Cirrus Clouds

Boy, yesterday was brutal. Was doing so well with my break-up, then BOOM. Cried out a ton of memories. It was a zombie day. Good for nuthin’ but tears.

In better shape today. Took myself to the community pool this morning for a swim. The water was unexpectedly chilly. Shock therapy! Guess the nights have been a few degrees cooler since my last swim.

As I did my slow backstroke, I looked up and saw cirrus clouds painted across a bright blue sky. Cool weather clouds. Way up high. I love cirrus clouds.

They gave me hope–hope that there really will be an end to south Florida’s long, hot summer, hope for an autumn filled with new beginnings. Just hope.

Posted in autumn, beauty, emotions, human interest, love, nature, poetry, psychology, relationships, romance, sadness, spirituality, women | 2 Comments

The Oak Leaf

I was about to open my fridge yesterday–
the door’s like a big bulletin board–
cute magnets, family pics, pizza phone numbers.
Covered with stuff I rarely take the time to look at.
All of a sudden I saw a long, jaggedy oak
leaf I’d taped on there a couple years ago.
It fell from a tall tree one windy day while
I was sitting in a pasture belonging
to the man I loved. I watched the falling
leaf spiral around on the wind
before landing gently as a feather,
picked it up and brought it home with me,
wrote a poem about it.
Seeing it so unexpectedly six days
into my break-up with the
owner of that oak tree,
gave my heart a little stab.
I’m going to leave the leaf there
for a while.
Maybe even forever.

Posted in autumn, beauty, emotions, human interest, love, nature, nostalgia, poetry, psychology, relationships, romance, sadness, spirituality, women | Leave a comment

The First Few Days

I’m watching ballet on PBS tonight. He knows I love ballet. He’s probably watching it and thinking of me. Like I’m thinking of him thinking of me.  But maybe not. Maybe he’s asleep. He always pooped out early watching PBS shows in his special ergonomic desk chair. His head would nod and sometimes almost hit the desk. It used to worry me. But eventually he’d get up and head for bed, with me not far behind.

It’s hard to think of him but I always am. That’s how it is right after a breakup. You don’t want to think about them but it’s all you do. Perverse. Then one day you realize you haven’t thought about them for a couple hours. And then you start thinking.

Just takes time. Trying not to second guess myself, not to backslide. Hoping he’s OK even though I have no right to–I’m the one who pulled the plug after all.  Did I do the right thing?  Will I ever love again?  Be strong, girl, don’t look back. And yet I do. Perverse.

Posted in beauty, dance, emotions, human interest, love, poetry, psychology, relationships, sadness, spirituality, women | 5 Comments


Gearing up for the storm.
Lots of big trees around here
and this lady’s packing a wallop.
Tried to think of everything.
Jugs of water, stuff to eat,
batteries, lanterns, candles,
backpack packed, shelters googled,
everything out of the yard,
even made a couple DIY sandbags.
Got a bike helmet for my noggin,
double-bagged my favorite
clothes in watertight plastic.
Important docs and baby pix
in the dishwasher.
My body’s tired of hurricane prep.
Tomorrow I’ll duct tape the windows.
Just in case.

Posted in adventure, emotions, fear, human interest, nature, poetry, psychology, spirituality | 5 Comments

My Sister’s Poem

I touched the moon;
it was soft
and dusty.
I knew it would be.

Susan Cowart Norbut

Posted in beauty, emotions, family, human interest, love, nature, nostalgia, poetry, psychology, relationships, spirituality, women | 2 Comments


Back from the neighborhood pool. There’s a married couple there who are regulars. Nice folks. He’s a friendly whale, talks to everyone, swims to ease his back troubles.  She’s big and beautiful, long auburn braid; placid, patient, smiling. I like the way they are with each other. There’s a smoothness about them.

So after getting out of the pool I plopped myself on a reclining pool chair to air dry under the big umbrella for a while.  It felt good to lie there with a little breeze blowing and my eyes closed. Peaceful.  The auburn-haired woman sat not far away under the umbrella and before long her husband climbed out of the pool and  joined her.

As I lay there just a few feet away from them–there but not really there–they started talking. She told him about a Power Point project she was working on; he made suggestions.  Then they moved on to the eclipse coming that afternoon. He’d be on a customer call, would miss it. Said he’d be working this evening. Yellow rice and beans when he got home.

I just laid there with their harmonious words flowing over me like the breeze.

Posted in emotions, friendship, human interest, love, nature, poetry, psychology, relationships, romance, spirituality, Uncategorized, women | 4 Comments

Butterfly in the Rain

I woke up from an afternoon snooze on my living room sofa to a gray Florida rain.  Not a downpour, but steady. Everything was gray– the sky, the rain, even the tree in front of my living room window looked gray.

Between my window and the tree there was a butterfly–looking very out of place–a butterfly as gray-looking as everything else, scrambling up the air, then down, then up again.

