Seasonal House Cleaning

Each spring my mother and aunt arrived at my grandparents’ house armed with brooms, vacuums, mops, and buckets to help Grandma with her housecleaning. Blinds were dusted, curtains washed, mopboards scoured, and sometimes varnished. Not often, but occasionally, a penny or two was found under the sofa cushions as they were “plumped.” Every so often, the feather pillows received new ticking.

Grandma and Grandpa did not have an inside bathroom, and spring cleaning included sweeping the cobwebs from the walls of the outhouse. I’m still amazed at the number of cobwebs those spiders left in such an unpleasant building.

Fall often brought another round of cleaning. Closets were organized and drawers tidied. Grandma supervised the cleaning while she prepared homemade chicken and noodles, yeast rolls, a couple of vegetable dishes, and apple pies.

Those days are happy memories of family time, and I regret I didn’t help my own mother with her spring and fall cleaning. I especially regret my children didn’t carry on the tradition. I could use their help with my seasonal housecleaning.

Of course, they regret I don’t make chicken and noodles, homemade bread, or apple pies…hey kids, I’ll buy pizza if….



My “big” thankful list doesn’t change much year to year—family, friends, good health, food, a warm house, and those who keep our nation safe. This year there is an addition to my list–our family has a new baby, and I am thankful for the little miracle he is.

Of course, as I’ve aged I’ve added some “smaller” items to my list. They include: colorful, patterned, support hose; anti-acids; multi-compartment pill boxes; Google on my phone to look up information I used to know; eye glasses for reading; elastic waist bands; foods that contain natural fiber; shoes with good arch supports; handrails on stairs; yellow-sticky, reminder note pads;  and patient grandchildren who help with electronics.

Of course, I don’t know too much about some of the above items. I just assume there are others who are thankful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Oh yes, I’m thankful for each of you who reads my blog.

Cameos of Strength

Long ago in my life, I thought if I read a lot of books and paid attention in school, I could master all knowledge. (Gosh, I barely typed that sentence without laughing.) What I now know is the more knowledge I mastered, the more I realized how much I didn’t know. Not to be deterred, though, I continued to strive to increase my knowledge base—particularly about writing and publishing books. While there is still a lot my co-author, Collette Reichenberger, and I don’t know about writing and publishing books, we have nevertheless published our second book.

Cameos of Strength tells the stories of Lindsay: The Confident Cowgirl during the 1880s near Abilene; Emily: The Kind Suffragette around 1900 in Southeast Kansas; and Rylie: The Imaginative Writer during WWI, near a college town.

Our first book Cameos of Courage is on Amazon and Cameos of Strength will soon be on Amazon, too. (A bit of knowledge, we are still learning). We have a signing planned for November 18, 10:00 until 2:00 at Sayers Ace Hardware in Independence. Hope to see you there.



May I see your ID?

I forget my age. Sure, my hair is gray, and the sun, much laughter, and a few tears have left my face with a wrinkle or two. I’m not a great cook, but my body indicates I’ve eaten some great meals—and a lot of macaroni and cheese with the grandkids. In short, I do not look like I am under the age of twenty-one.

Because I think I’m young, I incorrectly responded to a vendor last summer. I was at a Royals baseball game searching for a $20 bill with which to purchase a hot dog. The vendor (age thirty-something) attempted humor.

“Keep looking. I will need to see your ID if you want to buy beer,” he said.

“Oh no, I don’t drink beer,” I said, not even making eye contact. “Just give me a plain hot dog.”

The now silent vendor handed me the hot dog. It didn’t occur to me it was funny someone would ask to see a seventy-year-old lady’s ID, and it was only later that I realized the vendor had been kidding about my ID.

Wouldn’t it be funny, though, if occasionally I got carded while getting my senior coffee at McDonald’s?