Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Overheard in the Grocery Store

While buying groceries tonight I overheard a little boy about 10 very desperately begging, "Can we cook them the old fashion way Dad, can we? Can we? Please!"

I was studying the chicken breast but I just had to look up and saw that the father was trying to decide what pack of wieners to buy.

The father seemed to ignore the boy but he kept on and on. I was trying to figure out if the "old fashion way" was to boil the wieners instead of microwaving but then he said, "Please Dad, can we cook them the old fashioned way, on a stick?"

I was almost as disappointed as the boy when his father finally answered him with a stern and you'd better not ask again "No, not this time."

I do so love a wiener roast! Except down here we say "weeney" roast.

It is said when the moon is full, it causes some of us of the human species to act differently. I can tell you it is indeed true. Tonight on my way home from work the moon was HUGE and orange as it was rising and I didn't have my camera and by the time I got home it wasn't as big or orange anymore.
Had I not seen this big beautiful moon tonight I still would have known it was full because I dealt with people today that were sure feeling the effects of it. And they look at me like I'm the one that is NUTS! Ok, well, maybe I am but still, its rude to look at
people like that!

IT's Tuesday Morning....

...and for me that means an early morning conference call. So, I'm up early having my coffee. I had an email letting me know my DIL and granddaughter are home safe and sound and for that I am thankful. Nothing much else happening around here. The weather is miserably hot as it usually is here this time of year. And that's about it for now. Have a good day wherever you might be today!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Busy Sunday!

I had to work today and now I'm home. My supper is done in the crock pot and I'm going to make cupcakes for work tomorrow. I bought some Sparkling Grape Juice and we're really going to have an early morning celebration.

My sales associates aren't really "morning" people so I don't know how well it's going to go off at eight in the morning but we're going to "toast" to our success this month. I bought fresh strawberries to go in the grape juice too.

I also have some more preparation for the meeting that I'll finish up tonight. And it's raining! Well sort of kinda. It's making a lot of noise out there and it rained on me off and on while I was driving home.

We are short a person at work, she is out having surgery and had some complications so my assistant and I are working strange schedules next week to cover for her. I get off early tomorrow, go in late on Tuesday and I'm off on Wednesday.

So I have lots to get done tonight. And then I have to get up early for the meeting so I'd better get busy.


My DIL's mother asked me to wire wrap this arrowhead for her. I'm still playing around with it but here's my first attempt. Not sure if this is the one I'll stay with or not but it turned out pretty nice.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Movie for the Night

In the mood for a good fantasy, we'll see how this one goes.

For Dinner Tonight.......

....just some fruit, maybe cottage cheese or yogurt for protein. It's way too hot to cook, and I'm way too tired to anyway. SO that is my plan. (Not to mention we had pizza at work today to celebrate our successful month.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Morning Ramblings

I had lunch with my girls yesterday before they started off on their long trip home and last night they called me from Elvis's birthplace. My granddaughter sat on the porch swing of the house where he was born! How cool is that?

My co-workers thought I was going to be a mess after they left me but I only had a few tears. Having the distraction of work was a good thing. Had I been at home and had to say goodbye it might not have been that easy.

I have to work all weekend and have an early morning meeting on Monday. Our store has had a good month and we're one of the few in our district that has so that is one less thing to worry about, the powers that be pretty much leave us alone as long as we are making budget. That's the world of retail.

That's about it for my life right now this moment. Of course in the background of this life my mind is spinning and I'm still trying to make a plan of what I need to make me happy. Number one thing that is for sure. I need to be close to that little girl that was swinging on the King's porch swing yesterday. That I know for sure.

I'm off to work, have a great day everybody!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nothing Fair About It

I met a man today who shared a story with me and I've not been able to get his sad eyes out of my mind. He told me of how he'd served our country in Vietnam.

He told me how he'd lost his brother and a lot of his buddies in that war. And then he told me when he came home he was called "baby killer" and was spat on.

He looked into my eyes and said very quietly , "I dodged a lot of bullets but I couldn't dodge that spit."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Funny how one simple phone call from somebody can make you feel so much better and see things a little differently.

All of a sudden...

....I have a new passion for old trucks.

