I Don’t Indulge


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You know one of the things aging teaches  you?  It’s a waste of time, energy, and emotion to be frantic.

I don’t do frantic.

There was a time when I may have indulged in frantic now and then, but it never did me a tiny bit of good. So these days, I just don’t go there.  Besides, there’s very little that makes me feel frantic these days.  Whatever it is, this too shall pass.  No point getting all bent out of shape.

Besides, you look pretty silly when you’re frantic.





A Meeting

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Zing and Zang perched on the edges of the white garden chairs. Every fiber of their bodies was on alert. They had switched to invisible mode, and so had the third person they both watched with curiosity and fear.

Peony was relaxed in a chair across the table from them.  She, too, was invisible. She smiled, understanding their fear. They had known that they would be watched, for their own protection. They hadn’t known that the little girl who flitted in and out of their sight would be a watcher.

This would take some time.

Beautiful Music


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Back when I was a sophomore in Bible college, I was in a girls’ quartet.  I sang bass 🙂  Actually, I took the bass line up an octave.  It was a lot of fun.  We would go out to various churches within driving distance on the weekends, singing and helping out with things like children’s church.

I love a good male quartet. I’ve always enjoyed barber-shop harmony, when it’s well done.   The singers usually sing with no instrumental backup, so they need to have the ability to hear when someone is a bit off.

One of my favorite ensembles in which to participate is  mixed quartet, two women and two men. ( I always hoped to marry a man I could sing with, but that didn’t happen.  Terry has many talents, but singing is NOT at the top of his list 🙂  )  Anyway,  I just really enjoy blending in harmony with other singers.  I’m very thankful that God gave me that ability. It has brought a great deal of pleasure over the years.

Here’s the Gaither Vocal Band singing  American the Beautiful.  Enjoy 🙂




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I was in high school during the peak of the miniskirt fad.  I didn’t wear them, because if my dad had caught me in one it would not have gone well.  For me, a short skirt was one that just skimmed the tops of my knees.

Image result for miniskirt

Anyway, you had to have the legs for it.  I did not.

Then, in college, we went all the way to the maxidress in an effort to take on some of the styles of the hippies of the era. Only we called them granny dresses.  I think I made one from a pattern like this, only with a higher neckline:

Image result for 1970's granny dress

Now, we’ve changed the words.  Micro means small, or tiny.  It’s used in science.  It’s also used to describe tiny little aggressions in our multi-cultural society.  Here’s a chart someone created showing you what some common microaggressions are:


And of course, a macroaggression is an outrageous, in-your-face insult to someone of a different race, color, or creed than the aggressor.  I know, I left some things out. No offense intended.  Really.

I saw a video yesterday of a man of color who was violently demanding an older white woman give up her bus seat so he could have it. He was very intimidating, and the old lady was obviously terrified. Another younger woman came to her rescue, leading her away from the irate man, who then banged his fist in victory, I guess, and plopped down in the seat, spreading out to make sure no one would try to share it with him. That’s macroaggression.

At the risk of creating some irate readers out there, I would just like to say that I honestly live my life without looking for ways to be either micro or macro.  I don’t even think about it. It doesn’t matter to me if someone is different than I am.

What does matter to me is to treat every single person I see with the exact same respect and courtesy with which I want to be treated.

So far, it’s working out pretty well.



Hoo Boy!


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Do they still have “efficiency experts”?  Maybe time management gurus or something.  Anyway, I could use one.

I look around my house, and everywhere my eyes stop, there is a task that needs to be done.  It’s depressing.
I was more efficient when all four kids were home, I had a three-story house, only one bathroom, and a wringer washer.  Oh yeah, and youth and energy.  Forgot about that part.

Now I have a convenient one-floor rancher, automatic washer and dryer, dishwasher, two bathrooms–and there are only two of us. Yet my house is almost never completely clean and orderly.

Of course, Terry is now retired.  That should tell you a lot right there if you’re married to a handyman, as I am.  There’s nothing he can’t fix.  The part he has trouble with is the cleaning up and putting away.

But I’m just as bad.  I think he’s rubbed off on me after all these years.  For instance, there is a table on the right side of my chair in the living room.  Right now, it is cluttered with several booklets of instructions for my phone, TV, and laptop.  I finished the project yesterday, but there it all still sits. Also, my lovely copy of Great Expectations,  which I need to finish reading before my homeschool co-op class on Friday.  Almost done.  Then there are the remotes–TV, DVD, special one for FiOS. And my Alexa.  And the landline phone.  And a stack of DVD’s Dan left that I’m slowly working through.  And a picture of Kyle and Ivan when they were little and too cute for words.  And my Android cell phone.  A pair of embroidery scissors, a nail file, a set of earphones, a Chapstick, a couple of pens, a coaster, an aroma therapy bottle with bamboo sticks in it–needs to be changed.  And a decorative thingy that gets hidden behind all the clutter. And, when I’m not using it, my wireless computer mouse.  And a big, beautiful doily that you can’t see much of because of all the stuff sitting on top of it.


(This is not mine.  I’m not quite that bad!)

See, I’m inefficient.

But now that I’ve described all that to you, I’m completely embarrassed.  I’m going to go get dressed and then come back in here and clean it all up.

Just that one table?  Well, come on, it’s a start!

Oh boy.  I just looked to my left. Ugh.

See, this chair is my op center!  Lots of work gets done here.

But I really am going to clean up the table on my right.  I will. Really.





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“I must be faceless,” thought Reenie.  She walked with a crowd of other hurrying lunch hour escapees, all seeming to be running away from the huge buildings that would swallow them back up in 45 minutes.

