My Rock Star Moment

Everyone was smiling and clapping, the music was playing, and the sexiest man alive was standing next to me and holding my hand. I leaned over and whispered, “I feel like we are rock stars!” He whispered back, “We are!”

Seconds earlier, we were pronounced husband and wife in front of about thirty of our dearest friends and family in a party suite in Las Vegas. Six years before, we met in person and went on our first date. Fifty-four years young on that evening, it was the happiest moment in my life.

Our wedding was our way, a night to celebrate six years of love, growth, and building a relationship. Not everyone could make it, but we accepted that those there were meant to be there. Family traveling as far from the east coast, friends traveling as far from Singapore and London.

I was walking to my beloved to the haunting tune of ‘Angel’ by Massive Attack, turning that walk into a strut during the crescendo. My Love was casually leaning against the bar, patiently waiting as I made my entrance.

Dressed in black slacks and a long-sleeved button-down shirt, his matching black hair flowing over his shoulders and down his back, mustache and beard neatly trimmed, I fell in love/lust with that man all over again. The smile on his face and the sparkle in his eyes told me he liked what he saw: my just-above-the-knee length cocktail dress made of black lace, bare legs, and black suede platform heels. Getting married at midnight in Las Vegas called for such attire. Just enough makeup to look naturally glam and a blowout of my blond highlights; one of my girlfriends said I had an Adele look.

The vows were sincere and moving but not traditional. The officiant looked like an angel in her white silk dress and white-blond hair. My dads had tears in their eyes, as did my sisters and my best friend.

After our vows, lighting the unity candle, exchanging rings, and – the kiss – we were announced to our guests. Fat Boy Slim’s “I Want to Praise You” began to play, and our guests began to clap and cheer; that is when I had that feel-like-a-rock-star-moment. Truly the happiest moment of my life up to that point.

We had a lite champagne reception afterward. The next day was the formal reception, although nothing was formal; a steel drum band, Caribbean-themed buffet, dancing, drinking, debauchery, a giant pineapple pinata stuffed with adult novelties, booze, and gift cards. It was a great party, but the best moment was still that feeling after being announced, of seeing the love, support, and genuine happiness in honor of our relationship from the people we loved most. Indeed a rock star moment.



The Fifties I barely remember, birthed and burped, learned to walk and talk, quickly making room for……

The Sixties, which brought a new baby to play with and fuss over, friends, elementary school…. I loved all those things. It also brought death, multiple assassinations, riots, painful awareness, and a man on the moon.

The Seventies were a time of extreme growth – in mind, body, and spirit. From a young teen to a young adult, I lost my innocence, virginity, and favorite grandfather. From those losses, I gained awareness – of what was REALLY happening in society, how to enjoy my body, and that my grandmother had been the head of the family all along.

The Eighties, while not my favorite, was the busiest decade. I became a soldier, a wife, a mother, a volunteer, an activist. I created a family but was uncertain where my place in the world was supposed to be.

The Nineties are a blur. You would think the ‘sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll’ Seventies were a fog, but for me, it was the Nineties. Expressing myself more as an activist and a mother but losing my self-worth inside a troubled marriage. I really liked the music though.

The turn of the century brought So. Much. Change. Within that first decade of the new century, long-lost siblings were found, a house bought and sold, the end of a two-decades-long marriage, moving a lot, and the beginning of becoming acquainted with me again. It also brought new love. And a new president the likes this country had never seen, literally.

The Twenty-Teens offered new opportunities as well as stability, a second marriage, and the incredible joy of grandparenthood. It also offered up another new president the likes this country had never seen, literally.

The Twenty-Twenties ushered in pain from the beginning. Kobe, George Floyd, a global pandemic, an insurrection, an unexplained depression I had never experienced before. What does the future of this decade hold? Social awareness and change? I see steps in this direction. I’m taking charge of my mental and physical health and seeing positive results. So, things are looking up. And grandchild number five is due in May.

End of Day

My favorite time of day is dusk, twilight, eventide.

My favorite landscape is the ocean with a smooth sandy beach.

My favorite people include my son and his children, my grandchildren.

My favorite photo is one of my son with his son.

As the day comes to an end, a young father enjoys watching the sunset with his toddler, the sun dissolving into the watery horizon as waves gently roll back and forth on the shore, inching closer to their bare feet dusted with sand.

After hours of wading in the waves, digging in the sand for buried treasure, and several romps up and down the shoreline, both father and son welcome the peaceful nod of the end of a beautiful day, sharing a special moment together, one that was, thankfully, captured on camera, to be enjoyed for eternity.

Surviving the 2020 Presidential Election

To say that today and the following days/weeks will be momentous is an under statement. They will be stressful, for some victorious, for others disappointing and even devastating. I went to bed last night feeling very different than I did four years ago. In 2016 I was excited, last night I was solemn and uncertain. This morning I slept in, had breakfast, and went back to sleep again – which was how I reacted to the first three months of sheltering in during the pandemic. Around 1:30 pm I finally pulled myself out of bed, armed with a plan for today that I had prepared last night. EXTREME SELF CARE is what I am focused on for today and the next several days. I plan to be gentle with myself, my husband, and everyone I come into any kind of contact with. If I come across anyone or anything volatile, I will avoid them – that’s the plan anyway. I have small projects to work on to help me stay focused and productive, but not overwhelmed. Tomorrow I am having my nails done and on Thursday a much needed haircut. Comfort food for meals if I feel like it, high quality CBD oil to keep me balanced, top shelf alcohol if the election results are not what I hoped and worked for. Finally, I encourage all of you to join me and engage in the two activities that have seen me through the most trying of times, beginning in my teen years and carrying me through to my sixties: LISTEN TO STEVIE WONDER and READ JAMES BALDWIN.

