Life Topics


I was having trouble keeping up with him.  His gate was long and determined the way he plodded and leaned forward into the wind.  It was dark and frigid with just a hint of moonlight.  I remember this neighborhood; I could make out the house. We passed it without a thought.   I could only see the side of his face, as he would not look at me.  In the dark, I could tell his clothes were all black, as his coat blew back and forth.  I would sporadically glance over to try to detect some emotion.  There was nothing.  He stared straight ahead. I was desperate to know.  I was willing him to remember me and just answer my question.   But he had no interest in acknowledging me.

He was her father for God’s sake!  He owed it to me.  I loved her.  He looked 40 years younger than I remember him, with a chiseled weathered profile and dark eyes.  A younger man who I never knew. Why was he treating me like a stranger?  How many times had I had dinner at his house, or swam in his pool?
“Where is she,” I pleaded again?  He grunted and stared forward.  Did it pain him, or was I the thorn in his side?  I learned what happened to her months afterward, shocked to read about it.  She was the baby of the family, so I almost understood his stoic pained look.

We reached the end of the street.  The silence this time of night was both eerie and comforting.  He turned to face me, and without saying a word told me to stop following him.  He left me on this street, wanting me to find my own answers. I watched him disappear as he breached the hill on Hildreth Street. I had learned about his death in her obituary that I read 2 months ago.  He was also gone.  But all I wanted to do was talk to her one last time.

I turned around and headed straight for her house.  Her house was the nicest on the street, neat and white with a sprawling emerald lawn.  I slowly walked past Moran’s house, then the Markie’s house.  The next one was hers.   I so wanted it to be like when we were kids and would hang out together.  I didn’t want it to be weird that I was there in the middle of the night.  I made my way up the short dark driveway to the white kitchen door.  When I knocked, I wanted her to answer.  Instead, her mother opened the door like she was expecting me, dressed for Sunday afternoon tea.

In the corner of the room, stood Beth eating an apple.  “Beth,” I screamed.  We both started laughing for no reason.  “I loved you Beth,” I told her.  She just smiled.  I asked her what happened, but she didn’t answer me.  Memories flooded into my mind, like the time I got high at her house and was comatose on her couch.  Or the time we spent the day at her pool talking about boys all day.   Or the time we put shaving cream all over our basketball coach’s car.  Or the time I brought her home after a night of drinking and put her into bed with a glass of orange juice.  My judgement wasn’t always too good.

But, there was a whole lifetime I missed out on with her.  I wish I could have turned back time and had a hint of her adult life.   I wasn’t around when she got married or had kids.  I didn’t know what she did for a living, or any of the heartbreak she went through.  The obituary filled in some blanks, but it was just words.    Words that I should have lived along with her.  Held her hand during her illness or made her a casserole when she returned home.  Somehow, make up for all the years we lost touch.

When I woke up, all I could see in my mind was Beth laughing.  Her impish eyes sparkled with delight.  I loved her laugh.  I rolled over to see my husband sleeping soundly.   Taking a deep breath, I felt like I had some kind of pseudo-closure to my feelings of great loss.  The dream allowed me to see her and talk to her, to say goodbye; to apologize.   She was so incredibly important to me as I grew up.   I will always be thankful for her love and friendship.  It helped me become the person I am today.  I guess, maybe dreams can reunite us and bring us to a place of peace.  I feel like she will always be with me now.  I hope she forgives me for being absent from her all too short, beautiful life.

Life Topics

Thank You Kip

I leaned across the table to grab his hand.  He had just told us another wonderful Tyke story and my heart was both melting and alive.  How precious to have such great memories of the child you lost.  A child who made it to adulthood but was taken too soon.  He showed no pain in his recollection, only compassion and love.  It was time I thought.  He has to write the screenplay.  The legacy must be told because this tender person grabbed life well before any of us understood what life was all about.  We would all be better people to learn from Tyke.  We would all be better.


