Friday, December 29, 2017


I was busy flipping through a magazine and tearing out pages that interested me when Steven walked into the room. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“I'm getting pictures for my vision board.” I ripped a picture of tulips from a page and placed it on the coffee table. “This one's for my trip to Holland this spring.” I crossed my fingers and looked at Steven. “But anything could happen so I thought if I put it on the board it will definitely come true.”
“What's a vision board?”
“I'm glad you asked that! Because I hadn't heard of it either until about 20 minutes ago!” I was flipping the pages and saw a jar of money. “Oh that's definitely going on the board!” As I was ripping the page out I looked over at Steven. “I was on the phone with my girlfriend Anna Marie and she said a friend of ours is doing one. It's where you make a board of things you'd like to see happen in the coming year.”
Steven started to laugh. “So a picture of money is going to have us make more next year.”
“Hey...” I looked over at Steven and shrugged my shoulders. “Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.” I tore out a picture of the beach and held it up for him to see. “Maybe a trip to Cape May will be in our future next summer.” I placed it on the coffee table next to all my other dreams and hopes.
“How big is your board going to be?” Steven looked at the growing pile on the table.
“I figured I'd collect everything that interested me and decide later.” I grabbed the next magazine off the pile and began leafing through it. “Do you want to make one with me?”
Steven laughed and shook his head. “No, I think I'm good, thanks.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Suit yourself, but I'm getting a good feeling about this upcoming year.” I ripped out the word MEDITATION. “Oh, I can definitely use more of that!”
“So where did this idea come from again?”
“It seems Oprah talked about it years ago when she read the book The Secret. She does one all the time.” I looked up at Steven. “Clearly I live under a rock because it's the first I'm hearing about it.”
I kept flipping through the magazine. “Now I just have to find a typewriter to remind me to write more.” I stopped at a page. “Oh! Yoga!” I began ripping. “I should really get back to doing that!”
“So where are you planning on hanging it?” Steven leafed through the pile I'd already collected.
“I'm thinking about taping it to the inside of our closet door.”
I looked over at Steven and could see he seemed surprised. “Why there?”
“Because I'd see it every morning while I was getting ready for work and it would remind me to think about it during the day.” I smiled at him. “Then I'd see it again at night and I could go to sleep visualizing it for my dreams.”
“So I get to see it while I'm getting dressed too?
“Exactly! That's just a perfect bonus for me!” I collected up my pile to begin sorting through them.
“How's that a bonus for you?” Steven looked confused.
“Well, seeing that you're not doing one for yourself maybe you could look at mine, while your getting ready in the morning, and cheer me on with mine!”
Steven shook his head. “Whatever happened to plain old New Year resolutions?”

“I've never been able to keep those.” I reached for the scissors. “That's why I'm hoping this might do the trick this year!”

Friday, December 22, 2017


I was in our laundry room, busy wrapping some last minute gifts, when my husband Steven came into the room. “How's it going in here?” he asked as he looked over my shoulder to see what I was wrapping. I'd set up my wrapping station on my ironing board.
“I'm almost finished.” I said as I went through my ribbon box to see what I had left. “Of course, I said I was almost finished a week ago but then I keep remembering just one more thing.” I sighed.
“Speaking of one more thing, is there anything special you want for Christmas?” he asked. “It's been bothering me for days. I've got a few small things for you but I can't come up with anything that says 'Wow'.”
I looked over and could see how concerned he looked.
“Don't worry about it.” I reassured him as I pulled out a red satin spool of ribbon. “You already got me a really nice Brighton set.”
Steven looked confused. “I did?”
“Yup.” I unraveled the ribbon watching it pool on the floor until I was ready to snip the length I wanted. “A couple of weeks ago, remember?”
“No.” He was leaned against the dryer trying to remember. “What's a Brighton set?”
“It's a brand name. They make purses and accessories.” I looked around for the scissors. “You got me a necklace, earring and bracelet set from them.”
“Did I order it on-line?” He was shaking his head. “I can't believe I don't remember.”
“You were going to but I wanted to pick it out myself.” I twisted the ribbon around the box. “We talked about this a few weeks ago when you couldn't think of anything to get me. I was headed to the mall so I told you I would pick it up.” I'd tied a knot in the ribbon. “Can I borrow your finger for a minute?” I stepped to the side so he could hold down my ribbon while I made the bow.
“Well, did I pick out a nice set?”
“It's beautiful.” I leaned over and gave him a kiss. “You have very good taste.”
“Can I see it?” he laughed as he looked around the laundry room where I'd been stashing the presents that needed to be wrapped. “I'd like to see what I got you before Christmas morning.”
“Sorry but it's already ready wrapped and under the tree!” I smiled at him as I looked around for a name tag for the gift I was wrapping.
“You had to wrap your own present?” Steven shook his head. “That's just sad.”
“No.” I said quickly. “The store offered free wrapping so I thought I'd save you the trouble.”
Steven leaned back against the dryer again. “Well, I have to say it was an easy shopping year for me.”
I held up my wrapped package. “I'm glad.” I headed for the living room with the gift. “Another one ready for under the tree.”
“Oh good, maybe you could point out the one I got for you.”
“Sure.” I put the new gift under the tree then picked up my gift from the front of the tree and handed it to him. “You wanted to see how they gift wrapped it?”
Steven took the tissue paper filled gift bag and peeked inside. “I want to at least know what the package looks like so I can hand it to you on Christmas morning.”

I smiled as I took the bag from him and placed it back under the tree. “You're very thoughtful.”

