Fluffy Friends Du Jour

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Love this clip from NatGeo’s Unlikely Animal Friends. Never before have I heard a woman say that her husband loves someone else more than he loves her, all the while, smiling such a huge grin that it clearly didn’t bother her. Oh, and by the way, the one her husband loves is a four-legged creature you don’t often see in someone’s home! 🌺

Mother’s Day Ode

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Relatives tell me I look a lot like my late mother (she would never have liked the term late, for indeed, she was always on time for any appointment).

While we do share some characteristics (like the patented “snort and cackle” when laughing – the snackle, if you will) and a penchant for saying to unresponsive teen-age ears, “Enunciate!,” I’d have to say we were not really all that similar.

  •  She spoke five languages.
  •  I speech wun (Inglich).
  •  She played Bach like nobody’s business.
  •  I play the radio like a professional.
  •  She was genteel and cultured.
  •  I am kinda like, from Jersey (she was too, but seemed less so, if youse know what’m sayin.)
  •  She was always in my corner and cheered me on no matter what.
  •  I was oblivious to her encouragement until it wasn’t there anymore.

Thank you, Lord, for the mother you gifted me with.  I hope she’s snackling up there with you, playing a fugue on the piano and sitting in that log cabin she always pined for.  God bless all the mothers, always in our hearts.

Sunroom Time

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When he was younger, my son and I used to have “sunroom time” – a few minutes in the late afternoon during which we’d sit in the sunroom and talk about (pardon the pun) anything under the sun.

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Often, if his friends were over, we’d include them, too.

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It was warm and welcoming in the sunroom, and it seemed like the only time some of these kids had ever been asked, “So how was your day, son?”

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The bamboo blinds let in just enough light and gave us a view of the trees in the yard, so it felt like a little nature preserve. It was a favorite spot for everybody, including my late, beloved black-lab-mix, Sheena. That’s her in the yard – by the back fence.

This dog toy feels kinda ruff.

Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams*

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Now that my son is about to turn sixteen, we no longer have “sunroom time;” in fact, it seems we hardly even have actual conversations. And this is the trajectory of life when our kids grow up. But I wanted to find a way to put my thoughts about life into a book, so I wrote this e-book using Amazon KDP, “Help Yourself, Jumbo Shrimp: A Teen’s Guide to Life, the Future and Everything.”

After I realized that there was no way to adjust the formatting (it uploaded out-of-whack and there is no such thing as Amazon e-book author support), I decided not to promote it, but I did want to leave it active so that when the spirit moves him and the time is right, my son will look at it and nod – maybe even smile a little – thinking back to our warm and fuzzy “sunroom times.”

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*Course, there’s a story behind Sheena’s full name! More to come.

Miss You, Dad

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On Cheers, the older bartender, Coach, is standing behind the bar.  As he goes into his office, Sam says to Coach, “If anyone calls, Coach, I don’t want to be bothered,” to which Coach replies, “Who does?”

My father used to love Cheers.  He’d quote that line to me when I’d drop by and it became kind of a call and response code for “Glad to see you” or “I love you but can’t say it since I’m a research scientist and I don’t do emotions that often.”

Dad:  So Ruth, if anyone calls, I don’t want to be bothered.

Me:  Who does, Dad?

On the day that my Dad passed away in August, 1999, I was at work and my mother called to say she was worried.  Dad wasn’t responding when she spoke to him.  I rushed over to the house and as I walked in, I didn’t see anyone right away but I heard a strange noise, so I followed it into the kitchen.  There was a very plump bumblebee, sputtering and jerking forward suddenly as if it was new to this bee-body vehicle.  It made buzzing noises on and off and seemed to be flying in slow motion.  I sat down at the table.  The bee hovered a few feet away from me.  We just looked at each other.  Finally, I opened the screen on the window and the bee flew out.

Down the hall, my mother and the paramedics were talking, and they told me my dad was gone.  In my heart, I knew he wasn’t gone.  Just buzzing off to a new adventure.

God bless all the fathers on their special day.  The ones who are here and the ones who are away.

Mother’s Day Ode

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Relatives tell me I look a lot like my late mother (she would never have liked the term late, for indeed, she was always on time for any appointment).

While we do share some characteristics (like the patented “snort and cackle” when laughing – the snackle, if you will) and a penchant for saying to unresponsive teen-age ears, “Enunciate!,” I’d have to say we were not really all that similar.

  •  She spoke five languages.
  •  I speech wun (Inglich).
  •  She played Bach like nobody’s business.
  •  I play the radio like a professional.
  •  She was genteel and cultured.
  •  I am kinda like, from Jersey (she was too, but seemed less so, if youse know what’m sayin.)
  •  She was always in my corner and cheered me on no matter what.
  •  I was oblivious to her encouragement until it wasn’t there anymore.

Thank you, Lord, for the mother you gifted me with.  I hope she’s snackling up there with you, playing a fugue on the piano and sitting in that log cabin she always pined for.  God bless all the mothers, always in our hearts.

Dearly Departed Dog

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When we first brought home our dog, Sheena, in 1997, she was just a little bitty thing. We kept her in the kitchen overnight, using a baby fence to keep her in. Only fitting, as the family we’d adopted her from had called her “Baby.”

The following year, we brought home my son, Coleman, and what a culture shock it was for Sheena. First of all, she thought SHE was the baby. If her name had been “Baby” and she was a dog, then this new creature called a baby must be a dog, too! Was it taking her place?!?

Eventually, they became the best of buddies and she would often sleep next to my son’s bed. He used to kiss her head and pat her, and her tail would wag, up and down, side to side. His friends would come over and greet her like part of the gang. She was a shepherding dog at heart and happy to have a flock around her at all times.

As she got older, she got hit with one ailment after another; still, she kept going. But when she developed an aggressive cancer that made every breath a crash course in pain, we finally knew we had to put her to sleep, one month ago today.

I asked God all the usual “whys” but it kept coming back to “It was time.” She was a furry, cold-nosed blessing for fourteen years, and I’m eternally grateful that my son and I had her in our lives. As long as we live, she’ll always be in our hearts.