Monthly Archives: May 2013

June thoughts

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“Oh, the summer night

Has a smile of light,

And she sits upon a sapphire throne.”

Written by Barry Cornwall, English poet

(1787-1874)

There are a lot of celebrations this month of June!

Just heard on Russel Ray’s photography  blog that June First

is: Butterfly Awareness Day!

Beautiful creature is the butterfly and the colors are so wonderful.

I will always love the shimmer and the iridescent quality to their

wings! Let June fly into your heart!

June 5th is World Environment Day. Try to do some ecological

and more environmentally correct things so this may start good

habits for the rest of the year! My Mom used to spray vinegar on

weeds. To prohibit bugs in the vegetable garden she planted and

surrounded them with (“smelly”) marigolds. This may keep the

bunnies and other animals at bay, not too sure about them!

Both my parents had a compost pile  where we would take our

vegetable shavings and other decomposable materials. My brothers

and I would sift the compost pile and would use the worms for bait

while fishing!

On June 14th, we celebrate Flag Day so proudly post your flags and

make sure you put them in at dusk and during rainy days, too. This day

was initiated in 1777 by the Continental Congress. It also is the day

that the Army considers their anniversary date. (1775)

On June 16th, we celebrate Father’s Day. Of course, by letting uncles,

dads, grandpas and other nice men who have been good role models

for kids know how much we appreciate them! I have been so glad that

I had my two brothers who always showed up when asked to help or

go somewhere with my three children! They were my kids’ living monkey

bars, also bought them a great and long lasting wooden gym and swing

set. They were at the kids’ birthdays, holidays, zoo trips and Cedar Point,

too. We could “count on them!” The uncles and my father were wonderful!

Thanks so much and we love you!

On June 23rd, we will have a Full Strawberry Moon! I loved the bright

orange Flower Moon of May and hope there will be plenty of clear nights

to gaze at the moon in June.

Today, May 31st I had a basal cell carcinoma double patch on my left ear

lobe removed. I had the MOHS procedure where they take a slice, put it

on a slide and look to see if it is enough taken, I only had two layers taken

off before it came out “clear” of the bad cells. I then had to cross the hall

and have a patch taken off my neck and it was stitched up on my ear. It

was a simple procedure that took about four and a half hours altogether.

It makes you wonder how people tolerate worse health setbacks and I

realize I am so blessed to have only dealt with minor ones at that!

I have a couple of more thoughts having to do with my longing to be

a teacher facing a summer of not working, reading, relaxing and having

lots more fun!

My youngest daughter saw I was blue today and said,

“What you DO, does not define you.

It is not WHAT  you are

(i.e.:  job, profession, homemaker or disabled person)

But WHO you are that COUNTS!

(i.e.:  inside and outward actions shown)”

She had me listen to a very motivating and inspiring graduation speech

given by Steve Jobs to Stanford University graduates. This includes three

examples of life-changing happenings that in their own self may have

not meant much but once connected “like connecting the dots” they became

life altering and impacted his career and life. The last one was getting

cancer and how he dealt with it. This was possibly spoken months before he

died. I am not sure of the time line. If you have an opportunity, check on this

speech.

Looking forward to those hazy, lazy days of summer and hopefully, you and I

will get to drift on a raft, swim in a pool or skim rocks across a creek. Maybe

we will get to a picnic or two, see the fireflies, shooting stars and the radiant

sun in the sky. Sunsets and sunrises, too.

She Put a Price Tag on Their Love

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Some stories break my heart, I am so sensitive. I have a male friend who shared

his painful childhood and I wrote about it. But this new story he was embarrassed

to share with me. No names, but the story is one that will make you think twice

about “kept women.” This is one about a kept man, who has been waiting a long time

to escape the “chains that bind him.”

It started about six years ago that my friend met a woman who seemed to really be

interested in him. She became his “tutor” in all aspects of his life. She shaped and

molded him in his appearance. She instructed him on the “proper clothes, shoes,

watch and hair style.” This attention managed to make him feel important. He wanted

to please her in all of the ways that a loving relationship would include.

