Of Monstrous Mistakes and Frightful Fridays

Three days before my 56th Birthday, I made the dumbest mistake. It almost cost my life. My Birthday celebration could’ve just as easily become my Funeral.

It happened Friday evening near sunset. I was sitting on the cliff near Camel Rock, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, while waiting for my friend Charlene to show up. But for some reason, Charlene never arrived and I got bored.

I peered over the precipice. I’d heard that a car had recently been shoved off the cliff and I was curious to see it. Soon I found myself wandering down the path leading to the bottom of the cliff.

It must have been my preoccupation with finding the smashed car that made me careless. Either that, or I was drunk on the Elixir of Life…the gorgeous day. The tantalizing spray of surf. The rays of the setting sun. It was intoxicating, and I soon found myself laughing as I ran along the bottom of the cliff…Laughing at the surging waves.

“You can’t catch me!” I shouted. “I’m not afraid of you!” Those were the last words I remember saying.

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Of Garden Greens… and Birthday Blues

The other day, my dear friend turned 55. And what a day it turned out to be! I’d bought 5 birthday cards to give to Holly on her 55th birthday—but in the end, I didn’t give her even one. It was that kind of a day, folks!

I awakened in the early morning to the irksome throb of my cell phone. I squinted at the clock and groaned. “What do you want…?” I said into the phone.

“Today is my Birthday!” said the voice on my celly. “And I need help in my garden!”

“WHAT….?” I lurched upright in my bed. “Today is your birthday?” But of course! My friend had been telling me for weeks, but somehow I’d forgotten.

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Of Nieces, Nonsense, and Newspapers

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The day was dull, dreary, and oh-so-ordinary! I had a hundred errands to run…shopping to do…and articles to write—but my grandnieces were raring for Adventure! To them, even ordinary days should be ‘Funtastic!’

“Auntie?” said little Katy as we headed into the Grocery Store together. “Can you be ‘Mary Poppins’ today?”

“Indeed!” I said, grabbing a shopping cart.  “I’m guess I’ll have to be ‘Auntie Poppins’ to get through this shopping trip!”

Resolutely, I pushed the shopping cart past the bins of gum, pop and candy—hurrying the girls along.  But then we passed a Newspaper rack, and I paused.  My brain was thinking fast.

“Look here,” I said to Katy and Avri as I handed them a Newspaper.  “If you’ll behave yourselves today, you might find yourself in the Newspaper, soon.”

Their mouths dropped open.  “How?” said the girls, looking intrigued and excited.  “How will it happen?

The little Darlings had no idea that their ‘Auntie Poppins’ wrote a column for the local newspaper….And they didn’t know that she was pushing a deadline.  Auntie didn’t enlighten them, either!

The girls spent the next half-hour chattering happily—pondering the mystery of the Newspaper in their hands.  They scarcely noticed all the goodies on display throughout the store.

We made quick work of our shopping trip with a minimum of distractions.  I was congratulating myself, when suddenly Katy tripped and fell down in the bakery aisle.  Her smiles turned to tears, and she started to cry loudly.

Heads swiveled as other shoppers turned to stare.

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From My Heart to Yours…!

13775415_10208810905103542_7708772936445270618_n[1]Valentines’ Day can make single gals very sad!  Just ask me.  I know all about it.  But sometimes, we can be pleasantly surprised and comforted in the most unusual ways!

Take the other day, for instance.  With a big sunhat on my head, I was walking along the water’s edge feeling sorry for myself.  It was a nice day, and I should have been enjoying the sunshine. Instead, I was mumbling and grumbling—feeling lonely and pitiful.

I searched the shoreline carefully, looking for ‘heart-shaped’ rocks—as is my custom—but there were none to be found.

“Lord,” I said.  “If You would give me a heart-rock, it would really make my day!”  I went on searching for some time without success.  I sighed and was ready to give up when suddenly I noticed someone approaching me from the side. Continue reading

The Full Story of “The Loon and the Lunatic”

During their lifetime, most folks get a chance at “15 minutes of Fame”–or perhaps “15 Minutes of Infamy”–as in my case! At one time or another, we all end up on local or National Television, and it is supposed to be the highlight of our existence here on the planet. Right?

Well, folks–my “shining moment” came and went last month, and it didn’t turn out to be as shiny as I expected. In fact, every time I think of it I am quite mortified.

I was in Northern California, beachcombing on my favorite stretch of sand near Eureka. I’d wandered far down the beach to an isolated area and was about to turn around when something caught my eye.

There in the sand was a big loon flopping about on the seashore. He was entangled in fishing line from his beak to his feet, and there was a large fish-hook embedded in his chest.

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