Good Days and Bad Days . . . . .

ISnow 2018

This picture has nothing to do with today’s post except, perhaps, that we have our good days and our bad days. That was a bad day in Nebraska recently while I was having a good day in Hawaii.

But today, not so good.

You know that creepy little 4-note song we hum a phrase from when we sense something creepy going on? I usually give it words:  do-do-do-do,. I  hummed it just this morning.

I received a notice that my monthly bill had not been paid, the one that covers my phone, my cell phone, and my computer service. I thought that strange because it has long been paid automatically by my Visa card. That is my United Explorer card and it is handled by Chase bank. So I went to and they did not recognize my password. or my I.D. and said they had no record of me, even after I gave my credit card number to a spooky voice. I then called United where I listened to a spooky voice giving me choices that didn’t fit my problem and then returned me to their really spooky squeaky version of the United theme song that used to sound so beautiful as we took off for Hawaii years ago, the years when the stewardess, yes I said stewardess, wore a muumuu and flowers in her hair and they passed out macadamia nuts. <sigh>.

My credit card has no record of me?  Did I perhaps die and don’t know it yet? I made calls but no human was available either because it is the weekend . . or because we can’t deal with humans anymore.  And machines do not listen when I say “But you don’t understand. I’ve had this number for years. It is me that has this number and it has always paid this bill. I have not cancelled it and the card is good yet for several years.”

Really, are you not sick of dealing with recorded voices that don’t offer an extension number that fits your need?  And recordings that sound creepy because you are on the line with someone In the Philippines or Jamaica?

Hm. If the credit card company has completely lost its record of me, yet still charges me  it sounds a bit like the government. Something creepy has crept into our systems in this country and we receive notifications that leave us saying “Whaaa . . . .??)

It’s got to be the devil himself screwing things up, since we have such wonderful systems now for doing just that. Imagine how quickly you can convince great numbers of people that they are losing their minds when you tell them every few weeks that their password is wrong on every account and that no one has ever heard of them.

What if I decide I’ve had enough of earth life and want to go home and I put in a call for an escort service to see me out and I’m met with a voice that says “Please enter your password.” ???   I put in my name, and a voice says that is not recognized as my password. And then, although I’m a good girl and never swear, I give a big sigh and say “Jesus!”   And then begins a ray of light.

Waikiki and me . . . . .

Hawaii Print2

This is a very old picture we found once in an old store. It was on some kind of rough paper. So it is a bit rough, yet it captures the feeling of the beach and Diamondhead. I wish I had been here when it was that simple, when the beach was that wide and not crowded. It’s still nice, of course, but I don’t sun there anymore or go in the water. The waves come in very strong and you have to be strong as well to handle them. Furthermore, in a bathing suit I don’t look as good as I once did, and getting from a lying position to a standing position is something you wouldn’t want to watch.

But I sometimes sit on a bench in the shade near the water and enjoy the scene. There is something healing about the ocean, just to be near it. It is something you feel but cannot describe. Looking out over the water takes you into dreamland and breathing the salty cool breeze renews you. It is the best of both worlds when the sun is warm and the breeze is cool . . and that is Waikiki this time of year.

I have written about the fact that there was no body of water near me where I grew up in Iowa. (See My Half of the Conversation) and even my first view of a lake was astounding to me. I envy those who are at home in water, who are strong swimmers and have no fear of going out too far. I envy the fun they have in water. Yet I have athletic friends who are just as curious about how at home I am onland with a piece of paper and a pen. That is yet another world where the mind roams in spaces many never experience.

Choosing our nature, our background, our interests, our abilities, our future,  may not be something  that just happens. It may be something we carefully planned. What an interesting thought.




Wondering about wonders . . . . .


One thing that didn’t make sense to me as a child is the fact that the earth is round. . and it is rotating. It would seem that people might fall off it at times. So it seemed to me.But then I have never understood electricity or what makes a plane stay up in the air or how the words and music come through a radio.

