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Showing posts from October, 2014

Halloween is for bullies too

My brother said the Wilnut kids had head lice and I believed him. Scab-crusted and grubby, they patrolled my neighborhood like a pack of wolves. If it wasn't nailed down, the Wilnuts stole it. If you had pride in something, they destroyed it. In summer they took bikes, scooters and roller skates off our front porches.  They broke into our garages and set our pinewood derby chugs on fire. In winter they urinated on our snow forts and trashed our front yard snowmen. It was Dickie Wilnuts who threw Cathy Fletcher's kitten under the wheels of Mr. Mannering's Edsel on a cold, October morning. And Diane Wilnuts who cut down the apple trees in Mr. Key's back yard. None of us ever knew how many Wilnuts lived in the beat-up mansion on Lexington Avenue.  Mrs. Wilnuts was always pregnant, and every Wilnut kid looked like the last - redheaded and covered in bruises. My mom called them "ragamuffins and hoodlums." Today she'd call them "b

Top five reasons to enjoy being an old, invisible woman

I wasn't always invisible. Once upon a time I was a  show-stopping "looker,"  a major babe. Young, lovely, blonde and adorable,  people (especially men)  paid close attention to how I looked, what I said,  how I moved. Then - I grew old and became invisible. I wish I could tell you it happened in stages.  It didn't.  It happened on my fiftieth birthday The day before I was young, interesting, important.  The next -  I was invisible. Overnight - I became someone people overlooked, ignored.  I spoke, and no one responded.  I entered a room and no one (especially men) noticed. I  turned fifty - and joined the community of invisible women. Being old is not a curse.  It's a blessing.  The transition took some adjusting.  For the past fifteen years I've been managing my new status.  And now, I don't mind aging at all.  In fact, I think I'm doing well at the entire endeavor. I don't mind living in the shadows either.  I welcome the

The honey wind - remembrance of Grand Marais, Minnesota

"Somehow my world and I have grown just a little bit older." " The honey wind blows  and the days grow colder.   Somehow my world and I have grown just a little bit older.  I sit alone and the fire glows.  The fire glows- and the honey wind blows.  I sit alone - and the good Lord knows -  I miss you so when the honey wind blows." - Lyrics by Glenn Yarbroug h The full moon surprised me.  It always does when I visit Lake Superior's North Shore in autumn.  I never think of the moon when I'm in the city.  But here,  on the rocks in Grand Marais, it cannot be ignored. I spread a blanket and sit.   I brought my husband to these shores. When I was young and married, my husband and I spent every summer here.   We made mistakes in those days   - I'm certain. But on these rocks with October wind in my face, I can't remember a single one. One of the joys of aging is this; bitterness, emptiness and anger fade with the advance of

Why I no longer trust the St. Paul Police

My dogs awoke me,  barking,  at 3:00 AM -  and I knew something was wrong. I grabbed my under-the-bed baseball bat and stormed into my backyard. The car next door had been burglarized; a neighbor's garage broken into. And the woman who lives in the house behind mine was robbed in the middle of the night. And so as the flood lights slapped across my empty back yard and my dogs growled, I determined to apprehend the culprit. I searched the yard for the wretched, evil doer who would dare take advantage of the decent folks who live in Como Park. Behind me, in my living room, someone walked out the front door with my MacBook and other electronics. Because I didn't check inside the house - I didn't discover the crime until the next morning. "This ain't CSI, lady."  I phoned the police at 7:30 A.M. It took him almost an hour to get to my home - and when he finally knocked -  I opened my door to an overweigh, winded officer. By then I was frant