Daddy and his dogs


Lordy, Lordy – my daddy loved his dogs.

Daddy with his bird dog in his lap, his open Bible on the table, 

and his hunting gun leaning in the background

The first and last memories of my daddy always include his love for his dogs, his family, his church and public education; and I’m pretty sure I have those in the right order. He was an outdoorsman, a quail hunter during season so the dogs we had were supposedly purebred pointers, but they never succeeded in the field because they couldn’t get used to the sound of guns since they spent their lives indoors sitting in his lap.

Daddy and his dog Dab watching a Longhorn football game on TV 

Daddy holding Seth while Dab relaxes in his own chair

This is how I remember my daddy – impeccably dressed in coordinated shirt, tie, jacket and slacks on his way to work or to church, but never too busy to say goodbye to one of his dogs.

My daddy, Dr. Glenn L. Morris, died way too young at the age of 51 on June 30, 1976. I remember him on every Father’s Day and all the days in between – still.

Cancer was the culprit for the loss of my father, and yesterday cancer claimed a friend of ours, Consuelo Heath, who also waged a long brave battle against this disease. Pretty and I send our sympathy and love to her wife Lynda Parker. Rest in peace, Consuelo.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is | Tagged , | 6 Comments

road trippin’


To say my mom and I had a complicated connection is an understatement. What I am grateful for, however, is that neither of us ever gave up on the other; and occasionally we set aside our differences, however briefly, to share a common interest. Like, for example, the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. I found these pictures she had saved from a rare combo family experience fifteen years ago that triggered a flood of emotions as I went back in my memories to a time when Pretty and I made one of many visits to Texas to see my mother (this one after we had been together four years),  a time when none of us knew my mom was three years away from living in a Memory Care Unit in Houston, a time when we all agreed visiting the Bush Library together would be fun.

small note: Mom never would drop the “h” in Pretty’s name

I had a higher than usual anxiety level planning the trip of nearly a hundred miles from Mom’s home in Richmond, Texas to the Bush Library in College Station. After all, my mother, my wife and I would be in the rental car I had picked up at the airport in Houston – close quarters for the day trip. I needed everything to go off without a hitch, but a hitch was waiting for me. The rental car had a flat tire just 40 miles up the road.

Pretty and Mom all smiles when we discovered the flat

Smiles turned to frowns while we waited for roadside assistance,

but eventually we were back on the road to College Station

Pretty and I love a presidential library – even one located in Aggieland

Mom quickly lost interest in the library

so we spent time wandering the grounds outside

my mother and me in black and white – as we often were

lunch break, anyone?

Although neither Pretty nor I would ever say the George Bush Presidential Library made our library favorites list, the road trip was a memory maker, as my mother would say.

The future belongs to those who refuse to put aside the past; you can quote me on that.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Vive la France! D-Day, the donald, and the drop shot


The French have it all this week: 75th. Anniversary of the Allied invasion in WWII that began on the beaches in Normandy on June 06, 1944 (commonly referred to as D-Day); an American president on the continent who truly can’t stop himself from revealing his ignorance of, oh well, just about every nasty thing he finds to tweet about on an hourly basis; and the final week of the 2019 Roland-Garros tennis tournament, the second Grand Slam event of the year which finds familiar names in the men’s semi-finals and fresh faces in the women’s semis.

I am swept along by the stirring images of the American cemetery in Normandy, the stories of the amazing four women ages 92 – 99 known as the Rosies who were not only the Riveters but also the draftswomen and/or anything else needed, these four women representing all the women who worked building the planes, ships and bombs necessary for our soldiers waging a war in Europe, Africa and the Pacific. These women are in France for the D-Day Anniversary remembrance and will bring their memorie as well as their flowers for one of the crosses in the cemetery which belongs to a brother by his sister who has never had the opportunity to visit his grave. Tom Brokaw will also be on this site as he pays tribute one more time to the fallen soldiers of WWII who inspired his book in which he named them our Greatest Generation.

