My Mother In Spring


My mother grew up in New York City never learning how to drive a car before she left.  When she moved to Frederick, MD for college, she fell in love with the country life.  She loved gardening and flowers.  Her gardens were quite unorganized and messy compared with my father’s orderly rows of onions and cantaloupe.

When the daffodils came in, she would send my niece off with scissors and a grocery bag to gather them from the neighbor’s lane.  I remember walking in the kitchen and the table covered with mounds of daffodils.  My mother would put vases of these flowers all over the house.  She was as reliable as crocuses in the spring.


How’s the writing going?


My niece/web editor asks me almost everyday, how’s the writing going, got anything good to post?

But, I haven’t felt like writing lately–I sit and stare at my pens and tablets, and then I go see what my new roommate is up to.

From going vegetarian, I’ve lost so much weight that my scale doesn’t know what to say.  When I step on, it used to tell me “One at a time, please,” but now it asks, “Stephen?  Is that you?”  I never thought I would miss its fat jokes.

What do you do to keep writing when you don’t feel like you have anything good to say?  How do you get back into writing when you’ve gotten out of your routine?

This Is How I Blog


I started blogging because of my niece. When she was visiting a few summers ago, I mentioned that I wanted to publish a book of jokes. “How about a blog?” she countered.
“I don’t know anything about computers,” I said.
She said, “Just send me all your funny stuff. You’ll be famous in five years.”

So, she set me up with a free WordPress account and a password that I could remember easily.
I email her my posts and she edits them. Sporadically, I pay her $1 per post, but it must be error free and well-titled, tagged, and categorized, or no dough.

Two and a half years in, I now type at least ten words per minute, and
I’ve gotten over 6000 views with hundreds of likes.
I’m not in it for the fame, just to make people laugh once in a while.

The Black Snake Under the Dogwood Tree


Pulling up at my brother’s house, I was parking my Ford Maverick (a car that only broke down when I was in the middle of nowhere), when I noticed my nephew and niece looking at something below the pink Dogwood tree.
It was a big black snake, curled up and ready to strike.
Sam, my five-year-old nephew, was taunting it with a stick.
I yelled, “Get away from that snake!”

I had just smoked some weed, so I was thinking clearly. Snakes give me the heebie-jeebies, but sometimes you have to be a hero. I got a broom and handed it to eleven-year-old Jasmine. I told her to hold the snake’s head down, and I would grab it.
With deft precision, she did just that, but when I was one inch from grabbing it, the snake wriggled free. It opened its mouth and wrapped its head around my index finger. I jerked my hand back, and the fangs slid out of the tip of my finger.

Unlike the hero I had tried to be, I let loose some sort of a high-pitched shriek. This scared the kids and the snake, which retreated into a bush. I was standing there dumbfounded, watching a drop of blood swell on my fingertip and heard my precocious niece yell, “Well, go inside and wash it.”

Good advice from someone so young.
I kept thinking that I just had a snake’s head wrapped around my finger, and it felt like a wet plastic bag.