Shakespeare Sonnet 116

03 - 24 - 2015

By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Not "The Scream"

03 - 17 - 2015

Norwegian painter and print maker, Edvard Munch, is best known for his famous work "The Scream."  However, housed in The Munch Museum in Oslo is another more sensual painting that joins "The Scream" in Munch's series of paintings entitled "The Freize of Life." Painted in 1897, "The Kiss" shows two lovers in a passionate kiss, with their faces merged together as one.







Big Mike

03 - 10 - 2015

January 31, 2015
These are notes I wrote to myself after talking to Big Mike, approximately 3 weeks before he passed away.  We had the absolute BEST conversation.  I asked him if I could fly to Tampa to see him.  He said “Nanny, why don’t you wait ‘till I get home?  It will be a nicer place to visit…and you and Janie can go to dinner together.” He was so optimistic. I thought I’d have a chance to put these thoughts in a letter to him and see him again. 
I want to share these notes with you.  You will find the present/past tenses mixed.  I didn’t want to send a letter as if his life was “done.”   Here goes……  
Big Mike:
I know that your health is precarious now.  I also know what the doctors say and I’m going to choose not to believe them.  However, just in case they know more than I do, I’m taking this opportunity to tell you some things.
You are the poster child for ethics, integrity and character.  Never once have I even thought of questioning your motives.  That speaks volumes about you and the person you are. 
I want you to know how much I respect you.  At first, you intimidated the shite out of me.  You were so strong, determined and forthright.   However, as I grew to know you, I found myself looking to you for your comments and approval.  I’ll never forget showing you my balance sheet for the company, after the first 6 months I was in business.  You looked at it, grinned and said “nice Nanny!”
I love the way you recognize your passions in your life….the hunting, fishing, golf and tennis.  All the things you love, you do.  You’re not like most people who sit there and think about what they like to do, or what they wish they would do, or how they plan to eventually do it.  You simply make a decision and do it!  For that, I admire and respect you and am just a wee bit jealous/envious of you.
I love the way you were such a good dentist.  I love the way you treated all your patients with so much skill, respect and kindness.   I love the way Dr. Khalil speaks so fondly of you and how you negotiated the sale of your business to him.  He said you were very upfront, above board and with no bullshit.   You wanted to make sure your patients were in good hands.  That’s so you!
I also love the way that I always know where I stand with you.  “No bullshit” Mike.  That’s you!
I love the way that you always accommodate Janie’s family and friends.  Your generosity of your personal space cannot be compared.  “The Collins B&B is famous – both in Arlington and FMF!”
The stories crack me up of how, in Arlington, you’d get up many mornings ready for work (or play) and come down the stairs to a body or two, asleep among the chairs and couches in your family room!  You would shake your head and laugh, as you walked out the door.   
I remember having a good ‘ole time at your house one night and falling asleep on the sectional in the family room.  The next morning very early, I heard you come down the stairs and into the kitchen, laughing at the hung-over lump (me) on the sofa!
I love the way you taught Bullet to retrieve the Washington Post, from the edge of your sidewalk, in the morning.
I love the way you allow me to treat you to dinner.  When I ask you where you want to go, you always say “let’s go where Janie doesn’t like to go!”    We hit the Lebanese, Vietnamese, Indian and Greek restaurants with abandon!  I always enjoy our conversations at these dinners.  We talk about all subjects – no subject is taboo and always thought provoking, sprinkled with a few laughs! 
I love the way you made plans with me to celebrate your retirement.   I’ll never forget going to the Indian restaurant in Clarendon and being seated next to two women.  We ordered our bottle of wine (against Doc’s orders!) and we were talking, laughing and having fun.  We were truly celebrating your retirement and new found independence.   Not too far into our celebration, we wanted a picture and asked the two women next to us, if they’d take our picture.  Do you remember the look we gave each other when they REFUSED to take our pix?  We called them “uptight dykes” and had a very good laugh.  I think they heard our comment, but we didn’t care.  We were celebrating your life!  Later, after the two women departed, the waiter who was so nice to us, took our picture.  
I love the way you treat me like family.  Do you remember the time I had a major anxiety attack at my office when I worked for Noblestar and I went running out of my office sobbing and I came to your house (still sobbing)?  I was a mess and you were so kind to me.  I knew I could stay at your/Janie’s house for as long as I needed and you would be supportive.
Let’s discuss your Old Fashions!  Geezus, Big Mike, they are legendary!  I walked into your front door with a prance and after one of “OF’s,” stumbled out of your front door to go home!  I’m surprised there have been no disastrous “OF” stories!  Crikey!
I love the way you’re willing to play golf with me.  It’s like my saying to you: “Big Mike, will you play golf with a dead-weight, who will only drag your golf game down?”  I wish I’d played more golf with you!
I love the way you love your family.  I love the way you said “Janie lights up a room.  That’s how my Mother was.”  I love the way you love and respect your children and adore your Grandkids.  I love the way you said how much you enjoy Sunday night “family dinners” in FMF.
Finally, I love, admire and respect who you are and who/what you are to everyone around you.  I am privileged to call you my friend and my family.
With love and respect,

