Buttoned up

Where did Mom get her buttons?

Years after her passing, it’s no mystery to my two brothers and me about their systemic storage: 59 bags organized by color, size, value. She did likewise with vegetable cans, kid-art, Dad’s handkerchiefs.

No mystery about WHY Mom saved buttons. She knew scarcity. She was 6 years old when the stock market bellied up and the not-so-great Depression commenced. She was 18 years old when almost all young men went away to war, and 33 years old when her three children scoured Sears Roebuck & Co.’s Christmas Wish Book, developing inflated expectations.

But where did thousands of buttons come from? Family clothing was a dwindling resource. Mom was too proud to beg, too frugal to buy, too busy to scavenge, too Roman Catholic to steal.

Mystery remains.

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Any unexplained mysteries among your family memorabilia?

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Snippet tip

The “not-good-enough” pest hinders all writers. But, though not every sentence will be brilliant, every word is imbued with potential power.

Save snippets. Jot them. Allow them to breathe.

Gather enough grains and you will have a beach.

Okay. That last sentence is NOT brilliant.


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Well won

Any sport offers a chance to win. Some folks bet on the outcome to win money. Some cheer for their favorite to win shared elation Some play a sport to become the best they can be.

Those who wager put money on the line. Those who cheer put emotions on the line. Those who play put themselves on the line.

Only one of these endeavors guarantees triumph.

Tonight Chicago’s Women’s National Basketball team, SKY, competes with Connecticut SUN. The victor will move to the finals to play Las Vegas ACES for the national championship.

The players win, regardless of outcome.

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Fantasy Fan

A nice gent I know told me, “I won’t read your latest novel, Snag the Moon. It’s contemporary fiction. I like to read sci-fi fantasy.”

This is very good, mostly. He doesn’t care about best seller lists or classics or must-reads for course credit or five star rankings. He doesn’t critique, discuss, review, or judge. He likes to read what he likes to read. His joy is his own.

This is very good, mostly for him, and the authors of sci-fi fantasy of course.

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Snag the Moon

Thank you for stopping by “Mrs. Fitz’s Story Emporium.” I hope you’ll share a story of your own or just browse what’s here.

Happy to announce the publication of my latest novel, Snag the Moon, an offbeat story of two Chicago misfits on a mission!

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Awkward Position

There are some geographically challenged who can get lost looking for milk in the refrigerator. For us (them), the global positioning system is reason enough to buy a car.

A trip that jaunts from start to finish without dissolving into wrong turns, missed exits, and out-of-character ranting, is to be cherished, when it happens.

To date, it has not. It is not the fault of the technology, which has a voice that sounds human and demeanor that is beatified: no judgment, no sighing, no eyebrow raising.

The trouble is the geographically challenged driver can’t seem to follow directions, which is why we (them) are geographically challenged in the first place.

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Toddler talk

During the 1960s, toys my two brothers and I played with did not talk. We imbued them with speech, imagining ourselves as brave, smart, funny and wonderful. We made-believe. Our toys went along with this plan.

Today my grandbabies play with stuffed animals, chairs, dinosaurs, superheroes, maps, soccer balls that speak on their own, in high-pitched and cheery voices. They have a singular topic of conversation: learning. My grandbabies go along with this plan.

Make-believe is a nice way to decide what you want to learn.

Today, toys already have decided what you want to learn. That is good, too; but sometimes I wish they would…you know, just shut up.

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Elms, again

Not long ago, an elm tree decided, on its own, to take root and grow in my brother’s garden-y back yard.

This, despite Dutch Elm disease, a global virus that obliterated 200 years of elms in 60 years (1930-1990). My hometown of Elmhurst Il lost its share of the 58 million dead among America’s 78 million; still, it retains more than Great Britain, which once enjoyed the shade of 30 million, Now it is home to 100.

Back when the disease raged, stewards did their best. At first, they did all the wrong things: burning, spraying bugs, cutting down. Finally, it was learned the virus spread from roots to crown. Treating the roots saved trees and new species with immunity to Dutch Elm are being developed.

It takes a long time to grow a tree and those gone from boulevards, streets, creek banks and lanes can’t be duplicated. But, in spring, elm trees are at their most cheerful and the young one in my brother’s garden-y back yard looks determined to remember.

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Intend to pretend

Pretending is something we do. Children are particularly good at it. Novelists do it for a living. Some folks make up pretend people, avatars, to play a pretend game. We may dress in such a way, talk in such a way to present the person we are…embellished with a little pretend.

It’s play with purpose, a way to discover something. Everyone knows it’s pretend. That’s the rule.

Social media pretending wouldn’t be troublesome if that rule was in practice. The only rule appears to be there isn’t any, Pretend to be a pundit and publish lies. Pretend to be infirm and ask for money. Pretend to be real and fool others into believing it.

We are better than that. If need be, let’s pretend we are.

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Transistor resistor

Recent purchase of a cherry red transistor radio was not nostalgic. Its appeal was a slit on its side into which a thumb drive can be inserted for the listening pleasure of family music captured on that thumb drive.

It’s simple: a volume wheel, an on-off switch, a button to change radio stations, and the aforementioned slit.

It is handy: no password, no booting up, no subscription, no charging.

It’s a one-way medium: no interaction, none whatsoever with the rare exception of calling a phone number to win a radio station giveaway, which rarely live up to the hype anyway.

I am nostalgic for those features. All in all, it was a very timely purchase.

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