Thank You Mr. Barry, Somewhere In Time

Have you ever heard a piece of music that fills your soul, your heart? One that, when the first notes play, you slip into a memory, a moment in time, a feeling that envelopes your entire being? The music from the movie, Somewhere In Time, does that to me.

I don’t know why. The movie wasn’t all that great, but the music speaks to me in a deeply, wonderfully personal way. The smooth, gliding notes make my eyes want to drift shut, and a soft smile comes to my lips as I let the music lead me away from stress, sorrow, and worry. I can sit for hours listening to the same music over and over as my thoughts wander, and day dreams drift like clouds in my mind. I feel tears gather, and when I least expect it, love fills me.

It is a piece of music, meant as a background for a sad love story. I have heard thousands of soundtracks over the years, few stay in my heart and mind like Somewhere In Time. I stopped trying to figure out why it touches me so deeply and simply allow it to happen. It is a blessing.

I suppose it is silly, maybe overly dramatic, to allow music to deeply effect my life. Music is always with me, every moment of every day. Sometimes it is a reflection of my day or emotions, like listening to loud rock and roll when I drive my car on a sunny day, top down, music blaring. Sometimes music helps me create a story or a character in a story, and sometimes it lifts me out of sadness or loneliness. Music helps me say what I feel when words fail me. It makes me sing, dance, and rock my babies to sleep. It makes me want to be in the arms of the love of my life, and sometimes, it makes me cry.

It is rare that one piece of music can invoke all those feelings and thoughts. This soundtrack does all of that and more. I don’t know anything about the composer, John Barry, but he found his way to this music that has taken root in my soul. Thank you Mr. Barry, from the bottom of my heart.


New Normal Nonsense

Over the past few years I have heard a phrase used often that, when deconstructed, makes no sense at all. The phrase is, “the new normal.” How can something “new” be normal? It isn’t remotely normal, and although, over time, it might become part of your lifestyle, it isn’t normal when it first begins.

The situation might be considered a new beginning, a new type, a new way of doing something, a new event, a new expectancy, a new thought, a new passion, and new meaning, but it isn’t anything near normal when it is NEW.

Normal. What does that mean? Normal to whom or what? My normal isn’t your normal, and we don’t really have a normal. We have a routine, a way of managing our day and life. Not one day is exactly the same as another, so how can you judge something to be normal? Lets say we have an hour long commute every single day, going to the same part of town, to the same building or workplace, the same position or office, five days a week. Most of us, will not have the same exact experience on any of those five days. The only normal part of that commute is the direction and destination in which we are going. Something different will happen, a random event, an accident, a slow down, something weird in the car next to you or on the train near to you will happen. You might miss your train, the exit, or someone may cut you off causing an accident. Maybe you will have a flat or your car won’t start. On the train or bus, a conversation might start up that you join, or most likely, you over hear and that will set your thoughts off in an original direction. Sure we get to work, but it wasn’t a standard, exactly the same, normal every day thing. It was a day. different, strange, boring, amazing, but it was A DAY,

No job is ever normal either. So you stand in the same spot, doing the same job, but the assembly line fails, someone doesn’t turn up, or is late. Gossip goes up and down the grapevine, someone is having a bad day and takes it out on someone else, everything goes to hell in a manner of seconds when someone throws a spanner in the works. It is a day, but it isn’t exactly the same ever single work day. It isn’t the Old Normal, therefore, how can there be a new normal?

What you have is a change in your life. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. You learn to adapt to or overcome that change in your life. Because if life was always normal, it would be static. A static life is a stagnant life, and that is not normal, in fact, it is harmful, debilitating, depressing, and demoralizing. Human beings are meant to change, sometimes on a daily basis. Those that can’t get left behind as everyone around them moves forward with their lives. The only people who can’t or don’t naturally change daily are those with disabilities, and they do change only more slowly. It isn’t in us to always remain the same. If it was, we would always be children, never maturing beyond being totally dependent on parents and caregivers. It is within our DNA to try to grow up and away from our parents into adults who can take care of ourselves. That growth, while in one way is normal, it is also individual and therefore there is no correct or normal way to reach maturity. It is simply an individual effort that changes daily.

Stop already with the New Normal nonsense. No one is normal, we are all unique with unique moments and events in our lives. Our singular way of coping with those events makes us different from one another, and it also makes us interesting to others around us. There is no Old Normal, there is no New Normal, there is only change and how we cope with those changes in our lives.

You Can’t Have It Both Ways.

