Step Inside

“Enter when you will, take what you need, leave something of yourself when you go”

I have a friend I met over a bottle of scotch in a Brandywine Valley bed & breakfast some odd years ago who travels constantly and widely, sending me bits and pieces of the world as he goes. Each picture contains a sense of mystery, or surprising humor, and/or most likely the bicycle he rode in on.

I forget where he said he shot this wide planked shack. It is intriguing, don’t you agree? The sun and scattered leaves promise it is a bright, brisk day, yet, I wonder what musty odor fills your nose when you poke your head through the door, what scurrying varmint lives in the corners, what fingers grab your ankle once you cross the threshold and the heavy door slowly shuts out the light, the long, strong boards slide through the door handle locking  you inside…

… you go first…I am right behind you…


The sun was just up when Lynn lifted her cup of black coffee to toast the snow.  The quiet in her kitchen was warm and heavy, sweet.

“Well, Ma.  Best get baking, eh?  Wish you were here.”

Wind whispered through a small grin in the window, “… right here, Babe…”


rJoHerman 12/9/18

10-28-18 Haiku

And so the Fall ends,

Orange leaves mixed in the snow.

Holidays begin.


rJoHerman 10/28/18


It is not so much that I have been depressed…

It is more like I have been sad – that my darling daughter’s beloved died at such a young age leaving her and the kiddos with no road map for a while…how I wanted to help, but could not. They are making their way, praise God…I shall stop fretting…

It is more like I have been angry – at being fired just as I was turning sixty six years of age with a plan to work just four more years, saving and saving for a retirement celebration followed by time to read and visit.  I shall do it another way…

It is more like I have been  disgusted – with the shape of the world these days, the public servants who do not serve, the cacophonous press with its breathless shock and relentless doom and gloom… slick liars taking center stage.  I shall learn to ignore them…

It is more like I have been lonely – as friends retire elsewhere, where the sun shines ad naseum, and bugs crawl uninvited – distance does not make the heart grow fonder – just sayin’. I shall live without them.

I am tired, however,  of my year and one half pity party, my eyes glaring at others, my sighs of disdain stopping all conversation.   I am tired of being sad, and mad, and disgusted and alone – actually I do not mind being alone –

It is time to turn on the music, rather than talk radio; to dance ’round the kitchen, rather than slog to work and back.  It is time…It is time for joy in my gut spilling onto my shoes…

I’ll work on it.




They say it will snow

tomorrow… early and cold.

I shall miss the leaves.




Handsome, young man in a handsome, grey suit,

No tie, open collar, hands in pockets…business casual.

Elevator takes us to the same floor, him and me.

“Are you one of our guests?” I query.

“I am here to meet with ________  __________.”  (I think that is our CEO)

“Ah,”  says I.  “It’s a good day for a meeting.”

“Why do you say that?” he asks, finally looking at me, no smile.

“It’s Thursday…”

Blank look…

I grin, door opens, we move in opposite directions.

It was a good day, all in all.


Julie took the blue for her Bloody Mary pickles!

Max, for a watercolor painting!       

Ryan for her poem about the color pink!

The Gonzales trifecta hit the Denver County Fair without mercy!

They all take first place in my heart!



Looking back over the last year or so, I realize how I slowly, but surely withdrew, shut down, lost interest, raged.   Yes, yes, it was all reasonable, diagnosed, to be expected.  The wallowing in my own misery was fine, okay; no shame in it; understandable…           Yadda yadda yadda…

Please do not rub my back again.  I really do not like being touched.   Please stop being empathetic.  Expect me to handle it, damn it!  Expect more of me.  Expect me to rise!        Rise, rise, rise.

People sicken.  People die.   Hearts break. Fear of more heartbreak engulfs,  stifles.         Yes, yes, yes.

People age.  Employers hire and fire, with impunity.                                                            Rage, rage, rage.

“That’s life, Kid.”  “This too shall pass.”   Stop wasting time:  Get back in the game!     Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

Finally, at last,  I tire of it – the misery.   I choose to turn my head to the garden, the sky,  the giggle of my grands, good food, books;  my cute little Mini with its pink fuzzy dice and its magic “sport” button.

Ye writers have worked your magic; sustained me through my personal exile by merely continuing your personal ventures.  Thank you.   Me thinks I am set to  get back to the tale twisting in my brain; to put pen to paper,  keyboard to screen.

“Huzzah!”,  says the young script writer with whom I work daily.                              “Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!”



Once, years ago, when broke, but determined to build my library, I started buying up $1 “classics” and bargain books. $1.00 was the limit.  One such book was by Philip Roth, which I THOUGHT was entitled THE BEAST.   I thought, aha!  Some gothic, psychological tome by a master of the absurd.

When I got home, and pulled it out to read, I realized the correct title was THE BREAST!       uhhh?

HILARIOUS!   This man who loves women’s breasts one day bursts, his bones disintegrate, his legs, arms, head submerge, and he BECOMES an actual breast… he is taken to a research hospital to live his life in a hammock HAAAA…   he was a college professor, so he thinks he can grade papers, if someone will read them to him (his eyes are lost somewhere in the flesh)… he is highly offended when  people cannot take him seriously, and spend their time laughing. He makes frequent appeals to “Dear Readers,” for compassion and understanding, sigh.   It was a surprising, great read I’ve never forgotten.

So, this morning, on news of his death, I lift of my cup of coffee to Philip Roth, Author Extraordinaire…life well shared, stories well told…when we miss him, we can read his books, and imagine he’s sitting in a chair across the room waiting for the laughs….



The Great British Baking Show has captured my attention.

I am oft unsure just what they’re making.  What IS a spotted dick?

Four types of sponge, self saucing cake, and I must not fail to mention

Pork pies, fruit pies, crispy, tasty biscuits, all making a hopeful sick,

what if  Mary Berry, or Mr. Hollywood miss a baker’s favorite trick.