Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Valentine's Day Dedication

Last summer I partied with two good friends as they celebrated their marriage. They held their glasses high, smiles as big as I have ever seen and as I watched them, I was barely able to choke back my tears. I felt so much happiness for these beautiful women who have been in love for a quarter century and parent a beautiful child. Two people with a love that only a poet could adequately describe. It was such an honor to have been included in their perfect day.

 Two other friends plan to "make it legal" in a few months. They are another couple who have been together a very long time and have a beautiful closeness and love for one another. They are a couple  whose love has endured the disapproval of religious mores, small town conservatism and certain family members disapproval. My heart is filled with so much happiness for them as well and I will make sure to have plenty of tissues with me this time.

This year on Valentine's Day, I will dedicate the day to them, as well as all of the other couples who finally have the right to legally marry. I will think of them as I try to imagine what it must have been like to have waited so long for the voters to decide that it was finally legal to marry. As I celebrate the day with my partner of nearly forty years, I remember how easy it was for the two of us to marry, and how simple it was to get that piece of paper that changed everything for us. Admittedly, it's a privilege we have taken for granted all of this time.

Happy Valentine's Day my dear friends, I love you and send you our best wishes for many more years of happiness.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


I promised myself that I wasn't going to be one of the many people I know who complain about the weather. I swore that I wasn't going to give my smug, snowbird friends the satisfaction of hearing me suffer the brutal conditions that we endure each winter. I'm not certain, but I think they love to hear our weather reports so they can feel nice and cozy in their comfortable surroundings. "Oh, as I was getting out of the pool, I heard it got to -29 in your area," my friend Liza from California said. "Oh, it's not so bad if you dress for it", was my brave reply, not wanting my voice to reveal one bit of envy. "We're used to it."

Today I caved. I am officially sick and tired of winter.  I have fallen in with the whiners and complainers. I'm sorry, but it's damn cold!!! Tonight I heard the announcer on Minnesota Public Radio give the temperature and describe the winds as "stiff". Stiff winds and dangerous conditions, someone needs to send help! We need a brigade of rescuers to envelop us in warm blankets and hot beverages. We need massive supplies of S.A.D. lights and goose down survival wear. This is serious business!

My optimist spouse, "The Ganz", cheerfully reported the other day that winter is half over and the days are getting longer. I'm trying to see things that way, but I think I'm going to need to thaw out first.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Night To Remember At The Childern's Theater

Last night my granddaughter, "Baby Girl", and I went to the Children's Theater in Minneapolis. We saw the production of Charlotte's Web and it was amazing! "Baby Girl" is five years old and this was her second visit to the theater. We saw "When You Give A Mouse A Cookie" a few months ago and she loved it.

When I got to her house to pick her up, she was dressed in a beautiful outfit, a pink, pleated skirt, a white blouse and a very dressy pink sweater. I was wearing jeans, but decided that it was o k because I had on a nice sweater and one of those frilly scarves. She looked beautiful and I was OK for a  grandma from the country. She didn't seem to mind or notice, she was going to the theater!

It was raining as we drove from an outer ring suburb to South Minneapolis, rush hour traffic was heavy, and the drive took almost an hour. I was worried that she might get a little bored, but she was fascinated by everything, even the fender bender car accident with the flashing red lights of the squad car that had us going at a snail's pace for quite a while. She liked the tall buildings downtown and loved the "castle" on Loring Park. (The Basilica Of St. Mary.)  She was having a great time and we hadn't even gotten to the theater.

We had a, before the show, bite to eat at Wendy's, (her choice) and then made it to the theater just in time and found our seats. "Baby Girl" had seen the movie version, her grandpa sent her a DVD last month, so she looked for her favorite character to appear. I thought it would either be Charlotte or Wilbur, but she couldn't wait to see Templeton, a giant rat!

Having a night out with my favorite girl in the world was so much fun. Living two hours north, I don't see her as much as I would like, so it was extra special. On the drive back to her house, (still raining), we sang songs until she fell asleep at almost 10:00 p.m. 