He learned to cook her native foods since she was Asian. He started to learn how to

use a French Press to make his coffee. He learned first how to grind his coffee, put it in

the clean, washed press and add “Pur” water to it that had been boiled in a percolator.

When I visited him one day, I saw him scurry around the kitchen like a squirrel, he

was trying to also please me, his new friend. I worried about this obsession for it made

him nervous. He says he is “ADHD” and he would be this way, with or without this

influential woman.

He learned he needed to take care of himself more frequently so he bathed twice a day,

used an electric toothbrush and got his nails manicured. There would be more of these

requests as time went on. He was from a simple family with numerous siblings and a

single mother. He had learned how to make a bed, “military style” while in the Army.

He now was learning how to follow orders and make someone happy, sometimes he felt

“complete joy” in her company. He felt special, loved and “chosen.”

When he was asked to attend the opera or symphony, the woman purchased the tickets.

Together they went to the best stores where she chose his clothes, his black leather dress

shoes, and his woolen pea coat. He enjoyed the “Nutcracker Suite” performed in Columbus

and he also remembers the Italian opera but not the name of it. He was making average

wages but did some odd handyman jobs to earn more money. His goal was to try and be in

a committed relationship for the rest of his life with this woman.

Four and a half years went by, he in his simple life at his apartment. Going to her house for

daily dinners and television time with the woman. They would go out only once or twice a

year, never to a restaurant because she considered them “dirty” and “expensive.” The man

felt ready to propose. Surely this is what she would enjoy and revel in their love becoming

permanent.

He planned a nice meal, all of her favorite foods. Earlier in the week, he had bought a ring

with credit payments for the next four years so that it would be adequate. He had listened

carefully to the jeweler and asked for advice on size, clarity and so forth. He really hoped and

felt he had chosen the most beautiful ring in the world for her!

The woman enjoyed her homecooked meal and she liked watching her boyfriend wash the

dishes. She sat and chatted about her daughter and also, about a mutual couple that she

had introduced him to, who hired him as their painter and “jack of all trades.” She was very

quiet when he walked over to her and got on bended knee. She must have known, because

even he saw a flash of panic come across her face.

She saw the ring and was close to tears, her answer as plain as day shown in her eyes.

“No, I could NEVER marry you!”

Those words slapped the man across the face and he then collapsed, tears in his eyes.

She said that she had worried he had gotten the “wrong idea” but had hoped he knew

it would be impossible to marry. She lived in a “$500,000 townhouse that she owned.”

He lived in an apartment that she only visited once, over the years, and he paid “$900

a month’s rent.”

She ended it that night. They would remain close friends but he must get on a dating

site to find another woman and start a new life.

He felt very depressed for a month. Then, he reluctantly got online. He met a friend of

mine and they hung out. I met him also but did not think he was my type. The story of

his childhood made me think differently about his being outgoing and kind of a ‘smart ass’

guy. That did not mean I would like him or that my friend thought him ‘dating material.’

The recent revelation is that a year and a half after the proposal, this man was called to

the woman’s house. She answered the door, with a robe and request. Would he come back

and be her boyfriend, exactly as before? No public places except once or twice a year where

the symphony or a theatre production would be their indulgence.

When he said, “No, I cannot come back as I was, I want a full commitment or nothing” she

went into her expensive and perfectly decorated condo and came out with a typed bill! This

bill listed the four and a half years’ worth of expenditures that she had spent to keep him

attired, coiffed, and fed in the best style possible.

I will not hesitate to tell you the given figure:  $19,000 was the total!

This man came to my friend, desperate, wondering did he need a lawyer? Does he have to

pay for the lifestyle that SHE kicked him out of?

This story may astound you but this is totally true. The man is working off his debt slowly

but surely. He would not listen to us! We told him, “Those were GIFTS! You gave her Love!”

Twisted ending to a NEVER to be happily ever after story.

Old Fashioned Memories

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I am in the mood to make a list of some treasured and joyful things that were

part of my childhood that have almost vanished. I am sure there will be many

of your own memories touched on. There could be so much more than these

few thoughts. I hope to start a wonderful international discussion about the

ways you used to play, have fun in your past and bygone places that you wish

still existed.

