Bubble Gum Explosions by Noreen O’Brien

Bubble gum—Bazooka Bubble Gum. The hours and hours of practice put into blowing giant, head-sized bubbles; the gum would be long past the point of being pink, much less containing flavor.

Kathy, Mary, Louise and I, sitting out on the front stoop, usually mine or Kathy’s, chewing, snapping—disgusting noises, really—poking our individual tongues through our individually chewed gum, blowing into the gum, rather than through an open mouth. Sometimes the bubble would pop early on, small, worthless; but sometimes, I swear it took long minutes of carefully calculated huffs and puffs around our tongues and into that gum. Bigger, bigger, bigger, then POP!, a bubble big enough to cover the entire front of our head, across nose, eyes, forehead and into our hair, ultimately exploding into a mass of sticky mess and guffaws of silly giggling and laughter. Continue reading

The Tale of the Footes by Estelle Cade

Once upon a time, Mr. And Mrs. Foote learned that they would be having twins, a girl and a boy. The girl, being in a hurry, was born first and they named her Righty. The boy, a few seconds later, arrived, and they named him Lefty. They were adorable identical twins, and the parents were “toe-tally” thrilled with their tiny baby toes. So sweet, so cunning.

However, as they began to walk Mrs. Foote noticed that Righty’s little toes turned out as she began to walk and that Lefty’s little toes turned inward. Fearing that this might hamper their agility, she enrolled them in Miss Toe Knees School of Dance. The children took to dance immediately! Righty found Ballet to be the perfect style for her and the second that Lefty put on those shiny black tap shoes, he was off and away! Continue reading

Don’t Forget? by Estelle Cade


An appointment? A trip to – where?

Did I forget? What day is this?

Don’t forget – forget what?

We live by our calendars – little square by little square.

Pen and paper by the phone always.

“I have sticky notes all over my house,”

a friend confides to me.

“Yet,” she adds, “either I cannot read

what I wrote 

or cannot remember why I wrote it, so

who cares anyway?”

“I forgot” – remember those days?

The basic answer to so many questions

as one child or another stands before you

“Why didn’t you bring home your report card?

Why didn’t you give me the permission slip

last week that you need today?

Why didn’t you tell us that Parent’s Night is tonight –

and that you’d said I’d bake two dozen cupcakes?”

And on and on

Do you remember saying

“What if Dad forgot he had to go to work?

What if I forgot to pick you up after school?

Or conveniently forgot that dinner had to be cooked

tonight  – and every night, for heaven’s sake.”

It seems now that the “I forgot” in youth

somehow morphs into

“I can’t remember anything”

as we age 

and our children find it frustrating perhaps.

Might this be Divine Retribution?

Battling Wildlife in my House by Janet Keyes

“Hey, how long was the cat in the house today?” Allan asked me suspiciously.

“I don’t know, why?”

“Well, I was just in the master bathroom, and I’m pretty sure he killed a bird in there!”

“That’s ridiculous,” I protested. “Lightning is old and no longer has any eye teeth so he can’t kill anything! Besides, how on earth could a bird even get inside the house?”

“I dunno. But there are gray and white feathers on the counter right beside the sink!”

A light dawned in my fuzzy brain. “Oh-oh, I gave myself a haircut in the bathroom earlier, and I took at least three fistfuls of hair clippings to the wastebasket but maybe I forgot the last batch.”

Allan shook his head. “No, feathers, definitely feathers,” he insisted. I detected a distinct twinkle in his eyes.

By then I had entered the bathroom. The abandoned hair clippings really did look like feathers.

But poor old Lightning was off the hook. I was the culprit.

Ah, the joys of wildlife. And, oh, the joys of living with Allan’s sense of humor.


When I really take the time to sit and think about my father, one thing that comes to mind about him is that he never, ever, raised his voice at me even if I probably deserved it. My mom was more the disciplinarian and Dad was the one who thought up the fun things to do. He taught me how to fish in the little brook near our home, and he even had me baiting my own hook at a very early age. And while Mom was more the academic, Dad is the one who encouraged me to tell stories about things we’d see or talk about. These subjects ranged from the deer we’d see in the woods near our home, to the tree fort we were planning to build.