Book Review: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The telling of this story is a dance itself. While it can be slow paced, there are abrupt stops and a change of rhythm, as if changing partners mid-dance. Sometimes seductive, sometimes frenzied, but each step and each move connected and led into the next. The story is never tiring but becomes so heavy it can wear the reader down, needing to take a break in order to soak everything in, just as a dance can tire the dancer to the point of exhaustion. But when the music starts to play again, up jumps the dancer, eager to continue, just as the reader picks up where they left, eager to fall deeper into the story. The characters are as rich as the language used to tell this story, and the story itself is one of both tragedy and triumph. This will be one of the few books I chose to read over and over again.

Book Review: Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

The beginning of this book intrigued me; I was extremely interested in the character of Mattie and mistakenly assumed the story would be told from her perspective – a slave narrative in the third person. Midway through the book Mattie makes a life-changing decision and I was excited to follow her character through a new direction, but sadly the author chose to drop Mattie’s story and go into boring detail of another character, Elizabeth, the child of the plantation owners that Mattie was charged to be a wet nurse and nanny. We follow Elizabeth through her teen years in antebellum Virginia, with all of the privileges afforded white families who owned enslaved African descendants. Way too much sugar coating of life on a plantation for the enslaved residents, and the implied innocence and naivete of the white women in the story is insulting, misleading, and inaccurate. While the reader eventually finds out what happens to Mattie, it is too little and too late, for my satisfaction anyway.

Book Review: Heaven, My Home (Highway 59 #2) by Attica Locke

A great read! Texas Ranger Darren Mathews continues to find more mysteries to solve than the one/s he is originally assigned to investigate. I read this story slowly because I didn’t want it to end and now Ms. Attica Locke has left me wanting MORE! From the red dirt to the piney woods to the Caddo Lake and its bayous, this is pure East Texas gold. The characters come to life in such a way that I can hear and smell them. Some I want to shake their hands, others I just want to shake! Thank you, Ms. Locke, for bringing a great detective story so full of East Texas flavor that I savor for more.

Book Review: Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59 #1) by Attica Locke

When I learned the location of this story was in East Texas, I knew I had to read it. Darren, the African-American Texas Ranger, reminds me of a couple of my own nephews who grew up not far from the towns named in this book, one of them still living in the area and working in law enforcement. A VERY realistic portrayal of the ‘dance’ between Black and White and the law enforcement in this part of the country. The ignorance of these ways can be dangerous and costly, as was evident in the story. I finished this book just in time to begin book two of the series, “Heaven, My Home.” I would love it if a television program was created around this series of books, a modern-day version of ‘In the Heat of the Night.’

Book Review: The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

What an incredible journey! I began reading this book in a similar fashion I enter the ocean, beginning with dipping my toe in the water to gauge the temperature. I slowly but surely enter the water with both feet, steadying myself, and begin to wade out as my body adjusts to the power of the waves. When I am confident I can handle the current, I dive in head first and begin swimming out as far as my energy will take me.

As with the ocean, I took my time, reading the first few chapters carefully, unsure of how powerful a story this would be. I waded slowly through most of the first half of the book, reading only a few chapters each day, even skipping a day or two. Midway through I was ready for the deep dive and read with a vengeance. Like the ocean, this story is powerful; it will take your breath away, and your soul if you aren’t careful. And much like the gentle lapping of the waves, James’ words lull you into a false sense of knowing what comes next, until the horror hits you from behind and swallows you into its powerfully brutal tale of life in 18th century Jamaica. As you drown in the violence, confusion, and sorrow of the circumstances of enslaved people, a breath of fresh air saves you – in the form of women who posses a knowledge and power not of this world.

By the end of the story I felt so battered that I did not think I would survive the ending, but in the last few paragraphs this brilliant storyteller throws out a life preserver, allowing the reader to float back to shore, not only relieved they have survived, but grateful for the experience.

Book Review: NAAMAH by Sarah Blake

This was not the story I was expecting! Take a little Old Testament mythology, add in the Divine Feminine, some good old Mother Earth paganism, a few scenes of lesbian erotica and then read it after washing down a couple of peyote buttons with a bottle of red wine. Yep, that is what my experience reading this story felt like. The character of Naamah is someone I aspire to be before I leave this life – unpretentious, completely honest with herself, and as authentic of a person I have ever come across – in person or in literature. Sarah Blake has done a masterful job of sharing her image of the mother of humanity (post flood), as well as defining the kind of partner/husband she pictured Noah as being. In fact, I loved these two characters so much I almost wish I believed the ancient fable. Life on the ark is described from Naamah’s perspective as the ultimate caregiver to both her family and the animals, and it is quite a refreshing outlook. The reader is also treated to the magical adventures of Naamah when she is OFF of the ark as well. If I say anymore it would include spoilers, so I will conclude with a strong recommendation to read this book if you are hungry for a mystical fantastic story.