Sunday, 25 November 2012

Time to "festivize" my page!

I know...many of you are anti-Christmas, don't believe in any baby born over two thousand years ago to save Mankind from its sins, don't cotton to the commercializing of a supposed religious holiday, are disgusted by the abject capitalist greed of the whore-mongers (Good word, isn't it? *chuckles*) who would sell their souls and yours for a buck, hate that the downtrodden and despairing are forgotten at this time of year, abhor the terrible toll on human life, in the form of suicides and attempted suicides, as well as countless other crimes against humanity that seem to swell in number at this time of year! (Talk about a LONG sentence!)

Let me be among the first to say that I am all too sadly aware of every argument against Christmas that anyone can put forward.  Let me also say that I am deeply wounded by the tragedy that overtakes so many lives during this season of the year.  Nothing seems to work to ease the hurting and the sorrow that are highlighted most at this time of "peace on Earth, and goodwill to men".

But honestly, I don't give a rat's...farthing for what you believe, or what you think about Christmas, or about those of us, like me, who enjoy this time of the year.  And honestly, I'm not about to explain or excuse my enthusiasm for this season.  If you hate Christmas, tough ti...tomatoes!  Go suck an egg somewhere else!  This page is the spirit of Christmas!

For those of you who embrace the spirit of the season, who enjoy the idea that a time when men can live in peace, and entertain goodwill toward each other is possible, who live in the hope that THIS Christmas, maybe one less person will commit suicide in a fit of despair,  and maybe one more person will receive the gift of a place to call home, or someone to care for them, welcome to Christmas!  

For me, Christmas is more than a day.  It's more than a remembrance of a prophesied birth.  It's more than a celebration of the joy of giving from a heart of love.  For me, Christmas is music, it is laughter, it is joy, it is goodwill, it is is love.  Whether I receive a gift or not is not an issue with me.  I can buy the things I need, and even the things I don't need.  And I can give to those who have a need -- whether the gift of my smile, or of money to meet the most basic of their needs.  It is what I do during this season to make another person feel blessed to be here that counts.  

Which means, you realize, that Christmas is more than an December celebration with tinsel and colored lights and carols in the snow.  Christmas is coats in a snowy February, umbrellas in April, trips to the community pool with the kids in the heat of summer.  Christmas is a year-round celebration -- we just officialize it in December.'s to Christmas!  I'm going to change my background image now, and keep it that way till January 5th, 2013 -- the twelfth day of Christmas.  And to all you naysayers I say, "Bah!  Humbug to you, too!"

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Toward A More Perfect Union

You want to know what the problem is in these here United States of America?  It's pretty simple...and pretty complicated.  These here United States are not "united".  Sure, you have one President, one House of Representatives and one Senate, each composed of men and women from all fifty states.  Sure, you have one Constitution, with its multiple Amendments.  Sure, you have one flag, and one national anthem.  Sure, you have one military organization.  Sure, you have one currency.  Did I miss anything?  Oh yeah...  Sure, you have one national sport, with the Yankees still at the top of the heap of teams, even in their losing years.

See, but here's the trouble...there is not one rule of law in all fifty states, as some states allow murderers to be hanged, and other seemingly more humane ones only allow life in prison, for example.  There is not one system of health care, that meets the needs of all citizens equally (and apparently no effort has been, nor will be, made to provide healthcare for all according to the system espoused in allied countries like many of those in the European Union).  There is not one system of education across all fifty states.  There is not one common tax burden for all citizens, regardless of where they live.  There is not one common cost of living across all states.  And these are just a few of the examples!

Call me crazy, but if each state gets to decide on how much tax it will levy against its citizens, or what its system of education entails, or how it will provide healthcare for its poor, how can that be seen as "united"?  I'm no political pundit, or political scientist, or even politically correct, but it seems to me that unless and until these here "United" States do more than pay lip service to equality, that unity will be as much a farce as Bugs Bunny cartoons are.

Just the meanderings of a mind seeking inspiration...

Monday, 12 November 2012

In honor of those who served...