I couldn’t get enough stories, as he glowed telling of a 12-year-old with great insight and candor.  It was like Tyke was an old soul knowing he wasn’t long for this crazy world.  He could see things no one else could see.  There was only so much time.  I only knew him through an article in the city paper, and his Dad’s stories.  But, oh, I wanted to know him.  I wanted his dad to bring him back to life somehow.

Francis Crowley the 4th was named Tyke.  I don’t know why his family named him that, but they did.  Only Kip could explain that.  I didn’t ask.  I did know, however, that he had a tremendous amount of adversity in his life between health issues and life issues.  Smart.  Yes, he was smart and accomplished only to be devastated with bad new and worse outcomes.

The mystery of Tyke absorbs me in a way I can’t explain.  Maybe because I am a mother who could not survive the death of a child.  I know I couldn’t.  Kip has not only survived but is comforted by a wealth of amazing memories.  I admire him for that.  I want him to share more because I think we all could learn from the words Tyke wanted to share.  He will continue to send messages to us from beyond, and I will continue to listen.  His book “Hungry for Air” is a promise he gave to us through himself and his wife.  I will read it cover to cover and discover things about him and his Dad that I never knew.

Thank you, Kip, for being a loving and sharing person, who opened up to us tonight to share a special place in your heart.  Most people wouldn’t do that.  I urge you to keep bringing up those memories for all of us to enjoy and endure.  He was obviously an amazing person who brought you joy and contentment into your life.  Please share that with us all so we can understand how to live our lives.  And, how to love ourselves and others.

Love you Kip.

Life Topics

The F Word

Faith is a deep, devoted belief in something that can, often, be intangible.  In religion faith is the foundation of everything.  There is no proof that God exists.  The prayers and scripture could be viewed as hearsay lacking witness or data to back it up.  Faithful practice and spiritual renewal can nourish and strengthen a person. Without strong commitment and devout belief, you may not be able to be part of any religion.  Faith is usually taught at an early age and fostered throughout your life.  As you learn faith in God, you realize it’s not just a commodity of the holy.  Faith applies to all facets of our lives.

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017), the country’s second poet laureate wrote “One does not use poetry…to organize oneself and the world, until one’s world somehow gets out of hand.”  He went on to say, “I feel that the universe is full of glorious energy…and that the ultimate character of things is comely and good.  I am perfectly aware that I say this in the teeth of all sorts of contrary evidence, and that I must be basing it partly on temperament and partly on faith.”

Wilbur’s optimistic view of the world is refreshing, based on his positive and good attitude.  He had faith despite “contrary evidence”, or popular belief.  Wilbur basically tells us, “Call me crazy, but I believe in good even though the world is going to hell.”  Positivity, or just plain looking on the bright side, can be a precursor to having the faith that you need to carry on in the face of adversity.

Growing up, I had faith in my parents, knowing that I would be fed, clothed, and taken care of.  I felt secure and safe.  Mom and Dad had expectations of us and we didn’t want to disappoint.  Their commitment to the family and God was unwavering.  Yes, we were required to go to church and expected to have faith in God.  This was a long process of learning ceremonial rituals and prayers.
However, my parents and religion were just the start of my understanding of faith.

As a parent, I have great faith in my children, knowing that they will do the right thing, make good decisions, and be caring individuals.  They’re not perfect, but they know right from wrong.  I raised them with little religion, but taught them the importance of being dependable, accountable, and kind.  Their character was of great concern to me.  I took my responsibilities seriously, as I tried to build sensible boundaries, follow through with consequences, while leading by example.  Good intentions, right?  Well, I messed up over the years and wasn’t always a good role model.  They saw through my mistakes with love and compassion resulting in mutual faith in each other.

