Mother’s Day

Who knew Moms were regular people too?

This is how I remember my Mom. Author’s collection.

The day this happened was just like any other day. I was busy doing what college kids do, skipping class and taking a nap.

I lived with one of my sisters in a duplex about twenty minutes from home. Twenty minutes was the right amount of time and distance to make my sister and I feel all grown up and on our own.

Of course, whenever either of us was under the weather, Mom came by with chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, and Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Vernor’s was the recognized cure-all in our family.

The house phone startled me awake…

Emoji Alert

Good intentions aside

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Do you think you might unintentionally be one of the above-mentioned jerks? I got an answer without even asking the question. I’m definitely a thumbs-up overuser. How did I find out? My friends told me. Not ALL my friends but a small, select group of my besties let me know.

To my surprise and dismay, the thumbs-up emoji has a secret meaning, one that I was oblivious to. It seems when I thought I was cheerfully responding in the affirmative, I was actually abruptly ending a conversation.

And as everyone over 6-years-old knows, it’s rude to abruptly end a conversation…

Deserving Writers

Congrats to the 1000 April fancy pants

Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

I’m thrilled to learn that 1000 unsuspecting writers got a surprise five hundred smackeroos from Medium. The five hundred smackeroos showed up in their bank accounts as a bonus for their April reader engagement.

Five hundred smackeroos are no joke.

The payment was identified as a “one-off.” In other words, enjoy your April fancy pants, you may never see it again. At least that’s my take on “one-off.”

Thanks to Shamar M and her piece titled Christmas Came Early for Medium Members I’m keenly aware that I’m not one of the April fancy pants writers. It seems my reader engagement…

Life Lessons

Finding my truth, it’s a process

Photo by Persnickety Prints on Unsplash

I no longer live in a box. I can’t breathe in a box. I no longer conform to whatever it was I thought I needed to conform to. I let that go. I long ago retired my navy blue dress-for-success suit.

Each time I wore that suit, with my white silk blouse, my dainty red scarf, and my dime-size gold hoop earrings, I shriveled up inside. My outside fit, but my inside smothered.

I longed to feel creative, to express myself. I was good at business, that’s what made it confusing. If I was good at it, why did I…

Mental Health

Does how you feel matter?

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Occasionally, I get zinged for my lack of in-depth knowledge about the plethora of horrible things happening in our world. This used to embarrass me. Sometimes I’d even pretend to be more knowledgeable than I was. That seldom worked and left me feeling like a phony and a woefully uninformed dweeb.

The feeling of being a woefully uninformed dweeb would lead to a sudden newfound obsession with the News. News with a capital N. I’d feel compelled to consume as much as I could as quickly as I could in an effort to “get up to speed.”

This meant binge-watching…


Identifying what matters.

Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Leaving our sprawling house in Ohio in 2014 was a project. Good thing I’m a project nerd. At the time we were in the 10th year of our most recent ten-year plan. Simultaneously, Hubs and I had just celebrated our 35th anniversary, also the anniversary of our we-might-need-that-someday plan.

As a retired couple, downsizing is an expected right of passage. It marks the time when you side-step the everything-for-the-kids mode of living and step into the it’s-now-or-never mode of living.

The right of passage goes something like this — you let go of the ‘big house’ and find a condo…

This Happened to Me

Turning to Mick Jagger for solutions

Photo by Rampal Singh on Unsplash

As a teenager, I was obsessed with “getting some color.” As an individual of German and Irish descent, “color” is not one of my natural attributes — that is unless pasty is considered a color.

Like teens of my era, I turned to Mick Jagger. Who better to solve my lack-of-color and resulting lack-of-coolness problems? Believe it or not Mick was actually cute back then.

I dealt with my inherited pastiness with the surefire combination of Johnson’s Baby Oil and a foil-wrapped Rolling Stones album jacket. Today albums are called vinyl. …


Yes, I’m a kink obsessed OCD nerd

Photo by Esperanza Doronila on Unsplash

Okay. That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m sick and tired of hanger kinks. You know what I mean those annoying kinks that show up in the shoulder vicinity of anything with sleeves. Kinks make me want to give up sleeves altogether until I catch a glimpse of my arms — then I reconsider.

The kinks wouldn’t be so bad if they managed to kink evenly, but oh no, one kink will be the size of Mt. Everest and the other will resemble an anthill. The really annoying part is I’m never sure how to de-kink. …


There are worse things

Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash

I grew up admiring Jackie Kennedy. If you’re not sure who Jackie Kennedy is just ask any nearby Baby Boomer. They’ll know. Long before she was Jackie O, she was Jackie Kennedy, married to #35.

Although her name changed, I’m assuming her shoe size didn’t. The reason I thought she was cool had nothing to do with her stint as First Lady or her goofy pillbox hats.

I admired her because she had big feet.

Her feet were a size nine — at least that’s what my Mom said. I’m not sure how or why she knew this rather personal…

Kris Downey

Kris Downey is a woman who pays attention and fills up journals in barely legible cursive. Among her favorite topics are life lessons, travel and humor.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store