Sometimes Things Change

I see some ducks diving deep, popping up half a pond away, while others are skimming their feet on the surface as they fly across the water. Bullfrogs are croaking and leopard frogs are clucking along the shores. It seems as if all remains the same for them, and still, sometimes things change.

They change for the students in the prime of their life. With their remaining school years on hold or completely shut down, proms, plays, trips, and graduations have been taken away. As a result, many students, especially seniors, are alternating between angst and anger, disconnect and depression. All the life experiences and high school highlights that they have been promised have been stolen from them. We want to reassure them that all will be well, but we understand their pain. No, it is NOT fair, but, sadly, sometimes things change.

Meanwhile, trees are changing to chartreuse with burgeoning buds. Flowers are waking from their winter sleep, poking their colorful heads out of the formerly frozen earth. As it has done for thousands of years, spring is springing, and still, sometimes things change.

It has changed for the young athletes from college to preschool who cannot gather together and have fun. Junior and senior high school students, vying for the chance to be noticed by college coaches and maybe earn athletic scholarships, cannot compete: no RBIs, no shut-outs, no distances thrown or jumped, no heights cleared, and no FATS recorded. These students are worried about their futures. Will their dreams to compete collegiately be dashed because there are no times for their 400m dash? We try to reassure them that all will work out in the end, but the words sound hollow, even to us. In the end, all we have is, sometimes things change.

Outside, warm winds are wafting. The grass is growing greener, and birds are busy building their nests. Even though everything remains the same for nature, we humans know that sometimes things change.

Great hardships befall humanity as a whole or people as individuals: Lives are uprooted, schedules are shifted, social connections are limited, and people are suffering. And when it all seems as if it is too much to bear, just breathe and remember, sometimes things change.

Stop, Drop, and Roll

I am one of those carpool moms. It wasn’t something I aspired to be, but there you have it.

Each school day, I drop off my kiddos en route to work instead of shoving them on the bus. This allows them a few more minutes of sleep and me a few more moments of sanity before the day begins.

On Friday, when I dropped off my younger child at the school, the line of cars seemed never-ending. “Did everyone miss the bus this morning?” I wondered.

Oh well, so it will take a bit more time than usual. “At least I left early,” I thought.

So we waited… and waited… and waited. After a while, I felt like a character in a Beckett play: “What the heck is going on up there? Are we waiting for Godot?”

Well, it seems that some of those parents/grandparents must have been sending their babies off to battle with the amount of coddling and cooing that was happening at the front of the queue. “Seriously, people, you do know that the school returns them at the end of the day, don’t you?!” I muttered.

Finally, the kiss ’em, cuddle ’em clan departed and the rest of us could advance forward. Hallelujah! I was now near the point where I could “legally” drop off my rugger, when I noticed that I was no longer running early; in fact, I was close to running late. Oh crap!

As we crept forward at a snail’s pace, I informed my child, as I do every day, “Work hard, be good, learn lots, and have fun. I love you very much.” No reason to waste time later when it could be said during the lull, am I right?

Meanwhile, my child, who had been chomping at the bit to bolt, was poised, hand on handle and pack on back. No sooner had I halted the car, then out the door popped my kiddo, at a run, yelling, “Love you, Mom. Have a nice day!”

Like the stop, drop, and roll fire safety technique taught to kids all over the world, my family’s drop-off lasted less than a couple of seconds. A thing of beauty and efficiency, it was enough to make other carpool parents envious. “Where did they learn to do that? How can I “get that” too?” I just grinned as I rolled on down the road.

Middle-Aged Morning

I woke up old this morning. OLD! But I swear, when I went to sleep last night, I was still slightly youthful.

However, at the break of dawn, as I stretched myself from slumber, my body creaked and cracked like tree limbs in winter.

Rising from my bed, every joint and muscle ached—the pain hunching me over like a hag.