Then I drove alone for the two hour trip to my home. I was wide awake and felt so happy to have had such a nice time. I saw a great play, a beautiful princess and a castle. It was truly a night to remember!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jujitsu-ing Reality

I'm always inspired by people who have mastered the art of finding happiness in life no matter what they are forced to deal with. One of my goals is to live in the now, the present tense and learning to enjoy every possible moment of each day. That is something that is, frankly folks, hard work!

The other day I met a remarkable man named Scott Lew. (Let me say that when I say "met", it wasn't in person, but our contact was really just via a video.) Scott made such a lasting impression on my life that it really doesn't matter if we ever actually meet in person, although I would love to someday!

Scott is a Hollywood producer, director and writer who is living with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. He made the decision to face his situation head on and fight by "jujitsu-ing reality" or using the weight stacked against you and flipping it with his attitude. He is a self-described happy man who loves his life and his work as an artist.

Sound easy? Maybe, but now, let me add that Scott has no use of his body, with the exception of his mind and his eyes. He controls his keyboard with eye movements and employs an assistant to help him type in order to speed things up a bit. He writes every possible moment and when he's not writing, he's mentally planning the next day's work.

Scott's story is inspiring in so many ways, but his will and determination to continue doing what he loves most, will stay with me forever. Now, on days when I'm tired, sad, not feeling up to par or just plain lazy, I will remember Scott and sit down and write. I will write because that's what I'm inspired to do and I'll do it for me and I'll do it for Scott.

There is an award winning movie about Scott and it can be purchased by going to the website:
To see a short clip of the film you can access it on Face Book by searching on the ALS site. It was a September 20th posting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Boxes of hundreds of color slides, the projector and a screen have been stored in our basement for over a decade, glanced at mostly by accident while rummaging and searching for something else. I have been haunted by the awful truth that they age poorly and fade with time. It was as though I could hear the voices of my friends and relatives crying out to me. "Help, we're fading! What about the slides of all the pretty wild flowers that may have lost their vibrant colors? The time had come to begin the rescue mission and turn it into a fun project, after all, I thought, it can't be all that hard.
It was sort of fun at first, looking at the faces of old friends, family members and places we have visited, it was a trip down memory lane.  I then had to develop a system. I based it on the following categories: family, vacations, neighbors, flowers and toss. The problem was, I found so many more categories and I was running out of room; weddings, old cars, work friends, home remodeling, divorced friends, people we never see, and on and on. This is not as much fun as I'd imagined but I'm going to stick with it and keep adding categories until I have rescued every last one. Help!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Post

This is new to me, it's fun, exciting and my "toe in the water" to begin my adventures into the world of writing. Now to begin........

I was born in Los Angeles on a hot spring day right after WW II. My parents were poor, (now we politically correctly say "low income.") My mother, at twenty-two, married daddy who was twenty years her senior. He was not the perfect husband in the earning-a-living-wage department, but a kind and gentle soul none the less. I was crazy about him and had no idea that we were poor.

 Mom hated L.A. and secured train tickets from her family in Wisconsin, took a stand and made it known that we would be moving to the mid west and that was just the way it was going to be. I was only a few weeks old and haven't been back since. I often thought it would be fun to move to California some day and announce to a group of people, (who undoubtedly consisted of transplants from other cities,)  "I am a native Californian," while watching their faces turn green with envy.

I spent the early part of my life in Illinois, moved to Minneapolis Minnesota at age fifteen and then to rural Brainerd in 2003, where I live now with my husband "The Ganz" and an adult grandson, "L". I have one sibling, my sister Jo whom has not trusted me since we were children mainly because I accidently knocked her out cold with a swinging iron gate. (Please don't judge, she was chasing me.)

There's so much more, and like everyone, a story filled with life's ups and downs. We have had many more blessings than down times and that's what we focus on theses days. As my friend Ram Dass has taught me, "Be here now." (Ram and I have never met, but I consider him a friend, that's just the way it is.)