Best Friends

I have had several “Best Friends,” in my life, but two came to the forefront of my life recently. When I lived in Connecticut, I had one best friend, Carolyn. We were soul-sisters (SS). However, when I remarried, we grew apart because I believe she thought she didn’t fit in with our lifestyle, which was rather “Preppy.” Some forty years later when her sister was visiting us last June, she suggested I call her. I did, and when I told her it was I, her first words were, “My best friend.” Yes, even after all these years of separation she felt that way. I hoped we could reconnect. But we didn’t have a chance to reconnect. She died last December.

Soul-Sisters (n.) connected eternally, praying and cheering for each other, laughing till stomach hurt, and somehow makes everything all right.

I also had a best friend in high school. Her name was Veronica and we too were sister-soul mates. She was supposed to be my maid of honor when I married and me, hers. It didn’t turn out that way because when I married she was out of state at college. And, when she married we were estranged due to a complicated situation that involved her family and I wasn’t asked to be her maid of honor. We tried to reconnect after she married, but there was still too much hurt bubbling beneath the skin, and it didn’t work. Then I moved to Connecticut and our connection was broken.


Last month, I was visiting my ex-husband (yes we are now friends) and his wife in Florida and he mentioned that he had connected with Veronica who now also lived in Florida. They had a lively conversation he reported. Just before I left, he handed me a small piece of paper that had her name, telephone number, and email address on it. He simply said, “Please call her, she’d love to hear from you.”

This is not her real information

Yesterday, I called her and we chatted for over an hour. Later, I texted her a picture from my yearbook where it said, “This page reserved for Ronnie (her nickname).” It was blank. This morning we were texting back and forth over that since she thought it was 48 years ago and I reminded her it was 65 years ago. She texted back that her math was never good. And so it went that here it is that I have now reconnected with my high school best friend and SS while losing another.

Life is beautiful, amazing, magical, and mystical in an unexpected way.


I remember when my stepfather died, my mother kept saying how lonely she was. She was living in a nice home in California and was active in the community and her church. I couldn’t understand how she could be lonely when she was so busy all the time. About a year after my stepfather died, she married her best friend’s brother. It was a big mistake, but it solved her loneliness. However, after three years of marriage to him, when he tried to kill her, she divorced him. She spent the next five years before she died alone, but she never complained of being lonely again.

Now I get it. My spouse died one and a half years ago of cancer. There was much to be done in the months after he died notifying all those agencies, changing his name to mine, sorting through his clothing, his things, his life, and deciding what went to where. It was exhausting but it kept me busy and not lonely.

I was fortunate that my adult daughter lived with me and shared things like doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, cooking, food shopping, and getting me to doctor’s appointments when I couldn’t drive for one reason or another. We try to always have dinner together, but lately, that hasn’t worked out so well.

2,485 Person Doing Crossword Puzzle Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free  Images - iStock
Grocery shopping Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock132,664 Doctors Office Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Her best friend who used to live one block away has now moved seven miles away. She now spends a lot of time there and also with several other of his family members. I am happy that she is so involved and busy. But it leaves me alone for days at a time when she leaves early in the morning and comes home after I have gone to bed. I don’t think she is avoiding me, I just think she is living her life and that is a good thing.

The problem for me is that I am now finding myself lonely, Like my mother. My mother was sixty-six when she was widowed and she lived for another ten years. I was eighty-one when I was widowed and hope I will have that much time. What I do know is that I am not looking to get married again to solve my loneliness. And, I have plenty to keep me busy. I have a novel to complete, I am active in a bridge club, and my writer’s guild. I have plenty of doctor’s appointments, and I have lunch with friends on a regular basis.

So, why am I lonely. Who knows? I just pray that it is a fleeting feeling that will drift away with the wind and I’ll wake up one day with joy in my heart. Lonely no more.

Give Me Joy In My Heart - Lyrics, Hymn Meaning and Story

The Grandfather Clock

I wish I could clean someone’s clock for inventing grandfather clocks. My Ralph’s parents bought a gorgeous grandfather clock as a wedding gift in 1931. In 1981, we inherited the clock because no one wanted it. I only wish they had. For years, it had been chiming away to its heart’s content and my discontent. Every fifteen minutes, it plays the Westminster tune that sounds like our doorbell. Sometimes I even get up and run to the door.

The clock nobody wanted

It is particularly annoying when trying to hear the TV or sleep. And God forbid I should turn the chimes off as Ralph loved those chimes. I would turn them off; he would turn them on. We wound it up every Sunday, just like his parents had done, and sealed it with a kiss. And so it went for 40 looong years. After Ralph died, I turned the chimes off – ah blessed silence.

I tried to give it away. I asked my stepson if he wanted it. He already had his mother’s grandfather clock. My eldest daughter, who once lusted after that clock, didn’t have room for it. When I offered it to my niece, it didn’t fit her décor. My brother-in-law hated chimes. My nephew in California discovered how much it cost to ship it out there and suddenly had no interest.

Then I decided to sell it. Surely an antique clock in excellent condition must be worth thousands. Right? Until my clock repairer said it wasn’t worth more than a couple of hundred dollars. Sigh. It seems selling a grandfather clock is like selling an empty church – not much of a market for either.

Church Sale Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

In my despair, I decided it was mine until death us do part. So, I wound it up, turned on the chimes, gave it a big hug, and named it Ralph!

Built Anew

I find that I am in the process of building anew my life without my spouse. It has only been eleven months since he died, and while the pain has abated, the memories are fresh for the picking depending on my mood.

Start New Life High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy


I have found a new freedom to make my own choices without concern for another and I finally find it exhilarating rather than guilty.  Guilty that I felt free from some bond that shouldn’t be broken, but was by death. I think we hang on to that bond out of some sense that if we let go it will feel as if we had abandoned our love for the one we lost. Truth is, we haven’t for that special love will always be something I will cherish and hold dear in my heart, but will not let it bind me to memories that prevent me from making free choices.  I have, however, lost that companion and advisor when I question one of my choices and must rely completely on my own information, intuition, and inclination. 

Making Choices High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy

And, if my choice turns out to be the wrong one, I’ll be the only one who has to deal with it and make it right or abandon it without another to say, “I told you so” or “Why didn’t you listen to me?” I feel like the caged bird set free to fly into the world to explore a life heretofore restricted and restrained. Yes, I am going to enjoy this new freedom that allows me to rebuild my life anew, in the image of my own imagination and choice. Watch out world, here I come on wings sprouted anew.

5 Daily Choices the Smartest People Make |

On Being 82

I have never felt old, like in old, old. I know that my body is not as firm or strong or flexible as it was in my 20’s, 30’s or even in my 50’s. I did, however, lose 50 pounds when I was 54 and I pumped iron so my body was probably as good as it would ever get again. I know for sure that my boobs will never be as firm and bouncy as they once were, as they now nestle somewhere between my waist and my belly button. Even my eyelids now droop and my skin is beginning to look like crepe paper. But, who cares. I’ve earned all those signs of aging and I claim them as badges of wisdom and accumulated knowledge.

But back to old. I have always felt young in heart and mind and soul. When I was in my 40’s I felt like I was 18 years old. When I was in my 60’s I felt like I was in my early 30’s. And now that I am 82, I still feel as if my soul and spirit were somewhere in my mid 50’s. I am at that age where I have learned a coal-truck ton about life and suffered more than I bargained for when I was 20.

I won’t talk about the fat that secretely crawls in under your skin at night while you sleep. Or the clothes hanging in your closet or dresser drawers that shrink a size or two at night. Anyone my age knows all about those things unless, of course, they are those skinny, perfectly proportioned, robots that are manufactured on a faraway planet and shipped into our world when we aren’t looking.

My eyesight is hanging in there with the help of glasses, and while my hearing isn’t too bad, my understanding of words (clarity) are in the pits. I can cover it pretty well if I look at people, but my least favorite phrase is, “What did you say?” And, with the aid of an army of medications my cholesterol, blood pressure, and A1C is all good. If you don’t know what A1C is, just wait until you’re older and your doctor will explain it to you.

So for an 82 year-old crone, I think I’m doing pretty good. I get plenty of sleep, watch my sugar and carb intake, have about one glass of wine a week, don’t smoke, and try to find joy in everything I can. And, I try to be kind and gentle to everyone. My goal is to reach 100 years-old. But if I don’t make it, it won’t be because I didn’t try. Onward.

Climate Change Where Art Thou?

