Category Archives: inspiration

I’m in my pajamas and it’s after midnight (and life goes haywire)

“I think I need to go to the hospital,” Jerry says to me. “I’m having chest pains and they’re not going away.”

I’m in my pajamas and it’s after midnight. I had stayed up to read my book (When A Crocodile Eats the Sun).

I go down the list of heart attack symptoms. “Does it feel like an elephant is stepping on your chest?”

“No,” he says, “it’s periodic stabbing pain that comes and goes.”

“Trouble breathing? Pain radiating down your arm?”

“No, but my breathing is shallow when I have the stabbing pain….Ohhhhhyeeech, there’s another one.” Jerry puts his hand over his heart. I suggest calling 911. “No, just drive me,” he insists. I throw on some sweat pants and grab my keys. read more

How Dare You!

Growing up in Southern California, I didn’t have the four seasons. Summer meant sloshing on the Slip n’ Slide and sticking the garden hose inside my dad’s inflatable lifeboat to fill it up for our own homemade swimming pool. Winter meant we might need a jacket while playing outdoors.

All in all, I grew up in a world of sunshine, orange trees, blooming hibiscus and bougainvillea.

This is some of my childhood gang. I was so envious of the girl on my left. She was 7-years-old and I wanted to be “grown-up” and older like her. I lived in my cowgirl outfit. The doll I’m holding will soon get lost at the beach. I will cry forever and my mom will feel bad and rush to the store and buy me two new dolls exactly like the one I lost.

I don’t recall much about Thanksgiving at our house. We usually had a turkey dinner with no one invited to join us. My dad had ongoing feuds with relatives, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with us dining by ourselves. One Thanksgiving my dad’s Aunt Myrtle invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house. This seemed like a wonderful treat to go to someone’s house for Thanksgiving. Aunt Myrtle’s daughter, a teenager at the time, passed me a bowl of peas soon after we had all seated ourselves at the table and the prayer said. I passed the peas right on by as I hated peas. The teenage cousin said to my mom in a haughty tone, “Aunt Bev, shall I make her eat peas?”  My mom told her it was okay for me to not eat peas. As you probably have guessed, I was never fond of that cousin after that. read more

I Had Some Dreams, They Were Clouds in My Mint Melange Tea

I have plenty of time before my flight, so I search for an empty table at the cozy, dimly-lit, seat-yourself restaurant inside the airport.

I plop down at the first vacant table I see. I’m not excited over the menu options of grease in various forms, to be washed down with expensive beer. It doesn’t matter. I have a spot to decompress after my search and seizure experience. My new metal hip had set off the TSA alarm as I traversed the security check. I was suddenly surrounded by TSA agents barking, “Stop. Take your shoes off. Kleenex? Out of your pocket.” So much for my pre-check status. read more

The Bratty Voice In My Head

Rain barreled into my world in Garden Grove, California. Puddles soaked our front yard. Mini-rivers swept down the street. Our neighbors huddled inside their homes. But my mom wouldn’t let a rainstorm stop her. She wanted a taco at Taco Lita and do some shopping at the Broadway.

At 8-years-old, I loved the rain and my mom’s suggestion we go out for tacos and shop at the Broadway sounded good to me. I put on my red, slicker rain coat and my red, rubber rain boots. My sister, age 6, got into her rain gear and we hopped into our funny little car, a Nash Metropolitan which we called the Metro. read more

Happy Food Deprivation Anniversary To Us!

“Can’t we sit outside?” I asked our hostess as she led us to an indoor window table. I added, “I requested an outdoor table by the creek.”

Our hostess, a young twenty-something with long flowing hair like Rapunzel-in-the-making, gave me a pouty, glum look and shook her head slowly, “Not tonight, it’s raining.”

“It’s not raining,” I said, although I knew we had arrived in Sedona to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary in the heart of the monsoon season. It had rained earlier in the day. read more