Smile, You’re on Krispy Kreme Camera

Running at night has its risks.  Drivers aren’t as alert, bad guys come out, it’s dark and easy to trip over things like uneven sidewalk, tree branches and trays of doughnut holes.  It happens-  I can’t make this stuff up.

wpid-img_20140807_221039_390A week ago tonight, while running, I stopped dead in my tracks on a street corner. With wide eyes and an open mouth, I stood there in disbelief.  I squatted down to take a closer look and rubbed my curious eyes with fists.  Sure enough.  There, sitting smack before me, were three trays of owner-less doughnut holes.  Who does that?  Could it have been Candid Krispy Kreme Camera?  (The lesser-known hidden camera show that puts unsuspecting people in unusual doughnut situations.)  Bewildered participants are ambushed by belly-laughing producers and camera crews.  They have a chuckle (and a long john) and go on their merry way.  Just kidding.

Sometimes they don’t find out at all!  After I finished taking pictures, I kept running and left the doughnuts behind.  I didn’t get bombarded by camera crews or belly-laughing producers and I was surprised by this.  When I passed the doughnuts a second time, I took a cup and a brief moment to suppose the likely-hood that they were poisoned.  I ate them anyway and didn’t die of abandoned-food poisoning.  I was surprised by this.  Then I waited three to five business days and didn’t get billed by Krispy Kreme.  I was surprised by this too.  Since this happened exactly a week ago tonight, I’m headed back to see if there’s more-  Are you surprised by that?

This time, I’ll smile (on Krispy Kreme Camera.)  I’m gonna be a Starrrrr.

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NTT:: Playing Pretend

Remember playing “pretend” when you were little?  You would recruit your most lifelike looking dolls and imaginary friends to play, “House” or “School” or “Subdivision.”  At least I played “Subdivision” and other make-believe themes.  Does that not surprise you?

My brother and I drove ouIMG_3321r “cars” (our bikes) around the “neighborhood” (the front and back yards) and pretended to do things that “cool” teenagers would probably do.  For example: We met our friends at the mall (the barn.) We played pickup games at the gym (the driveway.) We got ice pops at Mr. Freezies (the chest freezer in the garage.) We’d pretended to have all sorts of conversations with imaginary friends. For example: “Aw man, you’re grounded?  That stinks.”  “You goin’ to the game Friday night?” “No thanks, man.  I don’t smoke.”

It was So. Much. Fun. Today, you have the unique opportunity to invest in a large amount of chairs so that you and your imaginary friends can play all sorts of “pretend” games.  It’s best to imagine motifs that thrive with large seating arrangements.  Let me get your imagination rolling… “Movie Theatre,” “Ball Game,” “Wedding”…

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New Things:: On Lemons

Remember when I shared with you that I also blog at work?  I mean, I blog for work.  At work.  As part of my job.  I mean, I made it part of my job but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. Of course not.  That would be a waste of precious working time- at work.  Duh.

Come to find out, New Things wpid-img_20140807_110351_273Thursday is a highly effective tool that keeps people interested in mismatched office chairs and stuff- so they will buy them.  It’s a college-wide news feed so it keeps people informed of the latest college surplus inventory.  It also boosts employee morale- namely mine.  It’s a good time.  I mean, I don’t labor over it like I do LifesLemons. We’re talking twenty minutes, tops- and I move on to more important things.

How about I share them sometimes?  Then you’ll click over and buy some nice used furniture or something.  Deal.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll share this week’s.  I’d put it up here today, but Dad and Weston say my Lemons post get too long.  Babies.  In the meantime, here is a nice picture of my personal fruit basket on my desk at work.   It probably keeps me inspired or something. Nah, just keeps me from eating more cookies than I already do.

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How to Celebrate Survival of a Near Death Experience

I could’ve died yesterday.  You may recall, it was gorgeous out.  So I did what any respectable bicycle owner would do-  I slapped on some sunscreen, put on my helmet and left for a nice long ride on uncharted roads in the country.  Why not?  I had time (and daylight) to get lost.

