Oh Yes, That Paperwork

This seemed right for a second look.

When I met my wife, 45 years ago, I learned that she’d been doing aerobics since she was a competitive swimmer at eight years of age. Had I not been willing to run the circular track at a nearby high school with her at frequent intervals, there would have been no more dates and I would have never known my wonderful children and grandchildren. She is still in better shape than I am aerobically, despite my many hours at the gym (pre-Covid 19) and now at home in the 45 years.

My late mother’s question when she saw Kristine dancing at our wedding was, “Can you keep up with her?” To which, I said, “No.”

Then 37 years later we applied for Kristine’s Social Security for which we needed a certified copy of our marriage license. My thought, Sure hope we got one. Kristine was in shape, but, was our paperwork? It was in shape per the folks in Maryland. They dutifully sent us a certified copy.

During the early Pandemic in the midst of reorganizing the garage the original marriage certificate bubbled to the surface. I even found my original birth certificate, footprints and all. You just need to dig.

Our Journey

People know exactly who loves them, and how much.” “The key to contentment was to never ask why; she had learned that long ago.” Elizabeth Strout, an American Author.

 It’s tough out there. Pandemics, divisiveness, fires, earthquakes, northeasters, etc. It creates a level of stress we humans need to tolerate.

My spouse, Kristine, and I have our moments, but we both appreciate each morning we see each other over freshly brewed coffee, whatever the day has brought. Those same blue eyes shine back at me. My early morning gravelly voice responds to her gentle utterings. We know deep down how much we love each other.

We both know we have been there for each other through serious illness in both our children and, thankfully, they have fully survived. We have been through financial lows with each other that nipped at our heels. We rarely, if ever, asked the desperate why questions about each other or our heavenly father.

Ultimately, only God provided the roadmap that made this work. We could not have managed this on our own. For that, we are deeply grateful.

Aromatically, Etc.

The sweet smell of life…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary, and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.” Diane Ackerman, an American author.

I was eight. It was summer in the Dayton, Ohio, of the 50s. I remember running through the grass barefoot. My toes and my nose felt good. That nose detected the smell of fresh grass. Those toes felt the soft, resilient grass beneath me. Maybe, who knows, one summer morning, that aging nose will sense that sweet aroma again.

As a college freshman, I dated a woman who always wore the same splendid perfume. One day, a half-century later, I stepped into an elevator at work. The air filled with that same aroma. It took me back to my 19th year and that girlfriend. 

Life is full of the unexpected.

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I Did It

“I have always wanted to write a book that ended with the word ‘mayonnaise’.” Richard Brautigan a 20th Century American poet.”

All that writers can do is keep trying to say what is deepest in their hearts.” Lloyd Alexander, an American author.

And deep in my heart I am struggling for even a short story or even a blog that would end with mayonnaise. There is a struggle with finding it’s exact origin. Mayo is perhaps the invention of a French Duke’s chef in 1756.

The facts are somewhat explicable but describing the flavor of mayo is an uphill struggle. I can’t. Mayo itself is a problem for those with mayophobia, which is a bonafide ailment.

For unknown reasons the Russians are the largest consumers of mayonnaise on the planet. They delight in mayonnaise.

Father Time is Sneaky

At almost 77, age sort of snuck up on me. I retained some tan, but my eyelids wrinkled and fell. I have fat cheeks that reduced some other potential wrinkles, but, I tip the stadiometer at 5-foot-3 and shrinking. Though you cannot see it, my scoliosis (a spine twisted and turning rightward), arthritis, and hearing are worsening.

I do have a pulse. After all I posted this. Of course, this is just a Google Pixel 3a’s version of my face, a face I have never seen.

I am reminded of Ellen Degeneres’ comment. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.”


I posted this a little over two months ago, but, I think it’s worth a second take.

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.” Sharon Olds a Pulitzer Prize winning American poet.

Isn’t the fundamental question how one defines human blooming? I think so few people love their job or are loved by their employer, that the bloom may be off the rose for many seeking meaning or blooming at work .

But don’t many of us seek a loving family, a giving community and deep meaning outside of the daily grind? For me it is in my love for our Lord.

As much as I initially enjoyed the work I did for almost 30 years at one corporation, in the end I was overworked and “underfed.” With my home office, late in my career I was under pressure on Saturdays to work.

Sundays I refused to work. Losing that Saturday pressure is one of the precious things about…

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Never a Mistake to Have Loved

“One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.” Romain Rolland, 20th century French novelist.

The romantic disasters of my youth? One I distinctly remember was this ever so beautiful girl in high school who lied beyond my ability to comprehend. Her “cheating heart” taught me a lot about how painful love could be.

My college girlfriend was spontaneous, funny and just delightful. Ultimately she dragged me though the mud of several years of ups and downs.

On the other hand, those loves were important to maturing my soul. They laid the ground work for deeply loving my spouse, thank God, of many years.

Hair and My Early Adulthood Revisited

The ups and downs are worth another look. I was eighteen about to graduate from high school with my barber, seated at his chair. In jest I declared, ” Cut it all off.” He didn’t confirm my request. He just started cutting and cutting and cutting.

A few days later as the picture of my entire class was taken at graduation I could quickly be found amongst the 600 or so fully coifed graduates.

It took the entire summer for me to meet my freshman college class as a non-skinhead. As you might gather shaved heads in 1963 were far from the norm.

Speaking of the norm. Straight hair had been in vogue for decades in the early 60s. There was actually a frat brother who made pretty good money straightening hair in our Jewish fraternity.

Then after I graduated and in the late 60s Ryan O’Neal in Love Story and Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid made wavy hair popular. It saved me the price of a comb for the last 50 years. Thanks Butch.

A Hairy Story

I have this white and rarely black head of hair. At three-week intervals for almost 45 years, my spouse has cut my hair. Kristine has done that in our backyard in Southern California for 27 years.

Kris discovered the local birds were adding the hair to their nests. My hair declared upon that discovery, “I like the nests better.” Despite that, my hair has not bailed out on me yet.

So much for the hairy stories.


“I write because the lives of all of us are stories. If enough of those stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details.” Julius Lester was an American author.

It seems vital to our lives now that people appreciate our similarities, not our differences. When we gather, personally or virtually, storytelling could bring us together. Whether serious, humorous, or both, the stories describe the human condition.

While holed up in our caves, reading good stories might help our brains and hearts as well. When you watch, the television provides the picture, not your imagination. I suspect reading enhances cognitive and emotional skill . However your brain works, let’s allow the wonder and excitement of children when they behold a story to seep into us.

I most love the stories we tell each other. I think we each have engaging stories to tell. We just need a gentle nudge.