Friday, December 15, 2017


Alex was sitting at the kitchen table, peeling an orange when I came into the room. “Oh my gosh, that smells so good.”
Alex pointed to the bowl of oranges sitting on the counter. “A whole bowl of them showed up today if you want one.”
“Showed up?” I had to laugh. “Who do you think bought them and put them in that bowl?”
Alex shrugged his shoulders and laughed. “Well, now that you mention it I guess that would be you.” He'd finished peeling it and handed me a segment.
“Thanks.” I took a bite and it tasted as good as it smelled. “You know every time I smell an orange it reminds me of Christmas.”
Alex looked confused. “Why?”
“Because we didn't have oranges very often, but we'd get one in the toe of our Christmas stocking every year.” I smiled at the memory. “All my brothers and sisters would dump our stockings out and I don't know about them, but the first thing I would do is peel that orange.”
I looked over at him and saw the confused look on his face. “What?” I asked.
“You got an orange in your stocking?”
“Sure. We got an orange and an apple.”
“Well, that's just sad.” He said biting into another segment. “Your parents just emptied out the fruit bowl from the counter?”
“No.” I corrected him. “We didn't have a fruit bowl on our counter. In fact it was a big treat to get the oranges.”
I had to think about it for a moment. “I don't know.” Now I was confused. I picked up the phone and called my sister. When she picked up and didn't even bother saying hi I just raced right into the question I wanted to ask. “Was it weird that we got oranges in our stockings?”
“No.” she answered. “I thought it was a sweet tradition. In fact, just the smell of an orange makes me think of Christmas morning.”
“Me too!” I cried. I looked over at Alex. “See, your Aunt thought it was a sweet tradition too.”
Alex didn't look convinced. “I'll pass on the orange in my stocking, thanks.” He looked over at the bowl on the counter. “If I want an orange I'll just get one from the bowl.”
My sister had overheard him. “Tell him that when we were kids oranges were expensive and there were seven kids in our family so getting an orange in our stocking was a treat.” I said.
“I'm not telling him that.” I whispered.
“Because now I feel like a Grandpa telling a story about how he had to walk three miles to school, in a blizzard, with a hole in his shoe!”
“Well, it's the truth.” she reminded me.
I looked at Alex as he collected up the orange peels and went over to the garbage to throw them out.
“Oranges were just a sweet tradition our parents had that they passed on to us.” I told him.
Alex shrugged his shoulders. “Well, thanks for not passing that tradition down to me.” he closed the drawer to the garbage. “I'm pretty happy with gift cards and candy.” he gave me a kiss on the top of my head. “We should make that our tradition.”

I watched him walk down the hall then went back to the conversation with my sister. “Somehow the tradition I've started doesn't seem nearly as sweet as the one we grew up with.” I said with a sigh.

Friday, December 8, 2017


“What are you up to today?” my husband Steven asked as he passed through the living room where I was cuddled up on the couch playing a game of Solitaire on my phone.
“Oh, I have a long list of things I have to get done today.” I said as I reached for my cup of tea and took a sip. “I want to get a few things at the mall, then go grocery shopping, laundry and I promised Alex I'd bake a cake for dessert tonight.” I pulled my robe tighter around my neck and settled back to finish my game. “I just want to finish this last hand of Solitaire.”
“Well you better get started soon if you're going to get all that done in one day.” Steven sat down next to me a reached for the newspaper.
“I know. That's why I got up early today.” I put my phone down next to me and leaned back to stretch out my back.
“Well, it not early anymore.” Steven nodded over to the clock on the table.
I glanced over. “Eleven-thirty! Are you kidding me!” I sat up and squinted to make sure I was seeing the right time. “What happened to the morning?”
Steven laughed as he picked up my phone, took a quick look at it, then held it up for me to see. “Well, seeing that your battery is almost dead I'm going to say you were busy on your phone.”
I took the phone from him and checked it myself. “It can't be.” But sure enough the battery had a little sliver of red left. “Wow.” I shook my head.
Steven shrugged his shoulders. “That's a lot of time playing Solitaire.”
“Hey, even I couldn't play Solitaire for three hours.” I countered.
“So what else have you been doing on your phone?” he asked as he looked over the front page of the paper.
I thought about it for a moment. “Well, when I first got up, before I even got out of bed, I checked my e-mail. Then I moved on to Facebook to see what everyone's been up to since I went to sleep...”
Steven nodded. “Ah hum.”
“Then I checked my Horoscope App to see what kind of day I'm going to have.”
Steven looked confused. “Do you really believe in that?”
“Well, no.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Not really, but it's always nice when it tells me I'm going to have a good day.”
Steven finished scanning the newspaper, dropped it back on the coffee table, and looked over at me. “Well you better get going if you want to get to all the things on your list done today.”
“You're right.” I picked up my teacup and brought it out into the kitchen, then went back into the living room to scoop my phone up off the coffee table along with it's charger. “I'm going in to take a shower.”
“If you're going to take a shower, why do you need your phone?”
“Because I'm going to charge it in there and play another hand or two of Solitaire while the shower's heating up.” I said as I slipped the phone and charger into the pocket of my bathrobe.
Steven groaned. “Great. An hour from now you'll still be playing Solitaire in there and all the hot water will be gone.”
I smiled and I put one hand on my heart and the other up in the air. “I swear I'll only play two hands while the water gets warm.”
Steven didn't seem convinced. “I'll check on you in five minutes to make sure.”

I shrugged my shoulders and knew I really couldn't argue with him. “Yeah, maybe you should.” I admitted.

Friday, December 1, 2017


“Yes!” I cried as I looked at the text on my phone. “I'm the first again this year!” I smiled as I looked over at my husband Steven, who was sitting next to me on the couch.
“First? What?” he asked as he muted the television and moved a pillow behind his head.
“I was my sister's first Christmas card.” I leaned back and smiled.
“Okay, well congratulations.” Steven didn't sound very impressed.
“Hey, do you know how early you have to send the cards out to be first nowadays?”
Steven just shook his head. “Nope, not a clue.”
“Before Thanksgiving!” I cried. “It's ridiculous! I used to be able to mail them the day after Thanksgiving and I'd be first, no problem. Now I have to start a week before!” I looked over at him and shook my head. “I couldn't even find cards this year. No one had them out yet. It took me three stops just to find some!”
“So why do you do it?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Because it's tradition.”
I put my feet up on the coffee table. “Okay,” I admitted. “It's my tradition.” I took the pillow that was behind me and tossed it further down the couch. “I remember the first time it happened. My sister called and said I was her first card.” I smiled at the memory. “I don't know what it was, but somehow I felt I had won.” I looked over at him. “I was first for a few years but then one year she said someone had beaten me.” I frowned. “That year was a very disappointing card year for me.”
I picked up my phone and smiled as I looked at my messages again. I held it up for Steven to see... “Any mail?” Was my text to her. Then I scrolled down to her answer: “She said her husband just brought it in, I'm their first again!”
Then I clicked on to my other sister: “Hi – I received your card today (along with 2 others) but I'm sure you were the first. Thanks!”
I looked at Steven. “She doesn't get her mail everyday so I'm definitely saying I'm her first card too.” I settled back into the couch content with my win.
Steven pointed to the stack of cards on the coffee table. “So whose are those?”
“Oh, they're everybody else's Christmas cards.” The stack was next to my address book waiting to be done.
“But didn't you just tell me you need to be the first card out?”
“I just finished telling you how early everybody else is sending them out! If I tried to be everyone's first card I'd have to start writing them out the day after Halloween!”
“So you only did your two sisters?”
“Hey,” I shrugged my shoulders. “They were the only ones that ever noticed I was the first.”
“So you cheated?”
“No! What are you talking about?” I was sitting up now, feeling offended. “That's not cheating!”
Steven looked doubtful as he reached for the remote and turned the sound back on the television. “If you say so.”
I sat back and thought about it for a moment. “Okay, I cheated.” I admitted. “But this was the first year I ever did that! I swear.”

