Saturday morning chores death taxes necessity permanent

Saturday Morning Chores

There is nothing as permanent as chores. When I was growing up, you could count on them come rain, come shine, come sleet, come snow. Well, we did not get snow where I grew up. Saturday morning chores were something you could count on just like death and taxes. They were a staple in my home growing up. Standards were high and guidelines strict. No cutting corners. You began at the top; dusting what was on the walls, then working your way down to the furniture and then to the floors. At one time or another, I tried to color outside the lines. This was highly frowned upon by the curators of my home.


Dusting was an art form and I quickly learned that my mother had her own style of art. She was a realist, liked it clean, and wanted no interpretation as to whether or not the room had been dusted and vacuumed. If you wanted to try a different style, say, an impressionistic style of cleaning; this would be best used when the lighting in the room was darker; creating an illusion that you had indeed dusted and vacuumed the living room. Unfortunately, chores were to be completed in the morning, therefore removing the option of an impressionistic approach that you had cleaned. Subconsciously, I wanted the room clean, which would make me a surrealist cleaner. I had visions of clean rooms that had been meticulously attended to without actually having to extend myself into the rooms. We can all dream, can’t we?

Performance Art. This art form was invoked at times to dull the pain of the obvious task at hand. The end result was what the patron was asking for, but it was the process that was different. Performances might include music from a radio station or a vinyl record album. One of my all-time favorites is the soundtrack from South Pacific. As I was singing, “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair,” my dancing feet would pick up the pace for a diligent yet detailed production. Sometimes the performance was for only myself and other times it was for the pedestrians, or family members, walking through the room. This could be highly satisfying if the response was positive and encouraging.


Cleaning style was one thing, but the specific act of dusting was another ball of wax. Dusting calls for multiple tools. The drum table, for example, called for a specific order. There was the Stiffel drum shade that topped the brushed brass lamp that was the crowning glory, front and center. Let’s not forget the antique glass ducks, clock, and glass bowls All very beautiful and needing attention. Let’s not forget the legs to this glorious table. Brass lamps do not get dusted with furniture polish and anything with glass must be attended to with glass cleaner! Please, please, follow protocol.


After the dusting had been completed, the vacuum cleaner was plugged in and ready to go. This was only done after everything else had been cleaned. Remember, you start at the top and work your way down to the floors. Ahhhh, the vacuum. It weighed a ton, at least to me, and you were always, and I mean always supposed to take your time and cover every bit of flooring; except under the organ. If you were caught slinging that vacuum forward and backward with great gusto in the effort to quickly complete your chore, well, let’s just say, do not get caught.


With all of the life skills I learned growing up, and there were many, I am thankful. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there is no greater gift that we can give our children than the gift or responsibility. As one of our children went off to college and was living in co-op housing, a requirement of living there was to help with chores; kitchen, bathroom, cleaning common areas, etc. After a short period of time, she informed her father and I, with a bit of shock, that there were some residents who had no idea how to clean a bathroom or the kitchen and dining area. (This is where the investments pay off!) She tells me that this is ridiculous!

And to this I say, bingo.










Love Bugs : Friend or Foe

Lovebugs: Friend or Foe

As I was approaching the covered entrance to the grocery store, two young boys were patiently waiting for their mother while she spoke with someone who was leaving the store. They were noticeably becoming annoyed at each passing moment with something that was in the air space of the covered entrance. Not giving much thought to the dancing around that was taking place, I quickly surmised that it was September. And in September, as in May, a particular bug shows up, uninvited, for the month.

If you have lived in my region long enough, you can determine the months of the year by the bugs, Plecia nearctica, that frequent the air space. Some even make an encore performance in December in the southern most areas of our sunshine state. The May and September visitor is a pacifist. It neither believes nor participates in any violent acts. Their motto is, make love, not war. For too many, there is no love loss for this bug. Their unintentional flight can be an intentional act of war on the front of your car. Products have even been designed to protect cars from this peace loving bug.

As  I turned to see the children dancing around and swatting at the air, one exclaimed, “Where did all these bugs come from?” To this I say, just wait until October.

Moments of time remember

Moments of Time to Remember

It’s the little moments in time that add up to be an equalizer.

       A homemade banana nut muffin and a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

      Two friends having a conversation.

