The shoes were 30 years old, often worn, but seemingly indestructible. The soles looked brand new. Those shoes lasted longer than her marriage, her career, her home ownership. She resolved to wear them every day, every damn day, until her life took a turn for the better. They would bring her luck. They would!
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Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” We’re living in a time that can crush hope. What we need are ways to rebuild hope, rebuild the idea of a future for ourselves and our planet. Have you found a way? Activism, voting, buying an electric car – what will it take to make us feel like we are part of the solution and not part of the problem?
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Historically speaking, I’d have to pick Christmas as my favorite holiday. The decorating, the meals on good china, the kids’ excitement over presents and surprises in stockings.
On the other hand, watching a child ooh and aah over fireworks or running about with a sparkler in hand on a summer night is a pretty good time. But have you ever noticed that the 4th of July doesn’t have a candy? No candy corn, no chocolate bunnies, no tiny hearts printed with funny stuff, no peppermint sticks. Really, every holiday needs a candy.
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“Let’s paint the kitchen,” I said.
He glanced up from his bowl of Cheerios and looked around. “Okay. What color?”
“Orange,” I said. “I love orange. It’s cheerful and bright. It makes me feel good.”
“It would be like living inside a pumpkin!” he exclaimed. “How about that gray color that’s so popular now?”
Reason number 1,347 leading up to my divorce.
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As a kid I was a big tomboy. An only child, I became my father’s son and companion for hunting, fishing, and golf. My mom taught me to cook and made me responsible for washing the dishes every day before she got home from work. I rode my bike all over my small Colorado town without fear. I read millions of books and played all four sides of a Monopoly board by myself. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
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Sometimes you have to wonder about the strange and mysterious things in life. For example, why do I need close captions to understand the people talking on the TV when I can understand the person reading an audio book? Or why is hot tea still good on a really hot day? Or why do dogs want me to like them when I clearly do not? Why?
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Nobody tells you to buckle up anymore. It isn’t necessary. Everyone just does it. But when seat belts first came along and the government was telling people to to use them, there were very controversial.
Why do we protest so much about things that are good for us? The human animals is so full of contradictions it’s hard to keep up with the nonsense we argue about. As Mr. Spock would say, “Humans are not logical.”
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You can do a lot of things in six weeks. You can lose 5 pounds. You can watch 6 episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy.” You can paint your kitchen. You can read “Americanah” and discuss it with your book club. You can drive to Montana to see your family.
On the other hand, there are some things that are almost impossible to do in six weeks. Like sell everything, find a new job, and move out of Texas.
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I don’t miss writing checks to pay for everything and mailing them off in stamped envelopes to pay my bills. I don’t miss getting a whole chicken to cut up and then having to find someone foolish enough to eat the giblets. I don’t miss unairconditioned houses. I don’t miss twisting the handle on a mimeograph machine to make copies. I don’t miss those aspects of my youth. But I do miss my youth.
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Ah, early morning. The sun is just peeking over the horizon, the air is cool. The sound of doves and some other noisy chirper fills the air. A cup of hot coffee in hand and a quick check of the news sets up the day for a walk while the shadows are still long and the sprinklers are churring. Good morning!
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