Lost Key

When I was a little girl, my mother took naps every day.

She always insisted that I take naps when she took naps.

We’d crawl into her queen size bed – she on the left and I on the right.

Right before falling asleep, she’d lock love in my heart.

“I’m locking love in your heart and throwing away the key!”

A key turned over my heart, and then the key got tossed over my mother’s shoulder into the darkness of the room.

She performed this ritual every nap.

As an adult, I imagine a stack of keys piled to the sky on the left side of her bed, and yet, gratefully,

no key has ever been found.


 “Lost Key”

Special Delivery

“FedX is delivering my chemo pills, and QCJ has to be home to sign for the package.  Can you take me to my physical therapy appointment @ 8:30 AM?” – Jules

I had my juicer roaring by 6:30 AM – green apple, Bartlett pear, strawberries, banana, blueberries and spinach.

I had three Starbuck’s plastic trenta-sized cups ready on the counter. I poured the bright green liquid into each of the cups.

I fastened the lids and pushed a jumbo-sized, milkshake straw into each one. Always deliberate with my straw color choice for Jules, I chose green for today.

I admired my work.

The room smelled of fresh juice, and the green juice was ready for delivery.

I drove the convertible. Top down with the cups in the center console.

Headed to Jules’ house, I had given myself more than enough time to pick her up and to get her downtown to her appointment.  I was feeling good. She was going to love sipping on the juice while I drove through morning traffic.

I took off from the first stoplight and heard a pop –

The lid of the green juice had popped off  – thick green juice oozed into the cup holders, center console, passenger’s seat and floor. What a mess!


I called Jules and asked, “will you please bring a roll of paper towel when I pick you up?”

I’m down on my knees!

I pulled up to Jules’ house, and together, Jules and I, on our hands and knees, tried to clean up the green mess.  Jules did drink about an inch of juice left in the cup’s bottom. She wasn’t going to let it all go to waste. We didn’t have time to deal with the clean-up towel aftermath, since the appointment time was quickly approaching. Jules threw the debris into her front yard. We took off, leaving the green and white mess on the lawn.


I was heartbroken – I’m such a loser! Instead of sipping on juice, Jules was now sopping up juice as we drove.

And to top it all off – the physical therapist refused to see Jules, since she was 10 minutes late.

No juice. no appointment. I can’t deliver juice, and now I can’t even deliver Jules to her appointment!

On the way back to her house, I took Jules to Juic’d for a vegetable juice and to Starbuck’s for a green tea.

By the time we got back to Jule’s house, we were both laughing about what we’d been through that morning. Since the physical therapy appointment had been cancelled, we were now in Jules’ driveway when the FedX truck delivered her chemo pills.


Jules got out of the car and went to pick up the delivery from the FedX driver.

She came back to my car, opening the mailing package and then the bottle of pills – she shook the pill bottle and then held it so I could see into the bottle.

There they were – 40 white pills for $6400.  The pills that are to stop cancer cell growth, and yet at the same time, cause diarrhea and cystic acne. The pills that, regardless of the side effects, are supposed to prolong Jules’ life.


And like earlier in the day, when I admired the juice I’d made and yet was unable to deliver, I realized we are all just minutes away from being brought to our knees at any moment.

Humility and compassion ooze into our lives when we are broken or defeated, and these can be nutrients, too.  They fill us up and make us realize we cannot stand on our own.  We are always just a step away from our knees, and it’s best to be brought to our knees with a friend who has our best interest at heart.


“Juicy Jones,” a special delivery service

What’s in the Bag!

Spanish & Portguguese translations for “Can I take your photo?” and the appropriate country’s cash  nestled discretely in a small bag with a drawstring.

It’s a place to house a morsel of my respect and gratitude while asking and then thanking the locals who allow me to photograph them.

You don’t have to pull any strings, South America, just be you, and you’ll find out what’s in the bag.

“What’s in the bag,” means “hello, how are you?” in my country, and that’s what I’d really like to find out when asking for your photo.

A birthday gift to me from LCP –


 “What’s in the Bag!”