Steven just patted me on the knee. “Whatever you have to tell yourself is fine with me.”

Friday, November 24, 2017


“Where's the gravy?” my husband Steven called out to me.
I went into the kitchen to see Steven and our son Alex pulling Thanksgiving leftovers from the refrigerator and piling the containers on the counter.
“You didn't throw it away again, did you?” Steven looked worried as he moved Tupperware around on the shelves.
“Are you ever going to let me live that down!” I cried as I reached in the back of the refrigerator and handed him the container of gravy.
“Wow, that was close.” Steven popped open the lid and smiled as he looked inside.
“I accidentally threw it away ten years ago!” I couldn't help but shake my head. “Maybe we could let it go now.”
“If you don't have gravy you might as well throw all the leftovers away.” he said to Alex as they pulled out plates and began loading them with their mid-morning dinner. Then he looked over at me. “If I remember correctly you blamed your sister for throwing it out.”
“Of course I did!” I had to laugh. “When I saw how upset you were, do you really think I'd take the blame?” I looked over at Alex for help. “She'd already left.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I had no idea he'd call her and ask why she threw it away.”
Steven looked at Alex. “It was gravy.” he said as if that's the only explanation he needed.
“Well anyway...” I wanted to change the subject. “It's the Friday after Thanksgiving and we all know what that means.” I smiled at both of them. “Can you two help me get the Christmas decorations down from the attic?”
Alex and Steven looked at one another then at their filled plates.
“Oh, come on!” I cried. “I'm the one who does all the decorating. I'm the one who climbs into the attic, all you have to do is grab the containers as I lower them down to you!”
Alex looked at Steven. “She has a point.” He put his plate in the microwave and started it. “Let's get this over with before we eat.”
The followed me into the hall and I pulled the stairs down. “I'll be quick!” I said as I climbed up the stairs and began looking around. “'s a mess up here!” I called down. “Just give me a second while I move a few things out of the way.” I began crawling around pushing boxes around trying to make some sort of order out of the mess.
I'd been up there a bit when I finally found all the Christmas containers and began pushing them over to the opening. “Okay, I'm ready!” I called down to them. I didn't get an answer. I moved the boxes away and looked down at the hallway but neither one was there. I climbed back down to look for them. “Hello!” I called as I went back into the kitchen. They were both at the dining room table eating their leftover Thanksgiving. I put my hands on my hips a little bit annoyed that they left me up there. “Seriously?” I asked. “You couldn't wait ten more minutes?”
Steven looked over at me and smiled. “Hey, we can't help it if we love your turkey and stuffing.”
“And your turnips and potatoes!” Alex added. “The microwave went off and it smelled so good we couldn't wait.” He held up the zip lock bag of pumpkin muffins. “Want one?”
I sighed as I filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove. “Sure, why not.” I sighed as I sat down with them. “But right after you're done eating you're going to help me right?”

“Promise.” they said in unison.

Friday, November 17, 2017


I was at work, getting ready to go on my lunch break, when my phone pinged that I had a message. Pulling it out of my pocket and saw that my son Alex had sent me a photo of a turkey followed by several surprised looking emoji's.
I was completely confused until I realized the picture was taken in our yard. The three foot bird was sitting on our neighbor's chain link fence next to where we stored our garbage pails.

As I was walking to the break room I called Alex. “Are you kidding me!” I cried when he answered.
“I know, pretty weird huh?”
“Is it still there?”
“You've got to get rid of him!” I cried. “I don't want them in the yard!”
For some strange reason turkeys showed up in our neighborhood the year before, but they'd been staying further down the street and hadn't venture any closer to us...that is until today.
“Why get rid of him?” Alex questioned. “It's so close to Thanksgiving I think it's kind of fun to have our very own turkey living with us! So, what do you think they like to eat?” he asked. “Because I gave him some birdseed but he doesn't seem interested.”
“WHAT!” I cried. “You fed him!”
` “Well, technically no, because he didn't like the seed.” I could hear him opening and closing cabinets. “You're really good about what the wildlife like to eat around here. Do you think I should cut up an apple or maybe throw out a handful of nuts?”
“Oh my gosh, DON'T FEED HIM!” I cried. “Do you know how aggressive they can get? I don't want to become a prisoner in my own home when mating season starts!” I was trying to figure out a way for him to collect the birdseed he'd already thrown without getting hurt. I took a deep breath before I started telling him my plan. “Okay listen, I need you to get the broom and go outside swinging it around until you chase him off.”
But before I could finish Alex started to laugh.
Now I was confused. “What's so funny?” I asked.
“You're killing me here!” he cried.
I wasn't sure what he was talking about but I decided that maybe I should approach the dilemma in a calmer voice. “Okay, I know it sounds scary chasing a turkey away but we can't have him coming around.” I explained.
Alex couldn't stop laughing. “Do you really think I'd feed a turkey?” he cried. “I don't like when you feed the chipmunks because they come up on the deck. They're only a few feedings away from coming into the house.”
“They are not!” I argued.
“Really, because one is on the deck right now looking at me while he eats whatever it is you left out there for him!”
“I haven't fed the chipmunks in months.” I cried.
“Okay, so whatever he got from the woods he's decided to enjoy eating it on our table.”
That was the reason I'd stopped feeding them. “Hey, they were cute when they were scampering in the yard but I have to agree with you, I don't want them on the deck either.” I sighed. “But getting back to the turkey, is he still on the fence?”
“Naw...he left right after I took his picture.” he admitted. “I just thought it would be funny to hear what you'd have to say after I sent it to you.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “Well, I hope I didn't disappoint you.”

“Nope, you never do.”

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I was knocking on our front door with my foot hoping someone would come open it for me. “Hello? Anybody?” I called as I tapped the door one more time, trying my best to stay out of the rain.
My son Alex opened it. “Did you forget your key?”
“No.” I held up my muddy hands. “But guess what I just found a ton of?” I was headed for the kitchen.
“Rocks?” Alex asked as he followed me to the sink.
“How did you know?” I was surprised that he'd get it on the first guess.
“I can tell by the big smile on your face.” He nodded to my muddy hands. “I've never seen someone so happy to be covered in dirt.” he laughed as he pointed to the sleeves of my coat, also covered in mud.
“I'll throw it in the wash later.” I said as I dried my hands on a towel. “Can you help unload the car with me?”
“Can't the rocks wait until it stops raining?” he looked out the window.
“Not the rocks.” I grabbed the roll of paper towels and headed for the front door. “I went to the grocery store and I didn't want to get the bags all muddy.” I held up the paper towels. “I've got mud all over the steering wheel and door.”
He laughed as he flipped the hood of his sweatshirt on his head. “So where did you find all the rocks?”
“I was on my way to the store when I saw someone dumping a wheelbarrow filled with them!”

