SoCS: Around the Sun in 12

Three hundred sixty-five and one-quarter times around the sun. Twelve months. Another year has passed by and 2019 is almost finito. I thought I would take each month of the past year and share one or two things I remembered about it (good or bad) and see what kind of picture is left. January – Horrible winter month. I worked from home one day, toward the end of the month, because the wind chill was -50F (-45.5C). Brrrr. February –Read more

Breaking for Pie and Family

  I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next ten days to two weeks. The brother bought me a plane ticket to Washington, D.C., for a long Thanksgiving weekend. There will be food and drink and laughs and perhaps a ride or two on the metro or in brother’s car. I haven’t been there in about three years, so I plan to be focused on doing the many things as I can in four full days rather thanRead more

Does anyone need a drink?

Co “The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all.” –Arvo Pärt On Saturday, I had lunch with two cousins – one of which I haven’t seen in at least 30 years. Cousin Joanne brought me a gift: A few parental-related photos and a cassette tape. The cassette tape was from many years ago, when Joanne’s brother, Jim, made a tape recording of mom and dad. He asked many questions of mom about her family and growing up –Read more

Scrunching. Gaping.

“Are you catching flies or what?” ~Pauline~ When I was young, I heard this line on occasion from my mother. It usually happened while intently watching a favorite cartoon or TV program. I couldn’t help myself. My big teeth and overbite kept getting in the way of always keeping my mouth closed. It still does. I catch myself doing it at work while intently watching an Excel spreadsheet, and also scrunching my face so I can see better with theRead more

SoCS: Neighbors

Have I told you lately that I love my neighbors? I do. I reside in a large apartment complex and my building contains six apartments. With the exception of very new neighbors (it’s the one apartment that’s seen a lot of turnover), everyone else has been hanging out together, helping one another, and becoming friends as we live our separate lives with work and family. It’s an unusual situation for me as I’ve not experienced this type of camaraderie withRead more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Identity: What Did I Miss?

I’m staring at the ID card I’ve had for several years. This card tells everyone Mary is a permanent employee for a state government agency and assigns an ID number. It also contains one of the few ID or driver’s license photos in which I don’t appear to have woken from a two-day drunk. ID stands for “identity,” but you wouldn’t learn much about me from the plastic rectangle that is clipped to a piece of wardrobe Monday through Friday.Read more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

Dad’s Grocery Games

This photo came up in my Facebook feed last week. I had to share the love, both on Facebook and here. “The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, better known as A&P, was an American chain of grocery stores that ceased supermarket operations in November 2015, after 156 years in business. From 1915 through 1975, A&P was the largest grocery retailer in the United States (and until 1965, the largest U.S. retailer of any kind). A&P was considered an American icon that, accordingRead more

SoCS: Hurry Up!

Linda G. Hill gave us quite the prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness post: “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘ask someone else.’ Either ask someone for a prompt word or, if you can’t, turn on a TV or a radio and choose a word from the first sentence you hear. Enjoy!” I was alone in the apartment at the time I read Linda’s prompt. So, I turned on the TV. There was Festus on theRead more

SoCS: Tins of Memories

Tin of mom’s pecan fingers Clove-pierced ham Cinnamon and butter yams Brandy-soaked fruitcake Tastes of Christmas gone by Tinseled, ornamental tree Magical lights of color Ruby red poinsettia Presents not quite hidden Sights of Christmas gone by Tinkly angel candle chimes Noisy jingle bells Choirs praising His birth Ripping wrapping paper Sounds of Christmas gone by Tinged by melty marshmallows and chocolate Incense of midnight mass Piney needles of a fresh-cut tree Dough, sugar, butter baking in the oven SmellsRead more

The Working Girl’s Purse

The last “mom” post was in August, when she turned 99. Not much has happened since, other than she keeps eating, drinking coffee and taking lots of naps. She’s having a hard time holding her head up as this is one of the effects of dementia – her brain is forgetting to tell her body what to do. When I visit, I never know if she is going to be alert or have a sleepy day. The most recent visitRead more