Monthly Archives: March 2013



A sea of strangers flows around us, their tide trying to pull us along. My newborn is in his car seat perched precariously in the grocery cart. My hands are clinging to the cart handle. My husband is talking to my mother in law and then he turns to ask me something. I feel like I am reliving a game I used to play as a child where we sat on the bottom of a swimming pool and tried to talk to each other but couldn’t make out each other’s words, no matter how loudly we yelled. What is he saying? The harsh fluorescent lights illuminate this little baby who was so recently safely swimming in the dark. I am not ready to share this fragile being with the world. I can’t protect him out here. We continue our shopping trip and I’m drowning but no one seems to hear my screams for help.



Image 1

Mixed media painting by Pat McPike (my fabulous mom)


Found Words


I’m an urban anthropologist. I love to find scraps and letters and notes that have been dropped or discarded. I wonder about the people who dropped them and think about their lives.

In a rain soaked Dunkin Donuts parking lot, I saw a lined piece of paper with crayon writing. My hands were full of coffee and donuts and I didn’t pick it up. I wonder if it was a note from a little boy to his mom, “Love you mommy, have a good day.” Or it could have been a note from an angry driver who after noticing someone parked too close to him, found a broken crayon under his seat and wrote, “Hey jerk, learn to park!” and left it under the offenders windshield wiper.

I found a TECh service desk job description for a school. Did this person just get the job or did they go to the interview and it didn’t go well?

A found report card makes me wonder if the child “lost” it on purpose.

I have similar questions and make up stories about all of these:

Hospital cleaning checklist

Housemate add

Mental health clinic appointment card

The most recent note I found was on a post-it with purple marker writing. It said, “Show everyone my awesome braces.”

These found words that represent a moment of life ignite my imagination.


Blue Moon


It’s the second day of spring and it’s snowing. I’m tired and grumpy and wishing for a sunny vacation but instead I head out to a Parent Teacher Association meeting. I decide to stop at a coffee shop to sit for a moment and sip a latte. I order my coffee and sit on a comfy couch to review my notes for the meeting. There’s a group of three men in an adjoining room who are playing instruments and singing Blue Moon. My eyes stray from my notes and gaze around at the colorful artwork on the walls. I take a deep slow breath, smelling the comforting scent of roasting coffee beans. Somehow my frown starts to melt and my toes begin to tap…

An Appreciator Of Everything


A friend

Recently said to me

An appreciator of everything

I think I shall be


I have taken all

The necessary classes

Got down to studying

Put on my glasses


Music appreciation

Art appreciation too

Literature appreciation

To name a few


I can gaze fondly

At a painting so fine

Test my palate

When I go out to dine


Immerse myself

In a wonderful book

Off to an Indy film

To take a look


Listen to an

Orchestra play

Gaze out the window

At a beautiful day


Now if only I

Was paid for this skill

It could be my job

Maybe it will


An appreciator of everything

I think I shall be

I’d be quite good

I hope you agree

Girls In Bikinis Doing Homework


The women of The View were recently discussing the movie Spring Breakers. They got my mom all worked up about the message this movie sends to her granddaughter and other teen girls. I understand her concern because although I have boys, I have friends with girls and even when the girls were little I saw their moms struggle with finding clothing that didn’t have writing on the butt, and figuring out when and how much make-up is okay, and checking their daughters’ social media to make sure things stayed appropriate.

We do need good female role models. My mom’s solution cracked me up though. On the phone this morning she said, “I don’t think they should make movies about girls in bikinis at all. But if they have to, then they should make sure the girls also have brains. Why can’t they make movies about girls in bikinis who also do lots of school work and volunteer?” I don’t know why this struck me as so funny but I couldn’t stop laughing. So here’s what her movie would look like.

A beautiful, blond, large-breasted young woman on spring break in a tiny bikini is sitting on a beach towel and a hunky guy comes over to chat and the woman says. I’m sorry but I’m busy doing my statistics homework. I can’t talk right now. Another tan, bikini-clad women is invited on a boat for a party but cannot attend because she is on her way to volunteer in the nursing home, in her bikini. Hope she doesn’t give anyone a heart attack.

Girls in bikinis doing homework and volunteering. Love it.