"The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war."  ~  Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Though this is a song about American soldiers, the words speak for all who serve their country in every land.  We should honor them for doing what we cannot, or will not do.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Already Home (...because I wasn't feeling very creative at the time)

I originally wrote this story in 2007, I believe, in response to a challenge by my friend Anne, Wench of Aramink.  We were to take a popular song of our choice and write the story of that song.  This was the result of that challenge.  The song is "Already Home" (hence my silly title above) by Tim McGraw, one of my favorite country singers.

Sean watched Lucy as she waddled over to the sink.  He had been waiting all week to ask her, and then the letter had come, and he knew he couldn’t … again.  It was too soon.  Baby names could wait till after …  He heard the sob, although she tried to hide it.  His heart was torn, and he couldn’t stop the impulse that had him at her back in the next instant, holding her, not doing anything else.  When she turned in his arms, he enveloped her as best he could, the baby in the way, and let her cry.  The letter fluttered to the ground, and the baby kicked.  Sean didn’t move, even when the tiny infant kicked her again, hard enough for him to feel it.
She sniffled.  “Sorry, Sean!”  She sniffled again, and he took a handkerchief from his back pocket and handed it to her.  He would have loved to do the tender thing and mop up her face, but she would have slapped him as hard as the baby had kicked her.  She took it from him, wiped her eyes and blew her nose, then tidily put it away in the pocket of her maternity slacks.  He bent to pick up the single sheet of paper, neatly typed, and handed it back to her.  Then he went back to his place at the wide old wooden kitchen table.
“I dreamed about this, you know,” she said, her back to him.  “Ian was calling to me from across the river, but I couldn’t get to him!”  Her shoulders shook, once.
Sean waited.  He knew the contents of the letter, because he had been visiting when the tall military messenger delivered it.  Ian had always been a little bit of a joker…”a one-way ticket over here” was just the kind of thing he’d say.  What a way to describe a death sentence!  His mom had quietly wiped her eyes, her heart clearly broken, but yet she worried about the fragile young woman whose hands she had held.  They had held on to each other like that, while he had finished the pie they had been making together, had tidied the kitchen, and had taken the dog for a walk.  When he came back, Lucy was upstairs, resting Mrs. Johnson had said, while she herself sat numbly in a kitchen chair, tears streaming down her cheeks.
He remembered playing war games with Ian when they were kids.  The four of them – Ian, Sean, Bobby, and Tom – ran around in their yards pretending to be marines, or Navy SEALS, or foot soldiers, bringing the war to the enemy and whipping butt.  Sean had sat next to his best friend’s mom then, as he was doing now with his wife, and held her hands, and reminisced.  It seemed to comfort her to hear someone talk about her only son with love and honor.
It had been a month since Ian’s military funeral, which had been a poignant ceremony celebrating his life.  They had laid him to rest, finally, in the old cemetery on the edge of town, as he had requested, a large headstone adorning his grave.  The words engraved on it were simple, and taken from the letter his widow now held in her hands: “I’m in a better place.  My soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go.”  His dad had read the eulogy, and sharing parts of that last letter, his voice breaking on the words “Tell dad I don’t regret that I followed in his shoes!”  The last words of the eulogy had been, again, words from his letter: “I’m already home.  I’m up here with God, and we’re watching over you!”
“The family is coming over for dinner,” Lucy said, her voice drawing him out of his reverie.  “Will you stay too, Sean?”
He nodded, suddenly unable to speak, and watched her face relax.  “Anything I can do to help?’ he asked finally.
“No, thanks!  Momma’s bringing dinner.  They just didn’t want me to be alone, and I’m not supposed to be taking long rides anymore.”  She passed a loving hand over her belly as she spoke, and sighed quietly.  “She’s tired, you know.  I’d better take a nap before they get here.  Will you stay?”
“I’ll take the dog for a walk,” he answered, and watched her turn and walk up the stairs that led to the second floor bedrooms.
He reached for the dog’s leash, which hung from a hook behind the door, and heard the clatter of sharp claws on the hardwood floors as the old German Shepherd, Razor, ambled in.
“Let’s go, boy!”  He whistled, and the dog padded over more quickly.  Sean attached the leash to his collar and led him outside.  He followed the dog’s lead, and eventually they made it to the old cemetery.  If Sean didn’t know better, he’d say the dog knew his master was buried there.  He let the animal off the leash and watched as he nosed around the graves, old and new, relieved himself against a tree, and wandered down the little slope to the pond.  He and Ian used to sneak out some nights and come for a midnight swim in “Dead Man’s Pool”, as they had called it, on many a hot summer night.  That’s where they had talked about girls…where Ian had told him he had his eye on that shy little strawberry blonde named Lucy.  Where his own heart had been broken, when Ian told him she returnedhisfeelings.
