Monday, October 31, 2011


Dear Patrick Swayze and Kevin Bacon,

I would like to take this time to apologize for the bad judgment Hollywood made in REMAKING your films. It seems the powers that be have run out of new ideas for films, so they feel the need to take classics and regurgitate them into a new, more modern spin (meaning less talent and unknown names).

But what about the timeliness of the original movies? How can the new films compete with the costuming and brilliant hairstyles? In Footloose, the 80’s-tastic high waist jeans and white tee shirts, or the burgundy prom jacket with those pants cut a couple inches short to allow the camera man to zoom in on the impressive foot work. Kevin Bacon’s lightly tipped spiky hair style still makes me smile. In Dirty Dancing, the 60’s came alive with the women’s Capri’s, starched blouses and shirt waist dresses. The men in their plaid sport coats were in sharp contrast to Patrick Swayze's tight black jeans, black shirt and black leather jacket. And Swayze’s almost mullet made the bad boy in black role complete.

Then there was the music. Footloose had a myriad of top 10 songs-Kenny Loggins Footloose, Shalamar Dancing In The Sheets, Deniece Williams Let's Hear It For The Boy, Bonnie Tyler Holding Out for A Hero, and the Footloose love theme, Almost Paradise. And with Dirty Dancing the hits just kept coming; (I've Had) The Time Of My Life, Hungry Eyes, Be My Baby, You Don’t Own Me, In The Still Of The Night and the ever popular She’s Like The Wind sung by none other than the main character himself, Patrick Swayze. You can’t hear these songs without thinking about those wonderful movies.

Both shows held an innocence of the times. Both showed a hero and heroine who stand together against an established way of life.

Recently there was talk of remaking Philadelphia Story and White Christmas. The comedic brilliance of Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story would be impossible to replicate. And White Christmas without Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye or Vera-Ellen, well let’s just say, NO!!!!! Leave them alone. Come up with some new stories for the next generation and allow them to watch these originals and learn about the time.

I was reading a story in the paper the other day that quoted a Hollywood producer that said if people didn’t go to them we would stop remaking the movies.

Some movies I feel never needed to be remade….

Brian’s Song, The Blob, Cape Fear, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Death At A Funeral, Heaven Can Wait, Fame, Father of The Bride, Fright Night, Freaky Friday, The In Laws, any and all It’s a Wonderful Life Rip Offs…. I just read that they are planning on remaking Harvey, the extraordinary story of a man, Jimmy Stewart and his six foot invisible rabbit. It was as a child of ten that I first heard the word Pooka (a mischievous creature from Celtic Mythology). For weeks after seeing the movie I pretended to have a friend just like Harvey. His name was Thomas.

I have to stop. It’s too depressing. Just goggle movie remakes and look at the list. And remember next time you go to the movies, somewhere in the Netflix lineup you can find the original and it is s-o-o-o-o-o worth watching. I watched quite a few lately and, honestly, I had the time of my life.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Difference

“Honey,” I say to my husband. “If anything ever happened to me, would you change anything around the house?”

“Not gonna answer.”

“No seriously, it’s for my article this week.”

“Wendy this is one of those, I can’t win moments.”

“I promise not to get mad.”

“And I promise that I don’t believe you.”

“Please, pretty please. When you watch golf all day Sunday I won’t complain.”

Sigh, sigh, and sigh. “I guarantee you, this will not end well.”

“Go. What would you change?”

“First, you seem to have a thing for pillows. On the bed, on the couch, in the chairs. I would do away with all the decorative pillows.”

“Good start. Next.”

“Drapes. You have drapes and sheers on all the windows when we already have blinds. They really aren’t necessary are they?”

“Okay,” I’m now a little unsure about this inquiry.

“And your lasagna. I like it with ricotta not cottage.”

“But I only do that if I’m out of ricotta.”

“You asked.”

“Go on.”

“I like my khaki shorts folded along the front seam, not in half.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“It’s okay, not a big deal.”

“Anything else?”

“You do seem to like all those Yankee Candles. Once they burn down I probably wouldn’t replace them. (Like he could live without the hazelnut coffee smell permeating the kitchen.) And the flowered furniture in the sitting room, that would have to go.” (The fact that he called it a sitting room tells me the flowered furniture might stay.)

“Is that it?”

“That’s all I can think of.”

Kirk gets up out of the chair and I remark that I am not finished with the article.

“Do you want to know what I would change?” I ask.

“I don’t care. I’ll be dead.”

And therein lies the difference between men and women.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What’s This

I was going through my closet today. A task I must admit I put off as long as possible. But something happened recently that made me decide it was the right time. Once you read this posting you might agree.

It started like this. A friend of mine’s mother recently passed away. My friend happens to be the only child living in the area so it was up to her to take care of the belongings left behind by her mother.

I offered to help.

We entered the condo and even though her mother was a clean freak, we were both a little overwhelmed by the sight that greeted us. It seems her mother was a collector. Hundreds of teacup and saucer sets sat lovingly displayed throughout the living and dining spaces.

“Don’t worry,” my friend smiled. “The girl’s from church are packing up the china.”

We headed to the bedroom, boxes in tow.

“Everything goes to Goodwill. Mom was so tiny none of us would fit into them anyway.”

She started in the closet and I took the drawers. It was a strange feeling going through someone else’s clothes. Packing the sweaters and shirts, the slacks and shorts and probably twenty nightgowns that still had the tags on them. I was half way through when it hit me. Someday, someone would have to go through my things. And although I hope it’s no time in the near future, it will happen.

