543 Day Writing Journey

Ego. Day 141.

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“You’re a great writer,” they’ve all said. Family, friends, professors, and even strangers still say that. Of course. It’s like when you don a new haircut and people say they love it, or when you bake someone a cake. “This is to die for.”

Continue reading “Ego. Day 141.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Peanut Allergies. Day 140.

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“I can’t have peanut butter in my lunch,” Baylee said. We had just moved to Massachusetts from North Carolina.

“What?!” I was surprised, and a little angry. How could someone tell me what my kid could have for lunch, right?

Continue reading “Peanut Allergies. Day 140.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Pressing Cammies. Day 139.

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The smell of burning water told me the iron was ready, so I took a pair of trousers out of the high pile of cammies. I held the pants upside-down, lined up the bottom hems, and gave them two shakes. Once they were flat, I put them on the ironing board, lined up the creases, and began pressing.

Continue reading “Pressing Cammies. Day 139.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Roger Annoyed Me. Day 138.

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They say time heals all wounds, but it’s not true. My Nana has been gone since 1993 and I still miss her terribly. All of my past personal losses still and always will suck. Time does, however, offer you devices and tricks to cope with the grief, and I’ve seen the results of one specific tool lately.

Continue reading “Roger Annoyed Me. Day 138.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Training Bras. Day 137.

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Nana and I were part of a community tag sale in Laurel Park, Northampton, MA, and someone had a second-hand bra on their table for sale. They wanted a few cents for it.

I whispered to Nana, “I like that one.”

She bought it for me and put it in a bag. I walked around the rest of the tag sale, hugging it to my chest. It was real.

Continue reading “Training Bras. Day 137.”
543 Day Writing Journey

He Can’t Use a Phone. Day 135.

Sammy’s first office prank.

Sammy was born in 1998, which means by the time he was able to use a phone without supervision, he had a cell phone. Well, I never thought to teach him how to work an old-fashioned plugin phone.

Continue reading “He Can’t Use a Phone. Day 135.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Superpowers. Day 134.

Poor Gisele. Her belly isn’t happy with their new food.

Whether you want the ability to fly, perform telekinesis, or to make yourself invisible (creepy one), we’ve all answered the question: “What superpower would you want to have?”

Baylee said he’d like to be able to fly, which I get. I don’t generally like flying, but if I had control of it, I think it would be swag.

Continue reading “Superpowers. Day 134.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Gross Meter. Day 133.

“Mom, can you get this stain out? I think it’s grease,” Tyler said. He handed me his Bill Belichick Foundation hoodie which is quite new.

“I think so,” I said. I looked forward to the challenge.

Continue reading “Gross Meter. Day 133.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Paisano’s. Day 132.

“Two large cheese pizzas, two orders of mozzarella sticks, a large turkey grinder with extra mayo only, and two orders of fries,” I have said to the woman on the phone many times. Our chat was in perfect syncopation, so efficient.

Continue reading “Paisano’s. Day 132.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Camping. Day 130.

“Ok, let’s plan our menu,” I have said many, many times.

“Burgers, obviously.” Roger said, “And, pancakes!”

Our camping gear is maybe the most organized part of my life with each bin in my storage shed being a home for something specific.

I’ve written about camping often, even a couple months ago, but I still have not planned a trip! What’s wrong with me?

Continue reading “Camping. Day 130.”
543 Day Writing Journey

The Best. Day 129.

“Today was the best day ever!”

“That was the best spaghetti you ever made.”

“She’s one of my best friends.”

I could go on and on with example sentences using the word best in them, but I don’t think I need to. We all use it incorrectly, don’t we?

Continue reading “The Best. Day 129.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Affordable Gutters. Day 128.

“Dad used to climb up there on a ladder and install new gutters,” I said, nodding towards the four-story beach houses.

We were driving home from Tyler’s condo on North Topsail Island in NC.

“Wow,” Baylee said. “Those are high.”

“They are. Dad wasn’t afraid of heights.”

Continue reading “Affordable Gutters. Day 128.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Cards, Anyone? Day 127.

Nana and I both held our perfectly aligned hand of cards in from of our faces, blocking our lips and nose. Our eyes found each other, and I could see hers crinkle. She was smiling.

“Gin!” Nana said.

“Darn it!” I really thought I had her.

Nana and I played gin rummy quite often, and she never let me win. I am the same way with my boys. There’s nothing wrong with a gentle, yet healthy, sense of competition.

Continue reading “Cards, Anyone? Day 127.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Feature Writing. Day 126.