Happy Birthday Princess

03 - 02 - 2015

A love letter from Johnny Cash to his wife, June Carter Cash, on her birthday.

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get used to each other.  We think alike.  We read each others minds.  We know what the other wants without asking.  Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit.  Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.  You still fascinate and inspire me.  You influence me for the better.  You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence.  I love you very much.

Happy Birthday Princess,



Source:  Letters of Note


02 - 24 - 2015

by Rose Solari to her husband Jimmy on their wedding day.

First one, then two, then a whole constellation
of stars comes into focus, as you lie
on your back again to study the sky.  Self-taught
in this as in everything that matters, you
no longer need a map to find Orion's Belt,
those glimmers that, strung together, make
tools or gods.  You can stay here for hours.
As with love, there is always more to see.
Where did it start, this habit of looking up
as if what surrounds you here on earth
everyday cannot be enough?  What feeds this desire
for just the right lens to help you see clear
to the moon's stony face, the two moons
of Mars?  First one, then two, then a whole sky
flushed with stars.  As with love, it can overwhelm you.
As with love, you can never have too much.


Photo by Michele Girardi, Flickr

Falling In Love is Like Owning a Dog

02 - 17 - 2015

An Epithalamian by Taylor Mali

First of all, it's a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defese?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, 
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time?  No!  No!
Love can be bad.  Bad, love, bad!  Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back
again and again and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.


Photo:  Flickr

Leaving You...

02 - 10 - 2015


"Leaving you is always an odd sensation.  When you turn away the final time and I drive off, my first impulse is to turn up the radio so that it blares out nothing but distortions and yell out the words of the songs.  I clinch the steering wheel and grit my teeth and drive off.  If I ever hesitated I'd stop and go back."

Photo:  Flickr


My First Book - Age 3

02 - 03 - 2015

 Pick Your Own Peaches in New Jersey

"My Mommy and Daddy"

by Emily, Age 3


My Mommy and Daddy love me.

They play with me.

They snuggle me and take me to the park.

We eat peaches.

I "Love Peaches."

They give me a bath and put on my polkadot pjs (they're pink).

Then I go to bed.




Photo:  Flickr

The God of Love

01 - 27 - 2015


Kamadeva, the Hindu God of Love, and his partner Rati, the Hindu Goddess of Love and Carnal Desire, riding a parrot.  


01 - 20 - 2015

“So why am I writing this to you? I need you to do me a favor. I need you to tell me that I am nothing more than a friend to you. Tell me you’re not attracted to me. Tell me you don’t think of me. Tell me that you do not feel connected to me at all. Tell me you want me to go away. Tell me I suck. Tell me that I was a good way of not thinking about your ex-boyfriend, and once that wasn’t necessary, I wasn’t necessary. Tell me you think I’m a punk. Make your lack of romantic feelings so completely and brutally clear that I can’t possibly see things any other way. Or, if you can’t say that, if you realize that when we are together the world quiets down and shows us that we should give it a chance, tell me. Let me know exactly what you are thinking. Please, be brutally honest.”


