Just about every day now, I send up a silent hosanna along the likes of: "Thank you, Oh Great One, for allowing me to raise my children before texting, sexting, Facebook, rap music and 'Gangnam Style.' " To that I must now add, "the exorbitant admission price for theme parks."
Some took a bullet for the children. Months later, others would shield them with their own bodies under an avalanche of brick and lumber. They were the first of the first responders: the teachers of Newtown, Conn., and, later, Moore, Okla.
Think flying with a squalling child in the seat next to you is hell? Try flying with a goat. Or maybe a monkey. Could happen, thanks to the animal's status as a certified emotional-support animal, or ESA, as it's known in the lingo.
Hey, I put my new shoes on - thanks to what may be a dying breed.
It is a great, gnarly beast, its roots burrowing deep beneath the caliche, its boughs reaching up to the heavens.
OK class, today's math problem is: Joe is buying a bottle of water that costs $1.97, total. He gives the clerk a five-dollar bill. Joe's correct change should be:
I'm a drip. So are you, and you, and all you multitudes of miserable souls who dare not stop to smell the roses, lest your nasal passages begin to hydrate in some socially unacceptable way.
If you are reading this without first having to remember a password, congratulations - and may the printed word never die.
Just about every day I give thanks that I am no longer the mother of teenagers.
Some time back - OK, it was 20 years ago - a couple of researchers posited, as researchers are prone to do, that dogs can and do bark "at everything and nothing, anytime of the day or night."
Ah, it's that time of year again. Time to welcome all those who come to the desert seeking its warmth, its mayonnaise- and jalapeño-slathered hot dogs, and its gargantuan array of "Old West" souvenirs - quite possibly the largest assortment ever seen this side of China.
We used to call them junior highs, reserved for kids who'd reached the seventh, eighth, and - in earlier days - ninth grade here in Tucson. None of that middle school or K-8 stuff we largely have today.
Here in the Old Pueblo - also known as 50 Shades of Beige - the last tamale has finally slid down the old gullet and all that remains of Christmas are the 347 needles (fake or real) that you'll be vacuuming out of the carpet until our first 100-degree day.
Every year, I drag out the list, dog-eared and faded - and so ancient that it originated on a typewriter, rather than a computer keyboard.
The question I knew would eventually come arrived the day after Thanksgiving, halfway between the movies and the walk to Santa's workshop in the mall:
Every year, someone trots out that Norman Rockwell painting showing a family from the 1940s gathered at the Thanksgiving table. Centerpiece, of course, is the turkey, all fat and golden, waiting to be carved.
No matter who wins on Tuesday, there will be cries of impending doom, along with a great gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes, and a run on sackcloth and ashes down at the local "dollar" store.
We come from the sea. We return to the sea. It's a draw I've felt nearly all of my life, mainly in the San Diego area. For years we camped along its beaches - beaches in some cases soon to be smothered in golf courses and fancy resorts.
What?!! Are you out of your minds?!! A few weeks ago, an article ran in this very paper promoting a young, obviously delusional couple who had remodeled their kitchen back to the Avocado Epoch.
My first "tent" was a bedspread. My first "bed" a blow-up mattress with a leak of undetermined origin. No need to ask why I no longer go camping.
Maybe it's a good thing. Was it just a couple of years ago that women of a certain age were lamenting the fact that young women had little idea - or appreciation - of the battles that had been fought for equality?
Timing is everything. As the first swell of what has now become a tsunami of retiring baby boomers, we've enjoyed the benefits of Medicare for a couple of years now.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Well, except for Scottsdale, that is.
Summers, not winters, are what I best remember about being a kid. Winters were sensible shoes and scratchy sweaters, multiplication tables and trudging to school.
Come Wednesday there will be parades. There will be watermelon busts and pie-eating contests. And there will be bombast - both pyrotechnic and oratorical in nature.
They are the sturdy, no-nonsense names parents once bestowed upon their sons. Names like Elijah and Elihu, Johannes and Gustavus. And they are all father to me - many generations removed.
It is a voice that would never sell diapers. Or cosmetics. Or remedies for erectile dysfunction. Yet we know it instantly, dripping with sarcasm and scorn.