After two hours, I was at a point in the ride where, had it been on a stationary bike, I would have been finished and showered by now.  My water bottle was empty, the iPod was dead and fatigue was starting to set in.  Everything looked the same- field, field, barn. There was an uneasy stillness to the air so I began humming loudly to stay occupied.  All of the sudden, from behind, the deafening blow of an air break jerked me to attention.  The semi, out of nowhere, passed so quickly and closely that I almost crashed into the pavement.  Eventually, the truck slowed to a halt, turned left at the stop sign and revealed his billboard-like trailer advertisement, for Frappuccinos.  That’s when it hit me- I’ve got to make ice coffee when I get home!cap

I arrived back at the apartment, loaded the blender with ice, coffee and milk, and here’s the part where I could’ve died…

The blender lid broke.  Milky coffee, plastic and ice covered everything within a four-foot radius.  My life flashed before my eyes and that’s when it really hit me, “Oh my gosh, I could’ve died!” What if, by holding down the lid, my hand slipped into the blade?!  It would’ve sliced my hand open or chopped my arm off, probably!  The blade could have ejected from the blender and flew into my gut like a ninja’s star throw.  I would’ve bled out on the kitchen floor with drops of caffeine glistening like dew all around.  That would be tragic.

After the kitchen was cleaned up and I stopped fearing for my life, I loaded ice, coffee and milk into the back-up blender. Only this time, I did what any respectable person would do when they celebrate survival of a near death experience-  I added sweetened condensed milk to the coffee and drank my fair share from its gooey can.

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The Blueberry Gauntlet 2014

I bought 21 dry pints of blueberries.  Each pint was 99 cents and out of season blueberries cost about $3.99.  So in my eyes, pints were priced buy one get three free- which is obviously a steal and should’ve bought more, but I don’t have the freezer space.

295918_10150263590951404_364376416403_7682864_7493842_n1If they even get to the freezer.  You and I both know that these little blue babies are tricky not to eat.  They have to survive quite the little gauntlet before stepping their tiny berry feet into the freezer.  The fate of many berries is my belly first- not the freezer, because each transfer lends an opportunity for total loss.  They have to endure a two minute car ride home, minus 23 berries.  If they take the front seat, it’s more like minus 89.  They have to suffer through being dumped into a large bowl and washed, minus 44 berries. They have to outlive inspection as pictured, minus 694 berries.  (605 as squishy duds tossed into a nearby yellow cake mix box and a minimum of 89 consumed.)  If they make it into the bag that’s being held open by the magnet I found on the floor at Schnucks, chances are they’re safe.  They’ll freeze to see another day.

On another note: This is BW’s second LifesLemons appearance in 2 months.  You go, Big Guy! Is that Spanish Moss Green by Revlon?  Why, yes it is. Yes. It. Is.

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Glasses Gluttony

I was gifted with poor eyesight and picked out my first pair of glasses in the third grade. For whatever reason, I wanted to wear glasses, have braces and strawberry blond hair all at the same time.  Not that I ever really knew what hue strawberry blond was… it just sounded like such a delicious shade of hair.  So I pretended my kj;kjhair was that color and welcomed braces a few months after vision correction.  My little rounds matched, “Molly” my faux American Girl doll and I was just about as cool as a third grader could get in 1998.  Can you imagine?

Then, I wore contacts almost every moment of every day in high school and most of college which, I believe, damaged the surface of my eyes for eternity.  It’s hard now, and so it’s rare, for me to wear lenses.   So most of the time, I’m in glasses… but it’s cool because I’m still pretending to have strawberry blond hair and the grill that I wear on the weekend gives the illusion of braces.

Kidding- I don’t actually have a mouthpiece that looks like palliative orthodontia.

