Ten books up in smoke…forty more to go

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Burn Baby Burn! Photo by E. O. Elliott

I wasn’t kidding last week when I wrote about setting fire to my journals. I burned ten books yesterday. There are about forty more to go. Our old barbecue grill makes the perfect incinerator. We haven’t used it in years so it’s nice to pull it out of its corner on the patio and put it into service some sort of way.

This has, surprisingly, NOT been an emotional event for me. I was afraid that it could be but alas, it isn’t. I’ve always been fascinated by fire so tearing the books apart and tossing the pages into the grill, while watching the flames do their magical thing, is pretty satisfying in itself. …

No one. I’ll make sure of that.

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Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

Do you ever wake up in the morning and the answer to a question that’s been haunting you for a long time suddenly makes itself crystal clear? Maybe it came to you in a dream? Or maybe it was something you watched on television before going to bed that manifested itself overnight? Who knows?

I woke up today with the answer to a question I’d been asking myself for years. What in the hell should I do with my private journals? And finally, this morning, I knew.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning for over twenty years, I sat in bed with a cup of hot coffee and wrote in my journal. I liked the black, hardcover sketch books sold at the art supply store. 5–1/2 x 8–1/2 inches, the pages were clean, weighty, and unruled. Back then my penmanship (I was told) was beautiful. I didn’t need lines and rules to keep things straight and neat. Between the artist in me and the perfectionist, there was no way my lines would slant. …

Even on our worse days, we could still bond over a favorite film

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Photo of television by meltingdog from FreeImages

The Chicago Sunday Tribune newspaper would hit the front porch with a loud thud. I’d run out to scoop it up and bring it inside. Before dropping it on the kitchen table and letting my brothers have at it, I’d grab the big, color comics section and the TV Guide.

It was my job, as the youngest member of a family of movie fanatics, to comb through the TV Guide and note if someone’s favorite film was airing that week. Of course, this meant that I had to know everyone’s favorite. …

When to call them out — and when to let it go

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Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

So, I was on the phone yesterday with B, a member of my family. And once again, B told me a lie. I say once again because, for some crazy reason, B has developed a tendency to casually drop a little lie or two into our conversations. Not every time we talk but, the older we get, the more frequently she’s doing it.

I’ve been annoyed by it. Of course. But I haven’t been too worried. Her lies aren’t usually compulsive. There’s nothing pathological about them and I’ve never felt that she suffered from any sort of disorder. …

Surviving the front lines of love and war

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Photo by Shvets Anna from Pexels

I turned eighteen smack in the middle of the sexual revolution, but before the AIDS Epidemic. For about a decade there was nothing to fear except a few nasty but treatable STDs. I was single and mingling for a long time. And I learned that there were, basically, three kinds of relationships. My guess is, there still is.

Situation #1. You meet, say, in a bar or a club. And he’s hot. You spot him on your first cruise around the dance floor and with loins on fire, you bump, grind and sway to the music with him until closing time. He gives you his number and in a few days, you call him. Immediately y’all hit the sheets. But you’re not looking to turn this into anything more and you knew that from the beginning. …

When you know in your heart that you can’t forgive, stop trying.

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

They say that forgiveness is at the root of moving forward. To get passed the anger and heartache, we must forgive the ones who caused it. Okay. Normally I’d go along with that. It’s healthy, it’s positive, it’s progress. And I’m all for progress.

But when you’ve been double-crossed by someone close, and the idea of forgiving them feels like being sentenced to scrubbing shitty toilets with a toothbrush for the rest of your life, it’s best to face facts. You will never make peace with that.

My mother raised me on kindness and fairness, wrapping it all up with her favorite Golden Rule, treat others the way you wish to be treated. Now, I’m first to admit that I can be a pretty harsh critic. And I’m judgmental as hell. But in spite of my flaws, compassion plays a major role in my life. I’m a true Libra in that respect. …

Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls

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Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash

I was born into a blended family. Really blended. My mother was a widow with two young sons and my father was twice-divorced with a teen-aged son and daughter. I came along as the centerpiece of our two families’ union.

Sometimes I felt the pressure of that but for the most part, I grew up protected and adored. I was a teenager before fully grasping the whole step-brother/full brother/half-sister thing. We weren’t raised that way, you see. As far as I was concerned, I had three brothers and a sister. Period.

My father’s first wife was Sally, the mother of his two oldest kids. She remarried after their split but was still very much in the picture. In a good way. It was nothing for me to hop in the car with my oldest brother and drive from Chicago to Des Moines to visit his mom and Mr. G., …

Does the chosen one meet your needs?

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It’s a Tango, baby! By ArtNews for Pixabay

My husband and I have been married for twenty-five years. And I’ve spoiled him.

I swore I wouldn’t do it. I tried early on to be mindful of every plate of food I dished up for him, every back rub, every time I yielded to his judgment. But it seemed as if it couldn’t be helped. I slid right in and spoiled him anyway.

Why? Because I loved doing it. Especially in the beginning. I loved gauging just the right amount of food to put on his plate. Not too little. But not too much. …

“And whatever you do, don’t get pregnant!”

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Photo by Luve Christian on Unsplash

Scottie and I were in the front seat of his stepfather’s roomy Impala. The drive-in that night wasn’t very full and it felt as if we had the whole southwest end of the semi-empty lot to ourselves. Do you remember what that felt like? A dark night, a steamy car ? It was like we were the last two people on earth.

The movie speaker was turned all the way down while Marvin crooned “Let’s Get It On” over the radio. We were going at it, touching, rubbing, tugging, licking, everything BUT laying ourselves flat on that front bench seating and wilding all the way out. …

We’re rolling through this life together!

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My 2004 Honda Element

My car is currently in the shop. Squirrels have chewed on the wiring underneath the hood and caused a lot of damage. I can understand them raiding my garden and going after the tomatoes but car wiring? Really? How can that taste good?

My car, a Honda Element, is the only car I’ve ever owned. I purchased it brand new back in 2004. Yep. She’s sweet sixteen, with less than 50,000 miles on her. How can that be? Well, I’m self-employed and work from home. Low mileage on my car means I’ve been very busy.

But now I’m faced with a dilemma. It’s going to cost more to repair her than her blue book value. The question? Is she worth it. And guess what? …


Edwina Owens Elliott

Illustrator, graphic designer, self-published indie author. Lover of beauty and creativity in every form.

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