Fifty Shades of Gray

Though I have not read the book everyone is talking about, I know enough about people to see how deeply in bondage many of them are. To be so torn between doing what is natural and what is unnatural but satisfying must be torture. I have yet to experience that kind of bondage, but it is only a matter of time. Really, is going gray so terrible?

IMG_0896My daughter is a beauty. She shares her father’s dark coloring, and, like him, she started getting a few gray hairs when she was just out of high school. I don’t know when she started coloring her hair, but I have never seen it gray. I think she would be beautiful if it were purple. Lately, she has been toying with the idea of finally letting her true colors show. Not the true colors she was born with, which she now has by artificial means, but the true colors that would be showing if she were being true to herself. This is all so confusing to me. Maybe I need to read the book.

CIMG2409Now that I think of it, I have no idea what color hair my girlfriends and sisters-in-law really have. Only their hairdressers know for sure. My husband had jet black hair when I met him, and now it is completely gray. And he looks gorgeous.  Why is it so much easier for men to go gray than it is for women?
g69-HSdaysAs for me, I was once a redhead. Since that is one color that never looks natural coming from a bottle, I never even tried to duplicate it when it started fading. I haven’t the energy, patience, or money to keep it colored, so I prefer to go au naturel.

I hope my daughter has the courage to get out from under the stigma of gray hair.

Women, toss that book in the trash. Embrace your grayness.  Escape that bondage.

I hope I haven’t spoiled the book for you.

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Compatibility Test

DSC_0219I finally got my wish: snow days for my husband.  Actually, I was hoping for just one snow day, but we were rewarded with two full snow days and a late opening today. My husband didn’t have to leave  until 10 A.M.

Monday night and into Tuesday morning we received four to five inches of snow here in Virginia Beach. Freezing rain followed, packing the snow down and leaving us with solid sheets of ice all over the city. You people up north may laugh at us for shutting everything down, but we have no snow removal equipment. Earth movers cleared the main roads, but none of the residential roads have been touched.

The result has been that I have enjoyed two wonderful bonus days and an extra lazy morning with my sweet hubby. I had a taste of what it will be like when he retires someday. My assessment? We are definitely compatible. The only problem is that I didn’t get any of my work done. I didn’t touch my computer, do a lick of writing, nor did I read and comment on any blogs.

My husband just left for work, and I should be getting back to my own work. I should…but I’m still savoring the feeling of having my husband all to myself for two uninterrupted days in the middle of the week. Yes, I think his retirement will work for us.

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Changing Lightbulbs

IMG_0509My nephew Thomas is finishing law school at Regent University here in Virginia Beach. He comes over every week or so for a home-cooked meal and conversation.  A kind and thoughtful young man, he likes to help people when he sees they have a need.

This week he told us about an elderly neighbor whose garbage disposal had stopped working. Since she seldom used it, she decided to have it removed.  The price the plumber quoted was very high, and she lamented the cost. Thomas jumped into action and pulled out the old disposal and replaced it with new piping. All he wanted was the cost of the supplies, but the woman gave him a little extra.

This woman also had a lightbulb that had burned out. I don’t remember what room the bulb was in, but it had been out for some time, and she had been walking around in the dark. That made me think about how I would cope with that situation if my husband weren’t here to rescue me.

I would never be able to change the lightbulb at the top of the stairs. It would require hauling a ladder from the garage and up the stairs. I couldn’t manage that. Nor would I be able to climb that ladder and figure out how to get the cover off the light. I made George promise me he’d never leave me because I need him to change lightbulbs.

Seriously, though, how do elderly people cope with burned out lightbulbs high up in ceilings? We need more kind and thoughtful people like Thomas. Maybe you could be a Thomas for your elderly neighbor.

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Snow, Snow, and More Snow

I couldn’t resist posting another picture of the snow in front of my son’s place in a Boston suburb. They are expecting another storm on Thursday and even more next weekend.