But no one noticed her.  She watched as others briefly glanced up, smiled, quickly lowered their eyes.  She watched people walking together, heads close as they had private conversations in a public place.  She watched as people met on the corners; men meeting men, men meeting women,  women meeting girlfriends and boyfriends. Seemed everyone else had a place to go, someone to see, a recognizable face in the crowds that filled the sidewalks.

But not her. She stopped at a sidewalk vendor and asked for a hot dog, all the way.  The man behind the cart slapped her sandwich together without ever looking up, and held out his hand for her money.


Reenie walked to a square, found a bench, sat on one end and slowly ate her sandwich. No one sat on the other end.  No one smiled at her. No one spoke.

Well, they had taught her to be invisible. They had trained her to behave in such a way that no one would remember her or be able to describe her. Thinking of her mission, she felt her heart speed up with excitement.  Only a few more days, and none of the ignorant people around her would be left with faces intact.

It would be a good day.


The Price of Freedom


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Interesting etymology on this one.  Without going into a lot of detail, it’s origins come from a couple of root words that mean outside the door.

Simply put, anything that does not innately belong  in  its present surroundings.  Like a sliver under your fingernail, it’s a foreign object.  If it is not removed, it will cause infection and possibly serious illness. It just doesn’t belong there.

That is not to say that anything foreign must be removed.  Sometimes, foreign is very good.  For instance, lady bugs are not native to this continent. They were brought in from eastern Asia to control other plant-eating insects, such as aphids.  They do a great job, beginning to feed from the moment they are hatched.

There are many foreign foods for which I am quite grateful.  I’ve learned to have a yen for foods from India, Thailand, China, Japan–and of course from European countries as well.  I’ve noticed that our American food markets have expanded their varieties of cheese and other products in the last 20 years or so, giving us access to some delightful choices.

There is a foreign bug that we’re all concerned about, though–


This pretty but nasty little critter is killing trees, and we don’t seem to have figured out a way to get rid of it yet.

What about “foreign” people?  Well, America wouldn’t be America without them, after all.  We were all foreigners at some point, including the so-called Native Americans who got here before white Europeans did. The truth is that all people have migrated down through the centuries.  Those who have managed to stay in their chosen places the longest, not being conquered or run out by advancing foreigners, are considered  native to that place.  And, of course, no one wants to be displaced, so laws are made to control the influx of foreigners.  Reasonable laws require that they take steps to become citizens; that they contribute to the economy and do not become a burden or a threat.  Assimilation, rather than establishing their old villages and cities into  their new country, has been accepted and expected, and is reasonable. Demands that their new country not only accept them, but change their own laws to accommodate them, are not reasonable.

Well, I know not everyone will agree with that last paragraph, and that is one of the blessings of being in America. We can disagree without fear of being thrown in jail, tortured, killed.  If we want to keep that freedom, we need to be vigilant.  And smart.


A Keepsake


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Nana.  Grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother. She lived to be 102. Sadly, she lived in a far distant place in her mind the last ten years or so.  She recognized no one, not even her beloved son or grandsons, nor the daughter who cared for her so faithfully.  Not her fault.  Alzheimer’s is a thief, a horrible vandal that destroys the brain.  It is the long goodbye.  The last coherent words she spoke were in German, her native tongue, although she had spoken English fluently for most of her life.

With her eyes closed, speaking to someone only she could see, she whispered, “Ich liebst du.”

Many years later,  her grandson’s wife brought him a golden locket on a long gold chain. She’d kept it safely in a small box for many years,  hoping that someday there would be a granddaughter of her own who would cherish such a talisman.

“Can  you repair the clasp, Honey?  It’s fine except for that, and I thought maybe our granddaughter would enjoy having this.  She likes old-fashioned things, and this is special.”

He did repair it. He also  fixed the little pin that started playing the music when the locket was opened.  Inside, there was a tiny picture of Nana’s husband, who  had died long before  she did.

Their granddaughter did indeed cherish the locket, understanding the value of something that had survived so many generations.  And here’s the music it played. Not the words, just a music-box rendition of the melody:



Not Quite White-Out


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Terry is outside doing the first  run on clearing our driveway.  I’m sure he’ll do it at least a couple more times before the snow stops.  He likes to stay ahead of it, because our “plow” is just a little lawn tractor  with a plow attached.

He has attached a long pole with a neon orange flag at the top.  Otherwise,  he’d be invisible. It’s a white world out there, although not really a white-out. I can see the trees, and the houses across the road–although they’re a bit blurred 🙂

The forecast was for 6-14 inches, and if this keeps up,  we’ll  get at least that much.


Yup, that’s about what it looks like. Visibility is poor.  I have the day off–no one wants to brave the streets until this slows down and the road workers have a chance to start plowing–although they’re probably already out there on the main roads.

So, am I bummed about this  early spring snow bombardment?  No, not really.  I’m home, warm and safe.  The snow will melt quickly in temps that are going to be over 40 for the next several days.  My narcissus will survive–they’re tough little flowers.  This too shall pass, and in spite of all the snow I can actually hear some birds singing out there under the protection of our front porch.  That’s pretty cool.


I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  Hats off to emergency workers, medical people, the ones who drive the plows and the salt trucks, everyone who has to be out there because it’s part of the job.  They make life easier for the rest of us.  They may seem invisible, but their efforts certainly are not.


The Trail


PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

Anna pulled the horses to a stop. She sat very still on the seat of the buckboard, pondering the strange sign. She’d never seen anything like it, but it was a clear warning to go no farther. Who put it there?

Clearly, others had gone before her. The track was evidence of that.  She’d known it was a dangerous trail, but she was intrepid and curious, a sometimes dangerous combination.

Pulling her shotgun closer, she clucked at the horses and slapped the reins, moving slowly forward.

Too bad her sunbonnet blocked her vision.