I am going to say that one of the first things that popped into my mind was

the old soda fountains that were in drug stores and ‘Five and Dime’ stores. I

miss spinning on the diner style chair, usually with a red leatherette seat

and aluminum/silver rim and post that allowed fun while still staying in

one place. The soda fountains would have a wide variety of food to order. I

remember ordering a hot dog and a soda, thinking it was sublime in its taste.

Must have been the unique cooking of the hot dog and the way they ‘made’ the

soda!

Mainly the ones I encountered in Sandusky, Ohio and also, in Lancaster, Ohio

served great milkshakes, root beer floats and banana splits. I liked the fact you

could order a flavored “soda” beverage and there would be great fanfare in the

making of the order! You could hear the hissing of soda air exploding over the

flavored syrup.

Another thing that still exists, but there are few and far between: drive in

movies! I used to love this while a child, packing the back of the station

wagon with blankets and pillows for once the first feature ended we had

to go to sleep. I loved sitting out on the swings under the dark sky leaning

back and absorbing the universe through the stars, moon and clouds. My

years of being a single mother allowed me to afford the price of the whole

carload, sometimes my three plus guests coming to a grand total of $5.00!

I remember playing games that were so fun out late at night! Some of the

games both days and nights include hide and seek, tag, Mother May I? and

Capture the Flag. I also liked it when my parents would play flashlight hide

and seek at our friends’ house. This included their parents too in their large

farm yard where there were plenty of apple trees, bushes and the cornfield

to hide in!

What were your favorite games? I also remember long stretches of road

covered by “20 Questions” or “Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?” My own

children and now, grandchildren love the game, “My Father (insert other

family member) Owns a Grocery Store and In It He Sells…” then you give

the initials. (“R.B.” is Raisin Bran or get creative and have “T.” or “R.L.”

for Twizzlers or Red Licorice!) Tricking the opponents is part of the way

the miles go faster.

This is a short list that could go on and on! Mainly, I hope it took you down

memory lane. If you thought of something, if this triggered a smile, I am so

pleased I achieved my goal then.

Memorial Day memories

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The drive up took me past my old school that I taught for nine years (little

preschoolers in an integrated setting with 8 children who had been determined

to have developmental delays with 4 children considered “peers” who were

typically developing.) I gazed back in the rear view mirrow at the long glass

enclosed atrium, with a longing that still can bring a tear to my eyes.

I headed north up 42 till I saw Mt. Gilead and then, turned to go up back and

take 61 to Lake Erie. I made good time and was pleased to spend almost 5 hours

with Mom and both brothers. We watched a gruesome movie, since my mother

usually vetoes comedies and romances. (“Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.”

Yup! You read that right!)

The next day, I usually go ‘fetch’ Mom’s breakfast from the buffet in her senior

living apartments’ dining room. I have some friends to say hi to, Bonnie who

went to Ohio Wesleyan University and likes to hear how Delaware, Ohio is. Her

husband, Ralph, who is a rare male among the garden of female flowers who

live in the Westlake Village. I also said “hi” to Pearl, Elinore, and Jeannie (who

likes to be called “Jeannie Beannie” and her daughter who was visiting, “Judy

Bootie”). I waved at Joe who is a very nice quiet man who once shared he was

an engineer in his working days, we talked before about my father and his common

interests. I used to say to him, “My Dad would have loved to have met you.” But

we mostly wave across the dining room.

I chose to bring a tray with my oatmeal with brown sugar, butter, raisins and cream

on it, two coffees, two bananas, tomato juice and two cream rolls. Mom is a big sweet

tooth lover so she will have a banana, sweet roll, and coffee. I will hope the fiber in the

oatmeal with all its ‘fixings’ will take away the calories of the cream roll. I will eat the

banana about an hour later. I just love an almost green banana! Mom loves hers closer

to brown.

