Archive | August 2016

Irish Lemonade

Shoving my laundry, first into a shopping bag, then that bag into my luggage, I looked around and said, “I think I’ve packed everything that I brought with me.”

My daughter Tammie laughed, “Mom, you always forget something or another.”

Rolling my eyes, I admitted, “That’s true.” Every time I visit my daughter for a weekend, I invariably end up forgetting to take something home. Once I left behind my curling iron and ended up buying a new one.

After one last inspection of my daughter’s apartment, I zipped the luggage shut and followed her to the door. Tammie said, “Oh, by the way, have you heard from the pilgrimage headquarters yet?” Continue reading


A Home Accident Statistic

Cradling Tammie, my two-month-old daughter, I carefully made my way down the stairway. Reaching the landing, I turned to descend the last six steps. Suddenly, the rubber sole of one of my wedge heels caught on the carpeting. Horrified, I found myself hurtling down the last five steps.

Although the time that passed between my tripping and landing could be measured in milliseconds, a million and one thoughts raced through my mind. They all centered on how to protect my fragile baby. Willing my body to encircle her like a wheel, I tumbled like a tire-rim tossed across a pile of rocks. Finally I banged to a stop.

My daughter was born with Thrombocytopenia with Absent Radius (TAR) Syndrome. One very serious aspect of TARS is an extremely low blood platelet count. Platelets prevent hemorrhaging from cuts and prevents monster-sized bruises. The last thing my baby needed was to be banged-up!

Laying on the floor and hurting in every place where my body had made contact with the steps, I lifted my head and examined Tammie. Miraculously, it appeared that I had somehow managed to protect her from injury. Relieved, I joined her in having a good, long, hard cry.   Continue reading

Camp Grandma

Niki said, “Mom, would you mind having Ben, Luke and Jake stay with you the week that I’ll be working at the girl’s camp?”

Looking up from the recipe book my daughter had handed me a few moments earlier, I said, “Sure, but won’t they feel left out, not being able to go camping, too? Where will Jon, Gemma and Blaise be that week?”

Each summer the church my daughter attends holds two weeks of camp. The first week is for the boys in the parish who are ten years old or older. Girls aged ten and up attend the following week. At ages fifteen and eleven, Jon and Ben are eligible. Anne and Claire may participate since they are sixteen and twelve years old.

Shrugging, Niki said, “I’m going to keep the two little ones with me. Jon will spend the week with his friend Noah. That leaves the three younger boys. They know that when they are old enough they’ll be able to go to camp, too.” Continue reading

Vegetable Shaming

Waves of moist heat enveloped me the minute I opened the back door of my house and stepped out onto the deck. Purring loudly, my two cats Louie and Jonah wove back and forth, rubbing themselves against my legs. Despite their heavy coats of fur, they appeared to love the sticky July weather.

A pair of barn swallows spotted the felines and began a series of low, kamikaze swoops over the carnivores. They had instinctively recognized the cats as evil, baby-eating predators. Despite the risk to themselves they repeated the attack over and over. The swift birds with gorgeous tail feathers that made me think of an arrow’s fletching, chattered and scolded as they dove. All Louie and Jonah would have had to do was raise a paw to catch one. Instead, they stretched out full length on the sun-heated deck planks. I said, “You two are sadists! You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Louie lifted his head and gave me a happy, slow blink. Continue reading

Computer (Gee Whiz) Kid

Our teacher said, “Computers are an up-and-coming technology. Many of you may be working with them in the future, depending on what jobs you have.” After pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts, he continued on, “Right now computers are large and have limited functions. I heard of one at a college that’s as big as this room. In the future they’ll get smaller and be more useful.”

My mind was drifting during this lecture on future careers. Graduation day was in two weeks! Below the open classroom windows, I heard a lawn mower start up. Soon the scent of fresh-cut grass floated in on a breeze. The familiar smell reminded me of my happy, uncomplicated childhood. Feeling panicky, I thought, “I’m not ready to be an adult yet!” Continue reading