I jogged out to the car with him and climbed in my front seat while Alex began loading his arms with the bags. “Can you believe it?” I began wiping down my steering wheel. “A whole wheelbarrow, loaded with them!” I looked back at Alex and smiled. “How lucky am I!”
Alex grabbed the last bag and closed the door just as I was finished wiping down my door. “I hope I got everything I needed at the store.” I jogged ahead of him to open the door. “I was so worried someone was going to get the rocks before me that I did a pretty quick shopping trip.” I began scanning the bags as Alex put them on the counter. “I think I got everything.”
“So did the guy at the house see you loading his rocks into your car in the middle of a downpour?” Alex grabbed a bag of chips and began eating.
“Oh, he helped me pick through the pile to get the biggest ones and helped me load them in!” I began putting the groceries away.
Alex sighed then closed his eyes and shook his head. “Great. That's just great.”
“What?” I was confused. “He was a really nice guy. They just moved in and he's clearing out some of the land for a garden next spring.”
“Did you tell him you live in the neighborhood?” Alex didn't sound thrilled.
“Of course I did. I told him what a great neighborhood it is.”
Alex laughed. “You know he went right into the house and told his family that there's a crazy rock lady that lives around the corner from them.”
“I'm not crazy!” I cried. “I told him all about the rock path I'm making! He was very nice.”
Alex looked at the mud on my sleeves. “I'm telling you he'll be talking about the crazy rock lady that showed up in a downpour and loaded her car with his worthless rocks.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “They're not worthless to me.”
That's when my husband Steven walked in. “What's up?”
“Mom's got a car load of rocks again.”
“Oh great! I'll help you unload them when it stops raining.”

I looked over at Alex and smiled. “See. He gets me.”

Friday, November 3, 2017


I put my garden gloves on, grabbed a garbage bag from the drawer and looked over at my husband Steven. “I think it's time I put my garden to bed.” I said as I opened the back door and went out on our deck.
Steven started to laugh as he filled his cup with coffee and followed me out the door. “Well, that shouldn't take you too long when you only had four pots of cherry tomatoes!”
I picked up the first pot where one lone green tomato was clinging to the shriveled vine. “I used to have five pots at the beginning of the summer.” I reminded him. “Until that fat groundhog attacked them.” I pulled the plant out of the pot and tossed it into the trash bag. Then I walked to the edge of the woods and emptied out the rest of the dirt.
“He only got one plant?” Steven asked as I went over to get the hose and rinse the pot out before bringing it back to the deck to dry in the sun.
“Nope, he got three of them.” I pulled the next plant out and showed him where I'd Scotch taped the broken stem. “Who knew Scotch tape would work so well.” I looked closer at my taping skills. “I taped them back together as soon as I saw what he'd done.” I looked over at Steven and smiled. “I obviously did such a great taping job that I never had to replace any of it all season!” I was still smiling as I tossed the plant in the trash and moved on to the next plant. “It was like it had never been snapped in two!”
Steven just shook his head. “Well there's a gardening tip you can pass along to your friends.”
“Exactly!” I put the last wet pot on the deck to dry then looked around to see if anything else needed to be done.
Steven looked at his phone. “Well that took you about ten minutes.” he laughed. “I think that's the quickest I've ever seen someone put their garden to bed.”
I looked at him, a bit confused. “Who said I was done?” I went over and picked up my hand clipper. “I have to winterize my garden tools now.”
“You have a pair of hand clippers!” Steven laughed again. “That's not really what you'd call garden tools.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I'm thinking of investing in a trowel next year.”
Steven just shook his head.
“And I'm also thinking about making it wait.” I thought about it for a moment. “Make that ten pots of cherry tomatoes next year!”
Steven looked at me for a moment. “You know, now that were getting the yard ready for winter maybe I should winterize the grill.”
“That's a great idea.” I was rubbing the dirt off my clippers. “How do you do that?”
He put his coffee cup down, walked over to the grill, opened the drawer, and pulled out the grill cover. “I put this on it.” He shook it out before he draped it over the grill. Then he walked back over to his coffee cup, picked it up and took a sip. “As you can see my winterizing is even easier then yours.”
I had to smile. “Somehow I feel like you're making fun of me.”

“What me?” he shook his head. “Never.”

Friday, October 27, 2017


My son Alex and I were out on our back porch enjoying a beautiful warm fall day. “I feel like I want to spend every minute outside when it's like this.” I said as I felt the warm sun on my face. “I am NOT a big fan of winter.” I sighed.
“Really?” Alex started to laugh. “I'm pretty sure we all know that by the way you've been walking around the house moaning, 'Winter's Coming' like you're a cast member on the Games of Thrones.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “Hey, I can handle some cold weather.” I argued. “I almost like a little winter for the holidays. But once it's New Year's day I'm done with the cold.”
Just then a monarch butterfly fluttered a few inches in front of us, landing on one of my geranium plants.
“Isn't he beautiful!” I whispered. We watched as he climbed all over the plant looking for something to eat. “I'm just sorry he's not going to find much to eat on that plant.” I sighed. My geraniums had been beautiful all summer long but they were beginning to look a little sad, with very few blooms left. “Poor thing has such a long trip ahead of him that I feel kind bad that I don't have anything for him to eat.”
Alex and I watched him for a few more moments.
“You know he's the fifth one I've seen today.”
I heard Alex laugh and when I looked over I could see him shaking his head. “Are you going to tell me that a long lost relative is visiting us again?”
“There's that.” I looked over at the butterfly as it took off from the plant and fluttered into our neighbors yard. “But what I was really thinking about was planting a little patch of milkweed for them to eat.” I got up from my chair and walked down the steps to look around the yard. “Nobody wants to plant it anymore.” I called back to him.
“Maybe because it has the word 'weed' in it's name.” Alex reasoned as he came over to where I was standing.
“No. It's probably because it's poisonous to pets.” I shrugged my shoulders. “That and if you get any of the sap in your eyes or on your skin it can give you a really nasty burn.”
Alex looked confused. “So you want to plant a poisonous weed in our yard?”
“Sure.” I was still scouting the back yard for a perfect spot. “That's what makes it so perfect for the monarch. They eat it and build up the toxins and then no one wants to eat them!” I looked over at Alex and smiled. “How smart is that!”
Alex wasn't convinced. “But it's poisonous.”
“Well, I'm pretty sure you're not going to eat it or rub it on your face, so I think you're safe.”
“But wouldn't feeding them be cheating?” he asked.
“Cheating?” Now it was my turn to be confused.
“Well, if you start feeding them then when you see one in the yard it won't be a relative stopping by to say hi anymore it'll just be a hungry butterfly.”
I thought about it for a moment. “I can get around that one.”

“Doesn't matter if they're alive or a spirit. I'd offer food to anyone who comes to my house.” I looked over at Alex and smiled. “It's the polite thing to do.”

Friday, October 20, 2017


It was first thing in the morning and I was running late but no matter how late it was, I needed to make our bed.
“So what's your day look like?” I asked my husband Steven as I pulled the sheets back into place.
“I'm running around all day in meetings.” he said as he grabbed a pair of socks and his shoes and sat down on the bench at the end of the bed.
“You home for dinner?” I pulled up the blanket and folded the sheet over it.
“I should be.”
I reached over and picked up a piece of black lint from the blanket before pulling up the comforter.
“Great!” I looked closer at the black piece of lint that was now in the palm of my hand. “Oh good Lord!” I began shuttering and hopping from one foot to the other. “Noooooo....” I cried as I dashed into the bathroom to flush it down the toilet.
“What's wrong?” Steven jumped up following me into the bathroom.
“Dead spider! Dead spider!” I held down the toilet handle and shuttered again as I watched it spin in the water before finally disappearing from sight. I couldn't seem to stop shuttering. “It was in our bed. More importantly it was on MY side of the bed!”
“But you said it was dead.” Steven walked back to the bench to put on his other shoe.
“I found it dead.” I reminded him as I followed him back into the bedroom. “It was alive during the night when it was walking over me.” I felt another shudder come over me. “I wonder if it bit me before it died.”
Steven looked over at me. “Did you notice a bite when you were taking a shower this morning.”
“No.” I admitted. “But I didn't know I was suppose to be looking for a bite.” I began feeling itchy all over. “Now I feel like I have bites all over me.”
Steven just shook his head. “It's your imagination.”
I went over to the bed and began pulling the sheets off.
“What are you doing?” Steven asked as I walked around him and began tugging on his side of the bed. “Didn't you just put those on the day before yesterday?”
“Are you kidding me!” I cried as I piled the blankets on the floor next to the bundled up sheets. “Everything has to get washed now or I'll never get to sleep tonight!” I got on my hands and knees and looked under the bed. “What if it's made a nest under here.”
“I think you're going a little overboard.” Steven tried to reason with me. “You know spiders come into the house in the fall. You're going to find a few of them over the next few weeks.”
“Around the house is fine.” I argued. “That's one of the reasons they invented tissues. It's an even fight. Sometimes the tissue wins and sometimes they get away.” Another involuntary shudder came over me. “But this one was in my bed.” I looked over at him. “While I was sleeping.” I cried. “It wasn't a fair fight.”
“What are you talking about?” Steven countered. “You rolled over on him and killed him. He never saw that coming.”
I'd been pulling my pillowcase off my pillow when that statement stopped me for a moment. “Well that's true.” I had to agree.
But then I thought about the dead spider resting in the palm of my hand only moments ago and I had to shake my head. “Nope! Spider in the bed, dead or alive means everything's got to get washed.” I added the pillowcase to the growing pile of laundry.

“Hey, fine by me.” Steven shrugged his shoulders. “I love Clean Sheet Night.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I was standing on our back deck, looking at our woods line when Steven came out. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“The three morning doves eating under our feeder.” I said sadly.
“What's wrong with them, they look cute.”
“Yesterday morning there were two couples under the feeder.” I pointed to the pile of feathers in the center of our yard. “Yesterday afternoon I heard all the crows and blue jays screaming and I came out and saw the Cooper Hawk sitting right in the middle of our lawn.” I looked over at Steven. “I thought I scared him away before he got anybody.” I sighed. “But I guess I didn't.”
“Hey, it's nature.” Steven said with a shrug.
“I know. But now she's all alone and the other two are completely ignoring her!” I complained. We watched as the couple kept chasing the single bird away from them. “They're being so mean.” I cried. “She's just trying to have someone to eat with!”
Steven looked confused. “How can you tell it was the male that got caught?”
“I can't really.” I admitted as I shrugged my shoulders. “I just assumed he was being chivalrous and was protecting her from the Cooper Hawk and paid dearly for being a gentleman.”
Steven looked over at me, a surprised look on his face. “Really?” he laughed. “You figured all of that?”
“Hey, they mate for life.” I reasoned. “No woman, human or bird is going to stick around with a guy who's going to run and hide and leave her to face danger alone!”
Steven snorted a laugh. “So she's just this helpless female that needs protecting?”
“Of course not!” I countered. “She was right by his side fighting too!”
“Wait a minute...” Steven held up hand for me to pause. “Didn't you tell me you just saw the Hawk sitting on the lawn with all the other birds yelling at him?”
I was confused. “Yeah.”
“So where did this epic battle happen?”
“I don't know.” I sat down on the stairs. “I was just saying.”
Steven sat down next to me and pointed to the feeder. “Don't you think what really happened was they were both eating and the Hawk swooped in and then one of them was gone?”
“Of course it could have happened that way, but the way I tell it is much more romantic, don't you think?”
Steven looked at me for a moment. “Is this your subtle way of asking me to tell you that if a giant raptor was coming after us I'd protect you?”
I thought about it for a moment. “ didn't start out the way.” I looked back at the single mourning dove and sighed. “But as a metaphor it's actually nice to hear.”
Steven shook his head and laughed as he stood up and brushed off the back of his pants. “I'm going in to get a garbage bag and clean up the feathers.”

“Thanks.” I stood up next to him, giving him a quick kiss. “Can you bring the sunflower seeds with you? Maybe if I give them all an extra treat they'll play nicely together.”  

Friday, October 6, 2017


My son Alex and I were out for a walk after dinner, the sun was just beginning to set and the sky was turning an amazing shade of pink.
“You know pretty soon were going to have to take our walks before dinner.” I sighed as I pulled the zipper of my sweatshirt up closer to my chin. “I hate when it gets dark so early.”
We both watched as a squirrel darted in front of us with an acorn in his mouth. He was headed to the flower bed of a neighbor's where another squirrel was busy digging. “Did I tell you I caught another squirrel burying it's acorns in my geranium pot?”
Alex shook his head. “No, you didn't.”
“Yeah, I feel kind of sorry for him.”
“Because I'm going to be throwing the pots out once the first frost kills them.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I hope he's got a back up plan and that's not his only place he's hiding his food.”
We both stepped over a huge pile of acorns someone had raked from their yard and placed at the curb. “It's unbelievable how many oak trees are in this neighborhood.” I looked over at Alex. “Did you know each tree can drop as many as ten thousands acorns?”
Alex shook his head again. “Nope, I didn't know that.”
We were now walking in front of a house that hadn't raked their acorns yet. The sidewalk was covered. “It's like walking on marbles.” I said as I slid my foot as if I were wearing ice skates so I wouldn't slip and twist my ankle. “Walking uphill also gives it an added sense of adventure!” I lied as I really was worried I'd slip and fall.
“Remember last spring when the house across the street had a forest of baby oak trees in their front yard?” Alex asked. He seemed to be having an easier time walking then I was.
“How could I forget! I swear I think there were over a hundred trees.” I had to laugh. “There's an example of a few squirrels forgetting where they buried dinner.”
We'd almost reached the top of the hill and could see the acorns were thinning out. “Phew, made it!” I announced as I stepped over the last acorn. “That's another reason why I'm on team chipmunk and not squirrel.”
Alex laughed. “You just think chipmunks are cuter than squirrels.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “That's true but they're also smarter.” I argued. “Chipmunks store their nuts right in their burrow so, in the middle of a snowstorm, they can just reach over and get a snack.” I pointed to the frantic squirrels scampering around. “Squirrels on the other hand are running all over the neighborhood on a snowy day trying to figure out where they buried their next meal.” I shook my head. “They just don't work as smart as chipmunks.”
“They seem to be doing alright.” Alex laughed.
We were getting ready to cross the street when a breeze came up causing dozens of acorns to fall from the tree directly in front of us. We listened to them clatter as they bounced off the sidewalk, some of them bouncing at least a foot back into the air before finally settling on the ground.
I looked over at Alex. “Have you ever had an acorn bounce off the top of your head?”
Alex shook his head no.
“It's only happened to me once.” I gave the top of my head a sympathy rub remembering the time. “But I can tell you it really hurts.”
“I bet.” We both looked up at the tree to see if any more were coming. Alex adjusted his baseball cap. “I'm glad I'm wearing a hat.” He looked over at my hat-less head.

“Good idea!” I quickly pulled the hood of my sweatshirt up and tied it tight. “ Who knew it would be so dangerous walking out here tonight!”

Friday, September 29, 2017


I pulled into our driveway, left the car running and went up to the house. Opening the door I called to my husband, Steven. “My windshield wipers won't go off!”
He came to the front door and looked outside. You could hear the screeching sound the rubber blades made as the scraped across the dry windshield.
“They just came on all by themselves?” Steven looked up at the cloudless blue sky.
“No, I turned them on. I wanted to clean the windshield but now they won't shut off!” I shook my head, looking around the neighborhood to see if anyone was outside. “I've just spent the last twenty minutes driving home with them swishing back and forth! I felt like a crazy old lady who drives around not knowing her blinker is flashing!”
Steven climbed into the driver's seat. “I'm sure no one noticed.” He flicked the wiper switch on and off.
But I wasn't through with my rant. “I might was well have two cats climbing around in the car and a pocket full of hard candy!” I cried.
Steven laughed. “What?”
“People wait until you're stopped at a light then pull up next to you and give the maybe-you-shouldn't-be-driving-if-you're-so-clueless look!” I shook my head and couldn't help but shudder. “I felt like an idiot!”
Steven turned the car off. The wipers immediately stopped. “There. All fixed.”
“That's what you call fixing it?” I pointed to the wipers that were now straight up in the air.
Steven turned the car back on and the wipers started up again only this time at their fastest speed.
“Oh, great.” I sighed.
“Don't worry.” He climbed out of the car. “We'll drop it off at the mechanic's. Let me go grab my keys and I'll follow you.” He left the car door open for me.
“Why do I have to be the one to drive the stupid car?” I cried.
I nodded my head. “Completely.”
“Why do you let this stuff bother you so much?” Steven sighed as he climbed back in the car and handed me my purse.
“I don't know.” I shrugged my shoulders. “It just does.”
“Okay, fine. You drive my car and I'll meet you over at the mechanic's.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I smiled as I leaned into the car to give him a quick kiss. Steven just shook his head as he put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.

“I'm right behind you!” I called as I listened to the frantic screeching of the wipers as he drove down the street. “Well, there's one less embarrassing thing I have to do today.” I muttered to myself as I went back to the house to get his keys. That's when I noticed water leaking from my purse. I looked in to see the water bottle I'd tucked in there was missing it's cap. “Clearly this is going to be one of those days.” I sighed.

Friday, September 22, 2017


I'd just made myself a cup of tea, and was throwing away my teabag, when I noticed the empty peanut butter jar laying in the recycling bin. “We've started a new jar of peanut butter!” I cried.
My husband, Steven and son, Alex both gave me a confused look.
“I finished it last night.” Alex said. “Why?”
“So no one's opened the new jar yet?” I was almost gleeful.
“I don't know.” Steven went to the cabinet pulled out the new jar and handed it to me.
I slowly unscrewed the lid and saw the foil covering still intact. “Best day ever!” I cried as I peeled the foil off and looked at the smooth top of the peanut butter. “Do you know how happy this makes me?” I smiled at both of them as I set the jar down on the counter and went into the cabinet to get an English muffin. “When you grow up in a big family, like I did, it's rare to have an untouched jar.” I explained as I popped the muffin in the toasted and slide the lever down. “When I was growing up the peanut butter jar always had crumbs or jelly in it.” I shuddered. “It was disgusting.” I leaned against the counter waiting for my muffin to be toasted.
“But our peanut butter jar never looks like that.” Alex argued. “I use a knife for the peanut butter and another knife for the jelly. I never mix the two.”
“I know.” I smiled at him. “That's not the point. It's the joy of a new jar that I'm talking about.”
Alex went into the cabinet and got out a box of cereal.
I pointed to the box. “Cereal was another thing that I only wanted to eat if it was a brand new box.”
“Why?” Alex took a bowl out of the cabinet.
“Because, back then, a lot of cereal had prizes in them.” Hearing the pop of the toaster I turned around pulled the muffin out, being careful not to burn my fingers.
“I remember that.” Steven said, he looked over at Alex. “They'd have all kinds of weird stuff. Nothing really great but everyone wanted it.”
“I'd come downstairs for breakfast, really looking forward to a bowl of Frosted Flakes and the bulging box would be open on the counter top. You'd just know, by looking at it, that someone was elbow deep digging around for that stupid prize.” I shuddered again as I spread the peanut butter on my muffin. “That would be the end of wanting to eat out of that box!”
“That is pretty gross.” Alex admitted.
“Oh that's just the beginning.” I took my peanut buttered muffin to the table as Alex came over with his bowl of cereal. “Getting breakfast with seven kids running around was just crazy.” I shook my head.
“Well, don't worry it's not like that anymore.” Steven said, sitting down at the table to visit with us.
“Yeah.” Alex agreed. “I've stopped drinking right out of the milk container years ago!”
“What!” I could actually feel my stomach flip just thinking about it.

