I am Accused of Killing

It had been a quiet, but good day. I had felt less of the residual neck pain and headache from the shingles. I went to the laundromat. My clarinet lesson had gone well. I had done some cleaning. My day went fine until some time after six.  I was in a t shirt and underwear and a woman came banging on my door wanting to buy pots in spite of having seen the closed sign.  …

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More New Tricks for this Old Dog

Since Ken’s death, I have avoided dance music and dancing. I am just not ready – yet. But I love music. People who visit often comment that there is always music playing here. As a kid I chose dance lessons over music lessons. Since I find myself rebuilding my life, I think about positive things to do and try; I decided learning to play music would be not only enjoyable, but good for my brain …

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Reducing Screen Time with Some Help from a Friend

Now that I live alone, I spend more time on the phone and in front of screens. Sometimes, I confess, I eat a meal while I read email. Recently a little furry friend has taken to napping on the chair by the computer. It may just be the right chair or the right temperature (the sun has gotten hot in the last week), but I take the opportunity to question whether I need to sit …

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Lots of Dough (not money)

Ken left me sourdough starter. My bread baking days in the 70’s included yeast. So I asked around and Sylvia graciously got me started. I enjoy making bread. I enjoy sharing bread. People seemed to like my bread. One only gets better by practicing – and I had lined up eaters for the practicing! This week I decided to branch out from bread to pizza dough. One part of my goal to practice dough is …

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New Suit, New Plan

Well, the old swimsuit died. And with the new one I have shifted to swimming twice a week instead of three times. But each trip includes more laps. I am opening my schedule as there are more activities in Spring and summer. But with a bum knee, swimming is the BEST!

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Where I find Myself One Year Later

Sunday marked one year since Ken’s memorial service. That service was my last commitment to all the people who were mourning Ken’s death – his family, friends, pottery and produce customers, acquaintances. It marked the end of what I thought of as a very public life. I had sold pots two weeks earlier, and now the pots were at two galleries. I no longer wanted people coming up my driveway at all hours (did I …

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Unexpected Diagnosis

Wednesday morning I awoke to find red spots up the right side of my neck, on my right ear and up the back of my scalp. First fear was fleas, and pets were subjected to unspeakable indignities in their opinion. No fleas. Spider? Thursday no change, but by Friday no improvement. With an upcoming long weekend, I wanted to avoid a trip to the ER if it worsened. Got into the clinic late on Friday, …

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The Annual Retelling of My Family Mothers’ Day Story

Decades ago, when I was young, there was “womens’ work,” and any man doing such would be subject to ridicule. One Mothers’ Day my father dried the dishes and headed out the back door to our clothesline to hang the wet dish towel. While he was hanging the towel on the line, a reedy little voice piped up from across the street, “Happy Mothers’ Day, Mr. Gravel!” Every year each of us in my family …

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Old Dog Learning New Trick

After making bread for over a year, I had a thought. Why spend money on pizza as an occasional treat when I have the dough, jars of tomato sauce in the root cellar, and a friend makes excellent cheese. So, last night I tried it. After pulling out and ripping the dough I made a thicker – like deep dish – pizza. Pizza was easy to make, but it sill take some tweaking to make …

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From Public to Private

With a 16 x 20 foot sign at the end of our drive on a major highway, Ken and I led a very public life for decades. Even with posted hours people came up at odd times, and this led to some amusing anecdotes: the time I rounded the corner from the outdoor bath in a robe with a towel around my wet hair and there was the “chard guy!” We were also out in …

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