Category Archives: how does love change?

Humorous Romance


Some of my friends who are younger are amazed when I mention that up until my

Dad died, my Mom and Dad enjoyed one form of romance or another. Here’s to all

those loving, open and caring people who dance in the kitchen! Hope this inspires

you to put some spice in your life or at least bring your significant other a bouquet

of burgundy, crimson, golden and burnt sienna Autumn flowers. My Mom will be

receiving a pot of those gorgeous lavender-rose chrysanthemums, (the closest there

is in the palette of fall colors to her favorite color of pink!) One important thing I

learned from my Mamma: “Never show up on the doorstep of your friends or loved

ones without an old-fashioned hostess!”

This is especially important if you are showing up with a packed bag, dirty laundry,

and a plan to stay for an extended period of many days!  When I would come home

from college, catching a ride from the Studon ‘ride board’ for Fall, Winter or Spring

Break, I already knew which were the certain plants that  Mom liked: mums, pink

poinsettias, and  pink tulips in that order. The pretty yellow or red daffodils or  the

brilliantly gorgeous red poinsettia plants did not ‘fit in’ with the pastels in her formal

Victorian living room.

Kenny Rogers’ song about “bringing his wife flowers” was a big  ‘hit’ with Mom. The

memorable special song was called, “Buy Me a Rose,” written by Jim Funk and Erik

Hickenlooper and released in 1999. This song included valuable communication

suggestions like calling one’s partner during the day time, to make her smile and

stay in touch, simple gestures. Too often, those meaningful and thoughtful ways of

staying connected are lost, especially during the frantic paced child-rearing period

of Life. I know, from personal experience oh too well, women can become so wrapped

into their childrens’ lives they miss the signs they are losing touch with their spouses.

My parents set an example of putting priority on their interpersonal relationship

time to go out together, sometimes dressing up to be chaperone school dancees,

then stopping to have a drink out. Low cost; big rewards later.

My Dad knew’if he were in the dog house’ to bring Mom her favorite flowers of all:

pink roses. ”

The song, ” You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (any more) pulls at my heart strings more

than the song Kenny Rogers sang. It is due to the fact that duets help  me transform

to another place and time, creating a  picture of the two people facing a crisis.  Along

with the two voices of Neil Diamond  and Barbra Streisand’s melodic and harmonious

blending made this a ‘perfect’ love song (in my mind.) This song affected many more

people than just me. Interestingly, this song had a very different beginning than I had

remembered. The collaboration of Neil Diamond with the couple, Alan and Marilyn

Bergman, were to write the music for a television comedy called, “All That Glitters.”

It was a very short snippet of a song, originally written as the opening t.v. series’ song

in 1977. (The show never caught on and took a ‘dive.’) Once it became expanded into

a full-length song in 1978, it was played frequently on the radio and became so popular

it won a Grammy Award for  “Best Song of the Year.”


Now, for the lighter side of this post, thanks to my Mom sending it to me this week.

(Joke taken from my Mom’s collection from her good friend and California pen pal

Joyce, otherwise known as, “Pooky.”)


Here are~

“Love Making Tips for Senior Citizens”

1. Wear your glasses.

This will ensure you that your partner actually in the bed and not asleep on a Lazy Boy,

in the living room. Glasses will be helpful for other reasons, like grabbing or tenderly

touching the appropriate body parts.


2. Set a timer for three minutes.

Just in case you accidentally doze off in the middle.


3. Set the mood with lighting.

Suggestion: Turn them ALL off!

Or if #5 is necessary (due to memory loss) keep a low light on your side of the bed


4. Make sure you put “911”on ‘speed dial’ or as one of your emergency contact numbers

on your cell phone. Before you begin. . .


5. Write partner’s name on your hand, in case you can’t remember it.


6. Use extra Poly Grip.

So your  teeth don’t end up under the bed.


7. Have Tylenol ready or other medications ready.

Just in case you two actually complete the act. Aches and pains, possible side effects.


8. Make all the noise you want.

The neighbors are probably as old as you are and hard of hearing.


9.  Congratulations!

Thank goodness for those endorphins and mood-enhancers.

This can be substituted for your daily regimen of a walk.

Exciting way to get your heart pumping and feel alive.

10. For all those ‘single ladies’ or ‘gentlemen,’






or Dark chocolate can work, too.


It makes me sad there are a lot of couples who barely speak to each other.

When I  was a server while in my 40’s I would wait on tables and witness

this pattern of disconnection between lovers. Granted, I worked at Cracker

Barrel, where the busy 36/37 routes intersect with north and south 71. A

lot of my customers were tired, cranky tiravelers who also were hungry.

The way I would do my ‘part’ to brighten their day or night,  would be to

get their food or beverage order as soon as I could. Bringing their drinks,

accompanied with a platter of hot biscuits and corn bread  helped to break

the ice. Once I established rapport with them, I would fib to them.

I would say they looked like they “belonged together.”

It was such a simple statement

but it helped to improve their mood

and changed the temperature of the

atmosphere between the two of them,  too.


Quote for the Day:

“Blessed are those who can give graciously without remembering,

Blessed are those who can take gratefully without forgetting.”