Photo:  "Sad Man Alone in Love,", photographer unknown.

Love from Frida

01 - 13 - 2015

A Love Letter from Artist Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

Truth is, so great, that I wouldn't like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love.  To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within the very beating of your heart.  All this madness if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.  I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth.  I'd like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.




Photo credit:  Unknown

Before Vietnam

01 - 06 - 2015

From a soldier to his girlfriend before being deployed to Vietnam.


27 August 1968

Dear Maggie,

Just a quick note before I leave for the field for my last training stateside.  Enclosed you will find various assorted nicnaks accumulated since I've been here.  All of which are little momentos of me to you.

I do very much like the St. Christopher charm.  It is surprising how many people have them out here.  I just hope yours has some special effect on me.

By the way, the 2 snaps of the charming couple enclosed is a typical "in love" couple.  Some guys get pretty lonesome for womanflesh.  

I'm glad my letter was explanatory.  I tried to make it that way.

You can write if you wish.  I must finish packing so until later.


So very much love,


I Wasn't Lookin'

12 - 16 - 2014


By Jeffrey V. Kelly

Verse 1

I wasn’t lookin’ through the park that way

I wasn’t seein’ but the sunny day

How do ya’ find a love when you’re not lookin’?

She was cookin’ and the ground was hot

She was lookin’ for what the summer’s got

How do ya’ find a love when you’re not lookin’?



But it found her that day, a funny way and it found me too

Hey, hey, we weren't lookin'


Verse 2

She wasn’t lookin’ through the streets that night

She wasn’t seein’ but the town so bright

How does a love find you when you’re not lookin’?

She was coolin’ but the place was hot

Was just on my way to the parking lot

How does the love find you when you’re not lookin’?



But it found me that night, it was a shinin’ bright

And it found her too, that's right, we weren't lookin'


Instrumental Break


We weren't lookin'


Verse 3

I said we’re anyone’s guess

She said, “Let’s take off!”

And I said, “Yes!”

I guess the love finds you when you’re not lookin’



But it found her that way, it was a funny day

And it found me too, hey, hey

We weren't lookin' and we found love

We weren't lookin' and we found love


Written 1991

Artist Credit:  "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper

The Sun

12 - 08 - 2014

From Isadora Duncan


"Darling - Whenever my spirits get low comes a letter from you like a ray of Life.  Without you it would be like the Earth without the Sun - and I confess that when I am not with you it is sometimes like a partial eclipse - but never a total eclipse for you have a way of sending your rays even from afar... pouring into my heart floods of joy and light.

I can see outside - the Sun is shining - you and sunshine, what a beautiful world.  Now I must arise and dance in the Sun.  Love - it's written across the sky."


Photo credit:  Tann Chesney

I Love You, Bubbles

12 - 02 - 2014

From an 8-year-old little girl to her pet budgie.

Dear Bubbles,

     You are a lovable cheerful bird that makes my life much happier.  Although you are sometimes naughty, you are the pet that makes me think about wildlife and nature.  In case you are wondering, you are a pretty bird AND a baby bird.  I love you and enjoy the twist you add to my crazy life.  You help me enjoy my time more and keep me happy.

Love from your Flock,



Photo credit:  Amos T. Fairchild

A Valentine Life

11 - 24 - 2014

From President Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan, Valentine's Day, 1960


February 14, 1960

Darling Mommie Poo,

     Feb. 14 may be the date they observe and call Valentine's day but that is for people of only ordinary luck.

     I happen to have a "Valentine's Life" which started on March 4, 1952 and will continue as long as I have you.

     Therefore realizing the importance of this to me, will you be my Valentine from now on and for ever and ever?  You see my choice is limited, a Valentine Life or no life because I love you very much.




Photo credit:  Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan with sons Michael and Ron Reagan, Jr., 1960. Photo from the Reagan Library.


