Hollow Woman


My tale begins in the arms of my lover. “You look pale,” he says, brushing a lock of chestnut brown hair behind my ear. “I haven’t been feeling well lately,” I reply. Confusion sets in as I contemplate the fact that I’m normally as rudely healthy as a peasant. It disconcerts me.


Days later, after being diagnosed with “walking pneumonia” or what I like to call “walking dead” (see below visual representation) the confusion has been replaced with gasping as I lay in bed trying to breathe. I never thought it could happen to me, and didn’t understand what was happening.

Daytime health achievements were followed by debilitating, tear wringing nights with my heart fluttering in my chest like a caged bird seeking release from its chambers as I fought to get oxygen into my body.

And so…. the worst is over. I am on the mend. Like a storm that has ridden in on churning clouds and vicious winds that fall away on gossamer threads leaving only silent contemplation in its wake, the worst has crested and I’m left with aftermath.


I am weak. Walking only a short distance requires a rest on each end. I must still wear a mask, not because I may infect someone but because my immune system is as fragile as a china teacup.

But I feel me. I am in here. It’s only a matter of time until I’m healed. 

I look forward to the day when in my beauty and strength once again compel and propel me into the arms of my lover.

For now, for today, I am simply….

The Hollow Woman

Piggry Wiggry-san


My best friend was stationed in Misawa, Japan at Naval Air Station for 4 years. Every so often I would send him a tee shirt from the States, and passing through the uber southern state of South Carolina, I stopped at a Piggly Wiggly store to grab some things when I saw their “I’m big on the pig” tee shirt so bought one and sent it to him.

piggly wiggly tee shirtIt amused me to think of him wearing this shirt in a place where Asian folks LOVE to have clothing items with English on them, and I’m sure he was the singular person in the Asia Pacific region that would be sporting this baby out.

One night he wore the shirt out to Izakaya. Going out to Izakaya means going to the bar with friends to drink and socialize.

Most Japanese can speak a couple of words at English, and some are fairly decent at it, but virtually all of them struggle with the sound of the letter “R” which ends of being pronounced with the sound of the letter “L.”

By the end of the night, my buddy’s new Japanese friends couldn’t remember his name so they just called him, “Piggly Wiggly-san,” but they would pronounce it, “Piggry Wiggry-san.”

That amuses me to no end for no particular reason.

It’s the little things in life.

Piggy Wiggry-san…. Funny.

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Tasty Clam Snack


If you find yourself in the Aomori, Japan airport and you’re feeling a mite peckish, hit up the convenience shop and have some fresh clams. I watched the guy replenish the tank. Grab a bag. Grab some clams, and voila, you too could sit in front of gate and crack’em open for a tasty delight.

Here’s the guy loading up the tank.

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Here is a side shot of the tank.

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Here they are from the top.

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Learning to Play Poker


The spring I turned 12 Paw Paw (my grandpa) taught me to play poker.

I was so excited to learn because my mom’s family got together every now and then and played around a big table using matchsticks of beans to bet with. It always looked so fun…all the happy energy and boisterous laughing.

When he offered to teach me, I jumped at the chance.

He played a little different though, and instead of using beans, we played with money. Real money. Cold hard cash.

I had to use my babysitting money if I wanted him to teach me, and he spent the whole summer schooling me on the art of cards, first teaching me basics then working his way up to strategy.

By the end of the summer, I knew how to play poker.

And I had no money.