Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

Sooner or Later

Ellen Brittingham

“Sooner or later …” feels threatening like something difficult must be overcome whether you like it or not.

I can remember telling myself, “Sooner or later you’re going to have to …” I needed to get a chore done like cleaning a closet or raking the yard. It was facing the inevitable tasks of life you would like to ignore or put off until later. As we mature, we usually learn to not put things off. Just get going and get it done. I remember so many times allowing myself to face an unpleasant result like having to cram for a test or handing in a school project that was sub-par. I learned I hated those results enough that I quit allowing them to happen.

It’s inevitable that some things are going to show up in life that we won’t like. Getting wrinkles, becoming less physically able, forgetting stuff and feeling somewhat achy are all part of getting older. Of course, I knew this would happen if I were lucky enough to live this long. But what is better now than then?

Having free time is something I really enjoy about this time of life. I don’t worry about money or if my kids will become independent anymore. Those things have turned out okay. My parents are both deceased so I don’t worry about their well-being anymore. I still really enjoy lots of things like reading for pleasure, listening to music, learning new things, getting to be with friends often, getting to know and have fun with my grandchildren and enjoying food. I also love to express myself creatively by writing, drawing and playing piano. Life is good.

So now I can say to my kids, “Sooner or later you may be lucky enough to live as I do.”

Mother’s Day?

George Stahl

The whole idea of one day in the year being for mothers came about in 1907 when a woman named Anna Jarvis persuaded a Methodist Episcopalian church in Grafton, West Virginia to have a service dedicated to the mothers of the area. Her idea was that each family celebrate or honor the mothers in that family. After seeing the response to her idea, five years later Jarvis, unmarried and childless her whole life, trademarked the phrase, “2nd Sunday of May, Mother’s Day, Anne Jarvis Founder.” Then in 1914, just after WWI broke out, President Woodrow Wilson named Mother’s Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

In a twisted turn of events, six years later, Jarvis began a campaign to have the holiday denounced, and removed from the calendar. She was protesting the way the day became a commercial holiday. Despite her efforts, protests, and outrage against the day, her request fell on deaf ears, as President Wilson was not about to remove the holiday that America fell in love with. Not to mention the retailers, florists, candy peddlers, and jewelers who were prospering from the day. In light of a rapid start, a short scandal, and a final victory, Mother’s Day is May 14, the second Sunday of the month this year.

So, what to get the woman who raised you, or who is raising your children? There are millions of ideas ranging from a simple card with a heartfelt note, to a gift of extraordinary decadence and ceremony, depending on your mom’s taste and on your budget. Keeping in mind her way, her ideals, her ambitions and her taste, you are sure to pick the right gift for her. The old saying about it not being about the gift, but the thought, is not wasted on mom’s love. The idea of your intentions is what warms her heart, and triggers her tears.

As you watch her touch the bag or box or envelope you hand her, remember one moment in your life where she gently reached out to you and picked you up, dusted off your new pants, and asked you if you were okay. The love and guidance, and comfort she brought to you that moment, was soon replaced by a woman yelling at you for getting your new pants dirty, just before you were supposed to leave for the church social. She pulled you up by the arm and practically threw your dirty self into the car, slamming that huge, heavy Chevy door behind you.

She mentioned several times how she had been telling you, then begging you not to get those knees dirty. It was practically the only thing she talked about all the way to the church that day. It was that ray of discipline and teaching that you carried with you all of your life from that day forward. That’s what moms did. Your PTSD of the event never allowed you to go to church after that day, but you were always careful not to let your knees touch fresh grass ever again.

Moms are mothers, teachers, best friends, nutritionists, and drill sergeants. They are the ones who come into your room after your alarm has gone off to get your butt out of bed for school, they are the ones who drive you to games, parties, sleepovers, practice and school. Moms help you with your homework, they build that volcano that spits out lava, or they help you to write that essay on some guy in history that gets you an “A”. Mom is the one who tells you to eat up, brush your teeth, make your bed and clean up your room. Mom is the one who teaches you about the practical and necessary things that will help you get your life together and keep it that way.

