humor memoir storytelling

The Greatest Road Closure Ever

The greatest road closure ever


We wanted to drive down the Million Dollar Highway.

The starting point is in the tiny town of Ouray, Colorado.

We arrived just after 8:00 am.

Unfortunately, access to the highway was closed from 8:00 to noon for work on the power lines.

We had a couple of hours to kill.

Ouray has hot springs we could have soaked in.

But they weren’t open to the public that early in the morning.

They also have ATVs to rent to explore the countryside.

But they also weren’t available that early in the morning.

We decided to go for a hike.

There’s a river and a waterfall, and you can hike to the top of the canyon to look down on it.

Off we went.

At the very, very, very top, there’s a bridge that you can walk on to cross the gorge.

It’s metal with an open weave so that you can see the view while you cross.

“We don’t have to do this,” Bob said kindly.

He knows I’m afraid of heights.

“I didn’t climb all the way up here to not cross that bridge,” I said, “I’m doing it.”

Setting my eyes on a spot on the other side, I plowed forward, refusing to look out or down.

I made it!

Bob laughed and said that now I have to go back.

Again, I set my eyes on a spot on the other side and plowed forward, refusing to look out or down.

I’m not sure, but I think I may have died of fright just a little bit.

A few other hikers had approached the bridge by that time.

“Don’t mind me,” I said to them, slightly crazed with fear, “I’m terrified of heights.”

They all cheered because I did it anyway.

I now have some new best friends.

It was the greatest road closure ever.

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humor memoir storytelling

I’m Home

I'm home


I’m home from my vacation.

Oh, I needed that break.

I (almost) completely unplugged.

I did very little social media or email or texting.

I still used my electronics, of course.

I read three ebooks and listened to two audiobooks.

I visited family and friends and spent time in my hometown at the beach.

Then we road-tripped back from California through Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and finally home to Texas.

More stories about the trip will follow.

Right now, I need to go wash all of the bug death off of my car.

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lifestyle memoir storytelling

A Larry McMurtry Tribute

A Larry McMurtry tribute


The Modern Art Museum is hosting a Larry McMurtry tribute all month.

They’re showing the movies and hosting a discussion.

This weekend, we went to see The Last Picture Show.

I loved the book, but I had never seen the movie.

I’m glad I went.

The movie was very true to the book.

At home I tried to watch Texasville, which is the sequel.

But I couldn’t find the movie streaming anywhere.

I watched Hud instead.

The film strayed from the book, but it was still a great movie.

McMurtry’s books were very controversial when they were first published.

My mother used to hide them.

I’m not sure if she hid them from me or if she hid them for me.

I always found them and read them.

I’m certain she knew.

She would have loved this McMurty tribute.

humor memoir storytelling

Ain’t That The Truth!

Ain't that the truth!


At a recent Toastmasters meeting, the Grammarian pointed out that sometimes the best way to make a clear point is to use bad grammar.


One time I gave a humorous presentation at a Toastmasters meeting.

Afterwards, a fellow Toastmaster pulled me aside and urgently pointed out that I had used sloppy grammar.

This person was surprised and a little offended because I am an English teacher, a writer, and an editor, and I should know better.

Well duh.

It was done strategically.

Perfect grammar would have been incongruous in a comedy about Fireball.

Grammar standards and whiskey shots just don’t go together.

There’s a time and a place for everything.

Sometimes bad grammar is the best way to make a particular point.

Ain’t that the truth!

humor memoir storytelling

I’m Afraid I’ve Created a Monster

Have I created a monster?


Blackberries start out as a white flower.

Then they turn into green berries, and then red berries and then, finally, blackberries.

Every day I go out with a huge bowl to pick the ripe ones.

Every day there are tons and tons of red berries and green berries and white flowers waiting their turn.

I’m getting a little worried.

Is this ever going to end?

This year’s new growth, which will produce next year’s fruit, is already bigger than the established plants.

I’m afraid I’ve created a monster.

I am remembering the apple tree scene from The Wizard of Oz.

I hope my blackberries don’t rise up against me like those apple trees did.

I’ll keep the pruning shears handy just in case.

lifestyle memoir storytelling

I’ve Got To Hear That Story

I've got to hear that story


I met a woman briefly on a Zoom call.

She said that her husband had been a priest for 20 years.

He left the church for her.

And then she disappeared from the meeting.

I didn’t even catch her name.

But I want to hear what happened.

It’s The Thorn Birds meets Fleabag.

Kind of.

Come back, Lady, COME BACK!

I’ve got to hear that story.

lifestyle memoir storytelling

Poor, Dumb Little Dog

Dumb little dog

Oh my poor, dumb little dog.

We built a patio cover.

And now she can’t figure out the weather.

I was sitting on the patio, watching the rain.

She poked her nose out of the doggy door and came out to join me.

She was a little perplexed because she could see the rain and she could hear the rain, and she could smell the rain, but it wasn’t raining.

She tried to step off the patio, but it was, in fact, raining.

She quickly stepped back under the cover.

She tried another side of the patio.

Yeah, it was raining there too.

She went back to the first spot, and yes, it was still raining over there.

She gave me a perplexed look.

And didn’t seem to appreciate that I laughed at her.

She rage sighed and stalked back indoors.

Poor dumb little dog.

family memoir storytelling

I Swear It Was Justified

I swear it was justified


Bob got up very early this morning to do some yard work.

In the middle of his work, he asked me to make him something to eat.

Bob is perfectly capable of making his own food.

However, he was wet and muddy and too dirty to come into the house.

I made him a fried egg sandwich.

He stood at the back door the entire time, back-seat egging me.

I swear, I’ll tell the judge, I swear it was justified

memoir storytelling work

They Can’t Block Me

they can't block me


I was in a Zoom meeting.

One man mentioned that he had seen the Blue Man Group.

I burst out laughing.

I thought about the Blue Man Group story line on Arrested Development.

“I’m afraid I just blue myself,” never stops being funny.

No one in this group had seen Arrested Development.

They did not understand the reference.

What a crushing disappointment.

These folks could all use the Method One acting clinic.

I will spend the rest of the day quoting Tobias Funke lines to my family.

They can’t block me.

Can they?

memoir storytelling work

I’m Hangry for That Book

I'm hangry for that book


I love David Baldacci.

I heard his lecture series on Masterclass.

He gave a fabulous presentation.

I picked up the first Atlee Pine book, Long Road to Mercy.

It was so engaging that I read it in one sitting.

I picked up the second Atlee Pine book, A Minute to Midnight.

It was so engaging that I read it in one sitting.

And now, to my overwhelming disappointment, I find out that the third book won’t be published until November.


What am I supposed to do for two months?


That’s just crazy talk.

I need to know what happens.

I’m hangry, but not for food.

I’m hangry for that book.