Mostly though, I have faith in myself.  I fall down, but always get back up.  I have faced challenges head on, maybe with slight hesitation.  Change or confrontation can be very difficult.  I remember many times telling myself, often out loud, “you got this, you can do it.”  And, there were times when I had to trust someone I didn’t fully have faith in.  In that case, I would take a leap as they say, and hope for the best.

As Paul wrote in the bible, Philippians 4:8,  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”   

Yes!  Think about these important things because they will bring joy to your life.  Paul tried to open the minds of people in distress who needed to notice the important things, looking toward the Lord.  In addition, his message brings optimism and faith to those who were lost.  He asks them to think.  Open up your hearts to all that is beautiful.  Similarly, Wilbur’s secular viewpoint echoed Paul’s directive. He subtly admitted his naivete while expressing his feelings of faith in the goodness in the world.

Have a little faith, it’s a big world out there.  Enjoy all of it.

Life Topics

An Unlikely Friendship


I could not stomach it any longer.  This marriage was making me physically and emotionally sick.  I never knew what I was up against from day to day.  Between the acrid verbal abuse, “why would you wear makeup, you’re so ugly anyway” and finally the threat of physical abuse there was no way to continue.  My life was a roller coaster controlled by his moods and behaviors. No one really knew what I was going through.  Although, I am pretty sure the kids knew.  They always know.  It was like I had a secret to tell, I wanted to blurt it out, but I didn’t have the guts to let on how miserable I was.  Deep down I wanted it to appear like we had a happy marriage, just pretend it was OK; until I couldn’t.  The last straw came when he called me a cunt in front of my children.  Through shock, disbelief, embarrassment, and rage, I balled up my right hand, reached back and swung.  I hit him square in the jaw and his 6’ 4” frame dropped to the floor.  I’m not proud of losing control but I was battered and defeated.  I then told the kids to get their jackets on, and “we are out of here.”  So, we left at night during a February snowstorm and never looked back.  It was the best decision of my life.

I eventually got on my feet after staying with my parents for 6 months.  They were incredibly supportive.  The divorce was a nightmare, of course, but not as bad as the marriage.  Slowly I gained mental strength and self-esteem.  He had me turned so inside out that it was hard for me to make simple decisions at first, and have the necessary confidence I needed to fully heal.  Thankfully that all changed. I took small yet bold steps to regain my life and get to a place of total independence.  I was no longer that woman who put up with his twisted views or gross negativity.  No one would ever step on me again.  No one.

As miracles would have it, he eventually remarried a few years later.  I wondered what kind of woman would fall for him.  And then I remembered how he could transform into a charming predator at will.  I naïvely and regrettably fell for that.  Maybe she was lured in unknowingly, or maybe she was as unbalanced as he was.  Either way, I was determined not to like her, and I didn’t.  Afterall, any friend of his was an enemy of mine. You are judged by the company you keep they say.  However, my life was in an upturn as I had met and fallen in love with my life partner.  The only thing I worried about was the time and influence she would have on my son.  Her character was a mystery to me, and I had deep concerns.

Eventually they had a child of their own, a baby girl.  I had to pretend that I cared about my son having a new sister so he would feel content and at ease.  He already had to put up with his father’s erratic behavior when he picked him up on weekends, shouting nonsense at me for no reason.  I didn’t want to add to my son’s stress by saying anything negative about his new sister, nor did I want to.  It turned out that he really liked his stepmother, without elaborating on it.  I think he didn’t want me to feel bad.  He also loved having a sister, he was no longer the baby in the family.  I had very little contact with the new wife, except for a few emotionally charged phone conversations.  She accused me of being “selfish” when discussing child support.  This woman was crazy.

Not surprisingly their marriage dissolved a few years later.  I wasn’t broken up about it.  Nobody could live with him.  Only now, not only a family was split up, but my son would also lose a sister that he loved.  Life continued with weekend visits from his father.  I didn’t give his situation a second thought, as it was none of my business.  However, I received a phone call a few years after the split up that changed my life.