My Day Off

Rain is in the forecast (I'll believe it when I see it) and I have nothing I have to do today so that's a good thing. I like days like that.

All of a sudden after almost 10 years of living alone and liking it, I find myself facing that horrible, frightful "L" word. I have to face it and deal with it as if I'm not trying to figure out enough in my life right now! I AM LONELY. There, I've said it.

Actually it's all my oldest son's fault. Back in the Spring when he moved in with me for a while I guess I got used to somebody being here. It was bad because he never found a job while he was here and he has a little problem about respecting other people's things, and I was glad when he moved on but after he left this place was strangely quiet. I figured I'd get over that fast but even now, a few months later, I miss having someone here. So I'm not sure what's up with that. Nothing much I can do about it.

Tomorrow My DIL and granddaughter will be leaving Georgia and going back home. I hope their trip back goes as well as their trip here went. They are stopping by my work to say goodbye. And I'm planning on taking them out to lunch.

And that's about all I know for now. Looking for some quite time alone today to do some thinking, meditating, praying, as I seek for the answers I need for the peace and happiness that I don't seem to have at the moment. Maybe I should take up YOGA!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

i am searching for the light today
even though the sun is shining bright.
it is that dark place beckoning me,
where hope doesn't dwell
and despair takes over my mind.
i know what takes me there
and i know my way out.
But still can't find the strength
i need to make the changes,
i know I've got to sort things out
and clear the way
before i'm lost
forever in this dark, dark place.

Monday, July 23, 2007

NO Bright Ideas tonight. Very tired, turning out the lights early I think and calling it a day. Goodnight.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I heard this statement yesterday, "I went to the ATM machine and completely forgot my PIN number."

A little redundant don't you think?

If I'm really, really honest with myself I suppose I've been guilty of saying Automated Teller Machine Machine too, but never have I ever said Personal Identification number number!!! (Ok, maybe that once.)

You have to laugh at us and our world of abbreviations and acronyms. My mother was the first to introduce me to one. She'd say A-Sap and I at first just thought it was a word that meant, "do that right this minute or else!"

Nowadays with computers and text messaging they are used all the time. The Government is notorious for them as well.

"Fast" words for our "fast" world.

Movie for the Day

After I clean my living space a little and and take care of some other boring things, this is the movie for the day. As a 50 year old white female I feel a little guilty about having a thing for Denzel but I must admit I do. I shouldn't feel guilty, I don't think my African American girlfriends have anything to worry about as I doubt he and I will be getting together anytime soon. But when that man smiles.........my goodness!
Happy Sunday! I hope you all are having a happy, relaxing, peaceful day.

My Journey Continues

Our relationships in this world with other people can be very rewarding. And on the other hand, the roles we play such as child, parent, sister, brother, friend, co-worker and all the many things we are to others in this life can be down right challenging.

I'm an only child and a child of an absence father, even when he lived with us he wasn't really in my life. That being said, my first and longest relationship has been that of a daughter to my mother. And now after 50 years, I still can't seem to get that right. It has been without question the hardest role I've played so far.

This week I've come a little closer to understanding this relationship. At this point, really it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. She is who she is and always will be. I long ago accepted that but I still thought if I could learn to act just the way she wanted me to, or to say just the right thing, she would be proud of me.

The hard truth is I'll never have the relationship with her that I'd hoped to have. I have to say it outloud and more than anything I have to understand it is not my fault.

Because I am talking about my mother, this realization hasn't been an easy thing to accept but I am at the point in my life that I must. For you see, she is living her life merrily and with no regrets and it is I who can't seem to move on. As she ages this form of narcissism she seems to have worsens and to keep from going nuts, I've got to come to terms with it.

I love my mother and it is sad that sooner or later you have to realize that things are just how they are. She can't help who she is, and I've got to be me.

I am lucky enough to have people in my life who know me for who I am and who accept me and all my weirdness. Some(bless their hearts) even admire my oddities. For years I didn't appreciate that. I was on such a path to get my mother's approval and validation that I ignored the ones who loved me for who I was. I'd do anything to get one moment, one little hint of approval from her. It never happened much and if it did it was so short lived that it was hardly worth the effort.