( “The Spire” October,2014 First Presbyterian Church bulletin)





Fire Stories


I  chose to pick up my two grandsons to celebrate taking them to the movies.

My first ‘move’ was to get their bellies filled with vegetables and healthy

choices, so we headed to Subway. Micah and I split a whole wheat 12″ sub,

with turkey and provolone cheese, his sides included tomatoes, black olives,

banana peppers, pickles and lettuce, mine having some of those plus, spinach,

cucumbers and onions. We each asked for a squirt of the low fat mayo, plus

I have them add the spicy sauce, too. Skyler asked for the Black Forest ham

with provolone cheese, toasted and added many vegetables and two squirts of

the low fat mayonnaise. We sat and talked together about their week and I

found out that Skyler was very good at archery at his daycamp for Cub Scouts

at Camp Lazarus. He told me that the ‘rifle range’ wasn’t as good this year,

since the rifles (I am pretty sure these are B.B. guns, since this is after all,

Boy Scouts of America!) ‘were not calibrated well.’ I listened to this new boy,

who has been growing like a ‘weed,’ having done an excellent job in science

and math this year, heading into fourth grade.

Micah likes his ‘fantasy’ world, where he has been building a hotel, where

there is a glass elevator (like the one at Red Roof Inn, the weekend of my

niece’s wedding, where he and his brother stayed with their Mommy, my

oldest daughter.) He is sure that he is going to also build a mansion, the

newest development being that I will ‘occupy a completely private wing!’

He is five and heading off to Kindergarten in about a month.

We told the man who resembles someone who may have originated in India,

that we were heading to the Strand Theater to see “Fire and Rescue Planes.”

He asked the boys what this movie might have in the animation and they

were excited to tell him about the parts that they had seen in commercials.

This kind man who manages the closest Subway looks my age.  So, of course,

I had to show him my Strand Movie Bargain Card, for those over 55. It

entitles the holder with a movie ticket, medium drink and medium popcorn

$7. It has gone up 50 cents since I may have listed this great price!

I also, enthusiastically, told him that the movies are now digitally modernized

and the owners purchased more precise lenses, than they had about a year and

a half ago. Anyone who hasn’t tried one of the three screened theaters, needs to

come and check them out! He smiled and told me that he and his family live in

Dublin, Ohio. Where they go to a theater it costs him $8 for he and also, his wife,

for evening movies and $7 for daytime ones. He mentioned his children cost him

about $6 for tickets and he estimates for the 5 of them, $40 for snacks. I told

him about our kids’ (of any age) snack packs with a small popcorn, small drink

and a choice of a regular sized M & M’s, peanut ones, fruit snacks or Sweet Tarts

all for $3.50. The boys emphasized that the tray is filled with popcorn and it

tastes really good, too! (They use Promise ‘butter’ or margarine product.)

We explained that is why we did not order drinks nor Sun Chips, today. The

man, who does not wear a name tag, but has been across the street from my

apartment for the whole 8 years I have lived there, told us he had a surprise

for the boys. He went in the back of the shop, and came back with nice,

insulated bags. Micah got a Green Hornet one, Skyler got a Michael Phelps’

Olympic Medalist Swimmer one. It would hold a lunch in it and keep it cold!

We profusely thanked him before we sat down and later, as we left.

The movie we were going to had been chalked on the sidewalk in a professional

way, with the logo! A nice and colorful, “Fire and Rescue Planes” was there, so

I captured first Skyler who put on the plastic fireman’s hat, to pose and Micah,

who did not want to wear it. I sent these photos off to their Mom and Dad.

The theater had visiting, for the opening weekend, the Delaware Fire Department’s

Fire Truck. We had missed the once on Friday and twice on Saturday. We would

not be able to visit again, at the appointed Sunday time. Both boys, reassured

me, that they had seen the fire trucks in parades and more than once, through

school and scouting activities.

The plastic fire hats were sitting in a pile on the  iron table with chairs,

outside the theater.

We bought our tickets and sat in the fifth row, from the front of the theater,

where the boys like to be ‘up close and personal’ with their snacks sitting on their

laps,their drinks in the cup holders. I like to remind them of the heritage of the

theater, pointing out the gold filigreed ceiling and the ornate two clocks, one on

each side of the theater. I started nibbling my popcorn, they were saying they were

still ‘full’ from lunch meal that was really for me, my dinner. Their weekend meals

run ‘later’ than their weekday schedule.

We were all studying the organ from this front row area, one of them asking

“When would we go to a movie where the organ would be played?”

I know I should not stereotype their ages, but I told them they would appreciate

the silent, black and white movies more when they were over 12 years old.

(This gives Micah time to grow up, because he would be 7 when Skyler is 12.)

I reminded them these are shown in the winter months.

I told them it is quite exciting to see these, listening the organ adding

more drama to the experience. I will look forward to introducing them

to this, while it is something to save for when they are ‘grown up.’

The movie plot centers on an ‘older’ crop dusting plane, named “Dusty.”