My son’s estranged stepmother called me one winter day and asked if she could drop her daughter off to spend time with my son.  It was Thanksgiving.   At first, I was taken aback.  Afterall, here was this “crazy” woman asking me to entertain her daughter.  She was not family. What was I supposed to do?  I eventually agreed and talked to my partner.  He said, “why don’t you ask her to come along and join us too.  It’s such a long drive, why doesn’t she just stay.”  That was out of the question in my mind.  Why would I do that!  But the more I thought about it, I decided that it would be OK.  I would only have to put up with her for an afternoon if it made my son happy.  Not only did it make my son happy, but it was such a simple, yet brave, act of kindness on her part that I could not help but silently admire.  She decided to stay.

We eventually started seeing each other with and without the kids.  At first, I would tell my friends that I was hanging out with my Ex’s second ex-wife.  Then as time went on, I did not need to describe our situation.  There was no need.  We were becoming good friends on our own.  Her stories were my stories. Her life was my life.  We are kindred souls who have the same war stories, the same dreams and desires.  It was not all about the marriages.  Sure, we kibitzed about being married to him for a while, but then it turned into more; much much more.  If she never met my Ex then we would have never met.  And, thanks to her, our children will have a loving and solid relationship, growing up and growing old together.

I count her as one of my dearest friends.  We know what each other has been through and keenly understand it.  It’s mostly unspoken today.  Besides being a loving, patient, wonderful friend, she is my son’s mother as well.  Not a stepmother, a true and dedicated mother.  If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know if the kids would be in each other’s lives today.  If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed out on a “once in a lifetime” friendship.  I love her and will have her for the rest of my life, until death do us part.


Life Topics

An Accidental Guest

I returned home after my early routine swim at the gym as the gray muted dawn was turning to daylight.  Although the leaves haven’t turned colors yet, the damp smell of rain and the scent of weathering leaves was in the air.  Closing the door gently, as not to wake my husband, I quietly stepped down into the entryway.  Taking off my shoes, I could feel the cold tile floor.  Autumn was slowly inching its way into the house.  I changed out of my swimsuit and hung the towel and suit in the only warm sliver of sunshine on the back deck.  It was time to start the day.

Walking into the kitchen, I noticed out the front window, a person taking a walk on my street.  She was above average height with flowing, below the shoulders, blonde hair covered with a baseball cap.  I stood for a moment registering that I might know her.  She had earbuds in, and her gait was long with a bit of a rhythmic lift.  I could tell she was listening to something upbeat.  Then, it hit me.  That’s Kate! I have a soft spot for Kate as her company always brings me to a place of comfort and delight.  Gosh, I haven’t seen her in such a long time I thought.  I had to invite her in.

I ran outside and caught her off guard.  Kate! I called from the end of the short driveway.  She realized it was me, and gave me a bright smile and a hello, as she removed her earbuds.   We are always happy to see each other.  Before she could say anything else, I said, “Come in for a cup of coffee.”  She quickened her pace, as she walked toward me, and said, “I would love to.”  No discussion, no place to go.  My heart soared.  It felt like “the old days” when people would just drop in for coffee, like Lucy and Ethel did.   No plans, just a spontaneous encounter.

Hugs and smiles and giddy thoughts danced inside the kitchen.  I learned she takes her coffee with milk, and don’t be stingy with the milk!  I, on the other hand, am a hardcore strong black coffee drinker.  She complimented my kitchen, and I showed her what knitting I was working on, as we slowly made our way toward the back door.  It was a sweatshirt-optional type of day before the bluster of cold winds or frost had arrived.  My husband sat in his chair in the corner of the yard where the sun shone brightly.  We moved outside toward the comfy seats under the small pavilion with a covered gas firepit.  It was shady, but still held some infused warmth of the sun and our friendship.

