My Mistake

Tape Measure

During our first year of marriage, my husband purchased a pair of double knit, turquoise and gray plaid slacks. I can think of no reason for him doing that except it was 1971. The slacks might have been on sale, too. Unfortunately, they were about four inches too long. “Can you shorten these for me?” he asked.

“Sure, I can,” I said, because after all, how difficult could it be? Armed with an “A” in my high school freshman home economics class and scissors, I began the project. Turned out, the project was more difficult than I thought. I know now the key to success is in the measuring. If I cut three inches off of one pant leg, I should cut three inches off the other leg, not five inches. There was no laughter in our family that day.

We’ve now been married almost forty-five years, and my husband has not asked me to hem another thing–nor has he purchased any more double knit, turquoise and gray plaid slacks. Oh yes, that was one smart mistake I made.

Thank you, Lord, for a lesson learned.



To Catch a Mouse

Cat - Lightning

There were indications a mouse was in the house. I set traps in strategic places, and the next morning had caught a mouse. The next night I caught another mouse. I continued to see “droppings.” I cleaned closets right and left, looking for the little pests’ entry point. After seven mice, I made an emergency run to the vet’s to get one of my “outdoor cats” treated for fleas. She became my “indoor cat.” I announced I would be moving if I caught a total of ten mice.

Finally, I found a nicely-arched mouse hole outside, right under the back door. It appeared the little rodents came out from under the house and simply waited patiently until someone opened the back door. They then darted in, ran behind the kitchen range, hid until night time, and then “well, let the party begin!”

I had caught a mouse and eight members of his extended family for a total of nine, just one shy of my move-to-town mark. Now, I’m pretty happy about the clean closets.  “Mouser,” formerly known as “Lightning,” though, is really, really happy sleeping on my husband’s feet every night.

Thank you, God, for pets.


The Search


I only go swimming once a year, so it was difficult to believe I needed a new swimsuit. But I did, and so began the hunt. I remembered with fondness spending lunch hours in Macy’s trying on bathing suits when I was in my early twenties. It is no longer a pleasant experience.

I began my search in my home state, shopping in my hometown, and in a couple of our larger cities. Next I tried the state immediately to the south–but no luck there either. After that I tried a few stores in several cities in my younger daughter’s state. Hope was waning fast.

Desperate, I looked in a couple of cities in my older son’s state. The search wasn’t going well. I was leaving a large department store, contemplating crossing the river into the next state, when I spied an out-of-the-way rack of “grandma-looking” swimsuits. They were not quite the swimsuit of the 1920’s I was looking for, but they were basic black with lots of ruffles. Not sure I had the stamina to shop the other 46 states, I made my purchase. Still, it’s anybody’s guess whether I’ll actually wear the suit out of my house.

Play Ball!

Little League Player1

Summer time means “play ball” for a lot of boys and girls. For them, there is no better way to spend a couple of hours than at the ball parks in the heat of a July evening.

Many dads and moms, even grandmas and grandpas, remember the sound and feel of a well-hit ball. Ideally, a well-hit ball drops somewhere between two outfielders, and the batter is safe on first. The batter steals second and advances to third on a team mate’s well-placed single. The runner scores with a slide into home on a wild pitch. The crowd goes wild.

Oh yes, it is a good night. It doesn’t matter who wins. It matters only how the kid feels about his or her game…and how much dirt is on the uniform.

It’s the Fourth of July!


Stop the washing machine! It’s the Fourth of July!

“Please, Mom. Everybody else’s mom lets them have Black Cats and Roman Candles. How come all I get are snakes and sparklers?” my younger son whined.

“Please Mom, can I have $20.00 for fireworks. I’ll pay you back when I’m grown and have a job,” my older son said.

I suspected my boys did not understand the significance of July 4th. I have pleasant memories of watching my father shooting off one small package of firecrackers, but like my sons, I didn’t understand the importance of the holiday when I was younger. Motherhood, though, changed my understanding about a lot of things. I suddenly found it important to change the bed sheets once a week. I did not think it all right for a child to wear the same pair of jeans day after day after day after day without washing them.

With motherhood, too, came an understanding of the value of freedom. America’s freedom was won by the bravery of many, and it remains free today because of strong, brave men and women. I wanted a free America for my children. So, no, I’m not doing laundry on the Fourth. Instead, I’ll light a box of snakes in celebration of freedom. Oh, yes, I’ll watch others shoot off the bigger fireworks, too, and I’ll thank God for America’s freedom.