Monday, November 24, 2014


I have a wonderful husband. He spent a couple of his golf coupons on me at the pro shop. Such a kind thought, buying golf balls for me. He knows me too well, knows I rarely complete 18 holes without losing at least one. Okay, two, three. I've been known to go through quite a few.

So his gesture is appreciated, but I must laugh. Read the cover of the Tee It Again box:

Check out the company, Links Choice. These balls have been recycled!

No, let's just say these are experienced balls. They've been around. But wait, let's call a spade a spade. These are nothing more than used balls. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

I've noticed a lot of businesses are doing this same thing, re-purposing words, taking a not so popular product and dressing it up a bit, giving consumers a new look at it through a new connotation, a new attitude.

It's working for the used car previously owned car business.

I remember when my daughter discovered the Goodwill Store near her college dorm. She bought a gently used coat for three dollars and couldn't wait to call home to tell me about it. I called it a second hand coat and popped her balloon a bit, but that didn't stop her from finding what she called "treasures." Why they weren't treasures when I was footing the bill, I'll never know.

I shop consignment stores at the beach and find more "treasures" with my friends. The greatest of all, though, are the yard sale "finds." I have friends that can look at a damaged, well used piece of furniture and envision what they can turn it into. All I see is something else to dust.

Recycling words is what I do because there's no need to dust words. They move too fast. They dance to another meaning like a ballerina flitting across the stage. They are fluid and they ooze into the language where they are least expected. They seep into our brains and delight us with new ways of looking at life.

The golf balls might have to wait until winter thaws into spring, but meanwhile, I'll be working on words.

Catch of the day,


Monday, November 17, 2014

Let's All Go to the Tilt

Okay, I must admit I'm not all that into sports even though, on rare occasion, I have been known to write about a particular sport. My first published article was "Finding Forty-two" in Highlights for Children, a nonfiction about baseball and Jackie Robinson. My latest project is about a baseball field in the community where I now live (a most interesting catch of a story, I might add).

Yes, my husband and I have been to every major league ball park, although we have one new one yet to check off, in Minnesota. Yes, I was a bleacher mom for years of soccer, basketball, football and baseball. For proof, here's my son's high school picture.

Senior Football Family Portrait 
So I do know some sports, but I learned them as I went along raising a daughter and a son and being married to a coach. I certainly didn't bring sports to the marriage. The only reason I ever attended ballgames as a teen was to play in the pep band, and to socialize, definitely socialize. My family was more into big band music and flying airplanes, my normal. That and reading and talking about words that I ran across in the books I was reading.

Which all leads me to one simple little four letter word: TILT. When our children were teens, we had a pinball machine in our playroom downstairs and the word TILT became a part of my vocabulary beyond the everyday, mundane, "Don't tilt that glass, you'll spill your milk."

But as I've researched through sports pages of the forties and fifties, I began to notice TILT in the titles of articles. 
  • Bearcats Triumphant in Tilt 
  • Friday's Tilt Postponed Due to Rain
  • Tilt Begins at Seven Tonight
Using the context clues I had taught my reading students, I soon developed a concept for "tilt." Game. I asked my husband if he had ever heard such an archaic usage of this word and he laughed. Of course he had, and it is not archaic, he said. It's used yet today, he said.

Surely not! 

Two weeks ago, on a Friday football night, the sportscaster on the local channel warned the audience, "If you plan to go to tonight's tilt, be sure to take an extra layer. It's going to be cold."

And there it was.

How have I missed it all these years? But, I'm sorry. Tilt does not come across the same. I just can't sing "Take me out to the Tilt" during the seventh inning stretch.
Souvenir Cups from Major League tilts
Catch of the day,


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

Today I'm pausing for a moment to remember those who went before me and by their sacrifices, made sure that I can write this blog, unrestrained, free. Did I say "Thank you" yet?

Thank you.

My brother served in the US Army in Viet Nam on helicopter duty. He returned unharmed in body, but forever changed in spirit. "Thank you" seems so insignificant for me to say for such a tremendous service he did for me and you. Is there another more powerful word to express my gratitude?

(Picture courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.)

I'm thinking also of four men in my latest project, brothers in the US Army in World War II. One served in Iceland, one in Germany, one in Africa and one, the baby of the family, the apple of his mother's eye, killed during basic training. "Thank you," again, insufficient a word for me to say.

In another project I write of a local man killed in action in World War I, buried at the site with the others in his unit, and finally, after years of searching by his family, brought back and buried in the churchyard of his childhood. I sit on Sundays not an acorn's throw from his resting spot. "Thank you," again, not enough to express what I feel.

Lesson learned. Freedom isn't free.

Catch of the day,