Hands

My hands are sixty years old, and not the least bit shy about letting everyone know. Several years ago, back when they were only fifty, my hands and I had lunch with two of my oldest and dearest friends. I hadn’t seen these ladies in quite some time, so we had much catching up to do.

We chatted with each other over plates of delicious Tex Mex cuisine at a restaurant in Dallas, alternately reminiscing about our shared histories and filling in the blanks where our paths had diverged. 

They’d both gotten their degrees four years after graduating from high school, marrying and having children only after they’d accomplished that educational milestone. My route was different. I’d married Studly, had two children, and then worked on earning my college diploma. By the time this luncheon took place I was already a grandmother, while they still had children at home. Different paths, many joys.

After the plates were cleared I noticed our three sets of hands on the table. Mine were clearly older than theirs. Where my friends’ hands were soft, smooth, and unmarred by age spots, mine were like a satellite image of a desert land, mottled and wrinkled, freckled and uneven.

I brought my friends’ attention to our hands. 

“Look at how much older my hands look than yours do!”

They looked at me like I was slightly nuts. Why would I call attention to such a thing? I even wondered that as I left the luncheon.

Maybe I like my old hands. They’re certainly the oldest looking part of me. Good genetics, for the most part, have kept the rest of my body and even my face, from reflecting my true age. I’m not terribly wrinkled yet, except for a few crinkles around my eyes and several decent laugh lines around my mouth. (I’m probably pissing off the gods of aging right now and will soon be inundated with wrinkles.)

But my hands show everything: Years of helping Studly Doright mow lawns in the summer Texas sun to help ends meet during some very lean years, years of being an assistant Little League softball and soccer coach, years of piloting a motorcycle without wearing gloves (stupid!).

Nowadays they’re more pampered. They receive occasional manicures and are treated nightly to a fairly expensive cream to keep them from further deterioration. But they still look old.

On the other hand, they might look sixty, but they are still nimble. They can tie shoelaces and dry tears, pat people on the back, and occasionally shoot someone the finger. My hands are terrific at picking pennies up and at wielding an ink pen. They text pretty well and can scroll through pages on the internet like hands half their age. 

I think I’ll take them shopping today. “C’mon, hands, we’ve got stuff to do. You, middle finger, show some restraint. That’s a good girl.”

Peace, people.people.

Workin’ It

After many months of being a domestic goddess I’m off to work again. Part of me is saying, “Woohoo” while the other part is asking, “What was I thinking?”

The toughest obstacle thus far this morning was dragging my feeble body out of bed when the 6 a.m. alarm sounded. I’d been wide awake since 4:30 either from anticipation or dread; I’m not certain.

Obstacle number two was getting dressed in something other than denim capris, a tshirt, and flip flops. I almost cried when I placed my feet in regular shoes. I’m so sorry, feet!

And instead of my normal brunch I had to eat breakfast! To ease the strain of eating something before 9 a.m. I stopped at Cinnabon and scarfed down a serving of Cinna minis with icing. My feet might hate me, but my tummy is so pleased.

Now, having arrived a full thirty minutes early for my assignment, I’m sitting in the car in front of a school in Tallahassee listening to Howard Stern and scanning the cars in the parking lot for my coworkers, none of whom I’ve met. Surely they’ll be easy to spot. We all have identical green suitcases packed with testing materials.

Wish me luck, friends. If you don’t hear from me again you’ll know I truly was allergic to work and couldn’t afford an epi pen.

Peace, people.

The Diggers’ Vote

Twenty years spent digging ditches, climbing through

stacks of detritus, too tall to fathom, too many fathoms to ponder.

Some streaks of weakened light leaked past guarded columns of

life’s waste and want. “I still cannot see the end,” came the distant scream.

“Just keep digging,” called a calm response. “You’ll hit paydirt one day.”

The foreman urged patience and tenacity.
Those digging broke nails and fingers and backs.

“Come election day who do you reckon you’ll be voting for?” Digger 1 asked Digger 2.

Digger 2 did not pause in her labors. “I like that Trump guy.” she said.

“He’s gonna build a big wall to keep them illegals from stealing our jobs.”

“Yep. That’s how I see it,” spat Digger 1.

“Quit your jabbering,” smiled the foreman. “Keep digging.”

  

Days and Days

falling out of practice, of silencing alarms and stumbling to the shower                         of matching shoes to skirt and scarf to blouse, willy nilly dash to desk                         days run neck and neck galloping for the checkered flag,                                                 no, the finish line where clocks are punched morning and                                 evening, and mondays aren’t mistaken for tuesdays or heaven forbid, fridays.             appointments keep their allotted places    and there is no need to ask,                          “what day is this?”

  
Peace, people!

Scheduled Chaos

every week about this time the chains all come unbound

we dance entranced on the steely pole and wave our hands around

clapping high and low we rock, we roll our voices raised in chorus

cold amber flows from gilded taps and everyone adores us.

unbridled passions capture hearts if only for this night

ecstasy then fades to shame when exposed to old ra’s light.

promises of never again are whispered through bruised lips

yet osiris calls again upon seven days’ eclipse.

  

It’s been many years since I had a wild Friday. Ah, the memories.

Peace, people!