11 - 17 - 2014

I found a glimpse of you in an old poem.
Like secrets hidden in the long shadows of evening light. 
Never spoken, 
but gently tucked inside a weathered book.
The table of contents removed, 
the index tattered and torn.
Unanswered questions hide among the verses.
Each remembrance carefully dispersed just so.
Memories on my side, too dear to be forgotten.
Tears fall deep in my bones.
Passion on your side, long since gone missing.
Blood in veins, heart pumping, 
nothing has been lost at all.
Each page I carefully flatten. 
I smooth each crease, 
I unfold each marked page, 
I erase other’s penciled notes.
For this poem belongs to Me and You.
Even the cared for pages you carelessly removed. 
The final emptying of me from your mind, your heart,
appears surprisingly effortless.
You remember next to none.
I remember all.
I am only a girl with a riddle for a heart.
And You, My Muse.
Photograph:  Isadora Duncan and husband Sergei Esenin by Everett

A Sister's Love

11 - 10 - 2014

Letter from October 14, 1918

My dearest, darling sister,

     I do not know how to express my sympathy and feeling for you dear.  The telegram was so sudden, we did not know that you were sick until to-day.  Your letter came this morning and we all feel dreadfully sorry for you.

     Darling, I do hope you are better.  Spanish Influenza is terrible.  I had it and know all the suffering.

     Dear Wilfred, we all loved him so much darling but, God knows best.  He was too good for this world and he has gone to a much better one.  Please, my sweet beautiful sister get well as quickly as you can for our little angel Marion's sake.  I am so, so glad that she is not ill and am praying that you are improving every minute.

     I would give the world if I were only there to take care of you and you know I am a marvel with the babies.  How is Mrs. and Mr. Garcia?  Trust that they are not ill too.  I'm so glad that your Aunt and cousin are with you dear.  Is Myrtle the one who wrote the letter?  

     Muriel has been very ill with influenza is better now.  We are all well in body dear but sick at heart for our darling's misfortune.

     It certainly is a terrible blow to you dear but you have a beautiful, well-trained mind dear and with God's aid can survive it.  

Trusting that this letter will find you improving, I remain your ever-loving sister,


On Your Return

11 - 03 - 2014

The folds and turns of you
Your inner canyons
And the openings to light
The welcome inhalation
That still carries your perfume
Gems earthed within you
Waiting for discovery
And blackberries

The Wind

10 - 28 - 2014

(An excerpt from a love letter)

I miss you all the time.
But I also feel like you are here because I carry you with me.
It is comforting.
It gives me courage.

I would be such a different person if you were never in my life.  A version that would pale in comparison.
You have helped me believe that I can create beautiful things and that I have beauty to share with the world.
You have always cheered for me.  
Even in silence.
And I have always felt it.

Thank you for being a constant in my life.
Thank you for reminding me I am the wind.
Thank you for believing I can do the things I am too afraid to try.

I hope you know and feel how loved you are.
I am forever in love with you and what you are capable of.
The world is more beautiful simply because you are here.

Thank you for loving me the way no one else ever has.
Thank you for loving me like a child.


Artist Credit:  "Starry Night Over the Rhone", Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. 

The Love of a Grandparent

09 - 12 - 2014

Dear Elizabeth,
     Being a Sagittarian with a lot of talk, all of my limited knowledge and wisdom has been expounded, but I would like to have you know how much I love our family.  Four grandchildren, two sons, two daughters-in-law and a wife, all of whom have brought nothing but pride and happiness.
     You, dear Elizabeth, being the first grandchild and the first girl for a couple of generations, are very special to me.  Your company brings me much happiness and your letters are a ray of sunshine in my life.  You should also know what a great grandmother you have.  Her knowledge, wisdom and patience have been a great asset in all our lives.  I know it has in mine.
     I want you to have a long, healthy, peaceful, and happy life.
All my love,
Painting:  "Man Seated by a Radiator", Norman Rockwell, 1935.