• Temple of Heaven in China Replica in Epcot

    My youngest child turned sixteen last month. He passed his learner’s permit test and earned the privilege to drive a car with a licensed driver in the seat next to him. We talked about his hopes and dreams for the future. I listened when he chattered on about his favorite books knowing that I instilled ...
  • Biography-of-my- amazing-mother-in-law

    Mildred looks up from her reminiscing and her martini – it is almost all gone. It’s been a lingering and fascinating afternoon. We have lost all track of time. The sun is dipping behind the tobogganing hill, its rays slanting into the sunroom. Jason comes downstairs to remind us he is starving.  We are all ...
  • A seashell

    When I leave work and walk home to join my husband, joy replaces unsolved woes  and I’m happy. On my way back to work I carry an extra shield of love a layer of purity, to unfold hurdles with a smile knowing my husband’s hug awaits.
  • Late 1950s picture of John&Rita from personal album

    When Johnny turns sixteen, he and grandpa go car shopping. They are searching for a used one, but it is exciting nonetheless. Johnny sees a set of hot wheels out of grandpa’s price range. He falls in love and pleads to make up the difference by working longer hours at the garage. Grandpa gives in, ...
  • Gene & Millie at the White Swan

    Mildred is enjoying her newfound freedom after her divorce from Ray. She hits the dating scene and immediately falls in love again. The tall, handsome Gene Gephardt is amiable and ambitious. He dreams of building an upscale nightclub and restaurant on the outskirts of Granite City. The location? Not too far from St. Louis but ...
  • Dripping sunlight

    The radiance on his face shows all. His folded hands say all. He won all negotiations with the One. While alive, he meditated and repeated His name ad nauseam. He entered the One’s universe on his own terms. He merged with One, for the world to see. The world he leaves behind still does not ...
  • Millie in her early twenties

    Going to church every Sunday is another ritual Little Johnny enjoys. Grandpa and grandma are not regular church-goers. So, the neighbors offer to take Little Johnny to church with them every Sunday. The music and singing of hymns and songs enthrall Little Johnny. The two churches at the end of the street sit across from ...
  • 1914 Picture of Baby Millie

    “No, sir! No! No hanky-panky! I would have none of it! Married each one of them!” Thus proclaims Mildred Ruth Ralls, nursing her martini, her voice soft, firm, and reminiscent. Mildred and I are sitting at the kitchen table in the Naperville home. She has received a letter from her sister Elaine in California. Not ...
  • Christmas Tree

    Christmas is a time that makes me think about my loved ones who have passed, my grandparents, my mother, my father, my aunts, and my uncle. I think about all the Christmas’ that has gone by. Everything has been stored in my memory and returned to me as if it were just moments ago. My ...
  • Holiday Image

    At Coffee House Writers, we were asked to write about a holiday memory. I have fond memories of the most wacky Christmas I ever spent with my maternal grandparents. My grandpa and I have always had a special bond. We love goofing around together. My grandpa is your typical Leave It To Beaver style grandpa.  ...