The doctor tapped on the door of the examination room and walked in. He shook my hand as usual, then paused and said, “Caryl, what have you done?” It was a good question, and it came from a man who knows me well. Dr. C. has taken wonderful care of my cats since the ’80s. I consider him a friend as well as a veterinarian. That morning my friend was a bit perplexed, perhaps a […]
I loved working jigsaw puzzles when I was a kid. Somehow, though, it seems that I outgrew them. I don’t remember exactly how or why it happened, only that when I went away to college, I didn’t take any along. But now, after more than a 50-year absence, I’ve redeveloped a passion for jigsaw puzzles. And I know exactly how that happened. Last February, when I spent a week with Sue in a condo on […]
Today’s assignment is to recreate the events of a single day. This one will be easy, since I will draw on memories of my recent stay with my friend, Sue, in her rental condo in Orange Beach, AL I wake up when I wake up, without an alarm or obligation. I know without getting out of bed whether Sue is up before me. The first thing she does each morning is open the glass […]
Trick-or-treating is underway at the Maples. Every year that I’ve lived here, we’ve had more costumed kids stop by. And each year it has been more fun. One of the most creative groups I’ve seen tonight came over from our next-door community, The Sonatas. It’s cold, so one of the dads rigged up a heater on the golf cart that carried the parents while the kids ran door to door. Many of the costumes are […]
My right hand is bothering me this afternoon. It’s not sore, really. It’s more like it’s lonely. I think my hand might be missing the Cubs championship ring that I was privileged to wear for a few moments this morning. Doesn’t it look good on my finger? Let me back up and explain. Today was my monthly breakfast with several English department people I taught with before we all retired. One of them, Tony Casalino, […]
Happy October from Maples at the Sonatas… Where we are lovin’ our World Series-playin’ Cubbies. Our mascot, Healy the Bear, says, GO, CUBS, GO! And so do most of our residents.
It was late August, my first summer at The Maples, a hot, sunny afternoon at the pool. Two of my best friends, Marylee and Margie, were over for one of our monthly get-togethers. Because it was their first time at the pool, I wanted to make it a bit celebratory. What better way, I thought, than to share a bottle of champagne? I got the girls situated at a table, cranked up the umbrella, and […]
According to Twitter, today is World Lion Day. If there’s any animal deserving of its own day, surely it would be king of the beasts. Aren’t they gorgeous? I would have loved to visit these guys today, but my schedule didn’t allow for a trip to Brookfield Zoo. And it really wasn’t necessary to drive a couple of hours anyway. I have two of their smaller cousins, household-size lions, living with me. So I called […]
I step out my front door, ready for adventure. It’s time to see what this Pokémon Go craze is all about. I have a brain in my head, an iPhone in my hand, and tennies on my feet. I’m logged onto the app. Let’s go! I barely get to the sidewalk when a neighbor drives by. She opens her car window and says, Watch where you’re going, Caryl. You don’t want to fall and break […]
My post below, which I titled Afternoon Treat, has been well received. It has been viewed 95 times here on the blog itself and many more times on Facebook. I can’t keep track of the number of views on FB because the post has been shared by many people, some of whom I don’t even know. A few minutes ago, I heard from Jenn, one of the riders in the picture. I thought you might […]
So this happened a few days ago. I love living in a place like Woodstock, where country still comes to town occasionally. It doesn’t happen as often now that our population is nearly 25,000. Yes, we are a stop on the commuter train line. But no, we are not a suburb. I hope the riders offered their horses a DQ. Maybe a hay and oats Blizzard?
Part 1 — in which hopes are dashed and hearts are broken I was scrolling down my Facebook page last week when a headline and photo grabbed my eye. Here’s the article, by The McKenzie Post, that went viral with Woodstock Facebook users the day after the Oscars: Leonardo DiCaprio is Moving to Woodstock, Illinois Located about 50 miles outside of Chicago, Woodstock, Illinois is a peaceful town filled with people who have almost no […]
You can be sure that I will be glued to the TV during the Super Bowl tomorrow evening. I hope the Broncos win, but it’s not the football game that I’m most interested in. So you read that and thought, ah ha, she’s going to say she’ll be watching the commercials, right? But no, that’s not it either. The big attraction for me will be the halftime show. And not because I’m a Cold Play […]
White elephant. A possession that is more of a problem than a pleasure; a useless possession (perhaps quite valuable) that one cannot easily get rid of. Legend has it that rare albino elephants in ancient Siam automatically became the property of the king. At least one such king had the custom of giving a white elephant to any courtier who had fallen out of favor. The courtier was soon ruined by the cost of keeping […]
Six years ago, Bob and Linda arrived at the Maples at the Sonatas sales office with a specific wish list for their new home. At the top of the list—in fact, a deal-breaker—was a basement. Bob really needed a basement. When our sales consultant, Jon, broke the news that these homes do not come with basements, Bob thanked him for his time, and he and Linda started for the door. Just as they reached it, […]
To me, there’s nothing more interesting than living with a cat… unless it’s living with two cats. Just as people have their own personalities, so do cats. And with my girls, the contrasts are fascinating. Let me show you what I mean. Here is a photo of each, taken in the same room at nearly the same time this morning. Angie is self-assured and entitled. Nothing is too good for her. She can be friendly […]
I can’t remember the last time I saw a hot air balloon from my home. They are a rare, but beautifully welcome, sight around here. Sadly, I didn’t see the one that flew over late Sunday afternoon. The best I can remember, I was home at the time, so I’m not sure why I missed it. But my neighbors, Diana and Bill, were enjoying the early November warmth in their screened-in porch and noticed the […]
Here’s another glimpse into Woodstock’s colorful past. I wish The Rat Hole still existed. What fun it would be to drop in for a drink and rehash last night’s Republican candidates’ debate. Many things have changed since the 1800’s, but apparently politics is not one of them. This is the earliest known photograph of Woodstock. The east side of the Square along Benton Street is depicted, circa late 1840s. The “Rat Hole” saloon is shown […]
There are countless ways to personalize a new home in Maples at the Sonatas. It all begins when the buyers choose one of the five Epcon floor plans offered here. It continues with the selection of upgrades and options. Then the finishing touches come with furnishing, decorating, and accessorizing. But Tom and Brenda, whose home is in the earliest stages of construction, have seized another way to personalize their home. Here is what they’ve done […]
Happy Cinco de Mayo from Maples at the Sonatas, where we observe the holiday with Mexican appetizers and margaritas in the clubhouse. And once again, thanks to our bear costumer extraordinaire, Cathie, for setting the tone with our mascot, Healy. By the way, nice mustachio, Healy! Note to new readers: to learn more about Healy, his many costumes, and his selection as our mascot, see this post.