Friday, April 29, 2016


My husband, Steven and I were picking up some friends to go out to dinner. We pulled into their driveway and they got into the back seat. As we drove out of the neighborhood Steven made a sharp turn and we heard something roll out from under my front seat.
“Why do you have a big rock back here?” my friend said.
“Oh, I must have forgotten to take that out.” I explained. “I'm lining the path to my back shed with interesting rocks I find.”
“Oh.” Our dinner couple didn't sound convinced.
“Just kick it back under my seat if it gets in your way.” I said.
We continued on to the restaurant and had a wonderful evening. After we dropped them back at their house and Steven and I were headed home, it seemed Steven had waited until we were alone before he asked this question.
“You collect rocks?” Steven asked.
“Sure.” I said. “I thought you knew that?”
“Why would I know that?” he asked.
“Haven't you noticed the rocks lining the path to the back shed?” I asked. “Where do you think they're coming from?”
“I didn't see any rocks lining the path.” he said.
“Well, I've just started. There's only about twelve rocks right now so maybe you might have missed it.”
Steven took a sharp turn and we could hear the rock rolling in the back. “That one makes thirteen so maybe you'll notice it now.”
“Why can't you collect normal things like other people?” Steven asked with a laugh.
“What are you talking about. People collect rocks.” I said.
“People collect sea shells or sea glass.” he said. “I don't know anyone else but you that collects rocks.”
“I used to collect those but once you fill a container with them, what good are they?” I said. “Rocks, on the other hand can decorate a path in your back yard!”
Steven just shook his head. “Where are you finding these rocks?” he asked.
“All over.” I said. “I found a couple of good ones in our neighborhood. Someone must have cleaned up their back yard and was throwing them away. Lucky for me I got to them before the road crew could come by and collect them!”
“Lucky.” Steven said but he didn't sound impressed.
“I got a good one from your brother's house.” I said. “When we went over for Easter. He had a huge pile next to his garage. He'd dug them up in his yard when he was clearing a space for his garden.”
“Didn't he say he was planning on using them for a wall?”
“Well, yeah. But I didn't know that until I'd already picked a really good one for our path.”
“You stole a rock from my brother's house?” Steven didn't sound amused.
“I didn't steal it!” I said. “I asked him if I could have it.” I explained. “That's when he told me about the wall he was building but when I explained the path I was making he let me have it.”

“I'll ask again.” Steven said as he shook his head. “Why is it you can't collect normal things?”

Friday, April 22, 2016


I was picking up some flower pots, that I'd thrown behind the shed last fall, when I noticed something wonderful. “Steven, come quick! You have to see this!” I called to my husband who was busy spreading grass seed over the bare patches in our lawn.
“I've got my hands full at the moment.” he called back as I watched him drag a bag of lawn repair from one spot to another.
“I'll come to you.” I said as I hugged the black landscaping pot in my arms and triumphantly walked over to him. “I've finally gotten my lily-of-the-valley to grow!” I announced as I held the pot out to him as proof of my green thumb.
“How'd that happened?” he asked as he looked in the pot at the green leaves that were already a few inches tall. I was proudly pointing to the tiny flowers that were tucked between the leaves ready to make their appearance.
“Well, I'd like to say it's my fabulous gardening skills.”
Steven started to laugh.
“But,” I glared at him to get his laughter to stop. “I think they just needed another year to finally get established.”
“Lucky for them.” he said going back to him seeding. “I thought you threw them out last fall.”
“I thought I had too.” I said as I shrugged my shoulder then looked back in the pot. I was remembering how annoyed I'd been last year after spending hours on the phone trying to find a garden center that sold lily-of-the-valley. When I'd finally found someone who'd gotten a shipment their center was over an hour away. I'd driven up to them on a cold, rainy day and took the last three pots they had left. But after tenderly tending them all spring and summer they only produced huge leaves. I never saw any of the fragrant flowers!
“I'll admit I was pretty disgusted with them last year.” I said looking back at the flowers that were one of my childhood favorites. “I'm glad my idea of throwing them away had only been tossing them behind the shed.”
“Always a good gardening move.” Steven said as he dragged the garden hose across the lawn and began watering the new grass seed.
“So where should we plant these?” I asked as I looked around the yard for the perfect spot.
“What do you mean we?” he asked. “Why don't you plant them?”
“Well,” I tried to sound encouraging. “You've always been better at the yard stuff then me.” I gave him my biggest smile as I held the pot out to him.
“Nice try.” he tugged at the hose that seemed to be caught on something. “The trowels are in the the shed.” The hose untangled itself and he was once again watering the grass seed. “Do they need sun or shade?” he asked.
I looked back in the pot. “Oh great.” I sighed. “The little tag thing is missing! Now how am I suppose to know what they like?”
“You could always call the garden center or just Google it.” Steven suggested.
“I'll just put them back behind the shed until I find out.” I reasoned as I put them back where I found them and headed for the house.
“Where I'm sure they'll spend a lovely spring!” Steven called after me.

