The Worrying Gene

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s worrying. I come by the skill honestly, having inherited it from my mother who was a world class worrier.

She was full of “what ifs” and “might could happens” and she handed them down to me in a messy little package made up of sleepless nights and tied up with great big bows constructed from fatalistic flights of fancy.

Studly Doright, on the other hand, never worries, or if he does he never mentions it. Oh, he ponders deep stuff, like how to rig his bicycle with a battery and a throttle and a golf bag holder so he can use it on the golf course instead of a golf cart.

He might obsess a bit, but he never worries that he won’t get the bike to work or that he’ll crash and break a leg on the hole farthest from the clubhouse and have to crawl to safety. No, he leaves those worries to me.

His mom, Saint Helen, is not a worrier either. Even when she was on her own, raising five kids, she didn’t expend any energy worrying. She knew worrying wouldn’t solve a thing.

So, is this a nature versus nurture issue? Did my mom pass the worrying gene down to me, or did I learn from observing her that one should fret over situations one cannot control? Did Studly choose to emulate his mother, or is there a single speck on a gene that prevents him from worrying?

It’s probably a bit of both. We may never know. What I do know is that the old saying that opposites attract rings true in this case. Thank goodness.

Peace, people!

Paper or Plastic?

Today is the 44th anniversary of the day Studly Doright and I said our vows in front of friends and family members at a small Baptist church in Dumas, Texas.

I’ve had his gift for several weeks and will give it to him tonight. This morning, though, I was curious as to what the prescribed gift for the 44th anniversary might be. Maybe, I thought, I’d pick up something that fit the bill in addition to what I’d already bought.

Imagine my surprise when I realized I’ve been celebrating our 44th anniversary nearly every day since we said “I do!”

I should start saving up for next year right now, though. Probably can’t get a sapphire at the Publix store on N. Monroe, either.

Peace, people!

Can You Hear Me Now?

Something I’ve noticed as more and more people are wearing masks is that I rely an awful lot on watching people’s mouths in order to understand what they’re saying.

Studly Doright has told me for years that my hearing has deteriorated. I just say, “Huh?” and move on to the next topic. But now I get what he’s talking about.

Yes, the masks dampen sound, but even if someone is speaking up and enunciating, it often takes me three or four tries to understand what’s being said. Once I had to ask a person to write down their question. It was, “Do you want fries with that?” Color me embarrassed.

The masks at least, offer an excuse, but I have a feeling it’s time I sought professional help. I’d hate to miss out on someone yelling “Timberrrrr!” or “Fore!” or “Chocolate!”

Peace, people!

Upon Further Reflection

Studly Doright is a capable kind of man. He’s a combination of Mr. Fix-It and MacGyver wrapped up in one nice looking package. Seldom do I find something he doesn’t comprehend how to do. During our nearly 44 years of marriage I’ve only encountered a handful of things that stump my guy, but recently a new one popped up.

Since the pandemic, we’ve been performing personal maintenance tasks that we’ve paid others to do in the past. I’ve been giving myself (awful) pedicures and (even worse) manicures, and I’ve been keeping Studly’s hair trimmed. Studly doesn’t have much hair to trim these days, and by the time I finish shearing him, he has barely enough to notice.

After the last trim I discovered Studly in the bathroom, looking in the big mirror above our sinks and holding my hand mirror behind his head. He was trying to see if I’d cut his hair evenly.

“How do you do this? I can’t see anything,” he said.

“Wouldn’t it be easier if you turned around and used the small mirror to reflect the back of your head into the big mirror?

After several tries he made the magic happen, and I had the satisfaction of briefly knowing how to do something he did not. It’s not as rare an occurrence as a Halley’s Comet’s sighting, but it likely won’t happen again in my lifetime.

Peace, people!

Writing, Singing, and Crying

Lately when I write I’ve asked Alexa to play seventies music. Some days she selects pop, other days, country, and still others, folk. I can’t decide which genre I enjoy the most, but I do have some favorites: Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, among others.

When Studly Doright chooses a station he always picks sixties music, and while I enjoy that decade’s offerings, there’s something about the 70’s tunes that speaks to me. Maybe it’s because I graduated high school in ‘75, and married Studly in ‘76. In the space of a year I went from childhood to adulthood with seventies music playing in the background.

The 63-year-old me often finds herself crying during certain songs. Today, John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High had me blubbering at my computer, and not long after that I completely lost it over Michael Martin Murphey’s Wildfire.

Am I mourning the loss of my youth? Surely not. That’s been gone for at least three decades. How about my close proximity to death. Naw. I’ve made my peace with the world.

Maybe it’s bigger than that. Maybe it’s the loss of our nation’s soul that’s gotten to me, and these songs remind me of a time that seemed so much simpler. Oh, I know the 70’s had their issues. They weren’t rosy by any means, but I was young enough to believe everything would turn out fine.

Now, I’m not so certain.

Peace, people.

Subdued Fourth

Today we celebrated Independence Day here in the United States. Celebrated might be an overstatement in my case. I napped, having been unable to sleep last night. I did wear my special flag t-shirt most of the day, though.

Then, while Studly Doright and I were cooking our dinner of vegetable kabobs and fruit salad, I managed to get cooking oil all over the front of my shirt. I might’ve said, “Yankee Doodle Dammit!” Or something similarly patriotic as a result.