We laughed at our mothers, our antics and generally “talked treason” as the Irish say.  Kate is an academic, teacher, writer, poet, musician, and Fairy Queen.  She believes in magic, and she believes in herself.  I share her love of writing, poetry, and the Irish culture. In fact, she will soon be teaching the Irish language at Harvard.  Impressive.  Kate talked about the process of writing, as I confessed, I was writing a stalled memoir.  And, although she is a published poet, she has also recently finished writing a novel.  We enthusiastically encouraged each other’s creativity in following through on our beloved projects.  “I want to be a real writer” I said, and she told me I could do it.  I believe her.

The remains of my coffee were starting to get cold, as we talked about Irish musicians.  I should have offered her another cup, but she was starting to shift, as if to stand.  It was time to really start my day.  Getting up, she said, “It’s time to move on.”  I was slightly disappointed, as the time just flew by.  Enjoying simple moments with a friend can introduce you to aspects of yourself you may not see.  It’s like being in a foreign place and finding the only person who speaks your language. Then we walked toward the door, with a short stop to scratch my dog McDermott, then out to the driveway.  As we stood in the sun, we reiterated words of encouragement and support, as friends do.  Kate took her earbuds out of her pocket and held them in her hand.  We hugged and said goodbye.  The last thing I said was, “if you’re ever walking by, just give a knock to see if I’m home.”

Maybe I’ll see her again soon.

Life Topics

Sink or Swim

5:50am.  I struggle to catch my breath when I reach the edge.  Lifting my head out of the water on the final stroke, I swallow a small amount of water and cough.  The powerful smell of chlorine tightens my chest and causes me to wheeze.  Is this supposed to be fun?  I momentarily watch the swimmers in the other lanes flutter kick and stretch moving through the water with grace and strength, lap after lap.   My style looks more like I’m trying to survive a shark attack, slapping my arms ahead and frantically kicking, an awkward ballet.

I always stop after a lap and take a moment, as I look down the lane to the opposite edge.  Not ready to swim again, I usually switch off swimming with a little water aerobics.  Then I prance across the pool, pumping my arms and lifting my knees.  I’m not exactly what you would call a “swimmer” because of my mental and physical situation.  Basically, I get bored very easily and my body doesn’t fight it.  If my mind says, “I’m done swimming” then we’re done swimming.  So, it’s always a game to keep my interest fresh by thinking positive thoughts and making positive strokes.

My post-menopausal body has not been good for me.  I stiffen up and ache when I sit too long, my hips are in agonizing pain when I walk.  I’ve gained over 100 pounds in the past 2 decades, have moderate hair loss, am a medicated depressive, have bad skin, and worse vision.  My body runs hot like a child with a modest temperature.  I’m never cold.  My only preference for exercise seems to be taking up swimming.  I’m at the point of sink or swim, because my options are limited and so are my hips.  I’d love to go for a long walk, but that’s not possible.  So here I am, fighting for small wins and trying to stay afloat, before the world wakes up.  At least, I’m rewarded with an adjacent hot tub to soak in after all my hard work.

6:20am.  I’ve been at this for a half hour and am ready to quit.  I need passionate motivation and a gallon of strong coffee.  I’ll change to the backstroke to relax a little as my eyes are fixed on the contours of the roof.   Less chance of swallowing water, while giving me a chance to think.   As I reach back, I take a deep breath in, kick, pull, glide.  Breath, reach, kick, glide.  My breath creates a calming rhythm.  I’m not worried about work, or anything else for that matter.  My breath lulls me to a state of contentment like I’m in another world, by myself.

I’m coming around to the idea of swimming.   Sure, my choices of activity are few, but these early mornings have worked out well.  Like Yoga, you get the benefit of exercise, but it also clears your mind.  The past few years have been rough on my body, as I am twice the person I used to be, while sluggish and sedimentary. However, taking baby strokes has been the answer.  Just dip into the pool and pull yourself to the other side.  Repeat.  It’s as simple as that.  You don’t have to look pretty doing it.  Just breath.