Everyone is yammering on about how an 18 year old shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.
They can go to war and protect your country, but not own a gun.
They can vote but they can’t buy a gun.
They can drive a car but they can’t own a gun.
They can marry and divorce, but can’t own a gun.
They can pay bills and make money, but they can’t own a gun.
They can buy pot, tobacco products and beer in some states, but can’t own a gun.
They can be fathers, but they can’t own a gun.
They can run a business, work in dangerous jobs, but they can’t own a gun.
They can save a life, but they can’t own a gun.
They can provide for an entire family, but they can’t own a gun.
They are considered adults, but they can;t own a gun.

Okay. You want them to remain children. So no more military, no more voting, no more marriage or divorce without parental consent, no more driving cars, no more smokes or booze, no more pot either, no more responsibility for being a daddy, no more working, no more being a man. Nope. They must remain children under the care of the uncaring government.

The leftists can’t have it both ways. Either they are adults, with all the rights of an adult, or they are children. What we need are police and federal officials who are willing to do their damned jobs. Most departments say that they “protect and serve” the people. Bull. Not in Florida. There they run away and serve themselves. That young man was sick, for a long time. No one did their job, had they done so, 17 people would be alive. Unless, of course, he blew them up or ran them down with a car. If someone is determined to kill, they will find a way.

I Am Take A Side

I find it deeply disturbing that everyone wants to start screaming hatred at each other when discussing this horrific act of violence against innocent human beings. It becomes political from the moment it happens, and it just keeps getting more and more vicious as everyone takes a side.
Well, I am taking a side.
I am taking the side of the parents who will bury a child, be it one of the students, or their son or daughter who was a teacher.
I am taking the side of the community that will now bury 17 of their neighbors.
I am taking the side of the first responders, police officers, and adults who had to face the horror inside the school in the aftermath of the shootings, who will face the nightmares that will come from those hours.
I am taking the side of the students who lost friends, and who will have to go back to school and remember the fear.
I am taking the side of the mothers who will mourn for the rest of their lives.
I am taking the side of the fathers who will forever feel as if they didn’t protect their lost child.
I am taking the side of the victims, each one whose life was cut off without warning, though no fault of their own.
I am taking a side that condemns the media, pundits, and hate filled rhetoric of the people who think their opinion about guns is more important that taking time to pray for, with, and about the deep sorrow of the families of those who died.
I am taking a side. It isn’t about us, it is about them. I hope you will join me.

A Blank Page

There is something about a blank page that bugs me. It doesn’t matter if it is on my computer screen or a real piece of paper, it screams out for something, anything, to be written or drawn on it to make it unique.

When my kids were little, paper was a way to keep them entertained for all of two minutes while I made a bathroom stop. A notebook and pencil in my purse or diaper bag was a must to hold off boredom in places like restaurants and church. As they got older, we used paper and pencils to write words, and draw pictures to go with them. Sometimes, if we were in an appropriate, and sometimes not appropriate, place we would make paper airplanes, or fans, or anything we could by folding paper. It was a useful tool.

Then, when my kids were teenagers, before we all had text messaging, they left me notes on the fridge, the front door, in my car, and sometimes, on me, to remind me of things they needed or places they needed to be. I did the same for them and for my husband. Notes became an every day way of communicating in a busy teenage household.

But always, through the years, writing down my life was a part of my daily routine. I filled pages of paper in journals telling my story. Then I started writing down imaginary stories, always trying to write something that would teach, lead, or entertain others. I wrote letters, by hand, and notes saying Thank You, or You Are Invited To An Event, to others. I wrote love letters to my husband, and letters of appreciation and admonition to my children and grandchildren. I wrote the histories of my ancestors, and reams of papers for college courses.

Today, I still write every day. Sometimes it is just a blog, sometimes I work on a book or a short story, sometimes I just write an email, a response on social media, or to my elected officials. Like reading every day, writing is as much a part of my life as breathing. I can’t imagine being unable to do either.

So, today, when I was faced with a blank page, I thought about how important it is to write things down. Because once you are gone, and your children are gone, who will remember what you said, how you though, or the feelings that filled your life? This is your chance to put down the words that mean something to you. This is your time to tell your own story, opine on your ideas and dreams, and your time to say what you really think about any and every subject that comes to mind.

Every personal story is important. Without personal accounts of events, real history will be lost to the ages. All that will be left is what the professional politicians had to say, or the media of the day had to say, not what every day people had to say about a moment in time. Daily grind events are just as important as life changing events. And in the future, some many times great grandchild will sit in wonder reading what you really thought, did, or felt in your life. It will amaze, thrill, and surprise them with the turn of every page. Write it down. Inquiring minds will want to know.

A blank page is an opportunity. Don’t waste it.



