What did I expect?


So, all 100 senators, what were you thinking?  Elizabeth Warren?  Bernie Sanders?  They were heroes in my book until I read this.  I know a resolution is not a bill – not a law, but a tactic used to drum up support and money for whoever drafts it.  This resolution does not mention reaching a peaceful solution – does not mention the suffering of the Palestinian civilians caught in the cross-fire – it simply reaffirms Israel’s claim to the land and support for anything they do to get it.

I wrote to senators of my like causes and told them I cannot support their endeavors any longer.  Stop the emails.  Stop the letters.  No more.  I’m done.


I’m Done.

I’m scrolling Facebook headlines
Friends’ posts
Subscription posts
Things Facebook thinks I need to see
(really? – what fucked up algorithm thinks THAT?)
And I keep seeing slices of photos
Photos I’ve seen in the last week
Of the faces of Palestinian children, bloodied, dying and dead
Wrapped shrouds of women, children and men
Then it’s back to Facebook, 30 Things You Should Do for Yourself
Celebrities with Ugly Spouses
Somebody named Emily wears a light feathery summer dress
Without a lot of accessories perfect for a summer day in LA
The House passes a law that forbids the EPA
To mention the words, climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency
The East Coast is being bombed with underwater sonic booms
To search for oil
Even though it turns whale and dolphin brains to mush
And then
I see the children again.
To the Grumpy Cat
And the photos of People from Walmart
And Miley Cyrus licks something

I pause and draw my breath
My lungs constrict and I feel boxed in

I need a break and a brake.
See you in a bit.

American Assault on the East Coast Ocean


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bSkerry_RightWhaleCalf Humpback_stellwagen_edit two_whalesI do not own these photos – I found them in a Search for Images.  Owners retain the rights.  You need to see what whales are in the Atlantic Ocean.  In the winter, the coast of Florida is a calving area for newborn whales and their mothers.

Assault on the East Coast

President Obama authorized sonic boom testing on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean from Delaware to Florida this week.  Oil companies are now allowed to produce sonic booms (generated in back of boats) to map the ocean floor for oil exploration on the Atlantic coast.

Sonic booms have been known to disrupt whale and dolphin navigation systems – the booms have actually affected their brains and livers.  The military carried out these tests. We cannot let this go unnoticed.  We pollute the seas and now we are disrupting the very navigational skills that whales and dolphins use to find good and navigate waters for safe places.

The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20500  I’ve written – how about you?

Everything Lost


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These photos and eye-witness accounts are difficult to un-see.  Please use caution when viewing.  This link is from the New York Times.

Gaza deaths

Everything Lost

Too tempting to resist

A day at the beach exploring

After being kept indoors by anxious adults

With childhood eagerness, but with a knowledge of danger

always present in his young life, one told his younger brother to stay home.

Running through the sand

sunlight all around,

the cousins laughed.

a distant shack held a promise of adventure

An enemy soldier saw movement at the shack from his high vantage point

He moved the deadly rocket into position, adjusted for the targets and fired

Mohammad, Ismail, Zakariya and Ahed, all under 11 years old, died on the beach

You can see them running in one photo and in another, you see a young boy prone on the beach, his little legs twisted in the sand.

People at the beach ran to them, dragging them away

but all were lost, shrapnel entering their young bodies and ending their lives.

Their relatives screamed and cried.  A nation torn apart recoiled at the horror.

They lost everything for a promise of play at the beach.

In what kind of a world is that okay?



I hide some of my stories

Scary things I’ve tucked away

Truths too brutal, or painful to see the day’s light

At times, they come unbidden

On a sudden cue of feelings, sound, color or smell,

They can still make me feel

Back in the moment

(Crying, fearful, shaking, angry, screaming, lost)

It rips my faltering sense of being on the road to normal

A jagged tear to my soul, that usually covers itself up quickly

To not let the air in again

But like today, it takes a little longer.

And I wait.