Life Topics

Queer Eye

I’ve never been much of a social person.  In fact, being in the “out” crowd is perhaps where I belong.  I’ve been called weird and strange so many times.  In gatherings I tend to be an outlier, off to the side, at a distance to observe more so than partake, taking a cat’s eye view.  I notice the popular one, the supporter and the arbiter.  A crowd gathers around them.   They’re talking about things that I would only have something negative to say.  So, why would I join?  They converse in a way that draws in the observers with little opinion and even less self-esteem.  I won’t be part of that.

Instead, I choose misfits, malcontents, and uniquely disguised individuals to seek out. They are easy to find in other corners of the room.  I may find my voice there.  Conversations can start off somewhat strangely, as topics range from the simple to sublime, useless facts, fun trivia, and common ground. I hope to get a toe hold on the discussion.  After all, these are my people.  Unique points of view ensue and can form from a place of fancy.  They have my full attention.

On this “island” I feel free to express myself without full conviction or contempt.  I’m not revealing too much.  Socializing has some pitfalls for the humble.  However, I like how Bill knows a lot of useless facts and Tammy refers to her sick son as The Puker.  I laugh too loud, and it feels good. I lean in to hear Scott give a mock guilty confession about shoplifting at age 8.  I don’t have a story like that. It feels like the B team is hitting it off.  We agree to move to the fire and gather around it like moths.

The crackling fire is background music to our conversations.  The glowing flames change the way people look, making them seem surreal.  Chairs are fitted tight around the curves, and we all relax.  I tell a lame joke and notice Kevin’s orange face lights up when he smiles, while the others politely laugh.  We continue to amuse each other with antidotes and tales of absurdity.  I start to think, I do like to socialize but have always been a little apprehensive.  Maybe not wanting to get too close to anyone, to reveal who I really am.

After a while, the entire party moves to the fire pit.  One by one, people trickle over to see what we’re talking about and to get warm.  The circle widens to let them in, and a whole new genre is created.  Everyone is truly enjoying each other.  Misfits and dilettantes mingle with the popular and good looking.  A common thread appears out of nowhere and voices of agreement and laughter erupts.

I started this evening off with a queer eye, and ended with empathy, camaraderie, and friendship.  And dare I say, a chance to comfortably socialize.  I may not be popular or wildly interesting, but I can hold my own.  Sometimes it’s with a little liquid confidence oiling my ego, I find it easier to fully engage.  We all have our vices.  I’m learning to be more inclusive, both in giving and taking of my time; reflecting.  Because you can’t reach out without first reaching in.

Pull up a chair and let’s talk.

Life Topics

The Porch

The Craftsmen style porch is solid and new with the signature Cape Cod shakes on the outside and fresh white trim. Rocking chairs as well as overstuffed chairs line the inside making it an extension of this comfortable beach house.  I move a rocking chair to the top of the porch steps to get a better view of the street and slowly rock. The neighborhood is still asleep.  I had figured out how to use the coffee machine when I got up, so a warm mug was my companion.  Sipping hot hazelnut coffee, I entertain random thoughts and quirky ideas that I seldom have the luxury to do.   There’s nothing on the schedule today.   To my left, the sun slowly arcs upward as I watch it momentarily rest behind a tree.  A little further away, I can hear crashing waves and cawing gulls at the shoreline.  We are only a short sandy block from the ocean. Dave and Jayne are out early for their daily beach stroll.   It is 5:30am and I’m enjoying this alone time rapt in thought and sunshine.

We were excited to get away.  We had been to Dave and Jayne’s a few times, but this was the first time this summer.  We don’t often see them, except for a few get-togethers here and there.  They invited us for a couple of days of total relaxation and friendship.  We took off on a Thursday making it a quick 2-hour ride without the mangled weekend Cape traffic.  As we approached Thomas Avenue at 3pm, we could see beachgoers walking home along the main road.  They looked tired and tanned, lugging chairs, bags, and kids.  The salty breeze and a hint of sunscreen wafted into our open car windows.  We had arrived.  We turned onto Thomas and saw Dave’s dark blue car parked in front.