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People’s stories are why we know about our history. It’s not the history books, encyclopedias, and the internet that give us our information from the past, it’s from hearing what the people have to say. Sometimes they write the stories themselves, like in literature, poetry, and even hundred-year old notes found in the attic floorboards. If it’s not a first-hand account, our history can be found in the form of a feature story, and I am doing one right now!

Continue reading “Feature Writing. Day 126.”
543 Day Writing Journey

The Blue Light. Day 125.

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If a creeper decides to choose my bedroom window to peek into at night, he or she will find a blue hue dancing around my room, and Michael Scott’s face may be visible on the tube. If I am awake, which is several times a night, I turn on the sitcoms and instantly feel safe and sleepy.

Continue reading “The Blue Light. Day 125.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Feeling Motivated. Day 123.

Progress

Yesterday was an important memoir day. Instead of talking about my future plans and intentions, I actually did something. I’m an awesome planner and dreamer, but following through on personal goals, not professional, can make me struggle at times.

Continue reading “Feeling Motivated. Day 123.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Organizing My Memoir. Day 122.

My memoir is a mess!

Today I will organize it so it makes more sense to me. When I opened it up yesterday, I became overwhelmed with how disorganized it was. The table of contents doesn’t align with the chapters, and I have added notes in different folders that I need to find cozy homes for.

I consider this forward progression. So, that’s what I will do today. I will begin to stop talking about it, and take action.

543 Day Writing Journey

I’ll Never Finish this Memoir. Day 121.

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My boys, with their hard work and generosity, pitched in and gifted me with a new laptop for Christmas. I was so overdue for one, but did not expect it. I am completely grateful and having a blast with this new fancy-pants device. (It has a lighted keyboard!)

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543 Day Writing Journey

When a Man Calls You Mom. Day 120.

The boys and our newest member, a rock star we call Deaven

Baylee had a dental cleaning yesterday, so I waited in the room with bland, always gray chairs and a soap opera on the TV (I didn’t know they still existed) for him to come out.

I immersed myself in my phone, reading the news, when I heard a man say, “Mom.”

I kept my eyes on my phone, reading about the major traffic jam in Virginia and the newest COVID news.

Continue reading “When a Man Calls You Mom. Day 120.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Should I Look at the Body? Day 119.

Trigger warning. Boys, don’t read.

After Roger passed, I had many dark, chaotic thoughts swirling around in my head, some sensible, some not. They would hit me out of nowhere like in the cereal aisle at Food Lion or while sitting in the sun, watching the boys splash around in the pool. Most of them I didn’t want to share with the masses. Thankfully, I had people close to me who wouldn’t criticize me for declaring my anxieties about the plethora of decisions I had to make, like whether or not I should to see his body.

Continue reading “Should I Look at the Body? Day 119.”
543 Day Writing Journey

I Miss Snow. Day 118.

Why is my love for snow and cold weather such a rare one? I grew up with it, saw it occasionally during the first time I lived in North Carolina, and when I lived in Massachusetts from 2016 until 2021. I had a snow blower, shovels, and boots, and although I complained and swore at it, I miss it.

Continue reading “I Miss Snow. Day 118.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Then What Do You Eat on New Year’s Day? Day 116.

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While cooking New Year’s dinner, which will be served at two p.m., I was thinking about what to write today, and I remembered a piece I wrote in April of 2020, so here it is with a teensy tweak:

Continue reading “Then What Do You Eat on New Year’s Day? Day 116.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Taking a Break. Day 115.

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Although I enjoy seeing posts of people’s pets, kids, accomplishments, and so on, I need a break.

I find myself at times aimlessly scrolling and seeing the same posts over and over, not because I’m being deliberate about it, but because I am using it as some type of pacifier. My focus has been compromised and my attention has become fogged.

Continue reading “Taking a Break. Day 115.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Speaking of Wanda. Day 114.

Our Wanda. She looks a little chubby-butt in this photo, but she’s still quite ribby.

It’s been about eight years since we’ve had a young pup in the house, and we all forgot just how difficult it can be. We want Wanda to have manners so we can socialize and take her places, so training her is constant. We also don’t want her to eat our stuff like pillows and clothing, because it could hurt her, and well, we love our stuff. Most importantly, we don’t want anything to happen to her, so we have to monitor her always, including even when she’s in her crate sometimes, which we call a crib.

Continue reading “Speaking of Wanda. Day 114.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Coins. Day 113.