He had been the one to introduce them, those many springs ago.  Lucy had been his friend, since first grade, when Ian moved into town.  He had known for a long time that she was the girl he wanted, but she had never shown him anything but the face of a friend, and he didn’t want to lose that.  So though it hurt him every day to see his best friends as lovers, he had left rather than hurt them in return.  Now here he was back again, walking their dog, preparing to be the godfather to their child, being her rock…and loving her more than he had when they were kids.
            Lucy laughed as the little girl stumbled and fell over her feet.  Siobhan, called Shae, since so few people could say her name correctly, was almost a year old now, and learning to walk.  She tumbled around the house, squealing with delight at the world, and bringing a piercing joy to her mother’s heart.  She had baby-fine strawberry blonde curls like her mother, and the deepest sea-green eyes Lucy had ever seen.  Just like Ian’s.  Her life was a bittersweet reminder of the man Lucy had loved with all her heart.  Now he was gone, but he lived on in the bubbly little girl who had his eyes, his smile, and his ready laugh.  Ian would never be far away while Shae was there.
            The doorbell rang and Lucy went to get it, Shae rolling along behind her as fast as her unsteady little legs could carry her.  Lucy felt her skin flame to life when she opened the door and Sean stood there.  Only she knew the dreams she had been having lately about this tall drink of water on her front porch.  She could not meet his steady blue gaze, and she stepped aside hurriedly to let him in.
            “What?  No hug for me?” he asked softly, putting his arms around her.  “Well, I’ll take it, if you won’t give it!” he continued, hugging her to his chest and kissing the top of her head.  “I’ve missed you, lil Lucy!”  If he noted that she held herself stiffly, he didn’t remark on it.  “And what have we here?” he said, loosing her to pick up the tiny child at their feet.
            He swung her around, and Shae giggled with pleasure and delight.  “My, how you’ve grown!  And walking already, too!  Precocious little puddin’, aren’t ya?”  he kissed her soundly on both cheeks, and Shae pressed her soft baby lips against his mouth.
            “Dada!” she said, and laughed. 
            Both Lucy and Sean laughed, too.  The first word out of her mouth had been “Dada”, when Sean had been visiting after his last trip abroad.  Lucy felt herself relax, and scolded herself as she went around her daughter and her friend to the kitchen.  Sean loved her, and she loved him, but there was nothing romantic about it. 
            “Coffee?” she asked.  “I just put a fresh pot on.  Or would you prefer tea?”
            Sean strolled in after her, the baby still in his arms.  He looked at Lucy and smiled, a knowing smile that brought back the jitters and a flush to her cheeks.
            “Coffee’s fine, Luce!”
            She turned away to pull a mug from the cabinet above the counter, and wished the image that sat in her head would leave before she had to face him again.  The dreams had been happening on and off for a while now, and though she had steadfastly ignored them, there seemed to be nothing she could do to stop the way her heart sped up every time she saw him these days.  It would never do for him to know the effect he was having on her.  She was still a new widow, and they had been best friends forever.  It was just impossible…
            She remembered the way he used to look at her, in the early days after Ian’s death, when he thought no one was watching him.  She had been afraid then of what those looks meant, and it had been convenient and easy for her to pretend she was ignorant of any feeling between them other than the deep friendship that they shared.  Sean had been the soul of discretion, too, never saying anything to give his feelings away.  But now, looking back, she knew.  She supposed she had always known how he felt, on some level, but it had been easier to push that knowledge into the far outer reaches of her consciousness.  Until now…
            “Here you go!” she said, forcing a brightness into her voice that she was far from feeling.  She placed the big mug of coffee on the table, prepared the way he liked it, black.
            Sean put the little girl down and picked up the mug, sipping slowly.  Lucy went to go around him, and his arm stopped her short.  She had never really looked at Sean before, and the breadth of his shoulders, the strength of his muscular body, the scent that she recognized as uniquely his, surprised and delighted her, as they made her afraid.  She couldn’t let anything destroy their friendship.
            “We need to talk, Luce!” he said.  “Sit down.  Please?”
            He sat down himself, and drew her into the chair next to his at the table.  Lucy could hear the words that Ian had written to her at the end of his letter: “There is going to come a day when you move on, and that’s okay.” 
           She had a feeling that that day had come…    

Saturday, 10 November 2012

In the mood...