You done good. When I read the other day that C.E. Rose K-8 School had won a national education award for excellence, I just about busted my buttons.
I was a stay-at-home mom. I was a working mom. I was lucky. Both were by choice. If there were any "mommy wars" out there, they raged far from my consciousness.
My mother was a wonderful cook. She used four electrical kitchen "gadgets" that I remember. One was a toaster - the heavy chrome kind that was worth repairing if it broke. The other three were a small hand mixer, a turkey roaster that she only used once a year, and a waffle iron so heavy it …
Johnny Cash sang it best: "I hear the train a comin,' it's rollin' 'round the bend."
Tide? Seriously? I thought my husband was joking when I came home from running errands and he said, "Lock up your Tide." Then I heard the news.
I grew up on Tucson's south side, in one of the town's poorest neighborhoods. But it was a working poor neighborhood, filled with fathers who worked with their hands, and mothers who raised kids but often worked outside the home as well.
I should be used to it by now. Once again, a store I patronize on a regular basis is ready to throw me under the bus, hoping to woo a younger customer.
Some say you're an Arizonan if you've spent one summer here.
Others say: Whoa, not so fast, pardner. You've got to prove you've
absorbed not only some of the knowledge about our state, but also
I get a little cranky trying to predict what Arizona will be
like 50 years from now, considering I will no longer be part of the
scene. Face it: No way will 116 be the new, um, 86.
It preys upon young and old, rich and poor, liberal and
conservative alike. Yea, verily, even the independent voter is not
immune. Resistance is futile. I am talking, of course, about
I'm not exactly sure when it was that dogs finally became
people. Maybe it started when people - as in humans - started
naming their dogs Claire or Timothy, as opposed to Rover or
You can't see the star anymore unless you're lying on the couch
- or the floor.
Black Friday came and went without my participation this year. I
don't think I was missed. All the same, I and legions of others who
answer to "Grandma," "Nana," or the ever-present "Waaah, I'm
telling," do serve a purpose on what has become capitalism's most
Four days hence, I will arise from my bed before dawn to
confront and eventually conquer the cold, pale corpse of
Thanksgiving future. I will tenderly bathe its goose-bump skin,
rinse its body cavity, then stuff, baste, cover and cook.
I call it the hesitation two-step, though it has little to do
with dancing. Then again, it takes some mighty fancy footwork - and
sometimes sleight of hand - to figure out how to use a public
restroom these days.
Glum. Stiff. Perhaps a tad suspicious. This is how my ancestors
approached the photographer for a family portrait. Side by side
they sit, hands folded across their laps, lips pursed, eyes
squinting straight ahead. Young, old and in-between, they calmly
await the flash that will capture that …
Call it "Innocents abroad meet the bucket list." For a dozen
days late last month, we skipped across the pond to visit London
and Paris, two cities I had long yearned to see. Our trip began
with a direct flight, Phoenix to London, steerage class.
When Christopher Columbus landed in what is now the Bahamas, he
thought he was in India. Pioneers Alfred Packer and George Donner
both thought they were on the right track, too. Then we have Happy
Feet, the emperor penguin that somehow landed in New Zealand.
The airwaves are awash with remembrance this week. We watch, we
cry, we pay homage - both to the dead and to the survivors.
Four o'clock, Christmas morn, he runs into our bedroom wearing a
police helmet, siren blasting, lights flashing. Far as I can
remember, that was our son's first battery-operated toy.
Yessss! In what has to be seen as a blow to mindless technology,
Albertsons grocery chain, which owns 200 stores, including seven in
Tucson, announced that it was pulling its self-checkout lanes in
all its stores that had them.
The lights have dimmed, the press and paparazzi long scattered
in search of the next scandal. But for one woman, the heartache
will never subside. For the rest of her life, Cindy Anthony, mother
of Casey Anthony, will mourn not only the loss of her young
granddaughter, but also the loss of h…
I once saw a beige Corvette. Not "Gold." Not "Dusk." Not
"Incognito," or any of the other names we've substituted for the
plain old colors we used to know. Just beige - like the color of
the shawl your granny's granny used to wrap around her