Friday, August 10, 2018

eye contact...

If you ever have the chance to look into the eyes of a stranger whose face reads like a great novel, do not pass it up.

The stories you discover there may just change your life.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Grandpa's watch...

It had belonged to his father and it was one of the only things he'd brought to this country with him.

He would sit in front of the television set at night watching the boxing matches.

Every once in a while he'd throw a punch in the air in solidarity.

We'd be in the doorway watching, giggling.

He made wine in the basement.

You could smell the grapes fermenting when you went to get the laundry.

He always wore suspenders and flannel shirts, even in the summer.

He'd wait until he thought no one was looking before giving the dog a piece of whatever he was eating.

Then he'd pet her until someone happened to glace over in which case he'd push the dog away as if she was bothering him.

He did the same with me when I was little but I knew it was all for show.

He was afraid of looking weak, looking too nice.

He spent many years in a nursing home unaware of his surrounding's or the people who visited.

It broke my heart.

The watch sat on the bedside table along with a photograph of his wife until the day he passed away.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Grandma's Hands...

My grandma's hands used to be agile and limber, but her fingers became a tangle of pain brought by arthritis that made them ache sometimes and swell.

They were graceful and limber and floated effortlessly across the piano's keyboard.

She'd crochet for hours, the needles moving so fast they were a blur.

Then her hands grew stiff and gnarled, they abandoned her.

They left her to cringe each time they moved.

But once upon a time those same hands would scoop me up into her lap where I would stay until I fell asleep.

Those precious hands that put way too many bandages on way too many of my scrapes and scratches.

Hands that bled from hard work.

Hands that comforted and caressed.

They used to hand me candy from her apron pocket.

My grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning.

They dressed grandpa in his best suit when he was laid to rest.

Then they wiped away tears for a love that had lasted over fifty six years.

I don't have grandma anymore.

If I ever get to heaven I'll look for...

grandma's hands.

*inspired by the song; Grandma's Hands by Bill Withers.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Her gran had come from the Midwest.

About a year after immigrating to the United States, Gran's father had been given twenty five acres to homestead in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

That's where gran grew up.

Among the wheat fields and the oil wells.

Gran had passed away nearly 10 years ago now.

And all that was left of Bartlesville was a silver souvenir spoon that she used in the sugar bowl gran had given her one Christmas.

*In reality, Bartlesville still exists and is doing just fine.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

And in the afternoon, walks with cheetahs....

It was something in their eyes that had first made her want to photograph them.

Not just anywhere though.

It had to be in Namibia.

She couldn't explain why, but that is where she had to go.

Everyone told her it would be impossible.

They weren't on a savanna like in East Africa.

They were hidden in amongst the thorny bush of the veld. 

Even if she found them it would be near impossible to photograph them in the wild.

She went anyway.

And in the hours before the sun would set, everything turned an impossibly golden yellow that made it appear as if the tall savanna grasses were glowing and alive.

She found the cheetahs and came back with hundreds of photographs.

Always follow your heart, it will never lie to you.
You may misinterpret it, but it will never lie to you.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The party in power...

They watched and listened and they said nothing.

One degrading incident after another.

Day after day, week after week, month after month.

Still they said nothing.

They watched as children were ripped from their mothers arms.

They watched as funds for veteran's and teacher's and the elderly were slashed and they said nothing.

They watched as our reputation as a country, as a people was decimated and destroyed in every corner of the world and they shrugged.

They stood silent as our allies were bullied and humiliated and our enemies were glorified and embraced.

They were mute as our constitution became irrelevant word by word.

What will they say to their children when they ask; "where were your voices"?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

shine on...

He had always been fascinated by the stars and the planets.

Once she had explained to him that we were all made of stardust.

That we all contained bits and pieces of exploded stars and planets floating through the universe.

She stood looking up into the night sky remembering those evenings when they would go out into the field in back of the Dairy Queen, put down a blanket and lay there watching the stars overhead.

She'd point out the constellations and by the time he was 4, he knew them all by heart.

Cassiopeia was his favorite.

He had said that if we were all made of stardust that we all had our own way to shine and wouldn't it be something if we all decided to shine at the same time?

Now there would be no more stories about moon beams and galaxies...

but there is still that shine.


Shine on sweetie...