Creating a Fantastic Charcuterie Board

I have never used that term in a sentence before. I had to look up charcuterie to know how it’s spelled. I’ve had lots of items from a charcuterie board before. I’ve watched them being made. I’ve never made one myself. This is my first post about creating a charcuterie board.

The first thing you need is a suitable board. It doesn’t have to be a certified charcuterie board to do the job. After all, it’s not the board but what the board contains that makes it special.

You’ll have to decide what kind of charcuterie board you’re going to make. I did some searching on Pinterest, and there are dozens and dozens of variations of charcuterie boards. There are breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, salty, sweet, barbecue, candy, dessert, veggie, fruit, and many other charcuterie boards. The most fun is to be creative and come up with something brand new.

This is a great example of a beautiful charcuterie board.

We shared this treat tonight and every one enjoyed it. In the center of the board is fresh grapes to add a sweet, crunchy taste. You can use your favorite fruit on the board you create.

Cheese is a very important part of this charcuterie board. Ours contained Brie, Boursin, goat cheese with chives, and Smoky Gouda. Salami and Prosciutto were placed on the ends. Crackers were spread across the board to fill in the empty spaces.

Everyone gathered around our charcuterie board and dug in. It was a perfect combination of fruit, nuts, crackers, and cheese.

This is what a charcuterie board looks like in the aftermath. I hope you and your family enjoy yours as much as we did.

Here is a freebie joke: Do you know why melons don’t get married? Because they cant-e-lope!! Can’t elope!! Get it?! I made that up! Seriously!

Fun With A Colonoscopy

I have now had three intrusions into my most private personhood. The third was just yesterday. There are several thoughts that come to mind at a time like this.

My first experience with being completely exposed to the medical world happened in 1995. My daughter was having her wisdom teeth removed which gave me a perfect opportunity to go visit a local hamburger place. Very well known, by the way, which will remain nameless, a place to which I have not returned in twenty-five years.

I purchased a hamburger deluxe, fries, and a shake. (No, not McDonald’s). Everything was fine until later that night. Just before bed I began feeling minor cramps, didn’t think much of it, and went to bed. An hour later I woke up with the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I will spare you the details of the next three hours, but I assure you I had never experienced anything like that before nor have I since. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

We called our physician the next day and described what was happening. I met with him a few days later and discovered he intended for me to go to the hospital, a detail I somehow missed. He ordered something I had never heard of, and if I never hear of it again, I will be thankful. He said I was going to have an air-colon-contrast. Okay, no big deal. Yeah, right.

My impending excursion into ultimate transparency meant that I had to drink three quarts of what can only be described as gag-me-now.

I tried to maintain a positive attitude, which required that I find a happy place to ingest the disgusting concoction. I went to the train depot so I could watch trains while I choked it down. It’s amazing I still like watching trains.

It’s difficult to describe what came next after I actually swallowed all of the sludge that tasted like a mixture of three-month-old yogurt chunks, goat meat, and sweaty sock fuzz. The expulsion of everything I had eaten since the previous Christmas and things I had only thought of eating was indescribable. That experience could only be outdone by the procedure itself.

At the hospital I was invited to lie down on a table. “You’re going to do what?” I thought, as the doctor approached me with what looked like a bicycle tire pump.

After my inner parts were rudely awakened by the air hose, I was asked to roll around on the table so the air would distribute evenly. Rolling around on a narrow table would be difficult enough even without a contraption connected to my posterior.

The test revealed nothing. What a relief! I had endured incredible pain at home, cleansed myself of everything that wasn’t attached, been probed, filled, viewed, scanned, and cleared of anything troubling. Fantastic!

Now it was time to rid myself of enough air to fill the tires on an eighteen-wheeler. I slowly walked, back parts in the breeze, to the bathroom. Nurses outside the door were discussing their anticipated evening plans.

As hard as I tried, nothing happened. Nothing. Not even a squeak. I moved, pushed, squeezed, lifted, turned, and finally gave up. I opened the door and told the nurses of my dilemma. I was invited back to the table. With great difficulty I lay back down. The doctor prepared an injection to help with the needed release. He asked me to roll over from my side which was the only position in which I could continue to breathe. When I did, my hand was impaled on the needle and it immediately went numb. (I’m not making this up!!). The doctor yelled at ME even though I was the one with the needle stuck in my hand!

