When it comes to events in my life, I really need a plan. I do not function well with ambiguities and waiting for tests and the what-ifs that comes from all of this.

I believe it has something to do with being a software engineer my entire life, and leaning toward the mathematical side in most of my dealings. I want an algorithm; a step-by-step plan of attack. Yes, there may be unknowns and road-blocks along the way, but there should be logic available to handle all that.

I, quite literally, will plan the order I clean my house, down to wiping the crumbs off the counter before sweeping. I write lists.

Except for vacations. I DO NOT thrive on well-planned itinerary driven junkets. So, I probably miss seeing a few of the important things, but I’m much, much happier if I can get where I am going, unpack and then goof off as the inspiration hits me.

What are we going to do today? I don’t know, but I’ll find something. Or, not. It’s cool.


I’m not feeling it, but I’m hanging onto that statement made by a religious comrade I am going to see today.

You see, my mom has cancer. It’s a breast cancer that was found a few weeks ago. It’s a very aggressive form that has grown to over 6cm since her last regular mammogram (it wasn’t seen at all then). Since she had stage 0 breast cancer 6 years ago, she’s been getting the higher level diagnostic mammograms for monitoring.

This new occurrence is already at stage 4, and has metastasized in her liver. The prognosis for that one is pretty grim for a younger, healthier person. But, Mom is elderly. She recently had a fall, resulting in a broken shoulder, resulting in a physical decline where she could not walk, resulting in a 3 month stint of in-patient rehabilitation, to get her stronger, so she can live with dignity and independence, even if some assistance is required. That is a story in and of itself of a terrible trek through what is now our medical and medicare bureaucratic reality.

The light at the end of the tunnel was the proverbial train, because the mass was detected during the week we were planning her discharge. She was so looking forward to moving into her new apartment and having her companion pets with her.

Naturally, she’s struggling with processing what the diagnosis means, what her options are, etc. The only promise I can make to her is that I will help her, and I will support her in her choices.

While trying to arrange for her physical and spiritual needs, I realized that I am succumbing to some depression as well. So, I reached out to a friend, who also happens to be a deacon at my church, and am going to sit with him to talk today. After I texted him and explained what was going on, we made plans to meet.

Later that day, a simple message popped up on my messages, “All shall be well.”

I’m not feeling it, but I’m hanging onto it.


“Here is how we are presenting it so far.”

The Jones/Smiff home will be featured in this year’s Tour du Snoot.  The previous owners preserved the original home’s Colonial Revival style when they added two story living space on the back of the home.  This white brick home features gabled dormers on the front and pleasing Doric columns flanking the entry porch.

“We need you to add a line or two to personalize the listing. You know, to grab people’s attention, pique their interest in seeing the home.”

“Okay,” I mused. “How about something along these lines?”

“The Smiffs bought the home in 2008, taking on projects of their own, including room to house their creepy doll collection along with expanded space for their other many hobbies.  Having an historic home is great for hosting Halloween Seances, and our newest, favorite social activity, Swing parties,” Mrs. Smiff said to the historic society lady who attempted to hide her reaction as she quietly fanned herself.

“We’ll be in touch about the tour,” as she exited quickly through the side door, next to the charming carriage house, while sounds of Tiger Rag wafted from among the outdoor speakers and disco lights.

(This really happened.  Most of it inside my head.)


A very good friend has been nagging telling me that I needed to return to blogging. I would reply with “I don’t have anything to say.” And, he would counter, and so on.

Now, as I sit here staring at the blank page after my triumphant and joyful return, I cannot think of anything to say.

Well, that is not exactly true. I could fill you all in on how significantly Medicare has changed for the worse in the past five years; I could fill you in on how horribly the elderly are being treated by our medical system administrators; I have many stories from the past few months.You see, my 77 year old mother is in the midst of an ongoing medical crisis, and we are helping her deal with it and to get through it.

Unfortunately, I am still in the middle of all of it, so it’s difficult to write about it from the inside. I’ll fill you in on the details later.

In the meantime, LOOK! A three for one sale on gangsters!


It’s alarming how much I look like my dad in this photo…