Government Cheese and Pinto Beans

I was nine or ten when my mom took me and my younger siblings downtown to a place to get some free food for poor people.  Our dad was out of work for six weeks. My mother was humiliated. We waited in line until it was our turn. As the worker handed Mom her block… Continue reading Government Cheese and Pinto Beans

The Day my Dog Herded Me to the ER

Way back when, I had two children and a rare free day. The kindergartener was going on an all-day field trip. The two-year-old was going to daycare for the day. I had hours ahead of me to do all the yard work and gardening that I could squeeze in.  I put on some old tennis… Continue reading The Day my Dog Herded Me to the ER

Lime Vodka, Raisinets, and Cheesecake

It’s an American teenager’s rite of passage to get sick the first time they drink.  I was no exception. Aside from tasting different liqueurs on babysitting jobs after the kids went to bed, I had only tasted my dad’s beer, Schlitz. No thank you. I was not a fan of fizzy bitter fermentation. So when… Continue reading Lime Vodka, Raisinets, and Cheesecake

Steele McClaren and Prayers

I grew up in Iowa, so it was a no-brainer to join a Facebook group called I Grew Up in Iowa.  Facebook cleverly shows when my friends like a post on that page.  I see my brother’s name, people I went to high school and college with, and teacher friends from my days at Lewis… Continue reading Steele McClaren and Prayers

My Two Gophers

(re-run) Now before you tell me that gophers are solitary creatures and that I only have one gopher, let me explain that I have a little beach house with a gopher and my regular house with a gopher. I am an Iowa girl, living in California. So both houses were bought because of the property… Continue reading My Two Gophers

Somersault Fail

The day that gymnastics struck terror into my heart was in 6th grade, when Mr. Cunion decided to have us do a tumbling unit for PE. I come from a long line of weekend-couch potatoes. We didn’t do sports as a family, watch sports as a family, or pretend that sports existed. We didn’t do… Continue reading Somersault Fail

A Corny Tale

(re-run) It all started with a post on Facebook, showing how your average American doesn’t know how to shuck corn. If you are from Iowa in the 60’s, then you know how. We weren’t well off. As a matter of fact, people would give us bags of food, like homegrown apples, tomatoes, or corn. Our… Continue reading A Corny Tale

A Murphy’s Law Kind of Post

(re-run) I love thrift stores. I buy pretty much everything there, which is great because that way I am not paying retail and usually don’t pay sales tax, either. I don’t get the extra packaging that is so hard to get things out of.  It sometimes takes a team of rocket scientists to figure out… Continue reading A Murphy’s Law Kind of Post

The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

It was senior year in high school. I was on my last semester of PE, my least favorite class. I maintained a straight-A average in all other classes. Not PE. It alternated between a B and a C. I was feeling good. We were in our next-to last unit, the physical fitness award. I already… Continue reading The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window