He injected me with whatever it was and I went back to the bathroom. What happened in that bathroom was not unlike a whole team of horses lifting their tails to express the joy of having eaten an entire wagon-load of corn. It was explosive.

What inspires a person going into the medical field to want to specialize in those parts? Obviously, we need them and we’re thankful for them, but how does one come to a decision like that?

Age does many mean things to us. Strength fades, memories aren’t as sharp, and all of sudden we need our doctors to do things they didn’t do before. Reaching the golden age of fifty which happened to me many years ago, ushers in the era of recurring colonoscopies.

Yesterday I experienced my second. The most remarkable improvement has happened in the last ten years. Instead of the preparatory cocktail being a combination of sun-dried tapioca mixed with oatmeal and sour milk, it tastes like Kool-Aid. Seriously! Of course the Kool-Aid is mixed with a powder that guarantees nothing will cling to your inner parts ever again.

I was almost disappointed it was over so fast. Anything that requires that kind of preparation should last more than a second. I was wheeled in, the room began to spin, and I woke up not a second later in recovery.

Everything’s good. The doctor said, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. See you in ten years.”

No explanation needed.

Houghton Lake Reminders of Life Moving Forward

I have a nostalgic vein that I guess is pretty common. I thought it was just me, but I hear country song lyrics like, “I can’t wait to show you where I grew up…”, “I want to introduce you to my kin-folks, where I grew up”, “I Go Back” by Kenny Chesney, “The House that Built Me” by Miranda Lambert, and others. Wanting to go back home isn’t unusual. What often happens when we do, however, is we discover how much everything has changed. Life has gone on without us.

I get teased about driving friends and family by the house where I lived when I was in high school. The house looks the same but nothing else does. I’ve driven through the neighborhood where I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan many times. The shape of our house on Wellesley Drive is the same. Nothing else is. The houses look smaller and crowded together. The trees that were not much more than sticks when I was little now hang over the houses like huge green hands.

I recently followed the pull of the past and took a drive to Houghton Lake and Cadillac, Michigan. When I was very young, our family vacationed at a small resort in Cadillac called “Wally’s Cabins”. It was in the early 1960s and three or four-cabin resorts were common along Lake Mitchell and Houghton Lake. The photo on the left is what used to be Wally’s Cabins.

My parents had friends with a cottage just down the road from Wally’s. Their main cottage was right on the lake but they were building an A-frame house near the main road. The photo in the middle leads to the cottage by the lake, the A-frame is on the right. In those days there was just a two-lane car path and a swamp on the left where we hunted frogs and snakes.

In 1983 we were introduced to DeClerk’s Resort at Houghton Lake. It was like reliving Wally’s Cabins from my childhood and I loved it! Just like at Wally’s, each cabin included a rowboat and motor. It couldn’t have been better!

In 1983 we were considering having another baby. Our daughter was six and we were reaching the point of “now or never”. Cabin #2 at DeClerk’s Resort proved to be the perfect place for our family to grow. In February of 1984, we had triplet boys. When we returned to DeClerk’s the next summer, Kitty told everyone our triplets had been conceived in cabin #2. I don’t know if there was a rush to rent that cabin or not, but it made a good story.

I talked my precious wife into going back to Houghton Lake when the boys were just five months old. They were still on apnea monitors. They all slept together on a foam mattress in cabin #2, connected to their monitors. It was terribly difficult.

Our daughter loved fishing. I don’t remember her volunteering for cleaning but she was always excited to catch them.

The last time we were at DeClerk’s Resort was 1997. The boys were 13. Our daughter was married the following summer and now has three boys of her own. I wish I could have them little, all together one more time.

On my recent road-trip to the past, I was saddened to see how drastically the area had changed. Life has moved on.

The first time we went to Houghton Lake, I was thirty years old. That was thirty-seven years ago. Seeing what has happened to Funland was the most challenging part of the day. In my mind, I could still see our children and grandchildren on the rides.

Life goes on. Sometimes painfully. Looking back can be painful too, yet we all do it. It’s one thing to think about it, it’s another to actually visit and see just how much has changed.

An Uninvited Guest Beast

I suppose there are people who think bats of all kinds are cute, harmless, helpful, even beautiful creatures. I’m not one of them. However, I do have to admit the fruit bats we often see on “Survivor” look sort of like a dachshund with wings. Maybe a little bit cute. When we were in Australia we got to actually see fruit bats in person. They’re huge!!

