Birth of a book . . . . .


Truly.  It’s been like having a baby.  Nine months of hard work and then two days ago, the delivery.  I had chosen the name, and now I must send out announcements.

You know by now that this is a simple collection of things I’ve written through the years, some prose (true stories) and some poetry.  The title is:  PLAYING LIFE by EAR . . Notes from 89 years of living, learning, laughing, loving and believing.  Some of the pieces have already appeared on this site . . before people said “hey, stop . . put them into a book.”

A book sounded like a hard thing to do.  And it was.

You will forgive any imperfection, I’m sure.  Much of the poetry that I wrote years ago has rhyme, and each line begins with a capital letter.  I have left it that way.  Why update my old verse when I have followed it with new verse, and anyway I tend to think that content is much more important than form.  I will be so happy if even one person gets one thing from the book that has special meaning for him/her.  I’m hoping people will write and tell me.

The book will eventually be available through most book stores, but for right now it can be ordered here:

or by phone:  1-800-288-4677

At the iUniverse bookstore you can see the book and the description of contents on the back cover.

Since I self-published, I am responsible for seeing that the book is promoted and advertised. That’s quite an assignment for an 89-year old lady, but I’m deep into it already with book readings and interviews, etc.  I hope my readers will help me also.  Please tell your family, friends, neighbors and the people you work with about my book.  Maybe send a note to your contacts.

Mahalo in advance for your help

Mahalo and Aloha,

– Doris Markland

Life as a game . . . . .



In brief, here is what I learned from various games and recreations in my lifetime:


Swings:  I always went higher when someone stood behind me to add their weight and pump me toward the sky.

Merry-go-round:  The smallest ones often sit, while the strong ones give the push that starts the motion.  When my legs grew to the ground, it was my turn to get off and give the young ones a push and a good ride.

Giant Strides:  The more energy I put into the run, the higher I went when my feet left the ground.

Slide:   It was only my first time down that was scary.

Parallel bars:  When I was on the playground after hours and no one watching, I could pull myself up and chin the bar, I could hang by my knees, I could move hand-over-hand, and I never fell.

Andy-I-Over:  You might catch the ball if you’re in the right place at the right time.

Hide and Seek:  It can be very uncomfortable to squat for a long time in a small space waiting to be discovered.

Charades:  We don’t always need words to communicate.

Solitaire:  When I know what I’m looking for I can see a wider field and easily spot t if it’s there.

Poker:  Dont play with money I need, but gain courage and play wisely with money I’ve saved for this purpose.  When I don’t fear losing I’m more likely to win.

Hearts:  The more I worry about the Queen of Spades, the sooner it comes to my side of the table.

Bridge:   Being in tune with my partner is even more important than learning the rules.

Baseball, basketball, football, tennis and golf:   If you are not good at sports, it is  essential you become a good sport.

Monopoly:  The difference between Mediterranean Avenue and Boardwalk is courage.











The cost of a wedding . . for better or for worse? . . . .


I just read online that the average cost of a wedding is now $31,213.  The average!

I read, however, that the parents usually contribute only 43 percent of the cost.  Whew!  That’s a relief.  That’s only $13,411.59.

How did this happen?

Above you will see a picture of my wedding reception.  Mine and Gene’s .  This was in 1948.

It never occurred to us to have it anywhere but in the church.  We were proud of that basement.  A few years before, the old church was lifted and a basement dug.  The labor was done mostly by parishioners.  Now we had plenty of room for Sunday School classes (see the screens behind us that were used to partition the room into classes).  See the sturdy, dry concrete blocks that lined the walls.  Note the heat runs across the ceilings (that may or may not show in this converted TIF file).  And realize that to our left is a large kitchen with cupboards and stoves, refrigerator, dishes and utensils, plus a pass-through counter for serving.  This was UPTOWN.

I remember that my dress cost $50, an unthinkably expensive garment in 1948.  Someone helped me fashion a veil.  My mother brought the candlesticks and candles.  The bakery probably charged $25 for the cake.  The bouquet in the background was from someone’s garden.

The decoration for the wedding upstairs consisted of flowers in the front of the church and clusters of flowers with ribbon streamers attached to the end of each pew.  I walked down the aisle at 8:00 p.m.  It had been a hot, steamy day with a storm approaching, The curl in my hair was threatened.  Small circles were appearing through my heavy satin gown.  The groom’s blue suit was turning his white shirt blue under the arms.  The flowers were wilting.  There was no air conditioning and the temperature was around 100.  Floor fans gave little relief and made a lot of noise.  My tiny twin nieces preceded us down the aisle tossing flowers and singing “Doris’s parrrrrty.”  A friend played the violin, another friend at the piano.

But the wedding didn’t take long, and the guests were glad to move to the basement where it was cooler.

We all had a good time, and when Gene and I left for our honeymoon, I threw the bouquet down the basement stairs.

We didn’t realize we were wedding on the cheap.  We just did what everyone else did.  And the guests gave us what everyone chose for wedding gifts . . tablecloths, vases, one piece of silverware from the bride’s chosen pattern, one cup and saucer for her china, toasters, pots and pans, most of it from the local general store.

But the funny thing is, that marriage lasted 63 years . . until Gene opted out to take a little leave from earth.  And because we spent so little when we were young, we had a bit more when we were old.

Somehow the details of today’s weddings can sometimes override the feelings of the day.  But let us hope not.



Where I live there are rainbows . . . . .



While visiting with friends yesterday afternoon, we looked out the window, toward the mountains, and this is what we saw.  This picture doesn’t capture the sharpness of the rainbow because iPhone pictures don’t always post well.  But the rainbow was perfect, with all colors, and it stayed there for a long time.

There is a beautiful Hawaiian song that we love to sing and that we often request Hawaiian singers to sing for us:


Where I live, there are rainbows
With life in the laughter of morning and starry nights

Where I live, there are rainbows
And flowers full of colors and birds filled with song

I can smile when it’s raining
And touch the warmth of the sun
I hear children laughing in this place that I love

Where I live, there are rainbows
With life and the laughter of morning and starry nights




Honolulu from above


Lost and Found


A young one asked me

if I’d share my wisdom

and I said of course,

if I ever had it, and if

I could remember

where I’d put it.


But how do you know

that I have it, I asked,

and she answered

“Oh yes, you have it,

I can see it in your face.


And I said “Oh, of course

and thank you.

I remember now.

That is exactly

where I put it.


– Doris Markland