One of the women who wins the French Open this year will be a first time winner of a Grand Slam. The names of the four remaining women in the draw will be familiar only to those who follow women’s tennis regularly: Ash Barty of Australia, Johanna Konta of Great Britain, Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic and seventen-year-old Amanda Anisimova of the USA. These remarkable women managed to eliminate more familiar  tennis names like the Williams Sisters, defending champion Simona Halep, #1 player in the world Naomi Osaka, Madison Keys, Sloane Stevens, and 108 additional competitors who fought their hardest on the clay courts but lost to better players on a given day.

The men at Roland-Garros are also down to the final four, but their names are not only familiar but famous. Roger Federer of Switzerland meets his long-time rival Spanish clay court warrior Rafael Nadal in a much anticipated semi-final match. Federer has won 20 Grand Slam tournaments to Nadal’s 17. The Serbian Novak Djokovic has 15 Grand Slam titles but came into the French as the winner of the previous three major tournaments so a win for him would put him in a category all his own. Austrian Dominic Thiem will play Djokovic in the other semi-final on the men’s side. The French got the final four men in the correct order, but who could have predicted the women’s semi-finalists? I can’t wait.

Last  and definitely least, an American president trolls the international twitter space with irrelevant nonsense and makes his trip for D-Day a public relations nightmare for his staff and everyone he encounters on the other side of the Pond. I felt sorry for the Queen during his toast at the state banquet. She looked like she was wondering if her dogs would be more entertaining than this presidential impersonator from the Colonies. Poor Queen Elizabeth. And can anyone really believe the British royalty told the president to bring his whole commoner family for dinner?

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home (Happy Pride!)


In June, 2017 I shared my excitement about the upcoming publication of Southern Perspectives – the cover was all I had back then – but I could see the finish line of a very long journey. Two years later I am still excited about this collection of intimate personal stories that reminds all of us to never give up on our potential to change the world for good.  Onward.

Coming this December – a Must Read!

Read the intimate personal essays of 21 native or adopted South Carolinians who contributed significantly to the organizing of the queer community in our state from the AIDS crisis in 1984 to marriage equality in 2014.

http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/books/2017/7813.html.

Jim Blanton, Candace Chellew-Hodge, Matt Chisling, Michael Haigler, Harriet Hancock, Deborah Hawkins, Dick Hubbard, Linda Ketner, Ed Madden and Bert Easter, Alvin McEwen, Sheila Morris, Pat Patterson, Jim and Warren Redman-Gress, Nekki Shutt, Tony Snell, Carole Stoneking (deceased), Tom Summers, Matt Tischler and Teresa Williams answer the questions surrounding the reasons for their activism in a conservative state in the South during a tumultuous time in American politics when many people assumed the only activists in the queer community lived in San Francisco or New York City. These folks chose to remain committed to home instead of fleeing South Carolina. Why?

Although the book isn’t scheduled for release by the USC Press until December, I couldn’t let the Pride month of June (or the Obergefell Supreme Court decision two-year anniversary this week) go by without sharing my excitement over this book which has been in the making for the past 4 years. Harriet Hancock was my original creative impulse for undertaking the project and has been with me every step of the way toward the ultimate goal of collecting and sharing these stories.

I am grateful to all contributors for their unwavering willingness to participate, to Harlan Greene for a wonderful foreword and to the USC Press for their commitment to “home” authors.

Happy Pride!

Stay tuned.

Please contact me at smortex@aol.com if you are interested in obtaining a signed copy of Southern Perspectives.

 

 

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?


Apparently everyone.

The Democrats allow the Big Bad Wolf to ignore congressional subpoenas under the guise of special privileges for Big Wolves. Not just for himself but for anyone who they demand appear before Congressional committees on the second Tuesday of the third week in the fifth month under a full moon. Everyone knows wolves can’t be expected to testify about anything when there’s a full moon.

For verification, ask the Big Bad Wolf Teddy Bear who will agree that the Big Bad Wolf is always right so don’t nobody go up in that Congressional Hill to testify. I’m saying, don’t nobody.

And nobody does.

Meanwhile, the Republicans just lay low – so low they can’t see past their fear that the Big Bad Wolf will eat them in a primary down the road. That’s low.

Where in the world is Little Red Riding Hood when we need her? Oh my goodness. I see her walking down the lane right this minute. What’s that she’s saying? I can’t hear her until she gets closer.