Today, there was the mother from “Modern Family,” named Julie Bowen,

who plays a flirtatious plane in the movie, visiting Queen Latifah. I did not

get a chance to hear what she said nor see the clip they showed, since our

break time was ending, as she was announced.

has some controls and different technical problems, due to aging.

If he doesn’t stop going so fast, in his racing competitions,  he may wear out

his equipment and crash. This is devastating news for”Dusty” since he is also

set to be a part of the Corn Festival, where he has set some racing records.

A suggestion comes about due to the older plane terminal and the older fire

truck, that are not able to take care of fires in the area well. This is, that making

Dusty go to fire and rescue school might save the local terminal from being

shut down. By adding water pontoons, Dusty learns in time to appreciate his

new position. He makes mistakes, but as in all children’s movies, he learns

from them along the way.

Of course, there are rampant fires, which will make the movie become quite


I liked the following fun aspects of the movie:

When they ‘call it a day’ the planes go to a barn like structure, where country

music plays. When a plane wants to treat the other plane to a ‘drink’ it is to

offer ‘to buy you a can of oil.’

Another clever way to anticipate the older grandparents who would recognize

this old television show, is to have them gather for a ‘secret screening,’ where

everyone needs to know the ‘password.’

Once inside, the raucous song bursts out, from the “C.H.I.P.’s” television show,

specifically showing the episode #37, and at the end of the motorcycles who are

named, aptly, “Nick Loopin’ Lopez” and “Blazing Blade” make the female planes

‘swoon’ and say, “Ooh, they’re so hot!”

When the awards for heroism are given, they are called “Piston Peak Hero Awards.”

When a man who is running the Corn Festival, that usually Dusty performs at, by

racing across the sky arrives, he is named Colonel (like Kernel) and his deputy is

called, “Niblet.”

When those planes are saving lives, somehow they manage to work into the film,

“V.I.P” = Very Important Plane!

A couple of older R.V.’s are on the road to one of the national parks, the female and

male voices, oh so familiar to this writer, who liked their comedy sketches on variety

shows in the 70’s and 80’s: Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. (Known back then as, Stiller

and Meara.) They are having a campfire and talking about all the years they had been

traveling together. It was sweet and nice to have these special touches, warming my


I took the kids to Blue Limestone Park, where they enjoyed their very first time on the

new play equipment. I ‘fell’ for the sound of the ice cream truck, where I gave them

$2 apiece to have a basic treat. Skyler picked a rainbow sno cone and Micah picked

a Rocket popsicle. They were pleased when I took them home, to see their little six

year old bunny, (who had appeared to have a stroke, his head fixed to the side and his

legs kind of moving sideways) was much better after his 3 day stay at the Vet’s office.

They had diagnosed a bacterial infection that attacked his brain, their bunny is named

“Pinky” despite his masculine sex.

On Sunday, continuing the fire and emergency theme, I rashly agreeed to go to the

Columbus Jazz and Rib Festival, with an ex-boyfriend. Out of the blue, he called, and

I had no plans, so I said, “Yes!” We ate lunch at Wendy’s, with one of those inexpensive

half salads, (“mid-size”) for my meal and he had a double cheeseburger combination

meal. We talked about family, recent fishing places and catches he had made, and what

movies and music we had listened to lately. His long distant daughter, Abby, is going to

have a baby, his closer distance grandson would like the tools he is going to put together,

in a tool box, for him, now that he is a responsible teenager.

Once we arrived at the festival, we were able to resist food and headed towards the first

stage. After we had set up our chairs under a nice, shady tree, he went off to get some

beverages; a beer for him and a sweetened tea for me.

Of course, there would be ribs to be had, later for our dinner! We enjoyed the

Carolina Ribs booth, where he had a $16 half slab meal and I had an $8

“Teaser’s” meal.

The best music to be found on Sunday, we felt was on the Fox Channel 8 Stage,

in the late afternoon.

We had circled the festival, collected some samples of foods, including Dove ice

cream, slices of subs at a stand, brownies and cakes, mustard pretzel bites and

cornbread crackers. The vendors were all cheerful and generous in handfuls of

free gifts.

I had resisted the cinnamon-sugared elephant ears and the powdered sugar

funnel cakes. He had had another beer, as the hot afternoon passed by.

We had tapped our feet, nodded our head in unison, enjoying and listening to

four bands. One was childrenoriented, calling out to listeners to join in when

they played, “Camptown Ladies Sing This Song, Doo Dah…” People cheering

for the saxophones, the bass players, the guitars and drums, too.

We loved the way the riffs and improvisation was taking the group called,

“480 East.”

They told us they were from Canada, had picked up a player in Toronto.

Their CD’s could be purchased at a table set up along the stage. They had

contacted ahead, the Jazz Festival organizers, requesting for 3 ‘back up’

players to join in with them. They got a drummer, a bass and flute player

and a supporting guitarist. They had only met each other an hour prior!

We wondered aloud, how often other bands joined in these improvisational

musical events.  We raved at how they seemed to fit together, playing as one!

We liked their slower, rhythm and blues Sade-style song. They played three

lively ones that were called, “Roll On,” “Been Too Long,” and “Table for Two.”