Nah, I just found a website that sells prescription glasses for hardly anything at all.  (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)  Because I’ve binge bought an obscene amount of glasses since March. Can’t say I’m much for moderation with many things.  Eat cookies, eat several; buy glasses by the truckload.  Termed: Glasses Gluttony. Won’t give you quite the colic as cookies do but it’s still problematic.  You put on a different pair and sweatshirt at Starbucks, ask for a refill and they think you’re a completely different person.  First you’ve got on leopard, next it’s red.  You’ll show up as a neardy bird and leave as Sporty Spice.  “Who is this girl and why is her purse like a clown car for crazy glasses?”  Don’t worry about it.  This too shall pass.

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Kicking the Habit- Part 2

It’s splendid to have normal looking nails because you’re not afraid to paint them wild colors and draw attention to them for once.  I’m wearing, “Plum Seduction” thanks for asking.  This color looks like red but it’s really, “Forestfire.”  See that brown on my fingers? Smell it.  It’s scented enamel, you Sick-o.  “Chocolate Truffle” to be exact.  I’m saving up to know what a “Pink Pineapple” smells like.  What a wonderful money waste, I’m so proud of myself.


This looks like a killer sandwich but the real star of the show is that thumbnail.  You can’t tell from the picture but he’s a thick bastard. Named him, “Big Wig” or “BW” for short.  And that background nail has an underbelly.  Good gravy!  No wonder I stopped eating, mid-sandwich.  I forgot to pray.  “God is good.  God is great. Let us thank him for these nails.”

As you can see, I’m getting better at painting them and preparing to paint them.  It takes experience to know what materials are necessary during a manicure at arm’s length.  Nothing is worse than remembering that your Quick Dry Drops may or may or may not be at the bottom of your bag but they’re probably rolling around under the passenger seat of your car.  That’s going to leave a mark and you’ll have to start over.  What a time suck.  What a wonderfully expensive, obsessively compulsive, so-totally-worth-it replacement addiction.  Send help… and polish remover.  I’m fresh out.

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Kicking the Habit- Part 1

It’s been a while.  Thanks for stopping by.  If you want, come again tomorrow for, “Kicking the Habit- Part 2.”

To an outsider, it seems easy.  “What’s the big deal?  Just don’t do it.  Just stop.  Stop biting your nails.”6eefd65bf53d4fccf9f4ec47a3ffab6d

As an insider, an ex-nail-biter, it’s wasn’t easy.  It’s incredibly hard for a person to quit biting fingernails after doing so almost their whole life.  But if you’re able to stop for long enough to see the light, to see the white…oh man, what a cool thing.  A crazy thing happens. Addiction to growing them longer and longer happens.  Addiction to painting them over and over happens.  Addiction to buying top coats, base coats and cuticle oil happens.  Now we’ve got real problems.

I have spent more time looking at manicure products in drug stores in the past month, week, day than I have during my entire life put together.  It’s marvelous, being camped out in the nail care aisle for hours on end like some kind of weirdo.  The same store clerk has gone and come back from lunch, asked numerous times if everything is okay and vacuumed the area, twice.  Sally Hansen is such a good read.

I’ve always tried to kick the habit, so I feel like it’s only natural to experiment with products that I’ve never had a need for in the past.  It’s a new experience, settling on one shade and hardly getting to the car before brushing it on.  Then drive until it’s dry, pull over and put on another coat.  “No, I’m fine officer.  Thanks for asking.  Just putting another layer on my nails… I thought the hazard lights were on.  Have a nice day!”


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Where I Get My Writing

I woke up to a text from my Mom last Saturday morning.

“[…] [a friend] and I read your LifesLemons posts all night. She wanted me to tell you,      she had goosebumps several times and thinks you’re an excellent writer. :)”

How sweet and admittedly, ironic. Did you tell her where I get it?  Or tell her at least about those times, Mom, when I wasn’t remotely good, let alone, “excellent” at writing?
In middle and high school, I was downright bad at putting my thoughts to words and being assigned a 3-page paper was like being incarcerated- for the both1976_1061835076005_9664_n of us.  I would write as much as I could (which was usually about a paragraph and a half) before graveling at your feet, Mom, begging for help at approximately 8:45 the night before it was due.

