Author Archives: betteann

About betteann

Writer, teacher, cook

SUDDEN DEATH, SUDDEN LIFE, Take Two

There is always more than one version of a story, and whether it involves two people or has a cast of thousands, there will be that many ways to tell the tale. You put the foam on Jerry Seinfeld’s latte? … Continue reading

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A LOVE OF LISTS

          Are you a list maker?  I am.    Oh, god, how I love lists: the simple ones, like  Groceries, Things to do , and the more complicated ones, which bring on sub-lists and sub-sub-lists.  When I plan a … Continue reading

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SUBTEXTS

Face it.  Most of us like to think of ourselves as honest, even when we’re not.  The idea of being a “straight-shooter” and “straight talker” is what upstanding citizens and human beings do.  But the truth is, we all lie … Continue reading

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An Occupational Hazard

One of the things that makes me a writer is my curiosity about other people.  Or, to put it more plainly, I’m nosy.  The phrase, “What’s his story?” could be my motto.  The what-ifs of the world are always on … Continue reading

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From One Old Thing to Another

    Over the years I have collected more than a few beautiful things that  have been part of my life and my household: trays, serving dishes, decorative vases, small items of furnishing and so forth.   Lately, though, I … Continue reading

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Everything Old Is New Again

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about the old-time, low-tech remedies for common ailments and complaints.  The little fixes everyone used to use.  Things like sipping flat Coke to settle a stomach ache, and hitting the side of a radio … Continue reading

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Like a sock in the dryer, my afternoon disappeared. One minute it was time for lunch and the next my stomach was grumbling for dinner. I wasn’t surprised. I was in the midst of writing a story and I know being absorbed in writing makes the time go for me. Getting totally lost in reading can do that, too. For you it may be wood-working, or painting, or polishing silver. You plan a wedding for a whole year, anticipate it from the first thought through the snows of December and the rains of April until June is here. Then it happens and it is over in three hours and the three hours feels like three minutes. Yet waiting to hear someone is safely out of surgery, or waiting on line at the Department of Motor Vehicles can feel like forever; the minutes grow fat and sluggish, as if they’re never going to move toward after. So yes, I know the day-to- day expandability and retract-ability of time very well. What is harder to comprehend is the sudden passage of a season, a year, a decade. This summer, for example. Can you believe how fast it went? When I was a child it took forever to get through June to the 30th and summer vacation. But then, as compensation, vacation stretched too. I could read fifteen books and make new friends and go to the beach what felt like a million times and still not use up the summer. Now, I hardly say the word “summer” and it is over. Someone says it is because the weather is so weird. We didn’t have spring. But what if I lived in Florida, where there is only one season?Wouldn’t I still be shocked at how quickly New Year’s Eve has come and gone, and how yesterday I was watching the Twin Towers fall and it is already almost two decades past? Philosophers have thought and written about time and discussed the nature of pastness. Psychologists have speculated, too, on why and how time works the way it does. St. Augustine said, “Time is something in the mind.” Maybe it is because when we are young our lives change so often and dramatically that we don’t even notice the passage of time surrounding the changing events, but when we are older, the flat terrain of routine makes it plain. Or maybe the logarithmic explanation – yes, there is one – that says that to a twenty year-old two years will seem like one year to a ten year-old, and doing the math, by the time you’re sixty, six years will seem like one year to a ten year old, is true. But no matter how you explain it, it’s a fact that time seems to go faster as we get older. So I suppose I’d better hurry up and enjoy myself, a kick a minute, a hoot an hour, a delight a day, as the years race by.

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