Archive for March, 2012

A Kiss Away

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

A Kiss Away

I love the medium strength toothbrush I have, it gets to the places that need it.

But my dentist said it is best for my teeth to use the soft one.

Now that I have it and am using it every day, the head is beginning to fall apart. And I know it is only a mater of time before its demise.

What to do?

Well experts, who are really dentists in disguise, say that you’re supposed to change your brush every two weeks. Even if they don’t show any wear. How are we supposed to remember? Are they time sensitive?

I’ll miss my little red brush, with its bearded exterior and balding head.

Yes mine was the dark red one just as my mates is somewhat kind of blue, well at least in that family of colors.

In this way, and I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, there is no way for mistaken toothbrush borrowing.

But even if there was, after all they are sitting together day after day and they are really just a kiss away.

The Art of Finding Friends

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I’m not alpha dog, my nearly two-year-old miniature dachshund taught me. She rules the roost, is queen of the castle and has me wrapped around her paw. I’ve read dog training books, books about dog behavior and even one about “How Dogs Think.”

At the pet store, she seemed shy, just like me, as she shook and cuddled against my chest. I took her home and at bedtime put her in her kennel, but she made this pitiful crying, abused sound. I turned on the light and warned her that this was the only night we would share a bed. Her sad sounds got to me the next night and the third night, and that was that, I became her sleep buddy.

During the daytime, our relationship wasn’t so easy.

My first dog wasn’t a Marley, but Zoey liked being naughty and disliked the word “no.” She chewed on furniture, barked like a 100-pound dog and wanted to go in and out, in and out all day long, as if the grass were greener on whichever side of the fence she did not dominate.

When she was naughty, Zoey would not stop if I told her “no” and was even more determined to continue. If I ignored her or she wanted my attention, she would become even more mischievous. She was stubborn, manipulative and wanted her own way.

I considered throwing in the towel, selling her, returning her, taking her to the pound. I tried ignoring her, squirting her with a water gun, lightly spanking her behind and putting her in time-outs. Nothing seemed to work, except time and waiting for her to learn and to grow up. And I, too, had to learn how to not give up.

I was rewarded walking in the door after each day at work.

Zoey greeted me with wiggles starting with her tail that moved her whole body into alarcity. She leaped off the chair and ran circles around the coffee table, stopping for a pet before running more circles.

From Zoey, I learned what friendship means in simple language and how to give my heart to a dog. Usually, I am guarded when it comes to making friends. I was teased as a child for being shy and did not learn essential social skills, such as reading facial expressions and gestures. I carried this insecurity into my adulthood.

I lose my inhibitions with Zoey. She kisses me, lets me hug her for 30 seconds and invites me to play, play, play. At night, she snuggles smack against me leaning into my stomach, giving me a nightlong cuddle. I tell her that I love her and I know in her dog language, she says I love you back. I found the cliché to be true – my best friend is a dog.

Memories Are Personal

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Memory is strange. Thinking logically, it would seem that people sharing the same life experiences would share the same memories, but that is rarely the case. I remember chuckling to myself as a teenager whenever my grandmother and her sister, Aunt Jeanie, would have conversations about their childhood inOhio. They both had crystal clear recollections of their home and neighborhood – and these memories were totally different. They talked about the corner grocery store, but they each placed it on a different corner. When they discussed their older brother, Uncle Bill, as child, he came across as two people or one with a split-personality.

That suppressed laughter came back to haunt me a few years ago in discussions about my childhood with the brother and sister closest in age to me. After awhile I began to wonder if we had lived in the same house during those early years – and whether we had actually grown up with the same parents!

These thoughts came to mind today when I attended a session at the library. Charlotte Hinger(, author of numerous books and articles, talked about the unreliability of family stories. A native ofKansas, she was involved in writing a book of family histories for the county she lived in. She discovered that no family has one history. Each family member has a personal history – and as I had discovered for myself – these histories seldom agree.

Charlottealso talked about family stories that have been passed on through generations that have been proved to be factually false, but the tales continue to be passed on. Amazingly, these fabricated family legends are most treasured.

Sometimes families keep secrets through tacit agreements for many years. Then when the people involved get into their 70s and 80s, they begin to talk. Such was the case inCharlotte’s family. One day a cousin approached her with a question for her then elderly mother. WouldCharlotteplease ask her if Aunt Margaret really did kill Aunt Mattie? ThusCharlottewas thrust into research into her own family history.

Consider your childhood memories. Are these recollections shared with anyone else or are they unique for you?