Posted at 9:52 am , on July 12, 2020
Both of my parents were born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the majority of my family lives in the United Kingdom. I am first-generation American and proud of my Orange-Irish heritage and can’t wait to one day sail “home” into Belfast Harbor.
Many who know me well have been schooled on St. Patrick’s Day on the difference between being Orange and Green Irish. I DO NOT wear green on St. Patrick’s Day as I am absolutely sure my father would look down with disapproval. The Orange Irish celebrate Orangemen’s Day with bonfires kicking off the festivities on July 11th and parades on July 12th. Homes and buildings are adorned with bunting and people crowd the streets waving the British flag. Read on for a wee bit of history about the holiday.
Ireland has a tumultuous past, to say the least. The picture above shows the flags of Scotland and Great Britain, represented by the Union flag, the Red Hand of Ulster, representing Northern Ireland, and the flag of the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland), the Irish tricolour. Much blood has been shed in religious wars for territory and power between these countries over the centuries.
Posted at 2:46 am , on June 14, 2020
It was New Year’s Eve and I was cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway in my Dodge Colt. On a whim, I’d decided that morning to ring in 1987 back home in the Bay Area instead of San Diego, where I had been stationed in the Coast Guard and still lived. My SoCal girlfriends would be whooping it up at the Country Bumpkin, our dive bar of choice, two-stepping and shooting tequila and kissing every cowboy within reach at midnight. A year ago I was matching them shot for shot and kiss for kiss, but not this year.
I was pregnant.
This wasn’t part of my plan. I was 22, carefree and looking forward to a long military career as a Radioman. Children weren’t anywhere on my radar. I’d just started dating a Navy Gunnersmate after ending a relationship with a fly-boy. It seems I had a thing for sailors even back then.
Posted at 5:13 am , on May 28, 2020
Mariah set the radar alarm for a 20 mile radius, stretched out in the cockpit and closed her eyes. She had trained herself to take cat naps instead of sleeping multiple hours at a stretch. Solo-sailing required a skipper to be on constant alert.
A soft bump woke her with a start. She sprang to her feet and scanned around the boat. Only inky darkness and the soft lapping of water against the hull. A low cloud cover had descended, blotting out most of the stars and the navigational instruments showed no objects in her vicinity.
Wondering if she’d hit a piece of driftwood, Mariah flicked on her headlamp and glanced over both sides. Nothing there. Clipping onto the lifeline, she made her way to the bow.
Posted at 3:32 am , on May 14, 2020
He was never physically abusive. But he was mean on a regular basis. Over the course of their 10-year marriage it eventually drove Felicia to therapy. It wasn’t couples counseling, of course. Joe didn’t think there was anything wrong with their relationship.
He provided well for them as a computer engineer. She was the consummate housewife, keeping a tidy home, working part-time at a little boutique and always having dinner on the table at six sharp.
They took vacations to warm beachfront locales: Florida, Hawaii and San Diego were generally the destinations as Joe didn’t like foreign languages and unidentifiable food.
Posted at 3:29 am , on April 30, 2020
Dr. Zelinsky didn’t just offer good advice to her therapy clients, she walked the walk. When she felt her patience level and usually upbeat attitude dipping she booked a weekend at her favorite spa.
Tranquil Vines was a little spot tucked behind a family vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains. She’d have privacy yet enjoy the company of others with family-style meals on the patio. She could choose to partake in yoga sessions or meditate alone. And she always looked forward to sipping new varietals in the winery.
“Dr. Zee! It’s been a minute. How are you?” The winery and spa owner worked all aspects of the business, today pouring in the tasting room.
Posted at 3:22 am , on April 16, 2020
It was hard to ignore the heart-shaped decor in the hotel lobby. When asked if she wanted two keys, Delilah snapped at the receptionist.
“Do I look like I’m with someone? One key will suffice.”
Arriving for dinner, the hostess questioned if there would be others in her party.
“I clearly made the reservation for one. I’d appreciate a window table and a bottle of the house red.”
Posted at 3:54 am , on April 2, 2020
“This was a terrible idea,” thought Charlotte. But out loud she sweetly said to her husband, “How quaint!”
They were hesitant to take their marriage therapist’s suggestion to get outside their comfort zone and try something new.
“Charlotte, you aren’t fond of art galleries or museums. Gary, you don’t like fashion shows or shopping. Find an activity that neither of you has done before and experience it together. Perhaps outside the city?” Dr. Zelinsky had suggested.
They’d discussed sky-diving, river rafting and sailing. But neither were very athletic although they worked out with personal trainers twice a week. A Google search for “nearby outdoor activities” led them to a listing for a gorgeous cabin in the woods just two hours away. Surprisingly, they both agreed that a weekend “roughing it” sounded like fun. They booked online, ordered groceries for delivery, and arrived right before dusk.
Posted at 3:56 am , on March 19, 2020
Au lit: le baiser, 1892. By French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Dr. Zelinsky opened her office door to find her client upside down in the middle of the room, performing a perfect headstand.
“Hey, Dr. Zee. I started yoga like you suggested. This is my favorite pose. Come join me!”
“Very nice, Brandy. But I prefer my sessions right side up.”
Brandy gracefully descended and went to lounge on the couch, chattering all the while.
“I’ve been to a class every day this week. Who knew there were so many styles? That Jivamukti is too “out there” with all the chanting, and Yin just dragged on and on. But Vinyasa is definitely my groove. Great idea. Do you do yoga?”