Writers’ Page


My Class Reunion

Jacqueline M. Ruffino-Platt

Which one? My high school reunion. Last evening I received an email from a classmate of mine from high school regarding an upcoming reunion in September this year. The email had an attachment of members of our class who cannot be located. Our last reunion was 10 years ago and there could be a chance they may not be living the same place they had back then. People do tend to move, transfer to another state or passed on. Where do I begin? I pulled out the booklet from our previous reunion and began pawing through the pages which showed their yearbook photos back then and their photos 10 years ago. Home addresses were displayed alongside their photos and emails attached. We had a great school and a great graduating class and would love to see some of our mates again. If I can remember clearly our reunion 10 years ago everyone looked fabulous. If you receive an invite five to six months before the reunion, we have ample time to stretch out our wrinkles, take a gym class, body treatments, facials, massages, cover the gray, who are we kidding? and definitely that all around diet. You know the one that sheds about 40 pounds in five months. And for us ladies the perfect dress. The cost? Who cares. You want to look gallant. Remember that boy you liked then, well after all my preparation to look fabulous I want to saunter up to him and say … “Hi remember me? I sat behind you in all our classes and you never turned around once. Sorry, you did once, you said, “Do you have an extra pencil?” Under my breath, “Look at me now. I’m gorgeous.” My luck he probably has thick lenses in his glasses, and my sauntering was all in vain. Now, guys, you know who you are … please don’t comb your hair over to the side to cover up your bald spot. Bald is beautiful and distinguished. Look around the room we are here, enjoying a moment with classmates who are the same age and on this side of the grass.

We had a unique school. Taught by the Sisters of Charity and Brothers. Strict but a great curriculum. Our football couch was Vince Lombardi. Best football season. One day I remember while standing by a kitchen window in the convent washing the dishes for the nuns I noticed our football team was practicing close by. They looked tired and hot. I opened the window and threw out some delicious oranges for the team and quickly closed the window before the Sisters came back. The following day, Mr. Lombardi thanked our principal for the generosity she showed towards our football team with the delicious oranges. Oops. The Sisters never knew it was me. She accepted his thanks. Going to a reunion can be (let me think) pleasant, beautiful, happy, joyful and a little sad, and many more words to express this day, and evening to be together with folks you shared the most important years of your life and before you know it, the clock on the wall keeps ticking and you try to get all the words out you want to say to everyone and hear them laugh and try to get all the words out within a short period of time. It’s difficult to cram the last 10 years into maybe 24 to 48 hours. Who knows you may not see them again as that darn old clock on the wall has a mind of its own.

To leave on an up note. This evening my husband and I were watching an old movie, The In-Laws. There was a scene in the movie when the actors were chasing after a car down a street in Englewood, New Jersey. The street was in front of St. Cecilia’s Church, the school I attended high school. It was in plain view in the movie. I had some real emotions and good feelings.

In a Nut Shell

Ruby Regina Witcraft

As I was rummaging around trying to think of something new to write about, I decided that changing seats at Writer’s might be a new beginning. So, I did do that. Even though I have written quite a bit about my widowed friends and what we talk about, I decided that was old hat, you know the usual conversation goes like this. Who has a good doctor for bunions, hemorrhoids, fallen arches. So on and so on.

Since all of my life I have done such strange and even stupid things I usually write about self-deprecation. It comes so naturally to me because I know the subject so well. My unusual behavior no longer shocks my friends or even embarrasses me. At my age I feel that I have earned being myself.

Enough of the detritus. That’s a dollar ninety-eight word, but hang on and we’ll see where this goes because I suddenly realize that I have a wealth of subjects right here in this room. My fellow, long suffering writers. Lucky you! I have no idea how long I have been a part of this gang. It must be over 10 years. I have experienced the loss of some of you due to failing health, a necessary move and even, the big “D.” But the rest have been steadfast and loyal and lived to see a better day. There are times that I have been gone for a spell but always feel compelled to come back and join in again. Thank goodness no one has ever said, “Not her again!” It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

Some of us have gotten heftier, grayer, shorter, slower, had great, great grandchildren. Lost some loves of our lives but still we make the best of what we have left and, for me, that includes all of you.

