Friday, November 25, 2016


It was first thing in the morning and I met Steven out in the kitchen. “You know what today is, don't you?” I asked him as I got my tea cup out of the cabinet.
“Hmm...the day after Thanksgiving?” he asked as he handed me a tea bag.
“You know what we always do on the day after Thanksgiving?” I said as put the kettle on and turned around to see him trying to quietly leave the kitchen. “Oh, no you don't!” I cried.
“Oh, come on! The boys aren't even up yet!” he complained as he stopped and turned around to face me. “Can't we just enjoy one more day of Thanksgiving and start tomorrow?”
I shook my head. “Nope. It's tradition.”
Steven shook his head. “Fine, we'll get all the Christmas decorations down from the attic as soon as they're all up.”
I smiled, then went over to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Thank you.” I said before I went over to the front window. “I can't wait to throw out all our dead mums and deflated pumpkins.”
Steven stood next to me as we both looked at the house across the street from us. “How come their mums are still alive?” he asked. “Even their pumpkins look better then ours.”
“They must have some special power when it comes to mums.” I reasoned.
Steven looked over at me. “Or they water theirs.” he suggested.
The kettle began to whistle and I turned around to go back to the kitchen. “I watered ours.” I said. “They're just really needy plants.”
Steven followed me to the kitchen. “How often did you water them?”
“It doesn't matter now.” I poured the water into my cup, then tried to change the subject. “That's what's so great about today. It's a whole new holiday to decorate for!”
“Yeah...” Steven didn't sound thrilled.
“I don't know what your complaining about.” I said. “I'm the one who does all the work. You guys just bring the containers down from the attic. I'm the one who spends the entire day transforming the house for the holidays!”
“And we appreciate that.” Steven said. “But why can't we just do it over the weekend?”
“And break our tradition?”
“It's not our tradition, it's yours.”
I thought about it for a moment. “I guess I could spend today just putting away all the Thanksgiving decorations.” I looked around the house. “As long as you promise to help me over the weekend.”
“Promise.” he held one hand in the air while the other was on his heart.
I wasn't happy but I finally agreed. “Okay, fine.”
Steven smiled. “Great! So now that you don't have all of that work ahead of you today, maybe you could get some grocery shopping done.” he suggested. “Were out of everything.”
“Are you kidding?” I opened the refrigerator. “It's still packed with leftovers from yesterday!” I cried.
“I know, but we already had that dinner three times yesterday.” he complained as he moved the storage containers around on the shelves to make room for grocery shopping. “Can't we have something different for dinner tonight?”

I smiled as I slowly closed the refrigerator door. “Hey.” I reminded him. “It was your idea to extend Thanksgiving for one more day.”

