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Bingo!

Twelve years old in 1967 and we stood appalled at where the world might lead a body and its mind. Francine and I had worked with our Girl Scout troop for hours collecting baby food jars, soil, moss, tiny flowering herbs and ribbons to tie around the bottom of small, handcrafted terrariums. They were gifts of spring for a local home for the aged. We were excited to be selected as ambassadors for our troop and took the responsibility quite seriously.

Upon our arrival, friendly nurses asked if we wanted to take the gifts to the residents. Delighted, we started to go bed to bed along a corridor. Old, wrinkled people lay in the beds; some chipper, some not, some simply not there. Our gifts were greeted with joy though. It seemed even in this state of woe, their best faces met us as we came by. We smiled and chattered through emotions neither Fran nor I had ever experienced. Drama unfolded when handing the small terrarium to a woman who perked up and accepted it with bright eyes. Her elb…

Losing at the Slots

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Last night was too much fun! With only a couple days at Treasure Island in Vegas, I was excited to find a gambling buddy!

He was winning nicely on one of their quarter slot machines when I started hitting on mine just a couple away. He glanced over with dancing eyes. Obviously this nameless gentleman enjoyed watching others win as much as scoring for himself. His attitude was downright infectious!

A real estate broker, at least 60 years old, he visits Las Vegas monthly. It is quite apparent that he is aware of a gambling problem. This knowledge keeps him staying and playing the small ticket slots.

Our chatter was all about the thrill of the spin as much as the excitement of the win; the anticipation of the ‘almost’ and the groan of nothing at all.

I was up $100 when I realized I was expected with my group for dinner. It was a fabulous meal but the fever kept me restless!

Two hours later I'm back anxiously looking about for some sign of my compadre. The sulk ended as I heard, then saw h…

Duathlon

I couldn’t conceive of doing the triathlon; can’t swim. But, I was intrigued to discover that there was a duathlon. No swimming; only running and biking. I had biked off and on for several years, but had only been running for about 6 weeks. Frankly, this in itself was quite a feat for me. The last 30 years were spent telling anyone who suggested jogging or running as a viable form of exercise or stress relief, just how much I despised it. There I was, though, stretching and pacing about with a group of a hundred of my peers preparing to run 2 miles, bike 18.5 miles and then run another 3.1. There were 500 plus other participants who would start off swimming one-half mile rather than run the first 2 miles. They were the triathletes.

I was prepared for a big “On your mark. Get set. GO!” or ”Runners, take your positions!” Instead, there was a low key announcement made over a bullhorn about 20 minutes after the event was scheduled to begin. So low key that only the movement of the crowd ah…

A Little "Big Easy"

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Sitting home tonight is downright boring! We're just 18 hours off the plane and ready to go back!

We left Ohio for New Orleans early Saturday so we'd have plenty of afternoon to explore. The plane rides were short, on time, and smooth sailing! We scurried to the Marriott Hotel at the edge of the French Quarter. We threw our belongings in the room, changed from winter to summer attire, and hit the streets.

There is no easing into the Big Easy. It hits you hard and fast. We found our way to Jackson Square with its entertainers and taro card readers, then down Decatur St., on to the French Market with its beignets, muffulettas, whilst jazz and blues waft through the air.

The muffaletta sandwich originated in New Orleans. It can be ordered as a whole or a half. Sitting outside at The Gazebo Cafe, Brian and I decided we would share a whole sandwich and accompany it with some onion rings and cheese fries. Good grief! There was enough food for 4 starvin’ folk! The muffuletta alone sta…

Skunked!

If you've ever flown, you have an airline story. If you've tried to fly these last couple weeks, you have horror stories of being left stranded for hours when Skybus chose to drop out of the race without notice, or the FAA decided to crack down for real on MD80 planes that had ties spaced 1/4" too far apart around some wires warranting failed inspections.

I've been fortunate enough to have a job that has had the fringe benefit of travel. I've been places I may never have ventured to on my own. Chicago is definitely my kind of town! Vancouver is an unbelievable experience. You can't vacation better than Los Cabos, Mexico where I celebrated my 50th birthday drinking Sammy Hagar's tequila in Sammy Hagar's bar, Cabo Wabo!

After a 15 year hiatus, my husband, Brian, and I returned to New Orleans for an extended business weekend.

The trip down went without a hitch. I try hard to listen and watch as the stewardess' drone on about passenger rules and regulatio…

Going Dutch

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"Grandma, I'm so hungry!" The savory warmth coming from the chicken stewing atop the old coal stove was more than this little one could take. Great-Grandma Sadie turned with hands stuffed in the front pockets of her cotton house dress contemplating my mother. She smiled and surprised her beloved granddaughter with a thick slice of home baked bread spread with sweet butter; topped with strawberry jam.

Picture this peanut of a girl seated too high for her feet to touch the ground and her torso barely tall enough for her chin to clear the heavy wood table. Her eyes widened and arms raised high towards her Grandma to accept her treat. She tipped her head up to allow the delicious fruit topping to drip down to her tongue then smear across her wide mouth as she stretched the bread and took a big bite. Uncle Dick meandered in, ruffled her hair lecturing "Eat the crust Patty. It'll put curl in your hair." "Uncle Dick! I already have curly hair!"

Grandpa …