Thursday, October 21, 2010



Several weeks ago I went to my High School Class Reunion. There were 159 members of our graduating class. Some I had not seen since I attended our 20 th reunion. Others I had not seen for 50 years. That is HALF A CENTURY.

On Friday night, we had an indoor tailgate party and then a tour of the new high school. Our old school had been demolished a few months before. I was dressed appropriately.



Many attended the first football game of the season . Bill and I opted out, as these old bones could not have endured a couple of hours on metal bleachers.

On Saturday afternoon, we had a luncheon to express our thanks to members of the committee which has organized our reunions since 1960.  We were entertained by 2 classmates who did a Johnny Carson
and Ed Mc Mahon presentation of awards which had us all laughing. They presented awards for some dubious achievements during our school years .


Saturday night was the social hour/ dinner/ dance . We signed in at the table and picked up our yearbook picture ID badges. The pictures helped a lot for identifying one another but the printed names should have been in letters 4 inches tall.

We ate dinner ,  laughed a lot , shared old stories and memories. Most of us left by 10:30 or 11:00. The music which we had loved in high school was too loud for some of us folks. We needed to take our nighttime pills/our feet hurt.

We said goodbye to our friends of a HALF CENTURY, exchanged actual and e-mail addresses and left each other with the same mixture of sadness and yet anticipation for the future with which we parted on that May evening in 1960.

We have traveled many different roads but we did GO HOME AGAIN if only for one nostalgic weekend.

As I left ,  I paused at an easel next to the sign in table . On the easel was a poster with the graduation pictures and names of 23 of our classmates who have passed away. Next to the easel was a round table, it held 23 votive candles in ruby red glass holders . In the center of the table was a vase containing 23 perfect red roses . I paused for a moment of silent prayer . As I did so, my thoughts drifted ( as they often do ) to a strange scenario.

Sort of like the tradition of the " Last Man Bottle " favored by many groups of military comrades... I pictured one lone stooped figure 30 or so years in the future lighting 158 candles in ruby red glass holders and saying a silent prayer for... The Point Pleasant West Virginia High School Class of 1960...


Monday, July 12, 2010


This post is part of The One Word Blog Carnival hosted by my friend Bridget Chumbley. Swing by and read all of the great contributions at...

One Word At A Time Blog Carnival...Summer

The summer I was 9 years old,  we moved to a magical place.  We rented a house which was part of a defunct Ohio river Lock complex. The property covered many acres and included 2 houses used by the lock keepers and the powerhouse which contained the lock operating machinery.

My brother and I were in our glory... my sister ... not so much. There were 3 places forbidden to us by our parents, the 3 we gravitated to the most.  My brother and I explored the power house, endlessly climbing on the huge rusty machines. We climbed the water tower and almost sent our pregnant mother into premature labor.  The one place we stayed away from was the large, very deep pond.

I imagined myself as the Princess of all I surveyed.  I spent endless hours reading in the crook of branches of a massive oak tree.  Gone With The Wind and Wuthering Heights were 2 of my choices.  I would climb up to my perch with a cheese sandwich,  some fruit,  a Mason jar full of ice water and a book to arrange myself in a princessy pose. Drama Queen then and now.

Because of the old lock,  there were 3 sets of concrete steps leading down to the river. We cleared away the overgrown honeysuckle vines to get access to the concrete area which extended into the river.
We waded and paddled around to our hearts' content.

Sunburned evenings were spent eating dinner and watching the sunset over the river from the swing on the back porch while smelling the fragrance of honeysuckle.

I grew tomatoes and radishes and ate them fresh from the garden. Wiped the dirt off the radishes on my shorts. The tomatoes were eaten warm from their vines with a salt shaker in my other hand.  Wild blackberries were dessert.

Lightning bug hunts, chases through an adjacent corn field. Exploration of a very old small cemetery on the property.  It could not possibly have gotten any better...but it did !

