Moving on in Single steps

“you are terrifyingand strange and beautifulsomething not everyone knows how to love.” – poet Warsan Shire Many years ago, I drove my grandmother home from the hospital after my grandfather died. She wept. “I don’t know who’s gonna fold my sheets now,” she cried. My grandfather had approached laundered sheets like they were wild animals in need of taming. As she cried, I reached over and put my hand on her shoulder, and accidentally swerved out of my lane. “KEEPRead more

BlogVid-19, Post #2. FOMO/graduation version.

This week we received an email from our county schools superintendent. It read, in part: Today, I have made the very difficult decision to cancel all traditional high school graduations.  The UNF arena is no longer available and I believe our high schools need to be consistent in how we celebrate the Class of 2020. In addition, COVID-19 could still be a threat into the summer, we simply do not know. Your school will communicate virtual graduation plans as soon asRead more

This is BlogVid-19, Post #1

I’ve been wondering what I can do about the pandemic, besides stay home, wash my hands, and donate my firefighter husband to the cause. But then I remembered: I’m a writer! I can entertain/educate/offend people! So here I am. In theory, it’s nice to be at home more. I spend many hours on my back patio, listening to birds, and panicking about the online teaching work I’m not doing and the pending pandemic apocalypse. I feel like I should writeRead more

Ants (not in my pants).

An army of sugar ants are marching around the kitchen. Sometimes I find them on the bathroom counter, too. We’ve removed all items from the pantry, confirmed the airtightness of everything, and wiped down the shelves. The ants remain. The other day I noticed them roaming around a plate of homemade cookies everybody had been eating. The cookies were nevertheless delicious. My neighbor gave me some Terro ant killer which is essentially liquid borax. She said to put little puddlesRead more

Dear Savvy Sister, Part 2. The answer.

**Did you read Part 1? Do that first so this makes sense. Dear Saggy Sister – It’s true that I’m very smart. I am also very beautiful, and wish you had mentioned it. But it’s hard to hand out compliments when you’re low, so let’s see what we can do to pull you up a bit. First, let me apologize for failing to anticipate this. A living spirit must be nurtured and loved, and I have been busy NOT INTERFERINGRead more

A special ‘Dear Savvy Sister’

Dear Savvy Sister – You are so smart. I have noticed with envy how you dispense wise advice like soft serve ice cream from a spout. And it’s never run-of-the-mill vanilla advice either. No, you always twist it with chocolate and wrap the whole thing in a delicious handmade waffle cone to make it palatable. Certainly the world would be a better place if you were queen of it – or a Dear Leader, or some other more equitable socialist-likeRead more

Peanut Butter & Jelly & books & racism everywhere

“In case you are itching to foster….” read the text, beneath pictures of several puppies so tiny they collectively could be called a handful. “Do they need to be fostered together?” I texted back. “If not, I can take two.” Someone else on the group text emphasized my words with a HA HA HA. A couple of days later, without telling anyone, I drove to pick them up. I arrived home just after my youngest got home from school. IRead more

Toads and the Fourth and maybe a rat

There’s a toad living in a pair of sneakers I keep on the back patio. He switches from one shoe to the other, but he’s always in one of them during the day; at night, he emerges and hops around the yard. I guess he’s looking for bugs. Every day I peek to make sure he’s there. Do toads sleep? They must. Whenever I look, though, he’s just sitting there quietly, tucked into the dark cave of my shoe, hisRead more

Where I live and the terrible, no-good, very bad N-word.

Last month on Valentine’s Day, I was listening to a talk radio show about schools, guns, and the Parkland shooting. I don’t like guns. I don’t want guns in schools. But as I listened to the show, what occurred to me is this: there are invisible weapons just as dangerous as guns. I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Let me describe Ponte Vedra for you. It’s our ritzy little idyllic community. Our grass is literally greener than everyone else’s.Read more

The Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Chronicles, Part 3

I recently spent 20 minutes designing a new Bitmoji for myself. I shortened my hair and dressed myself in a hoodie, because I’m always cold. I also played around with the shape of my face and eyes, pretending I observe such things. When I was finished, I texted my new doppelganger to the husband. Thirty seconds later, he called out from the other room, “I hate your new Bitmoji.” What? “How can you hate it? It looks just like me!”Read more