“Just kidding.” Alex laughed as he patted my arm to reassure me. “Just thought I'd bring back another childhood memory for you!”

Friday, September 15, 2017


I was in the hall bathroom hanging up a new picture when my son Alex walked in. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Hanging the picture your Aunt Lizzy gave me.” I finished tapping the picture hook into the wall then picked up the 5x7 white framed picture. It had three pieces of sea glass that were made to look like shore birds standing on a piece of driftwood. I placed it on the hook, adjusted it to make it level, then stood back to admire it. “That is so stinking cute!” I cried. I looked over at Alex. “Isn't it adorable?”
“Sure, adorable.” Alex answered not sounding nearly as thrilled as I was. He picked up the tool I'd used to hang the picture hook. “But why are you using a meat mallet instead of a hammer?” Alex looked confused.
I shrugged my shoulders as I took the mallet from him. “I haven't used a hammer in years.” I confessed. “No matter how many times I'd buy a new hammer it would be missing whenever I went to use it.” I held up the mallet and smiled. “None of you have ever thought of using this!”
Alex shook his head and laughed. “I guess as long as it works...” he went over to the vanity and opened the bottom drawer, I watched as the knob turned in his hand.
“How long has that knob been loose?” I asked.
“I'm not sure.”
I looked inside the drawer, at the screw that was holding the knob. “Perfect, it's not a Phillips head.” I looked up at Alex. “I can fix this for you in a second if you go into the kitchen and bring me a butter knife.”
While he headed for the kitchen I looked over at the picture I'd just hung and noticed it was lower then I wanted. “Can you bring the metal tongs, too?” I called to him.
Alex came back with a butter knife and the tongs. “Okay, I get the butter knife.” he said as he handed it to me. “But what are the tongs for?”
“You'll see.” I took the butter knife, tightened the screw then closed the drawer. I took the tongs from him and clicked them together. “Pliers!” I took the picture down and using the tongs pulled the picture hanger back out of the wall. Putting the tongs on the vanity, I grabbed the meat mallet once again and 'hammered' the hook up a little higher. Hanging the picture once again I stood back to check. “Perfect!”
I gathered up my tools and headed back to the kitchen.
“So what else do you use in here for your toolbox?” Alex asked as he looked around the kitchen.

“I can't tell you that.” I opened the dishwasher and placed my tools in it, then walked over to him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. “I'm afraid I've already given up too many of my secrets.”

Friday, September 8, 2017


I was walking past my living room window when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a squirrel scurrying across the telephone wire carrying something in her mouth. I squinted my eyes to try and get a better look.
It has always amazed me that a squirrel's twitching tail could take the place of the balance pole high-wire artists use. But no human, no matter how talented they are, could cross a wire at the speed that she was moving.
My squinting seemed to finally pay off because I couldn't believe what I saw. “Oh my gosh, she's got a baby in her mouth!” I cried.
I heard my husband Steven running into the room. “WHAT?” he cried.
I turned to see the panicked look on his face and was a little surprised by his reaction. “There's a mommy squirrel with a baby in her mouth.” I said pointing to the telephone wire.
“Oh, for God's sake!” He sat down on the couch trying to catch his breath.
It took me a second but I finally realized he thought I was talking about our across the street neighbors who'd just brought their twin babies home from the hospital the week before.
“Sorry about that.” I smiled and shrugged my shoulder. “I guess that did sound kind of weird.”
“You think?” he shook his head then got up to look out the window. We both watched the squirrel race back across our yard, up the telephone pole onto the wires and leap into the neighbor's tree. Moments later with another baby in her mouth she did the entire obstacle course all over again moving another one to the new nest.
“I've never seem a squirrel do that before.” I looked over at Steven. “I wonder why she's moving them?”
Steven was still looked out the window. “I bet it's because of the Cooper Hawk.” He turned to look at me. “I heard it in the back yard this morning.”
I grabbed my phone and headed to the front door. “I'm going to try and get a picture.”
“You're going to scare her!” Steven called as he stayed by the window.
“She'll never see me.” I reassured him. I got outside just as she was going back to the first nest for another baby. I tried to get a picture of her on the telephone wire with her carrying a baby but she was so fast I couldn't get the shot I wanted.

I thought I'd wait for her to make the trip again but when she came down from the new nest she didn't just race back to the first nest like she'd done before. Instead she frantically followed her route, seeming to be looking for a missing baby. I hadn't seen her drop one so I could not understand why she was acting this way. After checking the old nest once again she made the same frantic search on her way back to the new nest and her babies.
I came back into the house. “Did you see her drop a baby?” I asked.
Steven shook his head no.
“So how come she didn't know she'd gotten them all?”
Steven started to laugh. “I'm not sure if squirrels are known for their counting skills.”

“Oh, that's just great.” I sighed as I looked back out the window. “Now I feel like I need to go out and double check that she got them all.”