Then, we’d spend the next four hours double-teaming (and tag-teaming) my paper, collaborating back and forth, thinking of things to say and exactly how to say them.   It was agony, Mom, on that kitchen chair beside you and I’d complain that I could never be the writer that you are.  Still you ignored, patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) showing me how to weave my choppy ideas into beautiful complete sentences.

Everything that I know about the flow and complexity of writing came from working beside you, Mom, during those priceless late night collaboration sessions.  Now, the act is no longer a chore- but a solace and a hobby.  I am truly lucky that you took the time to share your gift with me.  You are where and the reason why, when it comes to writing, “I get it.”

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Easter Eggs & Cake

lllOne of the only Easter-related childhood memories that I have is at Grandma Cella’s house.  After we decked her Easter tree with little pastel ornaments, Mason, a few cousins and I sat at the newspaper covered kitchen table and dyed Easter eggs.  We used those little wire holders in attempt to keep our hands clean.  We were using her mugs with a globe design on the outside surface.  I think that she “sent away” for them and they’re my favorites, because they’re also our graham cracker dunking cups.  We were thSOICRH2Ppsharing just a couple dozen eggs, because I think the store was out.  We were eating jelly beans.  We were eating Gram’s homemade Oreo cookies. Cousin Whitney filled an ice cream cone up with leftover frosting and jelly beans and ate it. I thought that was gross.  Eventually, we were down to one egg, so we mixed every color and made the ugly brown, “goose egg.”  In my Easter basket that year, I got a big beautiful plush rabbit and a new Barbie.

Another Easter memory that I have is at Aunt Sue and Uncle Dale’s house.  Two big round white cakes were baked and once they had cooled, cousin Drew was allowed to use a butter knife to cut one of the cakes into a bow tie and two rabbit ears.  It was amazing to see the rabbit take shape before my very eyes.  I happily helped to frost and decorate the cake with white icing and jelly beans.  I watched in horror as Drew sprinkled shredded white coconut onto the frosting to be rabbit fur and shredded green coconut onto the surrounding pan to be grass.  Ick!

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Happy Birthday LifesLemons, I Folded In Stiff Peaks for You!!

295918_10150263590951404_364376416403_7682864_7493842_n1Happy Birthday, LifesLemons…I baked you a cake!  Did you think I’d forgotten?  You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?  I don’t blame you, it’s 10:38 PM.  But, I didn’t forget your 3rd birthday.  How could I? Growing Lemons is in my top favorite past times, didn’t you know?  It’s just that, well, you know… I’m either driving or working or eating or working or driving or eating.  Usually in that order.  It’s just too bad that blogging is farther down the free-time totem pole.  It’s right behind swimming and running.  Honest.

And since we’re being honest, LifesLemons, there’s something else that you should know. I’ve been meaning to tell you this for quite some time and I hope that you don’t take offence.

I’m cheating on you, LifesLemons.  I blog for another, weekly…but it’s part of my job, you see.  I author, “New Things Thursday” to promote the selling of college surplus- desks, chairs, odds and ends. You might even like it if you gave it a chance.  Posting steady reminds me of the way you and I used to be.  But it’s nothing serious, LifesLemons, the content is super goofy and you’re still my number one.  Honest.  But hey, if you want to check it out sometime, by all means, go to w, w, w, dot….What a rotten thing to bring up on your birthday.  Let’s change the subject.

I baked you a cake, LifesLemons, like I do every year.  Well, sort of.  I made it in advance and technically they’re birthday waffles again.  We enjoyed them so much last year and they freeze so nicely.  This year though, unlike last, they were completely homemade- pumpkin waffles with white chocolate chips.  That’s love. aksk

What else?  I’ll tell you what else.  I followed the recipe step-by-step, even though the egg whites had to be beaten separately.  Do you know what that’s like, LifesLemons?  Do you even know the extra steps involved?  Shell cracking with care, dividing the yolk, dirtying an extra bowl, not to mention finding both beaters (when I usually use a spoon.) This was all to form stiff peaks, to fold into the waffle batter, so they’d be extra light and extra fluffy.  Though it’s a huge pain, I did it for you, LifesLemons, for your birthday.  You know that I would never bake for another blog, but especially fold in stiff peaks.  I’d just throw everything in one bowl, all at once, and hope for the best.