Time is the equalizer. We all have time. Yet, what we do with these moments makes us unique. The time it takes to gather the ingredients, assemble, and bake a batch of muffins may not seem like much to some, but it has the potential to persuade for a long time after it has been consumed. Those individual moments are greater than their sum.

We all wonder, where did the time go? Did I squander it? Or was I too busy looking ahead and trying to figure out what my next move would be? Planning and scheduling seem to take on a life of its own.

Time flies when you’re having fun! Was that really fun? Oh boy, I am exhausted. I need a vacation from the vacation. Will this merry-go-round ever stop?

                        Remove the flour and sugar from the cabinet.

Open the refrigerator and retrieve the eggs.

Pour the walnuts onto the cutting board.

coffee beans pour over green coffee beans


Remove coffee cups from cupboard.

Grind coffee beans.

Brew coffee beans.

Remove desserts plates for the muffins.

Set table.

Recently, my father has been scanning photographs and uploading them for the family to see and hopefully enjoy. I know the people in the photos, but I cannot pull that moment in time from my memory. What was I feeling? Was I happy to be there? Was everyone happy to be with me? What did I say? There are so many moments to remember and yet they seem as if they were in a different lifetime. If time is an equal opportunity employer, then where did my time go?

Time is a commodity.

                Am I making a good investment? Or am I frittering it away?

                        Delicious smells.

Confirming words.

Attentive eyes.

Affirming gestures.

An investment of time. Moments remembered.




Where are you going

Where are you going?

Where are you going, my little one, my little one.

Where are you going, my baby, my own?

Turn around and you’re two.

Turn around and you’re four,

Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.

Turn around, turn around,

Turn around, and you’re a young girl going out of my door. 

The day after you take one of your daughters to college and your mind continues to loop the thought,  ‘How did this happen so fast?’ The silly imagination and clothing choices that may have been a bit fashion forward had been molded and shaped into a grown up version of a vibrant and earnest girl. I just turned around, just for a brief moment…

Turn around and you’re tiny

Turn around and you’re grown

Today she still exudes that same childlike quality. Her love and passion for all things are undergirded with wisdom and grace, and bit more life experience. There is so much more to learn in the journey that lies ahead. When I turn around, my days are richer, saturated with moments that are beyond that which I could have ever imagined when I first held her in my arms so many years ago.

There is one more, one more girl to watch and remember as the moments gather in my mind as I sing, Where are you going, my little one, my little one…

Turn Around by Malvina Reynolds

Stetson University music, musical, lessons, teachers

Musical Influence


On a recent day trip, my husband and I visited Stetson University, a liberal arts college in Central Florida. Our visit was not so much focused on the university, but a music event that was hosted there. The Florida Bandmasters Association was recognizing a friend whose achievement in the classroom had won him the honour of being inducted into their Florida Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.

With a banquet hall filled with music educators, we had the privilege of hearing personal testimonies of many who were influenced by those being honoured. Even though I had never sat in their band room, I was touched by the dedication and passion for their students and the arts.

Many years after I was a student, I remember the music teachers who nurtured a love for the arts, especially music, in me. My memories are vivid and emotions are strong when recounting moments in private lessons, rehearsals, and concerts. Friendships have spanned decades.

As my husband and I sat by our junior high band director and his wife, my first flute teacher, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. A legacy of creating music has been handed from teacher to student.

The rudiments and repercussions are generational.

list, to-do, camera, computer, my week, paper, appointment

Write It Down!

You remember to write it down. You even look at the list in the morning because you remember writing it down last night. That look comes over your face, a sort of cringe, your brow furrows just a bit.

That has been my routine for quite a while. Intentions are just that, intentions.

There have been two things on my perpetual list: continue my work of documenting aging and dementia through art and blogging. The first began while I was a student at Rollins College. My digital photography course required a semester-long project culminating with a peer review of our work. Throughout the semester, we were also required to blog about our ongoing work. Well, the end of the semester came, as did my time to graduate. Silence.

Through much encouragement from my own family, I am picking up the torch (a.k.a. camera) and getting back into the driver’s seat or saddle (whichever applies to you) and moving forward with my art and this blog. The image above is one of the triptychs from my final project.

Until next time…