In a nut shell, I love hearing the stories about your lives, your families and your accomplishments which makes me know you even better. The humorous stories lift my spirits.

Although I find writing therapeutic, I do, however, feel the main reason I invariably return each time is because I want to see the familiar faces of friends I call my family. I don’t care what they say about you, I like you anyway.

In another nut shell, may we persevere well into and even beyond the year of 2018.

Elected members of the homeowners association

Lois Grotewold

Welcome to all of our newly-elected members of our Homeowner’s Association. Remember that we are representing our whole community so we must think wisely as we set new rules and regulations. We are now open for your suggestions.

I think we should not be allowed to have prickly cactus in our yards. My husband fell into one and is still pulling out spines.

Good suggestion. We’ll hold a vote later.

What about noisy grandchildren? I think we should ban them from coming here!

We’ll hold a vote later.

The house colors are so drab … all beige and dull, uninteresting. We could require a new house paint job of primary colors. Think how beautiful it would be with red, blue, yellow …

Hmmmm … we’ll give that some thought.

I know one that won’t go over well with everyone, but I say no more sex on the golf course.

Yes, yes, I agree with you on that one.

I say we should have all homeowners have to give a password when they enter the gate. How about onarafacatunatatis. That would keep out the riffraff.

Good … we will vote on that at the end of the meeting.

Let’s fine the dog owners.

You mean those that don’t pick up their dog’s droppings? No, I mean all dog owners. I own a cat myself. Except for chasing and eating the ducks, they are never a problem.

Speaking of fines … we should fine all persons who don’t put out a flag on Flag Day. How unpatriotic can you get!

Fine job, everyone. We have heard all the suggestions. Shall we vote on all of these together? ( all nod yes). Good, all in favor of the new proposals say “Pro.” (Everyone says Pro loudly.) All opposed (silence). Very well. We are all in agreement. This meeting is adjourned.

Accepting Change

Gail Thatcher

You’ve heard the saying, “The Times They are A Changing.” We’ve seen a lot of changes throughout our lives. I know I have. It seems there has been so much that I have learned to adjust rather easily. There was a time when change would throw me for a loop, but I have since learned to go along with it. This benefited me greatly when I was in the workforce. Every time a new supervisor came on board, she would immediately begin to make changes. Sometimes a supervisor or lead worker would make changes just to make changes. Being able to accept all of these alterations to life as I knew it, certainly has made life easier.

This fact was brought home to me in the last few years. I had decided to leave California, so I retired and bought a home in Sun Lakes. I really was glad I could rather easily adapt to change, when I heard my doorbell ring and opened my front door to find The Incredible Hulk standing there with a ferocious look on his face. At first I was a little taken back, but then I realized that his look was more friendly than frightening. I quickly recovered and invited him in.

A few weeks later I heard a noise at my door. I cautiously approached the sound and quickly opened the door to find Spiderman smiling at me. Oh my gosh, I’m very uncomfortable around spiders! Do I slam the door – I know I can’t squash him. I took a closer look and realized he didn’t seem menacing, so I let him in. We actually had a nice visit.

Not long after that I answered the door to find a strange-looking character dressed in what looked like a tight-fitting latex jump suit. He was very slender with a thin, black mustache. He was very friendly and proceeded to tell me his name was Sportacus. His mission was to help kids learn to get exercise and eat all of their vegetables. We talked for hours and I really learned a lot.

The Thing and Indiana Jones have been frequent visitors to my home, but I have to say though, that my favorite has been Sponge Bob Square Pants. When I opened the door to see him standing there, I wasn’t scared at all. I liked him immediately and quickly invited him in. He entertained me for hours. It was a really great visit and very enlightening.

A short time later I opened the door to find a Power Ranger standing there. As I started to panic, I took a second look and realized it was a red Power Ranger. As I tried to remember if the red one was friendly, a little voice said, “It’s OK, Gramma, I’m a red power ranger, I’m friendly.” As I slowly relaxed I opened the door to admit him and it turned into a great visit.

I am so glad that I learned early to adapt to change, because look at how much change has enriched my life. If I hadn’t adapted so well, I would not have had all these fabulous characters making my life so incredibly enjoyable.