Thursday, February 23, 2017

Small Dog Attitude

Early one morning recently my better-than-standard poodle, George, and I entered the off-leash dog park for our morning jaunt and passed an obviously frazzled younger woman and her dogs on their way out.

She had a small dog under one arm with its tail facing up and forward. Her sweatshirt was soaked on one side from having struggled with a dog fresh out of the pond. She put the dog down for a moment to pass the time of day with me and get her hair back into its pony tail and out of her eyes.

The little dog was about 15 pounds and had an attractive long reddish-brown coat. Her little black eyes shown with pure mischief. “I think she’s half long-haired Dachshund and half Chihuahua,” her owner smiled ruefully. “I live in the apartments next door and bring her out two or three times every day to get her acquainted with the other dogs, but we never get to stay very long. She always heads for the biggest dog in the park and picks a fight. I just pulled her off two Rottweilers.”  

Monday, February 20, 2017

It Isn't Funny Any More

The jokes about our incumbent head of state are beginning to wear thin with me. The constant upset and frenzy is wearing me out.

We’re in a fine pickle right now, but it’s our own fault. Everyone is responsible for part of this.
The newspapers are no longer impartial and are as concerned with giving a political slant to a story as they are reporting the facts.

Our politicians have discarded the concept of mediation and compromise. They no longer socialize with anyone outside their political party. Gone are the days when members of the two parties could respect the opinions of the other and socialize. Many fine decisions were compromises reached in a social situation by members of the opposing parties for the good of our country.

Today’s members of the House and Senate seem more concerned with the success of their political party than serving the welfare of its citizens. Our esteemed members of Congress should have term limits and be forced to subscribe to Social Security and Medicare.

The public also deserves a healthy share of the blame for this fine mess. Everyone lives at a break-neck speed, too busy to keep up with current events. A major percentage of us turn to the internet for our news.

What we don’t stop to consider is that the internet follows our online history and provides us with the news and information from the bias it perceives from the sites we’ve visited in the past. It determines our political prejudice and then feeds it.

It is my modest opinion that its time for us to stop, take a deep breath and start studying the issues from the most unbiased sources available. I’ve subscribed to the National Review and the Wall Street Journal. Once we’ve boned up on what’s really happening, then it’s time to act.

I intend to do my research, find out who represents me in the House and Senate, and then write them. The letters will be polite and concise. I’ve been told from sources who should know that they really do listen.

According to the system that’s over two hundred years old, Donald Trump is our president. Yes, he’s a flawed individual and might not have the dignity or attitude or apparent intelligence we’d like, but he’s got the job.

It’s time for us to stand up and do our part. If you don’t like what he and the Congress are doing, assume the position of a Loyal Opponent. Contact your representatives in an informed, dignified manner. If you approve of what’s going on, give your representatives a call or write them.

Our country is a major power in a world that has shrunk. All the hysteria and carrying on has a terrible influence on everyone everywhere. It’s time for us all to stop and get a grip. If we act in a more decorous manner, perhaps it will wear off on Mr. Trump. One can only hope.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Green Bananas

The woman who lived directly across the street from us in our first house in east Memphis was the original owner. The house was built in 1958.
We moved into the neighborhood in 1971 and were transferred to New Jersey in 1990. In those almost twenty years, our neighbors became part of our extended family, and when we came back for visits, we stayed with the neighbor across the street.

In 1990, her original hot water heater was still working. I won’t go so far as to say all its burners were functioning at full force, the water was tepid at best, but it was still working. She pampered it; practically turned off all the water in the house when she walked to the mailbox and back to make sure it didn’t leak during the five minutes she was out of the house.

It became a joke we shared as well as the first topic of conversation either over the phone or upon my arrival. Sometime during the mid-1990’s her son put an end to our fun. He came in from California for a visit and when the water wasn’t hot enough to suit him, he ordered another hot water heater and had it installed. What fun was that? Where was the challenge?
The plumber inspected the old hot water heater before replacing it and discovered it was lined with porcelain. My neighbor swears he took it to a plumbers’ museum.

We’ve all become accustomed to buying appliances with built in obsolescence. Nothing is built to last.
Which is why I was taken aback recently when purchasing lightbulbs at the hardware store. I found a neighbor there searching through all the selections, and it was she who brought the irony of the situation to my attention. All the bulbs were LED and costlier than what we were accustomed to paying.

They were also highly touted on their label for their lasting ability. Some were guaranteed for nine years; others for 20. My neighbor who is on the far side of eighty opted for the nine-year bulbs while I, the everlasting optimist, popped for the 20.

I didn’t mention this to my husband, the eternal pessimist, who at almost 72 refuses to buy green bananas for fear he’ll be gone before they’re ready to be eaten.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Big Scene

During the early stages of writing my first novel, a close friend kiddingly asked why writing takes so long. My answer sounded flip but wasn't really. It's hard work birthing babies and killing people off in a book when your goal is to write a believable story, a tale the reader can identify with.

This morning I faced an even greater challenge, the sex scene. In my first writing class, I was warned about being too specific. There's a reason why the movies indicate an intimate scene with curtains blowing at a window or ocean waves pounding the sand. Too much more can rapidly disintegrate into pornography.

It took less than 15 minutes to write the scene. I spent so much time building up to it that it took no time at all to describe the incident. Even our grown daughters shouldn’t be embarrassed.