Thursday, February 22, 2018

Dehydrated, mortified, and almost petrified

Freezing rain and winter weather makes me yearn for summer. Some summer memories are best forgotten, though.

The administrator at my new school planned an evening luau on the school parking lot to kick off the new school year. Faculty, parents, and students were in attendance. We wore long, colorful, lightweight dresses. The stifling humidity and no breeze whatsoever plastered hair to foreheads, underwear to hineys, and dresses to every body part they touched.

Those who indulged in alcoholic beverages laughed and mingled. They were less concerned about the sweat pouring down their foreheads, cleavages, backs, and cracks. I was the new hire and the lone teetotaler, suffering in the oppressive heat.

The only breeze anywhere was down the steps in the hotter-than-hell parish hall where the bathrooms were. 

Someone had set up a round, industrial-size floor fan outside the johns. Even though I did not have to use the bathroom, because I had sweated every ounce of fluid out of my body, I couldn't take it another minute. I crept down the church steps, made sure both bathrooms were empty and I was alone. Then I raised my dress thigh-high and stood directly in front of that commercial hot air blaster. Staring at the ceiling, enjoying the cooling process, I did not hear Andy's dad. I looked backward over my shoulder when he said, "Well that's one way to meet the new teacher."

I would have cried if I'd had any tears. I was mortified.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

My heart aches and my fingers are cramped

Heartbroken and overwhelmed with the world situation, friends' and family members' illnesses and deaths. Life gets in the way of happiness some days.

There are things one can do something about, and there are things that happen despite our interventions and best intentions.

On a positive note. I am writing and submitting one new thing a day. So ta-ta, I am off to submit FLASH FICTION. I read it to Bill and he said, "Wow! That even had me interested."

I'll take that as a compliment. Sometimes I surprise myself.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Still the one!

Here's the scoop!

                                                         “WE  DO”

            I was driving to work when I heard my name announced on the radio as a winner of a complete wedding package. I shrieked like a maniac. The woman driving next to me asked if I was in labor. A little old for that! I was a divorcee in my mid-forties engaged to be married in April, 1994.
          On a whim, I submitted a parody of the song, "He Ain't Got  a Barrel of Money" to a local radio station’s Valentine’s Day contest, and it was selected. I called my husband at work and bellowed into the phone, “Meet me at the court house by 5:00 p.m. to pick up our marriage license.”
         “Calm down. We have two months. What’s the rush?” 

         “The rush is, we’re getting married on Valentine’s Day. I won a contest.”
         “Have you been drinking?”
         “You know I don’t drink.” 

          I explained that the wedding would be performed at the ornate, elegant Grand Hall of the Hyatt Regency located in Union Station, St. Louis’s once-bustling train station. It would be broadcast live and covered by local television media as well. I told him all about the things we had won: wedding bands, tuxedo rental, flowers, photos, morning and evening reception, hotel package and more. What I didn’t tell him was that I was not the only winner.

            We checked into the hotel the night before. As we sat in the balcony restaurant overlooking the vestibule, we observed other guests arriving. The couples came in droves. Women carried gauzy white wedding gowns, sleek satiny dresses and beaded, sequined veils.

             My fiance looked bewildered. “What is this, a bridal convention? There must be twenty sales people down there hawking dresses.”
            “I counted twenty-five. It’s not a bridal convention, it’s a mass wedding.” I mumbled.

            “A what?” he asked incredulously.

            “Uh yeah, they’re getting married too.” I looked away.

            “With us? Are you kidding?”

            “Uh no, but I’ve decided, I’m not going to go through with this anyway.” I looked him in straight in the eye.

            “What! Why?”

            “Those girls are all young brides with long wedding gowns and gorgeous veils. I’ll be the only one in a white suit with an embellished sequined collar. I’m just not going through with this.” My voice rose and his eyes widened.

            “What now? We’ve registered. Does this mean you don’t want to marry me?” He was getting perturbed and my tears began to flow.

            “No, it means I’m not going to be the only one not wearing a wedding gown!”

            “Is it too late to go buy one?” He was serious at seven o’clock at night.

            That comment convinced me that he was definitely THE ONE, and I made every effort to be pleasant and proceed with the wedding, regardless of my attire.

            In the morning we made our way down the corridors and onto the elevator with other couples in formal wear. I breathed a sigh of relief when I spied two women my age wearing similar suits and white silk hats.

            “You feel better now?” my betrothed asked. “See, out of twenty-five brides, you are not the only one in a suit. You look glamorous.”

