Funny Story

cloudPlane rides, as you know if you’re a long-term follower of this blog, don’t go over well with me. I’ve learned, however, to take my meds ½ hour before boarding and that seems to do the trick.

Recently, I was on four different planes in a 24-hour period. (I survived! 😊)

As I settled into my seat on a full plane, I pulled out my book ‘Papa, Where Are You?’. I was giving a book talk the following week and always desire to refresh myself with the points I may choose to book cover

Of course, I always hope that a seatmate may show an interest in what I’m reading so I could do a bit of marketing on the spot.

I was sitting on the aisle and the gal in the middle seat seemed to be glancing my way at my book. I was hopeful but not sure how to approach this.

“I have that book!” she says. What???
“I wrote this book.” I responded. What???

I turned it over and showed her my picture.

me for book cover

She told me she hadn’t read it yet but her mother had just given it to her and said she’d really enjoy it.

We were both incredulous.

She went further by saying that her parents had recently moved to St. Louis from Chicago because the closest family was here. They didn’t really know anyone other than family. Then in their retirement community, some nice lady sold them my book. Hmmm. Sounded a bit familiar.

I asked if by any chance they are in a retirement community near me, naming it. Yes, that’s the one. It’s also the one my mother lives in – that nice lady! 😊


My new friend shared a bit more about her folks and something else rang a bell.

“Is your father retired military?” I asked.
“Why yes he is.” She exclaimed.

I laughed as I explained that my husband is retired military also and my mother has been wanting us to have dinner with her some night along with your folks.

My new friend asked how sales were going. I explained that as a self-published author, it’s all on me so, I remind myself often, “slow and steady, one book sale at a time.”

I’m looking forward to seeing her again!

Last week, my mother was about to get on the elevator at her place. A young lady was getting on behind her carrying a bunch of flowers. As my mother does with everyone she meets, she struck up a conversation.

“Nice flowers.”
“Thank you. They’re for my mother.”
“Who’s your mother?”

You can guess the rest. My mother just met my seatmate.



fitbitA dear friend gave me her Fitbit and when I asked her why she didn’t use it anymore, she merely shrugged and mumbled something. I think I figured it out.

 It doesn’t work!

I brought it home and diligently set it up – you know there’s an app for that! I dutifully entered my height, weight, goals, etc. When I went to bed each night, I tapped on it to enter “sleep” mode and each morning, re-tapped for “awake” mode.

The “sleep”mode was a bit confusing as it would tell me I had slept for seven hours and been restless for 2 minutes and awake for 1 minute. In fact, I would lie awake at night, staring at the clock for hours. I suppose I need to shake my wrist to let “it” know I’m not sleeping. But then, that exercise would not aid in my ever hoping to get back to sleep, unless it would wear me out!

The “awake” mode did not encourage me to move.

I was hoping, dare I say, counting on it to motivate me to move! It’s kind of like paying all that money each month to join a gym to motivate me to move. I have found that doesn’t work either!

I dreamed that it would tighten around my wrist every couple of hours to signify it was time to get moving. Or at least flash pretty warning lights if I had sat too long.

But alas, none of the above.

It’s just another guilt-producing-money-grabber. And then there’s the other folks in my life that wear one and see my infamous wrist band and nod knowingly. You know that secret nod that tells me what I already know – that it’s not working for them either but we will never share that info out loud as we are wearing a status symbol and, in doing so, looking good!

We are all nuts!

Oh I know it’s not really the fault of Fitbit. It’s just nice to blame someone/ something/ anyone other than myself! Reality bites!

pair of shoesI’ll keep in wearing it, for a while, and hope eventually I get with the program. My desire is first of all, to have a skin colored band so as not to be quite so conspicuous to others. And then, I’d like a timer on it I could not disable that would not quit until I’ve moved for at least 15 minutes straight, once per hour! Except while in the “sleep” mode, that is. 🙂 Or maybe, I could set it to call a friend to come knock on my door and say, “let’s go!!!”

The Value of a Dollar

“Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail” – Richard Friedman


My Uncle Harry, well actually my dad’s Uncle Harry, was a nice old man.  He was my grandmother’s brother and had served in World War I.  He knew the value of a dollar.

Uncle Harry silver dollarworked as a night watchman at a bank in Ocean City, New Jersey, and each time he would visit, he would present me with a silver dollar.  To me, it was a treasure!  He was a kindly gentleman who did not speak much.  But he always had a smile and a silver dollar in his pocket – for me.  Through my elementary years, I acquired quite a few silver dollars.

At one point my father convinced me that if I opened my very own account at the local savings and loan, I’d accrue interest.  I had no idea what that meant, but my dad, being a pretty good financial advisor, swayed me to his idea.  My mother took me in and I handed over my box filled with my precious silver dollars.  The nice lady came back in a few minutes and gave me my very own Pass Book.  It showed the date and amount of my deposit.

Each time Uncle Harry presented me with a new silver dollar, my mother drove me to the Savings and Loan office.  I would be allowed to go in by myself with my silver dollar and Pass Book in hand.  The nice lady would take the silver dollar and hand me back my updated Pass Book.  Interest would be added and I could see the balance growing.  It was amazing!  Just for allowing them to hang onto my silver dollars for me, they were paying me money!  Making money?  Easy peasy!  (says the voice of an 8 year old!)

Then we moved.

We packed up, notified the post office, shared our new address with friends, registered in new schools and went to close out our accounts.

I took my Pass Book to the nice lady and asked for my silver dollars back, plus all my interest.

She hesitated, looked at me, looked at my mother, and looked back at me.  I could not imagine what the problem was.  My mother let out a little gasp and sat down.  She attempted to explain that I would not be getting my silver dollars back.  They had been invested and in their place this nice lady was going to give me crisp new dollar bills, plus my interest.  Well, glaring at the lady, I declared that I wanted them uninvested, this minute!  I did not win.  That nice lady didn’t seem so nice any more.  I honestly was heartbroken.  It didn’t matter that my investment made me more money.  It wasn’t important that this was the “American way.”  I was given a gift and had lost it.

In hindsight, I understand no one intentionally meant to deceive me.  But I also understand that no one realized the real value those coins were to me.  They were a treasured possession and a special gift to a little girl from a kindly gentleman who was my friend.

I never told Uncle Harry.  He had passed on by the time I went to cash in my coins.  But I still have a special memory of a special friend.  His friendship was an irreplaceable gift.  It was the true value of a friend.