Feeling Mortal

Today I admitted my best friend to the hospital with kidney failure.

It was an exciting weekend and I’m emotionally exhausted. She’s in critical condition.  I may lose her.

Last night, she was confused, but we spent the evening talking about life and love and family and last wishes. If she does die, I know what she wants.

I’ve been blessed with great loves and good friends. Life has been good to me.


Filed under August 2016

Book It, Dan-O

doug and me grass hutI’m taking my mother to Hawaii for Mother’s Day, 2017.  Specifically, we’re going to Oahu for a week and Maui for a week.

We used to live on Kaneohe Air Station, Oahu, so part of the trip will be nostalgic.  We’ve been told for years that modern Oahu will break our hearts; hence the Maui trip.  Maui is reputed to be the Hawaii that we will remember.

I’m overwhelmed trying to plan this trip. It’s going to cost SO FREAKING MUCH that I don’t want to make any mistakes or leave anything out or have anything less than perfect.  We’ve started planning 10 months out and I’m finding that is not far enough.  I should have started this six months ago.

On Oahu, I plan to visit the Pagoda Restaurant, Ala Moana Shopping Center, and the International Market Place. We want to go on base and see our old house.  We want to see if we can find where our church used to be.  And we want to visit the beaches of our memories – tropical paradises that we didn’t think twice about.

For Maui, I want to snorkel and see Haleakala and the Road to Hana. I want pristine beaches and waterfalls.  I want to lay on the beach and breathe in the scent that is Hawaii – a combination of ocean, flowers, mildew and pineapple – it’s a very distinctive smell.

I can’t wait to go.  It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime.  I have about decided to hire a travel agent to make sure it all goes well.  We’ll see.

But today we booked the hotel for Maui, so we’ve started. Kahana Village Resort here we come!


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Filed under July 2016

My yoga instructor is 88-years-old!

Yoga-OhmMy yoga instructor, yes, is 88-years-old. Now is that a testement to the power of yoga or what?  She is amazing.

I’m a backslidden yogini determined to revive my practice.  I went to class tonight and got a good workout.  I love breathing through a big stretch.  I love seeing how much further I can stretch after a few exhalations.  And I love how yoga makes me feel.

I’ll be a regular again.



Filed under July 2016

First Time

So. I did my first public reading tonight.

It went well. I think.

It’s odd, but I wasn’t the least bit nervous. I was a wee bit anxious to get on with it.  I had to sign up and there were 8 or so people ahead of me, but when my time came, I was fine.

Life is funny like that. Stuff that should make me nervous doesn’t.  And vice versa.


Filed under July 2016

Spencer and Erica

spencer and ericaI just got home from a family wedding in Tecumseh, Michigan.

My first-cousin’s son married the love of his life. Spencer and Erica’s wedding was just as sweet and special as they are.  I was overwhelmed several times throughout the day by the knowledge that I have a large extended family.

I was raised a military brat and don’t remember meeting any of my extended family until I was 10. I had met them before but, I was just too young to remember.  At, 10 I was overrun with cousins and aunts and uncles and it was all wonderful.  After we returned from Hawaii, we spent a part of each year in Michigan with the aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, but as time went by that once a year stopped.  Pity that.

I don’t get to see these people often due to geography. It’s a sad state of affairs when the matter of a 7-hour car drive keeps people apart, but we’re all so busy with full lives.

The wedding was outdoors at my cousin Kathy’s and her husband, Joe’s, house. What a beautiful, beautiful setting for the ceremony.  It was truly gorgeous.  I feel like I witnessed some magical – Spencer and Erica will be a love story for the ages.

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Filed under July 2016

Life Goes On

daddies liliesDoug has been dead for 3 some years and my dad for some 4 months.  I’m still here trying to live without the two of the most important men of my life.  Both of them loved me unconditionally.

I have been fortunate.

I planted 15 lilies in memory of my dad – 13 for his men in Vietnam that he lost in that terrible battle and 1 for Marybelle’s father and 1 for him. They are blooming and the scent is spectacular as are the flowers.  They’re way ahead of schedule and over-achievers – much like my dad.

I’m learning to live without Doug – my constant cheerleader. If we’re lucky, we all have that one person who cheers us on and motivates us to do our best.  I had two – my dad and Doug.  I miss them both so much.


Filed under July 2016

My daddy has died.

MarinedaddyConrad Lee Kinsey, 77, died on March 13, 2016, suddenly and peacefully at home.

He was a proud Marine Corps Captain having served his country with four tours of Vietnam. Subsequently, he was disabled from the Marine Corps but went on to develop careers with H&R Block and the Huntington City Mission. He was thrilled to be a part of the Mission’s important work and retired as their Business Manager.

Conrad’s younger years were full of hardship and he frequently said the Marine Corps took him as a poor boy and turned him into an officer and a gentleman. The Marine Corps remained an important part of his identity and Semper Fi served as his password for many applications.

He was a gadget geek with a particular love for computers. He also loved gardening and raised a bodacious vegetable garden each year. He read history with a particular interest in the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, a man for whom he had no respect.

Upon retiring, at the request of his daughter, he began putting his experiences in writing and self-published on Amazon, The Expendables, a memoir of Vietnam wherein he tells the story of the 13 men under his command who died in a fierce battle.   When their bodies were recovered just a few years ago, he went to the funerals.

He loved his wife of 58 years, his family and his dog, Dolleigh who preceded him in death by a month, and had a particular love for his grandson, Jeremy, whom he considered his crowning achievement.  When Jeremy was young, Conrad and he would go to Jolly Pirate Donuts each Saturday morning where Conrad would partake of an apple fritter while Jeremy always tried something different.

He was known among his family and friends for his intellect and sense of humor. He was a gentleman and a gentle person who often served as the calm in the center of the storm. His sister, Irene, referred to him as her rock.  His other siblings express similar sentiments.

He had a strong faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and made several trips to participate in Promise Keepers events as well as taught Sunday school and Bible study.

Conrad would want to be remembered as a man who loved his God, his country and his family. He would want all to know II Corinthians 6:14-18:

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them     and walk among them, and I will be their God,     and they will be my people.”

He is survived by his wife, Lou Ellen Kinsey, his brothers and sisters, Thomas Kinsey (Catherine), William Simpson (Marsha), Jeanne Boulton (Richard), Linda Lester, his daughter, Connie Kinsey, his son, Douglas Kinsey (Kathy), his grandson, Jeremy Leinen and his step-grandchildren, Jessica Thompson (Tony), Kevin LeMaster, Jr. (Jennifer), and Joshua LeMaster (Mereanda). He is also survived by loving nieces and nephews and eight great-grand children.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Warren and Emma, his brother Jerry (Eunice), his sisters Irene Mooney and Kathy Davis (Alfred), brother-in-law Jere Mooney, and his son, Conrad Lee Kinsey, Jr.

Visitation is from 6 to 8 pm at Fellowship Baptist Church on Thursday, March 17. The funeral will also be held at the church on Friday, March 18, at 11 a.m.  Burial with military honors will be at Ridgelawn Memorial Park following the church service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Ellen Kinsey, 379 Pauley Branch Road, Ona, WV 25545


Filed under January 2009, March 2016