boxes of lucky magic dust

Navy blue pumps, red kitten heels with closed toes, dreadfully expensive and uncomfortable board room black low-heeled Allen Edmonds’ dress-for-success pumps, strappy sling-backs. Still in their shoe boxes, lightly worn if at all, they go into a big box.

The other box holds business suits (jackets and skirts) in black, blue, pinstripe, and ivory. I want to frame the animal print skirt I bought but never wore. It’s beautiful but crazy flashy. I probably could have carried it off in my early twenties, nearly fifty years ago. But when I bought it in my late sixties, well, let’s just say it didn’t work. But I kept thinking maybe it would, and didn’t return it until it was way too late. There’s a little black dress and a miscellany of tops and skirts. I’ve been retired a long time. My personal dress-for-success formula these days is a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt.

The clothes and shoes are bound for the prison re-entry alliance organization in our town where, perhaps, a woman recently out of jail and trying to get hired somewhere, can find something in the boxes that will work for her interview. Maybe not the animal print skirt, but I’m guessing that little number will go first.

REAP is the organization’s acronym. They’re near an old hospital, in a neighborhood I haven’t been to in a long time. They’re not close to any other place I need or want to go.

It’s only two boxes. They could go to the Goodwill store a few miles away instead of all the way downtown.

But I talked to a woman at the REAP office. I told her I would come. And I have a picture in my head of a woman reaching into those boxes and finding something just right for her in that moment. I can’t stop thinking about it and feeling hopeful for her.

I feel like I would be stealing a possibility, gosamer though it may be, from someone who needs it if I don’t deliver the boxes to REAP. I hope at least a little of the luck I’ve had in life is sprinkled in with the clothes and the shoes and rises up like magic dust into the room when they open the boxes, rises up and sticks to them and stays with them and they get that job.

promises to keep

I awoke at 4:08 a.m. on this hot, humid new year’s day with a massivc leg cramp and an unstoppable phrase in my head:

Promises to Keep

A wet, hot towel wrapped around my leg along with some jumping jacks resolved the leg cramp, so I went back to bed and fell into a rough sleep where I kept waking myself up snoring. Everytime I reawakened, that phrase was a neon sign behind my eyes

Promises to Keep

I pulled the covers over my head and thumped my old Fitbit watch. 5:48 a.m. Despite the full flow of central air conditioning in the bedroom, I had broken a full-body sweat as though a fever had broken.

Maybe it has.

Promises to Keep


The sun never rose this morning, at least not in our woods, at least not that I could tell. The day was textbook dreary. One shade of gray. When the dog and I headed out for our morning walk to the gate, I thought about books I read as a child that described a woman and her hound walking the moors. As we left the clearing and entered the canopied woods, I wondered whether the coyotes were back in their dens, whether Lou and I might look like a tasty breakfast.

I’ve walked this path almost daily for close to twenty years. There is a surprise, a treasure, a scare, or an epiphany nearly every time. Today, the shapes and colors of the leaves underfoot drew my eye. The tip-end of the Florida panhandle has identifiable seasons. Garnet, sienna, and ochre leaf colors penetrated the bleak landscape.

Later this afternoon, sitting in a circle of light at my desk, the call of barred owls was loud enough to hear through insulated house walls. They must have been close. It’s a riveting sound, terrifying and magnicent. Symphonic.