Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Musings(tm), 27 August 2016

Good morning,

The lingering heady smell of a ferocious rain surrounds me on the porch.  I've dragged one of my five-dollar home-made estate sale folding tables outside to write and drink coffee.  I feel the night's pressure in my lungs.  I dreamed of trying to navigate a small car through a narrow space with two passengers.  Hold your breath, I cautioned.  I struggled awake to find that an asthma episode gripped my body. Rescue inhalers make my finicky heart race, so I'm trying the openness of the porch.  Sometimes that helps my breathing; it certainly soothes the rest of me.

The wide washed expanse of my neighborhood sizzles with the song of the cicadas.  Their pleasant noise echoes the frenzy of last year's bunch,  a seventeen-year brood making an unprecedented second appearance in Missouri.  I find their chattering pleasant today, though one of them slipped through the broken bathroom screen upstairs last night and scared the daylights out of me by landing on my sleeping self.  Now they hover wherever cicadas stay -- in the ground, I suppose; and talk to each other in their rhythmic soothing way.

I had an e-mail from a client last evening which depressed me.  She's decided to surrender a fight to retrieve her child from his malicious father, who started a smear campaign against the mother at a time when she had different counsel.  She feels hopeless.  I can only imagine; I can only try to encourage her to keep the faith.  I cannot guarantee that I will undo the harm her prior attorney did, nor can I promise that she will prevail.  I shuffled through the various pleadings filed by the other side over a five-month time, and stared with dismay at the thin stack of what my client's former counsel feebly tendered.  I've done more in two weeks than my predecessor did in twenty.  When I come across such poor professional performance by a colleague, I want to weep.  I want to understand why the person put forth such little effort.  As with doctors, the failing of a lawyer can devastate the client and cost him or her thousands with no potential of any progress in their case.  It tires me just to imagine my client's anguish and despair.

I will call her later today and see if I cannot help her cling to something close to sanity.

The sound of the cicadas today reminds me of the 1998 emergence of the 17-year brood.  We had a screened porch then.   Patrick hovered in the living room near the  door staring at the horde as it descended.  Whether through an open door or a torn screen, the beasts swarmed the porch, raising their racket, fluttering against the ceiling and the side of the house. We stood transfixed.

Suddenly Patrick spied our cat crouching in a corner of the porch, snarling and growling.  He jerked the handle of the screen door before I could stop him and plunged out into the swirling mass of insects.  He snatched his cat and dove back into the living room with a furious plunge.  I slammed the door and stomped at a handful of invaders.  Patrick released the cat who dove under the couch, still hissing, her green eyes gleaming.

Patrick and I fell into chairs, laughing and crying in turns, while the sound of the massive brood  roared outside.

By contrast, this year's gentle cicada hatch speaks longingly of summer's close.  From my porch the sound blends with other noises of the morning:  the occasional car, the distant drone of traffic, voices of the neighbors, an occasional timid bark.  These few minutes outside have done their work.  My breathing has slowed; the tightness has eased; the asthma attack has loosened its grip.

I sit rocking, thinking of these next few days in which I must prepare for my upcoming trip to California.  I will lay out my clothes and pick items that harmonize with one another.  I'll move my son's guitars from the guest bed and wash the sheets for my friend who has agreed to house-sit.  At work, the client status sheet waits for my close examination.  Every available minute will see intense effort; every client will receive several hours of writing, phone-calling, or notation.  By Friday morning, files will be downloaded to a flash-drive or e-mailed to myself; notes will be scanned; and instructions given.  Ten days away from home and the office could lead to the kind of disaster which I can't allow my clients to suffer.  I do not want some other lawyer sitting with an inherited file, cursing my name.  I do not want one of my clients speaking of surrender because I failed them.

The morning slips away.  A friend will be here soon for breakfast and a visit. I must make good use of my time and start the weekend's chores.    My hour of pleasant dalliance draws to a close. I drain my coffee as the sun slips behind a bank of grim clouds and the voices of the cicadas rise in the heavy air.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Next week's Musings will be posted from Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Saturday Musings, 20 August 2016

Good morning,

It's just past one.  I did myself in by eating a piece of chocolate cake before sleeping.  I knew I'd regret it:  The calories, the carbs, the sugar, the gluten.  My legs writhe and jerk now; sleep eludes me.  I dragged my heavy body out of the bed, pacing around the room in the dark.  But man: it surely tasted good.

