Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

6/23/1935: Ken's 75th Birthday

My late husband, Ken Wilson, would have celebrated his 75th birthday today, had he stuck around another year and a bit. In his honor, I checked out what happened on the very date he was born. Ken was a Sunday child, full of grace.

Ken shared his birthday with pharaohs, warlords and kings.

47 BC - Pharaoh Ptolemy XV of Egypt
1534 - Oda Nobunaga, Japanese warlord (d. 1582)
1763 - Josephine de Beauharnais, Empress of France (d. 1814)
1894 - King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom (d. 1972)
1941 - Robert Hunter, American lyricist and poet (The Grateful Dead)
1965 - Paul Arthurs, British guitarist (Oasis)
1972 - Zinedine Zidane, French footballer

Bing Crosby's Red Sails in the Sunset was a hit in '35.

Happy birthday, baby. xox

Friday, June 18, 2010

Life Review - June 18

Today I celebrate three important June 18 dates.

Fifty five years ago today I married Bob Elders, in Lynwood, California, ten days before my 18th birthday. A story I wrote about going to his memorial service in Long Beach five years ago, "When He Looked Like James Dean," was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul's Divorce and Recovery volume in 2008, and also won a prize in the Past Loves contest, and is published online here:

My stepgranddaughter, Kendra Wilson, celebrates her first birthday today. I last visited with her in Casa Grande, AZ, at her christening in February, and look forward to her arrival here in Colville with mom and dad, Angela and Rick, to housesit in August while I'm studying Victorian life and literature at the University of Cambridge. I'm working on a story about Kendra for a Chicken Soup for the Soul submission for a collection on grandmothers. I may get it finished this weekend.

Sir Paul McCartney was born on this date in 1942. My tale about my son, Steve, and the Beatles and how Steve memorializes our joint affection for the Liverpudlians and rock 'n roll in general, will appear soon in Patchwork Path's Treasure Box, under the title "All Those Years Ago."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Terri's Travels

There's still so much world to see...and to write about. I've been to fifty countries (more, but I never count them if I don't get beyond the airport) and most of the states, save a few New England, midwest and deep south. But I've not seen nearly enough yet of Asia and South America to feel truly "well travelled."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Unforgotten

I've never been much of a believer in the supernatural...but my late husband, Ken, definitely was. In the months before he died, just a year ago today, Ken regaled me with tales of how he would come back to haunt the dogs, and me.

The afternoon of the day he passed to the other side, the dogs escaped through a gate left ajar by the young man who mows my lawns. They dragged themselves home in little more than half an hour, looking sheepish. I thought then that Ken's spirit had scolded them and sent them home.

Not long after, Gregory Kompes, who edits the wonderful Patchwork Path anthology series, launched a new career as a psychic, and offered me a telephone consultation. He told me that Ken's spirit indeed walked around the backyard with the dogs. I wonder if that's why Natty, who was so attached to Ken, lies out there for hours, looking totally zoned out and blissful.

Just a few minutes ago I heard a repetitive thud/thud in the backyard, and went out to find both dogs hurling themselves against the one gate that sometimes gives. I put another nail into the post and rehooked the chain to ensure they stay safely inside.

Ken told me of Houdini's avowal to contact people from beyond. I don't think he succeeded. But twice this year I've found books overturned from the case next to my writing desk in the family room. The first incident, about a month after Ken's death, involved Over Tumbled Graves by Jess Walter. Ken and I met Walter when he came to the Colville library to give a talk and dined beforehand with the Colville book group. I shivered as I set the book back in place.

Then just last week I spied a second book from the same case on the floor. It was Faye Kellerman's The Forgotten. Both of us had been fans of Jonathan and Faye Kellerman's mysteries. I reflected on its title. I'm not certain I am ready yet to declare myself a believer in psychic phenomena, but this is the kind of spooky coincidence that Ken adored.

So if you're trying to send a message to me, dear spirited Spirit...I got it. Here's one for you: you're not forgotten. Not today. Not ever. Your portrait still hangs in the bedroom, and I've added the maps of ancient Briton that you never got around to displaying. I'll weed around your Asian lilies this afternoon and sprinkle them with deer repellant. Tonight I'll haul down your special ceramic cup and pour you a brandy Manhattan. I'll think of something special to commemorate you on your June 23 birthday and on what would have been our tenth anniversary on July 1.

As a postscript, yesterday I learned that the story I wrote about Natty pining for you after you left, "From Nuisance to Blessing," will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul's Think Positive, publication set for November 2.