The singer/announcer for each song, got audience to participate in a simple

song with some great jazzy music, when he would point to one side of the stage,

half of the people would shout or sing out:

“To the East!”

And then, he would point to the other side of the stage, where people playfully,

sang out:

“To the West!”

They were there for over an hour, when the next group was waiting in the

‘wings.’ They apologized for not being able to play an encore, too. Great

group: “480 East!”

As we left the Jazz and Rib Fest, I gave my old guy friend a hug, we got into

his big truck, where he asked, “Do you mind listening to Jonny Lang?”

We were silent, reminiscing on my part, as we drove back home. I had met

him at the Polaris Wendy’s and got out, smiling and waving goodbye. He

rolled down his window and asked a rather ‘tricky’ question,

“Are you okay?”

I nodded my head, thinking, “Out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

Adele passed through my mind, in her ranting song,

“Set Fire to the Rain.”

But I didn’t shed a tear. . .


Playing the Game of “hot” or “cold”


When the weather was blustery and cold, when there were piles of

snow covering the slide, swings and merry-go-round on the school

playground, we would play different games at our desks. Sometimes,

it was when someone would be the “picker” and would choose an

item in the classroom to hide while our heads were down. I think

that it usually ended up being the blackboard eraser.  Another game,

may be Hangman or “Around the World” using math flash cards.

When the person has hidden the item, the words, “You are getting

warmer” indicate you are getting close to the hiding place. “You

are getting colder” will as you may guess, if you are not acquainted

with this game, mean you are moving away from the spot.

I am trying to remember some other ones, help me out if you have

any to add in the comments!

I have always felt that people radiate warmth or coolness, in their

attitudes, presence and demeanor. I have been fortunate to have a

lot of wonderful friends who have been “warm” and always have

kept in close touch. I also, have had one of three husbands that I

would classify as “warm.” For fear that they may see this, I won’t

divulge which one was the warmest, by far!

While visiting with a special male friend on Sunday, I regretted

that we were not going to be able to stay close. I would say this

man is a “warm and caring man.” He has cheered me so much,

countless times and I have wished that the times we crossed the

line into “more than friends” that it would last forever. I am sad

to say, he has always made it known he loved someone else.

I sometimes wonder, was I a Pawn in the game of our love life,

and was he waiting for the Queen to show up again?

My Mom and both brothers said my face lighted up more than

they had ever seen it, in a relationship, for years. We spent a lot of

fun times, sharing his family and sharing my family, all members

agreeing that this would be a good “match” for me. I had my hopes

dashed in May, then had them rise up again like soap bubbles in the

air, again for a brief moment over Labor Day weekend.

The call came around two weeks’ ago, November first, to say hello

to my Mom and say Happy Birthday, too. I was very happy, giddy in

fact, to hear his voice. Inexplicably, I again hoped that maybe this

time he had let go of his girlfriend who had said horrible things, I

had comforted him and allowed us to grow into a relationship for

about a year. No, I could hear the “business” type of voice entering

the conversation, switching gears to,

“I found that gift you gave me of your Dad’s engineering slide rule,

that has U. of Cincy. on it and when you get back from your Mom’s we

should meet soon. Maybe you would like to give that to Micah or Skyler


I waited until I was on my way home, driving down I-71 from Cleveland,

to indulge myself with a call back to him. I suggested meeting for a cup of

coffee or even a meal, just to catch up. (Yes, what a feeble-minded woman

I am sometimes!)

He said, “This is Sunday. I always have Sunday dinner with my girlfriend.”

(Yes, there were about 11-12 months of Sundays, where I was that lucky

guest for dinner.)

He continued, “Sorry, maybe I will call you next weekend sometime.”

Turns out, I met him at Tim Horton’s on this past Sunday. I even did the

smarter choice of taking the initiative, rolling down my window as he

approached, “Do you want to just give it to me, I don’t want to keep HER


“No, she is in Chicago this weekend, so we can go in and have that cup of

coffee. I do want to catch up with you, Robin.”

I looked “great” or as “great” as I can look. I had a nice gray, soft sweater on,

with a black onyx pendant with a sterling silver chain on. He had always said

he liked it. He told me I looked “nice,” which meant “great” to me!

I ordered a medium coffee with a shot of caramel, room for cream and

sugar or they could add it themselves. I ordered a sour cream glazed

donut. He repeated my coffee order and refrained from the donut. I

suggested a bagel, maybe? No carbs for me, he answered.

I want to go back to the temperatures game. I will tell you this, when

his girlfriend booted him out of her life, her words were hurtful and also,

her demeanor and attitude came across as a “cold” witch of a person. All

of my friend’s family “love” me, saying that woman is not allowed over to

their homes for the holidays. Only one of his siblings and his wife have

met her. She has her own angle on why she wants him back but this is

their fifth year of being together with the one year inserted while she

was taking a break from him, he taking a break with me. She had turned

down his idea of living together. He felt the first four years should have

been enough time.

This is coming to another point in my story, I asked how things were and

he started to tell me wonderful things that they had done the last few

months since we had chatted. He told me that they were drinking a new

drink, he not beer, she not wine. He made it like they had discovered

the cure for cancer or something very unusual not just that they were

drinking Manhattens!

