Friends with Benefits

There’s something to be said about having rich friends. These are people I call “Friends with Benefits.” And no, not the kind of benefits traditionally associated with that phrase. Lets get our minds out of the gutter, okay? Allow me to explain…

Chess boardI belong to a local tennis club where I’ve met some great ladies. I guess it’s kind of like belonging to a high school club where you have a common interest, like chess. I know absolutely nothing about chess so that might be a bad example. Maybe the tennis club is more like belonging to a book club, only a bit more aerobic. Actually, let’s just say it’s like belonging to a tennis club, shall we? Continue reading

My Memory Chest

I’m someone who has a hard time letting go. So I keep items that have value to nobody but me. These mementos reside in a cedar “memory chest” in my spare room upstairs. When I kick the bucket, one of my executors (Sue, Sharon or Pam) gets the thrill of going through my things and deciding what to toss. I’m betting it’s going to be a busy day for the garbage man.

cedar chest

Now don’t get me wrong; my friends can do whatever they’d like with my possessions. I won’t care if they dump sentimental items I can’t part with yet. After all, I’ll be dead, remember? But just for the fun of it, I’ll probably haunt whomever draws the short straw for that task.

Grandpa had the cedar chest carved in Thailand for Nana around 80 years ago, back when he was an importer/exporter traveling the world. I think of them whenever I open the chest and the essence of cedar escapes, filling the room with memories. That’s why I love the smell of cedar.

Nana & Grandpa

So when rain finally arrived this week, giving me an excuse to stay home, I went through the chest for the first time in years. I could easily spend a day reminiscing in there but I managed to keep it to a couple hours. After all, my to-do list awaits and one can’t dilly dally long or the list invariably grows. Continue reading

Down Memory Lane

Last week I had occasion to visit the neighborhood where I grew up in Santa Venetia, also derogatorily known as Scabo. I’m not sure what that stands for but since it’s an ugly word, I’m guessing it wasn’t known as the most desirable place to live. But I beg to differ.

Santa Venetia

Kids don’t know they don’t live in a mansion. I certainly didn’t. We had 4 bedrooms that weren’t much bigger than some large walk-in closets and closets not much wider than a refrigerator. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care one bit. I had what I needed and that was enough.

our house

Our little house

To me, our Doughboy Pool was the bomb (better known as groovy back then). Other neighborhood dads helped my dad install it. That’s how it was; neighbors helping neighbors. On summer afternoons, being in that pool or playing ping pong on the patio were my favorite places to be.

me in pool

Even as a teen, still in the pool

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Say it Isn’t So – A High School Reunion

My 45th high school reunion was this weekend but I didn’t go. Why? Let my 40th reunion tell you…

I went to my 40th high school reunion Friday night. Hard to believe that much time has passed. Even harder to believe I decided to go. You see, it’s a fact I have no memory and haven’t seen most of these folks since I was a pimply-faced 17-year-old. Odds are I wouldn’t recognize a soul.

It might have helped if everyone wore a photo of their senior portrait. Still, for me that wouldn’t have been enough. Their name needed to be included. Those little tricks might have increased my odds to a 10% recognition factor. Continue reading

A Seemingly Random Act

I get by

There’s nothing quite as special as friendships between women. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying men don’t have similar relationships with other men. I’ve known some who do. But I think women tend to nurture their personal relationships to extraordinary degrees. And thank goodness for that.gang on Jan 30

Last Tuesday my friends and I celebrated Kim’s birthday. We’ve all been friends for over 40 years. Sitting at our table with these ladies at Old Chicago’s Pizza got me thinking about how lucky we are. Of the 9 of us there, only Kim hadn’t played on our softball team. We played together for 10 years and went 33 games without a loss – 3 full seasons. The 34th game? No comment.blog photo 8

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