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Photo by Romain Lours on Unsplash

He doesn’t really listen to the news, my Nick; he’s more of a podcast kind of guy. Realizing the gaps he may have in his info about the coronavirus pandemic, I try talking to him. We live in California, our state is in lockdown.

Shelter in place, I tell him. Be hyper-aware about cleanliness. Sneeze into your elbow and all that.

Yet my 23-year-old son continues to act as if everything in his world, our world, is normal. His hands constantly touch his face. …

With the Federal Reserve dropping interest rates to rock bottom in response to the coronavirus pandemic, what better time to take out a small business loan? Announcing the opening of our new cafe:

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Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

*********Out of an Abundance of Coffee*********

Has the boss told you to work from home during the COVID-19 scare? …

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Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

They say you don’t forget your first love
For me, how true those words ring
That sleek silver case, inviting my clicks
so smooth; ahhh, such pleasure you’d bring

Through turbulent times on airplane flights
you’d divert with your bold mix of tunes
Those endless miles of marathon prep
you upped my pace, soothed my aches and wounds

Until that sad day…oh, so reckless was I!
My Shuffle, left to some untold hell
Aston, Pennsylvania was where we did part
in the gym of a two-star hotel

Bereft. …

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Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

The Duchess of Sussex, aka Meghan Markle, is back in England this week. She’s finishing off her royal duties before she and husband Prince Harry return to Canada and the process of creating a new life for themselves and Baby Archie; hopefully away from the paparazzi and non-stop stream of negative commentary.

At the same time, sister-in-law Kate Middleton, more properly known as the Duchess of Cambridge, has been on a royal tour of Ireland with Prince William. …

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Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

My husband Tom looks to me for the answer; I wish I had one. We’ve just returned to the apartment of our Russian hosts, Igor and Larissa. Early this morning we’d departed as a couple; we returned as a family of three. But all is not well…our newly adopted baby, Nick, is cranky, we’re cranky, and we’re beyond ready to return to America. But Russia isn’t finished with us just yet.

The apartment looks like a bordello as envisioned by a saucy grandma. Cramped rooms decked out in red and black flocked wallpaper accessorized by lace curtains serve as home to their family of four. The minuscule bathroom features a window that opens directly onto the Barbie-sized kitchen; they apparently have less need for privacy than I. Over on the kitchen windowsill, the glassy eyes of a dead fish stare back from where he’s been thawing since our arrival two days ago. …

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I wasn’t paying much attention to the mother-daughter duo walking ahead of me when I exited Jo-Ann Fabrics — not until the evisceration. As they passed my car, the mother pointed out the college decal affixed to the rear window. “If my kid went to that university,” she loudly announced to her daughter, “I sure wouldn’t brag about it”.

I’d longed for the day when my son would go off to college. Not only could I finally rid his room of its dirty-socks-and-hormones stench, but I’d earn the right to display a ‘University Mom’ sticker on my car. …

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Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

I saw Peggy Fleming in the flesh recently; she was exiting an event where I worked as a volunteer. I don’t mind that she declined the proffered goodie bag, but I was a bit miffed that she neglected to acknowledge the pivotal role I played in her 1968 Olympic gold medal win.

I’m positive that my acutely focused mental powers have enabled Peggy and countless other figure skating favorites — Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, even Super Villain Tonya Harding — to land their salchows and axels over the years. …

“Fat legs.”

I was an Olympic athlete, a doe, a gust of wind; I was transcendent. Just me, my body, a pair of running shoes, autumn leaves crunching underfoot. Inhale, exhale.

You were my judge and jury.

“Fat legs.”

Oh, I heard you the first time. What reaction were you expecting? Did you think I would stop running? Flip you off? Were you hoping for tears? Maybe it wasn’t about me at all; maybe it was only about your need to inflict pain. So I did what I always did; I ignored you. …

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Photo by Rafael Morais on Unsplash

“Is this the part where they kill us?”

Tom ponders my question as we’re jostled in the back seat of the Soviet-era Lada. …

It took a long time to find someone I wanted to spend my life with. Someone guaranteed not to play the starring role in my ultimate nightmare — the one where I’d wake up the morning after my wedding, roll over in bed to see the guy lying there and think, “Oh Lord, what have I done?”

And so it was time to plan a wedding. I love to organize, hate to shop, but most of all despise being judged. The thought of being critiqued as I walked up the aisle (“she chose that dress?”) or criticized for the color scheme… I wanted the day to be about the marriage, not the wedding. But sharing our happiness with friends and family required a party, so a celebration for 75 was planned. I hastily selected a good-enough gown, then opted for multi-colored flowers to avoid color scheme commitments. …


Anne McVicar

Writer, mom, power walker, carb lover - not necessarily in that order. MA, MLSt.

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