- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in English, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with MA from R.I. School of Design. Barking Cat Books published my first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. My humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. In 2018 Barking Cat Books published my SURVIVING YOUR DREAM VACATION: 75 RULES TO KEEP YOUR COMPANION TALKING TO YOU ON THE ROAD. See website By CLICKING HERE.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
On November 8, 2020, I tuned into our favorite radio station in south Florida and Christmas music popped on. I began to reach for the dial, in disgust at the early commercialism, but instead began singing. That's right - I was singing to Christmas music in early November.
I needed to feel good again, to exhale, to take the stress off my sleep-deprived brain, to erase the relentless, rabid, targeted tweets of 2020 and SING about the time of year that cocoons me like a warm, fuzzy comforter.
The U.S. had reached a total of 10,000,000 Covid infections. Nearly 240,000 had died. One hundred thousand small businesses had closed since the start of the pandemic. President Trump wasn't conceding the election so that President-elect Biden could begin the transition process, despite Biden's winning enough popular votes (discounting those still being counted) to give him more than the necessary 270 in the electoral college and no evidence of fraud in any state.
I'd barely written anything new in the spring and summer of 2020...I just wasn't motivated. We weren't socializing, we certainly weren't traveling, and we hardly left the house except to exercise. I managed a few humorous blogs and posted some friends' travel stories, while diving into books, cooking, and gardening.
In late October we drove 1500 miles from Massachusetts to Florida to vote in the Presidential election, aware that Florida traditionally went to the Republicans. It did again. We paid $109 each for Covid tests (both negative) so that we could unpack. Our air-conditioning went out in 85-degree temperatures the first night we arrived. Two plumbing items had to be replaced and an outdoor electric storm shutter was stuck. A week later, Tropical Storm Eta hit with 55 mph winds and slashing rains.
Of all the tragedies emerging, a generation of children teaching themselves on sofas and mattresses had the potential to become the most devastating. Researchers at Brown University projected in May, 2020, that students would return in the fall, 2020, with approximately two-thirds of the reading gains relative to a regular school year and about one-third to one-half of the learning gains in math. (NY Times, Nov. 8, 2020, Ginia Bellafante, "The Pandemic Widens the Learning Gap," p. 29.)
Still, I sang! I sang off-tune and hummed the words I'd forgotten because I was blessed to have a husband of 55 years who still loved me; because our family enjoyed good health and wasn't devastated by the Covid virus, as so many hundreds of thousands had been; because we had retirement funds and weren't stressed about our living quarters or our food supply; because we had a support system of relatives and friends who enriched us in innumerable ways; because our family had never been forcefully separated or racially attacked.
And I wasn't the only one singing. On November 8th, multitudes in protective masks poured from their doors to chant, to sing, to pop champagne. Our nation would need time to accept, to lessen the rancor, to coalesce, to change the systemic ills, to heal. Meanwhile, I listened to Christmas music and sang. I wondered how many others were singing, too.
Friday, September 25, 2020
They say you can tell a woman’s age by looking at her hands. Which puts me at about one hundred! Let’s just say that my hands will never be models for a sculpture, unless it’s outside a skilled nursing facility.
One of my granddaughters once asked me why I had blue worms on the backs of my hands. The veins are raised and twisted, in-between the now protruding knuckles. I gave her a lengthy explanation of what veins do, and told her she had them in her hands, too. The only problem was, we couldn't find them!
When I go for blood work, the lab nurse never fails to exclaim, “Oh, these are beautiful!” I look at her like she’s not playing with a full deck. Then she explains that I’ll never be traumatized by having a succession of needles poked into my hands (or forearms) trying to find a vein. And that if one collapses, I’ll have plenty of others to choose from. That’s supposed to make me feel better?
There are operations where plastic surgeons inject YOUR OWN fat into your hands to plump them up. The operation is a mere $5,000/hand. But then, I do have some rolls I’d like to get rid of!
Almost as offensive as the veins are the small round bruises. I’m not even aware of doing it, but if either hand bumps against something, a small purple mushroom appears. My mother used to call them “age” or “liver” spots. She had to take Coumadin to thin her blood, then an aspirin regimen to replace the Coumadin. I don’t know if the blood thinners were related to the spots, but I take neither and my hands always look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Tonight my right hand sports a new wound across the thumb. That’s from cutting it on the door latch of my locker, while storing my golf bag. So in addition to the blue worms and purple mushrooms, I have a red badge of courage. The courage was just for going out on the golf course!
Then there’s the lump and blue/black bruise on my shin. I know I’m digressing from the hands, but it’s the same beat-up body. In a tennis match I whacked myself with my racket as I followed through during my serve. An ugly hematoma appeared instantly, and my opponents were gracious enough to let me sit with an ice pack for ten minutes so I could elevate the leg. The lump is gone, but the blue-black three-inch bruise remains. You can actually see the indentation of my racket against my shin.
Monday, August 31, 2020
|Pam's parents, Ev and Walt|
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Tennis courts and golf courses were off-limits. All commercial establishments closed, except for take-out dining. I ordered 100 masks on the internet so we could venture out one day a week, clad in gloves, to pick up our groceries. Placing the grocery bags outside the front door when we returned, we carried the items to the kitchen fully clad and bathed each item in a disinfecting cloth. Isolating and remaining six feet from anyone we encountered, we brooded feverishly over news videos, press conferences, and data graphs. Our neighbors invited us to gather in the evening in masks outside (three feet apart) for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, supplied for personal use. Instead, we waved and began three-mile walks. When we returned, we retreated to seats above the ocean, where the rhythmic pounding of waves and whosh of dive-bombing pelicans lulled us into a hypnosis.
We counted thirty-five tractor-size treads on the beach in front of us, left by Leatherback turtles during their nighttime deposit of eggs. Fellowship came on the internet or over the phone.
In late July, after two members of our local community tested positive, the golf course, tennis courts, and all restaurant facilities were immediately closed at the club next door.
Meanwhile, we watched wild turkeys cross the yard, a wren nest in the wreath on our front door, deer eat my hosta plants, and
an osprey adolescent venture from the nest its parents had remodeled last year. Roses overwhelmed our hillside in the heat, mimicking the hair that grew down over my ears. In a rear-view mirror I noticed the blond highlights on the back of my head had transformed into a cap of gray. I let go of lip liner and lipsticks. What was the point, under a mask? Simpler things became easier. I became gentler on myself and more forgiving, while around me I heard, "What a mess! What a mess!"
Friday, July 10, 2020
Friday, June 19, 2020
I've been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say "bless you"
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. "Don't die," we are saying,
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don't want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, "Here,
have my seat," "Go ahead - you first," "I like your hat."