My Last Easter Dress

It’s Easter Sunday 1964 in Concord, California, it’s a beautiful spring day and I’m eight years old. I’m wearing the beautiful, new Easter dress and white shoes my mother bought me, an outfit we really couldn’t afford but one she bought anyway because company was coming. I didn’t particularly like dresses because I was a tomboy, but I posed proudly in this one to make my mother happy.

The grandparents and my aunt and uncle are visiting, the drinks are flowing and the hors d’oeuvres are being gobbled up. Meanwhile, the kids are outside playing and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. The boys go out back into the huge field behind our house and I follow. They discover the dirt is still soft and wet from last week’s rain storm and the soil is just right. Just right for a dirt clod fight.

We divide up into teams and start hurling dirt clods at each other. All you had to do was grab a handful of the tall grass, twist it and yank it out of the ground, dirt clod attached. One swing over the head and it was ready to fly. Bombs away!

Oh, that was a good time. A good time until I got home. My new, white shoes were ruined and my dress was muddy. My mother scolded me and said, “That’s the last Easter dress you’re ever going to get,” and she held true to her word. She never bought me another Easter dress and she certainly never bought me any white clothes again.

Written by Susan 4/1/18

Lost & Found

I live alone and have no kids, cats or dogs, so how is it my stuff goes missing? There’s the time six years ago that I couldn’t find my car keys. It was moving day and the movers were just about finished loading my stuff into their truck, but I couldn’t find my keys. There weren’t many places to look since everything was pretty much packed up. I ended up finding my keys in the refrigerator. I blamed that one on the mover for distracting me when he came into the kitchen to ask me something while I had the refrigerator door open.

Then my $2 drug store readers went missing a few months ago. I didn’t get all riled up about that and just pulled another cheap pair from my glasses’ drawer. Shortly thereafter, a friend came over to visit and spotted them under my recliner chair. But then two two weeks ago my scarf went missing. It’s a very soft, blue scarf that I throw around my neck and wear around the house every day during the winter. One minute I had it around my neck and the next minute it was gone. Missing in action.

I do take it off during the day – every time I have a hot flash – so I knew it hadn’t gone far. I figured it would turn up within the hour, but when there was no sign of it, I started searching. I looked in my scarf drawer. I got down on my cranky old knees and looked under my recliner chair and under the couch. I looked in my bedroom and in my laundry basket. I looked inside the washer and dryer to see if it was in there. Nothing. Nada.

A week later, I pretty much gave up and got another scarf out of my scarf drawer, but that scarf wasn’t as nice because it’s stiff and hasn’t been broken in. Another week goes by and I’m still missing my old blue scarf. Then one day I went into my kitchen and opened the very bottom cabinet to get my vitamins and viola! There it was! My beloved scarf. Go figure.

I’m sure something else will go missing. It’s just a matter of time. I guess I’m just going to have to have two of everything from now on.

Written by Susan 3/26/18

There is no After After

I find it odd that this drawing is making its rounds on social media after Stephen Hawking’s death. Everyone knows he was an atheist and didn’t believe in the after life. Stephen said:

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he said. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

He also said:

“I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

I also find it disturbing that the image has him walking and free of his wheelchair. It’s as if to imply that you’re not whole unless you are able-bodied. If anything, Stephen proved to us that it is possible to have a very full, accomplished life without an able body. I don’t think he’d like this image at all and I know I certainly don’t.

Written by Susan 3/14/18

United We Stand

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me to “fuck off” publicly on Facebook. I was shocked, to say the least. This was a woman I went to high school with and we kept in touch through Facebook. I live in California and she lives in Maryland, and a week before this incident she had invited me to come visit her. Go figure.

She didn’t like something I posted and, rather than message me privately to discuss it, she let her fingers fly with her crude, knee-jerk response; words she wouldn’t dare say to me in person.

I’m over it now, but it hit me hard at the time. I even cried, because I couldn’t believe how cruel the world’s become. I’m saddened that society’s come to this – apparently, you’re either with us or against us and there’s no room for anything in between. We can’t even have a civil conversation, and it appears we’re not entitled to our opinions anymore either.

Between the divisiveness in this country and the ability to hide behind your remarks on social media, we’re living in a dangerous time. We will not succeed as a country and our relationships will not survive if we continue this way. I miss the old days when you could share your opinion and not be skewered for it. Or better yet, you’d keep your thoughts to yourself and your mouth shut. What a concept.

Written by Susan (3/13/18)