The Yard

The little shed in the yard was our secret hideout. The best thing was when mom gave us big slices of homemade bread with butter and cinnamon sugar on top. We took it to the secret hideout where we could plot adventures and share secrets.

The hideout was full of shovels and hoes and things. I thought it would be fun to use them to plant peas. (Mom said it was time to plant the peas.) Nathan wanted to play with the water guns. We decided to do both, but peas first!

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Home Alone

Growing up an only child, turning into a introvert as an adult, being home alone for extended periods of time is no big deal for me. But in this time of a national health scare, many people are trying it out for the first time. Or maybe they are home with family and it’s not as much fun as they’d hope.

I go for walks, play Words with Friends, listen to audio books, watch TV. Sometimes I even clean the house. The days are full, not empty. I hope you feel the same way.

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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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The Policy

What’s your policy on leftovers? Do you try to farm it all out to your guests? Do you stash it away and eat the same thing over and over again for a week? Do you have clever ways to make leftovers look like something new? Ahh, it’s turkey enchiladas tonight! Surprise! Or maybe you stick in the freezer and then toss it out a few months later. What happens to all the leftover food we think we need to have a holiday feast?

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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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My favorite family recipe

It’s about that time when we’ll all start cooking traditional family favorites. One of mine is what I call Grandma’s apples. She boiled them down in a sugar syrup laced with red hots and a bit of red food coloring to make cinnamon apples that were sweet and tart and soft enough to run a fork through. Plump and juicy and bright on a plate, they always mean holiday time to me. They remind me of long ago meals with family.

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I Thought

I thought I would pull some weeds,
But I didn’t.
I thought I would cook healthy,
But I didn’t.
I thought I would keep in touch,
But I didn’t.
I thought I would write something new,
And I did.

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I Wish

I wish I could sing like Patsy Cline. Or write like Alice Walker. I wish I could act like Meryl Streep. I wish I could paint like Georgia O’Keeffe.

Oh, to hell with that. I wish I could be my best me. My best self whether I was slouched in front of my computer or hanging out with a friend. If everyone was extraordinary, who would actually be extraordinary?

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I Remember

gondola

I remember the first balloon fiesta I attended. It was 1978. It was a mass ascension morning. It was cold and the grass was wet, drenching my feet and socks. When the balloons began inflating it was the most thrilling sight I’d ever seen. The giant, bright colors towering overhead were thrilling. The sound of the gas burners (and the blessed heat for those standing nearby) was thrilling. Being surrounded by nothing but bright color was thrilling. Watching the balloons gently lift into the sky was thrilling. Balloon fiesta never gets old. Mass ascensions never get old. I’ve been back many times and I’m always thrilled by the experience all over again.

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Laundry Day

Hung Out to Dry - Evaporation

Are you old enough to remember when the task of doing the laundry was so huge that you set aside an entire day just for that? No, you probably aren’t. You probably always lived with a washer and a dryer in your house and you did laundry whenever you had a minute free to start it going.

These days laundry day is any day, any time. I thought we were going to have single use paper clothes by now. What an environmental nightmare that would have been. Dodged a bullet with that one.

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