Favorite posts of the year.

The Soap Box Chronicles Present: Carrot Peelers

Abracadabra Apricots

The One Who Runs

Since We’ve No Place To Go

In This Perfect Moment

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In This Perfect Moment

My legs are bent slightly as I dangle, catching my breath, on the edge of the deep end. Chin’s on forearms, eyes are closed, heart rate slows, in- then exhale.  

For a moment, I just pause in that familiar hazy detachment to the world I’ve come to depend on as much as sleep.   The best swims are ones like these- when everything around, sounds and surrounding splashes, but above all else- my worries, seem to be a million miles away.  Whatever weighed so heavily on my heart, just a short while ago, holds weight no longer.   Stress and doubt bear no emotional value in the perfect universe that I try to create each and every time I step into a pool.  For this is my domain, and as master of it, I can generate success and I can refuse to fail.  This is a place where hard work is rewarded with moments that feel simply perfect.

In this perfect moment, I feel balanced and I feel at peace.  In this perfect moment, I feel as if I’ve been laughing until tears or maybe it’s crying until sobs.  In this perfect moment, I feel 1077Fexhausted but also energized. How does that work?  How does the organic rejuvenation of a deep sleep come from doing the exact opposite?  I’m on the edge of
dreaming, on 
the edge of everything, thankful to feel so alive- in this perfect moment.  

I’ll stretch my limbs as far as they can go and emerge from the water taller because of it.   Later, or when I need it the most, the pool’s smell will pacify because it reminds me of how perfect a moment can be.  When I’m lying in bed to sleep, the essence will be on my forearm.  Just like before.  Eyes close, heart rate slows, in- then exhale.

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On Account of the Rain

I had the best of intentions to go swimming this morning.  Well, they weren’t my of best intentions or else I would’ve gone.  I was only halfway planning to roll out of bed, hop in my car, swim, and be to work by 8- but it’s hard to tell where your time will best be spent in the early morning- in a pool or in a bed?  You can only guess the final decision and hope for the best.  Guessing is the hardest when you’re half asleep and your bed is warm, I suppose.  wpid-img_20140220_065206

So get up and start the coffee, because making an intelligent decision about how the morning should be spent will be easier with hot caffeine in your belly.   

Then, you hear the rain. You hear the train whistle too and together, they sound so dreamy.  And that new fuzzy blanket draped casually over the couch from the night before is just so inviting.  Would it be so bad to scratch both plans, the pool and the bed, and write a blog post?  The coffee’s almost finished and you have graham crackers in the pantry.  Honestly, when was the last time you dunked graham crackers in coffee while blogging and listening to the rain, and a train, before work, on an early February morning?

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Since We’ve No Place To Go

Oh the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful.  Since we’ve no place to go…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

It hardly ever happens this way.  Always it seems, there is some errand to run, some job do, some place to go, but somehow… not today.  Let’s make the most of it by going all out- going no place.  We can actually take it easy and do nothing for once.  


After we vacuum the living room and put away yesterday’s dishes, we’ll do nothing.  After we wash the windows and mirrors, we’ll reorganize the pantry and do nothing.   No, no, seriously, we’re just going to slow down today.  Go no place.  Do no things.    

After we’ve dusted everything and watered our dying plants, we’ll start a load of laundry and be done with it.  Might as well take it easy.  

We’ll just fold the couch afgans neatly and prepare to sit down.  Because we will sit down- once the living room’s rearranged and our first load of laundry is put away. After we’ve sanitized the kitchen counters and garbage cans, we’ll have some corn for popping (and notice that the microwave needs cleaned too.) Don’t show signs of stopping.

