Frankly, my dear….

Depressed? Down in the dumps? Feel like giving up?

Some days are like that. Today was one.

I am trying to find the positive in my situation. So I turned to the things Mom used to say:

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Oh yea? It is probably a train.

In every cloud there is a silver lining. It just rained, no silver, just rain. And I am soaked.

The glass is half full, not half empty. Mine is empty. So is the bottle.

When life serves you lemons, make lemonade. I am allergic to lemons.

Somewhere over the rainbow…. Nope, I investigated and when I got there, the rainbow was gone. But my shoes are wet.

A penny saved is a penny earned. No kidding. That is how I feel about my paycheck.

Life begins at 40. Give me a break. I was 40 twenty years ago, and still am waiting.

A stitch in time saves 9. I can’t sew. I am totally unraveled.

Can’t take the heat? Get out of the kitchen. Kitchen? People still have kitchens?

Look on the bright side. I would, if I knew which side it was on.

Fences make good neighbors. Now why would I even think about that?

One day at a time. Now that makes sense. One day at a time. I mean, you can’t have 2 days at a time, can you?

I guess I prefer my own advice:


Take me out back and shoot me.

Call Doc Kevorkian.

Wait a minute. The land, the land, Scarlett. I can’t think about it right now. I’ll go crazy if I do. After all, tomorrow is another day. (barf)


The Morning Headlines

Morning news time, at the Home.


Obama crushes a fly. Animal lovers are upset.

Since when is a fly an animal? I mean, who has a fly for a pet? What in the world should we do when a fly bothers us? Give him a cup of coffee and a sandwich? Invite him in with all his friends? And believe me, he has plenty of friends. And chastise the US President for crushing the precious life out of a flying nuisance? Give me a break.

Michael Jackson dies. Did he die from drugs?

Don’t start with the drug thing. Michael is gone. We loved him. Nothing will bring back his life, his music, his talent. Why speculate on the drugs? What will it matter in the end? He is no more. Give us room to grieve, to remember, to cherish him.

Kate and Jon break up.


Man wins lottery twice in one week.

I don’t care who he is, the greedy bastard. I can’t win 2 bucks on an instant ticket.

Madoff sentenced.

150 years. He is 71 years old. He will be 221 years old when he gets out. The rest of us will have to work until we are 221 years old, to get our money back.

GM needs more money to survive.

Ya, who doesn’t? What if the Federal Government had bailed out millions of ordinary Americans instead of the car manufacturers? Maybe we could have purchased some of those GM cars and saved their butts.

Drinking red wine : Not the answer to heart disease

Like I drink wine to benefit my heart. I drink it because I like it. So go suck an egg.


The Tooth That Wouldn’t

NO! Not again. This tooth is really getting on my nerves. It is supposed to stay in my mouth, but not this bugger. It is wiggling and wobbling and ready to fall out. And I just had the root canal 2 months ago. #%#@#%. There. I feel better all ready.

I have this movie scene in my head. I show up toothless at the dentist’s office at 230 (tooth hurty), and ask the doc what now. He comes up with a brilliant idea: Another root canal. I go wild. I knock his front tooth out and leave. On the way to my car, I spot a kid with an ice cream cone. I grab it and run. The kid’s mother runs after me, but I am faster, in my ortho shoes and knee knockers. I see another kid with candy bars. I grab those and gobble them down. I am being chased by the kids and their mothers, who are yelling: “Stop. Stop. You turkey.”

Yes, I am either a large turkey in orthos or a small elephant. I have been into the groceries lately and have grown to an enormous size. I even wear bloomers now. When I hang them on the clothes line, the neighbors show up for a balloon show. I should start charging admission. Those bloomers are quite a sight.

The large turkey manages to escape from her chasers, right into the wine store. Kids aren’t allowed, so I am safe. I ask for a plain paper sack, and head out to the park. I find a bench in the hot afternoon sun, where I drink the wine. All of it. I am tired. I lay down on the bench and fall asleep.

The ice cream truck goes by. I wake up and order a sundae. I am bloated, drunk, and toothless. I go home, depressed. I have to work tomorrow.