We went to Bay Village to the bank on Saturday, tooled around the side streets, and did

venture over to Huntington Playhouse and the woodsy hills leading to the Huntington

Beach. I pulled over to Vento’s Trattoria and got out, Mom had chosen to ask me to run

in and get us some strong espresso coffee, mine with a shot of vanilla flavoring plus two

cupcakes. We did not choose to get a fancier dessert that would require a fork since we

were planning to just sit in the car, watch the traffic go by, see the travellers mixed in

with the locals at the beach. The heron at the end of one of the piers got my Mom’s

attention, as did the shelter that has a lighthouse look to it.  We chose to be lazy and

hoped the caffeine would kick in for our last stop, Giant Eagle at the Crocker Park Town

Center.

Shopping with Mom is the usual, I may have mentioned that the list is very limited. Mom

can order meals off a menu in her dining room, she can ask for extra Coke or milk to take

back for her snack along with her Otis Spunkmeier cookies she likes to eat at bedtime. She

gets a pack of two cookies and puts one away for guests every day. While watching the movie,

Rich had two oatmeal raisin cookies and I had two macademia nut with white chocolate

cookies. We also had our little juice size cups of Sangria. Rich and Randy had their beer, this

time Fatheads’ summer brews. Randy does a lot of their artwork in the North Olmsted Fatheads

along with the one in Pennsylvania. He paints their logos on the brick walls and yet, does not

make it look like a mess. I would not be able to make a flat logo on such a rough wall! But that

is his skill.

The second evening, we four went to Friendly’s to have senior discount menu meals, where 3 of

the 4 chose to have a Happy Endings sundae also. Mom and I had their delicious clams with

vegetables and fries. She had cole slaw and traded once she saw my broccoli looked “easy to

chew” and so I had cole slaw for my veggie. Yes, loaded with mayo and vinegar! Yummy combo!

I was “righteous” by trying to order the broccoli and eat it, but glad to be eating what I really

wanted, thanks to Mom’s trade. We talked about art and movies, we talked about the Indians

and also the fishing. I had heard that there was cyanide dumped in Rocky River. One of my

brothers told me that happened a year ago! I cannot believe it, but we watched another violent

movie, very good but not as great as the Swedish version, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

My brother had gotten it at the Westlake Library (Porter Library) and both he and I had read

the book, Mom and Randy had not. We all felt it was well acted and could have been confusing

but we all stayed awake to find out the ending. Both Friday and Saturday nights we were up

past midnight and my Mom insisted on taking Nicki, her little dog out afterwards.

A beautiful full moon was shining in the sky. My Mom hummed a few bars of “Shine on Harvest

Moon up in the sky.” (Although the May moon is not a harvest moon, it rose up  orange on the

horizon and was an awesome sight!)

On the third day, I travelled alone out to the cottage in Vermilion. I chose to stop at Jean J.’s

house and say “hello” and was so pleased to get a short little romantic tale to add to this

otherwise “Just the facts, mam” post.

Jean was one of my mother’s favorite neighbors, over most of the time that Mom and Dad lived

there. Jean is about my age, had met her last husband in Burger King by his reaching his hand

out to shake it, she had always told me, “I felt electricity vibrate across our fingers!” It broke

my heart (and Mom’s, too) that her Dennis had died helping with trimming trees, got a heart

attack on a ladder and fell. He died instantly about three years ago.

I like to think that I helped Jean to decide to get online to try a dating site. She introduced me

to a man she had met online who still lives in Texas! He is a cattle ranch owner and has been

visiting once a month since she started to talk to him in October. He was average in appearance

but Roger has a very nice voice, a southern drawl that seems more like Georgia, but I did not

inquire if he had always been a native Texan. I just can tell you this, Jeannie’s eyes sparkled

and once inside her home across the street from Mom’s I saw the wedding portrait and little

photos of Dennis were gone. That is a good sign, yes, Jean had found a hopeful new beginning!

I weeded a little, I walked the beach but it had been stormy out in the Lake Erie, so there were

very few nice rocks, only a few pieces of beach glass and a piece of driftwood I placed in the

front rock garden.

I gazed out at the lake and thought about my Dad on Sunday. On Memorial Day, my son had

a big trampoline, guests that he and his wife know along with my oldest daughter and her 2

boys. I enjoyed hot dog, hamburger, pasta salad, mac and cheese and a cherry coke. My baking

daughter had brought yummy cherry cupcakes with buttercream frosting (no offense, better

than the ones at Vento’s but made with love, helps improve the taste!)

