Isn’t life funny? Or not.

We all start our lives fresh with high expectations. Little boys want to be astronauts and Indy 500 racers, and little girls want to be … the same?

Anything is possible, but does it happen?

My husband and I spent the weekend with college-era friends. We didn’t look quite the same, and enough years have passed that we can take stock of our lives.

Did we meet our career expectations? Our financial goals? How did our marriages turn out? What about the kids?

The Oregon coast had high surf and sunny skies. Unusual in February in Oregon and not something we expected to find. And you know what?

We decided our lives are unique as well. We’ve never grown up. We start a new chapter with every fresh endeavor. We keep writing our lives well–even when we don’t know what to expect next.

Have you met your goals and expectations in life?

What has changed from when you started out life as a 21-year-old?

What are you doing now?


Dickens and All Things English

Second Hand Clothing Dealer

Are you watching Downton Abbey? Most of us are enjoying a glimpse into the aristocratic lives of our favorite characters in season three, while the downstairs staff intrigue us with their style of living.

Charles was born 200 years ago. To celebrate, San Francisco presented a bicentennial Dickens fair at the Cow Palace. We interacted with sailors on the London docks, ragpickers in the stews and alleyways, and junk dealers with dented silver from the swells.

My favorite characters were the chimney sweeps, filthy in black clothing, who handed out gold coins for luck (with a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side and George Washington on the other. Go figure.)

Professional singers and actors and real shops with period merchandise for sale enchanted our senses and brought us a sense of belonging to another time.

Why the craze for all thing English right now? Do you know? And why was the London pickpocket texting on his smart phone?

Have You Ever Tweaked a House Plan?

We’ve met with our architect and reviewed the house plan. How did the square footage get away from us? At the rate we’re going, we’ll end up with the Taj Mahal if we’re not careful. But if we cut footage, then there’s no room for this, can’t have that. Decisions, decisions.

We’re thinking of livability, construction costs, and that awful phrase … property taxes.

And come to think of it, how did we collect so much stuff? And why does it take on such sentiment when it’s a family piece?

Would my grandmother tell me to keep her stuff or pitch it? She was the soul of practicality, but then she had to be. She homesteaded in the Wyoming sagebrush.

So we’re back to the drawing board. Trying to redesign a plan that includes everything we need, but in a tighter footprint.

I understand cutting words. I edit my novels, keeping it tight, highlighting the real meaning.

So how do you edit square footage and still include the essentials? Does anybody have any advice? What do we do now?