The First Election

The first election I recall being aware of was Stevenson vs. Eisenhower back in the 1950s when I was in junior high. My parents liked Ike, but my friend Judy was adamant about Stevenson. The interesting thing to me back then was that she cared so much, thought it was so important. Now I realize why – Judy was Jewish and the election mattered to her in ways I didn’t understand then. Since I turned 21, I’ve voted in every election. Have you?

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What Granny Said

Granny said S-H-I-T and spelled it out. She never said the actual word. Grannies were different then. Now they say everything just like the rest of the world, toddlers included. I recall the first time I said ‘shit’ out loud. I was in 7th grade, at the swimming pool. I was walking by myself and uttered the forbidden word to myself. It changed my life, saying that word out loud. Now I say everything just like the grannies and toddlers.

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I miss

I miss picking out the restaurant we want to go to. I miss choosing a movie from a long list at the multiplex. I miss flying to the coast to see family. I miss hugs. I miss playing music with people. I miss chatting up the folks in my exercise class. There’s a lot to miss during a quarantine. But it isn’t as hard as missing the people who’ve been caught in this pandemic. Missing the people who are missing. The trauma and grief from so many missing people will last long after this is over.

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The Kitchen

The kitchen was
Where I talked to mom,
The kitchen was
Where we were all together,
The kitchen was
Where we played table games,
The kitchen was
The place to sit and stare,
The kitchen was
Full – filled – with life.

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Let’s all Fight

As a kid, I used to play fighting games. Outside in the sunshine. Now kids play them in front of the TV. The top trending movies are about fighting – people shoot each other like crazy. In cities around the country people are marching in protests about the way we treat each other. The “leaders” of the country won’t do anything that helps anyone. The churches preach intolerance.

Do we plan to fight until there’s no one left standing?

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Dream

As a kid, my dream was to become a writer. I did that. But it’s funny how I got there. I took a side trip through many years of teaching. My favorite thing to teach was writing!

Those early dreams tell us who we are, what we are. Do you remember your earliest dreams? Did they somehow come to pass in your life?

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Remember

Remember back in the 60s when everyone was building bomb shelters? They planned to move the family into them and live there for months until it was time to come out safely.

We didn’t have the nuclear war everyone was expecting back then, so we didn’t try all living in one small space for weeks at a time. We’re trying it now however. Getting a taste of what it’s like when the world outside the door is scary.

Lucky for us, the grocery stores are still open, the pizza joint still delivers, Netflix is streaming, and your FaceTime conversations with your best friend are still a go.

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Childhood Reading

My town’s little library had a children’s section where I devoured books like The Bobbsey Twins and biographies of famous people like Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley. Somehow I moved from there to the adult section where I started reading completely inappropriate books I seldom understood. I skipped all the great children’s stories like “The Secret Garden” and “Little Women” until I was an adult reading to children.

A self-made education is a spotty thing.

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Baby, Baby

Isn’t it funny how sweethearts diminish each other by calling their loved one “Babe”? One the other hand, small children are give names that make them seem bigger like “little man.” Teenagers are told to act grown up. No wonder we’re all so confused, Babe.

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The First Song

I heard someone singing “The Teddy Bears Picnic” today, which is a really old song I loved as a kid. It set me to wondering what the first song I ever learned was. Probably some nursery rhyme. I have a particular fondness for the one that goes “4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie.” Perhaps that was the first song I heard or learned form my mother. Is it even possible to recall the first song you ever learned?

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