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Spring Fever

First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park

Cypress swamp

Spring will not officially arrive for forty days, but yesterday I had spring fever. The temperature reached an unseasonably 70 degrees, so my husband and I went hiking in First Landing State Park.

We picnicked under loblolly pines and live oaks then headed for the trails. We chose one called Long Creek. Meandering uphill and down through cypress, pines, oaks and elms, it brought us to a stretch that hugged an inlet. Sunlight gleamed on the water; boaters trawled slowly through the no-wake zone. The sun was so warm, we removed our light jackets and tied them around our waists.

After an hour, we came to an intersection of trails and had to make a decision. We could continue on Long Creek, or we could take one of the other trails and head back toward the park entrance where we had left our car. The weather was too beautiful to end our excursion so quickly.  I chose to continue the Long Creek trail.

There is a reason it is called Long Creek.  After another half our with no end in sight, I wished we had taken one of the shorter routes. Finally, we came to another trail divide.  We took a route that would lead us back to our car. Still, we had quite a distance to go. A family came up behind us. The dad was pulling a cart with a toddler inside.

“I’ll give you fifty bucks if you give me a ride back to my car.”

I must not have sounded desperate enough because the father chuckled and kept going. I wouldn’t have left poor George anyway. He had the keys.

I can’t end this post without including a picture my Boston son sent me last night. He took it from the steps of his apartment. Such a contrast!image

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If the Shoe Fits…

Today is our 43rd anniversary.  I gave my husband the usual sappy, sweet card, but when I opened the one he gave me, instead of the kind that makes me cry, I got one that made me roar with laughter.

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When I finally stopped laughing, hubby said, “Isn’t that so like us?”

“Us?” I asked, incredulously.  “You mean it is so like you!”

We were sitting at the breakfast table, drinking our coffee and reading the morning paper as we do every morning. I looked through the stack of sections he had placed in front of me.

“Where’s The Daily Break?” I asked. That’s the section with the comics, about the only section I read. George always pulls it out for me and puts it in front of me.  Not today. I looked through all the sections he had given me, but no Daily Break. I looked accusingly at the sections in front of him.”

“”Where’s my section?”

He  stared at me. “What are you talking about?”

I again looked at the stack he had given me.  There on top was The Daily Break.

Big grin on his smug face. “As I said before, that card is so like us.”

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Attention, Please!

My daughter is a very busy mom to three children.  I know it’s hard for her to find time to communicate, but I hadn’t heard from her in awhile, so I sent her this survey to get her attention:

Dear Mrs. Wilson,

You have been selected to take part in an official government survey on the relationships between mothers and daughters in the U.S. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated. In doing so, you will avoid any unpleasantness which might ensue as a result of your having ignored a government directive. Please answer as honestly as possible.

1. Do you have a mother? If no, then thank you for your time. You have completed this survey. If yes, proceed to question 2.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “I don’t give a rat’s ass” and 10 being “I wish she would move in tomorrow and do all the cooking and cleaning for me,” how much do you love your mother? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. How often do you speak to your mother?
a. As little as I can get away with without being disinherited.
b. Once a month. Usually the month is November.
c. Once a week if I forget to pick up without looking at caller ID.

4. How do you show your mother you love her?
a. I’m supposed to actually show her?
b. I didn’t ask to be born. The ball is in her court.
c. I buy her expensive birthday presents. She likes J.Jill more than me anyway.
d. I let her come visit me once in awhile and even pick her up at the airport without making her take a cab.

5. If you could have any mother in the world, whom would you choose?
a. Condoleezza Rice. I enjoy discussing world diplomacy and public policy.
b. My Aunt Kathy. She is smart and sweet and never sarcastic.
c. I’d keep my own. Yeah, she’s sarcastic, but I don’t have the energy to train a new one.

Thank you for your time and for saving your country money. Drone strikes are expensive.

Sincerely,

U.S. Administration for Children and Families

I received a text in response:  “The answer to #5 is definitely Aunt Kathy.”

Clearly, that was not the attention I was looking for.

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