Friday, November 18, 2016


My son Alex and I were on an early evening walk through our neighborhood when I happened to notice a lottery ticket laying in the gutter. I pointed it out to him. “Looks like someone got mad when it turned out to be a loser.”
Alex looked down. “How do you know it's a loser?” he asked. “Maybe they were on their way to cash it in when it blew out of their window?”
The ticket was several feet behind us when I stopped walking. “Are you kidding?”
“Nope.” he shook his head. “You never know.”
I looked back at the ticket as a puff of wind caught it and I watched it tumble further down the street. I looked back at Alex. “Why don't you run and get it and we'll check the numbers when we get home.”
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “It's not that important to me.”
“Are you kidding!” I couldn't believe my ears. “What if it really is a winner?” I cried.
“Just forget about it.” Alex said and began walking again.
The wind was taking it farther away from us. “Oh forget it!” I began jogging back. “I can't just forget about it!” I called over my shoulder.
When I reached the ticket it was folded in half but didn't seem to have any damage. I opened it up as I jogged back to Alex. “It's a Power ball.” I said holding it out to him.
Alex started to laugh. “I knew you couldn't pass it up.”
We began walking again as I slipped the ticket into my pocket. “What's that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, come on!” he was still laughing. “I know you! You'll stop and pick up a penny!”
I wasn't finding it as funny as he was. “Oh yeah?”
“The only question I had was how far you would let the wind take it before you couldn't stand it anymore and had to go get it!” Alex patted my arm. “We all know how you are about things like that.”
I still wasn't seeing the humor. “Okay...just for that if this ticket turns out to be a winner I'm not sharing the money with you!” I said feeling a little huffy.
Alex started to laugh harder. “Yes you will!” he cried. “You won't be able to help yourself!” I looked over to see him shaking his head. “You don't realize how well we know you.”
“Okay, fine.” I said as I patted the pocket with the ticket in it. “Just for that your Dad and I are going to go on a trip by ourselves and we're leave you and your brother home with frozen pizzas!” I was hoping he was feeling the sting of the punishment I'd just inflicted.
Alex laugh even harder. “And you're already spending the money!” He was laughing so hard he was shaking. “You and Dad crack me up! You always have vacation plans when you buy lottery tickets.”
We were at the end of our street, our walk was almost done. I patted my pocket again. “You'll'll be frozen pizzas for you.”
We walked into the house and I called for Steven. “Guess what we found on our walk?” I called out.
Steven came out of the kitchen, wiping his hands on a kitchen towel. “What?”
“A lottery ticket!” I cried holding it out for him to see.
“Great!” he flipped the towel over his shoulder and took the ticket from me. “I'll go online to see if it's a winner.”
I realized I was holding my breath as he scrolled through his phone.
“'s a loser.” he said as he crumpled it up and handed it back to me.
My shoulders slumped as took the ticket back from him.

“Hey,” Alex said as he patted me on the shoulder. “Look on the bright side. You're keeping our neighborhood streets litter free.”

Friday, November 4, 2016


Steven and I were sitting on the couch reading the morning paper. “I hate turning the clocks back!” Steven grumbled as he pointed to the reminder at the top of the newspaper.
“Not me!” I cried. “I love it!”
Steven looked over at me, I could see the confusion on his face. “Since when? You hate winter.”
“That's true.” I took another section of the paper, from the pile between us.
“You hate cold, you hate snow.” Steven began listing all my dislikes. “You hate ice. You hate shoveling, you hate not being able to sit out on the porch.”
I held up my hand to stop him from continuing. “All true.” I said. “But this year I've decided there's some good things that will happen when we change the clocks so, I've changed my mind.”
“What good things?”
“Well, I'll feel like cooking more.” I looked over at him and smiled. “You like that, don't you?”
He nodded in agreement. “I do like that.”
“So now the house is going to be filled with the smells of stews, pots of sauce, and roasts.” I nodded, slowly bringing him around to what I was thinking.
“That does sound nice.” He looked confused again. “But why are you thinking turning the clocks back is going to make you cook more?”
“It isn't.” I admitted. “It's just going to make me feel less guilty eating.”
“Less guilty?”
“Well after my spring, summer and fall diets all failed.” I explained. “I've decided I'm giving up the diet for the winter and embracing the layered, oversized, flaw-hiding clothes instead.”
“Oh...completely serious.” I said. “I'm also looking forward to coming home from work and getting right into my pajamas.” We switched sections of newspapers. “If you do that when it's still light outside people think you're a slug.” I adjusted the pillow behind my back. “But when it's dark at 4:30 everyone thinks you're just getting snugly.” I looked over at Steven and smiled. “Gotta love that, right?”
Steven just shook his head.
“I'm not saying I'm completely giving up on losing some weight.” I added. “I'm just giving myself a little break.”
“How long of a break?”
“Oh...I'm thinking maybe until January when all the weight loss commercials come on and make you feel bad about yourself.” I looked over at Steven. “So a diet break? You in?”
“Well, we do have to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas.” he said. “Those are always tough for us.”
“Exactly!” I said. “See if we both agree, then neither one of us has to feel bad.”
“That's true.” he finally shrugged his shoulders. “Why not? I'm in.”
“See turning the clocks back is going to be great!” I smiled over at him. “Let's celebrate!”
“Celebrate? How?”
“Meet me here on the couch Monday night, right after work. Wear your pajamas and we'll order in!”
“Wait, I thought you said you were looking forward to cooking?”

“I can cook anytime.” I reminded him. “But this is a celebration!”