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Cheeky Mother-in-Law: A Tribute

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The elderly woman cautiously maneuvered her walker into the small lab area of the doctor's office. I took her arm and gently helped her sit down. A familiar, friendly nurse approached her and asked "What finger should I use to get your blood sample today?"

"Oh it doesn't matter.", the white-haired patient replied. The nurse took her middle finger and started to clean it with an alcohol pad. Suddenly, the lady jerked her hand away. "Not that finger!" she blurted. "That's the one I always use when I'm out in traffic!"

The nurse just stood there with a shocked expression as her patient waved her middle finger in the air. When she laid her hand back down on the table, she had a twinkle in her eye and a cheeky smirk. The nurse visibly relaxed, then chuckled. So did I.

The elderly jokester was my mother-in-law. I think she was 89 at the time.

"Cheeky" is not a common term here in the US, but one definition I found describes …

Haha! Made Ya Look!

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Have you ever had the misfortune of talking to an acquaintance or even a complete stranger who had something odd or distracting on their face? You didn't want to stare, but you just couldn't help it. You felt compelled to at least sneak a peek! Something just seemed to jump out and scream "LOOK AT ME!! LOOOK!"

Let me share an example that made a lasting impact on me:
Several years ago, I was chatting with an employee at Walmart. It was a pleasant exchange, except that I noticed that she had a bat in the cave. That's code for something yucky in her nose. It was right at the edge of her nostril. Every time she breathed, the air moved it back and forth, in and out.

I was trying to focus on what the nice young woman was saying, but I was worrying about not staring at it!

So I was listening but simultaneously having a debate in my head- should I tell her or not? I'd certainly want to know if I had that little problem! It's the right thing to do! But would our…

UFO Sighting: It's Just Your Childish Imagination

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That hot day in July had started like most others. Who knew that the impending series of events would be controversially famous for many decades to come? Not only in the small town where it occurred, but worldwide!

The auburn-haired eight year old was sitting up in a massive tree with a few of her neighborhood pals.

They had gathered in their friend Nancy's backyard to play for awhile. Oh they loved climbing that old Maple.

Some of their mothers were in the house, chatting and drinking coffee at the kitchen table.


What happened next is still a mystery...

The date was July 6, 1947. The town was Roswell, New Mexico. My mother was that auburn-haired eight-year-old.

She and her young friends saw something very strange pass through the sky above them as they played on those tree branches. It frightened them! They were old enough to recognize that it was not an airplane.

According to Mom's retelling of the story, she and the other kids jumped out of that tree immediately! They ran …

Middle-aged Athlete

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"But you don't seem like the type of person who would be a bowler."
Hmm. I'm fairly sure my new friend meant well. But I never found out his reasons for saying that to me. His comment made me think.

What type of people bowl? People like you? Like me?

I've been bowling in leagues for about twelve years, off and on.
I'll tell you what kind of people bowl. 

Inexperienced, bad bowlers do. Some of them don't even know what weight their ball should be. What about technique? Technique-schmechnique! They just try to keep the ball out of the gutter and hit some pins occasionally.

That describes my bowling skill level in 2006, when a friend invited me to join her team. I initially declined, saying "I'm no good! I'll bring you all down!" But my friend persisted and insisted. She assured me that she had a very low average too, but none of the others cared.
They were all doing it just for fun.

So I reluctantly agreed to join their all-women team. I…

Mom's Legacy: A Lesson in Humility

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Hi Mom,
I can't believe it's been twenty years since you died. April 18, 1998. I've been thinking about you. Your life. My life. I have a different perspective about many things now. I've realized some significant truths that I wish I could tell you face to face. But in my heart, I know that you already know...

But first I just want to share some other stuff with you. If you were still here, I'd come over to your house. You could make coffee for us like you used to. What is it about coffee fixed up by Mom? It just tastes better.

It feels like the time has just flown by! But I do remember when the days seemed to drag on, especially in the first three years after you passed.

Those were the days I felt absolutely numb. Or panicky, when I started accepting that I'd never see you here on this earth again. Sometimes grief felt like a 500 pound anchor on my back. I wasn't sure I'd get through those days. But somehow I did.

But for the most part, time has slip…

I Hope You Can Limbo

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I was in the middle of a debate. I had some convincing arguments prepared and a thorough list of pros and cons. It was concerning an important issue. Well, it was important to me anyway.

The debate was going on in my head. It was me versus me.
Doubting. Re-evaluating. Worrying.

I thought that getting out to run errands would give me a needed break from the stressful swirl of thoughts going round and round and round.

My favorite radio station was turned up. The sun was shining. YES! I felt my spirits lifting a little.

But my better mood was short-lived. I soon realized that I was missing even the best songs because my emotional brain wouldn't turn off. The same old debate continued. Ugh!

The next thing on my to-do list was to drop off some clothes at a nearby donation center.

I rang the bell so the attendant would open the big garage door. I heard the familiar noise and the door started to rise. Then it abruptly stopped, about three feet up! I just stood there, holding my cardboar…

Valentine Traditions and a Tender Tale

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Oh Kyle! I still remember you. My mind can see what you looked like when we were both ten. You were soooo cute! Secretly, I was smitten.

I think you glanced at me a couple of times. You might have even said hi. Did you like me the way I liked you? The Valentine you gave me is etched in my memory. So is my tearful walk home after school that day...

The bittersweet thoughts about my first big childhood crush came rushing in today. I've recently had other random thoughts about Valentine's day, since the 14th was just last week.

While the main focus of February 14th is romantic love, we (as a culture) have personalized it to represent any kind of affection we want it to! Fancy cards, chocolate and other gifts are sweet for anyone to give and receive, right? Whether they are lovers, family members or friends.

When I was in elementary school, I so enjoyed all the traditions of the season!

A few days before the big V, our teacher would let us spend a couple of hours decorating white…