Category Archives: partner

Sweaters and Thanksgiving Thoughts


When I opened my drawer full of sweaters to search for the ones with

Autumn colors, I ended up having to empty the whole drawer onto my

bed. I could not seem to find the one with its patchwork appearance.

Although, as a preschool teacher I had several turkey pins, along with

some orange, brown and tan sweaters, there was always this special one

I wore and called it my Thanksgiving sweater.


While I looked at my wide collection of fall and cold weather offerings,

I was smiling since some of them were getting pretty ‘raggedy,’ while

others were less in style. I started thinking about sweaters and their





I had

an epiphany:

Sweaters are like our family members.

While you are thinking about the upcoming celebratory feast, you may

have some positive thoughts and you  may have some misgivings,  too.

I hope you will see some of the anthropomorphic references in this poem,

of sorts and I also hope it amuses you.

Wishing you a wonderful gathering of family and friends. I hope it is an

extra special time, with pleasant memories of past holidays spoken of

and cherished, too. Those who have gone on and had their unique places

in your family festivities, hope you will have some of the elderly guests

share some more of their own personal memories of the loved ones.

I also admire the idea of going around the table and all sharing their

reasons for being thankful. This family tradition is often part of our own

ritual. I have been lately asking the little ones, “What was your favorite

part of this year, so far?” I like to try and remember them, to put in their

personal albums, which include their photographs and memorabilia we

have collected along our ways. (Tickets for movies, zoo or museums, as

well as menus and maps. I have a few of their drawings included, too.)


“Sweaters and Family”

November 24, 2014


Sweaters come in all colors,

They come in all sizes, too.

Sweaters can be quite worn

and scruffy looking,

While some may be in

brand new condition.


There are the loud ones,

and there are low key

kinds of sweaters.


Each has their place,






There are those scratchy ones,

who seem to always irritate you.

There are those sweet, dear ones,

who can ‘do no wrong.’

They never grow old

nor out of style.


Some are so big and stretched

while others are such pint-sized.

There are the lumpy ones which have

lots of pills,

there are the smooth, soft ones, too.


There are the old, familiar ones

and the surprising ones who

unexpectedly turn up.

Those especially nice ones

appear out of nowhere

to discover and include

around the holidays.


When rummaging around in your

sweater drawers or storage tubs,

keep in mind how much you love

them all. . .


You certainly would not wish to

ignore them

or discard.

Even those

who are


a bit.

They are an integral

part of colder





as well save them

for next year, too.


by Robin O. Cochran


Do you have a favorite story about sweaters?

If you wish, I would enjoy reading about some of your family

traditions. . .



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)







Serenity can be found in various circumstances.

Happiness is within our own grasp. We can control

what most of our choices are. I have heard this

phrase, “We are our own keys to our happiness.”

Of course, unforeseen and horrible catastrophes

occur every day. I am not simplifying this post

to make it fit the word. Solitude could mean the

death of a special someone or something. I would

not wish this on anyone. The choices we can handle

and control are the ones you need to set your goal

or focus on.

What do you really want in life?

How do you want to live it?

Does your plan work for happiness with or without

someone to be a partner with?

What steps will you take to help you find someone

if that is how you want to lead your life?

If you like solitude, what will you do to ensure you

will be able to keep it?

Solitude has been a ‘foreign’ place my entire life.

I was the only girl child with two brothers. I did

not have to ‘share’ many tangible things. The baby

dolls, toys, kitchen sets, bikes, clothing articles

and bedroom were ‘all mine.’

But on many a night, I would lie awake, hearing the

voices of my two brothers talking, whispering in their

conspiratorial ways, without my being included. Then,

hearing sometimes, my father tell them to, “Be quiet!”

With an “or else,” attached. Several times, though, I

would creep into their room to ‘bunk’ with one of my

brothers. This was especially true while a young child,

in elementary school even in middle school, occasionally.

By the time I reached high school, I had developed a

habit of reading myself to sleep. I was beyond the age

where my parents would have read to me, unless it were

a chapter in a book that happened to be of interest to

my Dad. I have recounted my Dad’s love of Sir Arthur

Conan Doyle, while we would drift off to sleep with

murders and mayhem in our dreams.

Solitude was an ‘okay’ place to be. I am a social and

sociable person. I have been in one or two relationships

with quiet men. Ones who thrived on their own space,

art or music, sometimes books or computer work. They

didn’t mind hiking alone, running errands without me

or having their own separate interests. I would feel

left out, if it were many hours on their own, trying

to get myself included into their plans. I am one who

enjoys holding someone’s hand in movies, on walks or

hikes and during daily activities. I don’t even like

to shop that much alone. Strange, since this is one

place I see women, in the grocery stores, malls or

mega box stores, shopping to their heart’s content!