I am a sappy romantic!  I freely and proudly admit it!  {#cheerleader.gif}   I write sappy romances, with a hefty side of erotica.  And tonight, I'm in the mood...  Enjoy!  {#angelgirl.gif}

...where no catchy title springs to mind...

As I start this blog, it's 5:26 a.m.  The house is quiet, all the lights are off, even Choochie, my cat, is asleep downstairs in her favorite dining room chair.  Once she knows I'm awake, she'll wander back upstairs to say good morning and mark me again for the day in all the places to which she thinks she has the right.  That usually means jumping onto me as I lie in bed, and making free with my body before settling down to snooze again -- this time, on me!

Why am I up so early on a Saturday morning, you ask?  I dunno...I needed a potty break, and tissue to blow my nose, but somehow, I don't think that explains why I haven't crawled back into bed.  So I've been reading the blogs of a stranger on another of the sites where I post, and commenting on them -- he's a finny guy.  But reading his blogs made me think about blogging, about being online, about discovering oneself in the life one leads on here.

I don't suppose anyone ever thought that opening up the Internet to the joys and pains of friend-making, i.e. social networking, would have meant opening up a whole other kind of psychological therapy.  You know, the kind where you lie on a couch and bare your soul, even if you think you're hiding things, to a stranger who charges you $200 an hour for the privilege.  Only here, the cost is not measured in dollars or pounds or yen. It's measured in hours and heartbeats....and sometimes in tears.

I've done some version of this blog on Multiply before, but it fascinates me to watch how every time a new person enters my circle, my vision of this social network is changed.  I keep having little epiphanies, not only about human beings in general, but about myself in particular.  It's like Carl Jung said (this is on some of my other pages elsewhere): "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

I have been transformed by my exchanges here, with you.  I would like to hope the same is true for you, but I'm old enough, and experienced enough in this cyber world to be very cynical about my hope actually being possible.  I can only know about me.  I can only transform myself.  The rest is out of my it should be.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


I left work at 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and got home at 12:45 a.m. this morning. The Taconic State Parkway was a right royal mess, and we barely missed getting stuck on it, because about 15 minutes after we crawled past the part where about a dozen cars had spun out, they closed the road.  You would think, in the fourth richest county in the United States, they'd have the funds to clean the roads so commuters can get home, eh?  It took us SIX hours to drive from 116th Street and FDR Drive in Manhattan where my school is to the top of Westchester County, with four of those hours being spent in Westchester! 
I was wiped out...  And no, I did NOT go to work today (though I did complete a project I had to have ready by the end of the week)!  I sent my principal an e-mail as soon as I got upstairs. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Thursday kicked off another annual writing event, the National Novel Writing Month challenge. The purpose is clear and simple - write 1,667 words (at least) every day for the month of November, and have a short novel ready for the next step at the end. The goal is 50,000 words.

This will be my fifth attempt to get something written. I want to do something new, not go with something already begun. It has always been my way to choose the more complicated route. As a student in high school and college, I always chose the hardest question to answer, the hardest topic to address in my essays. My reasoning was simple. No one else would choose that question - they were, for the most part, a lazy bunch! - so my paper would have no other to compare it to, and the grade would be more "true" for that reason. And, as a bonus, I'd learn something from the comments my teachers and professors would make.

I still "roll" like that these days. All that has changed since those years is my level of confidence in my ability to write something of substance and quality. I turned 54 on Wednesday - it would be really bad if I still wallowed in the level of poor self-esteem that I lived in during those years. I'm still not your most self-confident woman, but I'm getting there.

Wish me luck! And, if you care to, join up!