On August 9th Grandma came to visit.  Daddy came home from work early.  Just after dinner Grandma interrupted our game of Scrabble by yelling out the door for us to " go to the pond and catch frogs ". If Grandma told you to do something,  you did it...forbidden or not !

Within a few minutes, daddy and mother raced past us in our old ' 49 Ford leaving a cloud of dust as far as we could see along the mile long gravel lane to the "hard road". We hightailed it for home, and learned mother had gone into labor.

Five days later I held my baby sister Martha for the first time. The rest of my perfect summer was spent meeting her every need.

 We have a bond that has remained strong and has only deepened throughout our shared troubles and triumphs these past 57 years.  I thank God for the memories and the special gift of...

THE "BESTEST" SUMMER EVER.......1953.......

I still have that porch swing. Now I do my reading there. It is a lot more comfortable than the oak tree and I drink sweet tea from my Mason jar.  I am 66... the porch swing is 110...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



                                                       WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Monday, June 7, 2010



Z.  is a fanatic about keeping our vehicles clean.  We have a fairly late model Cadillac, A 1989 Mercedes Benz, and a  6  year old pickup truck. All three are spotless inside and out.

I would wager over the past 21 years, more has been spent on keeping the 1989 car clean than it cost new.  It has seldom been out in the rain and would not recognize snow or the salt used here in Ohio to make our roads safe for winter travel. Our kids have always referred to it as " garage furniture ."

I hide whenever an errand running foray includes a trip to the dreaded car wash, mainly because of the length of time spent drying the anointed vehicle of the day.

Today I was tricked into going along. We went to run errands and Z. casually and , I am certain with malice aforethought ,  says " As long as we are up here, we might as well get the car washed. "
I grudgingly agreed after extorting a visit to the nearby Mc Donalds for a large sweet tea.

I am sipping my tea and quite content as we approach all the squirting water , flying soap and whirling brushes.  Z. lines the tires up carefully with the track which will drag us through this tunnel of CLEAN and away we go.

 I am just settling in and resigning myself to the 20 minute hand dry with towels which is de-riguer at the other end when I first feel the water.  Water, soap  and the slapping upside the head with the SOMEWHAT flexible brushes.

Seems Z. forgot to move the side mirrors in and in his haste to correct this oversight, he hits the button which rolls down the passenger side window. Rolls it ALL THE WAY DOWN.  In his defense, he was wearing sunglasses which made it hard to tell one button from another.

I immediately splutter " Roll up the window!!! "  Well maybe I said a few other words first. Let's just say neither of us hit the button as quickly as one would think.

My entire right side was soaking wet , as was much of the car's interior.   As soon as we emerge into daylight, Z. leaps out and grabs his trusty towel and begins to dry the car. I shriek in my outdoor voice " Give me the  #@%&$*  towel. " 

Z. realizes he has left his beloved drenched ( not to mention his cell phone ) and begins  to attempt to dry me off .  I yank  ummm  take the towel from him , finish drying me as well as much of the interior of the car.

The ritual 20 minute DRYING OF THE VEHICLE  then ensues, while I call my sister.  Don't we all have a go to person who will laugh with or at us and make it all better ?  We laughed until we were both almost in tears.  Gotta love sisters... gotta love a man who provides  GREAT BLOG FODDER!

I am clean.  The next time I see a carwash I'll just curl into the fetal position and hum to myself .   

NAMASTE      Kristi

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Artistic expression can take many forms. This one fascinates me. On our way to the mall, we take a shortcut through a neighborhood of modest homes. I have watched this particular home evolve with the seasons. A picture is worth a thousand words,  said by someone who either had many pictures or few words. Those of you who know me will attest to the fact that I have plenty of both.

With that in mind, let us begin.

This shot was taken a month ago. As you can see the trees are in bud, but not yet in full spring mode.
Flowers in Ohio are not yet in bloom. What then are the bright spots of color we see? Silk and plastic !
Walmart flowers are not expensive, and are available year round.