I wrote a poem, I think in my first book, about seeing the horizon as a car coming over the hill or the sun going down. But here, in my little home by the ocean, I see a sight that really shows me the earth is round. It is a large ship approaching. I can tell it is on a curved surface because first I see just the tip of it, a tiny black spot on the horizon. And then very gradually it rises until I can make out it is a ship, seemingly small. But as it comes entirely into view it grows in size, and when it sails into the harbor it is, as I might say, humongous.

But then, to explain a rainbow, something we see here so often. How the light breaks into colors, very uniform, always the same, and spreads across the sky and curves in a grand display. This is awesome and it affects people that way. As many times as I’ve seen rainbows I will always stop whatever I’m doing to give it my full attention,.Then again I have to wonder how you can mix all colors together and get white.

Another thing I experience in awe is lightning. At home, whenever there’s a storm, I try to be where I can watch the show in the sky without really being in danger. A summer storm in Nebraska is almost as good as the fourth of July. We don’t often have storms of that kind in Hawaii, but in the past few years I have seen it a few times. When lightning strikes over the ocean it is indeed a light show.

Our lives on earth are so full of wonder-filled moments. People hug trees and so love flowers they use them always to express love they can’t put into words. They climb rocks and mountains to go higher, explore caves to go deeper, and travel in water channels they did not create.

I do think, when we get to the place in our lives where we have, for the most part, fulfilled our responsibilities, we see our world in new ways because we have time for it.I remember, as a child, how I explored the farm every day, discovering new things and stopping to appreciate them, in awe. I believe these are the feelings that return when we are old. It is a good thing.

Today I’m posting some pictures that show Roxy when his owner Bill Smith from Texas took him to see some awesome sights in Honolulu a few years ago. The big ship was ready to dock in the harbor by the Aloha Tower. The small boat was in the harbor because of the annual Chinese celebration.

Roxy and dragon


I H. . . (Don’t Accept) Hatred. . . . .

I’m having a problem these days dealing with the hatred creeping into our culture. It’s not good. It’s not the norm.

When I read some people’s remarks in newspapers and online, their hate simply oozes out of each sentence. I can see that person’s face as he speaks the words I’m reading. It is twisted and ugly. It is not really him/her. It is Frankenstein-ish.

Hate is one thing that is foreign to our basic nature. We come into this world filled with love, but never with hate. Hate we inherit, just as we copy and echo the emotions and the language of our parents and others around us. If they respond to people, thoughts and incidents with anger, we are likely to respond to life in the same way. A pool of anger in our system is a pool of germs and angry people who live with this pool often suffer. They also pass it on in their contacts with other people. In particular, they pass it on to their children, and many people grow up never realizing it isn’t really their anger.

I know I have said things like “I just hate it when it’s cold” or “I just hate income tax time.”  I can also say “I hate it that people are feeling such hatred.” But hating people is another thing. Still, I’m going to drop the word from my vocabulary if I can. It is an old habit I acquired and a stupid one at that.

The hatred that we are seeing, hearing and feeling these days is just that, a habit of responding to people and to situations with emotion. It does not solve anything, and it is catching.

In this particular season it seems an epidemic, the worst ever.

Oh, you know. The one who . . . . .

You may not remember a person’s full name, as in Dr. John Edward Dohicky II, but you’d do well to at least refer to him and remember him as John. Still, it is probably true that you know many people named John, so there must be a key to place this man in your mind. Then when someone asks just what John you are talking about, you can say, “You know…the one who still does a low whistle when a pretty girl walks by, or the John who takes up collection at church, or the John who is always smiling even when he is talking.

So what about Mary? It’s a really old name yet still given to baby girls, coupled with another name, so that she becomes Mary Sue, Mary Ellen, Mary Ann or Mary Monica, That should make it easier to remember her name, yet I know so many Mary Sues and Mary Anns. So if  I meet them unexpectedly I may have to quickly sort through all the names that fit the face.  But there are other clues and other ways I may refer to this Mary.

If I should bring up her name at coffee and a friend asks me what Mary I am talking about, I am likely to say something like “Oh, you know. The Mary who is always talking about her dog, or the Mary who has a braid in the middle of her ponytail. “Oh, that one,” they will say.

One must wonder how others identify them in this way. I would not be surprised if I’m referred to as the woman who talks too much or the woman who is always daydreaming and then asking people what they just said.

A name can be a burden or a blessing depending on the contribution we make to it. Years ago I took a course meant to teach us a lot about our true natures and our purpose in life. The teacher asked me if I were living up to my name and I puzzled all day yet was unable to see how one could live up to the name Doris. It was much later that I took a look at my second name, Markland, and began to wonder if I was leaving a mark on the land.

Now you know why I named my blog And why my name is on the front of two books.

Something funny happened yesterday. I received a message from Netflix that read, “Doris, Grace and Frankie is returning for another season.” I puzzled and puzzled but couldn’t remember any TV show with the name Doris in it.  All right, laugh if you must, and remember me as the Doris who misses the obvious.

I wonder if it might be a good exercise to start a list, a list of phrases people might use to identify me. My second goal may be to revise the list as I’m able to remove things like the Doris who interrupts others when they are talking, the Doris who is always clearing her throat, or the Doris who can’t seem to remember a darn thing.

Problem is I won’t remember where I put the list.

Close Call . . . . .



Well, no that isn’t an explosion. I think it’s fog. And I think it is in Japan, not in Hawaii. But it’s all I could find. These days it is not as easy to find pictures online as it used to be. Now they ask you to register, to pay money, and it gets complicated.

However, I wasn’t able to get a picture of the big atomic explosion in Honolulu this morning because there wasn’t one. The alert signal in my room did sound but no voice told me why, so I ignored it. Only later did I see on TV that there was a big scare here today. If I had heard the warning I wonder if I would have been scared. I understand that people hid in bathtubs and strange places, but I would guess with an atomic bomb that no place would shelter you and no prayers would stop the bomb.  Certainly you wouldn’t have time to put your life in order. So if you’ve already done that you are one up on the game.

Meanwhile people, needing something to stir up, have passed by the men who have ravaged girls, and are now onto men who use bad words to describe conditions in a country and interpret it to mean bad words about its people . . who want to leave the country because of the bad conditions in the country. Just gotta bitch and blame. I have somehow managed to ignore this as I ignored the threat of an atomic bomb. Getting into the tub and covering myself with a mattress will not spare me from a bomb or from politics. But if I keep my cool, this whole thing might blow over and some good will come of it.

Stay safe and have a good day. Love from Hawaii. Rather, Aloha.


Islandish thoughts . . . . .

Rainbow March 2015

Back in Paradise I am living temporarily in a unit with the mountain view and it was up those mountainsides, which you can’t quite see in this picture, that New Years was beautifully acknowledged with fireworks . . although, on the other side of the building the fireworks were over the water. It was awesome all around.

I had no more than settled in when I bad had news from home. New Year’s Eve, when the weather was 28 degrees below zero in Nebraska, my grandson’s home caught fire and burned to the ground. He and family escaped with their lives but nothing else. How convenient then, when they had no place to go, that my house was empty. I was glad they had a warm place to go. They are, of course, horribly stunned, and there is a fund going online for help, and there may be local help. But everything they owned is gone. So sad.

I went for a stroll a while ago and met a family from New Zealand (although he actually was from Scotland) and when they learned I was from Nebraska He lit up and began telling me how much he enjoyed the movie Nebraska.  When he learned the movie was filmed where I live he was really excited, and especially so when he learned that I was tested for a part and had two very lovely social meetings with Alexander Payne.

Even here my ordinary life must continue and I will see a eye specialist tomorrow who probably will give me a injection in the eye. And you thought I would be sunning on the beach? Climbing Diamondhead? Surfing on the North Shore? No. Life must go on and I must tend to seeing that it does.

I will be watching for things I can write about from here, but more likely I will think of things to write about that I just hadn’t gotten to yet. In 92 years lots can happen so fast they cannot be acknowledged until later when you have lots of time to think, to dream, to remember, to analyze, to treasure. And now that my second book is out, my schedule is free . . to daydream, to explore, to maybe do nothing . . . . . . unless some really good ideas come floating in.

Hope you are all someplace warm and with good things happening for you. Happy New Year.























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