We rented a new car and my husband was the driver for our long weekend. We arrived home just before midnight on Monday.  My husband went to work early the next morning and I was responsible for returning the car. I found the key ring on our kitchen table and couldn’t believe my sleepy eyes. There was a key ring but no key. 

I phoned my husband to ask why the key was not on the agencies key ring? Where did he think he may have dropped it?!

There was a long pause.

He didn’t think there was need for concern.

“Yes, I’m serious. I just went to leave and there’s no key to put into the ignition. Only the black top of the key!”

He is a patient man. Often perplexed at me but very patient. 

“Is there also a black circle on the black top of the key ring? Press that.”

I must have sounded like an amazed little kid playing with a new toy on the other end of that  phone line. 

I retracted both my questions to him and the key. 

Who knew?!

I didn’t. My own car is over ten years old and I’m old school. Unlike the key ring, I have nothing to hide. 

It’s a wrap

Most people that know and love me will tell you that I take time to wrap  a lovely gift. This hobby of mine is an over the top ceremonial process, like a young woman taking the day to beautify herself for prom. My arsenal of supplies includes a plethora of gift wrap, unique adornments and miles and miles of curling ribbon. I create folds like an origami expert, press seams like the owner of a dry cleaning store and my bow application would make any dressmaker proud. My curling abilities should be included in the decorated Olympic sport. I equate the peace I get from wrapping gifts to the cup of tea my husband enjoys at the end of a long day.  It is time spent with a calm and settling companion.  

Last week I rented a moving van, drove two hours to pack a campus apartment with my daughters, drove another two hours back to unpack the van with my youngest and then returned said van.  On the way home, I ran several local errands in my own car, had a late dinner with the family, cleaned the kitchen and then packed my bags for our graduation and 21st birthday celebrations. I was tired from all the preparations but was also excited for the days ahead. When the house went quiet, I had my own pre-celebration by wrapping the last graduation gift, adorning others with ribbon and using cards from extended family to make a decorative arrangement on top of our bedroom dresser. 

I climbed into our bed exhausted but pleased with myself. The fruits of my labor looked gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to present the few carefully chosen gifts to our daughters. 

We woke in the morning and found sunshine to pack the car…..and cat puke all over the graduation gifts and cards.   

All that time and heartfelt preparation went right out the window. The discarded emotions were accompanied with a bag full of gift wrapped throw-up, slimy colored ribbons and soggy envelopes. Throwing it all out was very ceremonial.

There was no time for a redo. 

It was ultimately a presentation of ripped packaging, bent cards and soggy cash. Perhaps the cats had wanted to add their own embellishments to our lovely gifts?


Education fulfills dreams and makes us who we are.  Both the extent of the dream and our new self is unimaginable when we begin our journey. 

Whether formal or informal, based on investment or need, learning is a never ending way to change the world. 


Transform humanity.

Shape our future.

                  Don’t wait for it to happen. 

Make it happen.

Be you – 

Be all of you.


An August night in the seventies with no breeze or air conditioning. The thermometer still reads 88 just before sundown. A heat wave is not a great time to watch a movie outside. Too hot and heavy. It weighs on you.

There’s a lot of nothing going on in this section of the nearest city and this drive-in is like an active junk yard. Living room afghans have thrown up over the asphalt and a crowd of little kids are lucky enough to prevent injury one broken down swing set.

A camera finally reveals itself from the little cement house in the rear of the parking lot. Cartoon advertisements start to play on the  mammoth screen behind an old warehouse. Dusk and the stifling haze make it hard to make-out the images. Night falls as the dancing popcorn and candy-shaped characters struggle for my attention.

Instead, I focus on the couple making out in the pick-up truck in front of us. The projector has back lit their every movement. Only one movie is playing but this scene makes it a double-feature. I am not sure what else they are doing but I decide it’s unfair that there is only two of them and 14 of us in one vehicle.

It’s 1979 but we arrived in a Ford Country Squire station wagon from the sixties. Our driver is my former babysitter that packed her sisters, me, and half the neighborhood into this vehicle for the bargain price of $4 a carload. I don’t know how there was any room left for their two garbage bags full of homemade popcorn.

This escapade was a celebration. That’s what I was told anyway. An event to mark entry  into my teen years. I was naive but I knew it wasn’t  necessarily for me, or about me. I was just an observer watching everyone else’s craziness.

In that way, the outdoor movie theatre was a relevant inauguration to my teenage years. I developed no passion for either of them.  Nor was I was ever really present in the footage of my life.  Both my teens and the drive-ins were dark pits.

In fact, my father’s tag name for the drive-ins was “The Passion Pit” and he never took the family there.  I agreed with his terminology on that hot August night I turned 13. Nothing will ever change my opinion. It wasn’t on the reel but I saw that girls expression when she climbed out of the pick-up truck.  It was real. It was too much weight for a young hot me to bear.

Now and at the end

Everything must be just right. Like Goldilocks would determine but at a meaner, faster pace.

While everything seems cuddly and perfect, there also has to be a submission to my ways. 

I decide.

I push, then pull at the soft outer covering.

A right cross is necessary. 

My opponent doesn’t respond.

I push away again but then needingly pull it back into my body.  We are, after all, very close.

I look down and feel it just wasn’t enough. I add two swift punches to its center.

We seem to understand each other now.

There is a yielding to my superior force. 

I lay next to my soft, cuddly, now beaten companion. The aggression is a needed part of our otherwise orderly life together. The beatings keep it that way.

I’ve made my impression…

and I do realize I enjoy it.

Goldilocks would be proud. A women, in the house, with the ability to fluff her pillow until it is just right. 

I am a writer who sells vintage books and toys. I write about the whimsy of life, family, thrifting, everything and nothing and whispers of the Holy Spirit.

%d bloggers like this: