One of the best ways to become good friends with someone is to let your guard down and share some of your inner most thoughts and feelings. Things that have been rumbling around inside of you for a long time. I didn’t expect to love five strangers, in five days, by doing this or to bond with them in such a profound way, but I did, and our connection with one another is deep and real.
We have become trusted friends.
Today was going to be a fun blog post, but I decided it was more important to tell you about two phone calls I received, allegedly from Spectrum, and a recording that gave me two options: “Press ‘one’ to hear about Spectrum’s new internet packages that could lower your monthly rates. Press ‘two’ if you don’t want to receive any further calls.” I always hang up on calls like these, but this time I thought I’d hear them out.
It was convincing. I’ll give them that…. Until the guy on the phone got creepy.
I'm 22 years old in this photo and sitting on a vintage Porsche RSK Spyder race car in need of a paint job.
This week my friend, Lee Moczygemba, called to tell me I’d been on her mind, a lot, and she apologized for not calling sooner. I haven’t stopped thinking about our conversation or that she will be 97 in a couple of months.
Her phone call made me feel good, and I thought it was worth sharing with you.
If you’re in the market for something to watch on television I have the ultimate hold your breath, edge-of-your-seat thriller about a man who meets a maiden under the sea. The man is Cape Town, South Africa filmmaker, Craig Foster, and the maiden is not a mermaid, but a female octopus Foster forged a relationship with over the period of a year. In many ways this Academy Award-winning documentary is an unexpected love story, a tale of survival and a meaningful bond between two different, but highly intelligent species.
I watched My Octopus Teacher the same day I rescued a baby bird who’d wound-up in the mouth of my dog, Annie. Like Craig Foster, I was struck by the resiliency and the fragility of nature, but it also gave me another pause for thought.
Hi Friends. I finished the memoir I’ve been writing, and it has been the experience of a lifetime. One I wouldn’t have missed for anything, and I have you to thank, because you are the ones who asked me to write it. I am grateful to all of you for reading what I write and leaving me such supportive comments, and in the prologue of my book I have given you the credit.
When it comes time for you to read it you may find it shocking––it will be something you didn’t expect––but it is my truth, and I needed to get it out on the page.
Two days ago I went to Northside Honda in San Antonio, for an oil change and regular maintenance where I was assured it would take two hours. After five hours of waiting without an update, a hello, or a kiss my brake fluid, I finally wrote a check for work done and left with my car, albeit, on unhappy terms with Ralph, my “service representative.”
The next afternoon at 4pm, Ralph called to say my check had “been voided” and I needed to bring him another check RIGHT NOW, before they closed. I told him I couldn’t come to the dealership, but I would mail them another check in the morning. Sixty seconds later Ralph called back and said his boss told him to come to my house NOW and GET MY CHECK. When I told him I wasn’t home, he said, “Well where are you?” When I said I was in Fredericksburg, Texas, he told me he was leaving NOW and would drive to Fredericksburg and FIND ME. I should have said, “Do you realize how creepy that is, Ralph,” but I didn’t. (Even under the best of conditions that’s an hour and a half drive, but in rush hour traffic with highway construction and lane closures… ?) Instead I told Ralph their strong-arm tactics were offensive and not to call me again, but I would put another check in the mail.
Well guess what Ralph? I’ve changed my mind. First I want an apology for making me wait five hours, and then I want another apology from you and your boss for the two phone calls where you tried to intimidate and bully me. You browbeat the wrong woman, Ralph.
Have you seen Joanna Gaines’s new TV series Magnolia Table? Like many of us I became besotted with Joanna and her practical, common sense, yet chic style on the Fixer Upper series she did with her adorable husband, Chip. Joanna’s new series, Magnolia Table, takes its name from their restaurant in Waco, Texas, as well as her best-selling cookbook. In Joanna’s new series, I’m drawn to her kitchen because, except for her fancy stove, it looks as though it’s been lifted straight from the architectural plans for the house James and I never got to build.
Actually Joanna’s kitchen makes me a little melancholy.
Christmas Cactus by Brad Braune, 1981
This year has taken many of us down the rabbit hole, and we are wondering when it will be safe to poke our heads above ground and get our lives back. I wave to neighbors, text and zoom with friends and attend church online, but the only living being I see face-to-face is Annie, and she can be a handful. Adorable but a handful.
I have missed all of you. Every day I work on my memoir, and it leaves little time for anything else, but I wanted to touch base, today, and wish all of you love and good health this holiday season.
I have also included a passage from my memoir and some holiday gifts you might enjoy.
Photograph by Jennifer Denton
I don’t know about you, but I have been taking self-quarantine seriously: I get together with friends on Zoom, have my groceries delivered, and I haven’t seen the inside of a hair salon since February. While I have adjusted to visiting with friends online, and I’ve never been crazy about grocery shopping… My long, thin grey hair had to go, so a couple of weeks ago I studied some YouTube videos and decided to cut and color my own hair.
If it didn’t turn out well I was going to say my hair had been gnawed off by woodchucks.
Le Mythe Dior
I have often thought about writing you but after months of self-imposed Covid lockdown, followed by George Floyd’s senseless and tragic murder and the upheaval in our nation, I hit a bit of a brick wall. The memoir I’m writing revisits a dark period in my life, and for a time, it became difficult for me to write or even think about blogging. I needed to find a way to change that, so in addition to beginning each day with a prayer and taking care of the plants in my courtyard, I put my writing aside and started mainlining lighthearted feelgood films, documentaries and YouTube videos. They were my cinematic macaroni and cheese.
Like a young child, I would plop myself down in front of the television and watch the same beloved films over and over again.