This week I've come closer to realizing that my mother is never going to say she is proud of me or that something I've done was good. And you know what? I'm ok with that. Because finally at 50 years of age, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter. Although she's my mother, she is just a human being, like all of us. Who I am and what I think and who I've become has nothing to do with her approval of me. It doesn't make me less of a person, it doesn't make my opinions or thoughts invalid if she doesn't approve or agree or even acknowledge.

I so regret not understanding this better at a younger age. Because you see how I let this affect me also affected things in my own children's lives and my marriage and other relationships I've had. For that I am so sorry.

This is just part of my journey into this next phase of my life and although it saddens me greatly, in another aspect it relieves me. To finally accept it, to just know that nothing I can do or nothing I ever did changes it. It lifts something off my shoulders and makes me lighter. And so now as I continue on this trip it gets a little easier with one less heavy trunk to lug around.

And such is life, a continuous learning experience that never ends. At least as long as we are here on earth.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The First Time.....

I tasted Chocolate Lava Cake, I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven! Chocolate Heaven!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dreams Tucked away in the Cedar Chest

I'd like to visit the state of Alaska.

To go sailing

And as always, own a little cabin in the woods. Ok, maybe a little more "rustic" than I really would like but I love the location.


Last summer I visited my son and his family in Washington. One day he came home with a bag of cherries. One of his buddies had a tree and had picked them and they were so yummy! Today I looked at some in the grocery store and as badly as I wanted them I couldn't bring myself to buy them at the price they were marked. Plus I know they wouldn't have been nearly as good as the ones I had straight from the tree last year. So I bought strawberries instead. Bummer!

Back to Work this Morning

I still feel a little like someone socked me in the jaw but no pain really and I felt really good yesterday so I'm good.
Our store had a killer day yesterday, big sales and that's always a good thing. Hope we are busy today too, makes the day go faster and helps us in general stay out of trouble with my boss.
We got a little shower yesterday so that's good, my mom's plants got a good drink of water which they were beginning to need badly.
Hope you, my nice readers, have a wonderful Friday full of happiness, peace and hope and whatever it is you seek in a pleasant day. I'm planning to!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What I did this Afternoon


Fresh from the Land

I went out and gathered my breakfast this morning. Fresh egg, just picked tomato and figs. I didn't get up and bake the bread but that was the only thing not fresh.

The Morning After

Can I just say "OWIE?" I got a little pain this morning, mostly soreness I guess but I'm tough you know and I'm sure I'll be better as the day goes on. The dentist didn't give me anything for pain, told me Tylenol would do, but I stashed some pain pills from last week's extraction so I have them if I need them. I just hate to take them, they sort of knock me out and I really didn't want to sleep all day. But I am so glad I took today off too. And now I'm going up to my parent's and pick those figs and tomatoes! Maybe the bugs are still asleep.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Doing my Chores

Ok, going to my Mother's place to do my chores was NOT a pleasant experience. Along with the heat this summer we've had an over abundance of bugs. BITING bugs. The thing is they nearly eat you alive before you realize they're biting. You hardly feel the bite but the after effect is terrible!! On me, big whelps appear and then they itch like the dickins! So, I didn't get to pick many figs, and the plants could use a drink but even the bug repellent spray that I have does nothing!
I had plans for some of those figs with some ricotta cheese I have~oh well.
I do have my camera working for the moment so I'm sharing pictures.

There's a couple of Bluebirds raising a family in this house.

This giant fig tree was rooted from a clipping of a fig tree that has been in my mother's Family for over a hundred years.

The Girls (& Their Man)

They gave me 3 eggs today, thank you ladies!

"Bust a Move"

Ok, just when I've not too long figured out or found out what "bff" means(that's best friends forever for those of you who aren't as cool as me) a new phrase has come to my attention. It's "Bust a Move". I've heard kids use it, and I even heard Oprah use it today.

At first I thought it just means "to dance" but I keep hearing it in different uses so I had to look it up on the Urban Dictionary site. It can also mean to "make a move on a woman" or "to leave in haste as to avoid someone or something. Ummm. Not a phrase I'll have much use for I don't think. I'm not that cool!

But...while on the Urban site I've discovered a VERY cool phrase that I'm going to make my own. It fits my life right now. It means "Be your own woman, make your own path, and take responsibility for who you are and what you do." (It has another meaning too but in order to keep my blog G rated I won't mention it but you can look it up if you want.)

