Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Table Leaf

"Are you okay Gretch?!"
My sister Pam yelled from somewhere above
as she and my brother-in-law Al held
the sides of the antique table with the hopes that
I would not be crushed from the weight.
I was laying on the dining room floor,
on my back, trying to keep the two sides of
the heavy table from falling as Pam and Al
secured the leaf in place.
I had one foot on each of the sides and finally
felt the weight ease up as the metal rungs were slid into place.
"I'm fine!" I shouted up through the thick wood.
Antiques.  I only like them in museums
or the homes of other people. 
This old table weighed more than my first car
and it was a 1968 solid steel Volvo sedan from Ravenna Motors.
While I was grateful to have a dining room table for
our first Christmas in our new house in 1992,
it was fairly terrifying for the five years I had to
put the in the leaf.

"To Do" List or Penmanship Practice?

I don't know what happened.
I used to be able to whip out a "to do" list of
ten things and have it done by lunch.
Nowadays, if I didn't have low standards,
I'd have no standards.
When I finish a "to do" list on my night stand,
I slip it to the bottom of the loose stack of
scratch paper so I can recycle all the old lists
at one time. To be efficient.
It would be efficient if I had DONE all the
things on the list before I was ready to recycle.
But I did not.
And the scary part is
I don't care.
Tonight when I go to bed I'm going to write tomorrow's
"to do" list very very neatly.
Maybe even in cursive.
Then at least I can practice my penmanship.

Friday, December 30, 2016

How My Exercise Pants Made Me Fat

The elastic waistband.
Number one enemy for those of us
chronically losing the Battle of the Bulge.
When Terry gifted me with my first pair of
sweat pants in 1987, I remembered thinking,
"Ew, purple. That's what my MOM and
But, they were OH SO COMFORTABLE.
If you want to lose weight seriously,
you have to pitch any pants with
Not like I'm going to do that but I'm
great at telling OTHER people what to do.
Here are the other enemies of those of us
losing the Battle of the Bulge.
2.  Food that tastes good
3.  La-Z-Boy chairs
4.  La-Z-Boy Chairs with a heating pad
5.  Books
6.  Cars
7.  Any home made food, especially cookies
8.  Beds (When you're over sixty)
9. Jane Fonda, because after five minutes you've earn 10,000 calories
10. Overactive taste buds (my sister Pam's theory) 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmastime at the Nudie Spa

Well this was a bit awkward.
As I walked to my cubby in the main soaking room
there were about five dozen women in ONLY their birthday suits.
I hadn't seen that many naked women in one spot
since my Eckstein junior high PE class in 1971.
My fear of being the only old, well-rounded person at the day spa
evaporated instantly as I saw I had the most common shape.
We were a happy group of naked strangers ranging anywhere from
one hundred twenty to four hundred pounds!
My pal Mary was at her massage so I climbed in the hotest
jacuzzi pool and whispered "Hello" to my naked bench neighbor.
Amber proceeded to tell me her life story, in its entirety,
in ten minutes. I smiled and nodded and was happy my husband
had trained me to listen without EVER having the expectation
of getting a word in edgewise. She was delightful.
I saw it was time for my massage and dried off and
found the lounge area.
It was filled with a huge semi-circular couch of
robed, shower-capped women, reminding me of
sea lions draped on the docks at Edmonds ferry dock.
I requested a neck/shoulder/scalp massage and was
happily surprised that someone invented a scalp massage.
The rule of whispering was fairly well respected so when
my half hour was up I exited to the lounge area and
smiled and waved in giant motions with both hands
to Mary, who was sitting next to the Christmas tree.
Only it wasn't Mary and I did not have my glasses.
Everyone looked alike in their spa robes and shower caps!
Mary came from another room and found me and we
tried the salt room. The huge floor was salt covered with
a giant cloth with salt-filled pillows. The walls were
bricks of Himalayan salt bricks of golden colors with
lights shining gently through them from the back.
(So the sign said, but I swear I saw them on Home
It was lovely to lay down but embarrassing to have to
flip ourselves over to all fours to get back up again.
We were both hungry and had a delightful lunch
at the spa cafe wearing our robes and shower caps
with the rest of our nudie gang.
As we went back to the hot tub room, Mary whispered
to me, "Have you tried the mugworts splash?"
It sound like something from Harry Potter so I followed
her to a trough filled with what looked like
hot swamp water.  We poured it from big
wooden bowls over ourselves, then over each
other's backs and then went to soak again.
Relieved that the mugwort had not turned me into
Hermione Granger, we went home.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Driving Topless in the Magical Snow

Last night on his way to work Troy stopped and asked
for wool socks for Christmas.  (I had ALREADY SHOPPED)
I asked him what had happened to all the socks from last year
and he said he didn't know.
I woke up early and cruised in Girly Girl out to BotHell Freddies.
As I got out of the car, a few snowflakes started swirling in the air
and I felt cheerful and happy and full of Christmas spirit.
I bought Troy socks and came out of the store
and looked up in amazement at the sky.
Huge fluffy snowflakes were floating down.
They were light and airy and not the normal wet Seattle flakes.
I had been thinking I wanted to drive topless in the snow for weeks.
So I did.
As I cruised down Bothell-Everett highway at
forty miles per hour, snowflakes landed on my eyelashes.
It was so cold they didn't melt.
I had very heavy eyelashes and it felt like
bits of magic clinging to my face.
My chest filled with happiness from old
Christmas memories
brought on by the magical snowflakes
which were now stuck in my eyelashes.
This morning Teddy stopped on his way to work
and I asked him how his sock supply was.
He said it was great since he had all of his socks and his brothers. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kindergarten Best Friends 2016

I was walking down the hall at the end of my shift.
I saw the two little girls and said, "Hello."
The little black kindergarten girl was zipping up
the little Mexican girl into a puffy coat and said,
"I'm loaning Lupe my extra coat because
hers doesn't have a hood.
We are going to be friends when we are ninety-nine!"
 Lupe looked at her and said softly,
"And in heaven after that."

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Shelfless Library of Cascade K-8

I stared at the computer screen seeking the book
I was trying to upload to the LibraryWorld database.
"Mrs. Nixon! We've run out of room in the As!"
Not again, I thought to myself.
It was the first week of December and we STILL
didn't have shelves in our tiny library.
Well, we did have shelves for an hour
back in October. The sixteen shelves were
delivered after I had gone home for the day.
At our library meeting at headquarters the next morning,
the head librarian, Geneva Norton said to me,
"Too bad about your shelves."
To which I replied, "What shelves?"
She looked at me with compassion and said,
"They were delivered yesterday and they were
twenty-four inches deep instead of eighteen.
The principal sent them back, I'm sorry, I thought you knew."
No I didn't know.
Hard to miss what you've never had.
I got up from my circulation desk and went back
to where my eighth grade Journey kids were trying
to shelve books onto four rolling carts.
Four carts which had been our library since September.
I got down on my knees with Amanda and looked for
the few remaining Bs and pulled them out.
"There you go Amanda, just slide everything down a shelf."
I carried the dozen Bs to the other side of the cart
with all our fiction Bs and Cs and looked down sadly.
The cart was full.

and they were the wrong