The most I can do for my friend is simply be her friend.
My friend, Denise passed away a few days ago from cancer. I was going to write “after a long battle with cancer” but that wouldn’t tell the full story – words rarely do.
34 years ago, after struggling with fertility issues Denise was pregnant with her daughter, Candice when she found out she had cancer. Against the advice of doctors, Denise decided to wait a few weeks for the baby’s lungs to develop before having a c-section followed by a complete hysterectomy. Years later when I was in the last weeks of pregnancy, Denise told me how lucky I was to carry my daughter to term; she felt she missed out on the whole 40 week pregnancy experience but also came to realize she was very fortunate in other ways. In the early years, Denise didn’t know if she would see her children grow up and then proceeded to tell me how incredibly lucky she was to have raised her kids. In that moment, Denise showed me that life is lived with both losses and wins, fear and joy, grief and gratitude. Read more
Several years ago at a party, a friend of the family was sitting by the fireplace enjoying an ice-cold beer when he started talking about a married man who used to help our family take care of a summer house. Seems this married gentleman was carrying on with a woman in town and using our place as a love shack, unbeknownst to us. When the seductress forgot to turn off the silent alarm one autumn afternoon, the police and fire department were alerted, along with the married gentleman’s wife (who had a police radio at home) – all of whom raced to the house where there is only one road in and one road out. Read more
When my husband travels, I used to feel like a fish out of water unsure of what to do without my best friend around but gradually through the years, I’ve learned to embrace this time and do a few things differently.
Let’s start with baking. I only bake vegan desserts (which my husband gobbles up) but there are some desserts – namely, brownies – where nuts are an issue. Brownie lovers are usually divided into two lots: the purist (my husband) who likes his brownies with nothing added, and the adventurer (me) who loves walnuts or pecans and a few extra dark chocolate chips sprinkled throughout (just to make sure the brownies are gooey enough). So, when he’s not home, making a pan of walnut studded brownies (instead of half plain, half nuts) is on my to-do list. Read more
It’s not that I want the bees to die. I just don’t want to share my house with them.
There is a beehive growing on the second floor porch of my house, three feet from my favorite white rocking chair that happens to be my de facto hiding-from-the-world space. For days, I watch the bees work on their hive which gives me a full understanding of how the phrase “busy as a bee” came to be.
My mind wanders and it occurs to me that the housing industry would be completely different if we humans could figure out how to build homes as quickly as bees build hives. They all work together and don’t seem to worry about sub contractors not showing up; and the CEO is a female – a queen bee, to be exact. The bees actually work in beautiful harmony, which makes me feel guilty because I don’t want to share my porch with a beehive that is doubling in size every few days. Read more
Where are my glasses?
People of a certain age (over 40) know that reading glasses are a necessity of day-to-day living because the eyes are definitely not what they used to be. If you’ve ever been in a dark restaurant and been given a menu with more than 3 items on it and not had reading glasses handy, then you know the sense of frustration at not being able to read the font that seems to grow smaller every year. Put the menu up to a candle and risk a bonfire and the ire of the server not to mention the fire department. Read more
According to Betterroads.com, South Carolina is the second deadliest state to drive in – nearly 1,000 people (3 per day) were killed in 2016 and this is not sitting well with South Carolinians or the people traveling through the state who blame road conditions.
People in South Carolina have been making their views heard in a variety of creative ways including hiring planes to fly banners that say “Fix the Damn Roads” over the State House to forming alliances (Fix South Carolina Roads) to address the poor conditions of the roads. But, it’s not just potholes and deteriorating asphalt, it’s the inability of the highways to handle the amount of vehicles on the roads. Read more
Sometimes the problems in our world seem so overwhelming that we underestimate the power of our ability to make a difference in ourselves (both physically and mentally), the environment, and in the lives of other beings. We all tend to think of ourselves first but life would have little meaning if not for others. So, in the spirit of making the world a better place, consider doing one or all of the following “little” things to make a “big” change in your world: Read more
If you’re a middle-aged parent of young adults or teenagers then you’ve probably noticed the great divide between yourself and the younger generation. And, it’s not just lifestyle, fashion (visible bra straps and pants falling down), body art (tattoos and piercings), music, and entertainment (What is it with “The Walking Dead?”) as these things seem to plague every generation. Humor, which is generally thought of as universal within a culture is as much a part of the generational divide as everything else. Allow me to explain. Read more
Recently, I spent several hours at the JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida where a friend was being treated. The waiting room was filled with family and friends who had very few options while waiting for news of their loved ones. In one corner of the room was a coffee maker and a basket full of Otis Spunkmeyer Blueberry Muffins (which earned a D+ from www.caloriecount.com for its 19 grams of sugar, 9 grams of fat, and 270 mg of sodium) while in the other corner were two vending machines. Read more
With the beginning of a new year comes hope for a better future, a more enlightened approach to problem solving, and a commitment to do better. And, so we ask ourselves the questions that transcend time. Questions that hang over us like a wet towel or an annoying mosquito that never seems to go away. Questions that we try not to think about because they may be too hard to solve. Questions that are complicated, inconvenient and often easier to dismiss than figure out. But, questions nonetheless that are worthy of our time because they make us look at our ourselves and see if our actions are aligned with our beliefs. The questions also make us wonder if we are part of the problem or the solution. Read more