So here's my new phrase used in a sentence.
"I've got to "cowgirl up" and make a decision about what I want to do at this time in my life!"

Now that's a phrase made just for me! I like it!

I Survived One More Time

It went well, well kind of. This dentist works out of two different towns. I thought I made the appointment in one town, about 50 miles from here,he was in the other town but it was only about 20 miles further and so they took me anyway because he was running late, so ok. The treatment only took about an hour, which I was glad and home I came. On the way home I kept noticing the clouds and how pretty they were, just perfect puffy clouds against the bluest of skies,so I took a few quick snaps when I got home. These are for you Steph!

I'm starving now but not sure I'm ready to eat yet. Anyway........I am sooo glad that is over!

Back to School in the Good Ole Summer Time?

I was thumbing through a magazine yesterday while eating lunch and there were articles that kept mentioning Fall, "Loose 10 lbs by Fall", "The New Look for Fall" and for a moment I thought they'd lost their minds or I had an old magazine. I quickly looked at the date on the front cover and it was for August of 2007. So, ok, I guess Fall is really not that far off. The kids here start back to school on August 3rd! AUGUST 3RD!

When I was in school we didn't start back until September. If I were a parent today I'd not know how to buy back to school clothes. In August it is still so hot here, shorts can still be worn. And that kind of takes away the specialness of going back to school shopping for new clothes. I mean if you did go shopping now, you wouldn't be able to wear any of the fall clothes that you bought until much later and that's no fun. And if you were lucky enough to find summer clothes left on the sale rack you would not get to wear them long, and then if you're a growing kid, you'd not be able to wear them again next summer.

I don't know, maybe it's just me but part of the whole "Back to School" experience for me was going shopping. Nice Fall clothes that I'd get to wear right away, new clothes to start off a new year with. Knee socks that matched every outfit I had, head bands too. LOL. Nice fall colored clothes! Not shorts and flip flops and stuff you wore all summer. School clothes were special! They went along with brand new pencils and notebooks. What a shame kids are missing out on that these days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Little of This & A Little of That

Tomorrow what I'll be doing will be about as fun as having a root canal. Oh wait! That's exactly what I am doing tomorrow. I really am ready to get it done though, but I still won't be done. I still have to have a crown . Have to wait until the next pay week to get the crown. Even if you have dental insurance it still costs a fortune to have Teeth!

I'm sure I'll be fine but just for good measure and because I have loads of personal days and vacation days and a few free days I need to take before the end of the year, I'm taking Thursday off too.

There was mention by my DIL of going to Atlanta to the Aquarium on Sunday but she called and said she didn't really want to drive to Atlanta and then back so we won't be doing that. I am going to see them once more though if just for lunch on their way back. Wish I were going back with them. Wish I could just close my life here and start over there.

Ok, I'm off to watch Prime Time, they are doing a story on Daniel Baldwin as he goes through Drug Rehab.

Night Night, Sweet Dreams.

Have a Great Time!

My parents left this morning for a vacation to Florida. Here's my instructions:

Gather the eggs
Feed the chickens
Pick figs and tomatoes
Get the mail
Water the plants (inside)
Water the flowers outside if it doesn't rain

Woo! Their vacations always wear me out.

The Dreaded Conference Call

Up early this morning, trying to wake up for the Tuesday morning conference call. There is one manager on our call who is just too dang cheerful this early in the morning. She's loud and almost sings when she talks.........and it is too much! But you can't help but smile when she tries to wake the rest of us up. When she's not on the call, I miss her.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sometimes when you are trying to make some decisions in your life you start re-thinking some things you thought were not negotiable. These are things in your life that have been the same way for so long that you almost forget you can change them if you wanted to. When you start allowing yourself to think about these things it opens up different options that you've not even thought about before. It's like you suddenly realize you aren't on a one way street. You can actually do a u-turn and go the other way if you want to, if you're brave enough to. Just because you've done something one way for so long doesn't mean you have to go that way forever.

Even Swans...

...have been known to "divorce". That really makes me sad.

