Wednesday, January 23, 2019


After a month of 40-degree weather and sunshine, winter slammed into Colorado. When I walked toward the entrance for the event on the east side of town, the temperature was gentle, the wind calm. When I walked out, I saw the sidewalk was wet. Then I felt the rain. Then gusts of wind threatened to knock me down. I was teetering toward the parking lot when a couple passed me then turned and asked if I’d like some help. “Yes!” 

As we maneuvered off the sidewalk toward the parking lot, rain changed to sleet, driven horizontal by fierce wind. It was actually painful. As we struggled forward, the sleet mixed with snow. Visibility was minimal. The couple persevered, depositing me in my car, admonishing me to be careful. 

I turned the heater and windshield wipers on full blast, dried off my glasses and waited until most windows were clear. Not that it did much good. The snow was now falling in such thickness that roads, signs, and traffic were almost completely obscured. But I couldn’t stay there. 

I drove, inching my way toward what I hoped was the exit, letting others pass so I could follow their tracks. Slowly I made it back to the highway, getting into what I hoped was the slow lane. I headed west, choosing to get off the highway as soon as I could, grateful that increased traffic made the road more visible. 

Closer to home, I knew the way. My car knew the way. My garage door opener worked. I was home. And so grateful to the couple who turned back to help a tottering old lady. 

And to a car that warmed up and handled slippery streets and a cozy home to welcome me. A glass of wine and a little television numbed winter reality and I went to bed dreading the avalanche that I must assuredly deal with in the morning. 

There was no avalanche. Only about an inch of snow. By mid-morning the sun was out, and many sidewalks were clear. 

I love Colorado.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dystopian Curse

My next substantial piece of writing is way overdue.

People keep asking me if I am writing a new book. No. But I should be.

The trouble is, I want it to be funny. I am pretty good at making people laugh, usually just by saying something unexpected. Something other than the “how are you?” “fine” kind of stuff.

These ambitions are daunted, subdued, quashed by two factors.
First, the enormously depressing news of what is going on in our world. It’s as if news reports were written by Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. It seems irresponsible to write something fluffy.
Second, I too often let the enormously depressing news quash my own sense of humor.

However, I do understand why Hollywood pumped out lots of lighthearted movies during the Depression. When they were so urgently needed. That’s an important precedent. But someone on the West Coast must have been buoyed by more ebullience than I can muster… most days.

Writing dystopian tales seems the only logical response to current events.
And they are not funny. At all.

Still, I keep trying. I’ve even invented a character, Gertrude, who (just a coincidence) is experiencing with ironic humor all the indignities of getting old… alone.

So I will persevere. I will take a walk and actually look at the beauty around me. I will eat a piece of chocolate. And snuggle with my cat. And write another damn paragraph full of wit and good cheer.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

I want a lion

This is Harlan’s lion. 

As Linus used a blanket, Harlan (age 3) uses his lion. It's something for him to hold on to when things (either good or bad) get overwhelming. 

Mostly the news is about something terrible ... every day: 
A pipeline . . . 
A wall . . .
A shooting or bombing . . .
A massive fire or tsunami . . .
Alliances shattered; treaties ignored . . .
Environmental safeguards dissolved . . .
Governments paralyzed or paranoid or predatory . . .
More than 260 million people wandering the planet with no home and little hope -- having left everything they have ever known ... Millions escaping the unacceptable, only to become unacceptable. 
All kinds of toxicity

All the time

I (considerably older than 3)want a lion