Tag Archives: gratitude

What would I do with $600,000


I saw a sign that read, “I’m in the mood to receive a check for $600,000.”

Yes. After taxes, even. I’d buy an adult tricycle and cruise around the neighborhood and Toby would trot along beside me. We would both smile in the sunshine. Our vitamin D levels would soar. Stef would take our picture and post it on Facebook. We would win a contest for “Cuteness.” I love it when my imagination runs away with me. JS


Beautiful Rogue River Hovercraft Ride


We are heading down to the beautiful Rogue River today to go on a hovercraft ride up the river for an hour or so, then we will have a scrumptious dinner at one of the lovely lodges up the Rogue – only accessible by boat – before we head back. Should be a fabulous day on the river.

I’ve only been on the Rogue once before, and it’s one of the most powerful and gorgeous rivers in Oregon, really something to experience. I was with a bunch of friends there about 20 yrs. ago and we all really got clobbered on that last kayak run – boats and paddles everywhere, my Chapstick swirling ’round and ’round in a whirlpool, people having to be rescued (no names mentioned) by others who actually knew what they were doing. When we stopped for lunch, someone noticed a slice in my leg and blood running down to my ankle, plus a giant bruise on my other leg. “Wow,” she said, “you really got smacked!”

I wiped the blood off my foot. “Oh, this?” I asked. “Well, this is where I had to save Robin and Nanbo from drowning while ago (which, as we all knew, was a totally false, humorous joke.)

She pointed to my bruise. “What happened here?”

There was no time to think up something as heroic as I wanted to, so I just told the truth. “Oh, this one? Well, this one…uh…this one…this one is where I hit my leg on the car door at the Taco Bell on the way down here.”

I don’t think today will be nearly so exciting or adventurous, but I bet it will be fun. And memorable. JS



Finishing up my rolfing trip to Lubbock today. Many thanks to my friends Cheryl Benoit and Melody Ogletree, owners of The PforymWELL Center, for hosting me to work in such a great place, as well as for the nice bed in which to lay my sleepy head each night.

Many thanks, also, to rolfing clients here in Lubbock whose Texas accents and kind hearts remind me of things so good and pure about my home state, things I still miss since I moved away so long ago.

Also, I just need to say this: I LOVE COWBOYS. I grew up around them. I love their dusty boots and crumpled hats and their shirts and Wranglers starched stiff as road signs, reminding me that some ranch wife loves them, too, someone who sends them out into the world each day looking as good as she can get them to look, for a while, anyway. Makes my heart smile. JS


Moises Alfaro, a wonderful and kind man


There is a wonderful and kind man I know in Dallas named Moises Alfaro. He works for Federal Express. He and his wife, Barbara, have been friends with my family for years and years, but it started way back, even before they were at the marrying age.

My younger brothers, Pat and Mike, were twins. They became friends with Moi in Jr. High School at L.V. Stockard and the three of them went everywhere together. A few years later, they all grew their hair long and threw frisbees constantly and it seemed we always had two or three of those discs stranded up on the roof. Once a week, one of the twins would climb up there and rake them off, then they’d start over. Indeed, Moi became a World Champion Frisbee dude, winning contest after contest with his skill and athleticism. So, there’s the back story.

Years and years later, in 2007, when my brother Pat was in Methodist Hospital, dying of lung cancer, Moi was there every day, holding Pat’s hand, praying beside his bed. One day, I said, “Moi, when did you come on the scene? I mean, I can’t actually remember a time you weren’t at our house. Do you remember?” He got a sweet look in his eyes. “Mine was the first Mexican family to move into your neighborhood,” he said, “and yours was the first family to be nice to us.”

“We were?” I asked, “We did? Huh. Well, good for us.”

And, I’m thinking that was Mother’s doing, really. She didn’t care what your background, skin color, or culture was as long as you treated her kids right. If you did that, if you were a good friend to her children, you were part of her brood, so don’t expect to get away because it wasn’t going to happen. I loved that about her. JS


Good Texas Women


Many thanks and hugs to my friends Bonnie Cottle and Cindy Roden for their hospitality and kindnesses during the two days I had to spend in Ft. Worth this past week. Getting to spend time around good Texas women, enjoying laughter and conversation – even with a cat sitting on top of my head – eating food I love (but shouldn’t have so much of, really) was a joy, something only other Texas women can understand. Time to thaw out the salmon when I get back to Oregon, for sure, to clean my arteries out again. Still, I say, Thank you, ladies! And, thanks for keeping the reputation of good Texas women alive and well in my home state. JS


Easter picnic lunches


Easter celebrations, when I was a kid, always included (after church, of course) a picnic lunch with my mother’s side of the family, usually at Samuell’s Park, in Dallas, although sometimes we opted for Kiest Park.

A baked ham was accompanied by deviled eggs, baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw, sometimes even Aunt Edna’s world-famous pea salad, if we begged sweetly enough and badgered her into submission. How everyone managed to get all that food into their cars with all those kids, too, is mind-boggling.

And, that wasn’t all! Of course, we had to bring a football, baseball gloves, bats, balls, and even the stuff to build kites, hide Easter eggs and the croquet set – plus!

Who could forget dessert?

Certainly not my tribe, so Mama Loyes always made her very special, diabetic-coma-inducing triple layer German Chocolate Cake, which weighed about 40 lbs., but was so huge even our clan couldn’t gobble it all up in one afternoon. One year, Mama Loyes forgot to bring coffee cups (since she always had coffee in that plaid thermos of hers, but had lost the lid/cup years before,) so my mother fashioned coffee cups out of aluminum foil just for that day so the grown-ups could enjoy some coffee with their slab of cake. It’s a nice memory for me.

I hope all of you are busy on this day of gathering and spiritual celebration making memories with the people you love. It’s one of the reasons we are here, I think, trundling along together, creating some sweet memories which make us look back on our lives with a smile. JS


My suitcase just arrived


Suitcase just arrived. My stuff.

You know how crazy people often button their shirts up to the tippy-top so it doesn’t feel so much like they are about to fly apart? That’s sort of how I feel until all my stuff shows up in the same place. Now I feel better. I guess I can unbutton the top button on my shirt now. Phew.


Looking forward to seeing the ZOO CREW


Stef scanned and e-mailed a bunch of photos for me last night, all of them taken during my time @ KZEW-FM in Dallas, 1974-79.

Oh, my hair was so dark back then and my skin so smooth, my heart so open and unjaded! Brought back great memories of such wonderful people playing KILLER music all day long and actually doing some good in the world. I was lucky to have been part of that and to have been able to meet the people I did, hang out with them, even play softball with them.

Our team, as you might imagine, was the FLYING ZOOKEENIES and we played anybody who challenged us, even some 8th grade girls one time, and even Toys By Roy (who almost beat us in a “squeaker”) on a hot & humid Dallas summer’s day.

I am so very much looking forward to seeing the ZOO CREW at our reunion in April and am grateful to Ira “Eye” Lipson and Bill Harrison for bringing it all together.

If we’d had a team yell (like BOOYAH! or even HOOK ‘EM HORNS!) I’d shout it out right now, but we didn’t, I don’t think, beyond PARTY! or ROCK AND ROLL! or LOOK OUT, YOU IDIOT! Or, if we did, I don’t remember it. What I do remember is how I loved them all. JS