120+ Choices – this could take awhile


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It’s not often that I am stopped in my tracks. So when we were trying a new sandwich shop in Athens, I wasn’t expecting any big surprises. I have stopped seeking the sub of my youth – the sub from Pennsylvania with its stringy onions, Italian oil and seasonings, provolone cheese, thinly and freshly sliced meats and that special roll that only sells in that state. And don’t even get me started on finding a Philadelphia cheese steak.  You can find both in Delaware also.
My aha moment was when I went to get my soda – or more directly, my Coke. Having been raised on Cokes, it’s my number one comfort drink. No diet – just the buy-the-world-a-Coke goodness. I know all the arguments against it – but comfort is comfort for a reason.
There stood before me a Coke machine able to present me with 120+ drink choices. One hundred and twenty-plus – I ogled the selections regular and diet, Coke, Sprite, Barq’s, Dr. Pepper, Minute Maid lemonade, Orange Hi-C, Fanta, Dansani (yes, flavored water), Mello Yello, Cherry Limeaid (ugh) and Seagrams sparking seltzer water. All of these had as much as seven further choices – as to Cherry, Grape, Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry and Vanilla.
Suddenly, my plain Coke had choices, Cherry Vanilla, Lime, Orange, Raspberry and Vanilla – whoa. But was it still my comfort food? Cherry coke was one of my favorites – as kids, we had access to a soda fountain in a friend’s house. This was a real stainless steel fountain, where you made your own sodas – and of course, ice cream for those times when you just needed vanilla ice cream in your root beer or coke. I played with menu a bit – realizing I could add a spritz of everything together to make one giant sugar rush mind-blowing experience. But I might have to take a nap after I came down.
Ok, for my coice to go with my (yet another disappointment) sub, I added Vanilla to my Coke and felt quite festive.  I took a giant step.
I guess the point was, do I need all those selections? Is the industry keeping up its “progress” by offering us MORE all the time? Where does it end?
Come to think of it, I didn’t see water listed.

Father’s Day – My Dad




Air Force radio engineer – First row, kneeling on the left – Nestor Lopez, my Dad.


Where he grew up – Springer, New Mexico – his home town


Mom and Dad in Springer, New Mexico


Dad’s newspaper portrait for Delaware Trust Company – Vice President who spoke Spanish


Wedding portrait – Janet and Nestor Lopez

Hockessin, Delaware

Happy Father’s Day to an accomplished man:

  • a funny story-teller (took forever to get to the point)
  • hot chili seeker (he’d always say, “This is not hot enough.”)
  • goofy (took down the living room curtains while sleep walking one night and then denied it)
  • a sad birthday story (Dec. 29 – I would get one shoe for Christmas and the other for my birthday) (had to walk 10 miles in the snow well, maybe four blocks as I later found out)
  • chief of burning the trash (he burned my new shoes once as the box was close to burn wastebasket)
  • famous in the community – local bank manager, loan officer, Lions president, Spanish speaker/guidance counselor for local new Mexican workers in the surrounding businesses – he knew everyone and everyone knew him
  • collection basket pusher every Sunday at church – he knew what you gave :-)
  • liked to fish and hunt – would string up a dead deer in the garage facing my bedroom each year – gee, thanks.

He was gone too soon.  He had a lot more to do and we miss him, our funny, quirky, Spanish-speaking Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!


The Mother’s Day Dread


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Every year when the commercials start coming and ads blare out their best gift ideas to get your Mom, my anxiety level rises.  What do I do on Mother’s Day?  My only child, my 21-year old son died in an auto accident in 1988.  We had a close relationship born of sharing huge life events that involved us starting over after a violent divorce.  He was 6 years old and I was 27.  Really two kids.  Our lives were rich with adventure and down-to-earth decisions.  We managed to find fun in all the work we had to do to be established and have a good life.  We had so much and then it was gone in an instant.  My struggle to rebuild a life without him is monumental.

