Spindly legs, atrophied with age, carried the old man carefully toward the ocean’s edge. His upper spine was bent forward, causing the loose flesh of his abdomen to fall in small folds to his black swim trunks. His mustache and thin hair were dark grey, mottled with white.

Nearing the water, he looked up to see the remains of a wave approaching. With renewed vigor, he quickened his step and took a few jogging steps into the salty brine. He came to a stop and stood, calf deep, facing the horizon of the Atlantic. His weathered, droopy arms began to rise. He extended his arms straight out to the sides, palms forward. He breathed deeply of the ocean smells of salt and seaweed. He sighed at the feel of the water pushing and pulling on his legs and the breeze flowing across his face and chest. Continue reading “Transformation”

More Dayton Elementary Memories, From Others

I was telling someone the other day about the bush fort we made at school. I remember Mrs. Guyer having red hair. I remember she traced *our* whole body, then our writing assignment was to write about the child she had traced. In Mrs Wilson class, I had to practice Math. We learned so much from Mrs . Hill and Mrs. Hotttle. Mrs. Hottle gave us bells in 6th grade. I remember all of us jumping out the window in 6th grade. Mrs. Arbogast had the dog Waggles. The classroom.  Krista Continue reading “More Dayton Elementary Memories, From Others”

All That I Hoped, More Than I Expected

She’d been asking for a long time. “What do you want to do for your birthday?” It was a big year. Fifty. It sounds so old! I’d already made sure that my kids knew that I didn’t want a surprise party, but did I still want a party?

There was a war inside. I’d love nothing better than to spend time with loved ones, all in one place. At the same time, a part of me wondered if anyone would come. How would that feel if hardly anybody wanted to come? I’m also not keen on having the attention on me. An informal party sounded best.

I finally admitted that yes, I did want a party, and Julie set it up for me as a Facebook event. The kids said they’d do the food. Julie ordered the cake.

We opted to have the party at my house due to the good outdoor space and mosquito-free yard. I always say that the best motivation to get one’s house cleaned is to invite people to the house. It works great for the yard too! Being off school for the summer, I got a lot of work done on the yard, culminating in NINE trash cans of yard debris, conveniently picked up the day before the party.

In the weeks and days leading up to the party, I watched the r.s.v.p. list. My excitement grew as various people indicated they were coming, both by online r.s.v.p. and through text and verbal reply. Along with the excitement, I held some disappointment that a couple of friends hadn’t responded and I assumed they weren’t coming.

Knowing that my love language is “words of affirmation,” Julie invited people to bring me cards “with meaningful words of how you met, what she has meant or means to you now, and what you appreciate about her presence in your life.” 

Party time arrived and my friends and family began arriving. Each person who walked in the door or gate brought me joy. My mom and ALL of my kids were there. It was our first time all together since Christmas of 2015. There were friends I’d known for 30 years, 20 years, and 2 years. Even my disappointment about the particular friends who hadn’t responded dropped away as they came also! 

My heart was full. My heart is still full. I sat with the precious cards and gifts of words the next day, and took them all in. I absorbed them, rested in them, and received the beautiful and affirming words. One of these gifts of words was made by Julie and placed in a frame.


This. I am known. I am seen.

I was asked several times how I liked the party. Truly, it was PERFECT! Thanks to my planners, food preparers, and all my guests who came and made me feel oh so loved and special!