Category Archives: Leslie

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

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

An Anniversary to Remember

By Leslie

On August 28th we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. And what a splendid day it was! Our Associate Rector conducted a Renewal of Our Marriage vows. Two friends were in attendance. We celebrated with lemon meringue pie – delicious – and lovely white wine. Flowers and flowering plants completed the beautiful occasion.

Although health may fail, and infirmities overwhelm at times, how fortunate is the woman who has and continues to share her life with the most special of men. I am this most blessed of women who has delighted in the adventure – and challenges – of 40 years of marriage.

For, as Edmond Spenser wrote: “Love is life’s end, an end, but more enduring …”

And the French wisely opined: “To love is to pardon everything.”

Finally, as penned in 1896 (for a couplet-writing competition):

Love is a painful thrill,
And not to love more painful still!

September 2019

The Kindness of Strangers

By Leslie

A couple of weeks after my husband fell on our cement sidewalk and hemorrhaged in to his right leg and knee, he was still having many problems – standing, walking, etc. One night when he went to the bathroom, I heard a thud. He had slipped and sat down so hard on our wood toilet seat it broke! He was sore, but really okay. However, the toilet seat was a different matter – fractured, through and through. Since I needed to use this bathroom, he devised a temporary repair, splinting the seat with a piece of wood and wrapping fiber tape around the seat.

The next morning I called our plumber (of more than 20 years) explaining the situation. He said it sounded like we need a safety toilet with grab bars – available at the Walgreens and other medical supply stores. I told him we had no one to go and purchase this, and I, at least, would temporarily be happy to sit on a non-splinted, non-splintery seat!

To make a long story short, Donny and his fellow plumber arrived at noon that day, with three safety toilet seat set-ups! We chose one that worked the best in a very tight space and, believe it or not, he returned the other two to Walgreens whence they had come.

I was overwhelmed with his kindness. Of course, the pediatrician/mother in me gave him some books to read to his three month old infant, as he would take no recompense for all his extra trouble on our behalf.

Whoever said that kindness has fled this world? We continue to be the recipients of many gestures of kindness – from friends, family and even, as in this instance, relative strangers.

August 2019

All I Want for Christmas

By Leslie

My husband has always worn and loved Timex watches. Well, almost always. Several years ago the watches began to fail in an untimely manner. So for our anniversary I bought him what I thought was a tried and true, good old American watch – a Bulova. The only problem was it was difficult to set – in English – and, of course, like almost everything else, it was not American made. And for many other reasons, Bill took an almost instant dislike of it. So some lucky person became its recipient. He bought himself another Timex. Unfortunately, its Velcro band quickly became non-sturdy and the watch light failed.

This past Christmas I got lots of hints – to which I paid little heed. I was not going to purchase a Timex watch for Bill. But come Valentine’s Day, I relented. This time I purchased a watch with all the features he wanted – digital, back-lighting, and a non-breakable (so we thought) watch band. Fast forward – after three weeks of wear, the so-called metal band snapped off the junction of the watch face and band, only to reveal a plastic interior.

Wow! I insisted – you know the principle of it all – upon pulling out any warranty we had. Sure enough – “1 year guarantee.” After more fuss, bother, forms, packing – oh yes, and a check for “handling”, we returned it.

And behold. Three weeks later – a “new” Timex arrived via Fed Ex. I assure you, it will be the last time for this time piece!

May 2091

Sally – In Memoriam

By Leslie

Sally was our moral compass. She was kind, caring and a passionate believer and writer But her beliefs were not foisted upon us – just her delicious figs.

And, in your memory Sally, we indeed have a baby fig tree growing – in yet its newest location in our yard.

Thank You, Sally!

We shall miss you! You have left a hole in the writers group none can fill. May you truly rest in peace.

July 2019