Love, Damn It

i loved you
before it was cool
before i knew
what love meant.

love it seems is more
than hearts and flowers;
more than sweet
expressions.

it’s hard work,
honestly, this love stuff.
not for the
weak of spirit.

there have been
days when i felt the dearth
of love; its
cold absence.

but mostly love’s
embraced us like the warmest
hug on the coldest
night. perfect.

  

38 Plus One Reasons Why

Last year at this point my blog was just a newborn. It has grown and so have I, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  

This was my post one year ago today, with an additional reason tacked on at the end.

On the eve of our 38th wedding anniversary
I thought it might be interesting to challenge myself to list 38 reasons I’m happy to be married to Studly Doright. 

1. He thinks I’m smart.

2. His sense of humor. It’s corny and quick and keeps me on my toes.

3. He’s a great mechanic. That ability has been ridiculously valuable throughout our 38 years together. No matter how broke we were we always had reliable transportation.

4. He is handsome. Much better looking than I deserve.

5. He’s honest in his dealings with others. His golf buddies refer to him as the Boy Scout. He never cheats. Never.

6. He can admit when he’s wrong.

7. He isn’t afraid to show emotion.

8. He loves our kids fiercely.

9. The grand kids have compared him to a jungle gym. And he would do anything in his power to make them happy.

10. He is loyal, sometimes to a fault.

11. He treats his mother like a queen.

12. He is generous and big-hearted.

13. His laugh. Oh, wow, his laugh. Sitting through a funny movie with Studly is one of the best mood lifters in the world. I highly recommend it.

14. He is a really good kisser.

15. He is an incredible leader.

16. Have I mentioned how smart he is?

17. He will dance with me if he has had enough to drink.

18. He is a good driver.

19. He taught me to ride a motorcycle without wringing my neck.

20. He likes to hold hands.

21. He does everything in his power to make sure I’m happy.

22. Studly loves our cats as much as I do.

23. He is consistent. That might sound boring, but he’s the perfect counterpoint to my Inconsistency.

24. Punctuality is important to him.

25. He makes kick ass obstacle courses.

26. He is a decent amateur auctioneer for our family reunion fund raisers. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in witty repartee.

27. He is really good at mental math. I never need a calculator when he’s around.

28. My parents loved him.

29. He insisted that Daddy move in with us so we could care for him after Mom passed away. The two years we had with Dad before he died were some of the best of our lives.

30. He never lets me take myself too seriously.

31. He doesn’t worry.

32. He respects my opinion and listens to my points of view.

33. He sees me as an equal partner in our marriage.

34. He can cook much better than I can.

35. He can laugh at himself.

36. Studly has a stellar work ethic.

37. He knows how to enjoy life.

38. And, he loves me. He really, really loves me.

39. No matter how crazy his work becomes, he never brings it home.

I made it! Truth is I could’ve gone on and on, but I probably lost most of my readers half way through. That’s ok. This one’s for my husband.

Peace, People.

Ballad of the Battle of the Mold

Armed only with grit and determination
(and a brush, rubber gloves and a tonic for mold eradication)
Fair maiden set forth one morning in May
to for once end this harbinger of death and decay.
Pandora (the music, not the lady of myth)
Heralded maiden’s approach as she addressed the green filth.
“Begone!” she cried and the mold did not budge.
“I gave you good warning, now perish you sludge!”
Fair maid sprayed and scrubbed, her back bent at odd angles
She swept sweat from her eyes and made her old arms jangle.
After hours of labor she rose from tired knees
Expecting to see a sight which surely would please.
Instead a difference she could not discern
“Dammit,” she muttered. “Let Studly have a turn.”

   

One small section of our wall taken before and after. I guess I made a bit of a difference.

Is it too early for a glass of wine?

Peace, people!

American Dream

Oddly enough this poem came to me while I was watching Ender’s Game on HBO this afternoon. In solidarity with my Texas relatives I’ve taken a snow day, plus I still have a nasty head cold, so watching HBO is probably therapeutic. 

Back to Ender’s Game–I was struck by how purposeful his education was and for the thousandth time reflected on how without purpose mine was. Yes, I was taught to read, write, and perform mathematics, but to what end? Upon graduation from high school I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do or become.

When I went to college the first time, I was still purposeless. It seemed silly for me to continue spending my parents’ money on a big “if”.

Even when I returned to school I had no real desire to become a teacher; it just made sense for our family. I wonder, how do others deal with this lack of desire to be something specific. I know I had aspirations at one time, but I cannot remember them at all. 

American Dream 

She was smart,

But she held no purpose. 

Talented, 

Yet no audience. 

What benefit then 

Of all this hard work 

These accolades? 

That stellar GPA means 

Less than nothing now; 

Numbers on a printout. 

All for a scroll with 

Her name in tight
Script. 

 He was smart 

But not filled with grand 

Ideas. 

Tailored for 

Leadership through 

Genetics perhaps, and 

Hard work. 

No four year degree or 

Empty promises. 

Trials along his path 

Strengthened his 

Resolve, brought him 

Success. 

 American Dreamers 

Different paths 

Taken together. 

 Not the entire story, 

Neither is it at an end. 

Daily one or both 

Smile, slightly 

Dazed by their
Journey. 

 Remember? he’ll ask 

She always does. 

What next? She’ll wonder. 

Who knows? Says he.

IMG_0100

Peace, People!