Lunching Through Life

I should probably drink a second mug of coffee prior to checking on the daily word prompt.  This morning I was convinced the subject was “lunch.” My morning read includes some of the responses from other bloggers, partly to get my brain cells firing, but also because I’ve discovered some interesting new blogs that way.

LurchImagine my surprise when confronted with this image:

Lately, I’ve been a bit uneasy when wanting to write more personal thoughts that might seem frivolous or insignificant.  It feels unseemly given the state of the world to write anything that isn’t serious and insightful regarding current events, or at the very least inspirational and encouraging.  I’m reminded of my mental and emotional conflict while in the initial grieving period after the deaths of my parents. I would find myself chuckling over a good joke or the antics of my children, or would realize I was mindlessly watching some sitcom and laughing at the inane and worn-out humor. But then my inner Emily Post would scold:  “Your mother died just two weeks ago, and you’re laughing?  Have some respect!!” I believe, however, that one powerful way to counter grief or the overwhelming negativity that characterizes so much of our current public discourse is to rejoice in our humor, our creativity, our shared human foibles and quirks and to give them full expression. So, I’m sticking with “lunch.”

brunch-154850_640When I retired a few years back, some friends told me “Now you can be one of the ‘ladies who lunch’.” Familiar with the song, I briefly thought they were predicting retirement would change me from a hard-working, sober woman into a booze-soaked slacker sliding off her bar stool at high noon.

person-1081159_640Surely they were joking, and what I have become is a better version of myself. I have learned to identify more clearly and speak more gently my own truths. I have been visited by dreams that were waiting patiently while I worked and married, raised children and grew older.

One of my youthful dreams was that I would someday be a female Hemingway (I’m pretty sure there is a bar stool somewhere in that scenario). I would live exuberantly as an ex-pat in Cuba or Greece (or some other not-Yankee American, exotic place), crafting powerfully written and wildly successful books that would take the world by storm.

Clearly that didn’t happen.  I made choices that took me down different roads.  But still, I have finally begun to write.  I don’t think any published author, dead or alive, is in much danger of serious competition from me.  But this is my version of ladies who lunch, and I am satisfied.



©Martha Hurwitz, 8/21/17

Inspired by Daily Word Prompt: lurch






Stay Back!


Warning.  Yes, I waddle when I walk, look like a skunk on steroids.  You may think to come near, to enter my space, to chuckle at my weird attempts at defense.  Don’t mistake my slowness or strange appearance for acquiescence and accommodation.  I learned early that everyone is a stranger, even those who are not.  My heart lives in a neutral zone, scorched and deforested, at the edge of the sea, servitude at my back and the promised land a vague and unseen promise.

I mark my space with spikes, a painful defense by isolation.  Survival is my refuge, my destination, my home.  Beware, stay back.  Enter at your own risk.


Inspired by daily word:  quill



No, I can’t hear you now!!


About 20 years ago, my husband said I should get a cell phone “in case of an emergency.” At the time, I was commuting 25 miles morning and evening to my job in the nearest city, we had two young children, and three members of our family who were in their 80’s.  My commute also involved long stretches of country highway, not highly traveled, and with various species of large animals who liked to cross the road in the dark. Even though cell phone coverage was fairly spotty for much of the trip, it still seemed reasonable to me that having a phone in the car “just in case” was a good idea.

At that time, cell phones were not necessarily new or unusual, but most people I knew didn’t have one.  Those who did were doctors or emergency personnel and perhaps the occasional high-technophobe who always had the latest toy before everyone else.

In the interim, cell phones have become so common an accessory that I am pretty sure it won’t be long before sperm cells will contain miniature communication devices so that we will be able to talk to our children before they’re even born.  (I am convinced that somehow my in-laws managed to anticipate this coming development, as I am pretty sure they were born with phones clutched in their little fists, and haven’t stopped talking since.)  So far I haven’t heard about cell coverage in the grave, but it probably won’t be long before coffins come with a Bluetooth option.

Back to the idea that I needed a cell phone for “emergencies.”  Beyond a few occasions that could fall under a definition of emergency that would please Mr. Webster, over the years what has actually constituted an emergency for which my cell phone is necessary?

  • Can you stop at the hot dog stand and bring some home?  They’re four for $3.00 today.
  • Check and see if the auto parts store is open.  I need some WD40.  Large can.
  • What are you planning to make for dinner tonight?
  • I was going to pick up my mess from the dining room table, but I got distracted.
  • Don’t forget to go to the post office and pick up the mail.
  • I parked all the way at the end of the parking lot and some dingbat parked right next to me.
  • The town dump truck turned around in our driveway.

You get the picture…..

I am not sure when it  became necessary for people to be in constant contact or when it became critical to share the excruciating minutiae of everyday life on Facebook or by constant texting, e-mailing and phone calls.

Clearly the technology has many positive and socially important uses, and perhaps I am wallowing in a bit of old lady bah humbug here.  But just because you CAN call me with every random thought that cruises through your consciousness doesn’t mean that you HAVE TO.   Yes, I know there is caller ID and voicemail, but the problem now is that if I don’t answer my phone, or return calls immediately, then obviously something must be wrong and I also get a text and an e-mail asking why I didn’t answer.

It’s because I’m in a dead zone – not THAT dead zone, just the one that Dan Hicks was referring to when he wrote “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?”  Sorry, I still can’t hear you…….