Quoting Atticus

Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:

Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it and why does it move you?

Through the character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee shaped my ideas and attitudes about courage and race from a very early age. Perhaps the most radical thing my mother, who was hardly a radical herself, ever did was to take me to see the film version of the novel.

As soon as I was able, in those days before E-readers made every book easily accessible, I checked To Kill a Mockingbird out of the Floyd County Public Library in Floydada, Texas. There were adult ideas embedded in the book that I did not yet understand, so I read the simple story of Scout and her brother.

I read the book again and again through the years after buying the paperback edition at a garage sale. With every reading I gained new understanding. When the physical book finally fell apart I downloaded it onto my Kindle, and I read Atticus’s story at least once a year.

The quote above about real courage speaks volumes to me, especially in these times of fear mongering and gun worshipping. My fervent hope is that more people would make Atticus’s words their own.

Bucket List

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt

Kick it: What’s the 11th Item on your bucket list?

There’s a hole in my bucket,
Or so I believe,
The older I get
The bigger the peeve.
I cross one item off,
And up crops another,
You’d think by my age
I’d not even bother.
Yet if I were counting
From top to the bottom,
Item eleven would be
Seeing Paris in Autumn.

Peace, people

Without You

Daily Prompt: What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

Studly Doright and I have been married for 39 years, and he’s one of my favorite people. Thanks to eight job transfers, all for his career, we’ve spent quite a bit of time apart. 

Physically the longest period of separation was during our last move. He headed to Tallahassee in July of 2012 while I stayed in Mahomet, Illinois, to sell our home. It was Thanksgiving before we were reunited. He did fly me down for a long weekend, though, to house hunt. As separations go, it wasn’t too awful.

The toughest time we had to deal with was our move from New Salem, North Dakota, to Great Bend, Kansas. Studly left us in November to begin his new job while the kids finished the school semester at New Salem (Home of the Fighting Holsteins), and I readied the house for sale. It sold quickly, and we made arrangements to move, but then both kids and I came down with the flu. 

We finally recovered only to have one raging blizzard after another paralyze our part of the country preventing the moving truck from getting to our home. The crew got through to pack up our belongings, but couldn’t get the big truck up to the house. 

Finally fed up with delays, I packed overnight bags, stuffed the kids and the cat in the car and headed due south, leaving detailed instructions for the movers. I could barely see the road for the snow, and every now and then I’d have to skirt around abandoned vehicles stuck in drifts. I prayed a lot. 

As soon as we crossed into South Dakota the skies cleared and the temperatures warmed. I felt like we’d escaped from a Stephen King novel, The Shining 2.0.

With all my heart I hope we are through with moving and the separation it brings.  I’ve told my family I’ll consider going to an assisted living community some day, as long as Studly comes along.

Peace, people!

A little Harry Nillson for your listening pleasure. Damn, I love this song.



Daily Prompt: What Bores You?

Believe it or not, I’m never bored. Maybe it’s a result of having been chastised as a teenager for ever uttering the “B” word. 

Instead I decided to make a case on how to avoid boredom. I give you–

Exhibit A: Writing blog posts. 

Yes, any time I feel a tinge of ennui sneaking up on me I plop myself down in my favorite writing spot and just begin typing. Usually these posts end up perpetually stuck in my draft folder, but occasionally they see it to publication. 

Exhibit B: Utilize the full potential of my pets. 

Surely they were placed on earth to serve and amuse us. 


No actual felines were harmed in the writing of this post.

Exhibit C: Make snarky comments on Facebook. 

It really is too bad that snarkiness doesn’t pay better. Or anything.

Exhibit D: Explore Pinterest. 

Honestly, if one can’t find something to pique his/her interest on Pinterest then he/she might not have a pulse, and should be administered CPR ASAP.

Exhibit E: Drive! 

Drive to a new shopping center or explore a local tourist spot that you’ve never been to because you’re, well, a local. I still kick myself because the entire time I lived within 100 miles of Springfield, Illinois, I never visited the capitol building.

I believe I’ve made my point. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a nap. 

Peace, people!

The Spotlight

In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:

Witness Protection. When you do something scary or stressful–bungee jumping or public speaking, etc.–do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

No shrinking violet, am I
Yet the circumstances do decree
If an audience of strangers or friends
Is preferable to me.

When speaking to a group
Of unfamiliar folks my
Sense of timing is impeccable
And I’m full of witty jokes.

At karaoke, though, I find
The better I know the crowd
The more relaxed my vocal chords
So I sing out loud and proud.

If ever I should bungee jump
I want six friends around
To serve as my pall bearers
In case I splatter on the ground.

Peace, people!

Smile, Don’t Speak

Daily Prompt: What do you find more unbearable? Watching a video of yourself or hearing a recording of your voice?

The lie I tell myself:
“Darling,” (that’s my pet name for me),
“Your disembodied voice
Grates. (That’s as polite as I can be.)

“But darling in your favor,
A natural grace and sweet disposition
Compensate for failings
In your whiny intonational exposition.”

“So, what you’re saying,”
I nod to myself, no nicknames embedded,
“Is that the camera loves me
And video is where I should be headed.”

“Darling, no,” I laugh,
“You’re not camera ready, either!
Avoid both at all costs,
And forget we had this conversation.”

The author in conversation with herself.

Prince Charm-ing.

History of Language: Write a piece of fiction describing how the phrase, “third time’s a charm” came to be.

Blame it on Ella;
although, she had no intent
to implement three
as the gold standard
in fairy tale decisions.
When the shoe didn’t
fit either sister,
and the prince was at wit’s end
Ella rose from ash
placing her dainty
foot inside the glass slipper
and Cinderella
won the heart and soul
of the handsome Prince Charm-ing.
And they all rejoiced.

Ok, I know the prince’s retinue scoured the countryside for the foot that fit the glass slipper. Technically, Cinderella wasn’t the third one to try it on, but she was the third one in her household to make the attempt. So this is my story and I’m sticking to it!

Peace, people!

Three Coins; Double or Nothing

I’ve tossed in one coin
over my shoulder, eyes closed
end over end, plop!

Wish made earnestly:
happiness for my grandkids.
with a taste of strife.

Next coin flies with ease
sails into fountained circle
carries second wish:

Please grant us peace now
on this earth we call our home;
celebrate all life.

One final coin soars,
skips across the still surface
one final grand wish

For three more wishes,
three more chances to change life,
double or nothing.



In response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: “You’re a Winner! What would you do if you won a billion dollars in the lottery?”

I’ve traveled a few miles,
been places I thought I’d
never see with my own two

I’ve more destinations on
my list, sights I need to
experience, sounds I must
Germany and on and on and on.

I’ve won a billion dollars
and the first thing I’d do
is pack my bags and travel,