I'd like to someday build a wall out of stones.
When I visited my favorite bead store in Washington, the sidewalk leading up to the door had beads in it! TOO cool~I loved it. Maybe I'll make me a beaded sidewalk while I'm at it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I used to have a thing for bottles. I collected them but I couldn't choose exactly a specific kind I wanted to collect, I loved them all. Pretty soon there was no room to display them. So one day I decided I'd have to keep only a few and throw away the others. It was hard but I did it. But even now, if I see a pretty bottle I want to take it home with me and start my collection all over again.
This is my Recipe for the Day from Dr. Weil that I get in my email. Sounds good to me, think I'll try it.

Citrus Salad Dressing

4 Servings
This tart, sweet salad dressing is wonderful on dark, leafy salad greens like romaine or leaf lettuce tossed with orange segments, black olives and red onion slivers.

1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together or combine in a small jar and shake well. Keeps

in the refrigerator for 2 days.

The Ocean is a Good Place....

...to find this. Something about the whole experience does it for me. The sounds, the smells, the sights, the beach touches all my senses. It is a place where I know for sure there is something more powerful than us that controls things. It is where I seek peace within my own soul and usually find it. It is time to plan a trip.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

'Round and 'Round and 'Round I Go!

I don't know how people who abuse prescription pain pills function during the day. Maybe their bodies get used to them but I hate taking them. They make me groggy, the sleep I get from them is not a restful one and I wake up with a hangover! So I'm working on a pot of coffee this morning. But my tooth doesn't hurt!
I have to work today and it is suppose to rain, which we still need badly. I don't mind rainy days at all. I like them.

As usual when I'm around my grandchild my mind is working for a solution to be closer to her. It nearly drives me nuts. There are so many factors to consider. My job, my mother, the fact that my son and his wife may not settle down where they are now, money, my best friend and her little girl(family to me) are here and there's my other son. AH!!!!!!!! Same old story, no solution.

Part of me just wants to throw caution to the wind and just MOVE and let the chips fall where they may. They say home is where the heart is but my heart never has found a home. I feel misplaced and out of place and not where I'm suppose to be.
And yet, I can't find the courage within me to do what I want to do.

I know the people around me wish I'd decide what I want to do. I am growing weary and depressed and I must decide what I want and need and just do it. It's like being on a carousel and going around and around. And if the decision is so hard to make for me, if there's something not quite right about it, something that doesn't feel right, there must be a reason and I guess that reason will be revealed, (I hope) and then maybe it will be clear to me what I should do.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Night Thoughts

Today I went back to work after being off for three days. It was a pretty pleasant day, not as busy customer wise as we'd have liked but it was ok.
I had a nice visit with my granddaughter and will get to see her once more before they go back to Washington.
I'm tired tonight so I'm not much into blogging right at the moment. Also on Wednesday I will have my root canal and that tooth is bothering me at the moment, a good bit. I have pain pills that the other dentist gave me when he pulled my tooth and I think I'll take one or two and call it a night. This tooth needs to hold on for just a few more days. It hasn't really hurt me much until now. Just my luck!
SO, that's my news for now.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

NO Time for Blogging........

........too many trees to climb! I'll be back full time after a certain little tree monkey leaves.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ok, That's Over

I survived the tooth pulling. I'm finally home & have had a yummy concoction of strawberries, banana, plain yogurt, a little vanilla flavoring blended with a few ice cubes for some nourishment as I can't really eat yet.
My dentist here in my town doesn't pull teeth anymore (he had a heart attack a few years back) and so he sends his patients to an oral surgeon a few towns over. This dentist looks about 12! I went to him for oral surgery a few years back but he is the sweetest, most polite dentist you'd ever hope to meet. His shots hurt a little but he is really concerned with your pain he & asks about 20 times if you are ok while he is working. But I appreciate that. I have been to dentists who really don't care that much.
And so....the rest of the day I'll take it easy, finish my book. I'm still numb a little but I have Darvocet if pain comes and now all I have to do is look forward to tomorrow.
Oh and it is extremely HOT today. Everyone seems to be fussing about it. But after all it is July in Georgia. It's pretty normal. Thank goodness for A/C!

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Week Ahead in Review

The GOOD.....My granddaughter will be here Wednesday and Thursday. (and her Mom too!) and I have those days off work.