Hope you had a safe and happy Memorial Day and thanks for visiting with me on my trip to

Lake Erie!

Moral Dilemma

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I am worried that sometimes I write about a couple and what if

something happens to tip their apple cart? Should I tell you if that

happens? I have a moral dilemma and I am hoping to hear from you

on the subject! I went to the library with my good friend, Anna, and I

taught her how to get on yahoo and then “ourtime.com” While on the

website, ourtime.com, we saw another good friend’s (our coworker’s)

boyfriend on that dating service! The couple had a whole post about

them and I was so sure they were almost happily ever after.

It featured photographs. There he was at work, his details all there to see

and his birthday, too. He said, “I want something casual and not be in

a committed relationship.”

I just wonder how many women are contacting him!

I am wondering do we bring our mutual girlfriend to the library and

show her the website? I mean he had to pay to become a member, he

is not just playing around, “checking it out” and getting a free Memorial

Day weekend trial.

Our good friend’s long time boyfriend is “cheating!!”

We know this because the dating service allows you to see how long a person

has been on it.

On the positive and definitely happier side of  life, Anna has a date tonight!

While I am driving up to see my Mom, she is meeting a man at Panera. And

if they “hit it off” they agreed to go to a movie!

Wow, Anna,

“You Go, Girl!”

Anna’s New Quest Begins!

Fun in the Sun!

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Memorial Day is meaningful for remembering those who have given

their lives for our country. For parades and gravesites decorated with

wreathes of red, white and blue. For waving flags and remembering

to take them down at dusk. For the trumpet which sounds, “Day is done,

gone the sun…” that etches a memory for me of my Dad. His sensitive eyes

would fill up when he heard the mournful first notes.

Along with the serious side of Memorial Day, there are the wondrous

buffets of picnics, fishing and playing games with family. I am always

thankful for the sight of my Dad rounding the corner of their little

retirement cottage on the cliff of Vermilion on Lake Erie. He would

have a life preserver over his shoulder, a handful of those styrofoam

multi-colored “noodles” my kids loved, along side of him would be

the croquet set up or a badminton net all for my three children who

didn’t realize every grandpa was not so playful and fun loving.

I am excited about staying up in Cleveland to see my mother in her

senior apartment. Last year, it was the “Attack of the Flies” story that

made my blog. This year, who knows what mischief, malaprops said,

or other adventures Mom and I will get into? We usually sit in our p.j’s

and have wine, we enjoy Hallmark or the Clue channels! Always there

are memories and a midnight walk with her little dog, Nicki.

I will be traveling with her to the grocery store, we go to the bank and

often she wants to drive past our home in Bay Village. We may go over

to Huntington Beach and stop in for an Italian meal at Vento’s which

I mentioned last summer. It is a restaurant that Patricia Heaton and her

sister own. Patty is known for “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle”

comedy shows’ fame.

She was a resident of Bay Village and would have been grade wise between

my youngest brother and my other brother who is only 18 months younger

than I am.

Her brother, Michael Heaton, was in my graduating class of 1974. He

writes in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer. His column’s title

and his famous persona is “The Minister of Culture.”

I wrote last year around Christmas that he wrote a true story that was made

into a Hallmark movie (Dec. 21, 2012.) This touching movie is about a

heart transplant that transforms several peoples’ lives. It is called “The Christmas

Heart.”

Vento’s has a black board listing the specials along with the choices available

On the patio are tables with umbrellas where the view is a beautiful setting

where the Huntington Playhouse currently have live theatre productions. The

Huntington Arts used to hold outdoor watercolor classes, for example.

Vento’s serves light fare along with a delicious variety of the Italian pasta

dishes you would love to eat. The desserts are also varied and includes

cheesecake and a fresh fruit salad. I am not sure what else would be served

since it has been a year.

