I'd been locked in the house for almost a week with the flu. I'd been banned to my room, shades closed, my cell phone at my bedside table next to a water bottle that I kept refilled from the bathroom sink. The only person I saw besides my 'friends' on T.V, was my husband, Steven who periodically came into the room to see if I was ready to eat anything. My sons kept a safe distance away, calling me on the phone a few times a day to say hi.
When I finally felt strong enough to leave my bedroom I walked into the living room, the sun was streaming in the picture window. I felt like I needed to shade my eyes, it had been so long since I'd seen daylight.
“How are you feeling?” my son Alex asked.
“Better.” I said.
“Are you still contagious?” he asked.
“Probably.” I admitted. “I'll stay away from you. But I just want to go out on the back deck and get some air.” I said.
As I stepped outside I couldn't believe how different the yard looked in only a few days. The daffodils were blooming, the forsythia bush in the neighbors yard had popped. Our neighborhood Cooper hawk was circling around the tree line, grabbing sticks and taking it up to his nest in the neighbor's tree top.
That's when Steven came outside. “When did you get up?” he asked.
“A few minutes ago.” I turned my face up to feel the warmth of the sun. “I feel like I've been sick for so long that I missed the season changing.” I whined. “When did their cherry blossom tree come to life?” I asked, pointed to the tree in the neighbor's back yard.
“A few days ago.” Steven said as he leaned against the rail. “Did you see all of our daffodils?”
The dozens of daffodils that Alex and I had transplanted last spring dotted the back yard. “They're beautiful.” I sighed. “What else is coming up?”
Steven pointed to the side fence. “The tiger lilies are just starting to peek out and your lilac bush out front has just started to show some green.”
“I feel like I've been hibernating.” I said as I rubbed my eyes and looked back up in the tree tops as the Cooper hawk made large gliding circles, skimming the top branches. “Do you think they've already laid their eggs?”
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “It's still pretty early in the season.” he said. “I don't think you've missed much.” I knew he was trying to make me feel better.
“I guess there's still plenty of spring left for me to see.” I agreed.
“So you haven't been watching the news, have you.” Steven asked.
“No, why?”
“There's still plenty of winter left to see.” he said.
“What do you mean?”
“There's going to be a snowstorm this weekend.”
I started to laugh. “Very funny.”
“I'm serious.” he said. “I'm sure it won't stay on the ground for long, but still...we're not done with the snow yet.”
“But spring is everywhere!” I cried looking back at all the daffodils. “I'm ready for spring!”

Steven shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe you came out of hibernation a few days too early.” he said.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


I posted this piece a few years back in Two River Times. I know we haven't liked this winter but...this one was much worse!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


I had just gotten home from work and went right to the couch to lay down.
“Are you okay?” my husband Steven asked when he walked in and saw me laying there holding my stomach.
“I don't feel so good.” I whined.
Steven stepped back a few feet, “Are you getting that stomach bug that's been going around?” I could tell what he really wanted to do was cover his face with a mask and get the can of Lysol to spray me down.
“No, it's not the stomach bug.” I said unbuttoning the top button of my pants. “I just ate a whole sleeve of Do-Si-Do's on the way home from work.” I shook my head in disgust. “I do it every time it's Girl Scout cookie season.”
“The whole sleeve?” Steven said. “We only live ten minutes away from work! How can you eat that many?”
“What can I say?” I shrugged my shoulders. “I hit every traffic light.”
“How many boxes did you buy this year?” he asked.
I didn't want to answer that, so I just pointed to the filled shopping bag sitting on the table.
“Are you kidding me!” he began digging through the bag. “Thin mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and more Do-Si-Do's!” He dropped the boxes back in the bag. “How pathetic did this kid look for you to buy this many boxes!”
Now it was my turn to looked confused. “I didn't buy them from a kid.” I said. “I haven't seen a kid sell these in years. Unless, of course, you count the kids who hang out in front of the grocery stores. But by then I'm so sick of these cookies I just walk right by them.” I pointed to the bag. “I got these from one of my co-workers. They leave the order form on the break room table.” I shrugged my shoulders again. “I must have been hungry when I ordered.”
“You know these aren't even very good cookies.” Steven complained.
“I know.” I tried to sit up but my stomach still hurt. “It's because you can only get them once a year. It's marketing genius!”
By now our son, Alex walked in the room. “What's wrong with Mom?” he asked Steven as I laid there with my eyes closed and my hand still holding my stomach. “Is she sick?”
“I can hear you.” I said. “You can ask me directly.”
Steven decided to answer for me. “She ate too many Girl Scout cookies.”
“We have Girl Scout cookies?” Now Alex seemed interested. “Where are they?”
Steven pointed to the shopping bag. “Take your pick.” he said. “She bought enough to last the whole year.”
Alex and I started to laugh.
“You know they'll be gone by the weekend, don't you?” I said.
Alex opened a box of thin mints.
“Don't eat too many.” Steven warned. “You don't want to ruin your appetite for dinner.”
Now it was time for me to groan again. “I don't think I'm up to cooking anytime soon.”
Alex tucked the box of cookies under his arm. “This is fine for me.” he said as he headed back to his room.
“Great now there's not going to be any dinner?” Steven complained.

I handed him a box of Tagalongs.