Sun Lakes Writers’ Group – April 2015

Getting Lucky

Phyllis Bayles

Some hope to get lucky at the casino. Men think it has to do with dating. It could refer to gas prices before a road trip. Athletes tell me it has to do with final basketball shots.


At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.

Closet Escapades

Dee Rysdahl

Those mirrored closet doors look innocent enough, but I wonder what kind of shenanigans go on behind them. They aren’t well-lit for starters, and we all know that dim-lit spaces can cover up a multitude of sins.

Then, down through the years I have noticed that the closets mysteriously shrink. They used to do a much better job of containing my wardrobe. I haven’t actually ever measured them, but they aren’t handling things so well any more.

Beginning with the floor, those shoes are a problem. They go in strongly committed as pairs but don’t stay monogamous for long causing one to suspect hanky panky. They seem to be playing footsie with any shoe but their mate when I look for a pair, and they aren’t a bit discriminating either, snuggling up to any old shoe.

I suspect that a big game of hide-and-seek goes on behind those closed doors as it gets harder and harder to find what I’m looking for, and as I do so, a stranger will often pop up prompting me to wonder when I bought that. Worse yet, it still has a tag hanging from it, causing an uncomfortable feeling of guilt.

Those hangers are a problem too behaving themselves only on a rod. Try to corral unused ones, and as soon as they get together a battle ensues with it becoming almost impossible to part them.

A totally different group are the belts, so insecure that any contraption to contain them seems to insist that each be handled before the desired one can leave the group. Here, again, that seemingly contagious shrinking problem rises its ugly head.

It’s clear that something must be done with this closet problem, and I fear it involves saying goodbye to some old friends and even some that never made it to the old friend stage, and hello to a thrift shop.

Valentine’s Day

Sydell Rochman Pascale

The old lady opened her eyes and knew at once that she was all alone in the house and that it was Valentine’s Day. On many a morning the day was not always so clear. There were times that the night’s dreams conflicted with her waking moments. She would find herself hazy with fatigue and unsure of her whereabouts.

However, this morning had a clarity that was almost painful. The old lady looked down at her age deformed body and shivered. She hated being old and lumpy, with grotesque arms and lumps of cellulite caressing her buttocks and belly.

She got out of bed and put on her favorite cozy warm flannel bathrobe. The robe was a deep shade of purple. The old lady remembered buying the bathrobe at Victoria’s Secret, in the days when they sold clothing for real people, not soft porn clothing like you see on

As was her habit on Valentine’s Day she went into the living room and looked at her collection of enamel boxes. The collection was large and covered most gift giving occasions. This morning she opened the little glass door of the cabinet where she kept her collections and took out her favorite boxes. They were round enamel little treasures. Every year there was a different design and a different saying on the box. She picked each one up and remembered her husband giving them to her. It was a precious memory.

The old lady sighed and went into the kitchen to run on her coffee maker. She only drank Jamaica Blur Mountain coffee, which was purchased at an obscene price. But, she enjoyed it, this cup of warm deliciousness that her husband had always brought to her. It started off her day and almost allowed her to go back in time and feel young again.

There was the sound of a key turning in the lock and in came her husband carrying a large bouquet of red carnations. Carnations were her favorite flower because of their long life. Roses wilted in a week, but carnations lasted for at least three weeks. The old lady went up to the old man and they embraced, lovingly and happily. The old man said “Happy Valentine’s Day my darling, I love you.” “Go sit down in your easy chair and I will bring you your coffee.” Life was good for the old lady!

Pondering the Goal

Jean Culver

So here it is the middle of February. How are we all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions? Actually I didn’t make any resolutions this year, or in the last several years as a matter of fact. It seems like we all get hung up on the weight we need to lose or vow to join a gym or to work out more. We almost always fail, I think statistics will show, of meeting the goal of a New Year’s Resolution. I like to joke that I want to start a Procrastinator’s Club, but I just never get around to it. Maybe we just set our sights too high. Or maybe the goal isn’t realistic, or maybe we just don’t have the “fire in the belly” passion to stick with it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a goal within reach, not some phantom objective that will elude us indefinitely?

So I’m making a list of do-able (or at least partially do-able) actions I can live with.

I want to be less wasteful.

I want to be more appreciative and tell people I appreciate them.

I want to be more proactive.

I want to listen better.

I want to try to remember what I hear. (I know I’ll have to settle for a “partial” on this one).

Dare I say I want to procrastinate less!

And now I’ll end my list. I don’t want to jeopardize my capacity to actually achieve the goal!

Bicycle Company

Barbara Schwartz

When Bea was a young girl, all of her friends were learning to ride a bicycle. She yearned and yearned for one, but it was simply not coming to her. So, she learned how to ride on her friends’ bikes. She got really good at it and was having a wonderful time, but she still did not have a bike of her own.

Years later, she was married and her new husband bought her a bike of her own., She was pretty thrilled with it, but had not ridden in several years. The husband, David, kept telling her that it was simple: “you never forget how to ride a bike.” So she tried, and tried and tried.

She actually over thought the whole bike think. This new bicycle had to hand brakes. As she took of riding, she tried to rationalize which brake to use to stop the bike. If she hand squeezed the left or back brake she would stop on a dime and tip over. If she squeezed the front or right brake she thought that she would flip right over the handlebars and fly right off the bike. Confusion reigned supreme for Bea.

Then, one day while she was actually riding around the neighborhood she went – well, she went nuts and couldn’t think of what to do. There was a stop sign at the end of the block and she knew that she needed to stop, Quick, she thought, think… Which brake to apply? Which foot to put on the ground to keep the bike standing? Before she knew it, she was at the stop sign and she was on the ground left leg under her, bike on top of her. Luckily there was no traffic to contend with an, fortunately for Bea, there was no person to witness this mishap. She got up and walked the bike back to her house and put it in the garage. She was actually terrified of this bike by this time.

She went inside and started to think about what to do about the bike. As was her usual custom, she got out a deck of cards and started to play a game of solitaire. She always contended that this calmed her down and the concentration on the card game managed to clear her head. Then she noticed that the back of the cards had a logo on it. It was a red design with lots of fancy filigree and fancy drawings on it. But, the really interesting thing about the back of the card was that it had writing on the middle of this fancy design. It said “BICYCLE COMPANY” on it. “How ironic,” thought Bea as she stared at the cards. “Here I am, worrying about riding a bike, trying to relax about it and finding the Bicycle Company written on the back.”

Okay, now she thought and thought and finally came up with a solution to her bike situation.

Her husband came home from work and she calmly told him that her new bike was going to go onto one of those computer selling websites like E-Bay or Craig’s List that very evening. She was sure that they could back almost as much money as it cost in the first place. She simply was afraid that she would really break a bone trying to ride and it was just not worth the time and effort anymore.

The bike sold fairly rapidly and the only Bicycle that she ever looked at again was the back of her deck of cards…