Bring It On! [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

My favorite Smack-Dab cartoons are drawn directly from our conversations. This one happened verbatim. We howled when Siri replaced our “wilty” with “wealthy”. I’m shallow enough to admit that I hope to someday experience the challenge of being un-hire-aable because I am too wealthy. “We’d hire you Mr. Robinson but you’re too stinking rich”.

I’m already familiar with the wilty part.

This is, perhaps, the only time I will suggest that you keep your comments to yourself. Unless, of course, you have suggestions about making me too wealthy to hire. In that case, bring it on!

read Kerri’s blogpost about WILTY

smack-dab. © 2023

if you’d like to support what we do: (or use the qr code). like it. share it. all are appreciated!

Simply Celebrate [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I wasn’t there when our babies picked dandelions for her. It was waaaay before my time. I just know how she felt when they did. Price-less.

It’s one of my favorite parts of our relationship. A dandelion is more valuable than a diamond. A homemade card, a painted rock…a story is most precious of all.

We read together. We walk together. We cook together. We struggle and triumph together. What could be more meaningful than a bouquet of freshly picked dandelions and the memories they bring to mind?

read Kerri’s blogpost about DANDELIONS

get this beautiful song here.

smack-dab. © 2023

fistful of dandelions © 1999 kerri sherwood

if you like it, like it. or share it. or (qr or link). or comment. we delight in hearing what you think.

Hold Hands And Skip [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Ten years ago, right about now, I was sitting on an airplane wondering what she would be like in person. We’d been corresponding everyday for several months. An unlikely correspondence. Spontaneous at the beginning; growing in intention during the months that followed. “You’re already good friends,” I told myself. “Let it be what it is.”

What it is. That first meeting in the airport she was holding a daisy so that I’d recognize her. I’d have known her without the daisy. We held hands. We skipped out of the airport.

We held hands and skipped out of the church the day we were married.

In our ten years together we’ve packed in a lot of life. A full spectrum of life’s colors. Deep grief to mountain high joy. Wild frustration to even wilder elation. Sometimes I feel as if life is trying to hammer us into submission. Or, just hammer us. Ours has not been an easy road. Lots of water. No safety net. But one thing has been true throughout: even on the worst days, we somehow find our way by holding hands. We find our way by skipping.

read Kerri’s blogpost about TEN YEARS

smack-dab. © 2023

share it. like it. coffee? Let us know your thoughts.

Read It [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

I can’t complain. I had perfect eyesight for most of my life. And then I didn’t.

I wear glasses to drive at night. The first time I put them on I was astounded, not because I could see but because I was so completely unaware of how I’d adapted to not seeing. With my new glasses firmly hosted on my nose, I proudly read aloud every road sign until Kerri said, “Stop,” in that quiet voice that let me know I was skating-on-thin-ice.

It’s the ends of the visual-pole that go blurry. Very far. Very near. Grocery shopping is a riot. We do all kinds of contorting trying to read labels. “I’m going to take this can to the end of the aisle where the light is better,” she says.

“Wait. You’re supposed to read the labels?” I ask, just to get a rise out of her, adding, ‘I’d help you read-the-can but my eyes are crap. Can’t see a thing.”

And then, there are menus. We’re not yet at the large-print-stage of life but, let’s face it: although blurry, we can see it from here.

read Kerri’s blogpost about READERS

smack-dab. © 2023

If you appreciate this smack-dab, like it or pass it on. Or, Or, let us know your thoughts. All are welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

Never Say Never [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

The GrassKing. You know who you are. We hang on your every word. We await our next grass-master-secret-instruction. And, in this grass-green-confession, is a cautionary tale.

As an artist I have lived most of my life in cities. In apartments. Tending grass was not only not in my plan, it was a sign of value-collapse. Artistic annihilation. Mowing lawns and raking leaves served as an odious vision, a threat traded among fellow artists. “If you keep that up, you’ll end up mowing grass.” No Way! Never.

20 bought me a lawnmower when I moved to be with Kerri. “You’ll need this,” he said. Stoically. Knowingly.

“What has my life come to?” I asked myself. At the time, there was no answer. The universe-of-my-mind was silent on the subject.

It’s the word “never.” I know enough to never say never but I said it – and here I am. Every day I sit patiently, watching my phone. Awaiting the crucial word from the GrassKing. Over-seed Now! I imagine the GrassKing outside, wrinkled brow, meat thermometer in hand, taking the temperature of the soil in sun and shade. We are waiting for the optimum reading: 58 degrees.

The anticipation is killing me. What has become of me?

read Kerri’s blogpost on VALUES COLLAPSE

smack-dab. © 2023

If you like this smack-dab, share it. Or Or share your thoughts with us. All are greatly appreciated.

The Heart Of The Matter [on Merely A Thought Monday]

“Well, there goes wine and coffee…” I thought when I read the headline. At 100 Years Old, I’m ‘The Oldest Living Doctor’ – 5 Things I Never Do To Live A Long, Happy Life. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The good doctor’s advice is sound, simple, and sans finger-wagging.