“Tra la. Tra la. What’s the matter with you Americans? Impeach the Big Bad Wolf and get that chaos creating limelight loving immigrant child murdering racist S.O.B. out of the White House.”

Tra la. Tra la. I couldn’t agree more with you, Little Red Riding Hood.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , | 10 Comments

forever faithful – woman’s best friend


Charly has found her spot for my recovery

Greetings and salutations from Cardinal Drive in West Columbia, South Carolina, to all my friends and neighbors in real life and cyberspace, too.

For those of you who are keeping count with me, I am now 19 days out from my first hospital stay ever – and it was a doozie. Total knee replacement of my right knee with outpatient rehab twice a week and amazing caretaking by Pretty all the other days and nights, too.

Spike and Charly were quite undone by my overnight stay and ensuing intake of a substantial amount of pain pills plus mandatory trips to somewhere they weren’t allowed to go two days a week.

For the remainder of the time, however, they have become very protective of me 24/7. Charly now stays under my recliner when I raise my legs to watch tennis and/or Law and Order SVU.  She refuses to move until she hears the lever squeak to get me up.

Bazinga. Oh and never forget the Big Bang Gang who have entertained Pretty and me for 12 out of 12 years. We shed several tears when we said goodbye to them this week. We are almost as tickled to watch the reruns as they will be to collect their residuals. I said almost.

Now what I started out to to say to all of you before I went down a rabbit hole with my dogs is that I am overwhelmed by your concern, good wishes for a speedy recovery, good food, cheering visits in our home as well as in cyberspace, and the general awesomeness of our friends and family during these last days and weeks. Pretty and I appreciate your support, kindnesses, thoughtfulness, generosity and expressions of love. We are beyond Thunder Dome grateful.

The photograph today was taken by Pretty this morning – she will win Best Caretaker in any contest that I judge – ever – so for her birthday this week I have ordered a Crown full of Stars.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Posted in Humor, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Nick Kyrios is to Tennis as Donald Trump is to the American people — bad to the bone


Nick Kyrios is  an Australian professional tennis player ranked #25 in the world in men’s singles. Daniil Medvedev is a Russian tennis player currently ranked #14 by the ATP in men’s singles. Today they met in the first round of the Italian Open being played in Rome this week. I have had lots of time to watch the entire clay season unfolding this spring on the road to Roland Garros at the French Open which begins on the morning of the 26th.

Monaco, Barcelona, Madrid and now Rome this final week before the next major at the French Open. Today I watched Nick Kyrios “play” against Daniil Medvedev and perform the same outrageous antics I’ve watched him do for years against opponents. Trick shots, serving underhanded, bullying  referees and opponents in general, using whatever disrespectful tactic he can generate to fluster his opponents and entertain his fans who, I admit, are many.

I have never been a Kyrios fan, and today I made a personal promise to refuse to watch any of his matches being shown at any event. It’s just me and my little protest, but maybe I could hashtag my protest into a movement if I knew how to hashtag anything.

Meanwhile across the Pond from Rome as we refer to the Colonies who have become our own states due to little wars and things like that in the 18th. century we have another Bad Boy who refuses to respect our constitution which contains the map of how each branch of the government is to perform.

For those of you who have forgotten the one civics class taught to you by a coach in junior high school I’m choosing to refresh you with the big Three lynchpins of government: the judicial system with its highest authority in interpreting the constitution, the executive branch which has it function to implement the laws of the land, and the congressional branch which is supposed to make the laws and supervise the executive branch through its oversight of the executive.

Ok. Right now, this very minute…we have a president who has gone off the reservation by refusing to comply with the subpoena process issued by the Congressional committees for oversight.Think evil. Think wicked. Think Machiavellian. If he were a tennis player, he would throw his racket on the ground, stomp it, and then yell that the other guy was a loser anyway. The referee would issue him a racket violation which he would scoff at.

The president is being as disrespectful to the law as Nick Kyrios is to the game of tennis for which he equally shows no respect.

I am consciously choosing to never watch Nick Kyrios play tennis again. Small protest, but it makes me feel better. I always mute the president when he speaks.

