If Now Was Then

Red's Wrap

A long time ago, I decided to leave the hotel room in Des Moines where I was staying with my boyfriend and drive back home to Milwaukee. He was drunk and insisting that we go out on the town and I was terrified of getting killed in a car accident.

He didn’t like my decision. My going stranded him in another state. It would end up being difficult for him to get home. He would have to take a Greyhound but that was okay because that’s what people did then. They waited in bus stations to go places they couldn’t get to on their own.

Because he disagreed with my decision, he pinned me on the bed. He was heavy, a very big man, so being pinned was no small situation. He also had his hands around my throat but, fortunately, for me at least, one of his hands had been damaged…

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Too Pooped to Post

Folks, my trip to Houston and back over the weekend has worn me out. I’m taking the day off. Maybe two days, but before I go I’ll leave you with this cute kitten picture:

And how about this adorable puppy in a teacup?

Or this turkey couple?

Which reminds me of a picture my youngest grandchild created in her kindergarten class:

Can you guess what this is?

It’s a turkey in disguise. I’d say this bird should escape the axe this Thanksgiving. Now, y’all have a great day. I’m taking a nap.

Peace, people!

Truckin’

Red's Wrap

My sister sat outside the bathroom door yelling instructions to me. It went on forever, mostly because what she was telling me to do was unbelievable.

It was my first tampon lesson.

Now I collect tampons and pads and give them to women who are homeless. I have a ton of both in my dining room right now waiting to be bagged up and delivered to shelters. It has become my thing. So much so people seek me out. Would I take 28 boxes of Depends? That is a lot of Depends – 80 to a box x 28 = 2,240 Depends. All Small-Medium. So you can be incontinent and homeless but hopefully you are on the small side.

It’s odd to have a long career and have its ending achievement be the collection of products that soak up bodily fluids.

My work is about data and program evaluation, strategic…

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My Place

I know my place, here between the have nots and the one percenters. Aware of the inequities and the extravagances,

My heart catches at the injustices, the injuries, those who’ve not fallen through the cracks, as much as having been ground into them.

The ledge I occupy, precarious as it is, teeters on the edge of future fortunes and unseen pitfalls. I know my place.

If I Couldn’t Go Home

Where would I go if I couldn’t go home? Would I find the means to travel the world, a vagabond with no tether?

Might I show up in postcards mailed from exotic destinations, wish you here, but secretly glad you stayed behind?

I’m afraid I’d live in a marginal world, on the edge of respectability, begging scraps from passing cars.

If I couldn’t go home, I would never build a new one. I lack the proper tools, but perhaps I’d find a better one.

Mom, There’s Plenty of Room for Me

Patches let me know she wanted to join me on my trip to Houston in a not so subtle way this morning. Even after I reminded her that she detests car trips and would hate a two hour flight even more, she persisted in laying claim to my overnight bag.

Studly Doright promised to take good care of her and sister, Scout. Patches, though, thinks Studly is shady and never trusts his advances. She’s a smart kitty.

Peace, people!

Last Minute Adventure

Studly Doright has several hobbies: golf, motorcycles, and trading vehicles, among others. Several months ago he sold his pickup truck and bought a sports sedan. I knew, though, that it wouldn’t be long before the call of the wild—namely the need for another pickup—sounded in his ears. I even made a prediction that he’d have a new pickup before this year ended.

So, a couple of nights ago when Studly turned to me and asked, “If I bought a new pickup would you fly to Houston and drive it home?” I wasn’t the least bit surprised. Until I realized he’d asked me to go pick the truck up.

“Sure!” I said, happy to have a new adventure. We bought a plane ticket and I’ll leave on Friday afternoon.

Now, I have feelings of trepidation. The truck has a manual transmission, and while I have owned several vehicles with a stick shift, it’s been awhile. Also, I’ll be driving in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country. Great place to renew my acquaintance with a manual transmission vehicle.

In addition, I’m going to have to find a way to the car dealership from the airport. Uber? Lyft? I’ve never downloaded the apps and I’m not sure how they work. I guess I’ll have to learn quickly.

Did I mention I adore adventures, and that there’s an excellent outlet mall near Gulfport, Mississippi that’s calling my name? Wish me luck, good weather, and a few dollars to spend at the mall.

Peace, people!

The World in Black and White

A childhood friend challenged me to post seven black and white photos, one each day for seven days on Facebook. The photos could contain no images of people, and I wasn’t allowed to comment on the subject matter. Do you know how difficult it was for me to forgo an explanation of the pictures? Excruciating, that’s what it was.

Fortunately I have this blog and no restrictions as far as I can tell. Of this one thing, I am the boss.

The one below was taken in Chicago from the backseat of a car during an Uber ride. I’m amazed that I didn’t have to crop any humans out of the picture.

The next photo is of a portion of the ceiling at the Cadillac Palace Theatre where my daughter and one of my granddaughters, and I saw Les Misérables.

The anchor below was found on Amelia Island in Florida. I paused to snap the photo as Studly Doright urged me to run for our car while a storm headed our way. With one step to go I got drenched! But the shot was worth it.

Next up is a moody picture of the Florida capitol building. If you’re ever in Tallahassee it’s well worth visiting.

The Atlantic Ocean near our Amelia Island Hotel posed for my next shot. Loved these clouds.

Another photo taken on Amelia Island showcases the swamp we kayaked through on a recent visit. That house in the background looks a bit haunted shown in black and white.

Finally, one last photo from Amelia Island. This one is self-explanatory. I love the sepia look of this one.

I feel much better now, having given these shots some context. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight.

Peace, people!

A Broken Heart

I can point out the cracks,

The places that never quite heal

This one from Newtown

Another from a Texas church

And all those in between

Etchings on this old heart,

Dinged by each death,

Pitted by the greed of lawmakers

Broken by the callous, rote responses,

Their thoughts and prayers

Who will take this cup from me?

Who wants this scarred heart?

I’m tired of carrying the damage around

Of wounds that don’t mend

And people who don’t care.

Casting Stones

Will you enter this long sleep with clear conscience, exalted by your good works, camouflaged by your religion?

If you expect pointed fingers to catch you out, they won’t be mine. I’ve hurt my share of people, filled my own bucket with

The dregs of guilt and regret. If anything I will be the one to offer reconciliation, but without the artifice of narrow beliefs.

Think now on those you’ve wronged, those whose affections you’ve betrayed, while anyone without sin casts the first stones.