I like men who are ‘deep’ and philosophical, like my

good and long lasting friend, Bill. But I also think that

hanging out with him every weekend is not where I

want to be either. We have our ‘once a month routine,’

which suits me just fine. For quite some time, his

being with Heather was my “safety net” keeping a little

boundary from our getting into a more frequent plan of

action. I am not interested in him in a one on one

relationship. I can honestly say, I don’t want to go

down that path with Bill.

Ours is a partial path in life, at parks, meals out,

seeking necessary or special found items at stores,

and searching book and thrift stores. That is all I am

ever expecting our friendship to include. I am grateful

for Bill, who thinks I am intelligent, sane and fun to

be around. This validation keeps me feeling those three

factors days after our visits together!

I had a roommate from age 18-22 in college, in the busy

summers I worked two years at Cedar Point, where I had 3

unique roommates.

I went to a national acting camp, where I had a roommate

from Florida, one from Alaska and one from New York. It was

so interesting to write to them and hear of their lives and

activities after that time spent together.

Finally, I had marriage from ages 22-28 with children,

that kept me company, even while divorced. A break, a leap

of faith, another marriage. Divorced again. Then, for seven

whole years and 9 long summers, I was a single Mom.

I have been, seriously, this is how I call it: ‘on my own’

again for almost 8 years. It is still a ‘new’ feeling to

walk in the door and have no one to recount my day with.

Unless one of my three children, a couple of dear friends

call or a neighbor drops by to talk to me, after I finish

blogging, the library staff are the last ones to wish me,

“Good night!”

I am not complaining but I am contemplating, thinking and

reflecting. Am I still happy by myself? Is everything okay

with this solitude?

There are no fights, disagreements or bickering. On the

other hand, there are no calls from the door, “Honey, I’m

home!” or “What’s for dinner?” There isn’t even a paid

companion… oh, a cat or dog, which require pet deposits!

I can eat however I like, presumably, and not get lectured

or asked, “Is this all you planned to eat?” Yes, cereal,

popcorn, soup and other simple foods get digested and I

am still healthy. No doctors have found my diet to be

totally inadequate. I ‘splurge’ and eat out with my

friends or occasional dates. I cook up a big casserole

every Sunday and pack it daily into my lunch box.

I would like to say ‘solitude’ means ‘serenity,’ but I

cannot agree with the equation. I feel like a significant

piece of my life’s puzzle is missing.

My oldest daughter, the one who did not marry last January,

asked me if we could live together. Oh, my darling two

grandsons and she with me. I love them to ‘death’ but I

just saw that being not the perfect fit.

What would the perfect fit ‘look like?’ Who knows!

I am certainly not qualified to be able to recognize him

when I see him! I am not lonely, in any sense of the

term either.

A simple call or text to any of my three children or my

daughter-in-law brings dinner invitations and loving arms

wrapped around me tightly. My six little grandchildren

beg me to take them home, when I visit…

I am finally content and happy with not having someone

always with me. It is a constant readjustment, but it

is where I need to be right now.

Oh, one more song, that I think could have be in the post

about overcoming life’s challenges. An advantage to being

‘alone’ is, I can really sing this one out loud:

“Brave,” by Sara Bareilles. It is not written for the

animated cartoon movie (2012) of the same name, it came

out the following year, 2013. Here are some of my favorite


“….Everybody’s been there,

Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy.

Fallen for the fear,

And done some disappearing.

Bow down to the mighty,

Don’t run, just stop holding your thoughts.”


“Say what you wanna say,

And let the words fall out.

Honestly, I wanna see you be brave…

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live

Maybe one of these days you can let the light in…”

“Show me how big your brave is!”

This is another song, my grandkids ‘belt out’ to the


Or. you can go the opposite direction and be pensive and

contemplative in your quiet solitude. As I sometimes do,

(I put on my old Simon and Garfunkel 45 record) and listen

to, “The Sound of Silence.” Did you know that the lyrics

were started after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in

November, 1963? Paul Simon completed them and the song came

out in February, 1964. Another fifty years ago anniversary!

Here is the opening passage that gives me chills:

“Hello darkness, my old friend.

I’ve come to talk with you again.

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

still remains,

Within the sound of silence.”

Later, when the passage speaks of ten thousand

people… doesn’t this song make you feel the

pain of JFK’s death?

“And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dared disturb the sound of silence…”