It has been sixteen years since we were last visited by a little rascal. In one house where we lived bats considered themselves part of our family. They often joined our sons to watch television in the basement. One wanted to have lunch with me but I assured him he wasn’t welcome. Another interrupted sound sleep and met the same fate as Captain Ahab.

After so much time, maybe you can imagine the sheer exhilaration, the pure crush of adrenaline and terror when our beautiful home became the scene of wild flailing with a soft pillow-weapon, yelling, dodging and weaving, and that was just me. My wife was hiding under a blanket and I don’t blame her. I wanted to be under the blanket too!

The little guy made himself right at home. He flew effortlessly through our living room, kitchen, hall, two bedrooms and back again. Twice he headed downstairs to the basement but came right back up, probably because it was dark down there.

With great skill and aim, I knocked him down three times with such force he took right off again, laughing at me in his little bat voice. I kept telling him to go outside, the front door was wide open but he didn’t listen. I know he was calling for his friends to join the fun. They declined.

I was finally able to get hold of our guest beast with the soft pillow-weapon and I let him go outside. I tried to have a calm man-to-bat talk with him and tell him he would probably be more comfortable somewhere else.

I should have known better than to wait three years before going into the attic, which is actually an overhead crawl space. It had to be 110 degrees up there. I discovered it’s a miracle we haven’t been having guest beast visits regularly. Our bathroom ceiling fan which is an old style fan with a large open grate vents directly into the attic without any protection. It’s wide open from the attic into the bathroom. There was also a direct entrance to the basement from the attic along the furnace flue. With both guest beast entrances blocked, the welcome mat has been removed.

Hopefully, that will be the end of our guest beast visits. I’m a big fan of dachshund-looking fruit bats as long as they’re on TV and not in our living room.

Breakfast Sandwich for Dinner

My lovely wife has discovered how to make amazing breakfast sandwiches that we enjoy any time. Actually, our son first made them for us and she watched very carefully. They are delicious!

A sausage patty, English muffin, fried egg and a slice of your favorite cheese make the magic happen.

There are sausage patties that taste great but stay around all day. I like them but not all day. The ones my wife uses are frozen, a dozen in a package. We keep them in the freezer and just use two at a time.

The patties only take about three minutes per side, so while my wife is frying them, I toast the English muffins. They don’t require butter, but if you want to use butter, go for it!

When the English muffins pop from the toaster, we put a slice of cheese on them. When the egg is fried to perfection, we add the sausage patty and the egg.

Combine the sandwich with some fruit and a big mug of your favorite coffee and you have a breakfast sandwich that is delicious at any time. Maybe even late at night while you’re binge-watching your favorite series.

Bentley The Pervert

If you read Maggie, Our Loving Mini-Goldendoodle carefully, you noticed my mention of Bentley the pervert in one of the captions.

We only had Bentley for a short time. He was big and full of mischief.

Bentley was a golden retriever-collie-Labrador-? mix. He definitely wasn’t a purebred golden. We found Bentley online and when we went to meet him we should have turned around and left. Neither of us could do it. He was big, playful and friendly and his owners were desperate to find a new family for him.

Bentley liked riding in the car. We stopped on the way home to get a large crate for him. I waited in the car with Bentley while my wife went into the store. I patted his head, looming large from the back seat. I spent as much time talking to myself as to the dog. “This is going to be okay, we’ll be fine, he’ll calm down…”. I don’t think I believed myself.

We bought a pizza for dinner and when we arrived at home Bentley quickly searched his new habitat. He trotted back in the kitchen and helped himself to the pizza we left sitting on the counter. He didn’t even have to reach. His head was level with the pizza so he knew we obviously left it there for him. The beautiful pizza was gone in seconds.

Our little Heidi was in her fourteenth year and really slowing down. Bentley didn’t understand respect for the elderly at all. He pinned Heidi to the floor with one foot and she couldn’t move. To Bentley Heidi was a living chew toy. The handwriting was beginning to take shape on the walls. All of them.

Bentley had a serious biting problem. He wasn’t biting to cause pain, he was playing. But his biting hurt!! A couple of times I grabbed him and pinned him to the floor and said, “No!” in his face. Bentley’s interpretation of that was, “This is fun! Biting means wrestle time!”

