Writing a “queer” (query) letter

“AARP The Magazine rarely uses unsolicited ideas. However, you may submit your idea based on the following guidelines and your material will be reviewed.” I was way past the idea stage, having completed an article about two women who were newly widowed. I followed their directions by drafting a query. In just one page, the writer must include: contact information; …

Do As Much As You Can

“Do as much as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can.” What a wonderful quote to guide one’s life! Last weekend, my husband and I drove up to Huntsville, Alabama, to visit his oldest cousin, Joy. For years, she has organized the drivers for Meals on Wheels and delivered some, as well. She …

Tips to Achieve a Better Balance in Life

The line between work and home used to be clearer. Now, with the constant demands of technology, it’s much harder to reach a healthy balance. However, unless you make an effort, you risk burnout, your relationships suffer, and your productivity – both at work and at home – sinks. With that, stress levels go up. Not good! Tip #1: Banish …

Take Charge of Your Attitude!

Why is your attitude, the outlook with which you face the world, so important? Lots of people are convinced that their experiences determine their attitude. (“She canceled lunch and it ruined my day.”) Actually, the opposite is true (surprise!) – your attitude determines how you respond to your experiences. Some common questions include: Is having a positive or negative attitude …

Our Christmas Gift Backfired

Disney World. Last Christmas, we gave our son, wife, and two granddaughters a trip to Disney World. They were so excited! But between his new business and the girls’ school and extra curricular activities, they weren’t able to coordinate a time that worked for all of them.  Until now. They will be gone a whole week over Christmas! When I …

Tears for a President

Tears kept running down my cheeks this morning, tears for a President. I was waiting at a car dealer while my car was being serviced, reading our local Pensacola News Journal and USA Today, not exactly where I wanted to be seen weeping. I am deeply moved by George Herbert Walker Bush’s death. At ninety-four, I suspect he was ready …

No More Gifts

“No more gifts,” the woman told me. “We’ve given him presents for every birthday, Christmas, and special event, and not once has he said ‘thank you’ or written us a note.” When her son married, she took in his stepson, about age six, as a full-fledged member of the family. “Now he’s turning twenty, and that’s it,” she said with …

Thanksgiving Starts the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving. It’s the unofficial beginning of the holiday season, lasting until the end of the year. It can also be very stressful as we try to cram in all the extra parties and special events, shopping and cooking. My most disliked chore? Shipping boxes to out-of-state family, despite the fun of choosing gifts. Whatever your faith (or none), we are …

Time Flies: Make It Count!

Time flies, but does it count? Do you too often find the day gone without any sense of satisfaction or accomplishment? Rich or poor, we all live in the same framework of twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, or “24/7” as it’s come to be known. But what great differences there are in how much individuals accomplish. Bad …

I’m Not a Preacher, but…

I’m not a preacher, but I was asked to deliver the opening prayer at Council On Aging’s Rat Pack Reunion fund-raising event Friday, October 19, 2018. It took a couple hours to compose, and this is what I offered: “Dear Lord: Please be present with us this evening. Many of us have felt overwhelmed at the destruction and devastation of …