My story, Secondhand Smoke, was published today in the Veteran’s Day Issue of As You Were: The Military Review Vol. 17. It is set in the tail-end of the Vietnam War in Jacksonville, NC (home of Camp Lejeune) and draws heavily on my experience as a military brat though the story is fictional.
My ex-husband used to say to me, “You just want it all, don’t you?” and I would say something along the lines of “Well, yeah, don’t you?”
I am a hedonist and AND is my favorite word. But I don’t think there’s as much of a conflict between desire and contentment as we’ve been led to believe. Contentment is not the absence of desire.
I am, in many respects, very content. I love my home, my friends, my boyfriend, my dogs, my job, and my calling in life. I want all these things and I work hard to maintain these relationships and duties. There is a desire to maintain this contentment. It took me a lot of years to achieve this state of being.Continue reading
Today is National Coffee Day. For me this is a high holiday. I’m always tempted to decorate and make a luscious meal with wine that I can finish off with a robust cup of coffee – maybe with cream. I generally drink, well always drink, my coffee black. My father looked askance at me when I put cream in my coffee as if I was committing some crime. Marines drink their coffee black. None of this frou frou cream stuff. After a grand dinner, however, I like the richness of cream in a really good roast of coffee not just for the taste of it, but the mouth feel and texture. It becomes like liquid velvet.
I drink Folgers coffee in the morning. I do like a mild blend first thing in the morning, but it is one of my goals to be able to afford fresh ground Tanzanian Peaberry for my a.m. indulgence. And indulgence it would be. I think it reasonable to say that Tanzanian Peaberry is the nectar of the gods. In my more hedonistic days, I used to buy a bag a month from a small coffee roaster in Milwaukee who was thrilled to ship it to me. For a price. I’ve learned in life that you can have anything you want – for a price.
But the immediate goal is to persevere with writing until it becomes a monetarily successive gig. I’ve progressed from hobby writer to writer writer, but I’m still seldom a paid writer. Don’t laugh, but I’ll probably celebrate my first book sale with a fine cup of coffee.
Taped to the refrigerator, I have a quote by me: Sometimes coffee is a religious experience and others it’s just a caffeine delivery system.
I once scribbled that in a notebook. I said it to a few friends and one asked if she could quote me. Flattered, I said, “Of course.” I tried to meme it a few years ago, but alas it did not go viral. I really do feel that way about coffee. Folgers in the morning is a caffeine delivery system. A robust blend with cream after fine dining is a religious experience.
Whatever your preference – coffee, tea, hot cider or something else – please enjoy it today on this National Coffee Day in solidarity with me. I swear, I can’t believe I don’t at least have a t-shirt for this holiday. I have been remiss and shall remedy that later today!
The sun is hot on my skin, but a cool wind sends my hair drifting on its currents.
Perfect day at the beach. Blissfully warm. Blissfully refreshing breeze. Silly frou frou drink in my hand.
Frozen strawberry lemonade with vodka, whipped cream, and 3 cherries. But no umbrella. Alas.
It’s my second one of the day. The first one lasted nearly three hours.
I began this perfect beach day at 10:15. Procured the vacation-only drink at about 11. At two, we trundled up to the beach bar for blackened flounder and French fries with cocktail sauce. And another drink. I told the bartender twice as much strawberry lemonade, half as much booze. He puts it in a 24 oz white Styrofoam cup. I take most of it back to the beach with me.
We, my friend and I, sit there until the shadows began to lengthen and the sun moves behind us. I can feel old Sol’s heat on my shoulders and back. I feel the stress dripping off me into the sand where the ocean took it far away.
The sound of the surf, the sound of shorebirds, a small child giggling in the distance somewhere.