My mother likes to look around this neighborhood that was the one

I lived in from my 7th grade until my senior year of high school. From

BGSU, I would come home from college on breaks, got married and then,

my parents retired. They spent the rest of their time together traveling

around in their RV. They went from Maine to Florida and then from Ohio

across the West to California to a NACA reunion (what NASA was called

when it first began.) Then they would follow their travels by stopping to see

their grandchildren, my kids, in Delaware, Ohio. At last starting summer

in their Vermilion home with their Memorial Day weekend extravaganza!

We won’t go to Vermilion with Mom because that is where she remembers

Dad the most and she cries and wants to stay there. It is not a safe place

anymore for her. Last Spring, we made a family decision that is difficult.

I want to take her there but I remember it is for the best not to.

Thus, I will venture there while Mom is sleeping in on either Saturday

or Sunday mornings. I will visit her neighbors, let the air into the house

and wander around the cottage. I will walk the beach looking for the blue

glass and special little rocks that we always loved to bring back and drop in

the rock garden.

I may weed a little and hope that it won’t take too long. Our man who mows

will have weed whacked and hopefully, there will be potential buyers this

Spring and Summer! Neighbors may wave and cross the street to talk.

They usually ask about my mother who was there on her own for 11 years

with a lot of neighborly love and friendship going both directions.

My brothers will have a barbecue with Susan and I doing a minimum

of preparation and sitting with my mother on their sun porch. They are

fortunate to have a place across the street from where they placed Mom.

My sister in law and younger brother have a beautiful “century home” that

is a pretty yellow with black shutters. Adorning my  brother’s large yard is

a Randall Oldrieve (other brother) sculpture that brings cars to a halt or

slowing down at least to see!

I will bask in the sun at some point in time, be it on a walk at the beach,

sitting on a large rock or on the pier at Showse Beach in Vermilion. I may

choose one of the benches at Huntington Beach in Bay.

My favorite place to perch is on the steps my Dad built down the cliff. This

was a place that no matter how high the water was, we could count on them

to be able to survey the lake. I can look out and almost see Canada on a clear day!

The sun setting or the sun rising are gorgeous to view there. From this perch, the

clear, ‘no city lights’ deep, dark night sky is heavenly!

This Memorial Day I will think of my father who really loved retiring from

what was a challenging career. He worked hard at NASA as a rocket scientist

or an engineer in the lab working with the mechanical arms testing the metal

that would produce a part on the space shuttle.

What we remember is sitting in a simple rowboat looking at the stars and casting

out a fishing line.

Those times were filled with the great expanse of water and sky filled with stars

and we didn’t have to talk to know we were loved.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  Feel free to share your favorite memories, too!

Unbalanced Equation

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Sometimes when I am at the optometrist’s office, I hear those words,

“Is this lens better or worse than the last one?

Choose A lens or B lens,

Now which is better, B lens or C lens?

Compare A with C…” It reminds me of first man or second man,

and I am thinking of men not lenses, at that point. Strange how your

mind can wander to a whole different topic in those quiet and intimate

moments with your eye doctor!

Relationships are very hard to deal with and sometimes it is so much

work that people give up. The other challenge is the past luggage, then

there are always new mountains and ruts in the road to patch up on your

journeys together.

I was given a great question by an old, special friend,

“What if you had a chance to be someone’s ‘one and only’ but they weren’t

yours?”

The answer is really no answer until the situation is met and the choice to

move forward or back out of it chosen.

On one hand, you could celebrate being someone’s center of their universe!

On the other hand, you could struggle with your feeling not totally fulfilled

because of the unbalanced equation.

This happens more than one would think. I have been writing for almost a

year now and often expressing my joy at hearing of a “successful and long

term relationship.” I enjoy the variety of love stories my friends, family and

coworkers have shared with me. Most don’t tell me their unrequited love

stories nor their possibly miserable marital or relationship tales.

Here is a fairly unhappy and struggling story that has limped along for years.

I have someone who I have known for about 5 years now, who I have spent

time with, danced with and shared a few movie times together. We have been

to each other’s house and I know her husband well.

This is the story of an unbalanced equation that started way back in high school.

