strawberry jam memories

I opened the last jar of my homemade strawberry jam. The aromas overwhelmed my senses. Remembrances of biting into a sun-warmed berry, its juice dribbling down my chin led to other memories: the freedom of summer clothes, the long days, the nights filled with stars, laughter of children, eating s’mores made by our young folks–a summer rite of passage, the  gathering of friends, the talks which lasted forever but ended too soon, travels through the United States–the summer of 2019 was enjoyable.

We have plans for the summer of 2020 and the memories we will make–stay well.


Snow Globe world

The past few days were beautiful: snow, blue skies, the scent of spring coming on a southern breeze. But this morning, the skies are gray and it is snowing.

If you can forget the cold, and that within minutes your face can freeze, hands covered with mittens and stuffed deep within coat pockets, toes that seem to take forever to thaw once you can pull them out of your boots.

Then you look up, mesmerized by the snow falling in slow motion. You look around as the snow layers on branches and roofs. You smile. There is charm in being in your personal snow globe.


I guess this is my version of yelling at people to get off my lawn, which I can’t do anyways because the only trespassers on my lawn are sandhill cranes, raccoons, skunks, and other creatures passing through at night.

I don’t like clothes shopping, I only do it as needed. This week I needed blue jeans. Couldn’t find what I wanted. Seems as if women’s jeans are spandex with pretensions of being denim blue jeans–the type you have to peel off after working.What I want are jeans that are meant for work, denim ones. Off I went  to the men’s section to see what I could find..

Most of those jeans are made of denim. I tugged on the jeans I was considering, they had the normal give of denim…except one pair–a hint of spandex has invaded men’s jeans too.

Well, still needed a pair of jeans. I bought the spandex type jean, but am still hoping to find a pair with just the right amount of denim.

This is spring??!

We are a month into official spring, the weather should act like it.

My crocuses have come and gone, the daffodils are blooming, scent of hyacinths lingers everywhere and the leaves of plants which bloom in late spring have pushed through the soil.

But here we are, back in a snow globe world.

Can’t do anything about it, might as well enjoy it.


Profound thoughts come easily while sitting on a beach, I had a number of them, wrote them down, since then I lost them–I need to do a better job of keeping track of those profound wisdoms.

What I do remember are thoughts on language. Mostly I wondered if the people who were letting those words fall out of their mouths ever had a six second delay.

Like “stay in your lane.”  How could that phrase come out of any American’s mouth? Isn’t one of our ideals: “all men are created equal?” When did we abandon that ideal? I know that there are people smarter than me, have more money than me, more influence than me, better looking than me…but better than me?

Our ancestors voted with their feet to leave that class ridden reality behind in them in whatever country they came from.


The other phrase that is “America’s original sin.” Did anyone think about the implications of that phrase?

Routine interrupted

Routine got me through the writing of a number of books, a few scripts. Out of bed, workout at the gym, breakfast, then writing. But winter interrupts that routine. It is a time to get taxes ready, visit family, get supplies in advance of the next storm, shovel snow, visit the sun in parts south of us, drink another cup of coffee as the wind pushed snow in scenes reminiscent of Dr. Zhivago, but not getting out of bed early. It is too damn cold to get out of bed to go to the gym. The whole routine is upset, and it is damn hard to get back into it. But that is what adulting is all about–taking a deep breath and muddling through.

What a winter!

This winter season has been compact, most of the snow has come during January and February. It seems as if all of our winter weather got dumped on us at once. Like last weekend: snow, freezing rain, rain, sleet, hail, then high winds in the morning. The only thing you could do was hunker down. A good book, or movie, or good peasant TV (no Netflix or dish) to watch. Most entertaining was watching g the herds of deer come out of the woods at dusk to munch their way across the fields–a neighbor says he got a photo of 65(sixty-five) deer spread across our fields. I haven’t seen that one yet, but two of that supposed large herd just ran across the field to the east of the buildings.

Yet there is beauty through the high winds as the clouds drift apart and sun turns the world of snow and ice into a land of sparkling crystals. And as the sun breaks the horizon, the glazed ridge of a snow bank becomes golden.

The beauty may be brief, but it is spectacular.

What a winter with more to come.

Traditions of Christmas

Remembrances of Christmases past all started because my children didn’t know which family celebrated St. Nicholas’ Day. Mine didn’t, my husband’s did. The thoughts of other Christmases followed.

I never celebrated St. Nick’s Day, but when I found out about how my husband’s family celebrated, I added it to our customs.

Though I had a Christmas stocking, it was never used. But when I started my own house, I thought it was time to use it. I bought a stocking for my husband (later I made them for him and our children). Hung the stockings from a bookshelf on December 5th, and the next morning, St. Nicholas’ Day, we found fruit, nuts and candy in them.

There was always a real tree to decorate when I was growing up. We’d go to a Christmas tree lot and pick one out. I continued that when we got married. Then the children came and I decided it would be fun to cut our own. Most years we went with cousins to find the perfect tree. After snowball fights, tramping around a tree farm, maybe checking out two tree farms, critiquing each other’s pick, and just as the sun was setting, we each found the perfect tree. It is still fun.

Opening the Christmas presents. That was the real test. When I was little, my parents woke us at midnight. That was a mixed blessing for me–jeez, couldn’t they let a kid sleep! Later we opened presents on Christmas Eve. I didn’t think much of that either. What I started with my family was on Christmas Eve church service, on Christmas morning stockings stuffed by Santa Claus were emptied, breakfast, then presents opened, then a trip to Grandma’s house to meet up with aunts, uncles, and cousins.

However you celebrate Christmas, or don’t, Happy Holidays.


New Book

I have a new book out. Did I tell you that? It is the third book in the Edie Swift series: A Simple Song.

Police work isn’t always about murder, there are missing children to be found, city curfews to police. And for Detective Edie Swift, trying to escape her new role–hero of Troutbeck.

It is available on amazon in paperback and ebook.

Hope you enjoy the book.


Happy 4th of July!

This is a fantastic day!

Long, long ago, it began with people seeking a newer world, a new beginning. and that search is what still brings people to our land. A second chance, isn’t that remarkable!

This country is grounded in some remarkable ideas, here are a few that we should never forget:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”  Declaration of Independence

“…and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln 

“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

This country is still a work in progress. Our ancestors aimed high, so should we.

Happy July 4th. Enjoy.