I grew up in an upper-middle-class slash upper-class northern suburb of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. I was odd as a kid. However, I was with the same group of kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, so I avoided the mess that middle school can be for many odd kids. I wasn’t weird, I was just Jack, as far as my elementary school classmates were concerned. Then high school came along, and a huge school full of strangers, and suddenly I was weird, and wrong, in so many of my choices and the way I talked about things and…
DEB: So you would be okay going on a ski lift on the Kentucky trip?
ME: (mentally reviewing; yes, the trip to Kentucky is in June, when the chance of snow is really low, so…) Um, sure. Ski lift? Is there something about Kentucky I should know?
DEB: There’s a ski lift up to the top of the Kentucky Natural Bridge.¹ So we won’t have to climb up there with a pregnant woman and two people with gimp legs. But with your history…
I have a history with ski lifts. Okay, just one. Once. In my mid-twenties. …
“Gentlemen, these will be your female partners this class. Ladies, you will be playing badminton with these fine young men. I will leave you all to it. Boys, remember to be gentle with the ladies.” The boys' gym coach walked off to snag the next pair of girls for their first-ever co-ed high school PE class.
E looked through the badminton net to the other side of the court. Holy crap, it’s K! I didn’t even know he had PE this period. Well, fine, makes sense, until somebody decided Title IX meant gym classes should be co-ed, why would we…
Driving along through south central Pennsylvania, we come to a single-lane underpass. The local custom is that when two vehicles simultaneously approach any single-lane underpass, bridge, or road section, one of the drivers will flash headlights to the other, to signal a willingness to go second. Driver #2 then proceeds.
In this case, after I flicked my lights, the pickup truck coming the other way stayed put.
DEB: He’s not moving. Did you do high-beams?
ME: Yup. Lemme try again. (I flash my high beams) And… what?
Other driver flashes THEIR high beams.
DEB: Obviously he wants you to…
I was reading Gail Boenning’s latest newsletter, Born Free Newsletter, where she talks about a bunch of things including geraniums:
(By the way, the actual title of this post actually is “untitled post”—it’s not a glitch. The Muses discuss it, in fact. I could explain that part, but really, you should just read Gail’s website. And learn about her new book.)
Anyway, one of the Muses asks, “Aren’t geraniums an old person’s flower?” Which irked me a tad. We had gotten a lovely pot of geraniums recently and planted them out back. Deb loves geraniums!
So I asked her.
DEB: Thank you, honey!
ME: You’re welcome, Debster! (brief pause) For…?¹
DEB: This! Going on vacation for the first time in over a year. Going outside of your comfort zone and being out in the world. I know that’s not always easy for you.
This was said on our drive back from the Thousand Islands in upstate New York. We stayed at a fishing cabin² of some friends of ours, which they rent out during the season. We did their website for them and have helped with other small things.
We were supposed to go up there last year, but…
While we read junk mail catalogs at breakfast, we also read real magazines. For me that includes the alumni magazine from my alma mater, the US Naval Academy. At the back are the Class News columns for the various classes. I check out news¹ for my class, 1980, then read 1977 through 1983 to see if anyone got mentioned whom I know. Often these are “Hey, I got a letter from so-and-so, and they said:” snippets, which is fine.
So I’m skimming along the Class of 1982 column, and there’s a “letter from” note, and it’s about a married retired…
Louise Foerster posted a nice piece of short fiction about meeting cute. Well, actually, it’s more about not meeting cute:
And then (while reading this on our backyard porch where I can watch the bird feeders) I saw a blue jay take a big piece of suet in its beak and fly to the nearby cherry tree, where another jay was sitting. Jay1 offered the suet chunk to Jay2, who accepted it. Awww, thought I, I haven’t seen this sort of courtship between blue jays!¹ How sweet!
So then Jay1 flies back to the suet, gets another chunk, returns to…
As the last chime of midnight faded away, the ghost appeared in the same spot as the night before. From where she sat, Ellie could see the flickering flames of the fireplace through the wraith’s phantasmal gown, but the phantom’s face, worn and etched with the years that had prevailed in it before her death, shown with an ethereal light that needed no additional illumination.
Which was good, because Ellie had turned off the bedroom lights just before 11:59 PM.
Meeting her gaze and peering intently, the ghost spoke with the same low-but-feminine voice that had sent shivers down Ellie’s…
Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.