If they can climb it,

jump on it,

stomp in it,

roll on it,

swing on it,

and even better, jump off it,

they love whatever it is.

If it gets them dirty,




or even better, muddy,

they want it.

If they can eat it,

drink it,

throw it,

smear it,

and it still tastes good,

they will take it.

If they can yell,





and be loud,

they say it.


Not your cream puff video game players,


Learning to be men by doing, playing, coping, challenging.


Hard to raise, harder to let go of.


Pride, honor, dignity,


Where Is The Joy?

Recently, I sat in a room full of people waiting for an appointment. I joined the people around me and sat with them for nearly an hour. In all that time not one person started up a conversation. Now these people weren’t sick with the flu or any sort of illness that would have them feeling miserable. And though there could have been some anxiety among them due to upcoming tests, it wasn’t something that would be catastrophic news if it were negative. So, why, I wondered, was the room filled with miserable, grumpy, unhappy people?

When I sat down, I greeted the lady next to me by asking if the seat was available. She nodded, and humphed at me, like I was bothering her by asking. I was being polite, I could have just plopped myself down and ignored her. I smiled and thanked her. She shrugged and muttered, “Whatever.” Okay, so she was in a sour mood. Happens to all of us. But she wasn’t the only person with that sour attitude.

Okay, no one likes to wait at a doctor’s office. I get that. I don’t either, but instead of sitting there being put out, I plan for the wait. I have my Kindle, or a book, or something to work on. I hate just sitting with nothing to do, unless I am talking to someone. So I got my Kindle out, to continue reading a very funny story. I try, when reading in public, not to laugh out loud since it can bother others, and it makes me look slightly, um, off. But, the book was really funny, and I got caught off guard and laughed out loud at the story.

Holy Cats! The looks I got would make you think I had passed gas or something. Ten or more sets of eyes turned toward me as I laughed. They were glaring, and faces looked angry or annoyed, brows drawn, mouths frowning, and not one word was said. Nothing. Just glares. It was freaky, like they were all connected by a puppet master. For a heartbeat I almost apologized. However, something rebellious in me wouldn’t let me. Holding up my Kindle, I said, “This is a great story. The writer really has a way with humor.” Normally, someone would ask the name of the book, or comment about humor. Not that day. Nope. The grumpy woman next to me actually got up and moved one seat over. Really! “Huh!” I thought, “Excuse me for having a sense of humor.” I went back to reading.

This whole event got me to thinking about people in public. The question that kept jumping out was, “Where is the joy?” Is it now forbidden to be happy in public? Are we not supposed to laugh at things? When did it become rude to be polite? The people in that room were all about my age, some older, a few younger, but we were all pretty much of the same generation. We were raised to be polite, respectful, and to know how to casually chat in a public setting. As a people, have we forgotten how to communicate with one another unless it is by typing on a computer or phone? Or is it just no longer socially acceptable to acknowledge those around you?

Even when people are talking to each other, they have their eyes constantly moving toward their device of choice, just in case a remote being contacts them. Most of the time, people in public aren’t laughing together, everyone seems so serious, like happiness is forbidden. So, I ask you, Where is the JOY? Why is there a pervasive feeling of negativity around people most of the time.

Last time I went to the grocery, I was greeted by a lady that has worked there for as long as I can remember. When she started, she worked in the Pharmacy. When I was desperately ill for a year, she handled most of my prescriptions. Since my husband was in there several times a week for nearly a year, she got to know him well. When I was finally healthy enough to leave the house, we went to the store and she walked right up to me and hugged me. “Mrs. Combs, I have been praying for you every day. I am so happy to see you are well enough to get out of the house. Your husband sure does love you.” We chatted for a few minutes. Fast forward to now. The lady who greeted me was laughing and telling everyone hello. She greeted many by name, and when she saw me she walked up and hugged me, practically dancing me around in her joy to see me. “Mrs. Combs! I am so glad to see you today, you feeling well?” Her JOY was amazing. Everyone who met her smiled, everyone was glad to see her too, and the few who just walked by in their grumpy world, she simply let go. It didn’t bother her, and she didn’t let it infect her joy. I hate shopping, but I look forward to her greeting every time I go, because she makes me happy no matter how busy, inattentive, frustrated, or hectic my life is. At that moment, I am distracted from the nonsense and engulfed in her JOY!

So, people, Where Is YOUR Joy? Why do we plod through the day, when we can dance through it? How have we allowed ourselves to be afraid to be happy in public. You know, my Grannie used to say, “Smile, honey. It makes people wonder what you have been up to.” She was right. Smiling has a very strong response from everyone. Some smile back, some nod, some people ignore your smile, but most just act like you have insulted them by being rude enough to be happy or polite.