The ghost of a girl I knew crowds me.  She settles her Peter Pan blouse around her big-boned body, easy and light.  I see her in my rocker, there in the corner, just like she owns the place.  She pushes her pug little nose up with the back of her hand, a move that tells me it's really her.  You got them all beat, kid, she reminds me right before she vanishes.

I wave my hand at her and go back to massaging my calves.

Another flash:  the storm seems to have settled in for good.  I drove home in high water, through the city all the way.  Eighty-seventh Street as far as it went, then the dog-leg over to 79th and into Missouri.  Green lights kept me going for the first 30 minutes.  I steered the Prius through intersections that had neither beginning nor end; only that emerald beacon calling me, Go, go, go.  I couldn't make out the sidewalks for the pelting rain.

When I slid down my driveway into the space next to my neighbor's girlfriend's car, my stomach did a final flop.  I pressed the button to cut the power and told myself that I had never been so scared.  I knew it wasn't true but it felt good to say it outloud in the dark.  Like a lie that keeps us walking under the moon.

The dog shook all over my white slacks when I let her into the kitchen.  I scolded her but she knew I didn't mean it.  She looked over her shoulder and trotted into the dining room, glancing briefly at the place under the  window where we stashed her bed for a decade or more before I moved it into the TV room.  I caught the guilt she threw me and huddled into it as I turned out the lights.

I dreamt a jumble of images in the hour or two before the ghosts rattled me awake.  They crowd the room now:  the people of my past; my mother, my little brother, a host of others -- some I don't know whether they live or breathe outside my nightmares.  Or maybe it's the chocolate cake, or the carbs, or the calories sitting in my middle hammering at my quietude.  What did you do to yourself, you're going to get fat again, you ate all that sugar and now look at you, muscles twitching, what were you thinking?

I think it's my mother in the rocker now, thirty-one years dead this Sunday, pushing the floor with her foot, knitting, hands quick with the yarn round the needle.  I take a drink of water and bend down, touch my toes, think, How much yoga to work off that damn cake?

But it sure was good.  I watched the two men who had just gotten married hold each other's hands to cut the first slice.  I felt the storm as it broke; the wind knocked the vase of flowers from the table by the pictures taken at the courthouse that morning.  We all moved to the front of the pavilion and sent a wave of applause in their direction.  I hugged first one and then the other, and ran for the car clutching my cake, while the wind blew the fallen branches through the park and all my angels surrounded me.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

For Dan and Bobby.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday Musings(tm). 13 August 2016

Good morning,

A brutally restless night followed by two tortured hours of sleep between four and six a.m. remind me, once again, Do.Not.Eat.White.Sugar.  Even fabulous mousse at an unexpectedly delightful dinner at Cafe Provence.  Even shared.  Do. Not. Eat. White. Sugar.  Even.

I drag myself through the house clutching coffee.  I've left the crystal cup upstairs so I'm using Ivan Komoroski's Owl Cafe mug.  He left it on the back steps of their house after they moved two years ago.  I keep meaning to return it but it's got such a comfortable handle, I cannot part with it.  I don't think Ivan will mind.

The dog has taken to furious barking outside which will probably wake the neighbors.  I'm installing the new sixty-dollar printer that I got at Office Depot when the first sixty-dollar printer died.  The fabulous fiber connection seems typically slow today: I'm still at 30% and creeping by.  Ah, well.  That little rabbit has to nap some time. Some where.  Might as well be now and here.

A blog entry which I wrote this week in my other blog reminded me of my mother's mother.  I dig around a drawer that I don't usually open because it holds things shoved into it in order to avoid them.  But I find what else lives there:  a little book which I made years ago of photos from the late 1960's.  And there it is, just as I recalled -- Nana and my sister Ann, together, in the years when Nana's right side dragged from the vicious aftermath of stroke after stroke.

I touch the black-and-white surface.  Nana.  Oh, Nana.  And I am there, again, at her home, listening helplessly as she tries to make her brain find the words.

Der-der-der.  I don't know what she wants.  I stare helplessly at this woman who comforted me so many times when my home had been chaotic.  She held me while I shuddered and cried. She wrapped her arms around me and murmured soothing things that I could not discern from underneath my thick veil of hair, buried in her warm embrace.  But I knew they meant that I would survive, that she will guarantee my survival.

