Ordinary Thoughts, Essays and Short Stories

Category: Current Blog Post (Page 1 of 3)

A Year Under the Belt

I think a lot about the passage of time. Not in a maudlin way – I’ve learned not to dwell on lost opportunities – but in that wistful “Where did the time go?” fashion. One day you’re going about your business, doing this or feeling that, and then you blink and it’s 5, 10…20 years later.


Even though I retired in 2020, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Those years have really flown by. When I look at my little girls, I wonder how on earth they became middle-aged women. (No offense, sweeties.) And it recently dawned on me that this blog has been live for a full year. Seems like only yesterday I was cursing all those online gurus who prattled on about how easy it was to create a website and start a blog. The first thing I learned during that whole process was that the concept of “easy” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Or, in this case…the be-doer.


But I did manage to do it, so…Happy Birthday to The Quotidian Scribe! This has been the outlet for writing that I’d hoped it would be and, even when I stress myself out by putting things off until right before the deadline, I’m still enjoying the ride. In the beginning, there was a part of me that figured it wouldn’t last half this long. Turns out I apparently don’t know when to rein myself in, so it’s still going. The following essay is proof of that.


Like I said earlier, my thoughts about the fleeting aspect of time aren’t usually downers, but I suppose the essay you’re about to read might be construed as a bit maudlin by some. It’s not intended to be that at all, though. It’s just a reflection of where my thoughts sometimes take me when it comes to this current phase of life.


Click the button below to read Those All-Important Final Words.

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The Importance of Staying in Your Lane

The short story you’re about to read is pretty far out of my comfort zone. It may be out of yours, too. If that’s the case, I’ll apologize upfront.

Without giving too much away, I’ll just say this little vignette differs greatly from my usual tales that tend to have rather feel-good endings. It’s what you might call “light horror,” and it details what happens when a well-meaning friend inserts himself where he isn’t welcome.

While I generally don’t mind sharing my mental space with the characters in my stories, I prefer the woman in this one never darkens my cerebral door again. She’s not exactly what I’d consider friend worthy.

Click the button below to read Darcy’s Dastardly Deed.

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Wintry Highs and Lows

February is a month of rollercoaster emotions for me.

For one, there’s Valentine’s Day. I’m not a particularly romantic person, and I’ve always felt a little guilty for not enjoying the whole hearts and flowers thing. But, truth be told, it’s just never been my jam. 

On the brighter side, though, February is a month with several family birthdays, including mine and my dad’s. When Dad was still alive, it was always nice to get together and celebrate his birthday. And even though I don’t relish being the center of attention, I do enjoy the well-wishes I receive from friends and family on my own special day.

But the end of February is rough. At least it has been for the past 23 years. It signals the end of my mom’s time on this earth. Her faith was strong, she was ready to go, and I felt privileged to be there – honored, actually – to help usher her from this world to the next. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. But a relentless, brutal pain always accompanies that beautiful memory. More than two decades later, I still can’t stop feeling sorry for myself. Anyone who has experienced it will attest to this…there’s nothing happy about being a motherless child.

I try not to dwell on it, and I usually do a pretty good job of keeping it on my mental back burner, but sometimes it sneaks out when I’m not looking and sideswipes me. That happened recently when I was going through some old writing files and came across a piece I wrote around 20 years ago. It’s an extremely short, less-than-stellar essay, but it did manage to be a finalist in a small publication’s contest back in the day.

Not sure if I believe it or not, but there’s a part of me that would like to think Mom led me to uncover this old “story” so I could share it here. It’s certainly better than letting it continue to wither away in a drawer.

Click below to read A Walk with Mom.

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Has Anyone Seen My Youth?


I’ve quickly come to realize that most of my blog essays carry a common theme. They center around “senior life.”

That’s a topic I never intended to zero in on. As a matter of fact, I’d hoped to steer clear of it as much as possible. The last thing I wanted to do was dwell on my lost youth yet, every time I turn around, there it is. That not-so-subtle reminder that I’m no longer a sweet young thing.

When I asked myself why I’ve failed so miserably at disregarding my age — and yes, myself and I do have full-blown conversations — the answer was an old adage. Writers often ask what they should write about, and the short and sweet response is generally this: “Write what you know.”

I must say, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing of late because my knowledge of learning to live as an “older adult” gets stronger with each passing day. My mind may still feel young, but my body has taken to thumbing its nose at the very notion of ever feeling young again.

When I think about being older, I often ponder the joys – and even challenges – of being retired. And I question whether there are expectations for this time of life that aren’t being met.

If you’re interested in how I’m handling this golden opportunity of retirement, click the link below to read “Should” Doesn’t Equal Productivity.

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It’s All About Family


Many things in our lives create a feeling of joy. Fiery sunsets, swaying trees, laughing children, nostalgic music, the smell of bacon…the list goes on and on. When you ask people what brings them the most joy, it’s not uncommon for them to say that family tops the list.

Interestingly, the beings that make up a family aren’t always related. Sometimes they’re not even human…well, not in the technical sense of the term. But that doesn’t make them any less valuable or loved. And it doesn’t make it any less painful when they leave us.

Click below to get my take on how Pets Are People, Too.

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Didn’t I Try This Last Year?

With the new year still being fresh and all, a lot of folks are riding high on the dream of bringing their resolutions – or goals, whatever you want to call them – to fruition. They believe this will be the year they finally do what they set out to do.

Whether wise or not, it’s normal for people to conveniently forget how the resolutions of the past had a tendency to sputter out by mid-March, or…more likely…mid-January. Still, they approach each new year with hope and determination.

I am one of those people.

This year I set multiple goals for myself, and the first one I decided to sink my teeth into is one that a lot of us tackle…getting rid of clutter.

This certainly isn’t a new goal for me, but I’m employing a method I haven’t tried before and, so far, so good. Click the button below to read all about it.

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From Our House to Yours

On this special day and beyond, I wish you all the peace, health, and happiness your heart can handle. I also hope you wind up with all the feels when you get sucked in by this sappy – and rather predictable – holiday story. You’ll find the link below.

If reading Christmas with Frank leaves you even a tiny bit verklempt, then my work here is done.

Merry Christmas!

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You’re How Old?


Before we get too entrenched in the holidays, I want to slip in a little tidbit about an upcoming milestone. Two days before this year comes to a close, my firstborn will celebrate her 50th birthday. I can scarcely believe it. Seems like only yesterday, I was rocking her to sleep, teaching her to ride a bike, wondering why on earth she was obsessed with The Cure, and trying not to cry as she walked down the aisle. But it wasn’t yesterday. It was a boatload of yesterdays that spanned half a century. 

As a nod to her impending birthday, I decided to pen (or type rather) what transpired lo those many years ago. I was young and ignorant, and bringing her into this world was anything but a cakewalk. But if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. The little munchkin who stole my heart a lifetime ago is today, not only a treasured daughter but also a friend. And she’s a pretty awesome mom and wife who, as a teacher, spends most of her days showering unconditional love and devotion on a bunch of lucky little 2nd graders.

Jacki…this one’s for you.

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Happy Turkey Day!


I’m breaking my own rules here and posting on Thursday instead of Sunday. That’s because this isn’t just any Thursday. It’s Thanksgiving Day. And on Thanksgiving Day, it’s nice to reach out and make a friendly connection. So that’s what I decided to do with a (mercifully) short essay on a couple of the traditions that pop up annually at our house. My guess is, they may pop up at yours, too.  Just click the button below to read Arlo and the Pigskin.

And, if I haven’t said it in a while, let me say it now…I’m very thankful to you for taking precious time out of your own life to read a little bit about mine. It means more than you know.

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Hello? Anybody Home?

Have you ever been lost in random thoughts that have nothing to do with the situation at hand? Let’s say you’re out to dinner with a friend, and you notice the server’s bracelet is a lot like one you saw recently at a local boutique. You then recall other items that had caught your interest in that same shop, and you wonder if they’re still available. Next thing you know, your friend is clinking her spoon against her glass and playfully accusing you of not hearing a word she said.

Odds are, you’ve found yourself in a similar position…perhaps more than once. It’s not all that uncommon to lose focus now and then. But that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. You either apologize profusely or laugh it off by saying you’re a total space cadet.

Now picture yourself in scenarios like that every day. Not occasionally, but…every. single. day. Does the thought make you cringe? Or does it fit like an old worn glove? If it’s the former, consider yourself lucky. If it’s the latter, welcome to the club no one wants to be a member of.

Fighting an ongoing battle against distraction is tough, but it’s often winnable. Or, at the very least, a truce can be called periodically.

I know this to be true because I live with it. For a glimpse into my cerebral world, hit the button below. It will take you to my current essay, Mischievous Minds.

If you read the essay and happen to see yourself in any of it, let me know in the comments. As they say, misery loves company.

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