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There Are Days [Thoughts]

IMAG1268_1_1There are days.

There are days when you’ll be cut off in traffic and when you’ll get a ticket because of the photo radar system. Chances are, it’ll be at the intersection you never, ever, ever run except for that one day when you were just a little too preoccupied and you didn’t gun it or break it in time. If you’re really unlucky, you’ll get twice of those in the same week (but different intersections, of course, because you’re not stupid).

There are days when you realize you’re unhappy and missing out on life’s best moment but you have to because you’re a slave to a paycheck.

There are days when you look at your most important relationship and realize, “There’s nothing wrong — but there’s everything wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Thoughts

 

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Two Peas in a Pod [Stories]

Officiant:

Good afternoon, friends. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone coming out on this chilly and wet March day to celebrate the life that was Tom Jaeger. If you haven’t been to the Everlasting Gardens of Perpetual Sunset Cemetery and Crematorium before, I encourage you after the services are done to visit our facilities inside where you can enjoy complimentary donuts and coffee as well as free WiFi. There’s a spot for the kiddos to run around, too, as well as information about purchasing memberships in our floral service where, for a nominal fee, we will put flowers on your beloved’s grave on dates of your choosing. It’s a really great service, particularly for those of you who are from out of town and can’t visit often. But I digress.

We are here to honor Tom, a man who has touched many through his kindness and charitable deeds and lived in this community for more than 20 years. Does anyone know if more people are coming? No? Just us? Well, okay, then, we should get started. There’s another service after this one.

I’d like to hand this over to Raoul, Tom’s son, who will begin the memorial. Raoul? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in stories

 

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Never Tear Us Apart [Memoir]

IMAG1609_1I don’t know when girls start to notice boys but I started my career of boy crushing early. Some say daddy is a girl’s first love but not with me. It was Mr. Rogers. I woke up to that man almost every morning and loved him with a sexless passion that defines a little girl’s first romance with a television character. Once, Lynn and Lynette were talking in the living room about the boys they liked. Eager to get in on the conversation with the girls 12 and 14 years older, I chimed in, “but what about Fred?” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in auto-biographical

 

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It Goes On

I lost my first tooth March 17, 1984. I have no memory of that event, but I don’t need to. Dad made note of it for me.

Thanks to Dad, I know when every centimeter of gum released its toothy bounty. I know the exact dates I was hospitalized, every music performance and who in the family attended, every road trip taken until I was 19. He logged his activities and those of whom he was around for every day of his life from January 3, 1974 until February 21, 2012. One page a day, one pad a month, every month. Filed away in chronological order, more than 450 notepads. The aggregation of an old man’s life and of those he touched. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in auto-biographical

 

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But Can He Use a Gun?

Lynette, Linda, and our brother Wayne were all less than 36 months apart and shared friends. When they’d sneak into bars using fake IDs, Wayne would be in the middle wearing his cowboy hat, Wranglers, boots, and too tight t-shirt. Mother called them, simply, “the Threesome.” Lynette and Linda would be on either side, one wearing black and red, the other wearing white and blue. Sometimes the girls would alternate. The three of them were the life of the party wherever they went.

Had they been in high school a few years later, Lynette and Linda might’ve been called ‘the Wakefields’ after the twins in the Sweet Valley High series. Same height, same size, same hairstyle, same eyes, similar personalities; Lynette a little more bookish, Linda a little more fun-loving. They would rock out in Linda’s bedroom, the last one down the long hallway, listening to Michael Jackson, coloring black velvet posters, and etching the backside of mirrors in the shape of unicorns and KISS logos. Their voices were so similar that when boys would call our home, one girl would take the other’s calls just for fun and flirt dangerously.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in auto-biographical

 

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Like the Gerber Baby

Today is my son’s birthday, a child’s birthday always being a good moment for reflection. Yet as I look at his smiles, I see the shape of his face melt.  In the span of a few moments he becomes his brother at the same age.  A little bit more time passes and he becomes one of his nieces, then another, and then he becomes his 13-year-old cousin as an infant.  Before too long, he is one of my baby sisters.  Everyone melts backward into youth like Miss Foley in Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Making It Add Up

Arithmetic is a beautiful thing for a data junkie because no matter how the numbers are ordered, the sum is the same.  I used to play with this when I was little to see how many ways I could arrive at 10.  Ten is the numerological representation of completion, a totally harmonious unit.  I like 10.  There are 10 fingers, 10 toes, 10 commandments.  I lived nearby I-10 as a child. Ten is an easy number to sum and it’s beautifully divisible.  There are so many ways I can arrive at 10.

10. The number of children who have had my father’s last name.

7 + 3 = 10.  Seven daughters, three sons.

3 + 3 + 4  = 10.  Three children from my dad, three children from my mother, four children together.

2 + 5 + 1 + 2 = 10.Two children born in the 1950s, five born in the 1960s, one born in the 1970s, two born in the 1980s.

(2 + 1) + (1 + 2) + (1 + 3) = 10. Two girls, a boy from my dad; a boy and two girls from my mother; a boy and three girls together.

Beautiful arithmetic doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s simple. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in auto-biographical

 

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