            When we entered the Grand Hall with its ornate gilded ceiling and intricate carvings, Bill gasped audibly. It looked like prom night in the 1950s. There was so much chiffon and so many guys in monkey suits with adoring women clinging to their arms.

            “How the hell many people are getting married with us?”

            “Ninety-seven other couples.” I winced. (The call letters of the radio station sponsoring the event was Y 98, thus 98 couples.)

            Simultaneously all couples repeated their vows and said, “I Do.”

            Not many women can say their husbands married them twice in two months, but we did it again, as planned in April.

             Twenty-four years later Bill is STILL THE ONE!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beach Treasures

Do you have any beach treasures? Our living room is beach-themed. I display many treasures photos, prints, and sea shells gathered from many beaches around the globe. One gaze in any direction and I am carried away on an ocean breeze, feeling my hair being tousled, gritty sand on bare feet, waves lapping at the shore... I drift away on memories.

My latest publication is in print and on line at the link below.

Take a peek if you are wishing for warm weather.

 This is a photo of Bill and me taken 21 years ago, when we took our two oldest grandchildren, Ashley, then seven, and Kyle, then four, to the beach. We spent three days at Disney World where they complained about the heat, the crowds, the line waits, but the moment we landed at the beach, we were all in our glory and none of us wanted to leave. The ocean calls to me. How about you?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Silence is golden? Or silence is deafening?

 What is your first response?

As I am sitting here typing, my honey walked in to take a survey on his laptop. I am grateful he is silent. But I know how long his silence will last. He just asked MY opinion on his survey questions. I'm waiting him out. I shrugged. He left. I am sitting here appreciating the solitude, thinking silence is golden!

When my children were small, like these two sweet great grandsons of mine, they chattered endlessly, fought over the slightest thing, and played noisily together. When they were completely quiet I jumped up to see what they were into. If I could hear their banter I was assured they were fine. Their silence was alarming.

When they got older and were preteens, they waited until I was napping on the couch to ask me questions. They say they got away with a lot because I always answered yes when they asked if they could go to a friend's house or have a snack.

Hubby swears I interact with television conversation when I am going to sleep. My adult kids agree.

Silence can be deafening...
When I was about ten years old, my mom cleaned a church on Saturdays. I was allowed stay in the  children's room and use the art supplies. The absence of sound almost made me crazy. I could hear the roar of my own blood in my eardrums. I detested the silence.

The other day I awoke after a short nap and was completely deaf. I could see the TV characters speaking, but I could not hear them. It lasted only a moment, but really concerned me. I was  relieved to realize the volume was muted. Whew!

After the horrific events of 9/11, the skies went absolutely quiet. There was no air traffic whatsoever, no contrail designs in the sky, no jet engines roaring, no helicopters whizzing. The silence was deafening, unnatural. 

When my honey goes to a doctor's appointment, and I am in the house alone, I appreciate the silence, but before long, that silence becomes deafening. I wish I could make up my mind.  

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sand or snow, take your pick

On this cold February Groundhog Day, I invite you to bask in the warm memories of my beach experiences, published at Sasee Magazine.

Check out the publication. There are great articles and more personal essays.

It is a pleasure to read my work on line, but my treasure arrives in the mail this month when I receive a contributor's copy and can hold this beautiful magazine in my hands. The artists' rendering are delightful and I display some of the covers in the office.

If you feel like it, please leave a comment below my story on Sasee's website.


Groundhog Day was always one of the most fun days in my classroom. I read a story about a groundhog who lived in the deep woods. One at a time, animals came calling, waking him out of his hibernation to find out if he saw his shadow. It is a delightful book. After the forest animals return to their dens to complete hibernation, the groundhog sneaks to each one and blows a trumpet to wake them and announce winter will stay for another six weeks. The kids loved that story.

I also read about Chuck, Chuckie, and Chuckles, three fat groundhogs, who did not want to see their shadows. They tried to roll them, fold them, kick snow over them...  Then I took my students outside and outlined their shadow poses in chalk.

When we returned to the classroom, we played a circle time game. One student climbed into a box (den) and then I pointed to one seated child, (but whispered another's name) and instructed the person I pointed to, to come up, rap three times on the box and say, "WAKE UP, GROUNDHOG."

The groundhog in the box had to guess who was trying to wake him/her.

There was added value to this game. The kids soon learned to use their auditory skills instead of listening to ME whisper a name. There was always lots of laughter and hands on learning in my class.