Now in her living room in Lake Knolls, her brain fails her.   She wants me to get something for her but I do not know what it is and she cannot find the words.  My brother has gone into Springfield with Grandpa, to their business, the Sonotone House of Hearing.    I glance at the door to the back bedroom in which my great-grandmother, Mom Ulz sleeps.  I silently will her to come out.  The door remains closed.

Nana abandons the effort.  She pushes past me, dragging her bad leg as she navigates the hallway.  She reaches with her functioning arm and pulls open the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  She gestures.  I start taking out bottles until she finds the one she wants and then I place it in her one functioning hand.  Castor oil.  I have no idea what it does.  But she is my grandmother and I am twelve.  If she wants castor oil, I have no right to prevent her from it.

She speaks:  Poon, poon, poon.  She shakes her head.  I know this one:  Spoon.  But should I get it?  What size?  I suddenly wonder if caster oil can hurt her.  I long for the old Nana, before the strokes, the Nana who taught us to make a bed "tight as a drum, neat as a pin".  The Nana who came to Jennings after so many blow-outs; who swept up broken crockery; bought groceries; made schmarrn and sauerbraten; and calmed every fear in my heart with her throaty Austrian voice and her gentle blue gaze.

In the end, Nana used her teeth to open the bottle and she took a swig of the horrible stuff while I stood helplessly five feet from her wishing I knew what to do.

Almost five decades later, I sometimes hear my grandmother's voice.   The last time I saw her alive she stood at the door to my grandparents' home.  My mother had come to bring my brother Mark and me back to Jennings after our summer visit.  My mother drove the Dodge Coronet which her parents had sold to her for a pittance, taking small payments though only because she insisted.  We paused in the driveway.  My mother said, She didn't say, "See you soon", as she usually does.  Or something; I am not sure, now, all these years later, what my mother expected.

We watched my grandmother for a few minutes.  My mother said, I don't like leaving her alone.  Grandpa had gone to the office.  Nana finally lifted her good arm and waved.  Mother put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway.  My last sight of my grandmother was that lifted arm, and her crooked smile, and the golden halo of her curls.

A day or so later my grandfather called my mother before dawn.  Oh Lucy, he sobbed.  I found your mother dead in bed this morning.  We knew, we knew, we knew, that my grandmother felt the fullness of time.  She understood that she would not see us again,  as we sat in her old car, in the driveway of the modern ranch home that she and her husband had worked so hard to buy after so many years together.  And  yet she let us go. And yet:  we left her there, standing alone in the doorway.    My mother held the phone and wept with her father, and then pulled on clothes, got in the Dodge, and went to be with him.

An hour has passed.  The dog seems to have quieted.  The new Epson installation has finished.  My coffee has grown cold.  Ghosts crowd around me.  A shiver clutches my body and I close my eyes and whisper, to no one, to all of them, Oh, how I miss you.  Then my heart falls still.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturday Musings(tm), 05 August 2016

Good morning,

I stare into the bleariness of my Saturday eyes, wondering if cold water or more sleep would help.  A light mist hangs over the backyard.  The dog hunkers down on the boards of the back porch, settling her muzzle on her crossed paws.  She's glad to be outside.

When the microwave sounds, I take my mug of yesterday's coffee from its grimy depths, promising myself that the entire kitchen will get swabbed with vinegar when I wake enough for housework.  I climb the stairs back to my room and sit in front of the monitor, thinking about art, and fundraisers, and the pale sky outside my window.  I close my eyes and picture a long stretch of this same delicate hue over an endless sea off the shores of northern California.  I see the lighthouse rising above and the mountains towering behind me.  If all goes according to plan, I will sit on that shore in one month's time.

My vanity mirror rises above the laptop and I stare into those tired eyes.  Yesterday's meeting with a client left its stamp on my heart.  He brought his mother.  A grown man, feeling the need to bring his mother to come ask questions of his lawyer.  I sympathized.  The subject which had to be broached daunted him.  The court has ordered both mother and father to submit to a psychological examination.  This man wanted to know why he had to do so, why either of them should, but more importantly, how a female mental health professional from an affluent area of Johnson County, Kansas could evaluate the choices made by a father of two from the city.  He did not say the word he wanted to include so I spoke it for him:  White.  How can a rich white lady from Kansas know anything about me and my black children and their black mother, living in the city, all of us just doing the best that we can with precious little money and too many demands on our dollars?

Oddly enough I had said the same thing to my secretary just before his arrival, not of the psychologist but of the guardian ad litem.  I just think she's from a different world than these folks; I think it's impossible for her to understand them. It's not "skin color".  It's culture.  It's what they have, and what they don't have, and where they live, and where they don't live, and what society expects of them.  I told my client: I once represented a father who had to explain why he spanked his son with a belt for speaking rudely to his teacher.  My client sat on the witness stand and told the judge, "If my black son goes into a QuikTrip and talks like that to a clerk, he might get shot."

This was a decade ago, and the client in question had himself been a Kansas City cop.

I did not pretend to comprehend what my client, his children's mother, and their family faced on a daily basis.  I did not tell him that I knew.  All I could say, all I did say, was that I keenly felt that what they face sharply differs from what I face.  We met halfway between his world and mine,  balanced on a thin reed,  We shook hands before he went back home to his fourteen-year-old daughter and his ten year old son, the latter of whom has severe epilepsy which even the Mayo Clinic has not been able to cure. Instead of offering platitudes, I had made a list of action-points, and outlined what I would do  to try to bring his case it to a close.  I leaned forward while the mother voiced consternation about the cost to her son of this lawsuit.  I knew she meant more than the money.  I nodded my head.  My brow tightened as I tried to assure them both that I would do what I could to keep the costs down as we moved towards trial or settlement.

 In the end my client and his mother stood and thanked me for my time.  I murmured something vague, dismissing any thought that I had been inconvenienced by the visit.  I followed them from my office and bade them a pleasant evening.  I suppressed the desire to run after them, embrace them, and remind them that we are more alike than different.  We are just parents, worried about our children, challenged by more pressures than any person ought to endure.

I did not presume.  I let them go; but just before the door shut, my client turned and smiled.  I think he knew.  I think he knew.

When I was in grad school, I worked at a pharmacy in the Central West End of St. Louis.  The store, and even the building which housed it, both have gone now.  The owner was a little man, fussy and nervous.  But the other pharmacist, Arthur Perry, was a black man with a wide grin, big shoulders, and a broad twinkling countenance.  One evening, just before close, the power in the store failed.  I happened to be talking to Art at the entryway to the pharmacy when the lights flickered out.   The noisy cash registers fell silent, powerless.  The hum of the florescent lights and the inane, endless loop of the Musak both abruptly stopped.   In the silence, Arthur spoke in his quiet resonant tones.  I like the dark, he said.  In the dark, we are all the same color.

Mugwumpisly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Dusk at Pescadero, California.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday Musings(tm), 30 July 2016

Good morning,

I played hooky on Friday, save for a home visit in a guardian ad litem case.  I had personal paperwork to manage, so I re-arranged my schedule for the week, stayed home, and slogged through  it.  At four o'clock I opened the front door, bound for an errand.  I halted at the sight of a white, flat package, two inches thick, stuck in my mailbox protruding into the spider's web which had been accumulating on the wall for the past week.

The package yielded to an earnest pull.  I held it clumsily, furrowing my brow, studying the stamped return address and the addressee.  Bold and bright:  NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, addressed to PATRICK CHARLES CORLEY.

In the lower left-hand corner, a single word in half-inch letters:  DIPLOMA.

My mind instantly jumped backward in time, and I again climb the stairs from the first-floor Purple Dragon Pre-School towards PS1 Elementary.

Patrick's golden curls fall across his forehead as he cranes his neck to see his mother's face.  My weary shoulders droop.  The mysterious illness that has not yet been diagnosed as a reactivation of my old nemesis stirs in my chest and claims my breath as we move from flight to flight.  Patrick reaches for my hand and stops walking for a moment.  Mom, he says, his voice only quavering a little.  Can I ask you a question?

I drop the bag of first-day supplies on the steps and sit down so that my face levels with his.  My hands find his two small shoulders and I steady us there, halfway up the second flight.  A downward glance shows no one has started towards us; we have time for whatever pre-kindergarten jitters have overtaken my five-year-old child.

Go ahead, Buddy, I tell him, using his baby name though I know he wants to discard that label.  Ask me anything.  I'm thinking:  What do I do if I need something?  Will the teachers be nice? What if nobody plays with me? Will I get to read? What time do we get to come home?  Can I come down and see Mrs. Helmuth -- he's asked this last before now, and I've assured him that we will stop to see his beloved Magda, the owner of the pre-school, every day.

