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Showing posts from August, 2022

Kisses as Deep as the Ocean

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Kisses as Deep as the Ocean  Alice had arrived in January along with her parents, her brother, and younger sister. They were all as white as the Canadian winter they'd left behind. The trees in Toronto had been bathed in ice, everything was white, even the sky, as if blue had flown south for the winter too. They flew south, into the blue. When the stewardess flung open the cabin door they'd been the first down the stairway onto the airport's tarmac. The sudden shock of steamy air fogged her glasses. “It's like a hothouse,” Alice said. She took off her glasses and let the perfume and warmth wash over her face. Beyond the airport’s chain-link fence palm trees beckoned from their turquoise background. Alice wanted to drown herself in a sea of blue.  “It smells funny” Nancy complained. Her father explained. "You're in the tropics. It's the humidity. Wait till you see El Yunque. The air is so heavy it rains all the time." EI Yunque, he told them, was

An Undying Love ... just an old love story.

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You know those couples who say they can’t live without each other? What if it was true.  Undying Love The coleus under Bob and Helen’s front porch window are looking a little scraggly, nothing but tall leggy stems bending in their bed of dry cracked earth. I think how the gardener wouldn’t let them go like that if Bob hadn’t been so sick. If he’d been up and around, those plants would be standing tall, their leaves firm and perky, the ground blanketed with a soft, moist layer of mulch. Well tended, that was the best way to describe Bob’s garden, and come to think of it, Bob too. I try to remember if I even saw the gardener this past Wednesday, his usual day to come mow and blow. After all, who will notice if Bob’s plants die now? Not Bob while he’s sick in bed. Not Helen who uses a walker and rarely ventures outside. Bob told me once Helen wouldn’t allow him to get her a wheel chair, she couldn’t stand the idea of looking like an invalid. That sounds like Helen, the kind of

#11 BEACH MUSIC: A time of tans, blonds and hot pants

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IT WAS A TIME OF TANS, BLONDS AND HOT PANTS, WHEN THE ENDLESS SUMMER WAS JUST A SHORT WALK DOWN A HOT SIDEWALK Beach Music, originally published in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, is really a tale of two cities: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California. File it under On the Street Where I Live     Beach Music We came to California from Canada, with a detour to Puerto Rico that lasted one endless summer of a year. A year in which I turned 15, and my hair turned blond from living in the sun. “Psst,” the boys and men would call after me in the blue-cobbled streets of San Juan. “Psst! Hey, blondie. Psst! Hey, cutie pie.” I was devastated when my parents said we had to go, that it was time to leave the island so that my older brother, Russell, could get a first rate education. The plan was to drive cross country from Miami and settle in San Francisco so that my brother could finish high school before going on to UC Berkeley. B

Hello Mum, are you there? It's me Sim.

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I couldn’t let Alzheimer’s Awareness Month pass without sharing something about my mother. I wrote this Throwback Thursday piece in 2010, my mother, once so full of life and fire, passed away in 2012. “ Hi Enid ”  I say, spotting her sitting by the window, calling my mother by her first name. Sometimes when I call her Mum, she just looks at me, confusion and accusation mixed in her eyes.  “ Why are you calling me Mum? I’m not sure I even know you, ”  she seems to say. Some days are better, she may not know who I am exactly but she ’ s cheerful enough for the company. A change from the caretakers with their pale turquoise uniforms, cheerful little bears or angels dancing across their chests. Today my softly whispered  “ Hi Enid ”  gets nothing but a blank look. I try again. “ Hi Mum. It’s me, Sim. ”   Her expression doesn’t change. Not a blink, not a flicker. Nothing. I notice a book in her lap. Next to Die or something. A mystery. She always loved mysteries; Elizab