Several months ago, Dwight started an important ongoing conversation: how do we live well this chapter of our lives? I recently read a quote (that I can’t re-find) that suggests we grow old-in-our-minds because we stop being curious about life and living. The quote speaks to the good doctor’s first Never Do: I don’t spend my days retired. His fifth Never Do is an extension of the first: I don’t let my knowledge go to waste. Bookends, encouraging us to stoke the fires of curiosity and to share abundantly our gifts.

Ann used to say, “Find a need and fill it,” and I suspect her good advice knows no age limit. Margaret, one of my great unconfessed inspirations in this world, makes quilts, makes meals, makes smiles.

Since our dinner with Dwight I’ve been paying attention to the many guides that populate my path. I am surrounded by people either approaching or older than the ‘age of retirement” who are younger at heart than most of the 30-somethings I know. They are fully following their star. Horatio is writing scripts and books and making movies, making art, and has an “ever-growing ” idea pile I call his “mountain of amazing things to explore”. Judy is painting and writing more beautifully now than ever, Rebecca is boldly leading people to simplicity, Master Marsh tends a section of the Calaveras River, plays music, and makes trouble. To be clear: they are not “striving to achieve” – a concept-distinction that Dwight has me pondering – they are engaged with life. They are rooting around on their heart path. Each is finding a need in others and filling it. My list of “those-who-inspire” could go on and on.

A moment ago my thoughts turned to H. He visited me in a dream last night. If ever there was a model for how to thrive in the last chapter, it is H. He sang with his barbershop quartet, was a lively presence in Kerri’s choir and famously rapped a song, encrusted in bling, at age 89. His enormous car filled two parking spaces and after expertly landing his machine between the lines, he’d pop the trunk and retrieve his walker. I learned early on not to ask if he needed any help. The answer is “no.” He died in his middle-90’s, boldly making a mess of new technology, stomping around in this strange new world.

All are embracing the good doctor’s 4th Never Do: I don’t restrict myself. It seems to me that all of the good doctor’s rules are encapsulated in #4: it is the heart of the matter.

read Kerri’s blogpost about 5 THINGS

If you’d like to support our writing and our work-in-the-world, BuyMeACoffee. Use the QR code or follow this link. And, thank you!

Take A Drive [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

We are a walking paradox: homebodies and roadtrippers. We love to be on the road, going on adventures and discovering new places. We adore being at home, comfy in our well-worn patterns.

It only makes sense that, when we can’t take a long roadtrip, our escape-fantasy-of-choice is to get in the car and drive. We head to the county, out into the country. We slow down. We get lost on purpose. We dream and the stresses-of-the-moment dissipate. We drive, windows down. There are no wrong turns. We are free.

Eventually, we return home, find a sunny spot in the back yard, pour some wine and nestle into our chairs. “Life is good,” we breathe, drinking in the setting sun. We re-realize something we understood when we first met: it’s all a roadtrip. This whole complicated amazing life.

We look at each other, knowing what the other is thinking. “Let’s just keep going and going and going….”

read Kerri’s blogpost about A DRIVE

Buy Us A Coffee – use this link or the QR code above

Thank you!

smack-dab. © 2023

Focus Pocus [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

The technical term is “hyper-focus.” I am gifted at becoming absorbed in my tasks. I have a knack for stepping out of time. Especially when my task is an art project. A painting. A cartoon.

Kerri will tell you that my hyper-focus is less a gift and more a maddening quirk or slightly annoying defect of character. She quips that, when I am painting, the house could blow away and I wouldn’t notice.

She’s exaggerating, of course. I would definitely notice if the house blew away. Eventually.

read Kerri’s blogpost about HYPER FOCUS

smack-dab. © 2023

Weigh The Cost [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

We are, like the rest of the nation, astounded at the weekly escalation of prices. It’s not just food; the cost of heating our home jumped 20% last month. We piled on layers of clothes through the winter so our usage actually went down. Use less. Costs more. There’s something wrong with that equation.

When you seek jobs in the non-profit sector, as I have recently been doing, you get an overview of desperation. Elders making choices between food and medication. Families with parents working as hard as they can and still not able to afford the inflated rents and cost of food. Each day I read celebratory news about the thriving markets while assisted living facilities evict seniors on Medicaid. What a sad dichotomy we’ve become. Not surprising, the real cost to us as a nation has very little to do with money.

The question is rhetorical because the answers are all around us: What if it all keeps going up?

read Kerri’s blogpost about COST.

smack-dab. © 2023

Note The Antidote [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Master Marsh said it best: customer service is a firewall against serving the customer. Epically long hold times, hold-music meant to invoke a migraine, dropped calls, mixed messages…I have no doubt that the people attempting to serve the customers are good people caught in an inept system.

Kerri’s latest bout with service-less-customer-service had one hugely positive outcome: they actually managed to put her to sleep. Now, in the middle of the night, when she tells me that she can’t sleep, I have the perfect antidote. I dial customer service – any customer service – and hand her the phone…

read Kerri’s blogpost about CUSTOMER SERVICE

smack-dab. © 2023

Bonus. From the Flawed Cartoon archive: