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....

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beautiful Ohio!

Stonehenge, March, 1980

 Beautiful Ohio, in dreams again I see Visions of what used to be. --Ballard McDonald

Yesterday I began sorting through old photographs that I've stuffed into a duffel bag for decades. All afternoon I sprawled on the living room floor, tossing them into piles: childhood, school days, my son, years with my first husband, Peace Corps travels, and friends. And into a wastebasket go those that are so blurry or faded that I can no longer identify what, where or who they feature. I'm packaging the decent ones in semi-transparent plastic carry-bags filched from WalMart on my last shopping run.

Why this sudden rush to organization? It's a way to distract myself from sad thoughts of missing both Tsunami and my sister. Plus it's going to be easier the next time I want to locate a certain photo and don't want to devote an entire morning to find it, as I did yesterday. I'd started out looking for one or two pictures that I was certain I still had. After my delirious Aha! moment when they finally surfaced, I carefully set them the adjacent side table. I'd started heaping the photos back into the bag and then glanced at the table. One of the two had gone missing. Harpo, the male marmalade cat perched on the table, grinning his Cheshire grin.

Oh, no! He's swatted it back into the pile I'd already stuffed into the bag. And I had to start pawing through all over again. Never again, I decided. This time I'll get organized. I'm only halfway through, but the rest shall get sorted in due time. Everything's shoved up against a chair, an unsightly reminder that the task still awaits.

But this wasn't exactly an onerous task. I time traveled a bit, recalling the chill wind at Stonehenge, when I finally visited that mysterious prehistoric monument. I found the photos of the sun traveling down the side of the pyramid of Kulkulkan, when I trekked to the ruins of the pre-Columbian city of Chichen Itza for the vernal equinox in 1982 with a group of astronomers from Griffith Park observatory. With my mind's eye I once again marveled at the total eclipse of the sun on the Baltic Sea in Bulgaria with the Opa! group of folk dancers from San Diego.

For the past several years I've been associated with Publishing Syndicate, a small press in Orangevale, California. Through them, this past year I finally got my name on the cover of a book...Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel. Publishers Ken and Dahlynn McKowen, avid travelers themselves, listened patiently to my pitch, and finally broke down and awarded me the honor of gathering and editing the stories for this anthology, fourth in the fantastic new Not Your Mother's Book series.

Dahlynn will be a featured presenter at the upcoming Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, April 10-12, in Dayton, Ohio. I'm pleased to attend this conference, a first for me at the Erma confab, which is limited to 325 enrollees annually. Billed as "the workshop for humor writing, human interest writing, networking and getting published," I intend to mingle, mix and savor the ambiance of being surrounded by like-minded writers.

In the meantime, tomorrow I'll be writing a piece for the informative Wow Principles newsletter on how to inject emotion into anthology pieces. The archives of this free newsletter can be found on the Publishing Syndicate website...just click on the link below the PS logo.

P.S. Keynote speaker at the Erma workshop will be Phil Donahue, the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show, a daytime talk show that enjoyed a 29-year run on national television after its beginnings in Dayton, Ohio, where Phil lived on the same street as Erma Bombeck.


  1. Shoot! My post disappeared. I must have clicked wrong. I too have been doing cleanup work, on my old web sites. I'm wishing I didn't have so many pages! Photos are such a comfort, when we lose our loved ones. They bring back memories of time (((Hugs)))

  2. Hope you enjoyed your stroll down memory lane and that you will enjoy your trip to the workshop. Sounds very interesting!

  3. I spent hours separating my photos into Zip Loc bags. I loved the time travel. You gals are going to have so much fun in Dayton. One more wonderful experience to add to your collection. You have been to so many places and done so many interesting things.