August 2012


I walked into the Dunkin’ Donuts near work today for my usual lunch hour routine. There have been several new additions to the staff of this particular store, but for the most part it is populated with the usual folk behind the counter. I made a pit stop in the wash room and then went to the counter to order my usual large, unsweetened iced tea with lemon. The girl that is the most attentive to my needs was working behind the counter.

Ok, now here’s a couple of things that tell me that working from home has distracted from my relationship with the Dunkin’ Donuts folks.

1. The girl behind the counter is now quite pregnant. I don’t know where that came from. Well, I know where it came from but how did it happen so quickly? Well, they probably hope it didn’t happen quickly, especially that night, because quick isn’t always good, but you know what I mean.

2. No one behind the corner could recall my order from memory. They knew it had something to do with iced tea but there was a controversy with lemon participation.

3. No one noticed my lack of facial hair.

This is my tragedy of the moment.

On the bright side, I refrained from offering congratulations on the girl’s pregnancy because sometimes the bump in the belly isn’t a baby but just an overindulgence of whoppers or something and I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made way back in 1990 when I congratulated a woman who wasn’t pregnant but instead had enjoyed too many large sandwiches from Papa Gino’s.


My dad had the habit of calling me up and starting the conversation with a complete random fact from days gone by.  I would answer the phone, “Hello?” and he would say something like, “Remember the time we were loading hay in the Four Story and your mother got caught in the manure and fell down when she forgot to let go of the hay bale when she threw it on the elevator?”

Yeah, he was funny like that.  He always referred to mom, who, of course, was his wife at the time, as “Your Mother”. The best part of these conversations is that I have completely and unabashedly inherited his memory for crazy details and the like. I could totally relate. And god help me, I can see me calling people up and having a similar conversation when I get old. 

I was thinking about this whole thing this morning as I was out for my pre-sunrise walk. As I trucked my body up the steep hill that our road winds up, all of a sudden I had a flash of memory of being in fifth grade and thinking I was so smart because I figured out why two classrooms in our elementary school had two doors instead of one. I don’t know why this random factoid popped into my head but there it was. By the way, said rooms were Rooms 209 and 211, which used to be part of the high school. The part of the room with a “back door” used to be a separate departmental chair office. And that’s why they had a separate light switch and extra clocks in the store room.)

Yep, complete geek even in elementary school.

Anyways, remembering this made me a little sad because I miss those random facts from my father and when I remember this sort of thing, I have no one to confirm these facts with.  I guess the fact that I even remember these sort of things means that he’s still hanging around somehow.



Earl is in Memphis for the week for work-related stuff. He left very early on Monday morning and is scheduled to return on Thursday evening.

Even though we have been doing this sort of thing for over 16 years, there is a large part of me that will never get used to not having my husband around for days on end. It’s a necessary part of his job, and undoubtedly I’ll be traveling for work next year, so I get that it just comes with the territory. But with that being said, I’ll never get used to it.

Thank goodness for technology. We can Skype and text and talk and chat, but only during his breaks!

Le sigh.


Earl and I were out for a ride on Saturday afternoon when he asked me one question.

“Will you stop drinking pop?”

I have to admit that this question kind of surprised me. It’s not something that I would expect to come out of his mouth; he has drank diet Pepsi and the like right along side me for years. I have noticed over the past week or so that he had stopped drinking pop and had opted for water or unsweetened iced tea when eating out.

I asked him what brought this question on and he talked about a conversation he had been part of at one of his last company meetings. The subject was about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and the effects they have on the body. Mentions of memory impairment, bloating and the like were reminders of things that I had read in the past. It’s good to be reminded of these things.

Because he asked me this simple question, I had a simple answer: “Yes.”

And like that, I’m done drinking pop.

This spurred a reassessment of my eating and exercising habits and made me realize that I need to start living healthy again. So, for the 87,123rd time in my 44 years, I’m trying to live healthier. I was up at 5:15 a.m. (it means more to me when I refer to it as 0515 ET) and walking and jogging under the stars of the twilight. I had the opportunity to see the sun rise this morning and it was beautiful. I started the by making one step towards exercising in the morning: I now charge my iPad downstairs, off the nightstand and away from my grasp. I’ve had the habit of grabbing my iPad and reading in the morning for 30 minutes or so before hitting the shower. That’s not a very productive way to start the day. Getting up and out of bed to work out is much more productive and I’m feeling better for it today.

So, while I have given up pop completely and without question, I am also trying to be more motivated about my health in general.

All it took was one simple question.