From the driveway, we couldn’t believe our eyes.  They had renovated, adding a new front porch.  Their house looked totally different.  The cedar shakes, bright trim and thick columns welcomed you from the street.  The house was transformed from a bland façade to a bonified classic beach house.  We were met at the back door by Dave and Jayne, where they greeted us with hugs as they ushered us in.  Jayne was preparing an early dinner of seafood for Dave to grill when ready.   Jamie and I went outside with Dave to have drinks on the porch before dinner.  I was immediately hooked.  This new space was bright with wide plank floors and a high roof.  To me, it felt alive with a gentle breeze, muted street noises and glowing sunshine.  I found my happy place for the visit.

From that point on, the porch was our coveted gathering spot.  Coffee in the morning, relaxing after the beach, drinks before dinner, nightcap at bedtime.  We only slept in the house.  All our waking hours were spent either at the beach or talking for hours on the porch.  We drove into town for dinner one night having pizza and ice cream, then walked around the historic picturesque harbor.   The evening was bustling with excited tourists and townies alike.  Jayne and I found an old bench along the winding harbor walkway to finish our ice cream and people watch for a few minutes, while Dave and Jamie talked under a nearby tree.  I would jump up to scratch a cute dog every so often, as I am weirdly obsessed with dogs.  Finishing our ice cream, we meandered a few blocks back to the car, and eventually back to our anchor – the front porch.

We bonded over a couple of days, sharing stories and experiences all while feeling the salt air on our skin and the warm ocean breeze in our hair.  Sitting in comfy chairs, the dim porch light above created an intimate setting to unwind, tell truths, and laugh uncontrollably.  It’s not easy to find friends and we were all silently comforted by our long-time commitment to each other and the joy of spending time together.  I’m convinced that a house isn’t a home without a unique place within it to bring the people you love.  In this case, it was that wonderful pristine new porch.  Dave and Jayne confessed that they hardly used the porch before we came, but might start now.  They may have realized, through outside eyes, how warm memories can continue to be created here.  A special place that makes your heart grow fonder.

Life Topics

Love Letter to JP

What can I say about JP?  Well, let me introduce you to one of the most admired persons in my life.  He is not only kind, considerate and loving, but he has overcome obstacles of which many of us have never experienced. I applaud his stamina and grit.  Truthfully, I used to dream about the “old JP” that I had missed, the guy who showed up early for every party.  He would bring a dish I could never imagine making but would bring so much flair to it that you had to try it.  Boy, could he cook.  His anticipation was contagious.  But, I realize now that the “before” JP has never really gone away.  He may not cook the same way, but he is still there in heart and in soul.   Only now, he is contained in a chair that only makes you a more captive audience.  His smile and kisses are as sweet as they always were.  Life is good with JP.

I love you.  Since the day I met you, I realized that you were a one-of-a-kind person.  Your love exudes humor and mild contempt, making me proud and tickled.  Sarcasm does not escape me.  We both appreciate a good laugh.  Your playful banter brings me to a place of delight.  You may be confined but your humor knows no limits.  Come to my yard and play, I secretly ask, and you oblige.  How you doin?

Your relationship with Lynn is an example of true commitment and faith.  We can all see how much love is between you.  That’s all we wanted for you.  After a few tentative relationships, the woman of your dreams finally showed up.  We were happy and a little relieved to say the least.  She is warm, kind and lovely; everything you deserve.  And now, she has proven that love knows no limits.  Her commitment is quiet and profound; selfless.   And you return that love in droves.  A truly strong partner.

