The King

This time You gave me a Mountain


It was a scorching Texas summer afternoon and I was in the pool. The water cold,

taking the edge off what might turn into a tan once the sunburn healed…that never happened to me. Music was playing on the stereo on my balcony-three floors up. My bathing suit was orange velour-one piece with high neck with a gold zipper with a heart-shaped pull, extending from the neckline to the waist.


It was uncommon to have an afternoon off in August. That was the second busiest season of the year for an apartment manager in a college town. My boys splashed in the shallow end of the pool while I floated on my back in deeper water.


The radio disc jockey broke in to the song and in the background Elvis crooned a sad ballad.

“This time Lord You gave me a Mountain”…then the collective breaths in the pool and poolside

cried,” No!”

My chest tightened and a lump formed in my throat as burning tears flooded my eyes.

Just like that the King of Rock and Roll was gone.  

I was twenty-nine years old when he died on the floor of his bathroom that night in Tennessee.

It does not matter how many years have passed since the afternoon in the pool when for a moment my world stopped spinning, I stopped hearing and could not see through tear-filled eyes. I have lived more

years since that day than the number of years I was alive on that day.

 When I listen to the radio now, mostly it is to hear the old songs, the songs that shaped my thoughts on life and love…

I still listen to the King and every now and then I feel the lump start in my throat and the tears in my eyes.



Texas Summer


I woke up early for a Saturday but


not as early


as I, as a rule, do.




The weather today:


typical Texas late June,


90’s with high humidity.


This litany of weather will remain


more or less unchanged


except the final degree of heat,


as it ascends to the


century mark and beyond…




I slipped out in the early hours, to the garden


to gather anything I found


worth picking: 


a double handful of green bush beans,


Serrano and jalapeno peppers, abound-


almost thirty orange cherry tomatoes


glow like amber jewels to be plucked,


six full size tomatoes


that will join the


plentiful harvest on


three wooden shelves


in the sunny, western facing




Below that window rests


two buckets bearing more…






I make salsa


or spaghetti sauce.




The crop was good this Spring.













Father’s Day-first year without my Dad


Photo: Chuck Noll's former players and coaches share their thoughts on the Hall of Fame coach.


My very wise father, Floyd Harrison, gave me this advice when I was about 16 years old, when weekends cut into dating time, ” find a team and root for that team-win or lose, that will be your team! Learn everything about your team! Men love football and will appreciate a woman who also does.”

I could not pick just one. I picked the The Pittsburgh Steelers – I picked Terry Bradshaw!…but, I also picked the Dallas Cowboys… and it was okay until the times they suited up against each other.

Super Bowls sometimes left me a sodden wreck! I did not want either one to lose-instead of always having one of my teams win. I could scarcely be happy if one of my teams got a first down against the other!

My Daddy… I sorely miss you today and everyday! Happy Father’s Day in Heaven.

I always chose the Steelers. My family was a Cowboys family.

Tragedy strikes

My extended family, a

great grandson’s mom, died last night of

a heroin overdose.

She was twenty one.

 Her son, Caleb, is five

Holli, his sister, is about two.

Will they remember and miss their mom?

Her Mother is a Facebook friend of mine

and she will grieve this loss forever…


I grieve the loss of my own

eldest child…

who left no children behind

only parents, a brother and so many nieces, nephews, friends,

and others…

I grieve tonight for a Mother

and small children who will

never remember their Mama

except through other’s memories

of her.

R.I P. Hali

May Angels hold you in their arms tonight…


Soft spring morning

No alarm this morning

awakened by only soft dappled light

streaming through the white curtains

Grab coffee- warm creamy and comforting, then

out to admire the urban garden we

aspire to- rather than lawn that must be maintained.

Small chickadees play chase between the birdfeeders

and the tall ash tree from the neighbor’s yard, while a squirrel

clucks as she plans her next move.

The rain shower last evening brought out snails that I pluck from

green corn leaves; now

the corn is taller than me!

We have an outing with friends planned for later this morning

so I cannot linger in this place

where I could easily spend my lifetime….


On Monday, I came home after another brutal Monday

they, the Mondays,

all run together now.

I did not even step outside

to see what happened in the garden today…

Our garden, my Joy…                                                                                   

to be brutally honest I did not care.    

old joke-bad joke

“A  man comes home and kicks the dog”

At least

I did not do that!

my mood is every speck as dark


I may not live through the week…