Sun Lakes Writers’ Group


Ruby Regina Witcraft

While having lunch with my longtime lady friends, after a year long absence from each other, and anticipating seeing what they look like now. We were still practicing the distancing habit and didn’t hug or even touch each other, which was our previous 2020 habit, so we felt safe and happy to see each other. The year-long phone calls just didn’t do the trick like actually eye-balling them to see how the past year had treated them. Some had gained weight but, for some reason, I had lost 10 pounds. Smirk! Smirk! Smirk!

I dressed to emphasize the weight loss by actually wearing a belt which I saved from skinnier days. I put on a pair of drop dead black shoes, which I hadn’t worn before and, truly, did not feel very comfortable. So what. This get together required, and could tolerate a little pain, as a year of sweatpants and slipper socks just wouldn’t cut this occasion.

Although, sitting a safe distance from any other table, I could still hear a pronounced mumbling and could not stop listening as it sounded like two ladies were talking about me. Such as, “Can you believe what she did to us?” and, “Where does she get the nerve to hurt our feelings like this, especially, after what we did for her through many, many years of, what we thought, was real friendship? Well, as they say, let no good deed go unpunished.” “You’ve got that right!” said her partner. “Tell you what we can do to show her who is boss,—is just relax and stretch out.” “Good, idea.” Ah, what a relief, just to be able to wiggle your toes, and kick off those miserable, drop dead, black shoes. So what, if she has to walk out of here barefoot. Serves her right.

One Door Opens…

Barbara Schwartz

It has been said that when one door closes, another opens. That is, of course, referring to opportunity.

But what happens, when one door closes, self locks, and you are on the outside? Hardly opportunity, I would say. Shock sets in. Words are spoken. Deep breaths are taken. Stop. Think. Did I leave a key hidden somewhere? Where would it be? It is almost as bad as trying to remember the latest password that you changed on the computer.

Many, many years ago, Millie had the opportunity to take her elderly friend, Jane, to the market. Millie was feeling really good about herself because Jane was alone, having been widowed several years before, and did not drive. So once a week, she picked up Jane and they had a little lunch and then went to the market. And it went on for a very long time. One day, Jane was feeling particularly alone and was complaining to Millie that no one ever came over to see her and stay for tea. Millie was trying to be considerate and thoughtful towards Jane and was struggling to think of what to say to that comment. Millie pulled up in front of Jane’s home, shut off the engine, left the key in the slot and got out to help Jane with her groceries. Jane, got out, hit the automatic door lock button, thereby locking the car with the purses of both women and the keys to the car locked inside. Speechless at first, Millie turned to Jane and screamed, “Why in the world did you do that? You have NEVER done that before,” and she was dumbfounded when Jane claimed that she was “just trying to help.” Millie tried to remember where the spare key was: Oh, right there inside her purse that was in the locked car.

Mind you, this was the days before the advent of the ubiquitous cell phone. Jane’s neighbor let Millie use her phone and she called her son to bring over the spare keys to the car. Her son came over shortly thereafter and delivered the keys and then promptly left to go back home.

Car was opened and purses retrieved when Jane mentioned, “Do you see what I mean? Your son didn’t even stay to visit.” Millie, wisely—very, very wisely—gave a smile to Jane and drove off. Strangely, the next week, Millie “had an appointment” and couldn’t take Jane shopping. She did, however, get back to Jane the following week. But only AFTER she made Jane promise that she would never touch any buttons in the car again. NEVER, EVER again.

Case proved: one door closes and another sometimes another opens…

The Rocking Chair

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

When I was born and the warmth of my mother’s arms wrapped around as she rocked and cuddled me was a wonderful feeling and love she shared with me. As I grew up and was able to walk and hang tightly to my mom’s hand I felt safe and loved knowing she was close by. My room I slept in was shared and in a corner of the bedroom was a beautiful rocking chair with pillows and a cozy blanket. Mom shared a story with me which made my eyes open so wide with delight. She told me this rocking chair was my grandma’s, which made this even more special as days gone by.

Our family moved and the chair came with us each time. Mom told delightful stories. Sometime she read my very favorite fairy tales, i.e., Cinderella, Snow White, and many more. As I grew year after year I sat many times at her feet as she rocked in the chair and shared her precious love.

As time passed I had moved to Virginia for a government position with the United States Navy. My mom encouraged me to take the rocking chair with me for remembrance. Mom was growing older, however still managed to visit me in Virginia. Trains were always her favorite. She became friendly with the conductors and train men who looked after her during her ride. I had a bedroom with our rocking chair ready for her. Still in great shape. With pillows and a cozy blanket.

She became ill and stayed with me in Virginia until she was ready to move back to New Jersey. Not soon after, I was transferred to North Carolina with the Navy, and the rocking chair came with me.

I returned to Northern Virginia and lived there for many years. The rocking chair always made center stage wherever I lived. It had fond memories and it was always in great condition. One day, I met a wonderful man named John, and married. By now John and I had retired and went out searching for a warmer climate. We found a lovely home in Chandler, Ariz. After 10 years in Chandler, we decided to find a home in an Active Retirement Community. Sun Lakes, Ariz. Only four miles from our home in Chandler. Movers came, packed us up and moved us to Sun Lakes. The last piece of furniture off the truck was my beautiful rocking chair broken in many pieces. And many pieces of love and sentiments along our way.

I have many interests here in Sun Lakes. The Writer’s Group for instance. Folks who share great stories to tell and write about and share their talent with all. I volunteer with Neighbors Who Care. Also some of my time is spent with the Sun Lakes Women’s Association. Recently, during one of our sales, I decided to take a rest and sit for a while. I overheard one of our members saying she was trying to give her rocking chair away. I was a little bit forward however, I was interested. That afternoon I went to see the rocking chair. It took my breath away because not only was there one but there were two in excellent condition. I told her my story. I then asked the price. She said take them free they are yours. One for me and one for my mom in heaven.

Thank you, I have my rocking chair back home.