This is my love letter to you.  You have made a grand impression on me.  You have taught me so much about what is important in life.  When you show up at bocce, I am excited to see and touch you.  I am happy to be a part of your life.  I may not see you a lot, but you’ve made a deep impression on me.  I carry your smile, your compassion and wit with me.  Yet, I somehow feel unworthy.  Why?  Because I could never face your challenges as you have with such dignity and grace.  You are my superhero, my true friend.

So, here we are.  Just two people enjoying our life.  Happy to spend time together whenever we can.  Wondering why life has thrown so many curve balls.  But at least we’re at the plate swinging.  Looking for the sweet spot on that bat, that’s going to hit it out of the park.  You’ve hit it out, way out.  I have watched you go from life of the party to a life of achievement and happiness.  Bringing your true self to a place of contentment and joy.  I will certainly drink to that because, well, I drink to everything.  You know that about me.

Cheers to my friend!  Thank you for never giving up on me, while I’ve never given up on you.  We are two peas enjoying the pod.  A friendship that will never die.

All my love.

Life Topics


My attention span is short at best.  Like a dog, if I see a squirrel, I immediately divert my energy.  I find myself scrolling through Facebook and all the “squirrels” have me bouncing around.  I’m noticing that I get caught up in all kinds of nonsense.  I can pass by the pleasantries and the sappy, yet poignant posts, the quotes and life lessons with an occasional share.  I’m not that insightful really.  Why not share something I never would have posted myself, like children are a treasure, believe in yourself, live in the moment, etc.?  Instead, where do I usually go?  To the visual pitfalls of lazy curiosities.

Don’t show me a recipe video or I’ll be hooked from start to finish, deciding if it’s too trailer trash to make.  Well, if the main ingredient is tatter tots and cheese it might spike my interest. How easy, I could make that.  Could I really serve it?  Probably not, but I have to see it to the end.  There might be an all-important secret to this delightful dish, as only I could master.  As it builds, adding more and more ingredients, I start shifting and make a mental note of the full list of items added.  Way too much work.  Plus, I have to remember that I don’t really like cooking.  I like to eat.

Oh, there’s a video showing someone fold napkins 200 different ways.  Perfect, I need to see that.  A swan and a flower, who knew?  Beautifully printed fabric napkins were used to create an amazing table to impress the most discerning guest.  If I practiced, I might be able to pull off a swan, I think to myself.  I was looking for the easiest elegant one to try.  Then I remembered that my paper napkins are always an afterthought thrown on the table at the last minute.  No heavy lifting there.

Hey, a video of someone refinishing a piece of furniture.  Need to get a refresher in this skill.  I’ve refinished items in the past, but it wouldn’t hurt to get more tips.  I like how they speed up sections of the tutorial which makes it seem less arduous, but I know the truth.  You need a lot of patience to undertake these kinds of projects. And even more patience to stay interested from start to finish.  When they put on an ugly piece of hardware or stain, I’m out.  The final product is something I wouldn’t put in my house.  And, if I did display it, I’d have to consider refinishing it.  Here we go again.

A one-of-a-kind cleaning product.  Yes, interested!  Show me how this works.  Spray on any surface, and voila, like new.  No scrubbing. I like that.  It cleans toilets, pots and pans, sneakers, sinks and furniture.  It’s a miracle, tell me more.  Maybe it could be a dessert topping too, like shown on Saturday night live.  I wouldn’t be surprised.  Heartfelt testimonials follow, showing an undying commitment to the product.  They seem so happy and complete with this find.  And as luck would have, it’s on sale.  Easy payments.  I almost push the button when I realize I don’t clean.  We have a cleaning woman, so we just mindlessly write a check.

Scrolling, scrolling, hmmmm.  I’m only seeing birthday and news posts.  No videos I can get into at the moment.  Where are the infomercials on building a tree house, 100 ways to braid your hair, or how to remove disgusting black heads?  I feel like there’s nothing left for me to watch today.  I’m tapped out.  Maybe it’s time to put the phone down.

Ooooh a squirrel!