Maybe We DO All Live in a Yellow Submarine…

pixabay, yello submarineWhen I saw him standing there, I was transported immediately to Yesterday.

Somewhere on Penny Lane where blackbirds sing, I fell in love with him.  I promised to be true, just as he asked, even though I was just 17 and not yet a paperback writer.

Now, in a vast concert hall where everyone was twisting and shouting, my best friend, Eleanor Rigby, began to scream. Continue reading

Delicate Object

sunrise, sunset, photographySometimes I wonder if souls can shatter, despite their superb strength.

As I drive the seven hours to my mom’s facility where she is suffering from end-stage dementia, my heart beats fast and fills up with pale blue, silky pink emotions. At 6:30 a.m. I’ve been driving for over an hour. The sun begins its rosy ascent over the paved hard highway, and I’m lulled by the soft snores of my daughter in the passenger seat and my two young grandsons in the back seat, covered from chin to toe in soft flannel blankets. Continue reading

Signed Sealed Delivered bring the package to a post office 20 minutes away from my hometown.

In my local post office, the clerks have no sense of humor. One town over, the postal clerks are much too officious, and one town away from them, the line is always too long and the lobby smells of old wet non-delivered letters.

I don’t want to be rushed or frowned on or holding my nose when I send a precious package to my mom. She lives seven hours away and misses me. My packages are one way for us to feel closer.

I sidle up to the “friendly”  post office counter, trying to look relaxed and casual. “Do you think I’m being too optimistic?” I ask shyly, pushing my parcel in front of the male clerk. Continue reading

Pet Peeves

pet peevesMany of my friends have pet peeves.

I don’t.

A pet peeve is a gripe we like to handle and stroke, encourage and feed, like a pet.

Some enjoy finding irritation just around the corner. And granted, irritations are always around the corner, like bad traffic.

(Speaking of which, are driving rules different now? Are new drivers taught NOT to signal when they turn left or right? Because the majority of drivers seem to think they’re the only ones on the road; they just turn whenever and wherever they damn well please, no warning necessary).

But these drivers don’t get to me. Oh no, no peeving platitudes from me.

I hear many complaints from those vexed with the self-appointed “important” person in front of them – at the bank or the grocery store, for instance – who ignores the clerk ringing up her goods or cash so she can answer her extremely crucial phone call, the one in which she responds with chortles and chatter, while the hapless clerk and the people in line behind her wait patiently for the immensely essential exchange to end, so that everyone can get along with their business.

Such inane indifference to the inappropriate disruption of everyone else’s needs doesn’t bother me in the least.

Oh no, I refuse to pet the peeve, just breathing in and out, whistling a happy tune, and wishing only the best for the batty bitch.

I understand the exasperation of those who try to communicate with their friends and family who never answer their phones. Many extremely busy people only respond to texts (when convenient) and laugh at the idea of listening to voice mail messages.

I just shrug in acceptance.

“How do you stay so calm when you can’t reach someone by phone, when they won’t even listen to your messages?” my dear friends ask. “My kids won’t listen to the voice mail even if I text them that I’ve left them a critical message!”

I smile serenely and explain, “I sing.”


“When I leave a message for someone on their voice mail, after trying e-mail, text, and even a sweet snail-mail card, I call their voice mail and sing “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” from the Beatles Rubber Soul album, – from the first verse to the last.”

Beatels, music, singing, I've Just Seen a Face

Illustration by Josh Kemble.
Click image to hear song.

The stunned horrified expression on my buddies’ faces always makes me grin.

“And then what?” they whisper in shock.

“I get a call back.”

A jealous gasp.

I don’t mention that the return call may be a week later. Or that the recipient of my Beatles tune never ever acknowledges my singing message.

But that’s okay. I don’t believe in petting the peeve.

pet peeve, pet's peeve

Who Am I? Who Are You?

Who Am I?I’m a curly-haired woman who loves fairytale fantasy, long walks along the water, communing silently with babies and animals, and reading for hours in a deep plush chair while sipping Tropical Green tea.

I dislike vapid vain chatter; inconsiderate drivers who turn without blinking; wayward souls who act as if they run the world; grocery carts with broken wheels; men who pinch women’s rears (yes, still!); unanswered e-mails; unplucked eyebrows; arguments; orange vests; and fruit drinks.

My heart soars with the soft, whisper-filled kisses of little ones; a sun salutation on a Hawaiian beach; a spontaneous loud laugh m&m'sfrom a coworker; a handful of M&M’s, particularly the green or blue ones; a sudden embrace from my irreplaceable guy.

The sounds I most enjoy: the swish of pens on paper (and the clack of a laptop) during one of my creative writing classes; the pounding surf on the New Jersey seashore; the beat of a Beatles tune; the bark of Henry, the dog, as he sits in front of his cookie jar,; the beginning melody of The Nutcracker Suite ballet; the soft plop of an omelet-filled plate placed in front of me at a sunny San Francisco corner café; the ‘hello Pammy’ call from my effervescent magnetic mom.

Hawaiian beach, solitude, happiness, loveLife is worthwhile because of soft classical music on a cold Sunday morning; two-hour conversations with a long-time friend; a tall diffident son who stares deeply into my eyes and says, ‘Love you, Mom’; a 2-year-old grandchild who sits quietly, attentively on my lap while listening to Good Night Moon; a foggy afternoon writing stories about people I’ve never met; a man who runs out to buy my special Earl Gray tea latte, non-fat milk with foam at 6:15 in the morning; a beautiful daughter who wears her heart on every sleeve and her love in her morning glory eyes.

That’s who I am.

Who are you?