Tag Archives: friends

Name Calling.

The weather was beautiful these past days – warmth, sun, and more time outdoors to catch a few rays and smell the freshness of springtime.  I like the coolish mornings that slowly warm up to a cozy heat by noontime.

Earlier today, I was thinking about being at the pool.  As of this writing, the neighborhood beach pool is still under reconstruction.  You see, it was sinking, and the entire pool had to be completely rebuilt.  Nonetheless, my thoughts went to last summer when I was at the neighborhood pool last week with Best Friend.  We happened upon two neighbors who began talking to Best Friend.  Eventually, I was able to contribute to the conversation, and that’s a story for another day.

Well, Mr. Neighbor constantly called me by a different name during this conversation.  And I constantly corrected him.  But either he didn’t care, or he didn’t understand what my name is.

Mrs. Neighbor overheard this, and she also attempted to correct him, but in a way that subtly made fun of my name.  So, she was a bit cutting, too.

I gave up on them and swam away.  I don’t know whatever I did or said to them.  In fact, I didn’t meet them until that day, and this whole episode with him purposely calling me by another name and she getting mocking flabbergasts me.  Their actions pretty much tells me what their demeanor is anyway.

Who needs to be around ghastly people like them?  I certainly don’t.

It is the height of disrespectfulness for someone to call another by a name that isn’t theirs and especially when corrected.

That is the state of this neighborhood and unfortunately, the world at large.  Little disrespect for neighbors and acquaintances is the new sport.

It makes me sick.

As ever,

●▬● ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ●▬●

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Diary from The Ridge,” ©2023

Jubilation Day.

As the sun climbed high in the sky, it turned the grey-blue sky a happy pinkish-orange, and ultimately a clear, optimistic blue.  A flock of sandhill cranes flew over the field in back of the property, honking while on their journey to somewhere.  A soft breeze crossed the veranda, and I inhaled the fresh smell of dew-covered grass.  All was well at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms.  It was a lovely dawn to mark a personally important day.

Best Friend, a.k.a. His Lordship, and I have been friends forever, it seems.  We have been through the best of times, and the worst of times.  Yet, we always – always – come out on top of it all.

That is why every year we celebrate Jubilation Day.

It is a day for us, about us, created by us, observed by us with reverence and revelry.  We celebrate our strong friendship and unwavering love that has a bond like no other.  It cannot be copied or duplicated.  Oh, sure, there are weak imitations, but there is really nothing – nothing – as true and as strong as the bond of a loving friendship we share.

Today is Jubilation Day.

Raise a glass in our honor.

Here’s to another magnificent year.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming book, “Love Essays,” ©2023

Twilight Bay.

In the greyish-blue twilight of a fresh early evening, Best Friend and I escaped from our home and drove a couple short miles to the old part of town.  We parked the car along the waterfront, drifted over to a bench built for two, and we snuggled in.  The heat of the day still lingered heavily in the air, yet the crisp, cool breezes off the bay and the anticipation of watching the sun dip dramatically below the horizon made us disregard that heat.

I detected that the breeze and the lateness of the day made the usually bluish-green hue of the choppy water turn a gloomy blackish-grey.  As I stared at the spot in front of me, it didn’t really look like water.  Instead, it appeared so dark as to be reminiscent of undulating tar.  The more I stared at the water, the more it became black, the more it looked like tar, the more it undulated.

Best Friend and I got up, held hands, and wandered in a westerly direction along the railing next to the bay.  Pelicans silently flew overhead and over the expanse of the bay – not one stopped on the lawn nor sidewalk to plead for a nosh, as they usually do.  Instead, that evening they were making a beeline for the ships in the harbor.  Perhaps dinner was more of a delicious guarantee on deck.

A large, fat gull sat on the railing facing the sunset, long enough for us to admire his white and grey feathers.  With a stretch of his wings and a push off the railing, he was out over the water, but not before I could snap a picture of him.

In the distance, a lone sailboat bounced in the bay.

Serenity prospered and offered to all who would take it, the pacific beauty in an otherwise insanely troubled world.

As ever,

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

Excerpt from my upcoming new book, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023

On Death.

When I read the news, I nearly gasped, and my stomach did some sort of weird flip with a fleeting feeling of a flock of butterflies fluttering in my stomach.