As I slowly shuffled to the bathroom, my reflection in the mirror was backlit by the rising sun. Spotlighted in all my early morning glory were fine lines on my face that resembled furrows in a field and snow-white hairs poking out of my head. After that horror show, I averted my eyes. (I wonder if this is the real reason older Abnegation faction members limit mirror time…Hmmm…)

Trudging back to my room, I attempted to get dressed: first up, undergarments. However, when I leaned over, my back froze mid-bend. After much effort and a couple of colorful words, I eventually stood upright again.

The next piece of clothing to don was a shirt. I reached up to slide the t-shirt over my torso. Suddenly, I heard a loud pop like a gunshot. Isn’t hunting season over? I went to the window to see who was trespassing in my woods. Turns out, that sound was no gunshot; it was just my shoulder.

Then came the jeans. Pulling on my pants, I felt a bit like the Tinman after he rusted in the rain. Anybody got some oil for these stiff joints?

Next up was hair and makeup, but recalling what a hot mess I was, I opted for breakfast first.

I needed caffeine, loads of caffeine! Make me a double espresso, STAT! As my coffee was brewing, my stomach growled. “Feed me, NOW!” it roared. I grabbed an apple and took a big bite. I figured that at the rate I am aging, I’d better munch on as many apples as I can before my teeth fall out!

With breakfast complete, it was time to face the music in the mirror. Ugh! Reluctantly, I went back to the bathroom to survey the damage. First, I applied moisturizer…lots and lots and lots of moisturizer. Oy! Oil of Olay is sure making a fortune off of me!

Now that my skin was thoroughly hydrated, I reviewed my options. After careful consideration, I determined that there was no way I was using a sponge and foundation. Perhaps a trough and spackling paste instead? And powder? Well, that too was a no-go. Why would I call attention to those not-so-funny laugh lines?

In the end, I settled on some neutral eyeshadow, a line of brown eyeliner, and a smidge of lip gloss. Staring back at me was a younger me…no beauty queen, mind you, but at least I no longer looked like one of Macbeth’s crones.

Now what to do with this hair? Oh, where oh where is Miss Clairol or L’Oreal when you need them? Since I was not going to wash that gray right outta my hair, I decided to hide the worse of it, pulling my hair up on the sides. And because the sun was not shining as brightly as it had been, I could almost fool myself into believing that those white hairs were merely highlights in my dark blonde locks.

Hey, maybe that’s the answer to combatting middle age: Deceive yourself. Deliberate delusion…yeah, that’s the ticket. Or, perhaps I should just ditch the glasses. In this case, blurry eyesight would be a good thing. Of course, with my luck, I would probably miss a step or trip over something and break my hip… So, the specs stay.

Yeah, yeah, I know…there is nothing I can do about it: I have to accept that I am getting older. No amount of denial will change the fact that time is marching on…all over my body and face. Fine…from now on, I will embrace my soon-to-be elder self. But I don’t have to like it.


Originally published on 24 December 2018, Middle-Aged Morning

Popularity Pity Party

Growing up, I was too dang poor to play the popularity game. Because wearing designer jeans and Izod sweaters was a “must” to be a part of the “in” group, I was obviously “out.” But that didn’t bother me… well, maybe not too much…

So why is it, that decades later, when it comes to social media, am I so desperate to be liked or pinned or shared or followed? Especially that being “shared” or “followed” bit…you know, there’s something a little wrong with that.


Seriously, why would any self-respecting, middle-aged woman even care about the number of Instagram likes, Pinterest shares, YouTube subscribers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook likes/friends, Twitter likes/retweets, or WordPress likes/followers she has? And yet, everytime those numbers tick up, I channel my inner Sally Field:

What. Is. Wrong. With. Me? When did I regress into an insecure pubescent desperate for affirmation? When did I become Jan Brady, who wa always stuck in the shadow of Marcia, Marcia, Marcia:

And why, if I need to go back in time, can’t I at least get my teenage body and energy level back too?  IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!


