The Racist and the Ficus Tree

When I was young, the one black boy in my elementary school was my classmate. His name was Teddy. This was white-white-white Iowa in the 60’s.  My first grade teacher, Mrs. Van Cura, got angry at the class one day for misbehaving and said, “Whoever doesn’t behave will have to play with Teddy at recess.”… Continue reading The Racist and the Ficus Tree

A Great Dane Story

When I was almost thirteen, I hung out at my neighbor Bonnie’s house, just one block away from mine, but it was different world.  Both her parents worked full time, so we teens could hang there with no parental supervision. We were supervised, though, by the family’s Great Danes. I remember three dogs, but there… Continue reading A Great Dane Story

Behind Closed Doors

I read a great memoir about a girl’s tough childhood, with violence, danger, and an abusive older brother. I recommended it to Facebook friends online. A friend said she didn’t like it because she didn’t think the book rang true. “The Mormon part or the survivalist part?” I asked her. “Neither.” She didn’t think anyone… Continue reading Behind Closed Doors

Writing It Down

Yesterday, as I drove up the freeway to BART, where I would meet two girlfriends and one of their daughters to go to the city to see Hamilton again, I was composing my blog post, out loud, in the slow lane. I was on a roll, phrasing each sentence to perfection as other drivers wondered… Continue reading Writing It Down

Fighting for Blue Jeans

(re-run) When you’re in the dog house, you are in trouble. You’ve done something bad. As a child, I was never in the dog house because we didn’t have one. We didn’t even have a dog. My mother had her own strain of weird expressions that she said to us kids on a regular basis,… Continue reading Fighting for Blue Jeans

Chinese Fire Drills and Other Politically Incorrect Things from my Past

Back in high school in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, we did whatever we could to stir up some fun and sometimes some trouble. It was a simple existence: go to school, do homework, think about and look for boys. With no cell phones or social media to organize anything, kids spent a lot… Continue reading Chinese Fire Drills and Other Politically Incorrect Things from my Past

Saying Good-bye to Man’s Best Friend

The family Dachshund just turned eighteen on June 9th. He is a skeleton with fur (photo is from years ago).  My son brought him out to my car to to show me the other day, since Wiener now lives with my ex. I have been the one to do the hard job of taking the… Continue reading Saying Good-bye to Man’s Best Friend