Tam and the Silverfish

Early morning, alone, on the carpeted floor, exercising and stretching

Enjoying the time to do something good for myself when

The corner of my eye noticed swift movement from under the TV

Heading in my direction

Super-human abilities kicked in immediately as I

Popped into the air from a semi-seated position, did a

Twist to face the floor and the flat, silver, leggy bug that

Moved to the spot I had vacated and


The Silverfish will not terrorize earth’s denizens again


May 23, 2020

Diary Entry from August 24, 1998

(Still going through this old diary I found.  Still dealing with the quarantine Corona virus time.  Here’s another entry, a month after the last one.  In my diary, about this time I only entered one happening a month, and it gets fewer as time goes.)

Driving my van, I listened to a country radio station, to a song with the words, “I’m thinking about you,” dealing with a father who loves his 8-year-old daughter and wonders about her when he sees how many adult women are treated badly in the world.  It made me think.

I was a little girl once.  My dad’s little first-born girl.  During my first six years, I wanted to be a cowboy.  Didn’t understand the difference between cowgirl and cowboy.  I loved wearing chaps, boots, six shooters, and a hat, and I needed a horse (even make-believe worked).  I desperately wanted to look just like Roy Rogers.  He was my hero.  We didn’t live but a mile or so from him in Phoenix, Arizona.  I played cowboy in the front yard almost every day, hoping beyond hope to see Roy go by on his horse, Trigger.  My child-heart yearned to be near my hero.  I still have a birthday photo of me at 6-years-old, sitting on a real, little pony (borrowed) in my cowboy gear.

Was my wonderful Dad ever jealous?  I hope not.  I believe he was my real hero, I just didn’t know it then.

Diary Entry from July 28, 1998

Continuing with this diary I found while cleaning out my filing cabinet.

I love watching the oldies show “Perry Mason.  In fact, I have several Perry Mason books, both in English and in French.  Why do I love it?  The actors?  Maybe.  They are good in my estimation.  Oh, I know why…

I love seeing how mixed-up things get straightened out.  How the loose threads get tied together into something clear and logical.  I love reading books like the count of Monte Cristo, Tale of Two Cities, the Bible… I like finding out how problems are solved, how messed up lives turn out, how different occurrences and lives affect others either immediately or years down the line.  I wonder who I affect. How my life will turn out? Will it be worth watching or reading about?

Diary Entry from May 23, 1998

We’ve been dealing with the quarantine time of Corona Virus, or lockdown.  Going through this very old diary of mine and editing the entries has been great for my memory.  Here’s the next interesting story in my life that I had forgotten about!  I’m glad I wrote it down…

“The Surprise”

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Yesterday afternoon, May 22nd, my youngest sister, Gayle, “kidnapped” me.  I didn’t realize it at the time, I had thought she was just going to take me somewhere interesting in order to celebrate my birthday.  After a long drive north to Long Beach, she kept me in the dark to the last second as to where we were going.  She said she needed to stop at the Queen Mary to pick up some pamphlets and info concerning staying there before we headed on to our destination.  My sister likes doing interesting things like that, so I didn’t think anything of it.

I went inside with her, I mean, who wouldn’t?  I’d never been inside such a historic ship before.  While waiting our turn at the Hotel lobby desk (with me ogling everything in the area), an employee came up and greeted my sister, saying she remembered her from last week!  Gayle was slightly rude to her until she could tell I knew something was up.  Suddenly, she ‘fessed up that we were to stay HERE!  AT the Queen Mary!  Aaaah!  Yeehaa!  Ooh!  Yip yay yip yee!

After a while, I had to use the restroom and walked down a hall, both laughing and giggling at how she had fooled me.  On the way back, I tripped over a floor divider and slid on my right side quite a long way on the rug.  The rug was beautiful!  After checking in, we made our way through the huge ship/hotel to our small room, M201.  What a wonderful place!  She then told me we had to go somewhere else for an 8:30 PM mysterious appointment off of Ocean Boulevard. On our drive away, we saw a blue heron off of the Queen’s docks, standing on the edges of little fishing boats.

Our appointment turned out to be an exotic gondola ride through some islands called Naples!!!  Real gondolas!  The boats travel through canals separating three islands in the harbor area that have huge, artistic, beautiful, super wealthy homes.  The Hershey family built the first house there around 1925.  It was used as a duck hunting club, because the islands used to be marshlands with millions of ducks.  Eventually, the marshes were drained, islands formed, and people built more houses—$800,000 up to $3.5 million.

Our boatman sang Santa Lucia to us under a bridge (so he would sound better).  As we toured Long Beach’s Naples, we ate Italian bread, salami, and cheese, and we drank what Gayle brought—Sprite with maraschino cherries sitting in an ice bucket, like wine.  At 9:30, we were happily on our way back to the Queen Mary.

Gayle and I took photos of the lit-up ship, and walked the decks until 11:30.  There were several proms being held here from local high schools, and teenagers were everywhere decked out to the hilt. We went on to the front prow deck, not realizing we were not supposed to, and looked at the WWII guns and almost didn’t get back to the legal area.  The doors were all locked except for the one we had entered.  It didn’t have a handle!!  But pulling on a pipe that stuck out the door for some reason, we got it open.  How embarrassing.  I’m not very brave when it comes to doing things I’m not supposed to be doing.

What a night!  What a Day!  What a sister!

We woke up early the next day and toured that front deck again, legally, taking more photos before heading back to San Diego.  A great memory maker, don’t you think?

Diary Entry from May 22, 1998

In continuation of my newly rediscovered diary of a short period in 1998, I must have been thinking about a good friend of my family…

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“Thelma Things”

Thelma is almost 80-years old.  She has known me since I was in the sixth-grade, and was my Mom’s best friend for years.  She does ceramics; makes greeting cards; paints; sews; volunteers at the senior center; helps people who need clothes, food, money; encourages people with educational goals; makes things and gives them away or sells them cheap, like bowls, mugs, plates, figurines (made warped on purpose or normal shapes), trash can mugs, pencil holders, ceramic whistles, greeting cards in unusual styles; and the list goes on.

I’ve found Thelma Things all over San Diego county.  The chiropractor’s wife has several things.  I do.  I had a secret pal a few years ago and I thought I was being smart to give her a trash can mug Thelma had made.  Thelma signs her work TJ on the bottom.  A couple of months later, my secret pal told me (at the unveiling) that she knew I had been her secret pal because I was the only one she knew who was acquainted with Thelma.  Oh well.  She had several Thelma Things.

I would like to be known like that.  I want people to remember me by My Things, to touch people’s lives with the fruit of my hands, the labor of my brain.