The rain kept beating it down and it kept fluttering back up. Over and over. An exercise in futility. Why didn’t it just land somewhere and wait it out?  You wouldn’t think a butterfly would be so insistent, or so strong.

Posted in beauty, emotions, human interest, love, nature, poetry, psychology, senior citizens, spirituality | Leave a comment

My Happy Place

It’s been around since forever; retro, cheap and clean. Three mornings a week, May through October, I throw on my swimsuit and head out to our little municipal pool for a swim.

When I first hit the water I feel like a kid. I love the buoyancy, the sparkling aquamarine with sunlight bouncing off it. I love pushing off from the side of the pool with my feet, the feeling of strength as I propel through the liquid silk of the water, love looking up at the sky as I do my backstroke, seeing the clouds. A speck of a bird way up high.

There’s a group of regulars there that I’ve come to know. Lots of them retirees like me but plenty of supple young athletes too–practicing their  strokes, staying in shape. Black, White, Latino, young, old. It’s a mixed bag but this place makes us water buddies.

Today 92-year old Fred was doing his thing in the next lane, slow but steady. When he walks down the steps into the water he’s all stooped over, looking ancient, but he says his hurts disappear as soon as he’s in.

Then there’s Shirley and Mike, the couple from South Africa. They razz each other. She’s a better swimmer than him. “Yay! He left the side of the pool!” she teased when he finally got going.

And Alfredo, the 300+ lb Spanish guy who’s there every day doing his slow backstroke wearing the same floppy hat. He doesn’t say much but he’s sweet; a gentle giant going back and forth.

Then there’s the music– happy songs from the boom box.  Music that makes you want to kick those feet, move those arms, pick up the pace.

Towards the end of my swim, the little kids line up for lessons. Some timid, some full of beans. I love hearing the instructor call out their names.  Lilly, Kyla, Nicolette, Ernesto. Every glistening little body a future in the making.

After an hour of cool, blue water I pull myself out, lay in the sun a few minutes to dry off, wave good-bye and head home, ready to tackle the day.

Posted in birds, emotions, family, health, human interest, humor, love, nature, poetry, psychology, relationships, senior citizens, spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Me and my Hula Hoop

The year was 1957, the place Homestead, Florida. I was ten years old and a darn good hula hooper. One day at my Catholic school we had a hula hoop contest in PE class.  At the end of the period me and this other girl, a skinny thing named Joy Gadway – can’t believe I still remember her name – were the only ones still going.

In order to wrap things up, the nuns in charge decided we should have a “dog fight” to determine the winner.  I’d never done one before. You walk toward each other, hoops spinning around your waist, and clash hoops, hoping theirs careens out of orbit and hits the ground before yours.

I’m not a very aggressive person.  We’d been taught by these same nuns to make nice, after all, and I took it seriously. I wasn’t  cut out for dog fighting. Evidently, Joy was.  She came at me, got in a good swipe and my hoop went down, down, down.  She won and I came in second. But without that stupid dog fight I might’ve outlasted her.

Fast forward 59 years. I’m hooping again. All because of a Fifties sock hop I got invited to a few weeks ago, complete with hula hoop contest. I already had a hoop. I saw it at a toy store when my grandsons were little, bought it for old times sake, then after a couple attempts stashed it away for “some day when I have time.”

That “some day” had arrived.  I found the hoop buried in my utility room, hosed it off and tried it out. My hips were a little rusty and I only lasted 50 swivels. Not pretty. It was easier when I was ten!  But I kept practicing and got up to 300. And won the sock hop hula hoop contest!  Granted, the competition among my 60-something rivals wasn’t very steep, and there was no dog fight, but a win is a win.

I’m still hooping. 300 swivels a few times a day just to get the blood moving, and working my way up little by little. Great for the waistline. And if I find a fellow hooper maybe I can even challenge them to a dog fight. I wonder if Joy Gadway’s still around.

Posted in children, emotions, health, human interest, humor, nostalgia, psychology, senior citizens, spirituality, women | 3 Comments

A Breeze Blowing Through

The other day I was sitting on the sofa across from a south facing window, in full lotus, getting ready to meditate. It’s usually an exercise in futility for me but sometimes I achieve a state of semi-peace. Nothing major.  I just sit.

As I sat there, not really into it yet, I thought about how my notion of God has changed over the years. I used to be very religious, grew up Catholic. But, over time, organized religion seemed to pinch, like shoes a little too small for my feet.

Gradually I left it behind. “Spiritual but not religious” became my new religion. Whatever encouraged me to open wide to love and life, to connect.  I meditate in order to immerse myself in something larger than myself, something I don’t understand. I’m part believer, part agnostic, part atheist. It’s not real comfortable living without certainties, but it’s where I’m at.

So as I sat facing the window, before closing my eyes, I opened myself to the “Universe,” not knowing to Whom or What, if anything, I was opening. Just then a breeze blew through the big green leaves of the trees right outside my window. And for that instant I knew.

Posted in emotions, human interest, nature, poetry, psychology, relationships, spirituality | 4 Comments