Fives boast about their size and smooth edges and it’s hard to resist rubbing your coarse, naked thumb all the way around to feel the liquid, flawless flatness; A dime in the pocket waits for the nickel to boast about its size, then smirks with its sharp ridges and invisible heft when the five sees how the ten makes you smile more; The friends chingled and changled and clattered in your anxious palm as you presented it for a crispy, inky morning news, milky, sweetened coffee, or early morning bacon sandwich in 1975. Melted yellow American cheese and fluffy salted egg. Toasted buttered rye; The laughing quarter reaches into the lighted glass world and allows the twirl of the metal coil to drop your dusty Cheetos or left Twix or expired Necco Wafers; Pile it all in your right hand, feel the weight then let it spill spill spill over into the chipped ceramic bowl that you bought at the tag sale at your lonely neighbor’s, or maybe you used a wrinkled paper dollar to get some coins back. A drizzling Saturday morning in September. Western Massachusetts; The metal friends sit in the sticky cup holders in your uncle’s Ford pickup or the top of a father’s oak dresser. They are wrapped in old gum in her Nana’s purse and living in the dark cushions, lost from the pockets of gentlemen; And Little Miss Copper with her oneness shining in the sun. New penny old penny hiding in the dry dirt or waiting on the city sidewalk for you to pick her up so she can inject you with her bad luck like a stepped-on crack or a feline with black fur; Heads are heads and tails aren’t tails; Dimes, pennies, quarters, and nickels cheer when they fall or join their metallic friends. They can’t whisper so they don’t until they are wrapped in brown paper, colored orange, green, blue, and red. Folded ends to trap them inside and marked with a number. Bigger ones that don’t matter to them, because they’re shiny and noisy and alive as they roll and twirl and circle around in the ancient Kenmore dryer.  

 

543 Day Writing Journey

Wow. Day 111.

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For 111 days straight, I have been writing. Sometimes it’s a simple revision, others it’s a scheduled post, but I have been practicing some form of writing, revising, or organizing my thoughts for 111 days!

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543 Day Writing Journey

The Red Pumps. Day 110.

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Nana loved to shop, and our go-to places on weekend mornings were Bradlees and Caldor. She also loved to pick out clothes for me, but when I was in sixth grade, I started forming my own opinions about what I liked to wear. It was 1985, Madonna had just taken over the world, and I wanted red pumps.

Continue reading “The Red Pumps. Day 110.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Zoom. Day 109.

Christmas 2020

This year, I will have all four of my boys and even a girl with me on Christmas! Last year, due to COVID and being mid-move, we were separated, so Sammy, Max, Baylee, and I had to Zoom with Tyler in our living room. We put him on the big TV and exchanged gifts with each other while we visited. (Can you hear me now?) Yes, there were skips and our faces froze on the screen at times, but instead of complaining about it, I am so grateful to have had it.

Also, Zoom had no time limits on Christmas, so we were able to keep him in the same room for most of the day. Years ago, this would not have been possible, but because of technology and a little jump-start due to a global pandemic, we were able to see Tyler’s face, and he ours.

I will cherish the hugs and being in the same room with all the kids this year, but I will also tip my non-existent hat to whomever invented Zoom and all other meeting apps and programs. Without it last year, I’m unsure how I would have gotten through a holiday without my son. Thanks, Zoom.

543 Day Writing Journey

Our Word of the Month. Day 108.

Bet you can’t guess her name.

“Wanda!”

“Wanda, don’t do that!”

“Wanda!!!!!!”

“Wanda, come inside!”

“Wanda, you’re a good girl.”

“Where’s Wanda?”

“Wanda, do you want a treat?”

“Spit it out, Wanda!”

“Wanda!!!

“Wanda, sit!”

“Wanda, get out of the bathroom trash!”

“Wanda, come here!”

“Wanda, want to go outside?”

“Wanda, we love you.”

543 Day Writing Journey

I Know How to Be Alone. Day 107.

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“Let’s try to go to a Panther’s game,” Baylee said to us all. His nose was in his phone looking up their schedule, brow furrowed in urgency. He rattled off a few dates for us.

“I think that’s a great idea!” I said. “Text Tye and get him in on this.”

“I already did,” he said.

Continue reading “I Know How to Be Alone. Day 107.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Gifts. Day 106.

Baylee when he was four, wrapping a gift for one of his brothers.

