safariscreensnapz001.jpgThe movies were nothing but cowboys when I was a kid. All the stars were cowboys: Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Tex Ritter, Randolph Scott. Even their sidekicks and horses were famous. I had enough cowboys as a kid to last a lifetime.

Propaganda pieces about WWII were also popular then. I got sick and tired of war movies, too.

This bias limits my choices now. I’ve refused to watch “Saving Private Ryan” because I’m still tired of war movies. I click off that HBO series about cowboys as soon as I realize it’s on. But I’m really torn over Clint Eastwood’s new “Flags of Our Fathers” because . . .

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I’m pounding down Wyoming Blvd at my aerobic heart rate, ten minutes to go at this pace. Something red in the arroyo to my left catches my eye. Keep running, I tell myself. But I look again anyway.

And I stop.

It’s a girl in a red sweat shirt. There’s blood in the sandy ground beneath her. I dial 911 as I climb over a fence. Her gray, lifeless face makes my stomach lurch. I see it’s too late to help her. I stop moving and look back at the path I took to see if I stepped on anything, disturbed anything, destroyed any evidence . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “Wyoming.”


A superbly-toned, dark-haired fellow in earphones was doing chin ups on a machine in the corner. I didn’t pay much attention to him until he finished his set of chin ups. He leapt off the machine and began to dance around the gym, gyrating past the rowing machine, wildly wriggling his hips around a stack of weights, waving his arms in the air above the metal bars and straps.

Everything in the gym stopped while he danced. Gasping people grinned and caught their breath. Only the thrum of the treadmills continued to fill the air. As suddenly as he’d launched his dance, he stopped it and grabbed the handles of a gigantic spider-like machine.

People resumed their own exercises, but . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “dance.”

Top five great movies

Back when I was reading Women Who Run with the Wolves for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I thought The Secret of Roan Inish was the best movie ever made. That transformed slowly into thinking director John Sayles was the best director ever. I still put John Sayles up at the top of my list, but Limbo really ticked me off.

My second choice would be Chicago simply because I’ve watched it so many times and I’m still not . . .

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“Just give it some time, everything will work out,” Sally said, patting my hand in an irritating way that she meant to be reassuring.

“Don’t give me your optimistic line of crap, Sally. This is an unsolvable disaster and you know it.” Her never ending belief that things always worked out for the best drove me crazy. I stared into the mug of hot tea she’d just handed me, thinking how satisfying it would be to dump it all in her lap.

Instead I tossed my glasses on the table and rubbed my eyes. “I’ve looked at it every which way, considered every possibility, every scenario. There’s just no way to deal with this that results in anything at all that’s good for me.” . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “optimism.”


Jeremy was entrenched in his own power. Deeply. He would do anything to protect it without ever questioning whether the course he’d set with his command of power was the right one. The goal was to protect the power, not to examine the actions it engendered.

So choices like destroying others, or simply hurting others just a little bit, didn’t phase him as long as they helped him retain his grip on his power. Anything was acceptable if it protected him.

Jeremy, under attack once again, ordered his underlings to . . .

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A phone conference Elderbloggers (or any blogger) may enjoy participating in in the Elderblogger phone conference on October 24. You’ll find information and call in numbers at Time Goes By. It’s going to last several hours and you can come and go as you please.

I personally plan to be there in order to regale the other bloggers with tales of my checkered past, my improbable present, and my intrepid future. Let’s chat.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “eldercon.”

Real beauty

This video is important shows a YouTube video from Dove’s Campaign for real beauty. I’d like to offer up a couple of versions of unretouched photos of women who are beautiful.

Here’s one Jane I know. And here’s another Jane I know. Now that’s real beauty.

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic real beauty.

Secret Fear

It’s hard to pick out just one, isn’t it? At least if you’re like me and you have a multitude of secret fears. Fear of bird flu, fear of planes falling on my house, fear of running out of money before I run out of years, fear of ruining my children’s mental health, fear of dancing alone in public, fear of heights. Some are rational, some are silly. But where do they come from? What triggers that thought in the brain and makes it linger there, working its nasty influence on our decision making processes?

If I knew the answer to that, maybe I could make my fears disappear. I could dance in the aisles at a concert while simultaneously not worrying that I wouldn’t be able to eat because I bought a concert ticket. I could . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “secret fear.”


The dictionary defines intrepid as fearless and adventurous. You wouldn’t think someone who spent over 60 years being fearful and retiring would suddenly change to an intrepid traveler, but my mom did just that.

She flew to Africa, unaccompanied. With nothing more than a backpack, a camera, and a local guide she took off walking across the Serengeti. They wandered for three months. Each time she found a settlement, she mailed home rolls of undeveloped film. It was my job to get them developed. She filled three notebooks with accounts of her doings. The notebooks arrived less often than the film.

As I matched photos to dates and stories in the journals, I began to feel . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “intrepid.”