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As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Rule # 51 – Keep on keeping on.

Dear Hub,

Yesterday was January 1. Happy New Year! We didn’t spend it together this year, because we couldn’t. You celebrated with your folks, and my folks, and the Spunkys, Rusty and Romeo, and all the other family members who went before us. You have a unique perspective on this New Year, which I don’t have. Nor do I intend to have it for quite a long while. But it’s time to do some reflection on the past year.Oh and do I miss you!!! So much!!!

When I think about the year, it comes in lyric-form. I keep thinking about the songs we listened to, and what they say to me now.

“Ch-ch-changes! Turn and face the change.”

So much has changed! I have to do things on my own now. Completely on my own. Now I have to rely on my friends, where before I was the friend people relied on. You know me, stubbornly independent. But sometimes I always hope someone takes over and makes the decisions for me. Not to happen anymore, it’s not. I have to be more decisive now.

“Merry Christmas, Darling. We’re apart, that’s true.”

New traditions took over this past holiday. I’m sure you were ready to serve up the name of a good shrink when we all showed up at the cemetery on Christmas Eve with your bottle of Stoly. We toasted you with a shot and shared one with you. We will do that every year from now on. Yes, it looks silly. Maybe, stupid even. But the move got us through the day. We remembered you and the goofy things you did. I didn’t have to cook this year, and, know what? I could get used to that. I may be cooking next year, who knows? But in any event, we will miss you and the way you directed all the present opening that went on around our tree. Yes, Hon, I added more travel ornaments (I can hear you groan!). I will continue to add more. The bear tree went up inside this year (more groaning). But I get the feeling you really liked all the decorating we did. But now – at least after this Sunday – it will be time to clean it all up. That’s always been a sad time for me. I think for you too. But we have to make room for new things happening this year. Can’t do it with the old stuff hanging around, taking up space.

By the way, how DID you knock back that Stoly? I thought I swallowed liquid fire when I did that shot!

“This is our song. It might be quite different, but, now that it’s done. I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words how wonderful life is when you are in my world.”

I know I’ll be hanging on to the memories as I clean things out in the next few months. We have a memory box set up and ready for special items that are yours.

I’ve got another “crash” planned, too, that included something you’ve been after me to do for a while now – clear out the office. Well, “Sandy” had us spring a leak in the ceiling. So guess what I have to do now, so it can be completely fixed. See? You are still in my world… I am going to do some color changes too. And we will finally get the steps and hallways done with this crash. It’s only me to worry about right now. But I know you won’t let me sit and mope over everything. It’s a blog-worthy event in life. So I need you to keep me writing. I have my bottle of Writer’s Block wine uncorked and ready to go. Here’s hoping I can sell the doggie book, finish the snow dance book, and get started on Esther Bunny. Now I can visit the Canadian province she lives in, and see what it’s really like.

The hardest part will be finishing the job our son started in the basement. That was your “cave”. I just have to remember to do this in baby steps, a little at a time. And never start a project like that without tissues handy. Tears seem to come very easily anymore.


This is not the way I wanted to start 2013. I wanted us both to celebrate the start of the year together, telling the little Mayan dude to stick the calendar wheel someplace. I wanted us both to plan trips together around the lower 48 for this summer and fall. Now I have to do this by myself.

“Don’t worry. Be happy!”

Now I have to make a conscious effort to be happy. I can do this. I’ve always been good at smiling through pain. But really, we have a lot to be happy about. We had a great life together. We have great kids and a fantastic grandchild. We have great friends and extended family. I think I’ll be all right… eventually. But make sure I know you’re around, ok?

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”

I remember saying that to you in the hospital, especially on the last few days. I will always remember the last time you kissed me. It was such a privilege to be with you at the end. I’ll keep going on, but it won’t be the same. You are and will always be such a part of my life. The best part, to be sure… I’ll never let go of the memories.

But now it’s time to start anew.

“And I’ll always love you!”


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