Laughter and tears,
one friend to another
we bonded in love
and blossomed
in the garden of life.
I miss you, heart sister.
Thanks for the memories

In Memory of Kathy Allen

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I have been thinking about – and missing – my friend Kathy Allen a lot lately. In truth, I think about her, and Fred, every day, but on some days, more than others. I still have blink moments when I think, “We’ll see them for dinner on Saturday, or next time they’re in town, or I’ll call her later and catch up.” And then it settles in. Kathy is gone, Fred is gone, and there is an empty spot that only good memories can fill.

I can’t look in many rooms in our home that don’t hold a reminder of Kathy. Our friendship began in the ’60s when we worked at what at that time, was known as Ma Bell, the telephone office where we were operators. “Operator, number please?” Back when a human voice connected one person with another via a dial-up telephone. Over the years we exchanged gifts. In the kitchen I see holiday trivets I keep up year around, on the patio a tinwork angel, a wooden angel wall hanging in the hall, Christmas ornaments and nativities on China cabinet shelves, tiny books and big books here and there, handmade pot and dish scrubbers in the kitchen, drawers full of handmade scarves, bracelets… These small reminders bring on a smile along with a catch in my throat.

I wrote the poem below sometime ago with Kathy in mind, and posted it on this site long before her passing. I repost it today because I wish for one more walk and chance to talk with my friend. I have so much to tell her, all of which , of course, she may well already know. As a believer, I know there is only a thin veil between this shadowy and insubstantial thing called life, and the people we have known and loved. Kathy loved yellow roses, but what she loved most were the people in her life, Fred, Mark and Marlene, her sisters and their families, her friends. I miss her.

Let us stroll along today and talk.
Tell me what makes you laugh, as we walk.
I want to listen to what you say.
Share your heart with me today.
I want to know what makes you cry.
May I ease your worry, wipe your tears dry?
Share with me your anger deep inside.
I will help you slay that dragon, and turn the tide.
I am your friend come what may.
Please share your heart with me today.

Truth be told

More from the April Writer’s Digest challenge, the brain child of Robert Lee Brewer, a WD editor and blogger at Poetic Asides. The first of these is personal, based on the prompt to write an ekphrastic poem, a poem inspired by a work of art – photograph, sculpture, or some other creation. Words of Art is based on a wooden wall hanging given to me by Kathy Allen for my birthday last year.

Kathy Gift 1








“a good friend
knows all of
your stories,
a best friend
helped you write them.”
So reads the wooden wall hanging
given to me by a dear friend
for my seventy-fifth birthday.
On the backside she wrote,
“We’ve made many stories
during our 55 years
(and counting)
of friendship.
Let’s write more!”

Eight months later
she and her husband were gone.
A terrible accident,
one that took two amazing
people and the stories we
– and they –
would write.
They went from this life
to the most profound
adventure of them all.
Yet, I grieve still.
They were and are a part of my heart.
This crafty wooden work of art
carries wisdom and memories in equal measure.
Take no moment for granted.
Treasure those you love.


Change is a coin,
a thought,
a mind,
an idea,
a life.

Change suggests
being other
than we are now,
influenced by
truths and lies.

Being other
than who you are
right now,
can be better,
or worse,
an improvement,
or cataclysmic devastation.

Who decides if
you will be other
than who you are today?

Surround yourself
with people who
challenge you
yet give you encouragement.
it is the melding of the two
that makes being other,
be you.


If the missive is massive
the meat of the message
may get lost in translation.
Massive experience forms
intellectual confidence…
or does it form massive
pride and disregard for
opposite opinions?
When you communicate,
keep it simple
(not dumbed down)
but understandable,
relatable, perhaps
a touch compassionate.
A few words well said
may make a massive,
life-changing difference
to someone in need
of a voice whispering
in the light.

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Monday Musings

Easter Morning


My bright ideas
are in stacks of notebooks.
Articles, stories, essays…
 begun but never finished.
Now it’s doc after doc
in a folder called “works in progress,”
yet they never do,
progress, I mean.
Why do I hold onto these tarnished gems?
Beats me.
Perhaps they are like children,
waiting to grow up
and go out on their own.


What did you start,
but never finish?
What did you say
you wish you could say
in a different way?
Can you walk off –
give your hat a doff –
and come back
another day
to pick up,
where you left off?
Is going back
What detritus was left
in your wake
what mistakes did you make?
Can you – I – pick up
where we left off?

Line, Poetry in Notion

Declutter and explore



I am bushed! Today was the day I finally tackled the closet into which we shoved everything when Bob went out of private practice and began working for Eye Associates. Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago, 2006 in fact. He’s been fully retired for about two years +/-, but I guess it’s fitting I’m taking on the task in October, since that’s the month he started with EA.

All that stuff we squirreled away? Into the trash, eighty percent of it. Old magazines, old questionable receipts, old eye drops, old letterhead… just old stuff. I still have TWO BOXES TO GO! But I’ve given up for the day.

I’m a person who believes that if you haven’t looked for or used something in three years, you probably don’t need it. Toss it out or see if the Salvation Army Thrift Store can make a little money by selling it.

Once a upon a time I was a Mary Kay Cosmetics rep. I wasn’t very good at it, but I learned this – and should apply it more often – act on it, file it or throw it away. Mary Kay was talking about paperwork, but it applies to a lot of things. How many cords to something do you have in your house but you’re not sure what the something is the cord belongs to? My husband is a pen and paper clip hoarder. Today – without his knowledge (tee hee hee) I threw a slug of them out – only the ones that didn’t work… mostly – and there’s still a bunch left!

So before your dungeon ­– oops, excuse me – storage closet turns into what feels like an insurmountable task, try the five declutter tricks below to bring calm out of chaos.

  1. Mary Kay was right. When it comes to paperwork deal with it immediately – act on it, file it or throw it away.
  2. That magazine you are going to read “later” might still be there three months from now. Consider carefully what you subscribe to so you don’t accumulate stacks of reading material so high the thought of reading it makes your head spin. Recycle by taking to nursing homes, hospitals, doctors’ offices, or preschools and day care centers to be used in crafts. Call ahead to make sure your donation will be accepted and useful.
  3. Take on decluttering one room (maybe one space in a room!) at a time. I’ve been cleaning my office for three days. Yes, it was that bad. Trying to do too much all at once will wear you out and discourage you from moving forward.
  4. Tomorrow isn’t a good day to declutter. Today is. Even if you tidy up your desk or the junk drawer in the kitchen, you will feel so good once it’s done, you’ll be inspired to take on something else… maybe tomorrow.
  5. Be ready for a journey of discovery. Go through everything carefully, you don’t know what you might find. I discovered photos of Bob’s grandparents in a double frame, the Optic announcing when I moved up from society editor to managing editor in June 1993, an Optic photo of me when I worked as a new accounts rep at First Federal, a carved elephant (quartz I think) and an article about Bob and Orville Hughes (prof at Highlands back in the day) announcing a Rotary fund raiser!

So, I’m done for today, even though there are still two boxes to go and a lot of shelf organizing to do, and yes, it was tiring, but it was also fun. More important, I can get into the closet without seventeen things falling out of boxes when I open the door!

Check out Tiny Tome #1.