Category Archives: high school crush

Bizarre Happenings and A New Beginning


Two Coworkers’ Stories


The first subject matter is my friend, Amy. I have some doubts about

the man who doesn’t like to be kissed on the mouth. But, guess what?

They have made incredible arrangements and plans for this new year.

Amy and Roy are heading to Missouri. Not just any town, but a fine

sounding one with the name of New Amsterdam.


They found online a three acre farm, barn and fences to hold their

horses in. If you remember I have posted about Amy’s horses, Spirit,

Sapphire and Lokie. Roy has a wild horse which puts Spirit’s wildness

to shame! His name is Lickety Split. But they call him “Split.” Doesn’t

his name show imagination and doesn’t it conjure exactly what this

horse tends to do?


Anyway, Roy and Amy have made more plans than I could imagine in

such a short time. They have given notice at the place they rent to live

in Cardington, they have told the barn that houses their horses they

will no longer be paying for their stall or feed fees. Amy has ‘put in’

for a transfer to a Kansas Advance Auto Distribution Center about

a 45 minute (one way) drive. She has over fifteen years in working at

the good ole’ D.C. #23 here in Delaware, Ohio.


I have my fingers crossed, since there are a few doubts, concerns and

worries for such a huge under-taking, relocating and a new job, to boot!

If you are one who sends prayers or well wishes into the air and don’t

mind including Amy and Roy, you would make me feel much better.

(When more than one are gathered in His Name and pray, sometimes

mountains can be moved!)


In honor of my sweet Amy, please listen to these two songs:

Pure Prairie League’s song, “Amie.”

Carole King’s song, “So Far Away.”

I shall miss Amy, but we are connected since she likes my posts and

reads my blog.  Plus, since she has email and a cell phone we can stay

connected. One way or another!


My other story is much more intriguing and less worrisome. My good

pal, Tammy has joined me for lunch, along with first and second breaks,

for almost 6 years now.  She has two big cats, along with the feral kitty

who has become tamed and one English Shepherd dog. She has a good

boyfriend from years and years ago. I wrote an old love story post about

them. Tammy and Mike, the “Fencepost Buddies” love story.


Anyway, her sister and brother in law have a neighboring house which

has been through a lot of trauma in the family. They have had the same

family living there and there have been rumors associated with this farm


The farming family had an open door policy recently giving away

all of their household belongings. The farming equipment was sold

in a public auction.

The house and furniture are considered ‘haunted.’ Her sister took

three intriguing antique trunks and two tall vintage dressers.  She

felt very ‘lucky’ to have not had to purchase these beautiful ‘finds.’


She shared one of each of the trunks and dressers with Tammy.


Here are the strange things that have happened in Tammy and Mike’s

house since they brought the furniture into their home. There have

been several times when one or both of the couple have felt unusual

‘presence’ and an accompanying cold burst of air. They have had

times where they left the house with all but one light left on, only to

come home and find the entire house ‘lit up like a Christmas tree!’


The weirdest things have been pull chains on fans, which when they

would turn them on normally, like in the summertime it would be at

the light switch since there are ceiling lights on every fan in almost

all the rooms of their house. They shut EVERY fan off, by pulling the

chains in November.


The fans should not ‘turn on’ when you turn on the overhead fixture,

just the light should go on. Both parties, Mike and Tammy, are

adamant they are not trying to prank each other with the lights or



No one can explain the recent way a curtain pulled out into a bulging

shape either. Nor can they understand why when Mike was taking

off his breathing mask to prevent sleep apnea, it was hurled out of

his hand. He felt a tug or pull on the mask.  More than once!


Someone at work suggested shouting these words,

“Go into the Light!”


Another gave some herbal or natural remedies to cast out demons.


So, my good friend Mark C. who works in my building and is in

the area below me often in the Aerosol Room knew someone to refer

this couple to about the ‘haunted’ furniture. His good female friend

named Ruth has a son who came and toured the house. He felt the

‘presence’ and also, when the lights were out, thought there was a

‘ghostly shape’ in two areas of the house. He is one of those ghost

hunters who has a website, too.


The trunk and the dresser are gone now. Ruth’s son hauled it away

to keep in his barn. He has a group of associates who want to use

some kind of machinery to detect ‘ghosts’ or ‘spirits.’


When she was adding things for the table of my coworkers, Tammy

told us that “rural legend” around her small town (not Delaware,

Ohio) ‘they say that this homestead has been in the family for quite

some time. The story goes that the wife of the farmer went mad

and the granddaughter who inherited the farm is in her thirties

and been institutionalized in a mental hospital.’


We all kind of shivered, thinking about the implications that the

women in this family may have been tormented by something



Tammy says there was a moment recently that both Mike and she

were sitting watching television and the dog ran up the stairs and

into the bedroom barking.  Both of them looked at each other

with a little bit of ‘fear of the devil’ in their eyes.Neither one chose

to go upstairs and investigate. Mike called to the dog to come,

while they didn’t even bother to discuss the implications.


Tammy said their living room curtain is not bulging anymore with

the shape of someone hiding behind it. Instead it made a weird

circular motion where it rustled along the carpet, when the house

was quiet and she was reading a book. She looked up and saw the

curtain sway, then rise up and whisk sideways. Finally, it was pulled

back. In mid-swing of the curtain, she tried to film it with her cell

phone. In the middle of the noiseless house, on the short ‘video,’

you can hear a clattering. We all noticed it and asked Tammy about

this, she answered:

“I got up to see what was going on, since both the inside cats were

on the sofa with me and the dog was at my feet.  I just wondered

what the noise was. It was not in the hall nor the upstairs, it was

in the kitchen.  It stopped as I approached it, but for one brief

moment, I felt like it were the sound of plates bumped together.

There were no plates in my sink nor did the sound repeat itself.

If Mike weren’t here to verify the lights and the fans, during past

incidents, along with the startling shape of the bulging curtain, I

would not believe any of this.  As it was, he thinks the dishes

clattering is highly suspicious of  ‘more aggressive behaviors.’ He

believes me and does not think I am imagining it. We talked about

this out on the road, in his truck. It is so weird but we sometimes

wonder if there is something which could ‘listen’ to us in the house?


What if the ‘ghost’ or ‘being’ is still in my house?”


I looked at Melvin and Felda.  Both appeared a little spooked looking,

as I felt goosebumps rise on both my arms and the hair on the back

of my neck stood on end.  Melvin’s family believe in voodoo,  as

well as my Filipino friends.  I am not sure Tammy really has any

‘beliefs’ but she really thinks strange happenings are going on in

her country house, despite the furniture being taken away and put

away in Ruth’s son’s barn.


“All I want is some peace and quiet. I wish this issue would be

resolved,” my good friend and coworker, Tammy lamented.


Do you have any suggestions for Tammy and Mike?

(They really don’t want to sell their house!)


Here are two songs to represent my feelings about the bizarre

happenings in Tammy and Mike’s house:

“Strange Magic,” by Electric Light Orchestra.

“Witchy Woman,” by the Eagles.


I love both of these songs and had not heard them for awhile.

Hope you enjoy the playlists and don’t forget to send some

silent positive thoughts out into the universe for Amy and Roy.

It couldn’t hurt to do this for Tammy and Mike, too.


Celebrating a serendipitous happy morning moment for me,

while driving to the library I heard this ‘new song:’

“Roller Coasters,” sung by the ‘indie pop’ band, Bleachers.

I found this to be really catchy and a fun song, reminiscent

of older pop songs.


Would you consider listening to just one more song?

I am off for the day on an adventure with my good friend, Jenny,

who is a retired teacher. We did not have to work today, ‘lack of



Hope you have a fantastic weekend!






Truth or Dare?


Who would think a pack of gum would get me thinking of my pre-

teen years?  When overnights would include such fun and exciting

games as, “Truth or Dare?” The gum is made by the Wm. Wrigley Jr.

Company, Chicago, Illinois  60642. Its label says, “RPM 5 Gum.”

It has “Truth or Dare” (some space and on another line), “Play and

You Could Win.” This gum product tastes like a citrusy-fruit flavor.

I would say it has a sour ‘front’ flavor changing into a sweeter ‘after’

flavor. It contains some not great’ sounding ingredients given as:

Soy Lecithin, Phenylketonurics and Phenylalanine. I am unsure of

what these would do to you, if you ate pack after pack, let alone

chewing to get the flavor then discarding it, as I do.


The clever side of the gum pack says:  “Post your truths. Share your



The inside of the pack has a number which can be logged in to

“5TRUTHORDARE.COM” If you do so, you are entered to win

possibly a “$10,000 Adventure” or “One of 100,000 Instant Prizes.”

I seem to be going on a lot about the package facts, but here is the

fun part of the pack of gum,

Each stick of gum has a golden wrapper with 3 different choices.

I decided to write down just two gum sticks’ worth of choices:

1. The first stick of gum that I chewed from this pack had these

three choices on its golden wrapper:

a. “Dare:  Record five different sounds made with this gum


My reaction, you may be able to talk muffled through it,

you may be able to attempt whistling (like a blade of grass)

with it between your lips or you could just crinkle it and make

scratchy sounds from the wrapper.

b. “Truth:  If you were granted one wish what would you

ask for?”

*** This is up for grabs if you wish to answer this in the

comments section…***

c. “Dare:  Visit five places today that you’ve never been to.

Post pictures at #5TruthOrDare.

***If you have some extra time to spare after reading this,

please fill us in on five places you have never been to, that

you would wish to go.***


2. The second piece of gum that I chewed, after lunch had

these three choices given:

a. “Dare:  Do as many push ups as you can in one minute.”

***Sorry, I did not ‘take this dare!’

b. “Truth:  What foods have sent tears streaming down your


***I will ask you, do you wish to answer this one?***

c. “Dare:  Drop what you are doing and play air guitar.”

Okay, I did this intentionally by Melvin, since he is one

of the crazy people who would not make fun of me. So,

I stopped him up in the Mezzanine, filling orders and

pushing our carts, he was coming from one direction in

a row of products, I was coming from the opposite way,

facing him. I got in front of my car so he could see me,

I leaned forward with my air guitar and then, to be more

dramatic, I got on one knee, closed my eyes and held it

above my head.

Then, I calmly went back to behind my cart and continued

forward. When we got together in the middle of the aisle,

Melvin being the ‘cool dude’ that he is, looked at me and

smiled then he said,

“So Robin . . . Was that Santana or Jagger?”

(I sure did want to hug him for this great comment, which

completed my Dare so well! I mean, I could not have asked

for a better reaction!)


At slumber parties, as my friends and I got older, we liked to

try and slip out of the house. Sometimes, it was quite innocent

and we would sit out in the cool, damp grass, whispering.

Other times, we had asked a group of guys to come by, which

would involve a little bit of logistics and stamina. There were

times the guys would be later or not even show up. We never

necked or made out with the guys. We may have held hands or

gotten a hug. We would tingle with anticipation for what kind

of moves the guys would make on us?

These were much anticipated and filled with excitement, just

to get this attention and level of participation and interaction.


When I reached high school age, my parents liked us to come

home, so it was rare to get to have sleepovers or go somewhere

else. My favorite parties, (have probably shared this more than

once), were marching band, science club and theater after parties.

The drama group was more likely to be wilder and have some of

those “Truth or Dare” situations. I always smile when I think of

the times when the marijuana joints were passed over my head

or the chivalrous guys would say I didn’t have to carry out some

of the more sexually oriented ‘dares.’ It was a fun way to pass the

time and I did do two dares after I reached 16 years old. The first

entailed going in a closet with a boy for, “__ Seconds of  Heaven.”

I have heard people say how many seconds their friends would

count out loud, but I swear my friends counted to “Seven.” Does

not sound like very long. . . Was it due to rhyming with “Heaven?”


I do remember playing ‘tricks’ on girls in their sleeping bags at Girl

Scout camp. One was we would get hot water dipping one of their

hands into a container. Supposedly, sometimes people would then

‘pee’ in some age groups. We did not have this happen. Ever. We

also took a person out of our tent, using three girls to help us and

put her in another bunk bed in another platform tent. Switching

beds was hilarious, we thought, at the time! Our ‘dares’ seem rather

tame now. The common things we liked to do at slumber parties

were to fix each other’s hair, practice make-up skills, call up boys

and usually hang up, prank call other people and play with the

mystical Ouija Board, calling for Spirits to come forward. This

would raise the hair on my arms. We liked listening to music,

practicing our ‘dance moves’ and watching late night movies.


In answer to one wish I would make: Good health for my whole

family. (Hoping longevity would accompany this unspoken wish.)


In answer to the five places I would like to go:

1.  England, Ireland and Scotland.

2.  California; Driving across the country.

3.  Hawaii or an Island cruise.

4.  Canada; More around the whole country, not just

where I have been to. (Niagara Falls, Toronto and Quebec)

5.  Australia and New Zealand.


What do you remember being your bravest “Dare” that you took?

Were there any memorable ‘antics’ or ‘challenges’ you did not take

but someone else did?

Famous T. V. Dads


Famous television fathers were quite conventional, sometimes filling

current stereotypes, but they usually seemed above normal in their

tolerance and patience. We were talking at Friday’s midpoint mark, in

the breakroom about how we may have formed misconceptions about

the way dads should act from watching these early family shows. After

all, most of us did not have traditional fathers, who would go to work in

suits and ties, come in cheerful, pull out a newspaper and quietly unwind.

I am sure my father wished he could have been ‘so lucky!’

My family consisted of two bread-winners and the three of us children,

were often in the winter months the last ones picked up at our baby-

sitter’s house. I remember looking out of Mrs. Boos’ picture window

into the darkness, wondering which day it was that Mom was doing her

oracle debates, drama or Spanish club meetings? I would sigh with an

almost exasperated ‘whoosh!’ when I finally saw her station wagon’s

headlights in the driveway. Mrs. Boos had two sons who played with my

brothers, occasionally I would join in or get a chance to sit on Diana’s

bed, her teenaged daughter and look at pictures of the Beatles or the

Dave Clark Five, or sometimes there would be magazines full of fashion

and hairstyles. My Mom was pleased when Diana went to Kent State

University and invited me to spend “Siblings Weekend,” as Diana’s baby

‘sister,’ Robin.

When we got home, my Dad, usually, would be home shortly, pulling off

his tie, after he took off his jacket, asking what he needed to do to ‘pitch

in.’ Spoiled me, made me think all fathers were like this. Today, Saturday,

June 14th, 2014, they had on the CBS Morning Show, a segment on the

percentage of fathers in the fifties, sixties and seventies that helped out

in child-rearing responsibilities. Sadly, they still said in the more recent

years the percentage of household responsibilities, even with working

moms being in the majority, it is still not a 50/50 deal.

Anyway, Melvin’s Mom and Dad were more like my parents, sharing the

chores and also, enjoying family times together. He admitted most of

his African American friends had either a limited amount of fatherly

involvement or none.

Tammy said that her mother had stayed home, whenever she would ask

for help inside the house, her father was quick to remind her, “You don’t

work.” She was dismayed at this behavior, remembering, even as a young

girl in her imagination, “I won’t stand for this in my adult life!” (Tammy

and Mike have been friends since childhood, “fence post buddies,” but have

never tied the knot.) She certainly is open that she doesn’t even have a

joint account with Mike, they just split the bills and love each other. She

is an independent woman, almost the ‘polar opposite’ from the parents

she dearly loves.

Trevinal said his parents are more together now, but in his childhood his

father sounded like my first husband, wished for dinner on the table,

kids cleaned up and early to bed, and lots of time watching his favorite

sports shows on television. There is a whole different love that he and his

wife share, more understanding and encouragement. He is so ‘blessed,’

he says to have someone who believed in his ability to think. The family

cannot believe that he is in Nursing School, working fulltime to pay his

bills and rising far above the expectations of Special Education. He feels

that by meeting the ‘right’ woman to share his life is a ‘daily blessing.’

His being in his thirties, reminds me of my own son, and I also remind

him of my belief in his ability to be a good father, when the time comes.

Here are the above persons’ and other coworkers, along with family

members who have cited some excellent, funny and different television

situational comedies for “Best Examples of Television Fathers:”

1.  My favorite father of all time, is from the show, “My Three Sons.” This

show allowed a non-traditional father, in amongst the ‘drones’ that I

found on other television shows. The combined household of widower,

played by Fred McMurray, his brother, who was the boys’ Uncle Charlie,

and the three rowdy boys always made me admire the patience, fortitude

and compassion showing what I considered “true family values.”


That is not to say, I didn’t laugh at the antics of Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas,

John Forsythe  (“Bachelor Father”) or Brian Keith (“Family Affair.”) I also liked

“The Ozzie and Harriet Show,” an almost first time reality show, since the family

was played by actual family members. I liked the sense of humor and the handsome

boys in this one! (Diana, my babysitter’s daughter, also had a few articles in her

teen magazines which featured the Nelson boys, especially the “cute” Ricky!


2.  Hugh Beaumont, who played the Dad on “Leave It to Beaver,” was the one

that my coworker, Mark, listed as his favorite. The different ways that influenced

his choice was first he liked that Beaver’s mother wore an apron, like his mother

did, daily. Also, that the father character hardly ever yelled, even under stressful


3.  Tammy said the whole family in her household liked, “The Danny Thomas

Show.” I still like that Marlo Thomas was an independent woman, not hurrying

into marriage until she fell in love, in real life, with the talk show host, Phil

Donahue. I also personally enjoyed the fact she is a columnist in my “AARP

Magazine.” Tammy said she liked Danny Thomas, since he presented a few

shows, mentioning different cultures. I would have to check this out, but do

support and believe in St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Marlo has said that she

got her Dad’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor, which carries her through

tough times.

4.  Trevinal still remembers almost every show that “Family Matters” had

on television. He has found this to calm him, looking at Urkel’s silly dress

code, high water pants and his often expressed question, “Did I do that?”

The sense of humor and the family were something he admired and felt

that Urkel’s character was one that gave him confidence when he made

mistakes, throughout many of his years,  in life.

Trevinal’s words are very powerful, expressing this to me:

“Whenever Urkel goofed up, people would roll their eyes, sometimes

bellow at him, but always forgive him. That is how I wish to be when I

am a father.”

Reginald VelJohnson, who played the father in “Family Matters,” is

in one of my youngest daughter’s favorite shows, “Hart of Dixie.”

(Rachel Bilson and Tim Matheson play doctors on that country

setting show.)

Trevinal also noted that Urkel was a neighbor,  the family next door’s kid,

but he became part of the family and included, whether wanted there or not,


5.  Keith told me, laughing, while lifting a box in the aerosol room, in what we

call the “Bomb Shelter,” that his favorite father character was Archie Bunker.

That show was called, “All in the Family,” where all sorts of issues popped up,

Archie sticking his neck out, saying all kinds of bigoted or prejudiced comments,

but usually backing down on them. Meeting people of all ethnicities, while they

were in an urban setting, with his wife being accepting, his daughter also very

open minded and often, Rob Reiner, playing “Meathead,” took the brunt of

Archie’s anger. I asked why he thought of this character? He told me, a little

bit sheepishly, that his own father was ‘backwards’ and ‘ignorant’ like Archie

had been. This made him become aware that there were other perspectives

on people. I appreciated Keith’s candor. He also added his parents were from

Kentucky! He added this with a laugh, like that explained everything!

He also said he respected the actor, Carroll O’Connor,  who had gone on to

play a cop, with a black partner, in the show, “The Heat of the Night.”

6.  My son, James, joked that he liked Homer Simpson, for the same reason

that Keith liked Archie Bunker. He said they were the ‘opposite of everything

he hoped for in a father.’ He also said that making mistakes for Homer, making

poor judgments, did make him feel more comfortable in his own parenting


7.  My oldest daughter said she liked Patrick Duffy, in the show, “Step by Step.”

She had a crush on him, from early days of watching, “Dallas,” and also had

a young ‘crush’ on Cody, the cousin who lives in a van in the driveway on this

sit-com. I liked it because Suzanne Somers was a hairdresser, average single

mother, who found a man with children to marry. I think the idea of stepkids,

appealed to me, also in ‘The Brady Bunch.”

When I mentioned my oldest daughter’s opinion, the men still were ‘hooting’

and ‘hollering,’ in a playful manner. They said she ‘made’ the show, “Three’s

Company,” and still looks great to this day.

8.  No one named, “Father Knows Best,” but all cited this as their 2nd and 3rd

choice of Best Television Father.

9. Charlene, whose young son, Ian, was in on my ‘Opinion Poll’ on Thursday,

had said she loved, “Wonder Years.” Since the mother character is on our

favorite soap opera, (Allie Mills), she remembered to point out she is good in

“The Bold and the Beautiful.” She also mentioned that the Dad on “Wonder

Years,” had to tackle difficult teen subject matter, since the boys grow up on

that show, from junior high through high school. I have to check out the dates,

be back to tell you the years: 1988 until 1993. The father’s character was

played by Dan Lauria. The couple who ended up taking the show into the

more mature theme included Danica McKellar and Fred Savage as “Winnie

Cooper,” and the kid next door, “Kevin Arnold.” In the Arnold family, the

mother stays home while the father worked. An interesting fact that I found

out was, Danica’s sister could have won the part of “Winnie,” the directors

say it was a ‘toss up’ between Danica and Crystal McKellar.

10. My mother loved the shows with Bill Bixby, including his role in “My

Favorite Martian” and “The Hulk.” But when I would come home from

junior high and high school, I would have the lights off, my Mom sitting

on one end of the sofa with her feet up on an ottoman, watching, “The

Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” When I overheard that song on the radio

and recently, on a commercial, I would almost “tear up.” Mom was much

more tired when I was that age, she would not volunteer to be coaches,

helpers or club counselors at Westlake High School. She would be the

chaperone, with my Dad by her side, for dances. That was as much energy

as she could ‘wrangle up,’ in her forties. I love Harry Nilsson’s song, the

memory of her sometimes lightly snoring, until the song would play

and she would sit up, watch and share those moments. My one brother

would be in track, (Spring), water boy in basketball, (Winter) or in

Cross Country, (Fall). This was ‘our time.’ The song began with these

words: “Let me tell you about my best friend,…” (The song includes

the father saying, “My pride and joy.”)

By the way, the jingles or songs for television would make an excellent

memorable post. When we were noticing the songs, we all agreed that

the piano playing and the off-key singing by Edith Bunker, played by

Jean Stapleton, was iconic: “Those Were the Days.”

That “Wonder Years” song, “I Get By With a Little Help From MyFriends,”

is legendary. We were nostalgic, reminiscent of family shows when there

weren’t as many choices on television and everyone’s family gathered together

to watch the shows. Even the commercials were memorable.

10.  The last contributor to this post on television fathers was my youngest

daughter’s suggestion of “Little House on the Prairie.” She enjoyed the setting

out West, through tough times, settling and learning how to live as a family

in a different time period had intrigued her.

She grew up watching this in reruns on Nickelodeon. This television

dramatic series ran from 1974 until 1983. (She was born in 1985.)

She reminded me that she read most of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books,

after I introduced them to her. She felt Michael Landon portrayed a

very charismatic and dynamic father. I am happy that she remembered

him in this role. (His personal life, somewhat like the much admired

Bing Crosby; left much to be desired. I feel the same about Eric Clapton,

Robin Williams and Bill Cosby. Troubled, but still admired for their

personal talents and  the ‘body of their works.’)

What was your favorite television father?

Young Couples who are coworkers


I am friends with a few younger couples who are coworkers that are

my children’s ages. I relate to their struggles with young children,

sympathize when the little ones are sick and give them enrouragement.

I tell them, “This too will pass.” I love the way they seem to deeply care

about their partners and they celebrate in simple ways their love.

The first couple I have mentioned the male part of the couple, Darryl.

He and I have jokes about running away and robbing a bank to get cash

to support his and my families.  Then, I tell him that I can get away with it

more than he (he is black and we laugh because he would be my “fall guy”

in case of arrest!) This may seem inappropriate, along with his trying to

cheer me up when I am down, while giving me his “evil eye!” I like the way

I can tell him, “I was out with my younger daughter at Brooklyn Heights

on Wed. “hump night” and he will ask, “Well, Robin, did you find a man to

‘hump’ you?” The other way we started a little running joke, is to ask each

other, totally in jest, of course:

“Did you get drunk last night?” or “I have a hangover and I need out of

here!” (Neither of us drink much, and his wife, Samantha, knows about our

jokes. She asked, “Why does she get to rob banks with you, Darryl? She

should stay home and watch our little hoodlums!”)

Awhile back, I had told you that he and his sons were not so sure about

the idea of a baby girl entering their family. His wife, Samantha, was very

excited and Darryl had complained, “Everything pink is being bought from

her clothes to her newborn baby diapers!” I had told him, “That special

little baby will have you wrapped around your baby pinky in no time!”

Darryl and Samanth had their new addition to their family on Sunday, the

same day I was celebrating at a baby christening party!

Their precious baby girl, weighed a healthy 8 lbs. 6 oz., measuring 22″ long,

and they named her “Dondria.” I am going to make a zoo themed baby name

picture for her, I have been ‘warned’ that the boys will then be asking, “Why

can’t that lady make ME a picture, too?”

I have Dondria’s adorable newborn photos on my cell phone. Most coworkers

already have seen that precious, all pink-wrapped up like a present, new

baby girl! Her brothers, who the parents call rowdy all the time, who liked

this summer runnning around “buck naked” in rainstorms, are very gentle

with her. The littlest one of the brothers, (all start with D letter names) held

the baby and put his finger out for the baby to wrap her whole hand around

it. They keep saying he screams the word, “Bee-bee!” and startles the baby!

It is a sign of love and excitement in this one’s joyful shriek!

The other couple is Garret and Courtney. This couple’s love story is sweet, with

a little history wrapped in thier longer love story. They were best friends in

kindergarten. They were both considered a little “pair of dominoes,” is what

Courney called them. They liked the Stevie Wonder and Paul Mc Cartney duet

song, “Ebony and Ivory,” with Paul Mc Cartney. The couple say that song

represents how the two races need to get along better. This is their wish

for their personal lives to not get so many stares at their contrasting colors.

Courtney says, “People still stare, even though it is so much more common

in our culture.” Of course, the lyrics include the phrase “Why can’t we live in

harmony?”  …like the black and white keys on the piano do.

Courtney’s grandfather still calls their son, “a mixed race rugrat” to her sister,

who tells him, “Shame on you, Grandpa!”

Courtney claims they had a “falling out” in middle school, when Garret

flirted with her best friend.

She says,

“Garret started to consider me ‘boring’ and ‘just a friend’ so he broke my

little heart.”

Courtney later, she says, not on purpose but truly decided to move on and

had a ‘crush’ in high school that she claims “devastated Garret.” I told him,

“Well now, who feels like the ‘old shoe?'”

Anyway, this sweet couple got married only three years ago and have a cute

as can be, little boy named, Te’Sean. I just did a baby name picture for

him, since I have become closer to Courtney once she moved to our bin

order fillers department. She now eats lunch with us older people, Anna’s

seat now filled with her. She asked me to do all sports related details and

use red and bright blue in the picture.

Te’Sean loves Michael Jordan in “Space Jam” movie. Garret and Courtney

bought it more for themselves, since it was filmed while they were younger.

That is the movie where Elmer Fudd is in the cast and Michael Jordan does

a fine job interacting with the animation. The movie was made in 1996 and

this would mean Garret and Courtney were only 16 when they “kissed and

made up” from both their crushes on other people and went out on one of

their first “real dates!”