But that’s not what stops me about Mother’s Day – the organized social marketing way of honoring your Mom.  My son did it in various ways.  When he was young, it was the macaroni necklaces, the clay made-at-school figures, his always handmade card and when was older, his signature yellow roses left on my kitchen table.  We’d spend time together talking and giggling.  We enjoyed each other’s company.  So before each holiday, I get a little antsy.  I know I won’t get a card or see yellow roses on the table, but I miss the talks.  We sat on two big boulders in the front of the house to watch the sunset on one Mother’s Day.  The talks at the kitchen table or in the garage where he was working on his Volkswagen, Reg – the talks in my art room while I was beading or painting – they remain at the heart of the holiday for me.

So this year, I thought – why should Mother’s Day be different than any other day?  Is it when I feel his absence stronger?  That’s not possible.  My journey on the path without him has been hard and painful.  There’s no hiding from the loss.  It’s changed me into another person – sometimes fragile, sometimes angry to point of breaking – but it is my own journey now.  My life is rich because he was in it – even for such a short time.  He had a bright charisma that drew people to him – I just wanted more for him.

So this will be just another day.  I’ll have rich memories and be happy that I have them.  I will honor the other women who have their children still with them.  And yes, I am still a mother even without new macaroni necklaces or fresh yellow roses.

Maybe I’ll buy some yellow roses and put them on the table.  Why not?

Flowers – love them, but they don’t last long


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I walk past the flower shelves at Trader Joe’s when I go shopping.  I love the look and smell of flowers.  But they are dead – I get about three or four days out of their beauty and then they are gone.  When I was working, the budget allowed for flowers now and then.  The being-retired budget does not.

I don’t have much of green thumb either.  I was hoping that Georgia had some good soil – but we ended up with five acres of nice red clay hidden beneath an inch of some kind of soil. So I do have silk flowers I use to brighten the place up a bit.

Last week, I just couldn’t resist and I bought tulips at Trader Joe’s.  Well, I brought them home and in two days, they were all drooped over vase.  But their petals were still so pretty.  So, I had an idea – I’ll take photos of them.  That will last longer than the petals themselves.  Enjoy!

petals3 petal4 petals1 petals2



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We didn’t hunt for eggs as kids.  Our neighborhood annual Easter hunt was a complicated and well-thought out clue hunting “most of the afternoon” type adventure.  We had about 20 or so kids on the farm in rural Pennsylvania.   We’d be divided into two teams and given our first clue.  With acres of woods, fields, streams and fences, there was ample room to hide clues.  The clues would be in glass bottles – hanging from tree branches, hidden in stream beds, tied to a single rail on a fence – all written in a jingle, based on “tribal” knowledge of all our escapades (place where Peter fell in hay pile on Halloween).  The adults and older kids would plot out the clues, place them and then monitor the trek around the farm on Easter Sunday.  So while sitting in church on Easter Sunday, I was thinking of my sneakers and getting ready to think – the clues were not easy.  One year, the clues were all written in rhyme – we all hated those.  One year, my team won and I received an stuffed Easter Bunny that was as tall as I was – she had elastic bands on her feet to wrap around my shoes.  I was so happy about that bunny.  We walked around together for weeks until the bands broke.

To carry on the tradition, when my son was little, I would have him hunt for his basket.  One year, I cut off food icons and labels of of cans and boxes and pasted them on index cards.  He had to find out what they were and where they went in the pantry or bathroom to find the next clue.  I mean, he ate Campbell soup, but did he ever look at the label when he was six years old? 

Even when he was older and the basket would contain classic rock t-shirts and jeans instead of candy, I challenged him to think in order to find what he wanted.  It took lots of planning – and running around, but it was worth it to see his concentration and laughing with all of his friends as they joined the hunt.

As I gather together the baskets for the nieces and nephew this year, it seems like a step backward just to hand them to them.  I think I have officially become a “back-in-my-day” kind of old geezer.  I’ve earned it.


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