Our house had a central wall area that created an open runway from the kitchen to the dining room, through the living and laundry room and back to the kitchen. When my wife was doing laundry Bentley grabbed a sock and knew how to stay just far enough away from her to make her chase him. He went to the opposite side of the dining room table and stared. What a pill!

One redeeming quality Bentley had was he loved to walk and was terrific on a leash. He didn’t pull until he was choking like some dogs. He let us hook him up and walked a comfortable distance ahead within the length of his leash. Walks with Bentley were pleasant.

The final straw finally arrived. I was playing with Bentley in the house. He had a toy we were tossing and chasing which ultimately landed in his big crate and Bentley wouldn’t retrieve it. He was scheming and I should have recognized it. The only solution was to crawl into the crate and get the toy for him, which I did.

I was no sooner in the crate reaching for the toy when Bentley the pervert jumped on my back trying to hump me with all the gusto of a super-stud in a corral of available canines. I started screaming “Get off me you stupid dog!!” and trying to kick at him with no effect. My wife was laughing so hard all she could do was yell, “Stop! Hahahaha! Stop!”

I finally was able to back out of the crate with this beast still thrashing and when I stood up he was so tall he hung on to my shoulders! I was still hollering at him and trying to get away when I gave him an elbow in the chest. The assault was over. So was Bentley’s stay with us.

We put an ad in the paper for Bentley and within a day or two had a better home for him. He moved to a farm with sixty acres to explore and another big dog to play with.

Bentley the pervert was gone. That was ten years ago. I wonder if he’s still running on the farm.

A Walk in the Woods Will Clear Your Mind

There are a crazy number of things demanding our attention every waking moment of the day. The world is upside down. Many things we thought we could count on are gone. It is incredibly difficult to know what and who to believe. Very nice people are saying opposite things.

A simple walk in the woods always helps to clear my mind. I’m not one to go venturing in forests I’m not familiar with, but I can easily follow a path. I especially like paths that have maps on a post every quarter mile or so. That way I know exactly how to get back to my car.

We often see chipmunks and there are lots of birds. On our most recent walk we were excited to spot two deer watching us carefully. We saw each other about the same time but they stayed still until we were out of sight.

A walk in the woods does a couple of simple things. Exercise is obviously the first. We can all use it. Walking is an easy activity and who doesn’t enjoy getting out in nature?

Walking is also a great way to set your mind on something other than the chaos around us. If you pay attention to the things around you as you walk, and choose to really see everything instead of assuming you already know what you’re going to see, it sends your thoughts into a different direction than the normals paths it has been taking.

That’s the point. If we don’t choose to see, listen, watch, understand, and stay alert, our minds automatically follow the paths we’ve walked again and again.

I can choose to see and think differently. It’s up to me.

Calorie Bloated Lusciousness!

Most of the time we eat consciously. I don’t mean there are times when we eat that we are unconscious. I mean we eat, most of the time, fully aware of the nutritional value of our food. Then there are other times when nutrition can take a hike, jump in the lake, buzz off, get out of town. This is one of those times.

We have friends who introduced us to deep fried cinnamon roll bites. Oh my gosh!! Evolutionary self-preservation has just taken a giant leap onto a higher plain. (Relax! Don’t get bent out of shape I’m just kidding). These are amazing!

I wrote a blog some time ago about the big mistake McDonald’s made by getting rid of their huge, luscious, soft, delicious, indescribable, no-price-is-too-high cinnamon rolls literally dripping with thick, amazing, beautiful icing. I have finally found the perfect replacement. Take that, McDonald’s! I don’t need your cinnamon rolls. (It’s only been almost twenty years since I had one.)

I first made these in a frying pan, but it’s very difficult to control the temperature of the oil, so I knew it was time to make in investment in lusciousness. I bought a small deep-fryer. It holds about six cups of oil and it works perfectly! Beautiful small cinnamon bites every time.

Ok, here’s how to make them. I buy three cans of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Why not just pop those babies into the oven and use the icing that comes in the package, you ask? How can you ask such a thing. We’re talking about lusciousness here. Get real. Take the cinnamon rolls out of the package, put them on a cutting board or a plate and cut them into pieces. I cut across the middle, then turn and slice them twice again so each roll makes six pieces.

The fryer heats the oil pretty quickly, so I don’t turn it on until I have everything else ready. Cut up enough of the cinnamon rolls to get started and set them aside.