Then, he told me that they had been frequenting a wider variety of

restaurants, traveling a wider circle than we had done in our time

together. I started to “not recognize the man sitting across from me.”

He was wearing a smug and snarky look on his face. He was trying

to say he had changed in his choices for movies and television. The

man that had declined going to see “Les Mis” felt that the old comedy

shows he had dearly loved, DVR’d and laughed out loud at, were

now “dumb!”

I really wanted to wipe that smirk off his face and take away all the

smugness that was seeping out of his now refined pores!

I asked him how his daughters were, he had always called them the

“A-Team” since all their names began with A’s. I had known he (last

summer) had planned on going to California to see them.) Instead,

he said he bought a Chrome tablet and fixed up his truck. He also

mentioned a different trip he had taken with his girlfriend. That

took priority over his girls? I was a little incredulous at this remark

and started to not like him so much either!

The “Pod” person, actually said, “They don’t care if I come!”

I refrained from retorting back. After all, he knows how family comes

first for me. Unless the loved one, him at the time, were busy and could

not come with me, visiting family was a number one priority. I wanted

to shout,

“What have you done with the fun-loving, family man that I met?!”

I wanted to go on… What had caused him to choose serious dramas over

light-hearted comedies? Why the big turn around in choosing fancy

restaurants? Choosing to go to a club or recreation center rather than

playing pool in a bar? Why not enjoy the dancing music while out and

about, like the “old days?”

And, most importantly, why had he chosen the WRONG direction?:

Heading East on vacation, instead of heading West to visit his


Choosing to go to a club or recreation center rather than playing pool

in a bar.

Not drinking beer because it isn’t out of “Mad Men?”

He had chosen to start hanging with Her again, who has slowly lost

touch with her daughter who turned 16 this year. He was ignoring the

“warning signs” of her aloofness that had set in once before and turned

against him! She ‘seemed to care,’ she ‘seemed’ to “play a parent” but

these had been “acts” in the past, couldn’t he see this?

I really think from his satisfied look on his face throughout our two

hour conversation, that he felt he had “traded up” by going back to

this woman.

I felt as I drove away from him after giving him an obligatory hug

before I climbed into my car, that he was not the same.

I could proceed to move forward once again.

I could stop missing him.

No more nostalgia, regrets and memories.

The man I used to know, no longer exists.

He is ice cold or “freezing” in the temperature game!

When I was asked this week by concerned people,

“How did it go on Sunday when you met him?”

I replied,

“It wasn’t him anymore, he was morphed into a Stepford Husband!”

Fence Post Buddies


My friend and coworker, Tammy, likes hearing about all the love stories

and my blog. I have bad news, folks, my friend Anna got fired! (She did

not use swear words, but assertive words and mouthed off to a clerk,

another coworker wrote a report, and she is fine looking for a “better

job.”) Due to our table being less crowded and a few absences, I have

a treasure of a story to share for you!

Growing up next door to each other from elementary throughout their

childhood, teen age and young adult years, Tammy always considered

Mike, her neighbor and brother of her best friend, Mary,  a good friend.

She knew all the details of their lives, where they vacationed, when they

had a small tragedy, when they got their haircuts and lots of intricate

patterns and habits one learns from being neighbors for years. She always

knew what their family was ‘up to’ and sometimes got to tag along, since

she was the youngest and last one left of her siblings in her family at


Sharing a lot of good times, laughs, playing games and hanging out,

Tammy knew Mike, she says, (at least in elementary school) “like the

back of my hand.”

Tammy and Mike’s sister, Mary, were good friends from kindergarten

on. Mike was only two years older, so he was included in their inside

playtime. He was sometimes enlisted to play the “Daddy” in their

playing house and even, when it was a cold and boring winter day,

would allow himself to be the groom “Ken” doll for Tammy’s “Barbie.”

He also was chosen to be the “tester” of new recipes, concoctions

and helper in preparing things in the kitchen. There were times,

(rare indeed), that he would help set up a tent in the dining room, lie

down on blankets and chat with the girls. In junior high school, he

allowed himself to practice dancing with the girls.

I interrupted the flow of Tammy’s story,

“Wait! Did you say he played the groom and you the bride with your

dolls? Is that why you two have never married?”

Tammy laughed, “You are going to need to listen to the WHOLE story,

Robin! There’s more to this and why we never tied the knot!”

She recommenced telling her love story to me, saying that they were

living in a housing development, where there were side by side houses,

some looking like cookie cutter editions of the others. On the other side

of Mike and Mary’s house, new neighbors moved in during their middle

school years and they were from hence forth, called the “rowdy boys.”

Mike’s personality changed, partly from his older age and mainly due

to these boys’ influence. He was suddenly choosing to use squirt guns

or even buckets of water, to soak the girls while they were playing in the

yard. The girls were “telling on Mike” more and more.