Scrub the shower.  Scrub the stove.   Scrub the linoleum floors.  We’re really going to treat ourselves today.  Strip the bed clothes and wash them too.

Go all out.  Bust out the Dunkin’ Original Blend and sip it as you clean while it snows, while it snows, while it snows.  Around eleven-thirty we’ll be begging for someplace to go.

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This Birthday

frontI had this birthday, not this birthday, a different one- my 16th birthday, and a friend of mine named Courtney decided to do something really nice in honor of it.  She decorated a shirt for me and bothered many of our peers to sign it. Thank you Courtney for organizing this loving gesture.back

I come across this arbitrary array of well-wishes from time to time, like today on this birthday, and stop whatever I’m doing to read the shirt’s simple one-liners, inside jokes, and sarcastic remarks.  They make me smile, laugh, and feel special all over again.  I muse at the different things people wrote and think of them being ambushed in the hallway between classes to write them.  They ought to know that they made that birthday and this birthday a bit brighter.  

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Happy Would’ve-Been-25-Year Anniversary

I’ll never forget what started the last fight.

The straw that broke the camel’s back, in this case, was a large and still dirty from the night before sauce pan.  The “soaking” pan had overstayed its welcome in the sink and, to one sleep deprived family member, this was unacceptable.  In all fairness the pan was not submerged so it was technically not “soaking.” This was therefore fodder for a fight that, like always, would escalate quickly and come to an obligatory halt once Dad left for work at night.  The basement was where Mason and I waited for the storm and all of these storms to pass, which was indicated by an ominous door slam, or two, or three.  Nothing suggested that this argument would be unlike all the others, but it was.  The threats, our worst nightmare, were real this time.  After fourteen years, she was really leaving him …and we were going with her.  

black headed white ibisFamily counselors suggest that children of divorced spouses may blame themselves for the differences of their parents and warn that they may not feel loved anymore.  This notion is bologna.  We never felt more loved.  In the years to come we would be told on numerous occasions to not feel responsible for their fighting or their failed marriage.  I don’t feel responsible and never did- perhaps because they made it so clear to us growing up that how they felt about each other had no bearing on how they felt about us.  I feel fortunate that they made it work for so long because looking back it is hard to imagine them living together let alone being married at all.  They are such different people.  Eleven years later I believe that the painstaking adjustment, living apart, was inevitable for our family and necessary in spite of the heartbreak.

Although our parents tried for many years they never really could “pull the wagon as a team,” but it means so much that they tried.  For so long, and up until the end, they tried for us.  Mason and I are lucky to share two parents who love us more than anything.

Happy Would’ve-Been-25-Years- Mom & Dad.  Thanks for bringing us in.

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Ninety-nine Jars of Soup on the Wall

Ninety-nine jars of soup on the wall, ninety-nine jars of soup.  Take one down, no don’t… Ninety-nine jars of soup on the wall.  58238708f3a4_a6d5ac2c-2a7b-4bb0-a31c-ad3ec7522770

The old leaf garland didn’t make the cut this year.  It looked skimpy up there all by itself, so I made the executive decision to add more. Soup in glass Mason jars look nice, just don’t eat them.  Seriously Weston, do your best not to eat the autumn cupboard decorations.  I know that Aunt Sue’s homemade vegetable soups and salsas are delicious and ideal for a quick and easy meal, but at the moment they happen to be part of my beautiful array of fallish cupboard fixtures.  Start telling yourself that anything atop these said cupboards are decorations only and not part of the pantry inventory.  Go eat something else.  In a couple of months, stale gingerbread houses won’t have the same appeal.  I promise.      

