Diet docs hate this Tallahassee Mom…

August 31, 2012 § 12 Comments

Brave boy salutes using homemade prosthetic arm.

Why do I stick with AOL?

Loyalty? Habit? Inertia?

I have been for 20 years. That’s almost seven gerbil lifetimes.


Other providers organize things more sensibly and are probably not so right-leaning they should be required to use a turn signal.

Perhaps it is AOL’s quirks. I get out of bed, and boot up AOL which cheerfully chirps, “You’ve got mail!” and long for the day when the voice says, “Nope. Nothing for you.”

But I digress.

Having booted up, I am on AOL’s home screen which features outrageous bits of news, (kitchen table explodes, Bigfoot hoax goes terribly wrong). Each is coupled with a completely random photo. “Millions ignore president’s refi rates,” has been big for months. Accompanying photos have included ridiculously large breasted women, the wrinkled elderly, and a woman who looks as if someone has just spit on her shoe.

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The necessary ingredients.

August 25, 2012 § 7 Comments

I guess the necessary ingredients depend on who’s doing the cooking. The pinch of this you add, the dash of that I throw in may be completely different. This isn’t a recipe that is handed down. Although it comes, at least in part from family, each of us has to decide what is necessary and what we might add if we’re lucky enough to find it on the shelf.

The ingredients I consider necessary have changed many times, but after vast experience in life’s kitchen, these are the ingredients I find essential.

Solitude: One of my favorite ingredients. Don’t be stingy with it. You need time alone with your thoughts, nothing in a pocket that will jingle to let you know someone needs your attention urgently, irrelevantly.

I find walking solitude the best. Maybe it is the rhythm of my own footsteps, the views along the way.

All I know is that some thoughts refuse to instantly snap into focus, or to queue up with three others, or draw breath under the gaze of the human committee. Sometimes a thought must mature in my one solitary mind.

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What I did on my summer vacation.

August 19, 2012 § 10 Comments

Summer vacation, the great, get out of jail free card of childhood, came with one caveat.

Upon returning to school the kid would be required to file a report titled, “What I Did on my Summer Vacation.”

The assignment was a master stroke. It simultaneously deflated the soufflé of summer and ascertained whether the kid had become illiterate over the long months of barefoot freedom.

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Dr. Cindy.

August 11, 2012 § 11 Comments

Her disabled body was the first thing you would notice when you met Cindy, and it was impossible to overlook the crutches, and the power chair, or the difficulty she had lifting her head to look you in the eye–but you would quickly forget her frailty in the presence of her mighty personality. And Cindy encouraged the rest of us to forget.

Cindy painted her disease as a minor inconvenience. When filling out a form that asked about special needs she always checked NONE.  “I can do anything anyone else can do, just more slowly.” She refused to give chronic illness oxygen by talking about it or complaining.

The only regret I ever heard her express was sadness that no man had ever loved her. If only one had looked past her disability and seen her.

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August 3, 2012 § 4 Comments

We make the trip north every year to visit family–and the past. Sometimes we fly. Sometimes we point the car north and blaze up the interstates. This year Ray said, “Let’s take our time.”

So we abandoned our familiar beds, left our favorite coffee mugs on the counter, locked the door behind us, and vacated our lives on Marcia Avenue.

We climbed into the car, and set out for my sister’s place in Stockbridge, the long way.

The long way wound through back-road America, past its whitewashed churches, its roadside wild flowers, its forlorn crosses standing in tall grass, its hounds lying in dusty driveways, its parking lot dinosaurs and giant cut-out guitars.

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