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Slice of Life 2019: Day 30

Up at 7:10

A cup of green tea gets the blood flowing.

A few chores to complete around the house.

I wake my fellow traveler.

The dog stays at home.

Newspaper stopped.

A snack bag goes in the back.

Skim board and ENO are stuffed last minute.

The traffic funnels through the city.

A million travelers join us southward.

Bikes and luggage adorn people’s cars.

My traveler reads

While I listen to happy songs.

A road sign says Florida.

I finger my favorite station on the dial.

A neighbor knows we’ll arrive in one hour.

My traveler has an urgent need

To relieve the bladder.

We find a secluded clump of shrubs.

The Suburban hugs the driveway.

My mother emerges with a smile.

Hugs and smiles and luggage dropped.

I walk out to the dock and breathe.

We are home.

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A Spring Break Attitude Adjustment

Slice of Life 2019: Day 29

Its time for a spring break attitude adjustment. Grumpiness has colored my temper for a few days, like a London Fog. I know a little perspective and a lot of thankfulness go a long way to lighten the mental load. The load has been a daily grind of life’s responsibilities mixed with slicing and random obstacles to resolve. With the end in sight, I’ve made a list of Friday thankfulness to remind me that God sends golden parachutes everyday. All I have to do is open my eyes.

Today, the sun was shining when I awoke.

There was one last bag of Early Grey on my tea shelf, just what I needed.

When I looked outside, somebody had already let the chickens out.

At my appointment this morning, it became clear that my doctor is beginning to think more like a natural path: “I know you don’t like taking pills. A lot of people don’t like taking pills anymore and I don’t blame them,” he said. Wow!

The doc didn’t think I had cancer!

There was a generic drug available for my prescription that cost 90% less than the original.

A healthy 12 year old sat next to me in my truck.

My husband kissed me on his way out the door.

A friend called and asked me to lunch.

Another called to see how things were going.

My aunt read my blog and responded cute words of wisdom.

It’s a good hair day.

And…all of this happened before noon. This list will be three pages by the end of the day.

The grumpiness is lifting like a San Francisco fog on a July afternoon.

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Only Child

Slice of Life 2019: Day 28

At 12,
my papa took me to a park.
I have something to tell you,
he said.

Before your mother,
I was married.
I have two daughters
from that time
and you will meet them
today.

Emotionless,
I opened my purse,
pulled out a mirror
and combed my hair.

Now a blur,
the drive across town
was an eternity of
roof tops and roads.

Soon,
a small home appeared
with no trees.
My heart was a leaky faucet
dripping a rapid beat
as I mounted the steps.

I, platinum
longing to see my reflection
of lips, eyes or shape
in the two women who approached me

saw
only shadows and lines
of some distant awareness.

I entered their cave
of words and memories
and left that strange den
certain, solitary,
and absolutely an only child.

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Water

Slice of Life 2019: Day 27

A bottle of crystal clear water was perched upon a red table. Undisturbed in every way, even the lid was fully intact. The blue label was turned such that I couldn’t see its frontal view, but I knew that label. The cheap, grocery store brand was ubiquitous at soccer games, picnics, races. Now it was full, undisturbed, refracting light through its opaque, slender container. I knew the taste too: clean, pure, the slightest suggestion of mineral on the tongue. The aroma was likely to be air itself, not easily discernible; although, I’ve detected a slight vitality just when I’ve unscrewed the cap. At the moment of squeezing the top from the bottle, soaking my hand and wrist with the pressure of twisting the too-weak plastic neck, I’ve smelled the clarity.

What I would give to sip the refreshing contents of that water vessel. My throat is parched and yearning for the cool liquid refreshment upon my tongue. My head feels light with dehydration. My fingers trembling with desire. Two or three sips would do. Perhaps, if I reach and grab the thing, its owner will not notice.

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Dost Thou Feel?

Slice of Life 2019: Day 26

“Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel” Romeo says in Act III of Romeo and Juliet.

This is an important statement for us writers. To truly do a subject justice, you have to feel it, be it. Just as a pizza delivery man gets his hot pies delivered timely to folks living in his neighborhood, so my best writing is when I’m speaking of stories and experiences close to my heart.

The necklace in the photo above I wear close to my heart and it reminds me of my artistic niece. One summer, she gathered up a collection of stamps from different time periods and countries. She scattered them around a big rectangular table along with some vintage maps and papers.

“Select your favorite stamp and I’ll mount it inside a pewter and glass pendant,” she instructed.

Part good luck and part literary genius, I thought it would be fun to have an image of the Bard to wear on Shakespeare days! I have a little of Ms. Frizzle deep inside. I keep Saturn earrings and some Flannery O’Connor reading glasses around too for short story days. So, after hunting around the pile, I picked out a 5 cent US. stamp bearing the image of William Shakespeare and asked her to work her magic.

A few weeks later, when it was delivered, I opened the package, and said, “I love it!” I’ve been wearing it on special days ever since.

Today, was a special day and I wore my dandy pendant-charm to see Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare Tavern with my ninth graders. Oh! That with it feel I get when I think ahead! But, nobody noticed the pendant there under my scarf and thick green sweater: “That in gold clasps locks in the golden story…” says Lady Capulet. In this case, in pewter clasps completely overlooked. But, no bother. Watching the tragedy once again with a goodly handful of 9th graders was its own reward.

I enjoyed watching their faces to see if they understood the puns and plot. Mostly they did. Shakespeare knew his audience and wrote with a passion surpassing time in relevance and influence. These modern teens still feel something when they see the anguish of a young woman being forced to comply with an overbearing parent or the desperation of a young man who has made a fatal mistake. This is the type of storytelling we strive for.