Playing Possum

Our female Saint Bernard, Neva, was a runner.  For the first two years of her life, I could only take her outside on a leash because whenever the opportunity to go for a run through the neighborhood arose, Neva took off.  I chased her through fields, through the woods, even through a neighbor’s open garage; she went in through the overhead door and out the open man-door that lead to their (thankfully) fenced in back yard. Continue reading

A Letter from My Dead Father

My father’s death was not expected; he was only thirty-nine years old, healthy and vigorous when he went to work one day and did not come back.  He died from Coronary Thrombosis, the same silent killer that later killed newsman Tim Russert. In addition to my mother, he left behind three children, me at age 19 and my brothers ages 17 and 6. Since his death in 1979, I cannot count the number of times my family and I would’ve given anything to hear from him again.  And then one day, we did. Continue reading

Christmas Blow Up

When it comes to Christmas decorations I know what I like; classic evergreen wreaths with big red bows, live Christmas trees, preferably a fraser fir or a blue spruce, green garlands with pretty white lights, pointseittas, and old-fashioned, hand-made knit stockings on the mantel.  I’m a Christmas decoration snob and I’ve been that way for a long time. Continue reading

The Case of the Missing Pumpkin Pie

My husband Steve and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our house for more than thirty years. Despite the fact that we have the logistics of holding such a feast down pat, it seems like every year there is something that does not go according to plan.  One year the turkey was done too early, another year it took too long to cook.  One year the oven broke the day before Thanksgiving and we had to replace the baking element.  And then there was the year that Thanksgiving was almost ruined for my son Aaron, whose favorite part of the meal is the pumpkin pie. Continue reading

The Good-Looking Goat

I saw the goat first.  It was walking along the woods at the edge of the field heading towards the road.  When I pointed it out to my husband Steve, he went into the garage and came back with some dog food in an old metal coffee can.  Standing in the driveway, he began shaking the can.  The goat turned and headed in our direction. Continue reading

The Chipmunk, the Washer and My Ass

Three years ago when I arrived home from work I head a scratching noise coming from behind the dryer and I immediately knew that there was some type of critter in the flexible dryer duct that leads from the dryer to the vent mounted on the outside wall of our home. I knew without a doubt that there was an animal in the dryer duct because it had happened before. Continue reading