I had to smile. He knew we well.

Friday, April 15, 2016


My son Alex had borrowed my car to go pick up a few of his friends. When he returned home he dropped the car keys in my hand and said, “By the way, there's a weird smell in your car.”
“What kind of smell?” I asked.
“I don't know.” He stopped to think about it for a moment. “Like something went bad.”
“Like 'old food' bad or 'old clothes' bad?” I asked.
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “I have no idea.” he said before he headed to the bathroom to take a shower.
That left me sitting on the couch, holding my car keys and trying not to imagine what could possibly smell so bad in my car that my son noticed it.
Going out to the car I cautiously opened the driver's side door, held my breath and stuck my head in. One thing I've learned from years of experience is that it's best to look around first before taking in that first small whiff. Luckily, when I finally did inhale the only thing I could smell was the slight aroma of decomposing flowers. I smiled as I saw the back seat covered in small pink petals. I scooped them up to bring into the house.
Alex was just getting out of the bathroom. I held up my handful of faded pink petals. “Is this what you smelled?” I asked.
Alex leaned over to them then pulled away. “Yeah, that's it.” He looked closer. “What are they?” he asked.
“Yesterday I drove over to the park to take a walk and I parked the car next to a flowering cherry tree.” I smiled as I remembered the sight. “When I came back from my walk I opened the windows to get a little breeze. The next thing I know the wind kicked up and I found myself in the middle of the most beautiful pink snowstorm.” I looked down at my handful of petals. “They were everywhere. The outside of the car looked like it had a pink blanket on. They were even stuck under the windshield wipers.” The petals felt silky in my hands and I couldn't help playing with them as I finished my story. “The inside of the car got filled with them too. I was pulling them out of my hair, brushing them off the dashboard, even shooing them off the seats.” I started to laugh at the memory, but when I looked back at Alex I could see my enthusiasm wasn't contagious. “I thought I'd gotten them all yesterday, but I guess I forgot to look in the back seat.” I held up the stinking culprit. “They're all gone now.” I reassured him.
“It's not the smell I'm worried about.” Alex said. “I just picked up my friends and now you tell me the back seat was covered in pink flower petals?”
I hadn't really thought about it. But now that he mentioned it, I could see where flower petals on the back seat didn't help make the 'guy car' statement Alex was looking for when he got stuck driving the family car. “Why don't you look on the bright side?” I said. “Maybe they just thought our car smelled weird too!”

“Yeah, maybe.” Alex said as he walked into his room, but he didn't sound convinced.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


