Merry Morning . . . . .


Advent, Winter, Greeting Card, Mood


I’ve always been a good girl. I minded my mother and my teachers. I followed the rules. I seldom stepped out of line or took more than my share.

I planned my meals to include vegetables. I folded my clothes and put them away. I cleaned up after myself. Looked twice before I crossed the road.

So I’ve seldom done things out of the ordinary. Yet this morning, just out of bed, comfortably in my big leather chair, with a cup of coffee on the little folding side table that came from IKEA, I took an honest look at my situation.

It was three days away from Christmas Eve. I had just given myself a great gift. I had finished all the hard work of two big projects I’d set for myself for 2017. This morning I felt no need to hurry. It felt good to just do nothing and not to even THINK of doing something. If someone should come to the door, my nightgown is as good as a dress. Right?

I had covered well with my furry wrap and tucked it in around my edges, put my feet up on the ottoman and just sighed, relishing the delight of knowing there was nothing I needed to do, no place I needed to go, no one I needed to call, and no reason at all to regret growing old.

Then, so comfortably ensconced, I realized I was hungry. I had worked hard yesterday but eaten light. Now I didn’t want to undo myself and go to the kitchen. I was tired of cereal. I’d had pancakes for two days. Bacon and eggs were work. No, I’d like to just stay here in my chair.

And then I saw it. Right there, to my left, on the table that holds my lamp and, always, a box of Kleenex, and a few other things which I have described in my poem The Granny Nest (from the book Playing Life by Ear). What I saw would do. I would eat and I did and I will tell you what I ate if you promise not to tell.

For myself, for need . . for comfort . .for Christmas . .

I had Karmelkorn for breakfast.

Now you have a good day too. Merry Christmas.

Asleep at the Switch . . . . .



Have you ever been asleep at the switch and missed an opportunity and then wished you could turn time back?

This is what happened to me the other night. I was playing my favorite game of Scrabble online. I can sign on there at anytime I’m in the mood and find someone to play with me.

In a box beside the game there is a space where you can converse with your opponent if you wish.  Sometimes we may exchange information on where we live or say a thank you if our opponent grants us a little extra time to make a decision on a play.

My partner the other night said a hello in this space and we exchanged a few words. I told her I was in Nebraska.

Then the game began and I was concentrating so hard I never went back to that space and didn’t realize that she was asking me some questions. Just after the game ended and she signed off I found her questions and comments.. They went something like this:

You’re in Nebraska? My dad went there often to do research for his stories.

Did you ever see any of his shows on TV? He was M Landon and he did a lot of  stories for a number of years

She said a couple of other things that I can’t remember. But at this point I realized I had been playing Scrabble with one of Michael Landon’s daughters. In fact her online name was something like Michael’sgirl1.

I thought the world of that man and would have loved to visit with his daughter.

But I was asleep at the switch.






Looking back . . . . .





With Retro Specs

I must have been terribly ordinary

even unattractive, out of style,

dull and boring, thin in places,

thick in others, bookish, boring,

too tense to dance, too righteous

to swear or choose a

sexy thing to wear.

Thank God.

For no one ever

grabbed my cheeks or touched

my breast or asked me to

their room and closed the door.

Those were not the tools I used

To get ahead. Instead,

I had the look

of one well read, one of

whom it could be said

This girl knows who she is

and where she wants to go.

I think she plans to go alone and

later let us know.






Birthday blessings . . . . .



It was 53 years ago that this boy entered our life, at a time when his brother was ten and his sister thirteen. And I was 39. And Gene was 40.

At the time that was considered rather an old age to be having children. I remember when he was in kindergarten one of his classmates asked why his grandparents  came to school on parents day.

And yet when he was born it made me ten years younger. I was a young mother again, doing all the things young mothers do.

I have kept those ten years.  It was a gift. And now, at 92, people ask me why I look so young for my age.

Thanks, Tom, and happy birthday

Fly me to the moon . . . . .


Did you ever wish for something and then were told to forget it . . could never happen . . chances are one in a million.. But then it did happen?

Tuesday, after a family get together in Texas, several of us were booked to start our return home on a flight from Austin to Houston. And it was there at the Southwest gate that we were met by the First Officer himself, my son Tom.


We boarded early and, as you see, I had a quick lesson in piloting. As we prepared to leave, Tom announced on his mike that it would have to be a good flight because his mother was on board.

I can’t help remembering when Tom was a little boy traveling with us. He was a late child, ten years behind the others, so he always sat in front with us. But not on the seat.

He sat on that little pull-down armrest in the middle.

So cute. So dangerous. But this was before seat belts and government concern about our safety. I remember that the other two kids were all over the back seat and sometimes lying on that space under the back window.

Now if you are wondering who all these other people in the picture are, follow left to right:  my son John, my son Tom the pilot,, my great grandson Justin Schroeder, my grandson Dr. Jason  Schroeder Markland, my grandson  Richard Walters.

It was a good flight.

There’s a reason for everything . . . .



Yes, this is me when I was a little girl.

Every once in a while something happens that takes me back to when I was that little girl. Lessons we learned then are etched in our little minds. and will be there forever.

I’ve done some stupid things lately.  Like this morning a friend was coming to pick me up to take me to the bus station so the bus could take me to the airport. I was up early, bathed and packed, when I looked at the notes by my telephone and discovered I had given her the time the bus would leave in Omaha next week to take me home.

Or the day that i spent an hour looking for my earrings . . . and they were in my ears.

Or the day, you will remember, that I turned on my fireplace when the air conditioning was running.

And yet this sort of thing can be explained.

I was a good girl. I learned my lessons and I remembered them.

So this morning I thought about some of my recent silly mistakes and I found my answer. I know exactly how they happen and why. It all stems back to my mother and her advice that often started with the words “If I’ve told you once . . . ”

And then she gave me this rule that I still follow, to this day:







Look! Look! THE BOOK THE BOOK . . . . .

Egads! I found it on Amazon before I had even received the first, the author’s copy.  Anyway, it’s out, it’s for sale, and this is a rather poor picture I took of it sitting on my kitchen counter.

If you should want to order copies for yourself or for gifts I would certainly appreciate your doing it with     It is advertised on Amazon as well, but I must say that Amazon keeps most of the money, and I have an investment to recover. The book is also available in Norfolk, Ne at the Main St Bookstore and at the Abbey bookstore.  (or will be . . they’ve been ordered, not in yet)

I especially wanted to include older people among my readers so I put this book in larger print and in the old familiar Times Roman font, which for some reason is now rather out of style.

As you read, be aware of the section titles. The first section is Small Talk, and that is exactly what its brief stories are. Stuff we might exchange over coffee.

The second section is called Simply Sharing, and I am indeed simply sharing some experiences and what I learned from them, lessons about life.

The third section is called Soul Talk and here I talk about truths I have discovered, ideas that made sense, feelings and thoughts about life now and in the future. The reader must continue to be aware of the book title . . MY HALF of the conversation.

So I’ve left blank pages in the back of the book for the reader’s notes on their half of the conversation. I have encouraged them to send some of their thoughts to me, and I’ve given my email address and blog address. I do so hope my readers will share. And if they do, in numbers, can you guess what the title of my next book will be? What a great idea, eh?

Now I will be busy giving readings in libraries around this part of the state, maybe dipping into Iowa and South Dakota as well. Even though I no longer drive, thanks to my cautious children, and will have drivers to deliver me and my books. Let us hope we can hold back the snow for a while and keep the sun shining. Sharing is the part I like best about writing.

That’s why I have a blog.                                             – D. M.

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