A Good Memory


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It’s surprising, sometimes, the memories that one simple word can evoke. This time it’s a memory of a genuine, all-you-can-eat Southern fish fry.

My parents spent the last 25 years of Dad’s life and ministry in a little town in South Carolina. ¬†We were there on a visit, and Dad decided we needed to experience eating at a Fish Shack. ¬†Maybe that doesn’t need to be capitalized, but I’ll give it that much respect ūüôā

The food was wonderful.  Fish fried to perfection, french fries the same, with just the right amount of salt. Seems like there were hush puppies, too. It was great.

bubba-s-fish-shack348s  There were long tables. You sat with

whoever was already there, family style, and getting to know people was part of the fun.  It was extremely busy, a full house with people coming and going the whole time we were there.

As a special treat, Dad got us all a Hershey Bar for dessert. ¬†Surprised me, as he really wasn’t much of a chocoholic.

I am.


Two Old Men

Chuckle:  The one-word Daily Prompt


The old man sitting on the park bench chuckled. It was loud enough for the person sitting next to him to hear, and that person looked out of the sides of his eyes at the old man before rapidly gathering his jacket and moving away.

The old man chuckled again. No one heard him this time. He waited. Soon, a young mother and her two little ones perched on the end of his bench. The children ran off to the swings, and the old man chuckled.

The hair on the young woman’s arms stood up straight, and she popped up from her seat and quickly followed her children.


The next visitor was another old man. They sat quietly for a while. The newcomer then asked, “So, how many have you scared off so far today?”

“Only two, but it’s early. ¬†You?”

“Five. But one of them found a cop, so I made myself scarce. ¬†More fun than a barrel of monkeys.”


The Shoes

PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

She wanted, more than anything, to study art. She coveted the title Art Historian,  She loved beauty, mystery, romance, the vistas of a world she would never see for herself.  Art would take her away from her invalid chair and her dreams of dancing.

The only reminder of her lost gift was the pair of high-heeled dance shoes she refused to throw away. ¬†How she had whirled, twirled, romped and stomped ¬†through her routines, feeling as if nothing could stop her from flying away from earth’s gravity and into the vast universe.

If only. If only.

Cloudy Eyes


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The eyes, say some people, are the windows to the soul. That’s quite poetic, and ¬†I believe there is some truth to it.

I’ve never seen it myself, when a person dies and his eyes go opaque. ¬†My sister described it as she watched my mother draw her last breaths. She watched as the eye dimmed and finally just–went out. ¬†No life, no soul. Nothing reflected inward or outward, the eyes were now simply biological spheres that held no life.

The man in the picture below has an opaque eye clouded by a cataract.


I have noticed that as people reach advanced old age their eyes seem to recede somewhat, and become less expressive. I’m not sure why that happens.

What I find quite unsettling, though, is when a perfectly healthy person’s eyes reflect nothing at all. We call it a ‘flat affect’ in my line of work. The face shows no expression, no emotion, and even the eyes are flat. Opaque. There’s just no one home.

I love to look into the eyes of a baby. They are learning so much. The neurons in their brains are multiplying and whizzing around in there so fast that the baby can hardly keep up. So often, the expression in the eyes is full of emotion: ¬†Joy, curiosity, serious study, sparkling ¬†response. The child hasn’t learned yet to be cynical and distrustful.

Too bad that period can’t last a bit longer.


I Love Storms


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Electricity is an amazing thing. Such power, and we have learned to harness it for our day-to-day use as well as for massive grids of power all across our country.
By the time I was born, in 1947, most people had some sort of access to electricity with the exception, perhaps, of those who lived way out in the wilds , away from even the rural electrical  supply.  Those folks chose to live that way, enjoyed it, and were perfectly content without all that electricity has brought to us.
The electricity I most enjoy, though, is the lightening that accompanies a thunder storm.  I know it can be dangerous, and I respect that. A jolt from one of those brilliant forks of power can kill. Nevertheless, I love the displays  that could light up the skies better than any show of fireworks. In a really good storm, there was the constant flash of great forks and streaks of lightening, followed by the BA-BOOM! of the thunder that the lightening created.
Growing up in the flatlands of southern Minnesota, I was very familiar with summer storms that bred lightening, thunder, and the dreaded tornado. Scary, but fascinating.

Learning to Compromise


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I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke:

“Do you wake up cranky in the morning?”

“No, he gets himself up now that he’s retired and doesn’t need the alarm clock.”

I’ve written before about Terry being a morning Tigger, while I tend to be a morning Eeyore. ¬†I just need some time for my brain and body to reconnect before I have to start talking or being cheerful. ¬†Half an hour will usually do it, especially if I’m having coffee.