The young teenager was growing up in a fairly dysfunctional (alcoholic) family

situation. Let’s name her Susie since she is usually nice and bubbly, but there are

shadows that cross her eyes or a wrinkle that creases her brow that indicate hidden

sorrow. The person she saw as her savior, adored her from afar. It was like most

teen situations, obvious to her, the receiver of such admiration and adoration. Susie

liked the man, Tom, but felt no flicker of real love flaming in her heart. She did not

really feel attracted to him on any level. She felt his tall, gangly basketball player

body was okay but she did like his staring at her across the classroom.

Susie felt hopeful that someone would care for her, possibly take care of her and

she did what some teens do in these situations, make the best out of what life

was handing her at the time. When she let one of Tom’s friends know she was

interested, from sophomore year through senior year of high school there wasn’t

a Friday or Saturday night she was not with Tom.

Every dance or school function or even one of Tom’s family occasions, Susie was

included and invited. She felt needed, wanted and loved. What else could a young

teenager expect out of her dating years?

Well, there were moments, of course, where the true reality shone through in her

diary. There were times where she fully realized she was almost “scamming Tom.”

She started to feel trapped in her senior year and looked upon the vast emptiness

of her waiting tables, which is an honorable profession and sometimes quite likely

to provide good income. She was at a restaurant on Rte. 23 that no longer exists.

She enjoyed men who laughed at her jokes and flirted with her. She did not have

good self esteem but was aware that men liked her long, thin legs and her shiny

naturally blonde ponytail swinging as she crossed the floor to their breakfast

table. Truckers were her mainstay and she did think often in her fantasy world of

taking them up on their veiled and sometimes more obvious sexual requests.

Tom proposed to Susie on their prom night. So cliche, she thought, but she also

felt like he was a good hearted man, he was her hero and saviour. She said “Yes”

and all her girlfriends were envious of her engagement to the tall basketball man

heading off to OSU in the Fall.

Fast forward almost 40 years and their is a lackluster look about Susie. Even my

friends who went out with her and our group to dance, would say, “What’s the

matter with Susie?”

“Was there ever any other hopeful suitors,” I asked over coffee late one night two

years ago.

“Robin, I never felt like I could think about someone else after our first Christmas

at Tom’s house. There was a stocking on the mantle for me, there were gifts with

my name. The family embraced me so tightly that I felt loved and comforted by

their presence.”

“Was there ever recently someone who crossed your mind as a potential new choice?”

I made Susie search her mind.

She right away named a single man that we both knew. He has long, scrawny “chicken

legs” and we have nicknamed him that. His name is Terry and I suppose using his real

name is part of this sad tale, since I know he would have done anything to win her love

even when I met him 5 years ago. He does not touch her hand, her back or dance with

her. But he buys us drinks and looks longingly at Susie. He listens intently to any of her

stories:  work, home or child (her only child is in her late twenties.)

Terry is not at work anymore, he has been let go, because he had used all his sick time and

FMLA time up. He is retired due to having battled cancer and is losing at the moment.

Last Christmas, Susie begged me to go to Terry’s house with her one night after dancing a

few hours. I said that I would call Tom and tell him that I needed you to come over and

drink coffee at my apartment, which is a block away from all the downtown bars and

taverns.

She said, “Oh, would you mind terribly?” I am so sure that I am going to get into

trouble in the after life because I am quite willing to do such espionage for a friend who,

this is very important though! NOT having any kind of affair.

I knew it would cheer Terry up to see Susie and it would help ease her pain just a little

to see him. She had contemplated when I met her and she had toured my apartment

leaving Tom. I felt now it was too late, but what harm could it do to spend a few moments

holding a man’s hand who absolutely loved her and she felt the same love for him back?

Susie and Terry are an example of what could have been. Their story is like one from books

like “Doctor Zhivago” or other classic examples of unrequited love.

To feel that way, even for 5 years which slipped by quickly, that is like the expression:

“To have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all!”

Shakespeare play, “Love’s Labour Lost” is possibly the source.

(p.s. I am not judging this situation but hope no one will be too upset at my openness

to this situation. I repeat, there is no lust just love and probably since Terry is given only

4-6 months to live, this is not going to change. They did not move or act upon any of their

emotions while they were both healthy normal adults in the past 5 years….)