Everyone is angry, in fact the younger generation seems to make angry the “go to” emotion of their daily life. Being offended is an art among a lot of people. And, if you dare to be happy, or even content, you will be condemned, either overtly or covertly by people around you. I don’t get it. I was raised to be polite, to smile in greeting people, and to conduct simple chats with strangers in a public setting. I want to be happy, but for years let myself be shamed into being mute.

The rebel in me refuses to allow that from now on. I am going to be like the lady at the grocery. I am going to smile and greet everyone with a sense of Joy. And if they ignore it or dislike it, I will let them go on their grumpy, angry way. But I will have done my part in being Joyful. It is up to them to pass it on. I ask you again, Where Is The Joy in your life?


I was cutting onions for a soup this afternoon. I was using my favorite paring knife, one I’ve had for over twenty-five years. I like my knife, and it annoys me when someone else uses it. “Huh,” I thought, “I wonder if that is weird or if other cooks feel that way about their knives.” I have probably close to two dozen, mostly very sharp, knives in my kitchen. Most of them have a certain purpose for chopping, cutting, or what ever needs done to make a meal. If I had to chose five to keep, I already know which five are my favorite. Is that weird, or is it any different from anyone who uses any sort of tools on a regular basis?

I know my Dad had his favorite tools that he liked to use for different projects. He also had his favorite guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, amplifier, microphone, and hat. My mom had her favorite sewing machine, and heaven help us if we messed up her favorite cast iron frying pan. My Grannie had her favorite needle, and she like a certain kind of thread to quilt with, and my Granddad absolutely had his favorite hammer, I remember because he yelled at me for playing with it when I was a little kid. He also had his favorite razor that he sharpened on his razor strap. I got spanked with the strap once too. But only once. I learned to never lie to him that day.

My husband has his favorite guns, pistol, long gun, and shot gun. His favorite type of ammo for each. He has his favorite tools for his computers and tech gizmos, and his favorite kind of electronics to test for problems. And he is picky about all sorts of tools in the garage and house.

I have my favorite writing tools, things like dictionaries, thesaurus, reference materials, and research materials. I do not like using the Internet for that information. Half the stuff on line is incorrect anyway. I have my favorite kitchen gadgets, and do not allow anyone to use my baking pans for the wrong thing, that really, really annoys me. Does that make me a creature of habit? Probably. I know I find it comfortable to use the tools that I have had for a long time. And, I hate new technology. Just as soon as I get used to the way my computer works, something has to be changed, I hate the constant learning curve.

After getting the soup on, and cleaning my knife, I put it back on the wall magnet I hang my knives on. I wondered, as I checked them for sharpness, how I could use them as a weapon in a story I have in mind to write. “Huh.” I thought, “How weird is it that someone would look at their kitchen knives and wonder how to use them in a story, or is it weird?” Apparently, not for me.

Living in Her World

She lives in a world of princess dolls, tea sets, and toy horses, each enhanced with her imagination into a fantasy world of unending play and drama. She has deep conversations and interaction between her dolls and horses, and a tea party will include every toy she can find and her grandfather. She dances, prances, twirls, all in her tutu of the day – without an ounce of self conscious behavior.

In her world, everyone is expected to understand the rules that she sets forth and changes from moment to moment. It is her world after all. Her princesses posture, argue, share, and talk for hours, just like people in the grown up world. However, it is all driven by the imagination, intelligence, and curiosity of a four year old girl. When I over hear her say something that sound remarkably like something I have said to her, or her Mommy has said, it makes me smile. There are time she sounds amazingly mature, and other times it is clear she is fully engrossed in some magical moment of discovery.

In her world, her teddy bear, toy cat, and prized princess horse can have an intense conversation over pretend tea and cookies, while her imaginary sisters squabble in the background. I don’t know how she keeps the story lines straight. Maybe it doesn’t matter, because it is her world and subject to change without notice. And, like it or not, those of us on the peripheral are involved when we are needed to further the narrative.

Living in her world includes frequent costume changes, and requires a fashion show for each change. Sometimes it requires a new way of doing up her hair, different shoes, and a full change from the skin out. She dances her way through the day, fully aware of her beauty, and proud of her ability to be a princess one moment and a baby the next.

In her world, where she displays supreme self confidence and control, she has no fear, except a fear of the dark. She faces monsters, outrageous characters, stubborn dolls, and the occasional grumpy horse that needs a talking to. She laughs and dances through the story, the moment, the magic. And, at the end of her day, she crawls into her Papa’s lap, asking for a story to go to sleep by. Then, the next day, that story finds its way into her world, continuing on in her imagination.