One day, while they were in seventh grade, the girls had their one piece

bathing suits on, slathered Coppertone suntan lotion and were lying on

Mary’s patio in the bright afternoon sun. All of a sudden,the girls heard

some catcalling and rude comments from the boys on the other side of

the privacy fence. Then, there were tomatoes being pummeled over

the fence, landing on the patio and one even splatting on Tammy’s chest!

This was not funny! The “pranks” were getting carried away and the joke

was not a game anymore!

Poor Mike got “told on” and got a paddling by his father that evening.

Tammy said she never heard nor knew if the rowdy boys next door to

them faced any consequences. That fall after summer ended, Mike

was told by his father to join either junior high football or consider

running. He needed to get his energy out on something more productive

than the neighbor boys, who Mike and Mary’s father called the “trouble


Every summer for a few years, the “tomato war” was mentioned as a

poor choice for the boys, the patio even had some reddish stains that

darkened like blood stains on the concrete. It was a reminder of the

change, also, in Mike. He was from that fall on, a “jock.” His haircut

was a sign of being in sports and during the seventies, a rare sight

to be seen. He was starting to get a stubble on his chin and chest hairs,

Tammy noted.

In junior high through high school years, the neighbor girls joined

chorus, choir and later, Glee Club. They were also members of Key Club,

a Kiwanis sponsored leadership club. Mike was president when they

joined and Tammy says, “a little bit of his ‘coolness’ rubbed off on us,

too. He also was very protective of me, as well as his sister, Mary.”

The front yard metal fence that separated their yards, now tended to

be where they would lean and talk. Mike would be getting home from

sports and hopping out of his old “beater” car, would see Tammy and

shout a big “Hi!” to her. If she had been to a party or on a date, they

would chat and review their lives for a short while. She looked up to

Mike now, listened to his opinions on who was a “good guy” and

who was a “stoner,” “loser” or “not worth wasting your time on”


They also, by the time Mike was in senior year, spent time talking

about their futures, dreams, college and plans. Tammy said she never

flirted nor did Mike hint at any interest in her, other than as a friend.

Neither hinted at each other being “good dating material.”

The year Mike went off in the fall to OSU to live in a dormitory, Morrell

Tower, Tammy said they were sophomores. Mary’s family never asked

Tammy to go to see the dorm or campus. Mike was not coming home

until Thanksgiving, she felt a twinge of regret but nothing really

noticeable. Two years later, when the girls graduated, Mary had chosen

Marion Technical College to study beginning nursing courses and Tammy

entered the same place to begin studying stenography, communication

and business coursework.

One hot summer evening, Mike was coming in from a day at football

camp down in Columbus, when he saw his sister and Tammy over in

her front yard. He stopped to say, “hi!’ and noticed the girls were all fixed

up and they told him they were heading over to a local Marion bar, called

the “O.K” but it was called, “O.K. Corral.” This was in the days where

you could drink something called, “3.2 beer” and you needed to be

18 or older.

Later in life, Mike told Tammy,

“Your hair looked like burnished copper, long and brushed, halfway

down your back. I noticed it being silky and even though I would never

had told you this then, I wanted to bury my hands in that hair!”

(Hot, huh?!)

He also told Tammy years later,

“When I looked at the two of you, I always used to see ‘two sisters’ but

on that evening, I saw my sister with an attractive stranger. My heart

gave a flutter, but I did not focus too long on it. Tired, went on in,

grabbed a beer and joined my Dad on the couch watching the Indians.”

Tammy remembers, though, a different look passing over his face, she

swears she noticed! She turned to his sister, Mary, and made a smart

remark, they both rolled their eyes and giggled.

She remembers his noticing the secret words whispered about him,

actually thought that they were saying he was a sweaty mess or some

other rude comment and stomped off. Tammy remembers he slammed

the front door behind him. He doesn’t remember slamming the door,

she says.

“At this point in my life”, Tammy says, she was thinking he was a foreign

person to her, enigmatic and godlike. He was an OSU football player

and she was (in her mind) ‘only a business tech student.’

When we went off that night, for some reason I did feel more confident

and I led a much better social life that summer. Mike noticed but said

not a word!

I started to date a member of a local band, he was dark, long haired and

very sexy looking. We spent a lot of time making out, sometimes in the

front of my house. We were lucky, I felt that there were no front lights

on the garage. We had so much more in common, music since I liked

seeing, and his band. I became a “groupie” and followed him to other

towns, with Mary and her boyfriend, at the time, too.

Fast forward two years later, the guy ended up going with his band

to California along with a blonde chick he noticed in his group of fans.

Mike was home from college senior year for Christmas. He had spent

the past two summers staying around Columbus, living with groups

of male students in big, ancient houses. Mary and I never went down,

not even once, to hang out with Mike and his pals. They were happily

dating other men in their classes.

Tammy recounts, “I remember it being their turn to invite us over for

a pre-holiday meal and it was just our parents and the three of us

present. Sometimes, in the past, it was more of an Open House and

we would bring dates to each other’s houses. People in the neighborhood

would be invited. We sang Christmas carols around their upright piano,

we played games of Charades. We had an odd number of people so

it ended up the team of us “kids” versus the parents. It was joyous and

I felt so at peace, I felt like we were all family. It settled down into my

heart and I felt a little differently towards Mike over this evening.

