Featured Stories

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73: R&R

R & R Half of my heart is deployed. ~Author Unknown Joyfully, I watched the 707 slip out of the sky and touch down on the runway at the Honolulu International Airport. The terminal was filled with excited people eager to greet their loved ones. Eight long months of waiting, wanting, hoping and praying were over, at least for a while. My husband and I would have one glorious week of R&R before he went back into harm’s way. Hawaii was the perfect place to meet since it was situated between the West Coast and Vietnam, not to mention that it sounded very romantic. I had purchased a new outfit for the occasion and invested in contact lenses so my black-rimmed glasses wouldn’t get in the way of the long passionate kiss that I anticipated. While waiting for the plane to turn around, I couldn’t stop smiling as I thought of our whirlwind courtship. Two years earlier, with my teaching degree in hand, I had accepted a position in Laguna Beach. In 1966, young people from the Midwest were flocking to the West Coast, where there was a golden promise of plentiful jobs and higher salaries. Having grown up in South Dakota, the weather in California sounded heavenly and the opportunity was too exciting to pass up. Camp Pendleton and other military bases in Southern... (more)
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74: Hello?

Hello? Home is where you can say anything you like cause nobody listens to you anyway. ~Author Unknown I received a call from a boy with whom I went to high school. Of course, he’s not a boy now. He’s forty-something like I am but that’s the great thing about childhood friends. When you run into them — after you get over the initial “I know I don’t look THAT old” — it can be like looking at a hologram or one of those Magic Eye pictures. You look at this rapidly-approaching-middle-aged businessman/ father-of-four/saving-for-retirement individual but even as you do, that puckish, fresh-faced boy wavers into view… then out again… then back. But you definitely catch fleeting glimpses of him in there — somewhere — almost like he’s waving at you from beneath the crow’s feet and laugh lines. Your own inner cheerleader stirs inside of you and you forget — for a second — that what he’s seeing in you is a woman who forsook her grandmother’s advice, “You have to suffer to be beautiful,” and opted to be comfortable: a few extra pounds, a hairdo that was the height of fashion about ten years ago (but you know how to do it so you keep it) and a body where low-riding... (more)
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75: All About Eve

All About Eve O jealousy! thou magnifier of trifles. ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller There, at the bottom of the bedroom closet, I found it — a small slip of paper with the hastily written phone number for a woman named Eve. There was no way to deny the soft bend of my husband Bill’s “v” and the way he crossed his sevens, European-style. It was his handwriting, all right. My hand shook as I tried to imagine a logical explanation for why my husband would have another woman’s phone number hidden in the inner recesses of our closet. Only moments before, as I readied my suitcase for vacation, I had been thinking that I was the luckiest woman I knew. Bill and I had celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary the previous week with a special dinner at a restaurant where we had one of our first dates. During the meal, he surprised me with the promise of a second honeymoon to take place later that month. Then, after we returned home that evening we watched our wedding video for the first time in years, laughing at how young we once looked and marveling at all we had been through together since then. Illness, family issues, monetary problems — throughout it all, Bill had always been my stabilizing presence. That night, as I laid my head on... (more)
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76: Candy-Apple Sweet

Candy-Apple Sweet The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. ~Henny Youngman “Great drive!” one of my girlfriends remarked. “Your longest yet,” said another. “Thanks,” I replied sheepishly, as I put the head cover on and gently placed the golf club in my bag. “What did you use?” one of the girls asked. “Oh, it’s a club from the garage.” “Let’s see it.” I pulled it out and tugged the cover off. The candy-apple red head glistened in the bright sun, the black shaft accentuated the brilliant color. “But that’s a seven wood.” “Yeah, you know I can’t hit a driver. I lose control of the big head on the down swing.” “Well, you hit that club further than all of us off the tee. Good job.” Weeks went by and I hit the sweet spot on that seven wood each and every time. It felt great to finally get some good drives down the fairway. But I knew it wouldn’t last. “You’re really hitting that club well. Where’d you get it?” “Ummmm,” I hedged, not wanting to reveal the truth. “Well, where did you buy it?” “I didn’t. It’s my husband’s club. And he doesn’t know I have it.”... (more)