We’ll likely spend our evening watching “Shameless” on Netflix while listening to our neighbors across the lake shoot off fireworks. Is it wrong for me to hope a predicted thunderstorm might keep the ruckus to a minimum tonight? It’s not as if they have any children.

Suddenly I feel like the Scrooge of July 4th. Bah firecracker!

Peace, people.

My New Ride

Doright Manor is located in a hilly rural housing development about eight miles outside of Tallahassee, Florida. And when I say “hilly” I am not exaggerating. For as long as we’ve lived here we’ve talked about riding our bikes around the neighborhood. But that’s as far as we ever got to doing it. We could ride about a quarter of a mile and that was it.

Then my brother, Kelly, and his wife, Susan, stayed with us on their journey to Fort Meyers, Florida, and they left some items with us to be picked up when they passed through Tallahassee later in the week. Among those items was a pair of e-assist bikes. They told us to try them out, and we did. They were great fun. We could pedal for awhile and then take a break by using the battery power.

Studly Doright immediately began researching e-assist bikes and soon had one ordered for me.

Voila!

This isn’t a great photo, but I’ll do better next time.

Pretty cool, right? He’s now looking for a conversion kit for his bike. Until then, I might share.

Peace, people.

The Eyes Have It

On Saturday afternoon Studly Doright and I drove out to the Tallahassee RV Park to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law who were spending the night there before moving on with their big adventure.

They’d stopped by on Monday on their way to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’d pick up their new Airstream trailer. After several days of orientation and practice with their new trailer they were ready to hit the road. First, though, they needed to collect a few things they’d left at our house. Rather than have them drive all the way to Doright Manor and back to the RV park, we loaded their stuff into Studly’s pickup and met them at the park.

Their new trailer is beautiful—very posh and spacious. We enjoyed wine and cheese with them and their adorable dog, Gus.

That’s my brother, Kelly, dog, Gus, and me.
Look at Gus’s eyes. I think he’s a bit leery of his Aunt Leslie.

We had a wonderful dinner with Kelly and Susan before bidding them goodbye and safe travels. Kelly says he’ll start a blog about their journey. If he does, I’ll share it with you all. It’s bound to be good.

Peace, people!

Shameless

Studly Doright and I, after finally learning how to use Netflix, have gone a little nuts. We’ve watched “Orange is the New Black,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Ranch,” and “Grace and Frankie” along with several others. We started “Longmire,” but it didn’t really tickle our respective fancies, so we went looking for something else. That’s how we stumbled onto “Shameless.”

If you’re a parent and wondering if you’re doing an adequate job, watch “Shameless.” I guarantee your faith in your own abilities and common sense will be restored.

The story follows Frank, played by William H. Macy and his many offspring. As a father, Frank really sucks. He’s a grifter and a conman who shirks his responsibilities at every opportunity.

His eldest child, Fiona, runs the household, and that’s no easy task. She’s barely an adult herself and sometimes she isn’t quite up to the task. But she’s resourceful, as are her siblings. They borrow and sometimes steal in order to stay afloat, always one step ahead of the bill collectors.

“Shameless” is great fun. It’s sexy and sweet and often hilarious. And after watching even one episode, you’ll never doubt your parenting skills again. I promise.

Peace, people.

Some Days

Today was one of those days. My younger brother and his wife stayed the night with us on their way from Houston. Texas, to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’re going to pick up their brand new Airstream travel trailer.

They had their adorable dog, Gus, with them, so we kept our cat sequestered in the master suite last night. The two were aware of each other, but no one got chased and neither of them puked from nervousness, and we had a great visit with family.

It was a win-win. Still, I didn’t sleep well, and having the cat on my chest all night didn’t help much.

After breakfast at a local cafe our guests headed to Fort Myers and I came back to Doright Manor for a nap. The cat settled in beside me on the sofa in the den, and within minutes I was out like a light for the better part of two hours.

When I awakened it was as if I were in an alternate universe. The sky was dark, and I wondered if I’d slept the day away. I hadn’t. But a storm had blown in while I was napping making early afternoon look like nighttime.

I looked at the calendar on my watch fearing that I’d forgotten an appointment with the insurance adjuster, but realized that wasn’t scheduled until tomorrow. Then I began thinking about the carpet I’d ordered. It was supposed to have arrived on the 19th. Today’s the 23rd. Hmmm.

The carpet company had required a deposit. Had I made one? I couldn’t remember. I knew I’d gone to their office to do so, but couldn’t remember actually making a payment. The checkbook didn’t have an entry either. Had I used a credit card? Suddenly I was certain that the reason my carpet hadn’t yet arrived was that it had never been ordered because I hadn’t paid a deposit.

I called the store, “Hi, this is Leslie Noyes. I think I ordered carpet from you, but I can’t remember actually making a deposit.”

The woman on the other end laughed, sort of, “We can sure check.”

A couple of seconds later she read off my address and said, “Yes, it appears you paid a deposit using your credit card, and we’re just awaiting delivery of your carpet.”

I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or humiliated or worried for my sanity. I’m going to blame it all on the lack of sleep and the lengthy nap I took this afternoon. I’m going to avoid using sharp objects, though, for the remainder of the day.

Peace, people!