Farewell, Clown

In mid-September, 1975, I got on a plane to Sarasota, Florida to attend the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. My seatmate was a young woman named Barbara Hunter - she was also attending Clown College. We both lived in the DC area and had introduced ourselves already, so it made sense to take the same flight and sit together. On the flight down, we got to know each other better. Barb had... Read more →


Gathering

We went down to the Eastern Shore to say goodbye to my sister. It was an emotional trip. Joanne's funeral Mass was held at her church, with only family and close friends there to remember her. Masks were required and the seating was carefully arranged to maintain proper social distance during Mass. Joanne was very active in the church, so the priest was able to make the Mass very personal and touching. I teared up... Read more →


My Big Sister

My older sister, Joanne Wise Williams, died last Monday. She was 84. Joanne was almost 16 years older than I. I used to open her closet and gaze at her beautiful dresses, hoping that someday I would have dresses as pretty as that. She got married when I was nine. I got to be a Junior Bridesmaid, while my younger sister was the Flower Girl. And I had a beautiful dress too! So many Thanksgivings,... Read more →


Too Many, Too Soon

This has been a week of melancholy shocks. I'd like to tell you about three very different friends of mine who have checked out of Hotel Earth. Janet I found out over the weekend that an old childhood friend died unexpectedly. Janet and her two sisters lived across the street and up two houses. Janet was a year older than I, and her younger sister was exactly my age. We all played together along with... Read more →


Goodbye My Friend

Death comes in threes, they say. Robin Williams. Lauren Bacall. And the third? For me, the third was not a celebrity. My old friend and high-school classmate, Mary Barnard, died this evening of breast cancer. She had been fighting the disease for years, but just lately, within the last few months, it became clear that her stay here on the physical was drawing to a close. She was admitted to hospice yesterday, and this evening... Read more →


Full Military Honors

I took today off to attend my cousin's interment. It took three weeks because of some stupidity on the part of the cemetery management. (The same cemetery that neglected my mother's grave so egregiously.) My relatives are buried all over this historic cemetery, and my cousin wanted his ashes to be interred with his parents. So on this cold, bright morning Joe and I walked up to the old church to attend my cousin's burial,... Read more →


Rest in Peace, Jim

I met Jim Lawrence at JournalCon DC in 2004. I liked him right off the bat and began following his journal. He started following mine too. We had quite a bit in common -- we liked the same music, we both enjoyed cooking, we were both instructional designers, and we both knew what APL stands for (A Programming Language, if you're curious). I enjoyed his political views, even when they differed from mine, because he... Read more →


Again.

Again. Another madman; another mass shooting. Only this time the madman slaughtered little children. Kids who were looking forward to Santa or enjoying their Hanukkah gelt are now gone in a hail of bullets, leaving their parents to grieve. Once again, I cannot wrap my mind around this. I cannot figure out what happens to a person to make them commit such a horrible horrible crime. How does a person determine that, not only must... Read more →


Back To The Stars

Image from BOTA.org My brother-in-law died last Wednesday morning, the day after surgery. His vascular system was too weak to sustain his blood flow. I miss him. I was going to post a picture of him, but none of pictures I have really captures his smile, his gravelly voice, his unique sense of humor. He answered the door one morning; the guy at the door was delivering a dumpster. "Hi, I'm from Solid Waste," said... Read more →


Strange But True

Once or twice a week Joe works a late shift, which gives me a chance to watch all of the weirdo reality shows that both fascinate and repel me. I catch up on the toddlers in tiaras, I watch bars being rescued, and I listen to ladies say yes to the dress. Right now I'm watching "Taboo", which is featuring segments on female bodybuilders, a woman who has undergone pretty extreme tattooing and piercing and... Read more →