What is it with this weather? I thought that climate change meant that things were heating up, that those snowbound New England winters would turn into forever springtime and the snowbirds could stay home. Those in Florida would love that as the traffic would be bearable and the beaches would be all theirs. They might not like the slump in the economy due to the dearth of northern dollars flooding in, but hey, you know you can’t have it all.

Climate Change, People Influence Climate Change. Climate Change. Vector  Illustration Stock Vector - Illustration of environment, ecology: 151402320

I am sitting at my desk in lower Delaware, the sun is streaming in my easterly window and I’m freezing. It is May 12 for God’s sake and is only 61-degrees outside when it should be somewhere in the mid 70’s. Those May flowers, brought on by April showers, are shivering in their planters and I’m concerned they will not survive until June. As much as I love my spring and summer blossoms, I’m not a gardener by nature. The thought of having to buy new plants and replace my frozen buds doesn’t excite me.

20,252 Wilted Plant Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

However, I have noted that it is our human nature to complain when it is too cold and complain when it is too hot. In the winter months, we run from heated house to heated car to heated workplace, to heated grocery store to heated pharmacy back to the heated house. In the summer months, we exchange the heat for air conditioning and rarely suffer exposure to extreme hot or cold weather for more than three nanoseconds. We just can’t win unless we either love to be outside to ski or sled, or outside at the beach to bask and bake in the sun.

Grayton Beach State Park | Florida State Parks
I refuse to give up on the idea of skiing this season: I need it for my  mental health

So I’m waiting for this climate change to settle somewhere in the middle and give me 50-degrees give or take a few degrees every night and 80-degrees give or take a few degrees every day. Or, as many have suggested, I could move to San Diego where those temperatures exist 365 days a year, and quit complaining.

36 Hours in San Diego | Best Locals Travel Guide - YouTube

The Wedding

Not too long ago I wrote about taking off my wedding rings after my spouse died last fall. I have also pondered since then as to what to do with his wedding ring. It is way too big (size 11 or 12) for any of my fingers and I’m sure it would fetch a pretty penny if I sold it for the gold content. However, that didn’t seem like a very honorable thing to do since it represented our 40 years together. Ponder, ponder, ponder.

I also remember writing about our “Logo” some years ago on one of my blogs. Maybe even on one before I lost them all to a hard drive crash before cloud storage. The logo was of two seagulls flying together which my spouse wrote about in an early love letter. In the letter he compared our lives as two gulls who fly together most of the time, but also fly away on their own path for a while, but always return to fly together. He wore a gold pair of flying gulls I had made for him around a chain on his neck until he died. He loved to tell people about how it represented our love, togetherness, but also our independence.

I finally decided to meld his wedding band and the two flying gulls together and have them made into one pendant. The rub here was that I have a Jerusalem cross that I bought in Jerusalem in 1998 that have worn around my neck every day since then. It is a gorgeous piece and I was hesitant to stop wearing it in favor of the gull-ring piece.

And so, the wedding took place. I took them all to a jeweler and had them pieced together into one pendant. It is exquisite and I now carry some of my love with me every day while still wearing the cross I cherish. A win-win.

The Bras Are Off

The Bras Off

I recently had to have a CT scan, but before it could be done, the technician said I had to have an EKG (Electrocardiogram – why the initials are a “K” and not a “C” is beyond me).  As he was about to lift my blouse to attach the electrodes, I said, “Now don’t be scared, but I have no bra on.” He hesitated. I added, “I haven’t worn a bra in at least 30 years. They are instruments of torture.” I don’t know what he thought after that, but the female assistant burst into laughter and said, “Can you stay here all day, you are my kinda woman, and after the morning I’ve had, I want you to stay and cheer me up.” We both chuckled. The flush-faced male technician lifted my blouse, attached the electrodes, and carried on trying hard to make me believe my drooping ladies were an everyday occurrence to him.

CT Scan, CAT Scan

This bra talk got me thinking about not wearing my bra since I have not worn a bra in over 30 years. Oh, by the way, in case anyone is saying, “Ewwww,” right about now, I always wear two layers or at least a camisole, so my girl’s nipples won’t offend. I have found that bras don’t have any measurable effect on keeping my girls up and bouncy. Inch by cruel inch, they slowly slithered past my waistline and are now becoming intimate with my belly button. Each morning I stand nude in front of the mirror and cup them in both hands and lift them to my twenty-year-old something position. Of course, not for their benefit, but so I can have a moment to recall their glory days. Those perfect 34B orbs were the envy of all my friends. Especially Andrea, who was a whopping 44DD, and Penny, who was a minuscule 30AA.