So, one day a year? Not hardly. The second Sunday of May might be Mother’s Day on the calendar, but every day is Mother’s Day in our hearts. Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day, Mom.


Joan Berger

No matter how many closets I have, there is never enough room for everything. I have tried reorganizing, but I seem to end up with the same amount I started with.

Even when I sort things by season by taking out the clothes I don’t need for that season, I end up bringing them back as soon as the weather changes.

I can’t seem to get rid of clothes I don’t wear anymore. If they don’t fit or look good anymore, I feel I should give them another chance. Some of them have had too many chances. I have made excuses for keeping them, like I will look again after I lose 10 pounds, or someday this style will come back.

There were times I pulled out all the clothes that I haven’t worn in a long time. I tried on the ones I still wanted to keep. After putting them in bags to be donated, I held onto the bags just in case I changed my mind. By the time I finally decided to donate them, I felt guilty for keeping them so long.

This is also my problem with shoes. There was a time when I needed shoes for work, usually somewhere between a high heel and low heel that could be worn with either a skirt or pants. I used to buy all different colors. I have since added sandals, sneakers, and cushioned shoes for my much abused older feet. Over the years, I no longer hold onto high heels but find it hard to part with shoes that cause me a lot of pain.

The time has come again for me to put into practice #1 Clean out everyday closet. #2 Sort clothes into Donate-bags, Keep-bags, and Throw-out bags. And most of all “Do not hold onto the bags.”

As long as I am committing myself I may as well commit to the one closet I cannot bear to clean out.

This is the coat closet in my guest room. It holds my favorite winter coats and jackets that I couldn’t part with when we moved to Arizona from New York. They have never been worn in the 15 years we’ve lived here. I’ve made many excuses for keeping them such as I may need them if we travel back east in the winter. We’ve always traveled during spring or summer, and even if we did, they probably wouldn’t fit. So much for my guest room closet, the time has come.


Ruby Regina Witcraft

Not a glamorous subject but have you ever wondered what your feet do for you without complaining, well, most of the time.

They can do the turkey trot or a beautiful waltz, rumba, or any dance you desire to do. They have been known to run a race or walk miles to see your sweetheart, kick someone in the seat of the pants and shuffle when you are embarrassed.

Bunions and corns are ignored when they are in the process of you making a winning 100-yard dash to the finish line. If you don’t want to go forward they can back you up or even go sideways. Kick a field goal or punt for the winning point. They are remarkable ice or roller skating. You can’t perform an axel or triple twist with any other part of your body.

Walking down the aisle in a beautiful gown or when your little one is christened. You might get a knot on your head if you ever cartwheel without using a push-off with your feet. Skipping is a fun thing for your feet to do and it, also, makes you tickled. Men have such tight pants now that they have what I call “Clowns Feet” because they stick out so far. No one is sure if a pedicure is as much adored as the foot owner is in open toed shoes that are too small. Thanks to your feet you can take a little walk with your dog, walk, around the world or for your health.

I love shoes but, unfortunately my feet hate them. Whatever else you do, be kind to your feet by massaging them after a long soak in a mineral bath.

If they could talk they would be saying, “Aaaah. Thank you for remembering me away down here.”

The Recliner

F. David Rolf

A Recliner is simply a wonderful thing

it’s where you’ll find comfort and rest

There are so many chairs from which you can choose

but a recliner is always the best

You’ll find chairs that sit tall and some that will swivel

or there could be one that just rocks

To enjoy your relaxing, I suggest you kick back

take off your shoes and your socks

With your feet way up high and your head leaning back

then why wouldn’t one take a snooze?

So comfy you’d be—one might stop and think

they’re at sea—on a wonderful cruise

Whatever you feel—for however long

one couldn’t do anything finer

Than to happily end your troublesome day

by relaxing in your own Recliner