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Guess What I’m Doing Right Now (Golly Gee)

When she answered my phone call I went right into it, “Hey Grams… You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now.”   To which she replied, “Gee Moll, I don’t know, what?” Before we go any further, I should mention that it’s best if you imagine my grandma’s voice having inflections that mirror a mothers’ on any American 1950’s television sitcom:  i.e. “Gee Moll, I don’t know, what?”199073245998425275_Bc0rskHU_c

“Guess,” I returned playfully as if she didn’t already know that, like always, I would build suspense in this way.  “Just guess, Grams!” And she played along, offering a generous list of possible presumptions.

Finally I gushed, “I’m ironing!” and she, “Why that’s wonderful!” again in a genial and sincere June Cleaver.  Grams has been wanting me to get (and use) a clothing iron for decades now.  So naturally, after I bought one and when I began using it she was the first person I thought to tell.  And you my friends…are second.

On another note, I’m beginning to actually feel like a 1950’s house wife; scooting my shiny iron around the surrounding red, white and bluery.  Pretending that my “This American Life” podcast is a radio show doesn’t help.  Sporting pin curls definitely doesn’t help.   Yet here I stand, iron in hand, dismissing wrinkles to my little heart’s content with the promise of a curly-headed tomorrow.   

Happy Patriot’s Day.


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The Warmest of Welcomes

August 22, 2013

For the first time since moving I parked my car beside the familiar lake and walked down to its waters.  Our last encounter was a chilly one, both literally and figuratively; certainly not one that I remember with great mirth.  On that day the lake and I’s time together was cut short because of its inclemency and I had left the dreary premises feeling cold and empty inside- but also foolish for honoring these emotions.

fnd logoToday was also overcast and the cool week prior prompted me to expect a reunion that would be far from the familiar embrace of the warm summer waters that I had come to expect and seek refuge in.   On the dock I kicked off my flip flops, dropped my towel and for a few solemn seconds just stared at the empty grey-green.  I sighed and then started down to the boat ramp urging myself not to have high hopes for a great swim on such a drab day in late August.  Bearable temperatures would be asking enough.  

I stepped reluctantly onto the mossy concrete slope and my feet slid beneath the glassy surface.   Moments later my ankles, shins, and knees were also engulfed.  When the water reached my waist my knees softened and I sank into the impossibly mild water.  It was not piercingly cold like I had expected.  It was warm and the lake’s way of saying, “Welcome Back.”  My limbs went limp.  I let the water draw me in.  I felt my entire body surrender to its soothing embrace.  

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The One Who Runs

199073245998425275_Bc0rskHU_cOut of the corner of my eye I could see a white car inching its way towards me.  I was doubled over, beside my own ajar car door, tying my shoe.  Parked in a different spot along the usual route; I was prepared to explain my ritual to a new face.  Looking up from my laces I could see that the person driving was an old woman hardly high enough to see over the steering wheel. Popping and crackling of loose gravel slowed beneath the car’s tires.   Then, before the passenger’s window had finished its decent, the sweetest little old lady voice that you can possibly imagine chimed, “Do you need any help?”  

“Nah,” I began, “Just parking here for a bit so that…”  But before I could finish, in a voice now laced with disbelief, astonishment and sheer joy she exclaimed, “You’re the one who runs!”

I laughed, “Yea…” but again was cut off by a giddy, “I see you run by here all the time!”  She squinted her eyes then leaned forward, placing her elbow on the passenger seat to get a better look.  “Where’s your headband?!”  

Laughing again, I reached down for my apparent signature accessory, “Haven’t put one on yet.”

She looked at me, wide-eyed, as if I were a figment of her imagination- a unicorn, a mermaid, or Bob Barker.  Any minute I expected the old woman to leap from her car, snapping Polaroids of me to prove to the girls at Pinochle club that I wasn’t just some half naked mirage who occasionally ran past her house as she drank Ovaltine at the kitchen sink.  “The One Who Runs” really DOES exist.  And here I was.  In the flesh.  Standing five feet before her very eyes.  

Then, I became equally entertained (by her bewilderment) and for a long moment we just gaped at each other in utter fascination.  

Finally she interjected, “Have fun.  You made my day.” The gravel crackled as she drove away.  

Thanks lady.  You made my day too.

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