ABC Thriller

Alyson jumped over the wall. But I knew better.

Carefully, I unlatched the lock at the nearby gate.

Decidedly easier,” I mumbled to myself. Even though Alyson was lying on the ground moaning, I kept walking. Frankly, my best friend was a bit of an actress, and I’d learned over the years to ignore her drama.

Gathering courage, I set my shoulders back and forged ahead. Continue reading

Driving with the Top Down

In honor of my mom’s 94th birthday on February 28, I’m dedicating this post to her, mothers, daughters

ocean City NJ, Atlantic OceanI am here again, traveling along the same flat road, watching the tall green maples and oaks turn to scrubby, smaller bush and pine. What is it about my primordial need to return to the ocean – the Atlantic Ocean – every year?

As I breathe in the hot humid New Jersey air, a mixture of dirt, gas, grass, asphalt and salt water, I wonder if it’s just a childhood memory that needs to be rewritten and retold yearly.  After all, as a child . . .

“Why is he traveling so closely behind you?  How fast are you going?” my mother interrupts my slow, careful thoughts. Continue reading

Driving with the Top Down

In honor of my mom’s 94th birthday on February 28, I’m dedicating this post to her, mothers, daughters

ocean City NJ, Atlantic OceanI am here again, traveling along the same flat road, watching the tall green maples and oaks turn to scrubby, smaller bush and pine. What is it about my primordial need to return to the ocean – the Atlantic Ocean – every year?

As I breathe in the hot humid New Jersey air, a mixture of dirt, gas, grass, asphalt and salt water, I wonder if it’s just a childhood memory that needs to be rewritten and retold yearly.  After all, as a child . . .

“Why is he traveling so closely behind you?  How fast are you going?” my mother interrupts my slow, careful thoughts. Continue reading

A Whole New World

Kauai,

A whole new world.

I’m standing in line waiting for a towel, of all things.

At our vacation spot, I’m holding my towel card at the Activity Desk, but four other people are ahead of me, and they all seem to be ready to rent chairs, kayaks, and surf boards. I may have a long wait ahead of me.

But one of the clerks behind the desk motions toward me in excitement. Since I’m four people behind the desk, I’m not sure what he’s pointing out. I smile, raise my finger to my new straw hat, and mouth “Thanks.”

He shakes his head no and points lower. Then he moves his head from side to side while holding his hands over his ears. Whaaa? Continue reading

The Joke’s on Them

soda shop, 1940s, true story, before WWIIWhen the older man enters the soda shop, Nev ignores him and continues wiping down the counter. The usual customers are teenagers right after school. But it’s 5:30 now, and Nev just wants to finish up his chores and get home.

“Coca Cola, son,” the man says. He must be over 40, and wears a business hat and fedora, carrying a briefcase. Nev fills the glass and takes it over to the bar stool.

They share some incidentals. The man works in the city and takes the train to work every day. The high schooler relates that his mom works two jobs; his dad hasn’t been around since he was 2, so he pitches in when he can.

“That you I see smoking with the Zoot suiters some days near the train station?” the man asks. Continue reading