Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Light in the Tower Window

I come by my love of reading naturally.

Mom read books constantly.  She hardly ever went to the library, but she was a voracious reader.

Whenever we'd go to the grocery store as kids, Mom would take the time to peruse the paperback books located by the 33 RPM records and women's magazines.  More times than not, she'd pick out a book with a specific cover.

We always called them her "Light in the Tower Window Books" because, inevitably, the light was on in the tower window.  Below, and always outside the castle, were damsels in some form of distress. The distress could be because a bare-chested man was featured in some sort of pose, and often times it was entangled with the damsel.

She always had flowing locks, curled and blowing in the unseen breeze.  He had longer hair that she could sink her hands into as she caressed his head.  She wore gowns with low-cut bodices and always had an expression of either fear or intense infatuation, gazing deep into his dark eyes.

The story followed the same formula time after time, always with a few twists and turns that couldn't be predicted.  They involved mystery, romance, wealth, poverty, and lust.  Always lust.

Such were Gothic Romances.

Mom, I believe, lived vicariously through each one.  She was taken from the drudgery of daily chores to a world where men were men and women were women, and they didn't hesitate to show it. Gone were the dishes to do, the floors to mop, the laundry, the cooking, the yard work, and the gardening. Instead, she could picture herself far away from it all, being romanced by a young stallion of old, torn from a life of poverty to live a life of abundant wealth and social position.


I can see her now, sitting on the couch with her cup of coffee, devouring each one.

Her addiction to the genre had us, as children, acting as her dealer at times.  She would notice, all of a sudden, that we were out of oranges.  That would necessitate a trip to the grocery store immediately, because really, who can LIVE without oranges?  She would hand one of us the cash, drop us off at the door of the grocery, and then offhandedly say, "Oh...pick me up a book while you're in there."

We always seemed to run out of oranges at the same time she ran out of reading material.  Strange.

I thought of her today as I was perusing the free books offered for Kindle on Amazon. The cover of one of them was exactly what she would have looked to find. I'm sure it was a true bodice-ripper.

I miss her still, and always will.

But I will always remember the Light in the Tower Window.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In Which the Bird Wishes to Fly the Coop

The man who killed my nephew had a hearing today.

He has already been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Although I believe drunk drivers should be charged with murder if they kill someone while driving drunk, I won't go into that. His bond was set at $150,000. 

We thought today would be the day he would plead either guilty or not guilty.  Given the fact that there is surveillance tape from a nearby business that shows the crash, there is really no doubt he was the one driving.  We don't know yet what his blood alcohol content was.  We had hoped he would just plead guilty and give up the farce of a trial.

However, that was not the case.

Instead, today was the day he asked for his bond to be reduced to $50,000.  It would seem he is tired of sitting in jail and can't make the $150,000 bond originally set.

The judge, in legal wisdom, denied him.  He will stay in jail.

And if all goes well, he will stay there a very, very long time.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five Minutes on Friday

Today I am making time.

I'm making time for one of my great loves, the written word.

Just for today, I will not be afraid of the words I write.  Afraid they are not good enough, descriptive enough, that they don't tell the story the way it should be told.  I will let those who judge do their thing without interruption, and I will continue to do this, MY thing.

Today, just today, my love and I are going on a wild ride.  I can't wait to see where we end up.

Monday, May 04, 2015


Our family is grieving.  My great-nephew, Philip, was killed in a car accident yesterday.

He was exiting I-470, and had just entered the intersection when an SUV slammed into his car. Witnesses had been following the SUV due to its erratic driving, and had called police to report it. We have heard the SUV ran several lights before the one where Philip was. It is obvious the driver was traveling very fast.

The SUV hit Philip's car so hard that the drivers' side was pushed four feet over to the passenger side.

A retired firefighter was able to pull him from the wreckage with the help of others, and they began CPR.  At least someone tried to help, and for that we are thankful.  However, despite their best efforts, Philip was declared dead at the scene.

He was nineteen.

The other driver was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition, the last we heard.

News report here.

Update:  It appears Philip was killed by a 32-year-old drunk driver.  "A strong odor of alcohol" was noticed by police officers, as well as a bottle of whiskey.  He had just gotten his licence back from it being suspended for drunk driving. The man was driving at an estimated 70-80 mph when he struck Philip.  The driver appeared in court today on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, which carries up to a five-year sentence (from what I can tell on the internet).

Five years.....one life.  It doesn't seem fair, somehow.

Updated news story here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No Friends Like Old Friends

Last Saturday evening we had a reunion.

It wasn't a big, school-wide reunion, or even a class reunion.  It was a gathering of four friends who hadn't seen each other in about thirty years.



To be perfectly honest, I was so nervous about seeing the others after so long a time that I had to down a Xanax just to make it out the door.  I am one who firmly believes that people will think the worst of me, regardless of who they are or how long I've known them. I was understandably uncomfortable (neurotic) with the possibility of things not going well.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I could not have been more wrong.

Jan was kind enough to host us at her house.  We all arrived around 6 p.m. with part of dinner, dessert, and bottles of white wine.

Many bottles of white wine.  Big bottles of white wine.

It seems we all like white wine.

It was as if we had never been apart.  We talked and talked and talked some more.  We ate.  We drank.  We caught up on the last thirty years...the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.

Oh, it was glorious!

And at the end of the evening, after all the talk, all the wine, and all the rest, we vowed to meet again in June.

It was good. Very good, indeed.