Coupon Queen

Our mother loved nothing more than cutting out coupons and trying to use them long after their expiration date. Imagine the fighting that ensued at the checkout line when the checker politely told Mary that the coupons were expired. Mother enjoyed doing battle at the grocery store and if she could hold up the line, […]

Calling Their Bluff

Aunt Marty had visited me in Iowa once, and I pretty much thought that would be it. My optimistic side was showing again, obviously, in that thought. Unfortunately when my son got married, Aunt Marty was inadvertently sent an invitation. While she decided not to attend the wedding, she announced she would be available the […]

A Slap In The Face

My mother’s sister Marty was ten years younger than my mother and that meant that she was a teenager when I was born. As a child, I thought she was absolutely cool and I adored going anywhere with her. Years later my feelings changed with regard to Marty. I think you will understand why after […]

Don’t Peak Too Soon

Looking back at advice I have heard over my life, I think not peaking too soon was some of the best. Although I had lots of friends when growing up, my social life with the opposite sex was not as memorable. Of course, I went steady (How dated is that little phrase?) with Butch. I […]

A Job Record Like No Other

Mother had a sordid past in oh so many ways. One of them was her employment record, a record which was scratched and mostly broken. She stayed at jobs less time than it takes most people to apply. You may remember reading about her less than stellar experience at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. Or about […]

1000 Ways to Die (Our Stepmother Picks The Worst One)

Every summer Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) had a steak fry. It was something of a tradition in our part of the state, a giant gathering with steaks and political speeches. My sister and I always attended. After telling our stepmother Beatrice how much fun the steak fry was, she made plans to come out for […]