Not bad for a fat girl


One More Day

350-628200-847__1-1Nineteen down, one to go. Days of summer work, that is. Not that it’s difficult work. It isn’t. In fact, it’s very rewarding work that come fairly easily to me, especially since I’m part of a terrific team.

We’ve been running a writing camp for kids at our local university. I did it last summer too, and enjoyed it. It’s fun to be with kids, teaching, in an environment where the strongest “discipline” that you ever dole out is a raised eyebrow, and the kids are all there because they want to be. Oh, and there’s no grading, no worry about common core, and no tests. Cool, huh? The kids think so. I have to agree.

Still, the alarm clock goes off each morning, and there’s a commute to deal with, made longer by summer construction (which is absurd where I live – do it during the cooler months, people!). Then there’s the trek from the parking lot to campus and back. Not so bad in the morning, but grueling in the afternoon heat. beach_cape_cod-thumbAll in all, not a bad gig, but I’m looking forward to a few weeks of NO obligations. What will I do? Read. Write. Sleep. Swim. Visit family and friends. The usual. I can’t wait!

I’m looking forward to days where the biggest decisions I make involve which flavor of fudge to sample and which bathing suit to wear. Should I read another chapter now or wait until tomorrow morning? Do I want to cool off in the ocean or in the pool? It’s a rough life, but someone has to do it. This time, it’s going to be me. One more day. I know it’s going to be a good one.

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Summer in Phoenix



Hot is a dog who won’t go outside,

preferring instead to sprawl across the tile floor

directly across from the air vent

Hot is the sensation that your paper parking permit

Will spontaneously combust between your fingertips

As you remove it from your windshield

Hot is a ponytail, braid, or bun

Morning, noon, and night

Hot is driving home from work

With the air conditioning on high

and pulling into the garage

before the car has cooled down

Hot is feeling apprehension every time you turn the ignition key

and feeling gratitude every time the car starts

Hot is waiting until later in the day

when the shadows appear

to go into the backyard pool

Hot is floor fans, ceiling fans, wet cloths, and water bottles

Hot is planning on cold cereal and yogurt for dinner

Hot is finding the one parking spot under the scrawny Palo Verde Tree

just for a little bit of shade

Hot is laundry. So much laundry.

Hot is choosing shoes with thicker soles

so you don’t feel as much of the heat coming up from the pavement

Hot is watching movies like Ice Age and Frozen

Even if there are no children in the house

Hot is extra chemicals for the pool

and extra water for the lawn

Hot is Phoenix in the summer

and no surprise

Hot is the temporary price we pay to live here

For that reason only, hot is okay.


That Poor Little Bird

There is a bird’s nest in our backyard. Not really in the yard, though, more like up under the patio cover next to the house. We see the birds fly in and out of there, and we can hear them on the wall outside our bedroom, but we can’t actually see the nest. I thought the babies had flown away a while ago, but either I was wrong or there is a new crop.il_340x270.529381218_l4qm

This afternoon while we were in the yard the dog nosed at something that moved. I told her to “leave it,” and remarkably, she did. Turns out it was a baby bird. This baby was far from the nest, and obviously injured. As I said, we don’t actually have access to the nest, and truthfully this little one might not have even come from there. What do you do with an injured baby bird?

Maybe, if you know anything about birds, you can attempt to rehabilitate it. I know nothing about birds, and frankly they kind of freak me out, up close. Putting it in the nest wasn’t an option, and even if we had, I doubt it would have survived. So what does that leave? A mercy killing? Maybe it would have been the kindest thing to do, but I couldn’t. I was a coward. I let nature take its course, and a little while later I found the little guy dead.

It was a bird. A common ordinary bird. There are millions of them, and not all of the babies survive, which is why they hatch multiple eggs at a time. I get it. Still, I feel badly about it. My head knows that in the grand scheme of things, that little bird’s death is just the way things work, but my heart is a little sad about it. I hope that little bird found some peace. I’m sorry little bird.