Put 3/4 cup of soft butter, or margarine, or butter-like spread in a bowl. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Carefully stir until the sugar is completely mixed with the butter. Now add vanilla, a little at a time until the icing is the consistency you want. Not too runny, not too thick. You can adjust the amounts depending on how much icing you want to make.

A great variation of the icing is to use maple syrup instead of vanilla. The icing is more sticky and stringy, but it’s delicious. Another option is to use flavoring like almond or brandy extract. Yum!!

While you’re making the icing you can turn your fryer on so it’s ready to go when the icing is finished.

Put the pieces of cinnamon roll in the hot oil carefully! It works best to add only as many as you can easily turn with a fork so they are fried on all sides. Don’t let them get too brown, 4-5 minutes at most will do it.

Dump the bites into a bowl lined with paper towel and watch them disappear!

We let everyone put some icing in a small sauce bowl, take a load of hot bites, and dig in. Purely luscious!!

When everyone has had their fill, now you can go back to worrying about nutrition and calories. These are in a strictly “forget the calories and nutrition” zone. But well worth it!

Maggie, Our Loving Mini-Goldendoodle

Many months ago I began writing blog posts about the dogs we have loved. We both grew up owning dogs so our love of these precious animals began long before we knew each other.

Nine years ago after my wife suffered the terrible loss of her younger brother whom she loved dearly, this little one came to bring healing. On the way home from Indiana where she joined us, she crawled up behind my wife’s shoulders and went to sleep.

We realized Maggie was very intelligent as you can see by the “why aren’t you feeding or petting me?” look, and that she would be in charge.

We learned from our very first puppy it wasn’t a good idea to let Maggie sleep with us even if she whined. Right.

We used a small cage to train Maggie so she had her own little bedroom. Bedtime wasn’t a problem, but every morning she woke about forty-thirty or five o’clock and started whining. We kept her in a separate bedroom so I went in, laid on the floor next to her and put my fingers through the grate. She always went back to sleep.

Maggie loves to play and our house often looks like we have a toddler. Which really is true. She has a lot of toys but has a few favorites that she plays with most of the time. Just like a child.

Maggie is all grown up. She goes everywhere with us and loves to travel. We have to spell words like go, ride, her, and take. Problem is, she knows how to spell. She caught on pretty quickly.

Any actions out of the ordinary and she starts following us around the house. Her ears are up, she watches carefully and waits for key words like leash.

We had a speed boat for a few years and Maggie loved it. We bought her a life vest she wore proudly. She sat on my wife’s lap and kept her nose high in the air for all the luscious smells at the lake.

Maggie wants to go for a ride anytime, anywhere, no matter how short or long. I put her in our pickup just to move it from the driveway to the grass. She was as happy as could be just to go that far.

Maggie keeps a very close eye on the neighborhood. She has a huge voice for such a little dog at just twenty-seven pounds. She’s learning, at long last, she’s not supposed to bark at everyone. She sasses instead. It’s like a talking growl. In spite of her growl, everyone is a friend she expects to pet her.

Two years ago, my wife was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. She went through six months of chemo-therapy and three months of radiation. Maggie stayed very close to her, and still does. If I say, “Where’s Mama?” she immediately goes to find her.

We celebrated Maggie’s ninth birthday last April. Last night my wife asked me if I thought Maggie is starting to slow down. Sometimes she tries to jump on the bed and doesn’t quite make it. She still loves to chase a frisbee in the back yard so I don’t really think she’s slowing down. Maybe just a little.

Every night, my wife and I pray together before we go to sleep. And every night I say, “Maggie, let’s pray with Mama.” Maggie might be sound asleep on the couch but when I say it’s time to pray she comes running. She lays down between us with her head down. We didn’t teach her to do it, she just does. When we’re finished praying she goes to the end of the bed to sleep. She’s pretty special.

Of all the dogs who have loved our family, Maggie stands out. She is probably the most needy, but also the most loving furry companion we have ever had. She came just when we needed her and has been loving us ever since.

I told my wife that when it’s time to hold this one in our arms as tears stream down our cheeks, it’s going to be our last time to say goodbye to one of these precious gifts. Maggie loves so much, demands a lot, but has nothing on her mind other than wanting to be close to us. I can’t imagine that ever being repeated and it will be just too hard to let her go.

The Unknown Stories of Beach Glass

This is Cal and Elaine. They keep to themselves for the most part, but they have an incredible story.

