Last Christmas I received a lovely red purse as a gift. It wasn’t anything I had asked for, but it was something I had hoped for. The manufacturer stained the leather to a wonderful cherry hue. Through what other fanciful methods could this have been achieved? Perhaps the purse found itself mistakenly brushed against some wet paint. It may have ingested an accidental lunch of pasta sauce. Perhaps a marker not properly capped stained the leather from the inside. A lady’s lipstick could certainly cause quite a mess, leaking crimson onto the exterior. In a macabre thought, perhaps the purse once contained the hearts from the chests of former lovers. I am certain my red purse suffered no such indignities. It was simply meant to be red and it looks smashing with my black, white, and red coat.
There is a war on larger vehicles in [insert state of choice here], and the state has fired the first shot in the form of higher registration fees. My 11-year-old pickup truck costs over $20.00 more per year to register than my husband’s car. What is the reason for this? According to the DMV’s website, fees are determined by weight, the heavier the vehicle, the higher the cost. At first, this may seem to make sense, until more thought is given to the matter. What exactly constitutes registering a vehicle? Presumably it entails pushing paper and a computer system of some sort. I could be wrong, but I’m sure at no point does a state worker physically lift any vehicles. Perhaps the paperwork for the larger vehicles is printed on legal-size paper as opposed to letter-size paper. This surely must be the weight differentiation. I suppose an argument could be made that larger vehicles cause more damage to the roadways. This may be true, but the roads resemble swiss cheese, so to that I must ask where the money has gone. The state is just another entity capitalizing on the obesity epidemic, only it’s overweight motor vehicles that are in their crosshairs.
“The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.” – Ernest Hemingway
Kudos to Smarty Jones and Team Smarty for being a source of pride for our area. While others are falling flat on their faces jumping off of the Smarty bandwagon after the devastating Belmont Stakes loss, I am still wearing my Smarty gear proudly. He is the best athlete to come from these parts of late, and rest assured he won’t be holding out for more feed or demandng a new racetrack be built. We certainly won’t be hearing about his conduct off the track, either. What other sports superstar does public appearances for his or her adoring fans?
The horse and team deserve congratulations on all of their achievements, past and future. Someone in New Jersey will remember those accomplishments long after the dust from Smarty’s thundering hooves has settled.
(The above was written by me and published in the opinion section of The Courier Post c. 2004)
We lost our family heirloom today. It wasn’t made of precious metal or fine material. It wasn’t misplaced or stolen. It was made of blood and bone and simply passed away. We often joked that our 32-year-old pet turtle would outlive us all, but sadly it was not to be. He came into our lives the size of a quarter so many years ago, when my brother plucked him from a log. He left us the size of a DVD case, no doubt from all the good care he received. Our family heirloom had no monetary value, but the love and joy he gave us during our time together was priceless. I’m sure there is a place at the Rainbow Bridge where we will be reunited with our aquatic friends. Until then Freddy, remember how much you were loved.