My hometown church was finally and forever closing, and the property was sold to the village’s police department for their new headquarters.

This put the final death knell on my home parish.  The parochial school closed about a decade ago.  In fact, about twenty years ago, the name of the school changed, and a new order of nuns took over, and it was that reincarnation that closed a decade ago.  But no matter.  The school is gone, as well as the church.

This is something that one really never expects to see in one’s lifetime.  Yes, things do change, places come and go, but that is supposed to happen many decades down the road when we are long gone.

And then I thought about death.  Nearly everything on Earth dies.  Civilizations come and go.  Countries that once existed are no longer.  The same with languages, cults, fads, and buildings.  And sure, some buildings still remain – take the Egyptian pyramids, for example – but they are not used for their original purpose, are they?

Last year ended with the tiniest bit of hope for the mending and renewing of certain relationships, but as the lid closed on 2022 and a bright new 2023 began, that hope is fading – and quickly.  It is time to realize that some connections die off.  In truth, most never really began.

Time marches on, they say.  I just don’t like that some pieces of my parade are gone.

As ever,

✿●▬▬▬● ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ●▬▬▬●✿


The day arrived, finally!  Today, most of the country is celebrating Thanksgiving, and if you are, I wish you a wonderful and gratitude-filled day.

Best Friend and I already chose a different date to observe our annual day of thanksgiving here at The Oasis of Four Queen Palms.  It was a day filled with serenity and balance, good company, excellent wine, and great food.  We played old, traditional music (think Sinatra and Bennett) in the background and lit a couple of candles placed snugly in the crystal candle holders.  We set the table with our Fiestaware china, in the following colors:  Butterscotch, Paprika, Meadow, and Scarlet.  These three warm colors and one cool evoked the beauty of the changing of the leaves that is magnificent this time of year.  A bouquet of silk autumn leaves in the centerpiece brought it all together.

This year, I veered a bit from our traditional menu fare.  Sent away on holiday was the usual fare we have every year and brought in for a premiere showing were several new-to-us foods.  But Tom Turkey was still the star of the meal.  For reference, I picked up a 15-pound bird for $23.39.  that is pretty good, given we will have a lot of leftovers to freeze and bones from which to make turkey soup.SALAD AND WINE

To begin, our first and second courses were a bit quirky; something one wouldn’t think of to serve on Thanksgiving.  The cup of Japanese Onion Soup we both had was good, and a suitable choice since it was mostly a light broth.  It was simple to make a day ahead.  The Apple-Raisin-Walnut Salad with Pumpkin Bread Croutons was crisp and cold, with the fresh Orange-Ginger Dressing being the perfect accompaniment.

The Herb Roasted Tom Turkey was perfectly browned and moist.  My Apple-Raisin-Walnut stuffing to go with it turned out moist and crispy, just as we like it.  I forgot to buy the raisins, but that did not deter from its mission as a side dish.  It still tasted good!  Leave it to me to forget to buy the raisins, although my forgetting something is not unheard of.

I prepared the Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine a couple of days in advance, and that was to its advantage, since the flavors melded well.  I served this delightful side dish chilled, but I imagine it would taste just as good hot, too.

The Green Bean Gremolata was a new-to-us vegetable recipe.  We liked the just-kissed lemony drizzle and the few shavings of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  For the yellow vegetable, I opted to make Cousin Stanley’s Roasted Squash, just as he made it, roasted to tenderness, and drizzled with a touch of local honey.MY PLATE

For our starch in the potato department, Best Friend had a twice-baked potato, and I opted for one of my own favorites – boiled sweet potatoes.  It’s a treat for our dogs, too, sans the butter and pepper!

And what about dessert?  This year, instead of my fresh homemade pumpkin pie, I made a small carrot cake, a favorite of Best Friend.  I made this just as our own moms did – with fresh grated carrots.  Heavenly!CARROT CAKE 2

This year’s celebration was successful, and we like the fact that we chose a non-traditional day to observe the annual Thanksgiving Holiday.  As I wrote in my previous essay, WELCOME TO THE OASIS, we are not bound to have our annual Thanksgiving on the designated Federal date – every day could and should be one of thankfulness and gratitude.

I hope you had a perfectly marvelous Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it today.

As ever,

©2022 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms