Monthly Archives: November 2012

In the Clear Light of this Morning. . .

While drinking hot tea this morning, I read what I wrote yesterday evening and remembered why for many years I refused to drink and write, then publish.  Oh, well, now I’m reminded of how those pesky tenses will play with time without a clear mind to keep order.  My apologies.

But this brief post is about tea.

Each morning for the past week I’ve drank cistus incannus tea and, for a hour afterward, felt nauseous. But I’ve continued to sip for medicinal reasons because this crisp brew is one of my many tools against Lyme Disease.  Popular in Greece but almost unknown in the U.S., it is supposed to make the body repellent  to ticks which are abundent in southeast Virginia this fall, thanks to climate change.  It is also credited for breaking break ups the nasty bacterial biofilms in the blood and helps with healing.  Knowing all of this has made it easy for me to deal with the nausea, a Herxhiemer’s sign that something good is going on within me. A healing.

Beauty Queen

covergirl_edited-1There’s a photo on my home page, and it’s not me.  It’s not anyone I know.

I found this photo among thousands that my mother keeps packed in tins within shoe boxes within moving boxes.  She said this sultry young woman was a co-worker at Overton’s Grocery Store in the 1940s.  In South Norfolk, Virginia.  She doesn’t remember her name.

But this woman, whom I’ll call “Red” even though the photo is black and white, is not the only bathing beauty among the many photos I thumbed through.  There were many of my mother and her best friend, Neva, in bathing suits, hands on hips, reclining in the sand, and even one of my mother in a beauty pageant.  She was Miss Ocean View, a big deal in her day.  In fact, even today the Ocean View Museum wants a photo of her, the one that appeared in The Virginian-Pilot more than 60 years ago, but she refuses to give them a copy.

My mother, now 80, hovered over me as I thumbed through one photo after another with her and a James Dean look-alike named Paul and his buddy whose name she can’t remember, although she recalls him as a pest who tagged along way too often.  There were also pictures of her with a sweet long-term beau named Ronnie, an enlisted Navy man, and a couple with my father whose motorcycle she climbed onto the day they met.  Most were taken at Ocean View Beach.

One packed tin of photos exhausted us.  I asked to take home a few, and my mother agreed.  As I packed up the rest, my mother, all these years later and with a greater understanding of the world, realized that the beautiful Paul who had wanted to marry her was probably gay.  And the rest of the pictures, those of her and Neva posing as Marilyn Monroe did a decade or more later?  “Cheesecake,” she said.

On Your Mark. . .


Get ready to read about the highs and lows of a writer’s life; the advantages of marrying a spouse before dating him; the appropriate etiquette for participating in a voodoo healing ceremony; how to hide from a stalker;  the trials of applying the principles of AA to book hoarding; how to keep friends during an election year; the real trouble with dealing with Lyme Disease; the genius of my favorite philosopher, Burt Reynolds;  what cakes and cookies have in common with wall paper paste; how to prevent fermentation of the brain; contagious food fetishes; and, well, whatever else come to mind.