Several years ago I had a house guest for about 3 weeks. My daughter’s friend had been ousted from his apartment and needed a temporary place to stay for about 3 weeks. She didn’t have room for him and I had a guest room and knew him to be trustworthy so I said he could stay with me.

He didn’t have a car. He was an unemployed actor and was somewhat needy. Since I live alone I thought it would be interesting to have a person living with me.

At the time I was in the process of crocheting an afghan as a gift for a friend’s upcoming wedding, so I spent my evenings in the den crocheting while watching TV. Mark joined me most evenings. He watched me busily crocheting, rarely looking at directions, and questioned me about how I knew what to stitch while paying attention to the TV and not looking at the instructions in the pattern I was using. I told him that it was mostly repetitive and I didn’t need to check every stitch. He was impressed with my ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

Mark found work and moved out, but passed away several years later.

These days I am working on three afghans at the same time. I alternate them so that I don’t get bored with the project. They are to be gifts for my great-granddaughter’s weddings at some future date. But they must be made now.

Since I am still in the same home where I lived when Mark stayed with me, still sitting in the same chair, watching the same TV, and crocheting, I have memories of Mark— where he sat, what he said, and how he looked. I do not turn around. It is enough to feel his presence.

And Then it is Winter

AND THEN IT IS WINTER You know … time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is… the “back nine” of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that “I was only on the first hole” and the “back nine”was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting gray…they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me…but, I see the great change…Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become. Many have already gone to a better place. Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit! And so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I’m on the “back nine”, and I’m not sure how long it will last…this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s over. A new adventure will begin! Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime. So, if you’re not on the “back nine” yet…let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the “back nine” or not! You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!! “Life” is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one. LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY! DO SOMETHING FUN! BE HAPPY ! HAVE A GREAT DAY Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. LIVE HAPPY IN 2013! LASTLY, CONSIDER THIS: Your kids are becoming you……but your grandchildren are perfect! ~Going out is good.. Coming home is better! ~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you! ~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. especially golf. ~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore. ~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep”. ~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch.. ~You tend to use more 4 letter words …”what?”…”when?”…” ??? ~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere. ~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!! ~What used to be freckles are now liver spots. ~Everybody whispers. ~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear. ~~~But Old is good in some things: Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!! Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!” Send this on to other “Old Friends!” and let them laugh in AGREEMENT!!! It’s Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived. TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN, YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER BE, SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS.

Tarzan Centennial

I grew up in Tarzana, a community in the San Fernando Valley in So. California. The community is planning several celebrations of their famous resident and founder of the neighborhood.

The first story about Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, appeared in the 15-cent “The All Story” magazine of October 1912.  The title was “Tarzan of the Apes: A Romance of the Jungle” and the cover of the magazine depicted a brawny half naked man about to kill an enormous roaring lion.  It was an instant success for Burroughs, who up to that time had struggled to find his true calling.

The young Burroughs, from Chicago, had tried his luck as a cowboy, gold miner, shopkeeper, railroad cop and Sears & Roebuck manager.  He also joined the US Cavalry in Arizona to chase Apaches without success.  At the age of 37 with a wife and a 3rd child on the way he took a job as a sales manager of pencil sharpeners.   During this period, he had copious spare time and began reading many pulp magazines.  In 1929 he recalled thinking that…

…if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.

He sold his first story, “Under the Moon of Mars” in 1911.

Encouraged by that success he created 131 pages of the adventures of a true noble savage, Tarzan.  His hero, born of a marooned British Lord and Lady, but raised by a tribe of apes was an instant success and was the beginning of the Tarzan empire.  Burroughs wrote 26 Tarzan books, 50 Tarzan movies were made as well as appearances on TV, cartoons and comic books.   During his lifetime Burroughs wrote almost 70 books of science fiction and fantasy.

In 1919 Mr. Burroughs bought the Gen. Harrison Grey Otis estate and named it Tarzana Ranch.  In 1927 his estate was renamed the community of Tarzana.

He must have relished adventure because when over 60 years of age he applied for and was accepted as a war correspondent in World War II, the oldest one ever.

He died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950 at the age of 74 and his ashes are buried under a mulberry tree outside his former Ventura Blvd. office.




A Night to Remember

Last night I had a delightful evening with good friends.  My daughter, Circe, and I visited with Linnaea and Bruce Mallette.  Linnaea served a delicious dinner, of course, but the special event was a showing of “Gone With The Wind” on their ginormous wall TV.  It was just like seeing the movie in a theatre.


I had read Margaret Mitchell’s book and seen the movie twice, but long, long ago and only remembered certain scenes.  It brought tears to my eyes to see those beautiful and talented actors once again.  The movie was a masterpiece for David Selznick who spared no expense to achieve the affect he desired.  His attention to detail was exquisite.  If there were 1000s of dead soldiers lying on a battlefield, they were real people.  Extras, of course, but paid men and not computer generated.  And the costumes!  Oh my, the costumes!  They made me appreciate the wardrobe department for their enormous effort in design and production of the quantity, and quality of elegant gowns. Authenticity right down to their petticoats.


Mr. Selznick did not skimp on the scenery either.   If you are not from the South or have never been there this movie showed you what it is like, then and now.  Every scene was perfectly displayed.  He captured the essence of that period and the tragedy that was the Civil War as told by Ms.Mitchell.


This is a very long movie with an intermission.  Linnaea treated us to a splendid dinner while we enjoyed the intermission.  All in all, it was one of the best evenings I’ve had in a long, long time and I am indeed fortunate to have friends like Linnaea and Bruce Mallette.