Sun Lakes Writers Group

Do you enjoy writing? Stories? Memories? Family histories?

Please plan on attending our Sun Lakes Writing Group. We meet at the Cottonwood Ceramics Room (A-8) on each Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Please arrive at 12:30 p.m. for easy conversation before we start our group at 1 p.m. Each week, we choose two words to write on the following week. You can use either one or both words or, if you choose, you can use words of your own choice!

We do not critique any writings unless you personally ask for opinions. We are a fun group and we enjoy our creativity. We break for refreshments halfway through the meeting.

Please call Barbara at 480-388-0190 for further information.


Ruby Regina Witcraft

Most women I know are obsessed with this subject. Weekly trips to the salon for a redo and maybe a dye job. Fortunately, I don’t have the need for this time-consuming effort as, thanks to my naturally, curled, haired mother, she passed this gene on to me. My bathroom is the only salon I need and if it should rain, guess what, it only gets curlier. I used to cut my own hair but got tired of it and now I go about every six weeks for a cut from a good friend who does a great job. Besides, we get caught up on the last six weeks’ doings. She is a fun gal and I like the fix she gives me; both hair and attitude.

When I was in grade school, a block from my house, the teacher had us all line up for a group picture on the steps. She continued to move me around and I thought that it was because I was so little. Speaking of little, little did she know that my mom thought she would spruce me up for the occasion and sent me to the salon for a permanent. Big mistake. I had the first “afro do” and the teacher sent me home for a hairnet. She was satisfied with the net and placed me in the first row.

Men, if they still have a full crop of hair, don’t seem to have the need for all this primping and a regular trip to “Ye olde barbershop” will do the trick for them. My husband foregoed that pleasure by allowing me to cut his hair on the back porch. I did a fairly decent job of it as he seemed pleased. However, he would mention a correction that seemed necessary that would go like this. “You got it a little thin on the sides the last time.” Or “The sideburns were a bit too short.” I would respond by flipping the top of his head with the comb and telling him that I was cheap and available. That usually ended the complaints.

Men used to have hairy chests but, at the pool, they all seem to be bare chested these days. Who’s doing all of that barbering now. I hope not some poor wife. I guess the need for tattoo space required the no hair look. Can you imagine a tattoo of a dragon or snake with black, curly hair? Ugh!

I hope the ladies of France woke up to the fact that all of that hair in, unmentionable places, is not as attractive as they might have thought.


Ruby Regina Witcraft

To my way of thinking, challenges are just a product of living. You get up in the morning and say, “What have you got for me today, God?” And though there is no answer you just know they are sitting out there waiting for you to muddle your way through.

I was born back in the days of Packard cars and innertube tires. Remember them? With great parents who taught me how to meet each challenge with common sense. This worked for me but my brother Johnny never saw a challenge that he couldn’t make more of. He was seven years older and my folks had me because they were afraid that he wouldn’t live very long because he was so daring. I lived vicariously in his endeavors.

While in a two-story school, West High, his imagination got the best of him and he took a brick of limburger cheese from our family restaurant. With three of his buddies, in cahoots, they smeared eight banisters with this terrible smelling cheese just to watch people sniff and gasp at their stinky hands. I thought it was pretty funny but the principal and my father took a dim view of his hijinks and he was expelled, after having to wash all eight banisters.

One day I got the message from some of the neighborhood kids that we were all to meet in Ambrosia’s abandoned ice house. You may be able to remember those, also. We were to bring smokes of any kind by order of my brother. I brought a pretend stick to smoke because I was too young to smoke. The ice house was full of smoke and kids turning green. The door was opened when we couldn’t stand it any longer. First thing I saw, through the smoky, open door, was my father’s face. He told me to go home and took my brother by the arm and walked him back into the ice house. He told him that, if he was old enough to smoke, he needed to know how to do it well. He lit up a cigar and handed it to Johnny and told him to inhale it as hard and as deeply as he could. My brother never smoked another cigarette for as long as he lived.

Even though seven years younger and a pest, Johnny looked after me in an indifferent, brotherly way. I knew something was afoot so I followed him one winter evening. He said the gang was going sledding and that I could ride along. Not knowing what this was all about, I got really excited, and a little surprised, to be included.

He showed me the sled, and though something looked familiar to me, I just couldn’t place the sled and really didn’t care. He made me sit in the front, right behind the pulling car, and told me to hold onto the connecting rope. I was glad later on. The car drove out into a nearby field and swerved so hard that it threw off three of the passengers, time and time again. I was safe but covered with wet snow from the tires throwing back slush. When I went to the restaurant to tell my folks what a fun night I had Mama said, “That was fine but go to the restroom and wash all of the gobboons off of your face.” I didn’t hear anything else except that Dad made my brother go back and rebuild Mr. Agristi’s board garden fence. Now I knew why the sled looked so familiar, we played baseball in the ally and Mr. Agristi’s garden fence was out of bounds. My brother made a night raid and tore down the fence for the sled. Now that, really, was some challenge!

My father seemed to be secretly tickled about the things my brother challenged but that may be because he may have pulled the same antics. He stowed away on a boat going to America when he was only 15. The fruit did not fall from this tree.

Oh, the Mysteries

Ten reflections of the mysteries of life:

1. The thermos bottle advertised as keeping hot things hot and cold things cold. How does it know?

2. The washing machine: You put in a full load and it always comes out with odd numbered socks. How does the machine eat them and where are they?

