P. S. to earlier post . . . . .

Please forgive me for popping up with a P. S. for the little story I posted this morning, but this is too good to pass.

My daughter emailed to tell me I had misspelled my great grandson’s name.  It is not Ti but Ty.

I replied “It was only a typo.  I will fix it.”

And my daughter answered, “Ty-po?”



Growing things need irrigation . . . . .

kids irrigation

I don’t usually post family pictures on this page, but on a hot summer day I think we can enjoy imagining ourselves here jumping for joy on a tramp0line that’s been moved into the path of the irrigation system.  Cool.

Pictured here are my great grandsons Ty and Cole, captured in action by their mother Terrin.

When finding old friends really means finding old friends . . .


The other day I thought of an old friend, Mary. In our days as young housewives and mothers we had belonged to the same book club, and occasionally she and her husband met me and my husband for dinner, or we had an evening of bridge after the kids were all put to bed.. Then, for a number of years, our paths did not cross.

So when she popped into my mind recently and I began to wonder what had happened to her through the years, I picked up the phone and called her. I invited her to coffee, and as an afterthought asked her to bring Dick along.

We talked non-stop, bringing each other up to date between sips.  A week later, Mary called and invited me to join her for lunch.

One of the joys of retired life is finding old friends. Filling in the gaps. It’s easy to understand we had drifted apart when our work and our families had taken all our time and concerns. And now, when most of the things on our to-do lists have been checked off, now that our kids are far away and dealing with their own families, now that we have all the time in the world to do as we please, we reach to pick up ties we had dropped or ties we had stored.

Friends who live in other states and whom we have not seen nor heard of for years come to mind as we sort our old pictures, and often we can google and track friends down and surprise them.   OMG, they’ll tell their families, you’d never guess who I heard from today. Memories come rushing back, and if we exchange pictures we will marvel at the fact we can still see the face of our youthful friend in the face of our aging friend.

I have a special reunion coming up next week.   My group of college friends has kept in touch all these years since we met in 1942. There were 15 of us who shared a house when our dormitory was taken over by the U. S. Army Aircorps for housing cadets in training during WWII. Our housemother was Miss Grammer, from the school of music, so we called ourselves the Grammer Girls.

The Grammer Girls scattered about the country after graduation, and after the war, but always kept in touch with rare weekend “family” reunions and with round robin letters. Many of our husbands are gone now, but we still get together whenever we can, and this summer it’s for a special reason. Within this year we will all, the 8 of us still living, have turned 90. Barbara’s birthday party, planned by her daughters, will draw us back to Iowa to celebrate.

Re-uniting now is rather like finding we’re the final team members on the bench when others have been dismissed from the team or have gone on to some other sport. We’re good for a few more games, we say, and we exchange emails or we meet somewhere halfway for a brief visit and show pictures of our grandchildren and talk about old times.

Or sometimes, to find old friends, we only have to go across town.

My First Book Review . . .

book cover

My book was reviewed yesterday in the Sunday edition of the Honolulu Star Advertiser.  Here’s what was said:

If you’re hankering for a longer Hallmark moment, pick up this whimsical and wise collection of personal memories and poems.  “I have an idea that our children tell us very early in their life what they would like to do when they grow up.  Not in words . . but in the things that give them joy consistently”, writes Markland, whose joy in words is infectious.  Born in Iowa, which she calls the Camelot of coffee and pie, Markland lives in Nebraska and has wintered in Hawaii for 40 years.  Her writing has appeared in the Saturday Evenig Post and, yes, Hallmark cards.”

When in Rome . . . . .


Doris in Rome

Doris in Rome

One last photo from my brief series on being youngerly.  This one was taken in 1976 when I was 50, so you must know that I consider 50 to be very young.

You may think this is a treasured memory of a wonderful evening a few miles outside of Rome, where we toured beautiful gardens and were served lots of wine and Italian food.  On my right, my 13-year-old son is laughing at the waiters who set me up for this picture.  My husband, on the other side of him, is enjoying it too.