I make spaghetti and meatballs. I eat all of it. I polish it off with an apple pie. I am a mess. All because of a tooth that won’t behave.

Good thing it is only a movie, all of this, in my head.

Or is it?


Cube Rage

The headlines in the paper read: Victim of road rage dies. Seems some guy didn’t care for the way the victim waved her finger at him, as she cut him off in traffic. He became enraged and crashed into her car. I cannot comprehend and certainly do not condone that kind of behavior. Yet today, I experienced another kind of rage: cube rage.

Every little thing irritated me. I was frustrated that the work I had doled out was not completed. I asked for explanations and got excuses. I wanted to solve problems, and could not find anyone interested in helping me. I struck out on my own, and found road blocks. I exploded in anger, attacking my co-workers. They avoided me. They got bad vibes. They were suddenly unavailable, out of the office, away from their desks. I scheduled a conference call, and no one responded. I became enraged, verbally abusive, and obnoxious.

I took a break, went outside for a walk, still seething, full of loathing. I self diagnosed my erratic behavior: A case of cube rage. I thought of the internet videos where the man in the office is at his wit’s end and throws his computer into the next cube. He must have had a bad day. Maybe as bad as mine. But I doubt it. Nobody has had a day as bad as mine.

I loudly proclaim myself as a grizzly bear. Nobody listens, nobody cares. I roar, growl, swear, throw tantrums. I get nothing in return, but amused stares, and avoidance.

My phone rings. Ahh, at last, someone to victimize. An innocent, undeserving victim asks me a question. The fireworks pop. I am out of control. I vent and rant and rave. The victim apologizes profusely, for upsetting me. That enrages me all the more. I hang up and wait for the next phone call. I am on a roll and no one can stop me.

It is almost 5 o’clock, when one of my victims sends me an instant message. She says, “Get out of there. Go have a glass of wind.” Wind???? What the hell? She meant to say wine. I begin to laugh. I cant stop. The rage is gone.

I leave for the day wondering why I had been so angry. I can’t wait to get home, to relax, calm down, and have a glass of wind.

The grizzly bear has left the building.



We Seniors love Country Fairs, especially the one in Berks County, PA. The fair is always held the 3rd week in June and usually the weather is blazing hot. Not so this year. When it rained the first day of the fair, we decided to wait for a non rainy day, to attend. Mother nature must have been in a grouchy mood, as the rain continued to soak the ground the whole week.

We had one last day to go: Saturday. Rain or shine, we were going. We woke up to rain. Not just a light drizzle, but pouring rain. We grabbed our umbrellas and headed out at noon. By the time we got through the gates, the skies seemed to lighten up, for about 10 minutes. Let the drenching begin.

We walked through the wet grass and muddy grounds and looked for shelter. The 4 H building was our best bet. We sauntered around the tables, looking at the blue ribbons, admiring the wonderful displays of veggies and flowers. The animals were crabby, and seemed to be depressed. They must have been thinking of the lousy weather and how uncomfortable it was being stuck inside, with a bunch of wet old people. Not to mention, these old people were hungry as bears.

Let’s get out of here and find some good old fashioned junk food!

The funnel cake stand was nearby. We could hardly wait.

“So sorry, folks, but we are closing up early. We need to get our truck out of here before we get stuck in the mud.”

No problem, let’s get a corn dog and lemonade.

We walked through ankle high puddles, around the grounds, to find a corn dog stand. Actually, we would have been satisfied with any open stand, by now.

Nothing. Not one vendor was around. It seemed that the only other people at the fair were in the 4 H building, the same building we had just been in. And there was no food for sale in there.

We were soaked to the bone, hungry and miserable.

Heavy rain continued, with no sign of slowing up.

We had purchased tickets when we arrived, to exchange for foods or rides. Now what?

The carousel is running! And it has a roof on it. We exchanged every last ticket for a marathon of carousel rides. The next hour was spent on horseback, riding around and around, free from the rain. It was so much fun.

We piled back on the bus, dizzy and damp. The driver stopped at a General Store, where we were able to get deli sandwiches for lunch.

When we got back to the home, the rain was torrential. Where is all this moisture coming from? Will it ever stop?

