It was the best Thanksgiving ever! All her cousins were here, including Jerry. Jerry was 16. He was so cute with his dimples and his curly hair. Eight year old May was just realizing how cute Jerry was. She wanted him to notice her, give her some attention. When he asked her to follow him into the gardening shed, she was happy to do it. . . .
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Folks who come by here are mostly regulars. At a time like this with illness taking so many people away each day, it’s a great pleasure to see the regulars come by and say hello. It’s nice to know you’re okay, you’re still kicking, you’re still writing. Keep writing.
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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’s that smell?” Dad asked. He dropped his briefcase and car keys.
“Hmm, I don’t know. I burned some pizza in the oven earlier when it dripped.”
“Come on, that isn’t burned anything except maybe pot. Are you smoking weed in my house? That’s grounds for eviction, buddy.”
“Naw, pop, I wouldn’t do that. We have a deal.”
“Okay, then explain the smell, smart boy.”
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Every fall the big tree in my yard dumps 15 giant garbage bags of leaves for me to rake and bag. I think I’ll move to an apartment if I don’t have to clean up the leaves ever again. But then I think if I move the people in the apartment above me probably walk around all day like elephants. My house is nice and quiet. Decisions, decisions . . .
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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 wrote just to say thanks for cooling things down a bit. I’m looking forward to what you’re going to do with the aspen trees up on the mountain and the cottonwood trees here in town. With the cool mornings, I want to thank you for bringing a few hot air balloons around. And, autumn, could you please make it safe to be in the world soon? I would be nice to get to hug someone again.
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I learned I could live on a deserted island during this pandemic. Provided I had plenty to eat. And assuming the place wasn’t full of hungry predators who were bigger than I am. Actually, maybe what I really learned is that I can be isolated in my comfy home for months at a time and not go stark raving mad. We writers have an advantage over the rest of the world. We are introverts. Another advantage is that we produce whole worlds in our imagination – so who needs anything outside the house?
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They say an attitude of gratitude makes you a more successful person. That you should count your blessings each night before going to sleep. Right now just being alive and disease free is a blessing. There is so much to worry about – our democracy, our planet, our jobs and livelihoods. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for anything. So lets stay safe, live through this, and bless the world with our wisdom as we recover.
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My Aunt Elise was the kind of woman who would start a sentence with the words, “I’m sorry but,” and proceed to blast you with the most vile insults. Especially if the topic was religion or politics. She really wasn’t that nice about other topics, either, now that I think about it. I cut her out of my life long ago just to stay sane. Even so I wasn’t happy to hear about her death from a disease she called a hoax. Another unnecessary death that could have been prevented.
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