Timing Is Everything

By Leslie

Fall is here, but it is hard to believe. I miss the Fall colors – the vivid reds, yellows and oranges – that graced our yards, roads and parks in Missouri. But, soon enough we hope to have our little tough of Fall color in our yard when our crape myrtle, pomegranate and newly planted pastiche begin to don their Fall colors.

And – we still have lush, blooming bougainvillea, zinnias, cosmos, queen’s wreath, and even roses! Our chrysanthemums promise a future Fall display as well.

In the meantime, “my room” is festooned with potted purple and burnt orange-gold blooming mums and a cut flower or two from our outdoor gardens.

As the saying goes – “If the mountain doesn’t go to Mohammed, then Mohammed shall go to the mountain.” And so, this may not be Vermont, St Louis, MO, or even Mt Lemmon, but it is Fall at (the) Holmes, a glorious one indeed.

October 2019

A Tale of Two Coffee Tables

By Leslie

To paraphrase Dr Seuss – “Oh the (tales) I will tell” – about my internship year at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Fifty years ago it was THE hospital for the poor and the Afro-American inhabitants of that city. And how woefully understaffed and underfunded it was.

One evening, when I was covering the pediatric emergency department, an older woman came in carrying a young child, profusely bleeding from her thigh. As the story was revealed, grandma was babysitting for her ~5-year-old granddaughter. When she stepped out of the living room where they were watching TV, her granddaughter decided to jump from the couch to the glass-topped coffee table – and though it she went!

I assessed the huge V-shaped laceration of her thigh which revealed muscle, tendon and bone. I promptly applied pressure and called my attending. He was confident that I could repair the wound – and dictated instructions over the telephone! No senior resident was in sight. And, as a matter of fact, neither was any nurse to assist me.

Grandma was incredibly guilt-ridden and tearful. Nevertheless, I made a quick decision to enlist her as my “surgical assistant” – and she ably performed after scrubbing up. The child was discharged to home.

I followed the child, as I was instructed, in surgery clinic each week. To my amazement, but as predicted by the attending pediatric surgeon, she healed beautifully with just the tip of the skin flap having to heal in by secondary intention. Oh, the resilience of youth! And, Grandma – she was ever so grateful to have participated in the care of her injured granddaughter!

Years later, with a son of my own, not a coffee table could be found within the confines of my home! But when the children grew up, I did purchase one – which unfortunately had – a glass top.

About a month ago, my husband informed me of his fear of falling onto the coffee table. Out it went – to a very, very appreciative young lady. Thus my “Tale of Two Coffee Tables” ends . . .  on a very happy note this time.

October 2019

my sister’s grief

By Kat

today will be the first time my sister has had to face her husband’s birthday since he died last year. i find myself wishing that i could be there with her to support her through this difficult time, but i will have to settle for supporting her from a distance.

mary, for whatever it’s worth, i am here for you, grieving with you for your great loss of the man who was your every day partner in every important way, the father of your beautiful children.

it is not fair that he had to leave you so soon. though i cannot take away your pain, i can assure you it will get easier, that brian loves you even in his new life, and that i love you too.

your loving sister,

October 2019


By Kat

for once in my life, i am in awe of my own accomplishments. through much adversity i have endured and actually flourished. two short years ago i would have never believed that i would feel this way today. i’ve survived, saved money and done, at 64, what my son had accomplished by age 25. i have purchased a home. well, a home on wheels, but nevertheless my new home. to me, the wheels represent freedom. freedom to roam and be awe-struck by the beauty of our world. now i am in awe of what the future may hold.

September 2019

sitting on a small rise to observe nature

By Kat

once, in the deep woods
quietly watching nature
oh! chipmunk runs up my leg!

September 2019

Plaudits for a hometown newspaper

By Leslie

As a frequent and vocal critic of the Arizona Daily Star, I must, nevertheless, underscore the sentiments of the author of a recent Letter to the Editor. We are fortunate and so appreciative to still be able to read a daily newspaper, a newspaper with local, national, and international news.

No, I do not think that an article entitled, “The Bishop’s Baubles”, about the “yard sale” of St Augustine Church items, worthy of front-page coverage. Nor is a news item on El Charro’s menu a reason for any coverage – especially on the front page.

On the other hand, educational / teacher / funding issues, health and drug insurance, political and immigration issues – have all been subjects of solid, in-depth reporting.

And what fun on Sundays to read about our local libraries and garner suggestions for books (while you wait” for the best sellers. While newspapers provide entertainment (what would the Sunday paper be without the Comics and Slylock?), the perpetuation of a democracy is contingent upon an informed public who can obtain “real” news. And the Arizona Daily Star provides just that.

August 2019

On Life

By Kat

Life is not easy
The Busyness of Living
Challenges Always

And, Ain’t our Life Grand
The Trees, The Flowers, Sunsets
Beauty for All Things

September 2019