Monday, September 28, 2015

If Abby and Ann were Listening.

My late father always said, when you have a problem, don’t take it to God. Take it to Dear Abby. If she doesn’t respond, write to her sister Ann Landers. An avowed atheist, my dad didn’t read the Bible, he read the newspaper. Every morning, he faithfully studied the advice columns before work started at the Fisher Body Plant in Delray, Michigan. He retired from that division of General Motors in the late 1980s. That was more than thirty years of sage advice that Papa gathered from Abby and Ann!

Mom was barely a Creaster. She skipped services for entire decades, favoring church social events and mother-daughter parties. Yet, Mommie had some strong convictions. She taught me to pray, believing in the power and comfort of prayer. Never-the-less, for my first seventeen years, Dad’s teachings won out.

I eventually grew up, married and moved to the desert southwest like my dad’s sisters did. Following in their footsteps, I’m having a love-hate relationship with the desert. Like one of my aunties, I also travel between the Great Lakes and the west. I live in the desert during the school year, where I work two part time jobs: one in an office and the other tending elderly folks. Some of the senior citizens in the region are known as "snowbirds" because they move with the equinoxes, following the sun like migrating fowl. My seasonal jobs allow me to travel home to Michigan for months on end. I also get to do a few book signings along the way.

The reason I'm starting this series of posts, entitled, "If Abby and Ann were Listening," is that blogging is a great way for people to get things off of their chests. Additionally, some individuals enjoy my crazy family dramas; a few stories make people chuckle. (I hope they're laughing with me and not at me.) Many folks tell me that I need to get these tales down in writing. Most names and actual places will be changed, since some situations are difficult for me to get through and some of the people I'll be writing about are not very nice.

I will be telling you about the chickens and other critters on my porch. I will tell you about my crazy friends and my second job working with an older couple that comes down from Canada. I mostly want to share the Hell that my family puts me through. I have children and grandchildren. They can be a source of joy, but are frustratingly, maddeningly dependent on me. (A shrink told me not so long ago that I'm a co-dependent.) I will also tell you about my husband, a gentle man whose patience is often at a breaking point because of a few of these situations.

Mostly I would like to write to Abby and Ann, since my life is so stressed out. I could write a letter every week for a year, which is what it would take to get these frustrations out of my my soul. I don’t want to send an endless stream of correspondence; I would come out of this looking like a stalker. Also, my dad told me that, sadly, the Friedman Sisters passed away. The last sister died in 2013. My papa has also left this world. I bet Abby and Ann were up in Heaven standing beside my mother ready to tell my late father, “See, there is an afterlife and we’ve been waiting to tell you!” So, if anyone out there wants to give me advice, you can be my Abby and Ann. If the real sisters are up there listening, please, send advice. Send it right away! I think my dad would approve.


  1. Lots of family drama re moses owen , rabun co GA,MY GGF. Glad to share my story,


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