SOLC7: Laundry

March 7, 2016


Five jeans, three leggings, one pair of legs on the move.

Blue favorite shirt, two sweaters, wrap her up in comfort.

Fashion blouse, cute striped T-shirt, somethings new.

Socks – seven pairs, six singles, where are the missing ones?

One suitcase, three bags, hamper full of clean clothes, cosmetics and purse.

Two shopping trips, evening talks, tens days passed fast.

Snacks. Keys. Hugs.

Four flights of stairs, three roommates, Tweets, and 1000 laughs.

Laundry will come home again and so will her stories.

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men's basketball game. Go Lancers!

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men’s basketball game. Go Lancers!

SOLC1: Playing Hookie

March 1, 2016

Today I played hookie.

As a high school, I secretly  wanted to play hookie from school, but the guilt swarmed over me and I never dared skip. Too risky! My parents. Possible in-school suspension and my own pounding heart kept me in check. But the thought of adventuring away with a friend to have whimsical fun and a carefree day away from studies tempted me.

Today I did play hookie. I did have fun, guilt free, being swept away by my dear one. Yep. We went shopping, glorious shopping. More Elizabeth than me, but I was smiling all the same. My college daughter is home on spring break and we needed to get away. Clothes called to us and greet us with beautiful corals, teals, and spring. We laughed looking at home furnishings and imaging new beauty added to our rooms.

Words. Stories. Shared moments of times gone by were savored all day long. These were the best prizes of the day. No purchase necessary. Just time and attention as the conversation ebbed and flowed, sealing our special day. We ended our spending spree with manicures. Sitting side by side, my heart was thankful I had played hookie. I played hookie from the hurried moments, the demands of my job. My heart didn’t feel guilty. I played hookie on the “I wish I would have” thought and embraced the joy of this carefree day spent with my daughter. My smile spreads. Yep. I think I will play hookie again.

photo 2

Elizabeth’s nails are stunning. The intricate art replicates the loving heart of my daughter.

Beautiful blue! My hands remind me of mothering and the memories held.

Beautiful blue! My hands remind me of mothering and the memories held.

Grandma Kessler {Slice of Life}

December 17, 2013

The conversation began through a picture memory my cousin posted on Facebook of her mom, who passed away a year ago. Cousins across the country began commenting, missing her smile, love, and joy she shared.


Thoughts turned to our yearly gathering at Grandma Kessler’s house for Christmas. This holiday was about Love, belonging, and sharing stories.Grandma had ten children and with grandpa passing early in life, she held the family together. We lived the farthest away and being an only child, I was thrilled belonging to a large, lively family. I was home there at Grandma’s, spending a month in the summer with her, visiting the uncles and aunts at the farms.


The comments began and my cousin Brett brought in the laughter to our comments. You see by the time I married, we had close to 100 people in Grandma’s house. We laughed. We were loud. We shared. Then, we opened presents. The secret name we drew back in September, known only by Grandma. We started with the youngest and circled around the room finding the next person. We would open the present, announce the gift, thank the gifter and then the gift from Grandma.

I am thankful for family and memories and connections today. We have a legacy passed on to us that we pass on to our family and others around us.


The Never-Ending Laundry

October 18, 2013

“Will the laundry ever end?” a young mother asked me once. I smiled and shook my head. Nope. Not ever.
I use to dread doing the laundry. I still can’t say it’s my favorite chore, but my attitude changed.

I posted about laundry once and a commenter’s wisdom made me think. She alluded to losing a loved one and how she misses doing the laundry. Having laundry means I have family.
Laundry means my son plays football and is active, healthy young man growing through the pain.
Laundry means my daughter is learning to find her beauty and being beautiful in sweatshirts as well as her blouses.
Laundry means I will see my college son and hear his stories of practice, mischievous moments, and just plain life.
Laundry means my husband has a job and cares enough to give a hand.
Laundry means love, family
And I am thankful I have it to do.



August 20, 2013

Crickets sang from the country greens around the golf course. Eighty degree sunshine filled the air, brightening the emerald grass, as I watched my Elizabeth play golf.
Birds signaled a call to a friend, who replied a congenial song. Today’s sweetness awakened my dendrites.
In the stillness only the country bacon bring, the cricket’s song caught my attention. Most August days I might have considered the continuous song ordinary.
Today I noticed.
The music had new meaning.
I have been listening to the audio book, A Cricket in Times Square. A story of friendship, loyalty, and hope has been inspiring. Crickets do annoy me and mice do not please me. Nevertheless, the craft of personification has brought me closer to the insect, summoning admiration for its song.


SOLC: Wrestling Tournament

March 2, 2013

sols_6Wrestling Tournament
Watching this sport wrenches my insides. It’s hard. My husband loves this game but has to work. It’s my turn. I love my son, support him, and go because I need to. It’s important.

Middle school – 35 miles away
Saturday – ALL day
TWELVE teams
Four mats
Three 1 minute periods
-some short
-some long, especially during a beat-down.
200 wrestlers
500 spectators
whistles, towel-throws, coaches’ bellowing voices
Fan shirt on
Cooler – snacks, water, lunch
bleachers – wooden, hard
-top spot for back support 🙂

“You won’t hear me but know that I’m cheering.”
A smile and a nod.
“Be careful. Don’t shoot down too far. Fight hard. I’m not sure what else to say. Dad’s not here.”
“Love you, Mom!”
Now I smile.
“I’m proud of you!”
* * * * *
Tim heads to the mat. For a quick moment, he glances up and catches my eye.
I signal the ‘be mentally tough’ sign. He nods.
It begins.

