Learned Behavior

They always made the day about loving everyone, not just your lover.

My parents taught us to love Valentine’s Day. And I do.

When my mom got flowers from Ed’s Dainty Corsages on 31st and Cherry from our dad, the three little tow-headed blondes who had climbed into the back seat for the adventure to midtown got single roses wrapped in waxy paper and tied with a curling ribbon bow.

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Polished

I visited museums. This is never a hardship for me. I delight in wandering through and wondering at what is placed in front of me.

Every winter, my hands suffer. My dear friend, Susan, always surprises me at some point in the chilly season with yet another balm that will make all the breakage end, the cuts heal, and the dryness disappear. I use it religiously, and still I cannot be mistaken for a hand model.

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Cold Air & A Voice

“Arctic air is not to be trifled with.” His words when I asked about the slightly grimy cardboard after I sighted it the first time. I was in my early twenties.

My grandmother and grandfather lived in two homes during my childhood that I vividly remember. Both had carports, which as a child I found mesmerizing. Our old homes in the big city did not have these “modern” features. Low brick walls and a slick concrete floor defined the second and last carport.

In the heat of summer and on breezy days, they could be known to park the car further back in the driveway and not under the carport. This signaled that part of the evening would be spent in aluminum-framed folding chairs with the plastic webbing reforming our thighs.

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Weight Of The World

The weight of the world must be terribly heavy. In the Arctic and here at home.

Just a few days ago, I stood in an energized crowd and kicked off the year that includes the 31st annual AIDS Walk Kansas City. A cold January night in an overheated room made me almost believe spring would come and we would all be in Theis Park walking and talking and celebrating.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones…

My son was raised with The Stones. When the Disney CDs in the car became too much for me to bear …

Several years ago, I sat next to my son in a huge stadium under a midnight blue sky. The Rolling Stones rolled over me. I tapped, I sang, I swayed, I stood, I sat. I might have cried. It was a form of church, and I was delighted with this amazing birthday gift from a friend. Me, my son, and my husband, together for one night in one place with pretty much my favorite band. It was near perfection.

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Renewed Commitment

Last week, we celebrated STUFF’s 22nd birthday. Several months ago, we signed a new 10-year lease. We are here to stay, and we are excited. It’s a renewed commitment.

Last week, we celebrated STUFF’s 22nd birthday. Several months ago, we signed a new 10-year lease. We are here to stay, and we are excited.

When you start a business, people talk a lot to you about plans. “What is your business plan, your 5-year plan, your 10-year plan, and what is your exit plan?” “What if it doesn’t work; what is your plan?”

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The Best of Humanity

From their far off locations away from the noise and jostling, I am tagged in a post or mentioned in a comment.

The next few minutes together is not going to be a pro & con debate about social media. Very boring and overdone. However, that form of communication has always been like a delightful cocktail party to me.  I have never typed a comment I would not deliver face-to-face at said garden party or soiree.

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Unlucky in Love

I have never been lucky in love. I have written a collection of tragic love stories. They are heartbreaking because I love without limits. I throw myself into love wholly and completely. The crashes are devastating.

I have never been lucky in love. I have written a collection of tragic love stories. They are heartbreaking because I love without limits. I throw myself into love wholly and completely. The crashes are devastating.

I have grown hesitant and protective since my last failed attempt. But, I still dream of love stories to be written by me. It takes a certain kind of bravery to keep trying and I like to think I have that type of courage.

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Finding Signs

Thus far, it has been a calm that comes from seeing something with new eyes and in a new way.

Several weeks ago, a friend reached out and used the word I have come to despise.

Cancer.

I read a bit more of what was written, and I set the phone down, screen still bright. I was in a place packed with noise and strangers. A place I had visited only once before. A place where a path was not always apparent. The one thing in this large room that was a constant to me was my sister.

I had been silent for a few minutes, as we were both checking our phones and grabbing handheld lunches. My quiet must have touched her as different, as she asked, “What is it?”

I said, “Cancer.”

She knew it wasn’t a cancer of my own, and she knew to say little and to briefly touch my shoulder.

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