Another image that comes up when I think of my dad is orange popsicles and beer! Sounds like a strange combination, I know. But Continue reading

Betsy’s Demise by Esther Johnson

I grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts.  My mother remarried in January 1966, when I was 13 years old.  For their honeymoon, the three of us cruised across the Atlantic Ocean to Gothenburg Sweden.  My brother came to New York to see us off.  My mother decided to give him her new cranberry Ford Fairlane.  They had shipped my stepfather’s black Mercury Comet by freighter the previous week, so the car was waiting for us when we disembarked.  Two of my stepfather’s nephews owned a funeral parlor.  They purchased the Comet as a status symbol. Continue reading

THE YOLKS ON YOU by Lettice Randall

Charlie and I will soon be celebrating our 48th anniversary. And they said it wouldn’t last! No, really they did! Charlie was two months away from his 19th birthday and I had just turned 19, nine days earlier. Does that make me the “older woman?” I’ll have to say this, it wasn’t always easy. Big surprise, huh? But I will also say I wouldn’t trade a second of it for a billion dollars. I used to say a million dollars, but what with inflation and all.

Can I tell you about our big fight? Doesn’t every couple have at least one of those? Well, here’s ours, laid bare Continue reading

The Cabin by Estelle Cade

She came upon the cabin suddenly, as she reached an open space in her climb. Surrounded by tall pines, it seemed to nestle cozily into the clearing. A breeze set the pine boughs to whispering among themselves, while the sun-warmed needles on the ground gave out that familiar scent of balsam. On the porch a rocking chair dressed in a faded cushion seems to beckon her on.

Two old men, one wearing a cap, the other sporting a cowboy hat, are seated under a nearby tree, beside a small lake. Seemingly silent, they ignore her presence.

Quietly, almost holding her breath, she tiptoes up the path and Continue reading

Ode to Things Lost by Estelle Cade

Write about something lost, something found, our leader suggests. Late at night I think about that, and here’s what I get.

Ode to Things Lost
Some sort of Poem

Look in the mirror — I’ve lost my looks-
It doesn’t seem fair, as I grow older
I’m losing my hair.
Once my crowning glory, or so I was told,
Now I must arrange it
To cover the holes.
I’ve also grown — shorter, you see.
My grand-daughter exclaims, “Nanni-
You’re much shorter than me!”

I’ve lost both my parents, my one sister as well-
Now no one is left to whom I can tell
A story of “Googling” our homes from the past.
So pleasant to see they still look nice, to see they could last.

Old friends — they are lost too.
Gone many years now; no sense feeling blue.
New friends have been made, important, we knew-
To laugh and share stories – -they’ve lost a lot too.

With age come some wisdom; some sayings we knew-
Let go, let God; don’t cling to the past.
Plan to enjoy each day to the last. And this is our mantra — we say it-
It’s true-
We look at each other and shrug-
“well, what are you going to do?”

Oh yes, “the children”-we still have
the children — perhaps ‘Grands’ and ‘Great Grands’
And families (not shattered) are scattered
all over the land.
E-mails and Facebook now replace phone calls-
And as for visits — do they really matter?
We say it does, that a visit is better.
To them — it’s time to send another e-mail letter.

Here’s a thought from a book I’ve just finished reading.
A woman is reflecting to herself that when her husband died
she’d gone from being the Matriarch of the family to being
the elderly mother who must be checked up on by ‘the children’.

How true — and that is the greatest loss of all.



Dear Friends,

Well, it’s newsletter time again. So here’s our Christmas newsletter so all of you can see what we been up to for the past year.

We ain’t had too bad of a year, considering. It started off a little scary when our septic tank started leaking and formed a pond in the middle of our lawn. But we decided not to get too upset and to look on the bright side and that’s when things really started looking up. Our bad luck came to an end when little Jimmy discovered a new use for that pond, Continue reading