Friday, September 1, 2017


I was outside filling my bird feeders when I looked down on the ground and saw something strange. It was perfectly round, the size of a golf ball and had the colorful look of a jawbreaker. I put the lid back on the feeder, tucked the bag of birdseed under my arm and scooped up my new found treasure.
Back in the house I placed the colorful ball on the counter and went to put the birdseed away.
Alex came into the kitchen. It seemed it was time for his hourly forage in the cabinets to see if anything new had appeared. He looked over at the ball. “What's that?” he asked.
“Not a clue.” I picked it up and began to examine it further.
Alex was opening and closing cabinets, clearly disappointed that nothing new had appeared.
“It's really pretty, don't you think?” I held out the strange little ball in the palm of my hand for him to see.
He looked over and shrugged his shoulders. “I guess.” then he continued his search in the refrigerator.
I put the ball down on the counter and took out my phone. “There's only one way to find out.” I snapped a picture of it, then opened my Facebook page. “There's a group I belong to that's just about plants.” I said as I began typing. “I'll post it there. I'm sure someone will come up with an answer.”
I looked over at Alex and could see the confused look on his face. “You belong to a group that's just about plants?” he asked.
“Hey! Don't judge!” I put my phone down on the counter.
Alex was still searching the refrigerator when my husband Steven came in. “What are we doing?” he asked then pointed to the ball I had sitting next to my phone. “What's that?”
“Alex is searching for an unknown snack and I'm waiting for an answer to that very question.” I picked up my phone to check, and sure enough I already had an answer. “Hey look, they sent me a picture of exactly what we have.” I held out the phone for them to see. “They say it's an oak gall.” I looked over at Steven. “Have you ever heard of that?”
Steven shook his head no. I looked at Alex, who gave me a you've-got-to-be-kidding-look.
“I'll just Google it.” Typing in “oak gall” I tapped on the first site and then began reading it aloud, “Okay, it says here that these things happen when the oak tree reacts to a non-stinging wasp that's layed its eggs on it's leaves or branches. The insects inject a hormone into the plant tissue which causes it to grow abnormally and encloses the developing wasp larvae.” I looked up at both of them my mouth twisted in a grimace. “Wow, that's gross.”
“Are you kidding me!” Alex cried. “You just brought a giant wasp egg in the house!”
Steven picked it up, opened the kitchen door and tossed it into the yard. “There!” he said as he closed the door and looked at Alex. “It's out of the house.”
Alex looked disgusted as he stood there just shaking his head.
“I'm sorry.” I cried. “It was so pretty, how was I to know?”
Neither of them said a word, they just looked at each other and left the kitchen.
I couldn't help but feel awful. “Dinner will be in an hour!” I called out to them, hoping that would make it all better. When there was no answer I added, “I'm making chicken parmesan!”
That seemed to do the trick.
“Are we having pasta with it?” Alex asked.
“Of course!”
“Sounds good to me.” Steven called.

I let out a sigh of relief. “And then all was forgiven.” I whispered to myself.

Friday, August 25, 2017


It was after dinner and my son Alex and I had just returned from a walk in our neighborhood. We each grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the back porch where my husband, Steven was sitting.
“You two have a nice walk?” he asked as I sat down in my rocking chair and Alex sat down on the glider.
“Great.” I said taking a sip of water. “Oh my gosh! There it is again!” I cried pointing to a small white feather gently floating down and landing on the deck in front of me. “Alex, I told you a spirit was trying to let us know they were thinking about us!”
Steven looked over at Alex who shrugged his shoulders before answering. “Mom's talking to dead people again.”
“I'm not taking to them. ” I reached down and picked up the tiny white feather. “It's just a nice way to be reminded that someone's who's passed is watching over me.” I placed the feather on the table next to me then looked over at Alex. “How many feather's did we see on our walk?”
Alex shook his head. “Three maybe four?” He looked over at Steven. “I told her I thought it might be molting season.” They both started to laugh but quickly stopped when they saw I wasn't joining in on their joke.
Steven cleared his throat. “I thought you said it's when you see a cardinal?”
“That too.” I nodded in agreement. “It's also dragonflies, ladybugs, butterflies even pennies.” I added.
“Well...” Steven shook his head. “I'm pretty sure you can't leave the house without seeing at least one of those things.” Steven looked skeptical.
“I disagree.” I took another sip of water. “Days can go by that I don't see a butterfly or a cardinal.” I looked over at Alex. “And I haven't seen a ladybug in months.”
Alex looked over at Steven then back at me. “But aren't you the one who pointed out that our front lawn always has dragonflies buzzing around on it?”
I waved my hand dismissively. “We're not talking about dragonflies right now.” I leaned over and picked up the tiny white feather and held it up. “We're talking about feathers right now.”
Just then several more feathers floated down from the trees. Steven and Alex both looked at me.
I watched as they landed in a small pile in the grass and had to cringe. “Okay maybe that's not a loved one trying to get my attention.” I said sadly.
Steven leaned forward and looked up in the trees. “Okay I'm glad you realize that.” He sounded relieved. “Because I'm pretty sure those are from whatever the Cooper Hawk just snagged for his dinner.”

“Well, that was disgusting.” I said as I grabbed my water bottle and headed for the kitchen door. “Maybe you should check the front lawn for dragonflies.” Steven suggested.

Friday, August 18, 2017


My sister Liz sent me a picture of a waterfall. “Just checked into our hotel! Here's the view from our terrace!”
There was no texting back for me. I picked up the phone and called her. “Where are you?” I cried. “It's beautiful!”
“I booked a quick weekend get-away. We're up along the Hudson River in New York.”
I was happy for her but envious. I loved the Hudson River. There were so many mansions to tour, so much history to learn, so many shops to explore. “What are you planning on doing? I asked.
“Well, we're in the car headed for a two hour boat ride.” She said, I could hear her leafing through some papers. “It will go past a few lighthouses, under some really pretty bridges and past a bunch of mansions!”
“What a great trip!” I looked out my kitchen window to double check the weather. “It's beautiful here. How's the weather there?”
“Perfect! A little overcast but not too hot.”
I was really happy for her, she worked hard and deserved some time away.
So, even though I was standing in front of a sink filled with dirty dishes and looking over at the huge grocery list that needed to be purchased, I decided I was going to go on the trip with her. Not literally but vicariously.
“Send me pictures every step of the way!” I cradled the phone against my shoulder as I began running water in the sink, rinsing the dishes before stacking them in the dishwasher.
“Hey, it sounds like you're near a waterfall yourself!” she paused for a moment. “Eww, please tell me you're not in the bathroom!”
I had to laugh. “No, I'm rinsing a sink full of dishes before I head out to the grocery store.” I turned off the water and wiped my hands on the dishtowel. “Please snap pictures of everything you see on the boat tour.” I asked. “Especially the lighthouses!”
“Of course!” she had to laugh. “It'll be just like you're here!”
We hung up the phone as I grabbed the keys and the shopping list before heading out the door.
I was unlocking my car door when my phone dinged. I had a text from Liz. It was another picture, this time of the boat they were about to get on. “It's called the Rip Van Winkle!” she wrote. “How cute is that?”

I climbed into my hot car, started it up and turned the air conditioning on high. “Wish I was getting on a boat right now.” I grumbled to myself. But instead I texted back. “Adorable! Keep the pictures coming!” I added three smiley face emoji's just to let her know how happy I was for her.

I put the car in reverse and began backing out of the driveway. “Pictures of her trip are going to be the only thing making grocery shopping on a day like this even slightly bearable.” I sighed.