Susan Marie Molloy

🌺 Life in the Oasis 🌴


Back in Time: Camp Kilmer

For a while now, I’ve been busy with getting all my family photographs and memorabilia sorted, organized, and put in their places. This project has been going on for a few years already. So much to still do—

Following are several postcards from Camp Kilmer, New Jersey that was in my uncle’s boxes. He served with the United States Army just after The War (that’s World War II), and he was also stationed overseas in Germany to help with rebuilding.

Camp Kilmer was activated in June 1942 as a staging area and was in New Jersey. It was named for the poet, Joyce Kilmer, who was from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was killed in World War I (by sniper) during the Second Battle of Marne/Ourcq while serving with 69th Infantry Regiment.  He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre for his bravery.

The camp was part of an installation of the New York Port of Embarkation. It was organized as part of the Army Service Forces Transportation Corps. During World War II, troops were quartered at the camp to prepare for transport to the European Theater of Operations. In fact, it became the largest processing center for troops heading overseas and returning from World War II; there were over 2.5 million soldiers processed through there. Camp Kilmer officially closed in 2009.

Besides my uncle, New York Yankees Joe DiMaggio and comedian Red Skelton, all served with the Army, and were temporarily assigned to the Camp. DiMaggio autographed baseballs for wounded soldiers and gave hitting and fielding lessons, while Skelton made unannounced visits to the hospital. Knowing my uncle, he probably had a grand time playing guitar and making his fellow soldiers laugh with his fun sense of humor.

I hope you enjoy the following postcards and this peek into the past:

And here is a photograph of Kilmer in uniform:

Joyce Kilmer: December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918.

(General information on Camp Kilmer and Joyce Kilmer was gleaned from the National Archives and from the Poetry Foundation.)

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.




At the Movies: “Winchester”

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision yesterday afternoon to hit the road and mosey on into town to see the latest that Hollywood has to offer: “Winchester.” Following is my take on the film.


Helen Mirren exhibits a stunning performance as Old, Tormented, Haunted America who wears a black veil to mourn her violent, gun-ridden past.

Jason Clarke is the foggy-minded doctor dope fiend hooked on laudanum who does not see the state of the Union (the United States) until he is dope-free and his mind clear. Not only is he tasked with trying to find out what Old, Tormented, Haunted America really wants, he plays a dual role as the personification of the United Government/Congress.

Sarah Snook is New America, hopeful for a new beginning, a female Diogenes of sorts, looking for the truth and carrying a lighted lamp hither and yon through the maze of confusion to lead the way to a new, violent-free existence.

Eamon Farren is the Ghost of America Past, a man who personifies all mass shootings and the constant civil war he wages. He cannot be stopped until the dope fiend doctor’s refurbished magic bullet is put to a better use than murder.

Laura Brent acts as the personification of Confused People throughout history who committed suicide with a rifle (or any type of gun), because, you know, guns are evil.

Tyler Coppin plays a convincing role as The Anti-Gun Lobby who must help Old, Tormented, Haunted America (Mirren) get through the confusion of guns versus no guns.

Douglas Embry represents a shackled black slave, a reminder of slavery, “that peculiar institution,” which also suggests the Second Amendment also is a “peculiar institution” that must be abolished.

Angus Sampson: The Builder who works behinds the scenes.

Finn Scicluna-O’Prey is the Future of America, a victim of circumstances.


Thirteen Nails. In an Oscar-worthy performance, these represent the Original Thirteen States. Throughout the film, Old, Tormented, Haunted America insists that thirteen nails, and only thirteen, must be used to shut rooms (or all avenues) to keep the Ghosts of the Second Amendment locked up so they won’t continue to hurt people. Subtly stated, they teasingly infer that the damnable Second Amendment should have been killed with the Founding Fathers of the Original Thirteen States and have not even seen the light of day.

The Black Veil. It makes a stunning performance on Old, Tormented, Haunted America’s head to denote the shame, shame, shame of allowing guns in society. Or maybe guns, in general. Either way, it’s a dramatic and classy performance.

The Intercom System. Its role was magnificently played out to emphasize “Who out there in America will hear The Cry of Gun Control? Hello? Hello?”

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. It’s brought out of retirement to play the part of shaking up things and shaking sense into American society to realize that gun control is the way to go.

The Greenhouse Garden. The Womb of a New America, where the dope fiend doctor finally can “see,” his head is cleared about the evils of guns, and engages his Refurbished Magic Bullet to do the deed.

The Refurbished Magic Bullet. The magic bullet (The Vote to Repeal) that kills the Second Amendment and provides hope to all with its motto, “Forever Together” engraved on its casing.

Automatic Writing. In a heroic performance outside of its comfort zone, it not only writes, but draws interior room designs to denote the struggles of writing new, never before used verbiage to kill the Second Amendment.

Laudanum. The proverbial enabling ostrich with its head in the sand.

The Winchester Repeating Rifle. As always, its role is to repeat the mantra, “Guns, bad. Second Amendment repeal, good.” Lock, load, and repeat, ad infinitum.

The Second Amendment. The Snidely Whiplash of this film. ‘Nuf said.


The intelligence of the American movie-going public.


At the end, The Thirteen Nails pounded into “the nails in the coffin” of the Second Amendment, is scarily pushed out, one by one by the National Rifle Association (who had no face nor lines in the film). Rumor has it, the NRA wasn’t paid nor was credited, either.

Before the film started, I noticed that there was a plethora of film trailers touting upcoming paranormal movies. That’s because the subliminal message to the audience was that “Winchester” is a movie about the paranormal. I wish it was.

Yeah. Right. What a crock this film was. It’s all about attempting to brainwash the public about gun control.

It made me laugh, then scoff at the film in disgust.

It’s too bad that these wags used the real Sarah Winchester, an heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to peddle their transparent message.  I wanted an entertaining movie, not to be preached to.

And, finally, what’s up with the similar movie poster to “My Cousin Rachel?”


©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Chili con Carne, Life in the Oasis, and Writing

A little bit about me, my blog, and outlook on life:

You, probably like me, have been hearing ad infinitum how blasted cold it’s been lately. And if you live in that cold weather, I feel for you. I grew up in Chicago, where wintry winds off the lake fuel the bitterly cold air temperatures. Oh, yeah, and then there was the short time when I lived about 50 miles from the Manitoba, Canada border, where it seemed winter lasts 48 weeks out of the year. So, I know cold.

It’s been cool here, too, in Florida. The air temperature actually got into the 20s*F the past couple nights. Who would’ve thought? Well, so much for escaping the Midwest’s cold winters! To warm us up, I made a large pot of homemade chili con carne, and used chunks of beef instead of ground beef, for a change of dining pace.

As we were eating, I was thinking about when I started blogging, which was about 6 years ago. How it started was when my beau suggested it. His own blogging began when he retired from his long public service career and became a real estate broker, which led to him moving into the property management business, which, after that flamed out (rather, he burned out), led him to writing about beading art and wire work. Now, his occasional blog explores and comments upon the twisted side of life in It’s a Twisted Life According to Gene.

Which brings me back to my blog. I went from one leitmotif to another, and I didn’t seem to find my comfort level. Right now, if you flip through my blog, you will only find blogs as early as 2014, and those are just book reviews. Unfortunately, I wiped out a lot of articles I wrote because, in a fit of non-confidence one day, I got rid of blogs I thought were goofy. Or stupid. Or boring.

How silly.

Yes, it took me awhile, but I found what’s comfortable for me. My blog is subtitled, “Life in the Oasis”. What it means is, that my life – my world – is rich, lush, productive, and a sanctuary, while the world outside might be a foreboding wasteland at times. Moreover, my beau – my husband – is my own oasis, where he is, and always was, the one person I could always find refuge in, comfort, and happiness when the world outside was demanding, cruel, and inhospitable.

So – life in the oasis is a place – tangible and intangible – where harmony, fertility, cheerfulness, and optimistic thinking reign.

My blog focuses on the positive aspects of life, and the things I like. I write about my mundane daily life, movie and book reviews, how my beau and I keep love flaming hot, my discoveries and adventures, our travels, tips on homemaking, and other whacky subjects. I share my poems and photographs and share your blogs that grab me. And there are a variety of topics that can’t be particularly categorized, but they make it to this blog.

Since I left my glamorous 9 to 5 job (sarcasm) this past summer, I’m working at home now doing things I love (writing, reading, creating art, homemaking, travelling, being a wife, waiting on His Lordship and Her Ladyship – our two dogs, Toby and Trixie).  My blog has gently become an oasis where I hope you will find a few minutes to stop by and discover pacific, nurturing, and hilarious topics that somehow enrich your life, as your blogs do for me.

Welcome to Life in the Oasis.
Thank you for stopping by.
Sharing is cool.
Your logical, well-thought out comments here are what I live for.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Winter – A Haiku to Gently Ease into 2018

Ringing in the New Year was fun, and I got to dress up in my basic black and sparkly rhinestone dress. My beau wore his zoot suit jacket and top hat, and wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to take pictures. The cover of my poetry chapbook, Gallery Night, is of my beau wearing the same outfit a couple years ago (close enough, but no cigar this year):Returning to last night, there were hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, the tinkling of high ball glasses mixed nicely with the soft music in the background, and story-telling and laughter heightened the party’s gaiety. It wasn’t the wildest party, but it wasn’t the most boring, either.

I got up early this morning – it was more of a nap I took, really – and as I am sitting down and writing this quick blog while the tea kettle is heating up, I came across a bunch of poems I wrote either last year or the year before. Here’s one of my favorites:


The snow comes softly
Cold and wet and silently,
Lingering for months.

It reminds of a New Year’s Eve around 1975-76-77, where it actually snowed that night in Chicago, and it was slushy. And being the fashion icon I was back in those days, I went out without boots. I wore black high heel suede sandals. Imagine the slipping around I did. Imagine my wet and frozen feet.  Imagine me, young and foolish. Right?

I hope your New Year’s Eve was nice and enjoyable, no matter if you celebrated wildly, slept through it, or completely forgot about it.

Happy New Year!

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


Putting a Neat Little Bow on 2017

Thank you, Everyone! You made 2017 a good reading, writing, and blogging year.  Following are a few of my thoughts about this past year and how I’m looking forward to the new one.

I Thank You.  I can’t begin to name and thank all of you whose blogs I follow, read, comment, and learn from. The same goes for all of you who followed, shared — particularly by The Militant Negro —  and commented on my blog this past year. These lists are long. Nevertheless, thank you, thank you!  I have discovered many fabulous blogs here on WordPress, and I will say there is a lot of good talent here.  (To see whose blogs I follow, please take a look at my blogroll.)

2017’s Theme. A little over a year ago, I declared that 2017 would be a Year of Change for me. I had no idea how “changed” it would be from any other year. Silly. Silly, because every year, every day, every hour, every moment produces change of some sort. If we recognize that change exists, no matter its enormity or minuteness, or its quantifying levels, we’re halfway there to using it for good, or not. It’s up to us, nevertheless, how we accept, handle, and manage it.

Writing, Published Books, and Photography. Another change was writing more, and my skills improved. Perhaps that led to more of my poetry being published. Moreover, one of my photographs for a writing anthology’s cover was chosen, and several more photographs and my poetry, were published in it, too. I’m chuffed.

Left the Old Job.  About a year ago, I knew there were changes afoot with the ol’ job. I already planned on leaving that long, horrifying, so-called career I had.  (Oh, the stories, or book, I could write!)  Life would – and did – become blissful again without the lousy job and its surrounding aggravations.

Staying in Touch. Remember letter-writing, phone calls, emails, visiting? Yeah, me, too. That’s how I continued to stay in touch with my friends and family. As long as we’re on the subject, when did it become de rigueur to use Facebook messenger only? Give me a box of nice stationery and a good Cross pen, and I’m ready–

Social Media Change.  No longer do I feel like a dirty voyeur being force-fed pictures of dead or near-dead relatives laying in the hospital bed, the perfect marriages and angelic children, announcements of divorce when those “perfect marriages” fell apart, hatred, the passive-aggressive posts, the Woe-Is-Me Crowd, and particularly the incorrect quotes and statistics on memes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.  I left Fakebook as a whole at the beginning of the year, returned for a five-week engagement in October-November, and left again – this time permanently (except for my author page). Those couple few weeks where I popped back in solidified my thoughts that Fakebook is a vast wasteland for The Bored, The Braggarts, and The Attention-Seekers. “Silent noise,” I call it, and I am done with it. And you know what? I’m back to my old self: calm, cheerful, creative, and relishing all the productive time within my days.

Reading.  I went crazy with reading this year.  Goodreads is a good way for me to keep track of what I read, what I like, what I want to read, and to connect with other readers and authors.  This year, I read 245 books.  How did I do this?  For one, I don’t watch television.  Cut out that crap, and voilà! you have more time to accomplish real, productive things.  At work, I was able to read in my office, in between doing nothing (it was a horrifying job with no work).  Plus, many of the books I read were a length that could easily be read within the course of the day or within an hour.  I discovered a lot of writers, too.  Expanding my horizons, you see.

The Lost Art of Thanking.  This year opened my eyes to the lack of thanking, which seems to have become a new national pastime, with its passé, quaint little politeness that went the way of good manners.  This year, I was dumbstruck at the lack of thanking for the simplest things.  People don’t thank for holding a door open for them, they don’t thank for a gift made or bought for them, they don’t thank for that unsolicited compliment you give, they don’t thank for anything.  I’m speaking in generalities here; some people do thank.  However, I notice it’s more people who don’t, than do.

Tales from Daily Life.  My beau and I are enjoying our lives more and more each day, and I shared our experiences with you during this past year.  We did a little travelling. I visited my hometownCooking is still one of my passions.  We saw a lot of new movies this year, one of which we thought was bad, but most we liked.  Nevertheless, there’s a lot to do and see in our world.  Yes, there was a lot more that happened in 2017, and much of it was good,  and some not.  

Peeking into 2018.  I’ll continue to share my experiences, and keep the positive theme of my blog.  Something new is that I plan to set aside a day each week to share a blog or two of yours that I find inspirational, educational, or just plain re-bloggable.  I’m working on three (yes, three!) books to be published this year.  I’ll be gardening more.  Golfing is in sight for me.  I have some art projects that I’ll finish.  I plan to re-acquaint myself with the art of sushi-making at home.

I hope you had a good, productive, happy, and healthy year, and I wish for you the type of 2018 you want and deserve.

Tonight my beau and I are headed to a New Year’s Eve party, and I’m looking forward to turning the page on the ol’ calendar.

Be happy you’re alive. Be happy you have today. Look forward to tomorrow.

See you next year (ha ha ha).

As ever,


To see what was up in 2016, read “Wrapping Up 2016.”