I of course will never vote for Donald Trump for president for reasons too numerous to list here, but let’s just say I can’t stand a bully who thinks he is above the law. Think Bill Clinton. Think Richard Nixon. Add to that knowledge in the basic history lessons.

I pledge to stop laughing at things which I know aren’t funny. I plan to follow the debates to see where my future belongs.

Bad Boys, take your brand of disrespect and shove it…anywhere…I don’t have to see.

Stay tuned.

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, sports, The Way Life Is | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Cowgirl Up!


Big wheels keep on rolling, but small wheels sometimes get stuck in the mud that is life in the slow lane.

After nearly two weeks of birthday fun and festivities (seriously TWO weeks), my small wheels have come to a screeching halt with the annoying side effects turning seventy-three sometimes brings. Yes, drum roll, please.

Knee replacement is in my immediate future…like this week. Pretty and I have been to our class where I received my TJR (total joint replacement) bright green folder with the cheery symbols of I don’t know what on the cover and tons of information about my life for the foreseeable future if I survive surgery which has a 93% success rate with a 1% chance of infection, 5% chance of stiffness that requires one additional surgery, 2% chance of kneecap pain correctable with additional surgery, and oh yes, less than 1% chance of blood clots that cause death if not treated.

Too much information. Throw away this brochure.

Three days ago I had a total meltdown in front of Pretty and told her I had decided to opt out of TJR – not going to do it – no way, no how. I suggested she take the keys to the car with her if she left the house because I was planning a getaway with the dogs to an undisclosed location until the surgery deadline had passed.

But the next day I decided to get a grip and get on with it. Pretty deserves better than my shelf life, and so do I; besides, we have a granddaughter on the way this October – she deserves better, too.

Cowgirl up!

Stay tuned.

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , | 18 Comments

easter birthdays, shanghai, champagne and family


My birthday this year is on Easter Sunday, April the 21st. I was born on an Easter Sunday in 1946 and my birthday has been on Easter Sunday one other time in 1957 when I was eleven years old. Get this, the next time April 21 is on an Easter Sunday is 2030. Eleven years from now, right? I find that weird, but apparently some kind of sun cycles occur at 11-year intervals every 62 years. Whatever. The End.

Earlier this week three special friends came over to play Shanghai to kick off my birthday week, and a fun time of laughter and  luck made the time pass too quickly. Congratulations to our winner War Eagle Nan who consistently has good luck, Donna and Robin’s luck was so-so and they were able to pay Nan on the spot, but Pretty had bad luck. Poor Pretty had to venmo her losses to Nan. I was a close second to Nan who graciously forgave my 99 cents since I was the birthday girl after all.

My gifts included two bottles of champagne which are now down to one – we popped the cork and three of us drank one bottle that afternoon. I cannot lie. I was one of the three. I also received a delicious butter pound cake with the two sauces pictured above. Unfortunately, the pound cake was not available for the picture. Again, I cannot lie. Pretty has not had one bite of the pound cake.

Last, but not least, I also was given this lovely bogonia which has the most beautiful blossom colors – I love them. They remind me of the hope that springs eternal in this season.

This Easter and 73rd. birthday I will be with Pretty and other family members in the home that will soon have new sights and sounds with the arrival of a baby daughter in October. Our family will have much to celebrate as we eat the delicious food while we talk books, politics, sports and our new favorite topic: babies.

The hope of the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament is, I believe, the experience of redemption we all are offered every day when we forgive each other our trespasses, speak truth to power and practice kindness as our highest calling.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

BREAKING NEWS: BABY GIRL OTW!


Pretty Two and Number One Son – Pretty Three?

Pretty hears the Big News – and is thrilled!

Pretty was with our good friend Brenda this week when she found out we are having a granddaughter in October – and Brenda captured her immediate reaction…I love this picture, and I am beyond Thunder Dome excited about the baby girl who will be the center of attention and affection from so many family members.

Pretty and I celebrated at dinner with the parents-in-waiting last night and made name suggestions which were politely received but no cigar. (Oops – did someone just say cigar?)

We are also trying out names we want to be called by our granddaughter – that turns out to be more difficult than suggesting names for her. Never fear, we are on it. Any suggestions from our friends in cyberspace?

Be happy with our family tonight – life is good.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is | Tagged | 13 Comments