Courtney is more of a worrier than Darryl and Samantha, along with her

husband, Garret. She is not so sure that love can last through all the years.

This is a good question. I feel very ill equipped to give advice or even tell her

too much of my history of marriages. I do tell her that it is so great that she

and Garret are very actively involved parents. Their one and only child, gets

to go to play areas, the zoo, different parks and the toddler reading programs

at the library, too. I tell her that their life together has made their bond

very strong. Tammy (whose Fence Post buddies story included friends

throughout their growing up years), is very open and a caring “mentor”

for Courtney. She tells her that they will get “closer and closer through

the years.”

I include these young struggling couples in my prayers, along with my son

and his wife, my oldest daughter and her partner who backed out of their

January wedding, but still lives with the two boys and her. I include so many

people in my thoughts. I have faith in our God to bless them and keep them


The sanctity of marriage and faith in God seems to be mirrored in these

couples who love each other. I hope that the children will help to keep

the parents focused on their family. It is a very challenging world we live in,

let alone, having to face some people who still show a lack of understanding

in their differences. Acceptance is still the key to support peoples’ right to

love one another. We all know marriage and raising a family isn’t an easy path

they have chosen, no matter who they are!

It Took 45 Years in the Making


Forty five years after Rick and Judy met as teenagers of age 19,

they finally got “hitched.” This couple met, smiled and admired

each other from afar. Judy liked Rick’s warmth and the way he

lit up the room. Rick liked the shyness and quiet eye contact

when he met Judy at a party where she was with girlfriends

watching the boys ‘make fools out of themselves.’

They never dated, danced or spent much time together, but

their friends ‘ran around together.’ Eventually each married

someone else.

When they got together in 2004, Judy had three children, six

grandchildren (like me, I thought when I heard this Cleveland

couple’s story!) Rick had  two children and three grandchildren.

The amazing thing was, Rick says, this would not have gotten

started if Judy heard he was single from that old ‘gang of theirs.’

She called him up on her birthday and said, (with some trepidation)

“How about a date for my birthday?”

Rick was thrilled to reconnect with someone he had admired and

she was also, excited to see this life of the party man grown and

matured. They instantly knew they were going to spend the rest of

their lives together.

She had become a nursing assistant and was still practicing this

in a hospital setting, he was a pipefitter who was starting to feel

the pain of arthritis and like his own “parts were wearing out.”

In just one short year, 2005, Rick got sick. He ended up in the

hospital with a stroke. He had another complication, diabetes.

Judy, being prepared to take early retirement, decided to nurse

Rick ‘back to health.’ He recuperated mainly and they started to

walk for their healthy future. They chose Cleveland “Emerald

Necklace” metroparks. They particularly liked the Nature Center

at Shaker Lakes.

Rick was so discouraged that he felt weaker and when he went into

the hospital the next time, he had congestive heart failure and then,


Their dream had been to bring both their families together and have

a small wedding. Once Crossroads Hospice learned of this wish, they

put it into action, first getting family and friends who visited to get

a complete list of the “old gang” and their addresses.

With promises of every day being a special one, from this day forward,

Judy and Rick exchanged their vows. There were bouquets, boutonnieres,

wedding cake, linens, music, favors and a wedding suit. The men wore

purple shirts under gray suits. Judy’s dress was a lacy beige. It was a time

of reunion, celebration and hopes abounded.

No matter how many or how few their days they have, this was the way

they really wanted to share their final days. The loves of their lives came

later than some but; better late than never!


My Daughter’s Crush


One summer, 1995, when my oldest daughter was on summer

vacation she met a young man who became quite a huge crush

for her!

She was going to enter her sophomore year in high school.

Her aunt, my sister in law had asked if she would like to come

north to visit her cousins up in Westlake (suburb of Cleveland,

Ohio). Their guest for a whole month(!!) was a handsome high

school male who looked like a French version of Tom Cruise.

Dark, curly hair, a muscular and angular teenager with, of course,

an awesome accent!

My daughter had made fun of the song, entitled Lady Marmalade

sung by LaBelle with the racy lyrics,”Voulez vous coucher avec moi,

ce soir?” (Do you want to sleep with me tonight?)

So, on our drive up I mentioned some simple French phrases that

I had learned in my one year of college French. I have mentioned

somewhere along the posts that I had about 8 years of Spanish,

so I was blessed with a college French professor who was from the

south and grew up with what is termed, “Creole French.”

(Perfect blend of French with a Spanish flair, I got an “A!”)

So important to know: “Merci” or “Merci beau coup.”

(Thank you and Thank you very much.)

In my French restaurant trips, I would like to say I used this phrase,

“Ou est le bain?” (Where’s the bathroom?)