The BAD...... She's only staying two days and I have to go back to work on Friday.

The UGLY.....I have to go to the dentist and have a tooth pulled on Tuesday.


Have you ever come in contact with someone, someone who's not had that easy of a life, someone who has little and doesn't expect much? And has it ever hit you that if a few circumstances in your life had been different, if you'd taken one road over the other, that this person could be you?

That happened to me today and it makes you step back a little and be thankful for your life even though it's far from perfect, even though you'd imagined things to be different. And it makes me wonder about the age old question, is our destiny pre-determined or do we have a say so? Or did you just happen to choose the right fortune cookie?

Deep thoughts for my tired brain tonight, but good timing to make me thankful for the people I have in my life who care about me, because there are plenty of people in this old world that are really and truly alone. Sometimes you need that reminder.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Discontentment Rears Its Ugly Head

Sunday morning coffee, a rainy, dark morning, and a good book to read. Sounds like just the kind of morning I like but I'm restless today, my mind jumping around and I want to be somewhere I'm not, doing something I can't with someone miles away. How's that for discontentment? And I so hate it when I'm like this and I have to remind myself of what is good in my life. But it's hard in this frame of mind which I do not choose to be in. I can't snap out of it at will, I can't pretend the feelings aren't there, so.......I'll go with the flow until the feelings pass, which they will, as I keep working toward just what it is I want and need.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Big City Life

This time of the year our little town is bustling and it's all because of the Watermelon. Because it was a good year people are walking around with a little extra money in their pockets.

There are migrant workers here from Mexico, from Haiti, and other places that normally are not. Migrant workers even have groupies that follow them from place to place and they are here too. They walk the streets at night. Ok, this is the not so nice part of the Watermelon season but to me it's interesting. You see these women know the migrant workers mostly get paid cash and so they are there to offer whatever they can do for them. Yep! It's true.

So for a few weeks our little town is like a big city with all that goes with it. In a few weeks all will be back to normal but for right now we are like New York City, and our little town never sleeps during the whole season.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Every Once in a While........

...it would be nice to have someone to come home to.

The Games People Play

My parents have discovered a new sport called Ladder Golf. It's become quite a competition as my mother continues to win almost every game they play and my step father is and always has been a sore loser. So, now he is begging me to play with him every afternoon. (He can always beat me.)
It really is a fun game, just hope it doesn't cause them to get a divorce! My mother has always been very competitive and being almost 70 years old, doesn't change that at all. And my step father should know this after being married to her after 30 years. In fact, even though he is 11 years younger she can out work him, out play him and outsmart him at every turn. But still he tries. Got to give him credit for that.

Today I'd rather be here......

...but instead I must go to work. Life is so unfair sometimes!!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A litte confused

Isn't it funny when a holiday comes in the middle of the week it messes with our brains and we get all mixed up on what day it is? Yesterday seemed like Sunday to me, so all today I kept thinking it was Monday. If it's Monday then I have to get up early in the morning to have conference call, only it's not Monday so tomorrow's not Tuesday so I don't have to get up early......I just got to remember that! We think we are so smart, and just look how easily we can be fooled. Or maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Speaking of books....

I have a few things that I treasure as if they were they were very valuable when in fact they mean nothing to anyone except me. For reasons I won't go into on this post, I don't have much left from my childhood. I somehow, and I'm not even sure how, managed to hang on to one thing though. It is a literature book that belonged to my father. He was forced to quit school to work on the farm and in 1945 that wasn't uncommon in rural areas, especially down here. He later went into the army and after he served he went to night school under the G.I. bill and got his high school diploma. This was after he and my mother got married and before I was even born.

I must have been 10 or 11 when I found this book on the bookshelf and claimed it as my own. It's copyrighted in 1952 so it's pretty old now, and very well used and tattered but to this day it still has the best collection of short stories and poems, essays, plays and even photography that I've ever seen compiled together.
It was my first introduction to Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Mark Twain. I was first scared out of my wits by Edgar Allan Poe and read my first love story by Maureen Daly all between the pages of this old literature book.

And now years later, the best thing about this special book is on the inside on the first page my father's name is written in pencil and in his handwriting, and right underneath that in my own childish handwriting is my name. It's quite priceless you see.