Sneaking into the Pool

While student teaching in Venezuela, we learned how to have fun with not much money. One of the American teachers had stolen a couple of striped beach towels from an upscale hotel, and she had been sneaking into the hotel pool for years. “Just carry the towel and act like you belong,” Linda said. Christy… Continue reading Sneaking into the Pool

A Famous Face

Living in Northern California, I don’t run into celebrities too often. Once I met J. K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, when she was touring the U.S. to promote her third book. Otherwise, I’d heard that Carlos Santana came to visit his restaurant, Maria Maria, every now and then, and that some famous ball players… Continue reading A Famous Face

Loneliest Study Abroad Ever

After three months in South America and six weeks of student teaching Catholic high school girls, I headed to Burgos, Spain, with 30 students and a handful of professors from Iowa State and the University of Iowa. It would be my way of earning the final credits of my dual degree. Linda, a high school… Continue reading Loneliest Study Abroad Ever

Queen Victoria, The Cat

Renee, an artist, already had three cats. She wasn’t looking for another. So when her daughter-in-law called and said, “Mom, you need to adopt this kitten,” Renee was thinking, No way, Renee. But then she heard the kitty’s story, and she had to reconsider. Renee’s son Brian and his wife were moving to Tennessee from… Continue reading Queen Victoria, The Cat

The Contractor and the Jet Setter

It was Tom the contractor’s umpteenth date on Match. The woman was from the same affluent town, was the same height as he was, and was ready to meet him at Bridges, the hot spot downtown with the best happy hour. But when Ellen walked in, she had on three-inch heels and towered over him.… Continue reading The Contractor and the Jet Setter

Butt Dials and Other My Bads

I had lunch with my son today. We were trying to figure out why I’d used up all my storage on my cell phone. He took a look, handed back my phone, and watched me put it in my pocket. “You need to hit the button on the side and turn off your screen,” he… Continue reading Butt Dials and Other My Bads