It better. Next week we plan to go to the Folk Festival. The weather forecast is for rain. Sure hope they have a carousel.


The Golden Years

Dear BananaWolf,

I am having trouble getting up. I don’t mean waking up and getting out of bed, I mean getting up. Yesterday I was in the garden, planting flowers, and had to sit on the ground, to work in the soil. When I tried to stand up, nothing happened. I was still on the ground. I took my shoes off, thinking they were weighing me down, tried to stand, but nothing happened.

I figured it was my rear end that was holding me down, and I knew I couldn’t take that off, so I lay down in the garden, and rolled over, thinking if I got on my knees I could spring up. Just then the neighbor’s dog came roaring down the yard, and decided I was his playmate. I was in the dirt, with this huge sheep dog, rolling around in mulch and topsoil, when a religious group stopped by with some newsletters. They had a captive audience, me and the pooch. They read from their books and stayed over an hour, exclaiming how wonderful it was to see me enjoying life with my dog and flowers.

When they finally left, I was still on the ground. And the pooch was worn out, so he was snoozing, right next to me. But he had one eye open, and if I tried to move, he would put his paw on me, and growl.

When it began raining, it poured. The dog woke up, got to his feet, shook himself all over me and sauntered home. Thanks! I am still here, dirty, wet, no shoes, smelling like a dog. And I could not get up.

Crawl. That’s it. Crawl back to the house. When I finally got inside, I was exhausted. I laid right there, in the kitchen, on the floor and laughed. And guess what? I still could not get up.

What do you think is wrong with me?

Perplexed in Pennsylvania

Dear P in P

First of all, when you do get on your feet, take a shower. Do not, I repeat, do not take a bath. You will never get out of the tub. And your skin will wrinkle up something fierce.

Welcome to the golden years, P. Ain’t old age grand?


The Headline News

Every morning, as we eat our breakfast at the Home, one of the guys reads the newspaper and gives us an opinionated editorial on the current headlines.

“Well, he did it again. Old man Bush jumped out of an airplane.”

“Which old man Bush? W? or the other one?”

“It was probably Junior. He drinks, you know.”

“No, no, no. The father. He jumps every year on his birthday.”

“Was he wearing a parachute?”

“Of course he was. He likes to fly around up there. It gets him away from Barbara.”

“So, what is the story? What happened?”

“That is the story. He jumped.”

“My stars! You would think he would try something different each year. I mean, why the same thing, year after year?”

“Oh, and David Letterman is on the hot seat. Sean Hannity wants CBS to fire him.”

“Sure, that’s because Letterman is a liberal.”

“What’s Hannity got to do with CBS? Don’t tell me he left Fox.”

“What did Letterman do now?”

“He made some remarks about a baseball game.”

“I knew it. That Fox network hates sports, except for Nascar. And line dancing.”

“That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Doesn’t Hannity know that this country is all about baseball, hot dogs and beer?”

“If you can’t talk about baseball, what is this world coming to?”

“I can’t read those papers anymore or watch the news. It is just too depressing.”

“Oh, and it is supposed to rain again today.”

“See, I told you.”



I usually pal around with my friend Minnie. This morning, she didn’t show up for breakfast at the usual time. I thought she might have overslept, so I went to her room. Annie, the new gal, who just moved into the Home, opened the door.

Minnie said, “Oh sorry Wolf, but I broke my glasses and can’t see a thing. Annie is helping me put on my makeup and do my hair.”

I remarked, “Makeup? Since when do you wear makeup?”

Annie had to butt in: “She does now. She needs to look her best every day, and I am teaching her the tricks of the trade.”

“Look, Annie, she doesn’t need any more tricks and she has no trade. She is retired, plain and simple. Let me take a look at you, Minnie.”

Minnie stood up. She had her hair in a 60-ish do. One of those huge ratted beehives. And she had false eyelashes, hanging by threads of glue. When she blinked, the lashes looked like spiders ready to high tail it to the web. Annie was putting bright pink rouge on her cheeks. Hmm. Clarabelle? And she had missed the mark with the red lipstick. It was a Bette Davis in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, all over again.