That thought stayed with me when later that evening, I entered my closet and looked up and down the long procession of hanging clothes. (I have to put in a note here. I have lived in this house for over twenty years. That’s my excuse!!!) I decided to organize and clean out so that when my children have to pack my things away, they’ll think, “Boy was she organized.”

SO - I started at the back. First were baggy pants, size eight, I laughed out loud. Then came my High School letter jacket and several sweaters I had when we use to ski in Ohio, thirty-five years ago. I noted that as I made my way down the line the numbers grew; 8,10,12,14, I’ll just stop there. I also realized I obviously had a love affair with flannel. I have to be honest though, several of the flannel and corduroy shirts were from my father and both my grandfather’s closets. Those will be with me until the end. But in Florida, a girl only needs so many heavy shirts and sweaters. I use to keep them because I went to Ohio every winter, but the ones I bought on a yearly basis have eventually gone out of style. Who knew shoulder pads wouldn’t last?

I trudged on. Four bags later the closet was better organized and I felt proud of my accomplishment. Then I looked at Kirk’s side. Dress shirts, dress pants hung with coordinating colors. Long sleeve tees, black, blue, grey, white followed by short sleeve tees in the same order. On the opposite wall hung his golf pants. You guessed it black, grey, blue, Khaki, next to golf shirts, golf sweaters and wind and rain jackets. All flowed, dark to light and all the same medium shirt, 32 x 32 size pant he’s had since high school.

I looked at my end and then his. I came to this conclusion. If anything ever happens to us both at the same time, my kids will be flipping the coin to see who gets the “Good” side.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

My wonderful child bought me a gift that she thought I would love. A small handled jar opener. Not the kind that actually cuts the top off a can, the kind that you slip around the top of a screw top lid and tighten, allowing you to unscrew the lid. I guess it had come to her attention that I complained that I no longer have enough strength in my hands to open jars. I wasn’t worried; if I couldn’t open a jar I would just call my husband and hand it over.

But the gift got me to thinking about a few other gifts one might receive that showed the passage of time.

* Large print books and Playing cards

* Magnifier in the kitchen to read recipes and backs of boxes for instructions

* Large clasp that hooks on zippers so you can zip and unzip to your heart’s content

* Slippers with non slip rubberized bottoms

* Hand and feet warmers

* Foot massage or as they are advertised- Hydrotherapy Foot Bath

* Any fruit or food of the month club

I have to admit, some of the items I would love to have. However, with seven pairs of reading glasses scattered about the house, the magnifier is completely unnecessary.

My Mother always taught me that it is the thought that counts. And I have to admit I can open jars without calling anyone for help. I just worry Kirk will feel unneeded. Maybe once and awhile for old times’ sake I’ll ask him anyway. Probably when I have mistakenly put the jar opener in the refrigerator and can’t find it.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Writing this article I am sure to make two different groups of friends mad.

When I first moved to Florida, I hated it. Take into consideration that I was seven months pregnant and moving from a small town where I was surrounded by people who loved me. My hometown was a wonderful safe haven where I was fourth generation. My family had been around from the beginning and both Grandfathers were instrumental in the foundation when it was a small farm village.

I was 1200 miles from everyone I loved, in an apartment so small that I could cook up a hamburger on the stove in the kitchen while sitting on the sofa in the living room. My husband was a first year public accountant and worked 800 hours overtime in the first three and a half months of the year.

I was alone. I was 22 years old and had a new baby. I loved being a mom but I was so homesick and I took my unhappiness out on my location. Florida. I hated the heat, I hated the transient climate, (I made two friends and they both moved away within three months) and I hated the stupid palm trees. I told anyone I knew that I thought they looked like sticks with long stringy hair on top.

I missed my seasons. Seasons allow you to see time pass. Winter snow, sledding, skating; Spring rains, flowers blooming, trees blossoming; Summer sun, pool days, cookouts; Fall cool, football games, raking leaves, jeans and sweatshirts, hiking Old Man’s Cave.

But Florida was green all year round. The first year we actually went to the beach on Christmas Day. It was monotonous, the people flighty, the summers unbearable. (If I had a dollar for every person that said they moved to Florida to start over or get away from a bad situation, I’d be a rich woman.) I suppose it had to do with the fact that we lived in a small apartment complex and rarely meet any of the natives outside the concrete walls.

Then in late August, when we were about to have our first child, Hurricanes David and Fredrick struck within a week of each other. My doctor said, “Get to the hospital.” Something about barometric pressure. Let’s just say that the anxiety of two major storms coming a week before my due date put another nail in the coffin of Florida.

Two years into our Florida stay we were transferred back to Ohio. I was thrilled beyond belief. Home, where weather changes and family and friends were in abundance. And I mean abundance. The snow the year we moved home met an all time record. I shoveled snow and dressed, then undressed the kids for outdoor activities at a rate that would send the most brilliant time manager over the edge.

Then it happened. Three years in the cold, gray Ohio winters and a promotion sends us back to Florida. But this time we got a house. The kids started school and our group of friends grew. We started feeling the effects of the seasons. The first few years here we swam year round. Now we were putting on coats in the cold 60 degree winter.

But the turning point actually occurred when I went home seventeen years ago when my Father passed away. It was February and as I flew into Port Columbus I looked out over the grey landscape and missed my green. I’d come to count on the flowers blooming year round and the ability to grab the kids and head to the beach at a moment’s notice. I loved listening to the waves break on the shore and watching the pelicans and seagulls float on the air. I cherished my drives down to Marshall Wildlife Area where I could walk around the beginning of the everglades surrounded by the exotic wildlife.

I still don’t understand Palm Trees and I still consider Ohio home, but I don’t think I’d ever move back. I have come to love the warmth and the green, besides as my incredibly brilliant husband says, “you can always fly to the snow!”