Mike had changed, he had longer hair, he was wearing older, more

raggedy blue jeans and a cream colored sweater. I thought he looked

very handsome. He no longer looked just like a “jock” or the brother

of my best friend. I thought, “if I ran into him somewhere else I would

want to dance with him or talk to him.” She went on…

“He didn’t look like anyone I had ever dated. He looked nice, REALLY nice!

I felt ‘butterflies in my stomach’ and I could not look directly into his eyes.

I was afraid he would be able to ‘read my mind!'”

Tammy told me she felt “Oh no! I am attracted to him!”

“I saw Mike head off to his room, as we were leaving and I asked if Mary

could come spend the night.”

My parents looked at us funny, we were in technical college and it had

been years since we had had a sleepover, but said, “Fine.”

Tammy confessed she had feelings for her friend’s brother and Mary

was very excited! She confessed to Tammy that she had always hoped

they would become sisters.

Although Tammy had older siblings, she also had the same feeling

about Mary, that they were ‘lifelong friends and sisters for life.’

It took almost six more years from then, Mike moved into his own

Columbus apartment, got engaged and his heart broken.

Tammy went from one man to another, always hoping that Mike

would notice that he had feelings for her, it was very similar to that

familiar 1991 song,

“Saving the Best for Last.” (Sung by Vanessa Williams. Please listen to

those lyrics if you haven’t heard it for awhile! So appropriate to this

almost frustratingly long back and forth interplay between Mike and


I also like the song, “Patience,” by Guns N Roses, that seems like it

would  apply also to this relationship.

This couple has never married but they had cosigned for a lovely

house in the country (in a place called “Big Island” in Ohio.) They

have lived under the same roof for over 24 years and next year,

they just may celebrate that 1/4 of a century with a big party.

I could not believe that Mike’s bad engagement caused him to say

he would NEVER get married!

I have my fingers crossed that at the 25th anniversary of their life

they began together may be finalized in marriage. My happily

ever after wish has been told to her on more than one occasion.

These good, steady long enduring friends, have grown up, shared

a life where their beautiful house is where their families celebrate

the holidays. They have never had children. Tammy muses,

“Maybe that might have brought Mike to his knee to ask for my

hand in marriage.”

I like to point out that old expression,


Safe relationships


I have written a few posts about my own personal experiences

with control and abuse, along with the battered women’s

shelter job as the Child Advocate. In my stories, I try to indicate

that everyone should be loved, cared about and treated in a kind

way, whether married or in a relationship. I encourage men also

to find that secure and “safe” love.

I have watched several movies over the years that had good

content, ideas and moving stories about women’s struggles

to get free and improve their lives. My story about the woman,

Maria, who lived in my apartment building was a haunting

one that from time to time, I stop and stand still. A prayer comes

to mind, then I try not to worry about her.

I just watched, “Safe Haven” and would recommend it. Although

it is not as wonderful as Nicholas Sparks’ book and following

movie, “The Notebook” which dealt with another serious subject,

Alzheimers and dementia. Both James Garner as the patient elderly

husband and Gena Rowlands make that movie meaningful through

their subtle portrayals of a couple who have been together many

years. The younger actors, Ryan Gosling and Rachel Mc Adams

portray the couple as younger and more impetuous, combatting

some class issues and yet, overcoming them.

Julia Roberts and Patrick Bergen were in the movie, “Sleeping with

the Enemy.” The story made from a book, covered similar subject of a

scary, angry husband as found in “Safe Haven.” Julia’s character has

to “fake” her own death to get away from her abusive husband.

Another fine movie, “Enough,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Billy

Campbell covers the abuse theme but I like the proactive moves that

Jennifer’s character chooses. She begins to train in getting fit by learning

skills called “Krav Maga” which teach her strength. She learns that she

must listen to her own voice and approaches her ex-husband in his own

home, breaking in to scare him one last time to leave her alone.

Jennifer’s character has hidden his guns and weapons. She pretends to be

hurt and weak, then strikes back. I won’t tell you more but I liked the fact

that she did not just hide and try to make a new life. She tries this, but the

movie and story goes beyond running, gives some other areas to develop.

I think that in “Safe Haven” it is interesting to have the “bad” man be a cop.

He makes his way  southward to Atlanta by flashing his badge to get

information. Somehow, he lands in the nice, peaceful town where the woman

lives and had found her “safe haven.” Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough

are the beautiful actors that depict the future happy couple. The chilling cop

and ex-husband “villain” is portrayed by David Lyons.

Although each movie promotes the idea of freedom from abuse and control,

I find that the dependence on a “new man” a little disconcerting. It is always

nice to have hope of a better life, more friends, and possibly a new love. But

it would be nice to show the women standing on her own two feet, being

happy and secure on their own first. Finding that “safe haven” within oneself

really is the best way to move forward wherever you head after getting out of

an abusive or controlling relationship.

I Was a Rebound Girl More Than Once!