Yes, it was a night we will never forget.  On the way back to Rome, on a bus, I discovered that my billfold was missing from my purse.  The next day was our last day in Rome.  We spent it at the police station and the U. S. Embassy.  A police report was finally written, in English, but the typist had his hands on the wrong keys so not a word was readable.  The embassy replaced my passport.  American Express replaced my travel checks.  We all survived but missed a day of our vacation.

I kept the picture to remind me of what can sometimes happen when you allow someone to draw your attention completely away from where it ought to be.  I’m assuming this is a picture of the exact moment a waiter dropped his hand to the floor by my chair and found my billfold.

When in Rome, don’t do as the tourists do.

Ho Down in Paradise

This is another in my series of youngerly photos.  It was taken in 1989 when I was 64. In all the years I had never seen Don Ho, a very popular Hawaiian entertainer you might remember from his songs Tiny Bubbles and Pearly Shells.  So one night we went, my sister and her husband and myself.  One reason was that we had met and become acquainted with one of the young singers in his show.

The show was very good.  Don sang a lot, but the real focus of the show was on the stage full of young musicians and entertainers that he promoted and performed with. When the show ended, my sister and I went to the stage to speak to the young singer we knew . . the one who sang in the highest possible falsetto.  He invited us up on the stage and then asked if we had ever met Don Ho.  When we said no, he said “follow me” and took us backstage to a tented area marked private for Don Ho.

Mr Ho was signing albums there, but asked us to go on inside his private tent. When he joined us and we were introduced, Mr. Ho asked if we would share a bottle of champagne with him.  But of course we did, and conversation flowed freely.  He was enjoying it and opened a second bottle, so we talked for quite a long time, and he insisted a picture be taken of our group.  I am sitting next to him, my sister and husband next.  The young man we knew, on the left behind us.  The others were people from his show.

It was a delightful evening. I must say.  For those of you who remember Don Ho and the various stories that sometimes circulated about him, he was a perfectly delightful man.  We learned, among other interesting things, that every young person on the stage with him would have their college education paid for by him. Doris with Don Hoclick to enlarge picture

Aloha . . . . .

Doris in Hawaii Airport

Click to enlarge picture.

Another in my series of pictures when I was youngerly.  I’m finding that I can’t resize some of these older pictures, the ones taken by a photographer who later sells the picture to you.

This photo was taken in 1975 in the Honolulu airport.  Yes, I was as happy as I look.  This was my second trip to Hawaii, and it was a vacation package so that explains why there was someone waiting to give me a welcome lei and a hug.  (Gene was welcomed by a cute little wahine.)  Now I have made this trip for 40 years in a row so you would think it would no longer be exciting to step off the plane there.  Ah, but it is.  And now it is often a friend who welcomes me with hugs and flowers.

I must say there have been some changes in the trip itself.  In “the old days” Hawaiian music would be playing as we boarded the plane.  We would be wearing our best clothes.  The stewardesses would be wearing muumuus and they’d have flowers in their hair.  The nuts passed out were macadamia nuts.  The meal served throughout the plane was Hawaiian or oriental, on china plates, and the popular drink was a maitai with fresh pineapple. There was such a feeling of excitement throughout the plane for both the vacationers and also for Hawaiians who were returning home.

Now, I must say, the trips I’ve taken to Honolulu in recent years were like trips I’d take to any city.  We wear something close to gym clothes with tennis shoes.  There is no music.  The attendants no longer laugh and have fun with us.  There is no meal in coach, although you can buy a weird little plate of snacks.  The person beside me or on both sides of me is a complete stranger and I have to wake him up and climb over him if I want to go for a walk.

However . . . one can improvise and create the feeling of a special trip to a special place.  With my iphone and my ipad and my earbuds I can play Hawaiian music.  I can buy macadamia nuts here now, and I can take them on the plane.  I can eat before I fly and will not have to interrupt my Netflix movie or my vacation book or my nap.  And it’s good to get some rest after the hard work of packing, making arrangements, getting to the airport.  When you step into Hawaiian time you will have somehow lost four or five hours.  But there will be Hawaiian music in the airport and flowers and hugs,  and cars and busses and taxis waiting to take you along the ocean to your room.

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