Anyway, I gave her a few other choice phrases for her to not even use!

(I mean, so much more fun to HAVE HIM TEACH YOU FRENCH!)

I did emphasize with her to not ask him to teach her how to French


Needless to say, the two girl cousins and my daughter spent

every waking moment gushing all over Henri’s (pronounced

“OHN-REE”) suggestions for what he considered “All American

Pastimes.” He wanted to go bowling, go to a lake and water ski,

he wanted to try Frisbee golfing and miniature golfing. There

were a lot of movies that he wanted to see, once home from outings,

Henri wanted to see television. Lots of t.v. shows were on his

interests’ list, including soap operas.

Another thing Henri wished to do, was to go to the Cleveland Indians’

baseball games. He also wanted to go see where the Cleveland Browns

played and where their boot camp was. He also enjoyed Cedar Point

Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. He had fun visiting my Mom

and Dad in Vermilion, Ohio where they all went into Lake Erie. Maybe

he would have liked the Upper Lakes, Michigan with Upper Peninsula

but the BEST thing about Henri was his enthusiasm and his curiosity.

This was before cell phones were really around, so there were no little

interruptions while he spoke of his home town, his home country and

his favorite things to do there, while three young, impressionable girls

listened raptly!

Once my oldest daughter was picked up by me, I had a hard time finding

out too much because all she could concentrate on was: “Henri gave me

his home address, how much is postage? what should I ask him or tell

him? Can I flirt with him now that I don’t have my 2 cousins seeing me

do that?”

The international pen pals had lively “conversations” through snail

mail and carried on through their first year of college. No one crossed

the Atlantic Ocean to see the other person. The best thing, as a mother’s

observation, was that they could tell each other their deepest, darkest

secrets, fears and problems of growing up teenagers. There was so much

gained from this “First Crush” of my daughter that my “First Crush”

never shared!

The measure of this experience? Priceless!



Trying to look cool, my girlfriend and I stroll through the local Ace

Hardware looking for my old neighbor, Steve. We glance down each

aisle and then, when approached by a smiling salesman, we slow down

and answer his, “Can I help you ladies?”

My friend pipes up, “I need a bucket of paint!” Then, we follow the man

back to the counter where she looks for her paint sample and I ponder

the thought, “How much should I trust this man?” But I blurt out these

words instead,

“My old neighbor and friend works here and I am trying to remember

his schedule!”

The salesclerk stops his paint mixing machine, asks nicely and quietly,

“What is his name?’

I mention his first and last name and the man lets us know he will be

in to work in 2 days.

Then, two days later, I am hearing my youngest daughter turn the key in

our apartment door lock and I jump off the love seat to answer the door.

I glance at her very nicely groomed and attired appearance and say,

“Guess what? I think we need to go to Buehler’s to get some wine or ice

cream! Which direction do we want to go in terms of snacking? If wine,

maybe we should stop by the deli and get some cheese and pita chips,

or some salsa and tortilla chips. If ice cream, which flavor should we


(YES! I am THAT annoying!)

My daughter takes a big breath and says, “Whoa! Have you been drinking

coffee after work again? Or did you get some Big Gulp Diet Mt. Dew?!!”

“I know, but remember I told you we figured out Steve’s schedule and if we

leave right now, we can be back in just a few minutes and you can change

your clothes, relax and eat dinner.”

So, we get in my Dodge Avenger and tool on over to Buehler’s and park closer

to the Ace Hardware end. We enter and go to the deli to pick up cheese, that

was the choice my daughter made, then over to the local wines. I choose one

that is a merlot and we purchase these two items. We then leave by turning

back through the store to go through the Ace Hardware end.

I ask her about her day and she is telling me about a very interesting client.

Coyote Peterson, who has his own clothing line, is a marine biologist and

is planning some big trip to an island off Russia that has penguins on it.

I am hoping that Steve is close to the main aisle as we are leaving and will

spot us, calling to us so we can act nonchalant. This so reminds me of

chasing my high school crush, Bobby L.!!

By the time we get to the end of the building and I have casually glanced

down almost every aisle, I have not seen Steve! My daughter gives me the

same irritated look she used to when she was a teenager! Like, “do I hafta

do this again?”

I stop at the counter where a chipper young twenty-something “girl” is

standing doing nothing. She has the red Ace apron on and she seems eager

to help. She glances from me to my daughter and back. Neither of us is too

sure we want to ask her about Steve. “May I help you?” she says.

I say, “I was looking for someone but didn’t see him, so he must be busy.”

She doesn’t respond, no question to ask, “Who are you looking for?”

We smile at her, simply turn and leave.

Are you as disappointed in this post as I was on the drive home? The wine

and cheese helped a little, though.