Presto Change-o

imageI’ve heard that if you want a change, you’ve got to make a change. That makes sense.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the need for something different. What I’d really like, would be two weeks somewhere without having to think about any of the stuff I usually think about. None of the everyday stuff, anyway.

My fantasy is a small town with a coffee shop on the square, a Mom and Pop diner, a library, and nice weather. I’d like to be able to bicycle to all the aforementioned places, and it would be a nifty bonus if the town had some bicycle paths for a chance to rack up some more miles. Nothing uphill. This is a fantasy, after all.

I could probably do all of that right here at home, but I guess I’m just itching for a change of scene.

This part of my life, this blog, is facing a change, but I’ll let you know more about that later.

Please keep showing up and reading. I don’t want that to change. I’ll keep showing up, too. That won’t change either.


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Midnight Special

I woke up this morning thinking, which is never a good idea. It means I have to grab my iPad and jot down my thoughts before they escape. This uses up that grey-light time of early morning which could be more pleasurably spent in dozing, waking temporarily, only to doze again.

I say dozing would be more pleasurable and it would. In a way. A passive way. Writing is a more active pleasure. I fear I have allowed myself too many passive pleasures. I may be lazy.

My friends and I once had a long discussion about the idea of a Grand Passion–that soul condition that rules great artists, musicians, statesmen, inventors, and explorers. All those creative types. We tried to wrap our minds around the changes that would take place in our regular, everyday lives if we became infected with a Grand Passion. We wondered, could a normal person with a normal life even have a Grand Passion, or would the GP prohibit normalcy?

Frankly, it sounds exhausting to me. I suspect the Grand Passion could be a hard task master, and she would probably frown upon the amount of time I spend just sitting and staring. Being wagged about by an unquenchable thirst to create could wear on one’s nerves.

I prefer to loll about, living out my aptitude test results of “beachcomber”, picking up and discarding a variety of interests as I meander through my days. Grand Passion sounds like it takes too much focus, and focus sounds exhausting.

But perhaps, the GP doesn’t let you choose. Perhaps, she steps off the Pullman car of the Midnight Special, tells you to pick up her luggage, and with a flick of her hand, commands you to follow as she strides forward, giving you no opportunity to assert yourself against her demands.

Maybe that’s who woke me up. Just my luck. She’s a morning person.

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I began my day today by writing a rather lengthy e-mail to a personal friend. I hadn’t planned on starting that way, but thoughts of her kept gurgling up, so I followed my gurgling and wrote to her. Even before I got dressed.

This delayed the start of what I consider my real day. The part where I “get it all done.”

Most of my days start with a list. I like making lists, but I don’t always do them. Seldom in their entirety. But as I began mentally ticking off my chores for the day, even before I put them on paper, I felt or maybe even heard a slight gasp. I’m not sure. I don’t think I physically gasped. But, it made me pause. You can understand how it would.

I decided, not to make a list today. I think it would just be cruel. To the Gasper, to the Gaspee, and to me, whichever one I am.

I’ll just do what I do as it presents itself, and only if it presents itself calmly and politely.

Let the day begin, and may it be real, whether I get it all done or not.

Paula J

Remember, no matter how hard you try, sometimes it just comes out sounding like “Cheese Doodles”.

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A Valentine Message to My Husband

The odds were against you being a serial killer since we were all at Sunday night church service. At least, that was my reasoning when I accepted your offer of a ride. Besides, you had a nice smile, and the prospect of your car was more attractive to Kelly and me than catching the bus. Anyway, you looked like you might treat us to a Coke. Maybe even some French fries, and we were ravenous. Since the college cafeteria thought we could get by without supper on Sunday, we were always on the make for food. Nothing serious, of course. We wouldn’t have compromised our morals, but we were willing to feign more interest than we really felt. In fact, we’d done this very thing once before, and that time, it had resulted in me going on several dates with a guy that soon made hunger look inviting. But, fair is fair, and when Kelly pointed out that I had ended up with the last one, I agreed that she could have the tactical advantage of sitting next to you in the car.

You bought us both Cokes and those thin, crispy French fries for which Steak and Shake is famous, so when you asked if it would be alright to call us and arrange a double date, we agreed, our stomachs full, and our brains flooded with endorphins that only salt, grease, and fizz can command.

We went out the night before Valentine’s Day. I with you, and Kelly with your good looking roommate. I don’t remember much about that first date except that your conversation reminded me of someone who was trying to learn 30 new words in 30 days. There was some requisite kissing that we both tacitly agreed was the price I should pay for dinner. Neither the conversation nor the kissing was sparking my interest, but the pizza was good.

