Susan Marie Molloy

🌺 Life in the Oasis 🌴


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The Nose Knows, and So Do I

A couple of Fridays ago, my beau and I went out to eat after the show. There was only one place nearby that had fish on its menu, and that’s where we went.

Quiet conversation, the lake breeze, and the seagulls gliding across the pier made for a pleasant lunch.

Until I saw it.

A little girl, about five- or six-years-old, took the salt and pepper shakers at her table and put them on her nostrils. Then she licked them. And then back on her nose. Mama and Grandmama were oblivious as they seemed to be engrossed in conversation.

Little Girl taps Grandmama on the shoulder, shows her how cute she is putting the salt shaker on her nostrils.

Grandmama smiles. Grandmama takes the shaker and puts it on her nostrils.

Mama smiles.

How utterly adorable! It’s heartwarming to see such familial bonding.

Well, isn’t it no wonder that people get sick and wonder how they caught that cold, flu, pneumonia?

I was repulsed. And I resolve to bring my own pepper shaker with me when I go out to eat from now on. A pack of Handi Wipes® are in order, too, to wipe down any container I might use at my restaurant table.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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Joy in February, Joy in Lent, and Just Plain Joy!

In a way, this was a slow week for me, and that was nice. I got over the flu thing pretty much from all the rest I took. Yay.

While I rested, my Kindle was busy serving me up with a lot of short stories and poems. It made for good reading, even on those nights I couldn’t fall asleep. It’s surprising how many good works I found from new authors. So, resting can be productive in its way.

We took The Chariot (our car) in for its routine oil change, and on the way back home, we finally stopped at the little Polish Deli near our cottage. I was in Heaven! I picked up some fresh kiełbasa, a link of kiszka, and two pounds of pierogi (one with kapusta and one with cherries).The lady at the Polish deli seemed to be tickled pink at my excitement at finding the deli. Truthfully, it’s difficult to find anything Polish (food, culture, et cetera) where we live now, in the South. Back home in Chicago, you’d have no problem at all. I’m all Polish; by the way, it’s part of my heritage, and I like keeping up with my family’s traditions.

I felt a little girlish, a lot giddy, and so darn overjoyed that I now have a place to get the foods I normally don’t make at home from scratch. I can make the pierogi, but I’m looking for a good kiełbasa recipe (and the sausage attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer).

On Valentine’s Day, we got a lovely card from my aunt. Not a bad return on the LOVE. I talked with her for a good hour – so much to catch up on! – and my beau and I had a quick lunch at the country club that’s just down the street from our cottage.

Anyway – it was a good week, and I hope yours was good, too.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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The Visit (A Ghost Story)

The blue skies that day had not a billowy cloud, nor a wisp of one. In fact, it was the kind of day in winter that I most disliked, when cloudless skies meant nothing was holding in the heat. The high that day was 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the low was a biting 17 degrees. I walked to school every day, and in that kind of Chicago weather, that meant a heavy coat, a knit hat pulled down to my eyebrows, and a long wool scarf wrapped around my nose, chin, and neck. My grey rabbit fur gloves and black zip-up boots completed my ensemble.

I was in high school. It was Friday, and school was back in session for the fourth day after Christmas vacation. There was a new class schedule, a new class or two with new teachers to get used to, and the year-long classes resumed with the same teachers.

That day was like most of my high school days: looking forward to lunching with my girlfriends, passing notes with them through the vents in our lockers, getting as much homework done during study hall, and b-o-r-i-n-g gym class. I only liked gym class when we had sports I liked: fencing, tennis, cross country skiing, dance, softball, and the like.

The beginning of that semester found me in trampoline class, around noon. I disliked it immensely, with all that bouncing up, down, around, falling, bouncing up, down— I didn’t see the point.

I was wearing a silver charm bracelet my uncle gave me. It had whale, dog, cat, horse, and bird charms. Sometime during that bouncing up, down, around, falling, I lost the whale charm. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the gym. I was sad about it and hoped someone would find it.

The rest of the school day was nothing special, and before I knew it, I was plodding my way back home in the biting cold, worried about the lost whale charm.

That night, while I was in bed, something caused me to wake up. My bed was directly across the closet. I saw someone – a man, and not my dad – standing there, in dark trousers and a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. It looked like my uncle. It was my uncle. I smiled, then laid down with the blanket over my head.

The next morning, my parents were already up and in the kitchen. I went down the stairs, and I heard my brother telling our mom that during the night our uncle was in my brothers’ bedroom by their closet, in dark trousers and in his white shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, just like he usually wore his dress shirts.

I didn’t imagine it!

I told my mom the same story as my brother. She told us to say a prayer.

You see, the day before when I was in trampoline class and lost the whale charm off the silver bracelet my uncle gave me, I lost it at exactly the time he passed away. I learned that he passed away when I came home from school, and Mom told me.

Today, it’s 45 years since my uncle passed away. He was 51. And he stopped by the night of the day he passed away to say, “So long.”

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.