If you were unaware that each piece of beach glass has a story, then you’ve come to the right place. These are the Unknown Stories of Beach Glass.

Cal and Elaine have been friends for a very long time. In fact, the love they share has seen them through difficulties not unlike those which many others have endured, but it’s worth noting they are still going strong.

Cal and Elaine are different. Very different. But their difference has only been noted by others. Cal and Elaine hear whispers again and again. Some are just downright rude and say they shouldn’t be together, but Cal and Elaine don’t care. Their love is not blind, but it is unconditional. Their only interest is for each other. Giving to each other is their highest goal. Need is not a word they use when communicating with each other. The two words they use most often are love and share.

Maybe no one would have expected Cal and Elaine to find each other. Elaine is very sharp, has angular and beautiful features. Many have accused her of being too transparent. She doesn’t care. Cal is round, quite overweight. He doesn’t plan and is often late for the few events he does attend. Elaine says he is her perfect soul mate as he tempers her obsessive tendencies.

Cal and Elaine were meant for each other. Perhaps not in anyone else’s eyes. But their eyes are the only ones that matter.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric met at culinary school. Oddly enough, all three decided on a career as a chef against the wishes of their parents. Eric’s mom has worked in a restaurant most of her adult life and has never really enjoyed it. When Eric was little she used to take him to work with her. He spent his time sitting in a booth drawing pictures while his mom waited on customers. Sometimes he helped wash dishes.

Bjorn’s father patented a kitchen gadget that separates the egg from the yoke before the shell is broken. It’s the craziest thing! Use the gadget, crack the egg, the yoke is on the side of the white instead of the middle.

Bjorn’s father spends all of his time in kitchens talking chefs into buying his ingenious gadget. He can’t understand why Bjorn would want to spend a single day in a kitchen.

Ted’s parents own a pancake house franchise. They opened the first pancake house in their home town of Amshover, Missouri. No one has ever heard of Amshover and the pancake house is the busiest place in town. There isn’t even a grocery store in Amshover. There is a gas station, an urgent care center where Dr. Phillips actually delivered Ted because his mom waited too long to head for the nearest hospital forty-two miles away, a small elementary school, a bakery that closed last year, and the pancake house.

People came to the pancake house from many miles away. It wasn’t long before Ted’s parents decided to create a franchise and allow others to use their name, recipes, table linen designs, and logo for a huge franchise fee. They now have twenty-seven franchise partners. Ted’s parents were hoping he would become a doctor. Ted didn’t believe it was a wise choice because he becomes very dizzy at the sight of blood. He chose to become a chef.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl have been singing together for thirty-nine years. Ammon plays the dobro, Wilkey plays harmonica badly, Doug plays piano and guitar, Earl plays bass and doesn’t sing very well. There were five in the group for the first seventeen years. Ammon’s younger brother Ogden played drums, which was actually just a snare and cymbal. He had to quit after he got married and they never replaced him.

The group decided early on that if they were going to be on the road constantly it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to get married. They were right. After Ogden was married he continued playing shows with the group but Sylvia, his wife, threw such a fit about him being gone for two weeks he quit.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl still drive the same bus they’ve been traveling in since their first year together. The bus is part of their family and they don’t feel like they can let it go. The steering wheel is about the only thing that hasn’t been replaced. They got a ticket one time because the exhaust left a huge cloud in a little town. The engine was replaced, at huge cost, not long after. The guys are inseparable.

Rita and Francine can’t stand each other. They can hardly be in the same room before one of them says something critical about the other and away they go! Yelling insults and bringing up things that happened years ago. Someone suggested counseling and the two of them joined together for once to pummel the other with a list of words a drunken sailor would have been proud of.

Francine is ill. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not good. She has been to several specialists and they all say the same thing. She would give up except Rita is constantly by her side, giving her every reason to keep fighting. Rita is unwilling to let her enemy go and is giving incredible strength to Francine for one more day.

Cal and Elaine. So different yet they don’t see it.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric. They refused to give in to pressure and continue going the way they’ve chosen.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl. After thirty-nine years, still going strong and unwilling to quit even though no one remembers their names.

Rita and Francine. Enemies who would give the world for each other.

The unknown stories of beach glass. Fascinating. The stories lie on the beach, forgotten and alone until someone comes along to listen.

Copyright 2020 by Dale Parsons
Photos and Blog Post by Dale Parsons