P.S. I wrote this slice during the beginnings of the tourney this morning. I couldn’t believe the amount of people who were there. Tim, placed fourth, after defeating a tough opponent. I had just come off the bleachers when he rounded the hall corner, looking for me, huge smile on his face. “I did it!” Sweaty, he wrapped me up in a hug and squeezed. I guess being there was all that mattered. 🙂

SOL: I Have Two Dads

April 17, 2012

I said,"Smile," and Dad made an onry, cheesy grin that made his grandkids, Wes and my niece, Tori, laugh.

I have two dads.
My first dad created me, nurtured me, encouraged me. He loves my mom, has provided for the family, is still by my side. He is my biological dad and I love him.

My second dad adopted me twenty years ago, teases me, loves me as his own. He nurtured my husband, gives him advice, is still by our side. He is my father-in-law and I love him.

These two dads are friends. They have opposite view points at times, discuss their grandchildren, and pray together each week. My dad worked in an office: my second dad worked with his hands. My dad is a people pleaser; my second dad is tells it like it is. My dad raised one child; my second dad raised ten. They agree on one important point – to love us dearly. And, they are there for each other.

My second dad has lived with us for the past five years. He has grafted in to our family and has blessed our lives with his wisdom, stories, and care.

My second dad has been in the hospital for over a week, celebrating his 80th birthday on April 15. He was surrounded by loved ones of all ages, concern lying beneath the well wishes. My dad visited him that day, joking as usual. Their bond is strong which carries us along.

I have two dads…
A blessing that fills my heart.

SOLSC: My Back Story

March 29, 2012

I’ll let you in on a secret: I actually like numbers more than writing. Yep.
(At least I did as a kid.) I am good at math. I can add numbers quickly in my head and reason problems. Numbers come naturally. So, you may ask, how did you start writing? Good question.

I didn’t like writing as a kid. I definitely didn’t think of myself as a writer. I struggled with spelling, vocabulary, and reading. Three essentials for writing (and I was in the buzzard’s reading group.) So how did I evolve into a writer?
Through letters.

I am an only child (almost) and my cousins, grandma lived 600 miles away. I didn’t have email or a cell phone. Back in my day, phone calls cost enormous amounts for long distance, so I turned to the next best thing: letters.
I wrote 3,4,5 letters a week. Not just one pagers either. (I usually averaged 3 to 5.) To someone close, 7 pages was no problem. It was my voice, my release. My cousins and friends returned letters, but never as long as mine. I didn’t care. My thoughts were out and I was connected.

Now I have to grab my notebook and pen, my computer and blog. I have a passion to empower and to connect. I have thoughts to capture and moments to savor. I have a story to tell.
I. Am. A. Writer.

This is my back story.

SOLSC: Our Daughter is So Beautiful

March 28, 2012

Our daughter is so beautiful,” my mom said to my dad on the day my sister was born. Every part of her 9 lb. 13 oz., 21 inch long little self was perfect. Her dark hair made her blue eyes sparkle. I was eight. I had practiced diapering my dolls, cradling them to pretend sleep. I was ready to be a big sister. I couldn’t wait. I had even chosen her name – Elizabeth.  My smile was proud!

Elizabeth was beautiful!

Within twenty-four hours, the doctors recognized something was not quite right. Her little heart beat was erratic and she struggled with breathing.  In 1975, ultrasounds were not prevalent. No warnings were given prior to her birth. No warnings that my sister had a two-chambered, deformed heart. No warnings that my mother’s heart would be broken two days later!

Twenty-two years later, I delivered my second child, a beautiful little girl. She had a head-full of dark hair and blue eyes that sparkled. She weighed 10 lbs. even at 21 inches long. My mom cradled her in her arms with the sweetest smile ever. My dad stopped in his tracks as he whispered to my husband, “She looks exactly like our Elizabeth.”

My mother’s heart was delighted,  filled with a  healing-happiness.  I chose my daughter’s name – Elizabeth.  She’s beautiful, fulfilling, and knows where her name originated.


March 25, 2012

When Ruth posted the 31 Slice Ideas, my mind lingered for a moment about TV. I began to wonder how I could craft a piece about a TV show. I watch CSI with my husband and love The Mentalist (Patrick is so observant). Our family has started watching The Voice and don’t always agree with the judges. But I didn’t want to list the shows; I wanted to connect. Then it hit me – Monk.

Let’s just say, Mr. Monk and me, well…we have some similar traits. In the introductory scene, Mr. Monk returns at the door to turn the umbrella the correct way. When Adrian organizes papers, shelves, and books, my family looks at me. They don’t have to say it; they just know I relate. You see, I like to have items in an orderly fashion. It’s wonderful when the counters are clear, the shoes are lined up by the door, and the dishes are tidy.  I love the sense of organization. The neatness. The put-awayness. The everything-is-in-its-place ness. This is my heart’s desire.

The difference between Monk and me – I survive daily with my house not being tidy. Clean clothes are in laundry baskets waiting to be folded. Dishes are in the sink. Books are in piles. Although I would love for the tidiness to be in fashion, I look beyond my impulse to the family I have and live in reality. My family activities, the writing I do, the reading and commenting on blogs are more important than the desire to be an obsessive compulsive neat freak. One day, my children will be gone and the house will be quiet. Maybe then, I’ll have time to be neat. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy watching Mr. Monk keep his place organized and love my family instead.