Lunch Table Talk

While listening to one of my friends talking about how she

had finally met a good “rebound guy” I am thinking back to

my unfortunate experiences of this in a reverse role. I cringe

inside as I listen to her saying things about the “man who is

going to get me over Dave!” (A Christmas through Easter

romance.) I have genuine concern for this recent “nice guy”

who is ‘wining and dining’ her.

I was a “rebound girl” at least twice in my life. I was so caught

up with the first young man, it did not dawn on me,

“This might not last!”

When it was close to being over, I got clingy. When I knew it

was definitely over, I went into near hysterics. I was very bereft

at the time. I thought that my involvement with this man would

be different from his ex-girlfriend’s fate. Although he had been

adamant to express her blame in the break-up, I had my doubts

as the “nails in my coffin” were in place! He had many times

given me some foreshadowing that could have been warnings

to stay clear of this man!

Here are a few of the signs you need to proceed with caution:

1.  Every woman this man has been involved with caused the

break up or created the friction that ended the relationship.

This negativity can at first cause you to lend a very sympathetic

ear. (Oh yeah! I listened and murmured such empathetic

comments into this man’s ears. I vowed to never be as MEAN

as that EX was!)

Or the complete opposite is another possible warning as in:

2.  The woman (or man) is always placed on a pedestal or

held in such high esteem you wonder,

“Why did he leave her in the first place?”

I have run into this one time where she was “Miss Perfect.”

Everyone, including me, paled in comparison with the glowing

description and details that should never have been imparted

to my vivid imagination! I think of the Beatles’ song, “Something

in the Way She Moves Me.” This song depicts this princess who

you need to realize you will try and try to win this man’s love, with

no possibility of overpassing this woman’s fine attributes.

Either way, situation one or situation two, you might as well give

up and move forward.

I lingered too long when the person was in the comparison stage.

I did not realize how many situations this would impact our

relationship. I could not cook the holiday meal as well. I could not

decorate or wrap presents in the wonderful way she did. I did not

like this but somehow it set me up for my competitive self to kick it

into high gear. When it was finally gasping its final gasping breath,

I realized there was relief after not being able to be “Miss Perfect.”

Now, let’s dish! Please tell me, have you ever been the rebound

person? Have you ever had a relationship purely to ‘get over’

another person? (In other words, you got involved to rebound

from that other person?) Now, come on, we are all friends

and confidantes, aren’t we?




The Very Inspiring Award Time Again!


I was nominated by a young woman pursuing her dream of writing for

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Go see her photographs and personal

story on her blog titled:

“Be Good.”

I love L’s tattoo that says, “Love the life you live, Live the life you love.”

(Bob Marley)

This amazing woman is not only studying challenging subjects (Philosophy

and Chemistry with great grades!) in college, writing and serving on her

college newspaper staff, but writing an interesting blog!

Please check her out!

Here are the Rules to winning the award:

1. Display the award (maybe check out above reservedlove’s post with the

picture of the award! Note: my 27 year old daughter is out of town and helps

me post pictures, that is why there are rare award photos!

2. Link back to the one who nominated you! (that’s me, if you wish!)

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers who inspire and write well, for the award.

4. Notify these 15 and let them know they are nominated.

Thanks so much!

Here are my lucky 15 nominations! If only I could give you 30 or 230!

Thank you for following me and being my best commenters on the planet!!


Jules is always there for me and she may not post receiving the award but

I would truly suggest checking out her poetry, haikus/rengas and “flashy



There is so much to see on Janine’s blog, including poetry, photos, artwork,

nature and how love affects us all!


Maria’s story is heart wrenching and touching, she gives us a piece of her beautiful

self and allows us to share our stories, too.


You will find words of truth of her own experiences and take solace in her words

of comfort.


Nora has some outstanding writing skills and shows us how to get through our

life with strength and caring. She uses literary references to make us think more!


Luckily, we have no restrictions on including people who are successfully writing

a book and making us laugh at her hilarious stories! Check out Lorna’s life story!


I just want to get a coffee with this man and spend hours listening to his interesting

stories, he was in a band, he was in public and private work, including driving a

taxi. Photos included!


Karen has some outstanding words intermixed with beautiful photographs. She

leaves insightful comments and I follow her closely. She brightens my days!


Fadel and his lovely wife are shown in their photograph on his blog and his kind

words and stories are unique.


The Irish Wench is going through some challenging times, but her words will

lift you up! Such a nice twist and surprise each visit.


Andy has the male perspective on subjects such as dating and sexuality. I enjoy

the difference and angles he gives me!


Maggie is so lively and fun to read, go see her blog!


I learn a lot from seeing this Fabulous 50’s woman go to varied places

and show us the scenery and hot spots in her photographs! I tell her

that I want to ride in her luggage with her!


I cannot tell you how many times BeWithUs comments on everyone’s

blogs with such cheerful and caring words! The giving back to each

other skill is definitely their gift to all of us!


Lidia’s pages are very colorful and enjoyable.

I am sure that there are always more people who should have been nominated

and I based my list on the ones who have been recently most inspiring to me!

Hopefully, you will go to their sites and read and enjoy them. Along with choosing

others who would make your own very inspiring bloggers’ lists!

Thanks for reading and many wishes for your continued happiness, Robin