Living in her world is a delight, a blessing, and an unending adventure. Her favorite living companion is her Papa, who willingly joins her world, and deeply misses her when she is away. We are old, she is young, but with her in our lives, in our hearts, we have learned to play again. Time to go see what is next, a tea party or a pretend trip to the barn. Either way, we will be in her world, and it will be an adventure worth remembering.

Where Are The Feminists? I’m Waiting.

With all the news of ‘famous’ Hollyweird people and politicians being slammed by “sexual misconduct” claims over the past few weeks, I have to wonder if the leftist chickens have finally come home to roost. For years the women of the left have been screaming about any perceived misconduct from anyone on the right, giving men on the left a pass, no pun intended, on their behavior. Anything from saying someone looks nice to asking then out on a date was seen as a sexual attack of some sort. And boy did they scream and wail about it to the talking heads of the opinion channels. (They used to report the news, now they just rant opinions.) The feminists ranted, railed, pointed fingers, demanded that the men involved be hung in effigy, and ruined more than one career just by uttering innuendos based on rumors. It was ugly, like most of the women.

Now, their secrets of how things are behind the scenes of the leftest bastions of entertainment and half of the politicians are out for everyone to see. At first, everyone rallied to support the men who were accused, then, as woman after woman came forward, it got very, very quiet on the leftest feminist front. Women came forward, some famous, some unknown, and made their claims, one after another. And the power wielders started to fall like dominoes. Still, the feminists stayed quiet. No ranting, no rallies, no hangings, nothing. Why is that? These are men, they are the ENEMY! Why aren’t the “nasty women” who wear nasty hats and dress like female genitalia marching on Hollyweird and Washington D.C.?

I’m waiting.

Personally, I think that it is horrific for a person, man or woman, to use their position of power to sexually harass anyone. Period. And women are just as guilty of doing that as men, don’t pretend it isn’t true. Anyone with power will be tempted to use that power in ways that are inappropriate. The person who doesn’t shows integrity and strength. However, being a person with power over others also leaves them vulnerable to lies being told about them by those who don’t like them having power. The smart person is like Vice President Pence, they avoid being alone with the opposite sex to avoid any hint of scandal or wrong doing. But the leftists feminists had a hissy fit about that, saying he was being all sorts of prudish. Now, that it has been proven being alone with anyone is a reason for sex scandals, not a word is coming from the leftist feminists screamers. Why not? Oh, sorry, that would mean admitting the Vice President was correct in his behavior.

So now, the man hater feminists of the academia are shouting that ALL men are predators and, therefore, evil. We must, as a nation and as a culture, demand that all mothers train their little boys to behave like little girls, or something that will keep them from growing up to be, well, men. We must make them sensitive, emotional, metrosexual males who are unsure of their sexual identity and who are not masculine in any way. In short, they can’t behave like men. They can’t be logical, they can’t shoot guns, they can’t drink beer, and they certainly can’t sit with their legs apart in public, or swear. Women can, but men can’t. What a load of bull. Every woman I know who is a real woman wants a real man, not some girlie/boy wanna be, who can’t decide if they are male or not.

According to the talking heads of the liberal opinion stations, ALL MEN ARE TOXIC. It doesn’t matter if they have never done anything inappropriate in their entire lives, we all know they thought about it. So that makes them evil and a threat to all women. Wait, what? So that makes all women victims of sexual assault because a guy thought they were attractive? Then why do women go around dressed so men notice them? Isn’t that baiting them into a reaction? Doesn’t that make women just as bad? What exactly does Toxic mean in this context? Or does the phrase just sound good to the leftists?

The loud, ugly, obnoxious women who screamed for equality in all things are now presenting themselves and helpless little women who are victims of the big bad men around them. You can’t have it both ways. Either you are a strong, independent, competent woman who can stand her ground and fight her own battles, or you are a whimpering victim who needs to be protected and taken care of by others. If you are going to shout that you are a “nasty woman” who hates all toxic males just because of their genitalia and DNA, then you are not a victim of anything but your own hatred.

Those who are sexually assulted or harassed in any way must stand up and tell their stories, when it happens! Do it immediately to stop the perpetrator from continuing his or her behavior toward others. Don’t be a silent victim, be proactive.

Unless, of course, you are willing to do anything for your career and bow down to sexual predators to climb that ladder of success. If you do that, you have no right to complain and whine now. You are just as guilty as the perpetrators.

Where are you feminists? Where is your outrage about this?

I’m waiting.