This week makes 46 years that we have been celebrating that first date. You kept coming around, feeding me, acting like you were the luckiest guy in the world to have me sitting across from you at the table. You turned out to be a loving husband, a good daddy, and a reliable provider. I don’t know what I was looking for at the start, besides a free meal, that is, but I have gotten everything that should have been on my list if I had been smart enough to make one. You are kind, generous, easy-going, good looking, smart, a cat lover, and a good kisser. Big bonus–you are funny; you make me laugh. And your vocabulary suits me just fine.

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I don’t know how it’s supposed to work for women, but that’s where it started for me. Meet me for pizza Friday night?

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A Keeper

I picked Q up from the airport in the 1966 Chevelle he had let me use during the three months he’d been in Alaska. His plan was to stick around for a day or so, drive to Kansas to see his family for a bit, return for me, and we’d head back to college together. However, I’d had time to cool off during the hot and humid Missouri summer I’d spent without him, so by the time he stepped off the plane in St. Louis, I was ready to call it quits. Waiting at the luggage carousel didn’t seem like the right time to tell him and neither did the ride home.

The next day, we ended up going to my aunt and uncle’s place. My uncle was building a rabbit hutch, and Q pitched right in, taking the hammer out of Uncle Fabe’s gnarled, arthritic hand, and finished the hutch while Uncle Fabe talked about his plans for the rabbits.

That evening, I told Q, “I don’t want to date you anymore.” He left without a fuss.

A couple of days later, my mom and I were at my aunt and uncle’s again. My mom and my aunt were talking after supper and I was just sitting there, not paying much attention, when Uncle Fabe turned to me and said, “That Q– he’s a good one. You’d better hang on to him.” I was already suffering from bad-decision stomach upset and his words made it more acute.

I went home, gathered my courage, and made a phone call.

Q and I have been married for 44 years today. Thanks, Uncle Fabe.


Made with real cheese for a melt-in-your-mouth flavor you can’t resist.

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Ice Music

The song the frozen lake sings makes me shiver.
Rumble, thunder, crack, pop, ping and gurgle.
Mountains listen and repeat the refrain.
With delicious fright, I plant my feet
And face the ice.
The challenge this weekend was to use 33 words exactly, employing at least one example of onomatopoeia.

Made with real cheese for a melt-in-your-mouth flavor you can’t resist.

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Ainsley Skipworth’s Rocky Romance

Things were heating up rather nicely between Daisy Picklesford and myself, which meant I was going to have to take her to meet the old blood, Lady Penswaddle. It was a touchy bit of business, as, although Aunt Delia was very keen on my getting hitched (she thought it would do wonders for my character) she had heretofore viewed all of my other flames with a jaundiced eye. Something about them being gold diggers and flibbertigibbets. The gold digger estimation because I enjoyed a very comfortable pension from my departed parents and was in position to inherit the rest of their embarrassingly bountiful assets upon my nuptials. The flibbertigibbet part had to do with the way the girls dressed and Aunt Delia’s judgement that none of them had anything in their heads except the latest dance craze and the lyrics to popular songs. Dear old Aunt Delia was sorely out of touch, but she did hold the purse strings.

Nothing for it, but to ring Aunt Delia and get her to agree to having Daisy and myself as weekend guests at her country house.

“What, ho, Aunt Delia. I wondered if I might pop in for the weekend?”

“How much do you need, Skippy?”

“Not a cent, my favorite old crone. Just wanted to keep the ties that bind firmly knotted, is all.”

“You’re not bringing any of those useless young men you carouse with, are you?”

“No, no. I hadn’t thought to bring any of them. I’m bringing a young lady. I wanted to show her your rock collection. She’s delightfully keen on rocks. Talks about them incessantly. You’ll have ever so much in common, I’m sure.”

“If that’s the case, I’d be delighted. Will you be motoring, or shall I have Merton meet you at the station?”

“Motoring. You needn’t bother Merton.”

“Then it’s settled. Must ring off. The peacocks have gotten into my decorative kale again. Do tell your young lady to bring sensible shoes. We’ll go rocking.”

I admit I am a P.G.Wodehouse fan. This is a token of my affection for his style. It is also my entry in the Trifecta Writing Challenge

Cheese Doodles. Made with real cheese for that melt-in-your-mouth flavor you can’t resist.

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