Here is another similar shot :

As you can see from a slightly different angle, there are more flowers in brighter colors.
The beauty of these flowers lies in the fact that they can be " planted " without worry of them being nipped by a late frost. No expense to water or feed. They are drought proof. Last but certainly not least, 
not likely to be filched by "plantnappers". Sorry the year round Christmas tree in the front window does not show. 

A few weeks later,Mother Nature fills in and defies Walmart imitations  ( with a vengeance I might add )

Here we have the next to the last photograph. I point out that I am still way short of 4,000 words. That is if you go with  1,000 per picture.
You will note with this one a couch has been placed to maximize the " canvas " as well as to provide  comfortable seating for those who wish to " set a spell ". A cold beer or a tall frosty glass of sweet tea is all else one could ask for! The artificial weeds at the curb lend just that casual touch to an otherwise formal tableau.

I can however attest that ANY landscape, real or not beats the heck out of our Ohio winters.

I am not a professional yard art critic. We have a gnome in the back yard. OK also a hillbilly ball (otherwise known as a gazing globe ). Let she who is without yard art cast the first GNOME.

Earlier, I spoke of seasonal decorations. I have a few thoughts to add here.
     What could bring a smile quicker than a year round Christmas tree  ?

     You will note that an American flag is flying.

      If you click to enlarge, you can see a small banner with 2 blue stars on it in a couple of the pictures
          ( 2 members of the family serving in the military )  

      If you double click on the third picture, on the stone on the right you will see it says "God Loves
      Us All ".
     Easter season saw the addition of plastic lilies and a small lath wooden cross draped with purple silk.

     Year round there is a concrete shape of the state of Ohio.

     Football season sports an Ohio State Buckeyes flag and all manner of scarlet and gray.

The porch light is always on from dusk until dawn.
God / Country / and Football.

Maybe I should knock on the door some balmy evening and invite myself in for a glass of sweet tea...
Somehow I feel I would find a warm welcome.


Saturday, April 17, 2010


Bonnie was a heck of a lot of fun !
Bonnie was a very caring person. She was always the party organizer. Decorations, flowers, food cake entertainment. Bonnie did it all.

Her laugh was contagious. Her love of family knew no bounds. She was a loving daughter, a devoted sister, the aunt every kid wishes he had. Bonnie spoiled her niece and nephew every chance she got.

I was a late addition to the Zehring /  Fornshell clan and Bonnie welcomed me with open arms as she did everyone whose life touched hers. She just had a great love for family and friends.

Bonnie particularly loved the mountains near her Virginia home after she moved from Miamisburg, Ohio.
Bonnie took a small part of each of those she loved with her. She also left a part of herself here with all of us who were graced by her love and her laughter.

Bonnie wrote some beautiful poetry and shared many of her poems with others through her e-mails. Her cousin Pam Sparks printed and saved more than 100 of them. I asked her to send me a selection from which to choose for the service today. This is the one I chose.

                                  TODAY AN ANGEL CAME

Written by  and now offered in memory of Bonnie Zehring...

Today an Angel came and took you home with her.
She said " it's time to see your family and your Heavenly Father ".
She took your hand and led you away from all your pain,
And said your life will now be seen in the flowers and in the rain.

She held your hand so gently as she led you up above.
And said she'd see the ones you left were protected by God's love.
That they too would have Angels for comfort and for care,
Because our Father loves them all, with them His love He'll share.

So even though you have left us with your Angel as your guide,
Don't ever doubt we will miss you, we'll miss you deep inside.
We will remember all the good times and even the bad ones too.
For they are all the things which made the one and only you.

And since we missed the chance to say a last goodbye,
We send it now with love as you ascend on high.
And whenever we see a falling star shoot across the sky,
We will look up and smile...for that's you saying hi.

                               GODSPEED BONNIE !