3. Why does the video tape or the DVR always go off with a minute of the very crucial football game left?

4. Why does your spouse always interrupt you when you are on the phone? And why is it when the person at the other end is asking you an important question?

5. Why and how do hangers multiply while in the closet? Try it: Put a dozen new hangers in the closet and see at least a dozen and a half the next time you open the closet.

6. Why does the shower simply run out of hot water just after you lather up?

7. Why is it that certain groceries go on sale the day after you have purchased them at the regular price?

8. How can you have a pantry and a freezer full of food and have nothing to eat?

9. Why can’t you find anything to purchase at the store that you just received a gift card? You found several things BEFORE the gift card arrived.

And finally, number the last one:

10. Why can’t you figure out what is going on in the brains of the opposite gender? What is going on in their minds?

There you have it: 10 little mysteries that will never be solved unlike finding the Colonel in the parlor with the candlestick as in the game of Clue. Sadly, life’s little clues do not always give you an answer!!

And that is why they are called mysteries…

Christmas Greetings 2019

Ruby Regina Witcraft

I thought I would reread this year’s Christmas missile as many of you were out of town and did not have the pleasure of hearing how wonderfully my family is doing. I would have mailed it to you but I could not afford the stamps. It would have seriously put a crimp in my pocketbook to the point that I would not have been unable to afford gin for my gin and tonics. A girl has to support her drinking habits above all else.

I still live in the same house going on 28 years and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else as all of the neighbors are lovely. As you know my house backs up to a little finger lake where all of the surrounding houses have wonderful displays of lights on the fences. The reflection on the water is lovely, especially if you are drinking. I didn’t feel too energetic this year but managed to droop a string of lights over each fence post. There were a few phone calls reminding me that the lights were ok but the naked mermaid was not in politically correct Christmas taste. They would really have objected to the cute six-foot outhouse ornament I brought from Oklahoma.

My across the street neighbor just pulled in with a humongous motorhome which, with his car, fills the whole cull-de-sac. I had to weedle the car out to go to the pool this morning and missed the motorhome and car but mashed my trash can flat as a pancake.

Yes, I still go to the pool almost every day but my swim friend said she was going to dump me if I kept on wearing a bikini at my age. She said the suit was ok but was embarrassed about everything that was hanging out of it. Even good friends get jealous!

I am relatively content, being a widow for the last five years, as I have many single ladies to associate with. However, I must watch my approach to them as, the other day at dinner at the club, I walked in and said, in a lively Christmas spirit, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Fifteen ladies got up from the table and walked out in a huff. How was I to know what they did in their previous lives. The remaining 10 gals got very red in the face but refused to leave their dinners.

I had brain surgery and everything went well but everyone sent cards saying, “We knew something was wrong with you all along.” You just can’t get good friends like that everywhere! Besides the operation being successful, I had a little surprise. My surgeon had the bedside manner of a rock but the doctor assisting was a peach. We got very friendly, if you know what I mean! I mentioned that it would be so easy for him to do a little nip and tuck procedure while he had my scalp pulled back. However, I didn’t think he took me seriously. Sure enough, after a month of the healing and the swelling subsided, I had a much tighter jawline. My new motto is, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Wish I had asked for a tummy tuck and a lift job but that is probably a little much to ask a brain surgeon.

My children are very successful. Jim-Bob is now living in Sweden and I hear he is enjoying his 100-foot yacht, Cessna airplane and his Aston-Martin auto. He deserves some happiness after spending five years in jail for embezzling $5 million from his old company. Don’t know if he will ever be able to get back into the United States.

Darla-May is a happy mother of six from six different men. She plans to marry whichever one of them who gets a job first. She has been doing well after being in rehab four times. Said she repeated because she really wanted to learn the routine.

Speaking of marriage. I can’t fault dear Darla-May as I am on my fourth live-in situation. Dear John has asked me to marry but I am suspicious that he is a little light in the loafers. I have little experience in this area but I have heard that you can change a gay man to straight with enough money in your bank account. I’ll let you know how that turns out next year. After all, even a blind sow finds an acorn once in a while.

Grandpa is doing well, after a stint of a few days in jail, for indecent exposure. His neighbor, Mrs. Pettigrew, the lady next door who nearly did him in with her deadly casseroles, bailed him out. It was nice of her and they are now a couple. He is in a wheelchair and she is on a walker. Wonder how that works out?

Uncle Marvin came over yesterday and his truck was riddled with bullet holes because he had to outrun the cops, after catching him trying to steal a motorcycle, out of a backyard. Last year he shot himself in the foot while trying to rob the same store. That man sure loves excitement. We Okies sure are a proud lot.

Have to admit I still miss the Oklahoma weather, especially the 40-mile-an-hour wind. All of this Arizona sunshine, blue skies, and warm weather surely gets tiresome but all of my friends and family make up for it.

Christmas will be quiet this year but I did buy myself a neat present.

A garbage disposal, who needs diamonds? I suppose I should take the Christmas tree down as there is a carpet of dry needles beneath and the dog has used it as a watering post. Not to be undone, the cat knocked all of the lower ornaments off and most all that is left is the pretty little angel at the top. Her skirt was so long that it covered most of the top and, when removed, exposed a tuft of green needles. Hope does live on eternally.

Having the whole family over for a belated Christmas dinner of hog’s hiney and hominy so I have to go butcher the hog.

Merry Christmas to y’all who are still speaking to me.