Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Philosophy


Who had deceived thee so often as thyself? 
                                   Benjamin Franklin

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
                                    Mark Twain

Deception has a received a bad rap over time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Visiting the Good Life

This was a solo trip, leaving a warm husband and a cold New England to visit friends with second homes in Florida.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Life in 12F

Auspicious beginnings :
¨     I scored my favorite seat on the plane for the trip, the one by the window.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(Almost) On the Road

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. 

I wonder sometimes if I might have been a cat in a past life. Milk is not kind to my system, and I like to think about adventure, but the idea of change makes me edgy.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Shifting Demographics

This is my contribution to this week's

Five Sentence Fiction

You can find other entries at

This week's topic is  Clutch

Cat food, milk, soda, and ice cream – all the essentials needed to get through the weekend ran through Melanie’s head as she pulled into the convenience store parking lot on her way home from the office.

She opened her car door just as two young men in masks ran out of the store to her car, where one jumped in the passenger seat and the other yanked the keys from her hand.

The hijacked car started, the engine roared, but the vehicle went nowhere in spite of the extensive cursing within.

She could hear a shouted and angry exchange between the two men who then threw open the car doors and ran off into the night.

Apparently her decision to choose a standard transmission was validated by more than improved gas mileage; the number of people able to negotiate a clutch was definitely diminishing. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mystery Lovers

     Back in my days as an English teacher, I remember telling my students (after I first learned this from somewhere else) that the popularity of the mystery is driven by our need for order. Unlike the messiness of life, in a mystery there is always a tidy end. This is very satisfying. Also, the evildoer is usually caught, or at least identified. There is none of that frustration we feel in real life when that undeserving snake we have the misfortune to know sails off smugly, the apparent darling of fate.
               In high school when I moved my bedroom down to the basement, I shared the space with shelf after shelf of my father's discarded who-dun-its. Since like any card-carrying teenager I would rather have sat next to the nose-picker in geometry than spend any time with my parents, I spent many hours down there working my way through the entire Nero Wolfe series, most of the Miss Marples, and endless Margery Allinghams.  I still read mysteries today and never do I concern myself with the actual clues. When I get to the finish, I think "Oh, so that's how he did it" rather than "Aha! I was right - the fingerprints on the elevator buttons were only a ruse!"
      I read mysteries for the characters within them, which is why I regret that Christie didn't write more Tommy and Tuppance (spunky and fun) and less Hercule Poirot, (annoying). (Haven't you ever wanted to grab the man and say, "Buy some shoes that fit, you fool"?) I'm just along for the ride, enjoying Lord Peter Wimsey's urbane world and Miss Marple's cozy St. Mary Mead. 
     Now while struggling to write my own mystery, I realize to my chagrin that I suppose I'll have to put some clues in it. Hard work.  I regret my past cavalier attitude and wish I had paid more attention to the masters when I was reading from one end to the other of those paperback-lined shelves. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stinky Man versus Stella

Today, ten minutes into my daily (okay, maybe every other day) thirty on my favorite treadmill,  I saw the sight that always takes the spring out of my step. Stinky Man was passing by on the other side of the fitness room’s big window at the Y. I knew from bitter experience that his next port of call would be the recumbent bike diagonally to my left, strategically situated between me and the fan.

Monday, January 13, 2014

August Mooning

Here's my contribution to this week's  Five Sentence Fiction

You can find other entries at

This week's topic is  Moon

Standing on her cropped suburban lawn, staring at the August sky and prodding her secret like a sore tooth, Madeleine wished she could somehow control the passage of time, become its mistress rather than its servant.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Exam for the Examining Room

Today’s appointment had me pondering some of life’s conundrums.

Thus, here is a short quiz for you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Goodbye Old Paint

I was down in the black hole of Calcutta that is my laundry area the other day and threw one load in the dryer and started up another load of wash. I was folding a finished load – yes, the holidays are over, but the endless loads of sheets and towels for company are still with me– when I heard a very unfamiliar noise.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Elevated thoughts

Here's my contribution to:
Five Sentence Fiction

You can find other entries at

This week's topic is  Moments

The ceiling had a long crack which then branched to two paths across the beige plaster.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Peace of Winter

I’m currently hunkered down here with our two-day storm, happy in stretchy pants and sweatshirt. All in all, it’s not such a big deal – the snow is very light and fluffy, our road is plowed very regularly, and I’m no longer schlepping off to work. We’re not anywhere close to the Berkshires, and so ended up with only about 6 inches, small beer here in Western Massachusetts.
          Yet how could you not be a bit edgy when you have a storm named Hercules coming your way? With the 24 hour availability of the Weather Channel, where they talk about nothing but the weather, it’s easy to get hyped up. Their forecasters stand in front of their maps and diagrams, reeling off wind speeds, historic temperatures, and expected depths. Others clutch microphones while being beaten by surf, or gale force winds, and it starts to seem inevitable that it’s only a matter of time before all this weather drama reaches our doors. The last hurricane had me filling the bathtub and taping the windows, while all we finally experienced was a heavy rainstorm.
          I was prepared again this time. Knowing the nor’easter was coming on Thursday, my first counter measure was to jump in my car and hit the stores. I figured if I was going to be trapped indoors for two days, I needed to spend some quality time trying on shoes.
          I discovered that New Year’s Day is a great time to go shopping. There’s no school and many are home from work, so the roads were deserted, and 50% of the world is hung over, so the stores were empty, particularly of the pre-Christmas mania. I had found the real peace of the holiday season.