Ah crap, now I am starting to sound like a teen too! Seriously, somebody smack me… This is just plain pitiful. I really need to get a like.. I mean a LIFE…

Genealogical Guffaw

Some of my family members and friends just don’t comprehend my fascination with genealogy. I am pretty sure a few are convinced that I am just plain boring, while others call me cuckoo. Others label my passion as an out-and-out obsession. (Okay, that might be closer to the truth…)

When I start telling some people a family story or revealing a “new” discovery, their eyes just glaze over. Seriously, I have to prod them to see if they are still breathing. I get it. Some people would rather have a tooth extracted than listen to family history.

I remember one time when I was relaying a funny family finding with one of my relatives. I giggled as I told the humorous parts, whereas she acted as if her funny bone had been extracted. No smile, no smirk…zip, zero, zilch… So, I asked: “Do you believe that our ancestors never did or said or thought anything the least bit interesting? Do you think they existed without living?”

For those of you who contend that there is nothing remotely amusing about genealogy, I would beg to differ. (Of course, I have a blog dedicated to dead kin, so I might be an itsy-bitsy biased.) Anyways, here goes:

One day, a little girl asked her mother, “How did the human race appear?” Her mother answered, “God made Adam and Eve. They had children. From them, all of humanity was made.” Two days later, the girl asked her father the same question, to which her father replied, “Many years ago, the human race evolved from apes.” Confused, the little girl returned to her mother and said, “Mom, why did you tell me that people were created by God, and Dad said they descended from apes?” Her mother smiled before responding, “Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family, and your father told you about his.”

“I don’t care who ya are: That’s funny right there!” Oh man, I was just unfriended by an in-law! Okay, before I lose any more family or friends, here is my disclaimer: “In no way is the author contending that her spouse’s family is non-human. So please, no hate mail or divorce decries.”

Although, I have to admit, at times my children do swing from the rafters like orangutans, so…. Oh crap, another relative just unfriended me. Guess I better wrap this up before I am blackballed from family reunions…


Originally published 23 April 2014, Genealogical Guffaw

I am a writer.

I am a writer… that’s “writer” with a lowercase “w.” I do not have the time, energy, or that special something to be a Writer with a capital letter.

I am too busy wiping snotty noses and dirty faces, scrubbing sticky floors and stinky toilets, and washing crusty dishes and smelly clothes.

My brain is too drained from constantly reminding kids to close the front door, pick up your shoes, do your homework, eat your food, hang up your clothes, turn off the television, brush your teeth, get in the shower, get out of the shower, go to sleep, get out of that damn bed, and put on some @#$! pants!

Maybe someday I might become an uppercase Writer. But until then, I am just a plain-old, worn-out writer. Please pass me the pen… and the Pinesol.

Not Good Enough

Some kids want to be superheroes, while others want to be professional athletes. Some want to be movie stars, while others want to be trapeze artists. But for me… I just wanted to be good enough.

I knew that I wasn’t good enough when my father admitted that he always wanted a son (I was a girl), or questioned why I got a B in math instead of an A, or berated me just because, or boycotted my graduations and wedding.

I knew I wasn’t good enough when my longtime first love went off to college and left me behind, or that he forgot Valentine’s Day (which was also our anniversary), or that his roommate was the one to tell me that my sweetie was sleeping around.

I know I am not good enough when my mother only inquires about my spouse and family but never about me, or when she changes the subject when I try to reminisce about the past, or when she constantly confuses my tastes with my siblings’ preferences.

I know that I am not good enough when I have applied to hundreds of jobs but only interviewed for dozens. And that no matter how many interviews I have, I am never hired, even though I have an abundance of experience and education.

And I know that I am not good enough when my spouse wonders why dinner is not ready yet, or inquires why I did not have time to weed the garden or scrub the floor, or when my kids roll their eyes when I talk to them.

When, oh when will I be good enough?