“Has anyone seen my blue reading glasses?” I called to anyone in the house that was in earshot.
No answer.
“Come on!” I cried. “I can't make dinner until I find them!”
That got them all running.
“Where did you see them last?” Steven asked as he magically appeared in the kitchen next to me.
“In this drawer where I always keep them.” I said pointing to the junk drawer next to the stove.
“Do you want me to get you a pair from your desk?” Alex asked.
“The purple ones stay at my desk.” I said. “I'm looking for the blue kitchen glasses.”
“What about the pair you keep in your purse?” Steven was ready to go find my purse.
“No. Those are the black and white one's they stay in my purse.” I insisted. “I need the blue kitchen ones to make dinner.”
Steven and Alex looked at one another.
“Are they different prescriptions?” Steven asked.
“No.” I answered.
“So what's the difference?” Alex asked.
Now it was my turn to look exasperated. “I have different color glasses for different places in the house.” I explained. “This way if one of them gets misplaced I know where they came from and I can return them and not have to go through this!” I cried sweeping my hand in front of the drawer that didn't have my glasses in them anymore.
“So why can't you use a different pair for now and we'll look for your blue ones after dinner?” Steven suggested.
“Oh...I'm not falling for that one.” I said as I slowly closed the drawer and looked at my now famished looking family. “If I do that no one will help me look for them after dinner. But if I say I can't cook without them I'll have plenty of help finding them.” I had to smile as I looked at their begrudgingly agreeable faces.
“She's got a point.” Steven said as he looked at Alex. “You go look in the living room and I'll go check in our bedroom.”
The two of them set off in search of my glasses. I had to smile at the power that withholding food seemed to have on them.
“They're not in here!” Alex called from the living room.
“I'm coming up empty in here, too!” Steven called. “You go check her office and I'll go look in the car.”
I watched as the two of them headed in different directions.
That's when I saw my purse sitting on the dining room chair. I thought I could at least help in the search so I began unloading my bag on the dining room table.
Steven and Alex came into the room as I was finishing up the search.
“Did you find them?” Steven asked.
I held up four pairs of glasses I'd found at the bottom of my purse, including the blue ones. “I guess I haven't been doing such a great job at keeping track of where they're suppose to stay.” I said as I shrugged my shoulders and began throwing my stuff back in my bag.
“Are you making dinner now?” Steven asked.

I put my blue reading glasses on and picked up the take out menu for our favorite pizza place. “I am.” I said as I picked up the phone to place our order.

Friday, April 1, 2016


“Do you want to go to a yoga class with me?” This question was coming from a friend who was always trying to find a new way to keep herself in shape.
Of course my first thought was to say, “Heck no, I enjoy my extra pounds.” but I would have been lying so instead I said. “Sure, that sounds like fun.”
As I was trying to convince myself that maybe this would be the perfect exercise for me she had to ask, “Do you have a yoga mat and outfit?”
“Can't I just wear my sweats and use a beach towel?” I asked. “I already own those.”
“You know, maybe you're right. You should see if you like yoga first before you buy the outfit and mat.”
I had to smile. This tactful remark was coming from a friend who knew the chances of me liking a form of exercise was pretty slim. But she kept trying with me and I loved her for that.
On the first day of our class we filed down the stairs to the basement of a church. I was amazed at just how many people were in the class.
Our instructor stood in the center of our group and introduced himself. Now I know this sounds mean but I did give him the once over. I was checking to see if he had any unsightly fat hanging anywhere on him. As I've already explained, I’m not big on exercise so I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't take instruction from anyone who didn't have a body shape I was looking for. If they do this professionally and have swinging arm fat or a saggy butt why would I want to waste my time taking body sculpting tips from them?
Personally I think I'm just looking for any excuse not to go to a class but he looked fine, so I claimed my spot on the floor and stretched out my beach towel.
He started explaining what we were going to be doing in a very slow calm voice. Soft music was playing in the background. I began to wonder if this was actually going to be fun. Then he turned down the lights and I just knew this was the type of exercise program I'd been searching for all my adult like.
He calmly explained each position he wanted us in, then began wandering around the room.
“Now close your eyes and clear your mind.” he instructed.
I don't know about anyone else but whenever I've heard the expression clear-your-mind I immediately begin to list all the things that happened to be in my mind at that particular time. Then I began to wonder just how many people can actually clear their mind when someone asks them to. So, of course, as I'm pondering these deep thoughts I'd missed the explanation of the position he wanted us to be in.
I opened my eyes to peek at the person next to me to see what they were doing.
His calm voice happened to be standing right over me, “Your eyes should be closed.” he stated.
“Oh, sorry.” I closed my eyes and lay there wondering just how stupid I looked laying there doing nothing.
“Keep your mind clear.” he said again.
“Oh great!” I thought as the lists popped up in my head again. This time listing all the times I'd looked stupid in public places. The list was so long that sweat began popping out on my forehead. Once again I hadn’t heard his last instruction but I was afraid to peek.
The more I worried about looking stupid just laying there the heavier I perspired.
That's when I realized that many instructors have stated that the more you sweat the better the workout is.

So as I laid in the dark mopping my upper lip with the sleeve of my shirt I couldn't help but wonder if maybe yoga was the perfect workout for me.