Slamming the Door

Slamming Door for blog

BFF. Best Friends Forever.

My girlfriend in high school and I were very close. Like most teenage girls we shared lunchtimes, classes, plus our hopes and dreams. Of course we also discussed boys, what kind of man we’d like to marry, and how many kids we’d have one day.

One memorable summer my girlfriend even invited me on a short vacation water skiing with her aunt and uncle. How cool was that?

Although after graduation we attended different colleges, we kept in touch, getting together for lunch, sharing our most precious moments.

On one of those occasions I asked how the aunt and uncle we’d vacationed with were doing. A dark cloud crossed her face. “We don’t talk to them anymore,” she informed me. “They’re out of the family.” Continue reading

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Rejecting Reality

wile e coyote

Why the willingness to believe the ludicrous? I discovered one of the reasons a few years ago during a memorable April First.

It started with a family friend who is a disc jockey. For a while he was working at a local Oldies station, playing hits from the Sixties and Seventies. He’s a terrific guy with a wonderful sense of humor, and one of the things he loved doing was playing an April Fool’s Day prank on his listeners.

One year he asked my husband and me for help with this. He had decided to create a fictitious rock ‘n roll star to interview on his noon show. This fabricated man’s specialty was to be a particular musical instrument, but it had to be something so silly that folks would realize he was playing a joke on them.

I suggested the tambourine. It’s an instrument anybody with rhythm can play, and it’s used in lots of rock ‘n roll songs. Not only that, but two songs from the Sixties–“Mr. Tambournine Man” and “Green Tambourine”–are about it.

And thus was born B.B. McDonald, expert tambourine player. Continue reading

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It’s a Jungle Out There

Jungle Gym for Blog

I attended Catholic school grades 1 through 8, and this of course meant wearing a uniform. In the lower grades it was a blue plaid jumper with a skirt.

That created a problem. Our play yard had a jungle gym, and some boys in the class took advantage of the situation to look up our skirts whenever we girls were on it. A few of us complained to the teacher about this unscrupulous behavior. Well, Sister came up with a not so brilliant solution: ban the girls from the jungle gym.

I’ll never forget going out to recess that day, and hearing some boys on the jungle gym sneering, “Nyah, nyah. Girls aren’t allowed. Nyah, nyah.”

I learned a lesson that day, although I’m sure it wasn’t one Sister intended:  Continue reading

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Legalism

Swimming Cap Sign for Blog

When I was young, all girls and women were required to don swimming caps before entering a pool. How I hated those caps! They did nothing to keep my hair dry or untangled, and the ones my mother purchased were always a size too small. The rubber edges cut into my forehead, leaving swiggly red indentations after the cap was removed. Imagine your head being squeezed with pain the entire time you’re swimming.

I once asked why these instruments of torture were necessary. I was told it was because our hair might clog the pool’s drain. I asked if I could forgo the cap if my hair was as short as a boy’s. Absolutely not! I was a girl, and girls were required to wear them. In fact, it didn’t matter if I were bald. Continue reading

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The Words They Are A-Changin’

Dictionary for blog

Some time ago I was at Mass, sitting in the same pew as a couple of nuns. After the service, the two of them huddled a bit in conversation, part of which, after a glance at me, was the question “Do you think we should mention it to her?”

I got the distinct feeling they thought I had done something wrong. Sure enough, they had a bone to pick with me.

They objected to the way I had prayed the Nicene Creed. They objected because I had recited it as written. Continue reading

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A Lesson at the Library

children's room library for blog

One of the more exciting things about having children is introducing them to the wonders of the world. Watching them make discoveries for the very first time often shows us what we’ve lost growing up.

For example, I wanted some more reading material, so my husband and I stopped by our local public library with our firstborn, who was all of two years old. Sure that watching Mommy browse the shelves in the adult section was far too tedious for a toddler, I suggested my husband take our daughter into the children’s room. Our library boasts three large aquariums there, vibrant with colorful tropical fish. Certainly she would find that more entertaining.

I figured I had hit it on the nose when about fifteen minutes later, she came back into the main section of the library, bobbing with excitement. “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” she squealed, grabbing my hand. “Come see!”

Her tiny hand cradled in mine, I allowed her to usher me into the children’s room, but to my surprise, she dragged me past the fish tanks and to the shelves of Easy Readers. “Look!” she cried, pointing. “They have books here!” Continue reading

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Patience at the Post Office

Post Office for Blog

Patience is one virtue which anybody who knows me will readily state I do not possess in abundance. And what little I have was very much tested one day at the post office. Only a single teller was on duty, so the line was longer than usual. And then who should step up to the counter but The Girl Who Could Not Make Up Her Mind. Continue reading

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Thou Shalt Not Steal

Shoplifting for blog

My husband and I needed a new barbecue for our annual Fourth of July bash. This of course meant a trip to our local department store. The barbecues were in the large, open-to-the-air garden section, which had a door leading to the parking lot. No cash register was beside the door, nor any security. The entire garden area was devoid of any store employees. It occurred to me it would be so simple for a thief to pick up any merchandise he wanted and walk off with it.

To make the purchase, we had to bring the barbecue we wanted inside the regular store. I pointed out to the cashier the lack of security in the garden section. He merely shrugged it off. “Do you know how much theft we have every year?” he asked. “Guess!” Continue reading

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A Perfect You

Perfection Sign for blog

I have a relative who has ordered me not to pray for her after she dies. She won’t need any prayers she assures me. She’s going to stroll straight into Heaven.

Now, lest you think this woman is a Protestant, especially one of the Once Saved, Always Saved persuasion, let me tell you that she is Catholic. A cradle Catholic, no less. She believes in Purgatory, all right, but it’s just not for her. Continue reading

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Free Kindle Novel

Amaranth Cover for blog

NOTE: IF YOU MISSED THE FREE GIVE-AWAY, AMARANTH IS ON SALE RIGHT NOW FOR JUST $.99. AS USUAL, ALL NET PROFITS GO TO CHARITY.

From now until Tuesday, June 21, my Christian novel Amaranth will be absolutely free on Amazon Kindle.

Here’s a quick little synopsis to tell you what it’s all about:

Would you take an elixir that made you perpetually young and physically immortal?
What if the price for it was your eternal soul?
Billionaire Desmond Sceller acquires such a wonder drug. But when eighty-year-old Marie Long is rejuvenated by it against her will, she quickly discovers unending beauty and youth is not the paradise it seems. Sceller, however, intends on using the elixir to entice all mankind into submitting to his tyrannical control. When Marie and her grandson Peter unearth this evil scheme, they soon discover that only an extraordinary sacrifice on their part can free humanity from Sceller’s nefarious plan.

For ages 13 and up.

https://www.amazon.com/Amaranth-J-Avila-ebook/dp/B00WSCJT64

Oh, and my other two novels, Rain from Heaven and Nearer the Dawn are also priced right now at just 99 cents apiece. As usual, all net profits go to charity.

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