Now Minnie loves blue, and has her hair dyed every 3 weeks, in a robin’s egg blue tint. With that beehive, and makeup, all I could think of was Marge Simpson.

I couldn’t help myself. “Doh.”

“What? What do you mean? Are you playing guess who I am again?” says Minnie.

I said, “No, but you are. See you later, you shameless hussy.”

Annie and Minnie arrived at breakfast about 15 minutes later.

Everyone turned to stare. I heard Frank say, “There’s that new gal, Annie. But who is that floozy with her?”



Can’t spell?

We are busy at the Home, making our goodies for the church bazaar. Minnie is knitting baby blankets, Laura is making jam. I am in charge of decorating, so the guys volunteered to help me put up banners, balloons and signs. Too bad the men can’t spell.

Frank got on the computer and printed posters for the church members to hand out. He printed 2000, and ran out of ink. I took one look at the finished product and laughed. He had printed “Don’t miss the bizarre at the church this Saturday.”

“Frank, my friend, I hate to mention this, but it is a bazaar, not a bizarre.”

Frank was irritated: “Bazaar? What are you talking about? I have been to many of these things over the past 40 years, and they are bizarre.”

“Ya” Gary replies. “Bizarre is the correct word. Some of the weirdest stuff happens there.”

“Oh, like what?” asks Laura.

“Well, they gamble, take chances on stuff. And everyone knows the only church that allows that is the Catholics, with the bingos. And they play some kind of Chinese game, auction, I think they call it. And the cake walks. It is ridiculous how those kids beat me to a chair every time. It is really bizarre.”

Frank says, “Why would you call it a bazaar? That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of. I don’t know of anyone who knows what a bazaar means. I doubt it is even in the dictionary. If I saw that word on a poster, I would not even bother to show up. It doesn’t look right.”

Minnie stops her knitting, looks up and says: “Who cares how it is spelled? The poster is very nice, and besides, we ran out of ink. We can’t change it now.”

Ms Barkley brings out her dictionary. She is thumbing through it, when Frank grabs it and says, “Oh no you don’t. The word is bizarre and that is the way it is. Don’t go looking in school books to support your bizarre notions.”

I am at a dead end. A no U turn. Checkmate.

I reluctantly take the posters to the church. The Pastor accepts them and thanks me. He thinks they are wonderful and will pass them out after the service Sunday. He doesn’t even notice that the bazaar has turned into the bizarre. He is more like us than I thought. He can’t spell either.



My sister-in-law stopped by this morning. I was in my pjs, and did not expect any company, but it is always good to see her. She told me about a friend of hers, who is having panic attacks. He is calling her at 1am, 4am, and during the day, to tell her he cannot cope with life. He doesn’t watch the news anymore. He just can’t take any bad news. He won’t take medication, can’t sleep and is irritable, jumpy and cries at the drop of a hat. He has insomnia, so he gets up in the middle of the night and walks. His friends tell him to snap out of it, and have no sympathy. He is basically a mess.

He went walking the other day and “connected” with a ground hog. He is losing his mind.

Those who have not experienced panic do not understand. We all have anxiety from time to time, and I often hear from others that they are experiencing panic attacks. No way. I have been there, and know exactly what is happening to this poor soul.

Panic feels like a heart attack. It is painful, frightening, and unpredictable. It can happen at the grocery store, or at work. It occurs at airports, churches, and even at home. It is not something one can control. And until the panic’s source is identified, accepted and resolved, there is nothing that can be done about it.

My sister-in-law’s friend does not know why others are not sympathetic.. He openly shares his feelings, but no one understands. They have labeled him as a nut, a crazy, a lunatic. Get over it. Shape up. Grow up. Stop talking about it. But he can’t.

Soon he will not be able to concentrate. He will have problems on his job. His mind is broken, stuck, so to speak, on a theme. He will either take a leave or get fired….unless he gives up control and lets others help him.

It is heartbreaking to have to endure panic. And for me, it has never really left me. I have problems every day. But I know what is happening, and do the best I can, to give in to the panic, and address it.

I pray that this friend will give in, seek help and admit that he powerless, for now. And with therapy, to address his unresolved issues, that he will be able to face the demon day to day, and invite it in. Until then, may God bless.