Category Archives: Complaining

Tired tanka

You shouldn’t notice
Where your bones run. Muscles ache,
Shoulders, elbows, wrists.
Fingers, not to be trusted.
And yet more work still to do.

My hair isn’t sore

My eyelids aren’t either. Or my ears. Pretty much all of the rest of me is, though – stiff, sore, and tired. My husband and I spent five days at my mother’s house (yesterday’s flowers grow in her back yard) sorting through things and filling up a dumpster.

What goes in a dumpster? Worn-out furniture. Half-made-up dresses that my mom never finished. Thirty or forty years worth of greeting cards for every special occasion on the calendar. Broken flower pots. Badly rusted tools that my father never cleaned up or got rid of. Piles of old magazines. And more.

Medicines that haven't been available to buy for years. And years.

Medicines that haven’t been available to buy for years. And years.

My parents – children of the Great Depression – found it very, very hard to throw anything away, no matter how worn-out it was. I suppose it made them feel secure to be surrounded by piles of Stuff, even if it was unusable. (Anybody out there want some burned-out light bulbs? I have plenty, now.) And in recent years, my mother just didn’t have the strength to do much cleaning. But I don’t have any sentimental regrets at all about throwing away a box of Jello dated 1981.

We’re nowhere near finished sorting through stuff and throwing things away, either. Maybe by August, if we’re very lucky and hardworking, we’ll be ready to hold an estate auction to dispose of the usable things that nobody in the family has room to keep. It’s going to hurt to see Mom’s house empty, but it has to be done.

Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, now that I’m back in my own over-cluttered house – I learned my mother’s lessons very well – for the moment, I need to go and throw things away. I don’t really want to be an official minimalist, but I don’t want my sons to be stuck with a project like this some day. It’s time, past time, to figure out how to weed things out as I go.

I used to think it would be wonderful to live in an enormous house. You know what? If I had a huge house, there would be more room for junk to pile up. I think I’ll stay with the medium-small place I have, thanks.

One of the reasons I don’t like winter

It started to snow here about quarter of ten this morning. By lunchtime, the front steps and the walk were covered with an inch or two of fluffy snow, so I went out with a broom and thoroughly cleaned everything off.

The snow kept falling.

About forty-five minutes later, I took another look outside. There was no sign that anyone had cleared the steps since the house was built over fifty years ago. The snow kept falling.

Right now, it’s ten o’clock at night. It’s been snowing for nearly twelve hours. It’s not expected to stop till dawn. There’s a large lump of snow in the driveway that probably has my car underneath, and there’s a slope down from my front porch that just might be covering some steps. Various levels of local government are begging or advising or ordering people to stay off the roads so the snowplows can work, and really nobody with any sense would want to go out tonight unless they absolutely had to.

And the snow keeps falling.

Shapeless Saturday NonSonnet


I heard their noise tonight. Too soon, too soon.
Their grating chirp belongs to fall, and I’m
Just ready to stretch out, luxuriate
In soft fruit spilling juice, warm days,
And evenings still day-bright at nine o’clock.
I glare at seven o’clock’s half-faded sky.
How can it look like this in June? Because,
My mind pipes up, this is September now.

Long days, fresh peaches – those sweet treasures lie
The other side of winter. Wait it out.
(My mind is such a pest. I hate it when
She knows her stuff.) You sound like crickets, Mind.
Shut up, don’t give advice, just let me sulk.
(She won’t, of course.)

Daily Prompt: Say Your Name – or something that vaguely resembles it

Is this the face of a Karen Cheryl? Apparently it is.

Is this the face of a Karen Cheryl? Apparently it is.

Today, WordPress wants to know what we think of our first names – “Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

My first name. Sharon. It’s been a nuisance since I was seven years old. I have no idea how my parents chose it – I was all grown up before I met anyone with the same name, which may have something to do with the ways in which it’s been a problem.

You see, a lot of the people I meet just can’t seem to remember what my name is. I suppose the variations could tell me something about the other person – maybe the ones who insist on calling me “Cheryl” lose interest fast, before the second syllable. And the ones who think I’m really “Karen”? It must take a while for them to grasp what you’re telling them.

Or, of course, they might just never have met a Sharon before, and plug in a name they are familiar with. At least nobody has ever managed to jumble Cheryl and Karen and started calling me Karyl (pronounced Carol). Then again, maybe they do and I’m the one who fails to realize they’re talking to me.

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Sharons. 😉

(Of course, being a Sharon has some good points – mostly because you can’t make it into a nickname. I’ve known girls who were really officially named “Sally” and “Toni” – but some teachers explained patiently to them that they were really truly actually “Sarah” and “Antoinette”, which was news to each of them.)