Heinz-57 Female

Our kids gave us ancestry kits for our anniversary. Each box contained Q-tips and tiny test tubes.  The miniature test tubes contained some sort of magical liquid meant to preserve our cheek cells. We swabbed the inside of our cheeks and dropped the Q-tips into the test tubes. Then, Gary and I sent our precious…

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YES!

When my friend Carolyn calls and asks if I want to go on an adventure, my answer is always “YES!” Even she knows that, but I think Carolyn enjoys hearing the exclamation point in my response. That’s how it came to be that we volunteered for World Team Tennis (WTT) matches at the Greenbrier last…

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Games people play

My family makes fun of me. They don’t even bother to go behind my back. It happens every time I suggest we play a game. The room goes silent, eyes roll, and then come groans. “Ohhhh, noooo.” “Here she goes again.” “OK. But please, not Quiddler.” For those who enjoy a good word game, don’t…

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Blueberries & ice cream

The recent fiery temperatures didn’t keep me from heading to the West Virginia hills to pick fresh berries. Nor did it stop my mother. We didn’t scavenge in the mountains for wild blueberry bushes. We drove to the peak of Bunners Ridge where lush green treetops mingle with the deep blue sky. There, the bushes…

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A subtle symphony

At my castle in the woods above the lake, a whistling bird bids me good morning. She trills a 30-second solo from outside my open windows. Then, as if on cue, her peer-chorus chimes in. Each bird lifts its own warble or twitter, its chirp or caw. I can’t say that they harmonize in a…

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Finding your inner Muppet

A friend of mine sent an email my way. She asked me to take a quirky, clever 20-second quiz to reveal my Muppet personality. “I’m Fozzie Bear,” she said. After reading that, I came oh so close to skipping the quiz. Fozzie Bear is kind, brave, and stronger than he appears. He’s a good friend.…

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Write away

In 2010, the Common Core Education Standards dropped the requirement to teach cursive writing. Who needed it? Everyone had migrated to computers, tablets, and phones to compose documents and communicate. Except for renowned author Pat Conroy, that is. Conroy was not allowed to take a typing course in high school. He told me this when…

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Teeth & Toes

I leaned back in the dental chair as the hygienist moved a film-holding contraption to 18 places inside my mouth, one after the other. After she positioned the film right she wanted it, she said, “Now, bite down slowly”—18 times. Then, she pushed a button and a new picture of my teeth appeared on the…

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Melon madness

On his way out the door to the grocery store, I asked my husband to pick up a watermelon. “Bring home a good one,” I said. A “good” watermelon is sweet and red. Gary knows how to find one. I taught him what my brother Gerald taught me. Look for battle scars on its rind…

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The numbers game

My friend Nancy called. She does that sometimes. “I have news,” she said. “Who’s pregnant,” I asked. It is a fair question. In the past 10 years, Nancy has spent her time trekking up and down the east coast. In the beginning, her trips were all about weddings and showers for her four children. After…

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