But no;  It's none of these.  His sky-blue eyes find mine and he says, Are you going to die before I'm big?  My heart clenches.

I cannot really answer him.  We do not yet know why I cannot breathe.  It will be another two years before I make my way to the Infectious Disease specialist who will identify the virus, the bug which I'll explain to seven-year-old Patrick bit me on the brain when I was a baby, and apparently now wishes to claim more territory.  But at that moment, on his first day of kindergarten, we know only that every few days I fall into a physical panic and have to go to the emergency room where they test for everything all over again, before sending me home.  So far only oxygen has helped, and a tank of that graces the living room.

I draw in air and speak.  No, Buddy, I'm not going to die before you get big.  I'm going to live to be a hundred and three, and I'm going to nag you every day of your life.

I wait.  I see that smart brain of his chewing on my pronouncement.  I feel the tension in his body under my hands, which still rest on his shoulders.  Below us, the door to the building opens and other children enter.  Another look over the railing shows them to be Purple Dragonners.  We still have time.  Patrick debates  and then, answers me:

Then I'll annoy you every day of my life, he says.  His shoulders relax under my hands, and he turns away, starting up the last few stairs, his little black cowboy boots clicking on the tiles.  I follow.  I will always follow.

I stood on my porch yesterday holding the package from Northwestern, the days between that kindergarten morning and now crowding my mind.   The travels we've made -- to the southwest, where we climbed a mountain; northward to the Dakotas, where he rode a bicycle down a mountain; to Chicago, where he found his cousin-friend Jacob; to the southeast where he learned to shoot a rifle while his mother fretted in an isolated clearing in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I remembered the night we spent in a hotel in Greencastle, Indiana, making a Venn diagram to compare the relative merits of the two universities he was considering for college -- one in Chicago with a killer honors English program and full-tuition scholarship; and the one just a half mile from our room, with its old buildings and quadrangles.

The next day he walked the paths of campus at DePauw University, from which he would eventually get his Bachelors in Creative Writing, leading to this very day, this very moment, when I would stand on my porch holding his Master's degree, in the grueling heat of the last Friday of the month he turned twenty-five.  I do not know for certain what he felt during that momentous tour, but I spent the entire time in awe -- not just at the beauty of the campus, but at the poise which overtook my son.  He shook the hand of the admissions counselor whose visit to his high school had prompted this journey to Indiana, and he left me sitting with my laptop over coffee while he went to shadow a student.  He did not look back.  I watched him go, suddenly realizing  that my life had changed in ways that no one who is not the single mother of an only son could ever understand.

In 2014, when I made my first trip to California to confer with the gurus about the newest rampage of my virus, I listened as the fancy ID guy assured me that the medicine could send the little bugger into remission.  In the sterile air of the exam room, I let him finish his diatribe about the drug's efficacy.  The lilting tones of his Colombian tongue fell silent, finally, and then, he spoke again to ask me if I had any questions.

Will this drug help me live a long life, I asked.  His brow furrowed, as though he had not quite expected such directness.  I continued.  You see, I promised my son that I would live to be 103, and I intend to keep that promise.  A smile broke across his face and he laughed.  But I was not yet ready for mirth.  I told him:  I've taken care of the first 59 years; the next four decades are on you.

Dr. Jose Montoya, of the Stanford University Medical Center Infectious Disease Clinic, rose from his chair and I did likewise.  He reached two large and sturdy hands to grasp mine.  I felt the weight of his heritage in those hands.  I knew, somehow, that he came from good people, kind people, and a long line of them.  I looked into his wide warm face and the depths of his dark eyes.  He said, then, without laughing, Mrs. Corley, you will keep the promise you made to your son.  We will do it together.

And I believed him.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Musings, 23 July 2016

Good morning,

I walked through my house last evening with a friend who had not been here except for a brief stop to retrieve me.  I saw the rooms through the eyes of a stranger, and noticed grime that I would not normally see.  The shock of observation compels me to clean today, but also sends me sliding into yesteryear.  On my counter, a plate of butter melted in the heat; and, briefly, I heard my mother's voice talking about butter.

She walks through the door in her uniform.  I am seven maybe eight.  She's been working for a year or two at a hospital as an EKG technician, a poor substitute for the nursing career she abandoned to marry my father but better than the register at Famous 'n' Barr.  She has eight mouths to feed, not counting her husband's bar bill.  She does what she must. 

She has a bag in her arms and a weary expression rippling across her face.  One of the boys, Kevin probably, will come take her burden.  He eases it to the counter in the kitchen while the rest of us crowd around her.  We must be hungry but most of all, we crave these few minutes with our mother before the evening can devolve.

She tells us, "Wait til you see what I have," and draws out a large can.  It sits on the counter because we will wait.  I stare at it, reading the lettering which tells me it is a can of butter.  Butter?  I know the creamy taste on raisin bread at Christmas, but mostly butter only comes for Sunday, and holidays.  It's too dear.  Even I know that; and I've never seen it in a can.

Someone puts food in bowls and we gather around the table.  Mother has changed out of her uniform.  My father eases himself into the chair at the head of the table.  I'm used to his moods and cast an eye sideways to see if I can tell what he'll be like.  His face looks shaved and clean; I take that as a good sign. 

My mother brings the can and a can opener to the table.  She works the little handle and the lid pops free.  We see it then:  Rich, creamy, pale yellow.  My mother says, "I took one of the maids from the hospital shopping and then home.  She wanted to pay me but when I wouldn't take money, she gave me this can of welfare butter."  The maids lived in the city where grocery stores had inferior meat.  My mother often drove them to the store out in the county and then made sure they did not have to ride the bus with meat that could spoil during the long trip.  

We passed around the tin.  My father took none and made a little face which frightened me.  I knew what his displeasure could mean; but I could not discern what angered him.  My mother saw the grimace.  She leaped from her chair and got the coffee pot from the stove to fill his cup.  One of the big boys carved a chunk of the welfare butter and slathered it on a piece of bread for Stevie, whose small hands could not manipulate the tin of butter.   We murmured grace, "Bless us, oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive through thy bounty through Jesus Christ, Amen."  The table fell silent as we ate.  

My father put his knife and fork across the top of the plate and cleared his throat.  Nine pairs of eyes raised from the hasty gobbling of food to cast down the length of the table.  But he said nothing.  He pushed his chair backward, stood, and left the room.  We children turned to gaze the other direction, at our mother.  I'm sure the little boys did not know what had happened or its significance.  At 3 and 4, they had not yet learned to fear my father's moods.  But the rest of us knew; and my mother knew; and she rose then and followed my father saying to us, "It's all right, finish your supper then clear the table." 

Their argument overflowed into the night.  It blurs endlessly in the morass of every fight they ever had.  Quiet first, then louder.  He tells her, "We don't need -- you should not take -- welfare!" and her soothing voice murmurs.  I'm not sure what all this means.  Then my father's voice grows harsher, heavier, and outside their bedroom, eight hearts stop, eight pairs of lungs suspend their operation.  Little hands creep into bigger ones.  I know what this means; know it all too well.

 And so it begins.

When I left home, I made myself three food promises.  I would never again eat liver; I would never again eat margarine; and I would never again eat fast.  I've kept those promises, mostly.  My son's dicey health in toddlerhood brought "fake butter" into the house because he could not absorb fat or fiber until age 4 or 5.  I'm a vegetarian, so the liver's a no-brainer.  My snail's pace of consumption testifies to my stubborn refusal to gobble my food.  No hungry boys clamber around the table waiting for my leftovers.  But I have a secret vow about dinner time which I harbor in my heart and will not violate:  No arguing.  No fighting.  No stalking from the table with a cold and sinister look.

When Jenny Rosen and I went to Colorado for Memorial Day Weekend this year, a wizened older man cooked our eggs at the hotel in Boulder.  I asked him how the scrambled eggs could be so luscious.  "Love and lard," he replied.  "I stir them tenderly, and I cook them in lots of butter."  Of course.  Of course.

Mugwumpishly tendered,

Corinne Corley

I tried to find a photo of 1960s welfare butter.
But I couldn't.  Barring that,
Here's something even better.
Enjoy! Happy Saturday.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Missouri Mugwump™

My photo
I've been many things in my life: A child, a daughter, a friend; a wife, a mother, a lawyer and a pet-owner. I've given my best to many things and my worst to a few. I live in Brookside, in an airplane bungalow. I'm an eternal optimist and a sometime-poet. If I ever got a poem published in The New Yorker, I would die a happy woman. I'm a proud supporter of the Arts in Kansas City. I vote Democrat, fly the American flag, cry at Hallmark commercials, and recycle.