Going Home – It Was A Wonderful Visit

Mostly True Memoirs

Going home

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Going Home

In The Anthropocene Revealed, John Green spoke about going home.

He says it’s not a place.

It’s a moment.

Perhaps a scent.

Maybe a song.

Possibly just a memory.

Isn’t that the truth?

I visited my hometown last week.

I smelled the briny scent of the ocean.

I felt the warm sun on my shoulders.

I listened to the mesmerizing crash of the waves.

And I played KRTH 101 all week.

The more things change, I noticed, the more they stay the same.

People still flock to the beach with snacks, and sand toys, and boogie boards.

Kids still build sand castles, and dig holes, and fly kites.

And seagulls are still thieves.

There’s always that one kid who throws a scrap of food for the birds.

Resulting in a zillion gulls swarming the beach, fighting over that crumb, and stalking everyone else’s snacks.

And there’s always, always, always that one guy with a metal detector, hoping to score some treasure.

I’ve never seen treasure actually scored, which means that maybe it’s still out there, waiting to be discovered.

I saw lots of friends and family.

I watched The Barbie Movie.

And I had many interesting discussions, leaving me with lots of things to think about.

Is going home possible?


I did it.

It was wonderful.

Liz Brenner

Everyone has a story to tell.

Even you.

Especially you.




Random Acts of Mild Aggravation

Mostly True Memoirs

Random Acts of Mild Aggravation


The Grown Son was insulted that I criticized the housekeeping standards of his truck.

He began a revenge campaign of Random Acts of Mild Aggravation.

He moved the cereal to a different pantry shelf.

He left several cabinet doors open.

He fiddled with the knobs on the dryer.

I laughed and laughed and laughed.

In college, we did the exact same thing to one of our roommates.

We didn’t take anything, and we didn’t break anything.

We simply “adjusted” everything in her room.

She wasn’t amused.

In fact, she was quite angry.

That roommate will be pleased to know that Karma has finally caught up with me.

She won’t be so pleased to know that I still think it’s funny.


The Fire Pit is Complete

Mostly True Memoirs

The fire pit is complete

The fire pit is complete.

But we have no chairs.

No one is selling patio furniture this year.

We have plenty of beach chairs, but Bob won’t let us use them.

They have pointy feet which will dig holes into the surface of the Hell Hole.

The surface that he labored to make level.

Bob might have to build us some Adirondack chairs.

With wide feet.

So we won’t ruin the surface of our Hell Hole.


October Has Been a Rough Month

Mostly True Memoirs

October has been a rough month

October has been a rough month.

I’ve been to several on-line funerals.

It’s been hard to keep my mind on the regular things.

This morning the Grown Son walked into my office.

“What’s THAT for?” he asked, pointing to the rainbow clown wig on my desk.

“I wore that to a Halloween-themed Toastmasters meeting,” I told him.

“Seriously?” he asked, horrified, “You didn’t wear that to the funeral service did you?”

I burst out laughing.

Of course I didn’t wear a rainbow clown wig to a funeral service.

But thanks for the laugh, Kid, I needed that.


Of Course He Can’t Find It

Mostly True Memoirs

of course he can't find it


“Do we have any mayo?” The Husband shouted from the kitchen.

“Yes, I just bought some,” I hollered back.

“Where is it?”

“If it’s not in the pantry, then it’s in the fridge.”

“I can’t find it.”

I sighed.

Of course he can’t find it.

I grumbled under my breath and trudged into the kitchen to find it.

He knows the drill.

If I find the thing in five seconds, I get to punch him as hard as I can.

He’s lucky that I’m all talk and no action.

So far.


I Was Having a Moment

Mostly True Memoirs

I was having a moment.


The Grown Sons complained bitterly because I was doing noisy housework at 9:00 am on a Sunday.

I patiently explained that I had been awake since 5:00, but I refrained from making noise until a decent hour.

They continued to complain bitterly.

I gave them some wise, motherly counsel.

I don’t remember my exact words.

They were something like:

“Watch your mouth.”

“Quit your bellyaching.”

“You freeloading slackers.”

Neither of them, by the way, are freeloading, nor are they slackers.

But I was having a moment, and it just slipped out.

At any rate, the house is clean.

But the family is cranky.

It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday.


Fall Housecleaning

Mostly True Memoirs

Fall Housecleaning


As if we weren’t quarantining hard enough, we are now in the midst of a major rainstorm.

We’re stuck at home.


It’s as good a time as any to start the fall housecleaning.

The Grown Sons are shocked.

They have been living on their own for awhile.

Apparently they have forgotten how to live in a house.

They want to know why.

Why in the world am I wiping down the floorboards?

Why am I washing the window blinds?

Why am I dusting all of the ceiling fans?

And why, why, why do they have to help?

“Because,” I assured them, “We have standards.”

I swear, these boys were not raised in a barn.

Although the evidence would suggest otherwise.


The Grown Son Mumbles

Mostly True Memoirs

The Grown Son Mumbles


The Grown Son mumbles.

It drives me insane.

Which is probably why he does it.

This morning he mumbled at me from the bathroom.

“What?” I asked, “You need sugar cubes?”

Sugar cubes?

“No!” he shouted, and then mumbled his request louder.

“I can hear you,” I sighed, “But you’re mumbling. I can’t understand you.”

He clearly enunciated that he was not mumbling.

And then he mumbled some more.

I shrugged and started to walk away because the conversation was becoming too annoying.

It was then that he decided to speak like a normal person.

Shaving cream.

He needed shaving cream.

Why didn’t he just say so in the first place?


Pondering My Life Choices

Mostly True Memoirs

Pondering my life choices


I took a Buzzfeed quiz to see what kind of Girl Scout cookie I am.

I got Shortbread.


That’s the most boring, bland, dull cookie in the bunch.

“Well, yeah,” said the Grown Son, with a dagger to my heart.

He suggested that I retake the quiz from the perspective of an underaged party girl who has just slammed a couple of beer bongs.

I retook the quiz.

I got Caramel Delight.

Apparently my alter ego is a more colorful cookie than I am.

I am going to spend the rest of the weekend pondering my life choices.


Back to School

Mostly True Memoirs

Back to school


I would not have survived going back to school with social distancing.

I’m so glad my kids are grown.

My kid is the one who would have constructed a six-foot-long device out of random objects and duct tape.

He would have poked at all of the other kids saying, “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you.”

When I told him this, he burst out laughing and agreed that he would have done exactly that.

Then he constructed a six-foot-long poking device out of random objects and duct tape.

And he poked me.

It never ends.