Crankiness is a state of mind. ¬†I believe we choose it, just as we choose any other emotion. ¬†I could put on a facade of cheerfulness, and sometimes I do. ¬†No one should have to put up with a raging grouch in the morning–or any other time of day.


Big¬†however coming up here: ¬†Just as I respect Terry’s need ¬†to have it quiet in the house because his hearing is deteriorating–he can’t hear me if there’s ambient noise– I believe he should be able to give me that half hour in the morning to get my systems in gear.

I love having music ¬†playing. ¬†All day. ¬†Now that he’s retired and home most of the time, my CD player isn’t nearly as busy as it used to be. This is hard for me. He keeps telling me I can go ahead and play my music, but the minute I do he seems to need to talk, and I have to turn it off anyway.

This is not a hill I choose to die on. ¬†Marriage is about accommodating each other and not insisting on having your own way. So he is learning to leave me alone for half an hour or so in the morning, and I’m learning to use my iPod Shuffle when I want my music.

Neither of us needs to be cranky. ¬†There’s always a way to compromise.


Keeping Stats


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What is this fascination we have with measuring everything? ¬†I mean, I can understand why kids want to be measured as they grow. It’s proof that they’re becoming not-little-kids anymore, and they get all excited when they top ¬†Mom or Dad. That’s just fun.

What I don’t understand is why the nurse at my doctor’s office insists on weighing and measuring me. Every. Single. Time. My top height was 5’1 1/4″ ¬†and it’s not getting better. In fact, I’ve lost a couple of inches. ¬†So instead of rubbing it in, why can’t the nurse just put “SHORT” at the top of her chart? ¬†Works for me.

Cooking. ¬†I’ve always needed to measure when I’m baking. ¬†I can’t just put a handful of this and a few drops of that ¬†into a bowl and hope it will turn into something delicious. So I measure. ¬†Cooking, however, is a little different. It’s pretty hard to ruin a casserole, a stew, a pot roast. ¬†Experience tells you what works and what doesn’t. ¬†As a newly-wed, I measured everything. Not any more. And most of the time, things turn out just fine.

My handyman husband often walks around with a huge orange tape measure s-l225hooked to his belt or hanging off the handle of his tool bucket. He loves tape measures. He has a big yellow one, too, but he says he can see the orange one better.  We also have a draw full of old wooden rulers, and his collection of plastic gizmos that measure angles and stuff is pretty impressive.  He loves any tool that has more than one use, so the plastic dealies please him. Immensely.


In my own world, I have lots of different tools for measuring, as well, ¬†Kitchen stuff. ¬†Sewing and quilting stuff. ¬†Knitting and crocheting stuff. ¬†I learned quickly that if you don’t check your gage when knitting, you’re going to end up with a ridiculous piece of work.


Okay. ¬†I guess I’ve answered my own question. ¬†Measure is important. ¬†We measure heat and cold, temperature, blood pressure, and all sorts of other things that keep us safe and healthy. Good. ¬†Now I can think about something else ūüôā


Full Moon Rising


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I have a fascination with the moon. ¬†I know it’s just a big sphere of rock and sand, nothing magical about it. ¬†Nothing, that is, until you realize that the light it gives, especially at full moon, ¬†is a direct reflection from the sun. I’ve always found that rather amazing. I also wonder how anyone can deny the existence of a Master Designer when one contemplates how perfectly all the bodies of the universe work together.

So I love to watch a full moon rising, and I missed it on Tuesday. ¬†I was determined to see it last night, so I checked the time it was scheduled to rise. It’s not cold out, so I was able to wait in the darkness of the back yard as this monthly spectacle unfolded.

Image result for full moon april 2017

At first, it seemed to be nothing more than the light from a house near the horizon, but then I realized that the light was growing and rounding, and I had my full moon. In its timely and dependable manner, the brilliant yellow-gold globe floated upward until it cleared the tree line, and it was getting late, and I needed to head for bed.

This time of year, it’s called a “pink moon.” ¬†I wondered about that, so of course I researched it. The moon is not pink, much to my disappointment. It is really just a reference to the ubiquitous ground cover of pink phlox ¬†that blooms in April. Okay, that will work. ¬†I love phlox, and I love the moon.

I had a really good time last night, all by myself in the dark, waiting for the full moon to light my way back into the house.



PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Cold pizza. Rich with cheese and herbs, the grease spotted the delivery box  and stained the granite counter underneath.

The wine bottle, left uncorked, was half full. Only one goblet, which indicated the person had been alone.

Bits and pieces, the flotsam and jetsam of life, littered the dresser top¬†around the pizza. There weren’t, however, any real clues as to what had happened. ¬†No indication of a fight in the hotel room. ¬†A couple of shopping bags were still full. A brief case was unmolested.

Nothing explained the crumpled body on the sidewalk far below.