#2 — Hello goodbye hello

Seasons of goodbye--Goodbyes and hellos go together, one giving life and meaning to the other.Goodbyes aren’t morbid. After all, there can be no goodbyes without hellos.

Hellos get good press. They’re pleasant sorts of things: Hello, morning! Hello, my love! Hello, new adventure! But goodbyes also have their positives, depending on circumstances: Goodbye, extra pounds! Goodbye, crummy boss! Goodbye, polygamist you! It’s a matter of perspective.

So this is what I see: Read more

The day you were born

Beth Mende Conny writes an essay of love in celebration of her daughter Julia's 27th birthdayYou were born on this very day 27 years ago at 8:25 a.m. (BTW — Happy Birthday) That morning I woke up about 5 a.m. because I had to pee. (But of course. Pregnant women do two things during pregnancy: knit and pee.) I went into bathroom and my sac broke. And because the only other experience I had had with sacs was at the grocery store, I wasn’t quite sure if this was significant.

Ah, but then, my first labor pain. Holy shit! Fuck! Women in labor are truck drivers only with fouler mouths. I waddled back to the bedroom and gently screamed at your Dad to wake the fuck up.

“I think my water broke,” I said, and God’s truth, this was his reaction: Read more

Jenna’s red shoes

My Jenna Girl, circa age 4

My Jenna Girl, circa age 4

One night, several years after my dad died, he popped into my mind. (He believed in reincarnation, and I’ve often imagined him popping up all over the place.) I was feeling a quiet sort of sad, the kind too personal to talk about. So I slipped into my bedroom, turned out the lights and sat in my rocker, looking through the window and into the past.

Suddenly the door burst open. “Why’s the door closed?” It wasn’t a question, really. It was more of an accusation. Jenna, my youngest, was only four and had yet to grasp the meaning of closed doors.

“I’m thinking of my dad,” I said.

“Why?” Another accusation.

“I miss him.”

She walked over (more like grumped over). “Are you crying?”

“A bit.”

She frowned as she studied me. This was new, perhaps confusing. Crying was something kids did, not mommies. And then, sweet thing, she softened and slipped into my lap. Read more

“Antiques Roadshow”

Beth Conny and her hubbie Joe tried to find junk they can sell on "Antiques Roadshow."Watching “Antiques Roadshow” is a weekly tradition for my husband and me. We cuddle on the couch and watch enviously as people discover their junk is worth thousands of dollars. And we ask ourselves, why does their junk accumulate value while ours only accumulates dust? Surely we have something of value somewhere in our house.

Our conversations go something like this:

Me: What about what’s-her-name’s thing-a-ma-jig? That might be worth something.

Him: That piece of junk?! I think not.

Me: What about that painting no one likes? The one in the closet.

Him: How’d we get that thing anyway?

Me: I think someone gave it to us.

Him: Was it someone we like?

Me: I don’t know. Maybe it was a relative.

Him: Does that mean we’re stuck with it forever?

Me: The relative or the painting?

Him: Can you bring a relative to “Antiques Roadshow”?

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Dump the Hump!

Beth Conny says "Dump Hump Day," aka Wednesday. There are a whole lot of Wednesdays in the year — enjoy them!

Illustrated by Beth

Today’s Wednesday aka Hump Day. I’ve always disliked the expression, the image of somehow crawling (clawing?) over this awful hump. Very depressing. Not just because it takes effort but because it implies that the days preceding Hump Day are so horrible that we need a marker of some sort to let us know that the end of the work week is in sight.

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Ready-to-see prayer

Beth Mende Conny's "Ready-to-see Prayer"I get frustrated when I hesitate and doubt, withhold my best. Surely, I am not here to contract, to make my world smaller. To complain and wait for … what?

I was thinking about this awhile back and decided I needed a prayer to remind me of life’s gifts. And so I made one up. Here it is:


I am willing and open and ready to see,

the me within you, the you within me.

To give of myself through the gift of your love,

and to be all you’ve made me so capable of.

#1 — The List

Seasons slider

Death is polite. No jostling to get ahead. Quite organized too. A first-in, first-out affair. Here, then, is the order:

  1. Father-in-law Jim, 91
  2. Aunt Ethel, 91
  3. Aunt Dotty, 89
  4. Mother-in-law Ann, 89
  5. Aunt Anita, 80
  6. Uncle Kenneth, 80
  7. Aunt Shirley, the baby, 79

(Absent my list: my mom, 86. I refuse to add her name.)

Aunt Molly, 93, once held the top spot. She passed on last May, which lent credence to my theory that those I love will leave as expected, chronologically. It takes the edge off anticipatory mourning. Read more