The past few days have been a lot of, “Mom, can you come with me Christmas shopping.” Although I would have rather stayed home, safe from Omicron and grumpy people, I cherish the little time I have with my kids, and there’s nothing like watching them shop for their brothers. Also, people-watching is one of my favorite activities.

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543 Day Writing Journey

Happy Solstice. Day 105.

Sunshine sweet sunshine

In my youth, I never realized how the lack of daylight negatively complemented my moods. The happy holidays ride into our year on the shoulders of the shortest days, including our beloved winter solstice, when we’re blessed with the least amount of daylight the entire year offers. Today is December 21st, the day when Earth is quite stingy with her offering of light. Lack of sunshine and hours sprinkled with darkness can lead to sadness and depression, so I am ready for tomorrow and the days that follow.

Continue reading “Happy Solstice. Day 105.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Googling Symptoms. Day 104.

Wanda is on the mend.

My pup was spayed last week. She’s six months old and I hate to leave her in her crate all day but I understand it’s important for her to fully heal before she can be set free into the yard. We were only taking her outside to use the potty and keeping her confined otherwise. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a young one around, so I wanted to research aftercare a little more extensively than what was provided to us, just to see how long she really needed to be locked up.

Continue reading “Googling Symptoms. Day 104.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Apophenia. Day 102.

While binge-watching “Stranger Things” with the kids, I learned a new word: Apophenia.

Merriam-webster.com defines it as “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas).”

Continue reading “Apophenia. Day 102.”
543 Day Writing Journey, Uncategorized

Parenting Fail. Day 101.

Sweet Max sending a gift to a friend.

My kids don’t know how to address a letter. Well, some of them don’t, and I take most of the responsibility, and blame the rest on technology.

“Why are you writing the town right after the street address?” I asked Max. He was addressing a package with a Christmas gift for a friend.

Continue reading “Parenting Fail. Day 101.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Happy Anniversary. Day 100.

It wasn’t supposed to snow that night, but it did, draping like a soft, white fabric over the wooden gazebo, manicured evergreens, and my pathway to Roger. Family and friends all stood in a circle in the center of the rotary in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Lights, Christmas and police, guided me to the center of the gazebo where Roger stood. He was dressed in blues and a crooked smile that protected me from the icy air that people tell me surrounded us that night. With the backdrop of a black sky and multi-colored Christmas lights, I, in my rented white gown and green plaid sneakers, walked up to my marine in his dress blues, and we were married. I wasn’t nervous. That was twenty-six years ago today.

Continue reading “Happy Anniversary. Day 100.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Amazing. Day 99.

Tyler took this photo. Isn’t it amazing?

There aren’t enough synonyms for the word amazing. A professor I had at Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC, told our class about a cool tool in Microsoft Word, where you can right-click on the word you want to find synonyms for, and it will offer you a list of them.

Continue reading “Amazing. Day 99.”
543 Day Writing Journey

It Really is Strange. Day 98.

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E.T., Ghostbusters, and all of the Star Wars movies quickly put me at my limit of science fiction. I just never would have considered myself one who likes shows or movies with monsters, annoying timelines, and cheesy romance mixed into it all. My type of watch and read has always been more in the genre of realism, but the kids just don’t quit, and I have reasons for giving in.

Continue reading “It Really is Strange. Day 98.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Christmas Movies. Day 96.

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Christmas movies can take you on an adventure to your childhood just like the smell of oak logs burning will take you camping in your mind. There are numerous specials on TV, movies, and cartoons, but I always stick to the same ones. A Christmas Story is playing in the background as I type, and I will occasionally lift my head to watch a scene or two, like when Ralphie said a bad word while he was helping his pops. I, along with many others I’m sure, have memorized holiday movies, and can sing along to the songs, like in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

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543 Day Writing Journey

Still, Our Water is Cold. Day 94.

It’s been more than three weeks since we’ve had hot water in our house. We’re going through a home warranty company, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, so the plumber has no control in the matter. We’re also due for renewal soon, so we’ll also see about that. Let me tell you how this changes things:

Continue reading “Still, Our Water is Cold. Day 94.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Like a Nail in the Head. Day 92.

Our search for a new canine family member came to an end quickly. Of course, Baylee was on it like sweetness on a honeycrisp apple, but the discovery was actually made by me and by accident on social media.

While scrolling through my Facebook feed the day after I wrote that post, I saw a female shepherd on a local rescue site. She reminded me of my David. They both show their energy in their eyes, and she was six months old so the potty training and chewing up stuff would almost be over for her, so I filled out an application.

Continue reading “Like a Nail in the Head. Day 92.”