Aging Gracefully From Rags to Riches | COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

Over the years, I have also learned that bras may also contribute to cancer. I won’t bore you with all the research details, but it has something to do with constricting our blood vessels and lymph-somethings. Anything that constricts or binds up the flow of our bodily fluids can’t be good. So it makes a lot of sense that it might be a cause for any number of rather unpleasant consequences, including cancer.  Surely kidney stones back up our kidneys and are very painful.  Bladder infections can form large blood clots in the bladder and contribute to pain and suffering.  We all know that blocked arteries cause heart attacks, constipation isn’t good, and God knows what else goes on underneath our unique sack of skin in the dark recesses of our body.

450 Maxine Cartoons & Quotes ideas | maxine, funny, bones funny

Come to think of it, in our au naturel state, nothing binds us up.  Maybe the healthiest alternative is to go naked.  It has its advantages – we don’t have to keep “in style,” no dry-cleaning bills, no need for a washer and dryer, a walk-in closet space could be used as an extra bedroom for small people.  We could fill our minds with much more helpful information instead of wasting it deciding what to wear, what color looks best, or whether or not a particular outfit makes us look fat.  And our time – think of the time spent shopping for clothes – hey, we could read the classics, listen to music, volunteer at a non-profit, play with our children or grandchildren, write that book……the possibilities are endless…or at least bra-less.

Erin go braless | Etsy


Normally I like rain. I view rain as nourishing the earth and bringing forth new life, particularly in the spring. When I was a little girl our street would flood when it rained long and hard. My mother would let me and my sister outside when the rain ended so we could splash around in the “lake” in front of the house. It was such fun. Not so much anymore, but that is more a consequence of not wanting to have a grown adult look ridiculous jumping up and down in a big puddle, laughing and giggling at the fun of it all.

Jump | Photo, Singing in the rain, Beautiful children

And I often wonder what happened to umbrellas. I have three golf-sized ones that never get used, and two small collapsible ones that rarely get used. It seems so much easier to make a dash for the door even in a downpour rather than struggle to get the “brelly” open outside of the half-open door to my van. And getting it back inside the van is even more of a challenge and much wetter.

Harry Anderson tries to stay relatively dry as he maneuvers his umbrella  into position before slipping out of his car during a steady rainstorm,  Thursday, Dec 27, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

Today it has been raining steadily here all day and our rain gauge shows we have about three inches so far. I’ll not go out in it, I’ll just watch the trees leaf out and the bulbs blossom as they suck in the nourishment. I am, however, grateful that it is not snow. That would be about three feet of the white stuff which I and the flora can do without, thank you very much.

Spring-blooming Bulbs | White Flower Farm
Why isn't my tree leafing? - TreesCharlotte


After my husband died in September 2020 I found that I had joined a host of wingles. Wingle is what my daughter calls me because she didn’t like the term “Widow” as it reminded her of the black widow spider who consumed her mate after mating. I must agree that is not a pleasant vision.

How to Identify a Black Widow Spider | Black widow spider, Widow spider, Black  widow

So, she invented “Wingle” which is a contraction of “widow – wi” and “single – ngle. and it has stuck.

But I digress. I had a quandary – when should I stop wearing my wedding rings. As wingle after wingle stopped by to drop off a meal for my family and visitors, or I ran into one in the grocery store, I would ask them when they stopped wearing their rings. One said after about a year when she took them off to garden and never put them back on. Another said she couldn’t remember, they were just gone one day. One said she considered herself still married and still wears hers. Another said she just put them on her right hand, but only the engagement ring. One wears her engagement ring on the ring finger and the wedding ring on her pinkie. Well, I certainly had a choice now didn’t I?

Wedding Ring Guide

And then I remembered the wedding vows Ralph and I exchanged some forty years earlier. We had changed the part that said, “to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death,” to “love and to cherish forever.” Forever.

And it struck me then that being a Christian and believing in the afterlife, I would be loving my beloved forever. I no longer had to wonder when I would remove my wedding rings.

God gave me you to cherish and treasure forever. - Romantic Love Quote |  Romantic love quotes, Cherish quotes, Hello quotes