Posted at 12:01 am , on January 1, 2021
2020 flat out sucked. The pandemic changed everything. We went from anticipating our life on the open ocean and exploring foreign ports to basically locking down at the marina. Our busy social life and wide circle of friends closed to just family and dock neighbors.
Eleven people that had some form of effect on my life died. Of those, three were my husband’s family members (Uncle Bob, Uncle Bill, and his mother, Donna Perry), one was a dear childhood friend’s mother (Margaret Sloane), one was a much-loved sailor (Jim Hild), one was a special writing group friend (Catherine Phillips), and five were influential in my careers (Cliff Benson, Julian Polvorosa, Charlie Gilcrest, Dr. Marshall Mitzmann, and Tom Guarino). I have never experienced so much loss in one year.
Posted at 12:04 pm , on October 26, 2020
They needed someone to blame for the course of nature. And so they chose a black stallion as the horse that I would ride to my death.
It was a grey October morning and I watched the sun rise slowly over the wide expanse of forest from my prison tower window. Those trees and the life within had been my home since I could remember. My entire family had died of the plague and the town’s spinster herbalist took me in as her own before I could walk.
I thought about the creatures and plants, the changing seasons and the incredible joy I felt within the dense woods. Mother Martha, as I called her, had taught me the secrets of the earth; which species could heal and which could cause death. I had learned well and succeeded her when she left to die alone in her woods two falls prior.
I had been called to the Queen’s bedside to help with the pain of delivering the first heir to the throne. I knew from the moment that I arrived that the child had already died and it would be an arduous task to expel the fetus from her body. I also knew better than to announce the death as I would be called a “seer of evil.” I would do what I could to ease the birth and leave the decree to the royal physician.
Posted at 12:01 pm , on September 8, 2020
She took the pictures from the back of the closet and placed them in a box for the movers. She promised herself that she wasn’t going to look at them, but she couldn’t resist and turned over the small one that used to sit on her makeup table. As her fingers stroked the glass her mind drifted back to that magical day.
It went precisely as she had planned. All of their family and friends were in attendance, the sun was setting just as the ceremony ended, and the reception tent was aglow with twinkling white lights. So much love. So much joy. So much promise.
She was Cinderella marrying her Prince Charming and they were going to live Happily Ever After. That was then, back when life was easy breezy.
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.