Seemed harmless enough—

Seemed harmless enough

An old friend

A very old friend

Slipped a notice to me of a reunion of retirees from our former employer

Gosh, a rusty smile slowly spread across my face

This could be fun. Hey Julie, what do you think

Would you go with me?

Who would  I know? Your cousin would be there

Anyone else? I dont know

More problematic is who would I even recognize there

I don’t recognize myself in the mirror

So embarrassing to see people you can;t remember but they remember you

Surely, surely everyone would have name tags

How do you know that?

Back to Facebook Messenger to check with Steve

I actually remember Steve, of course it helps his face is on Facebook

Ah, fantastic everyone will have a name tag

Of course there will sill be that awkward moment

When I bury my face in my friends chest to read their named tag

But after that I’ll know their name for ten maybe twenty seconds for sure

The day came, actually it was last night

6-9 PM perfect for the plus 60 crowd

Of course BYOB, Diet Coke was my choice

And there was a DJ

Instrumental hits from the 50 to 80’s, but only one couple danced one dance

My suspicion was arthritis was the culprit

But oh my gosh memories could not recreate reality

My mind was frequently a blank when someone would call my name

I’d go over their name numerous times, staring  at the name tag again and again

Finally an image would appear that had no connection to the reality in front of me

Incredible the mismatch of a 30 to 40 year gap in social get togethers

But nonetheless laughter triumphed, smiles permeated

So, so blessed to share a night with good people

People who strove with you to get a needed job done

‘Oh what a night!’

Copyright 1/22/23 FXC











Mailbox empty? Semi-annual mailings!

As a student of the USPS for fifty five years

And molded by Ben Franklin, it’s creator

Quite aware that change as in all public sectors

Is inevitable thus a slight digression now is required

That might explain the dichotomy

Between the public and private sector in reference to mail delivery

The USPS was established to provide free mail delivery for it’s citizens

This was subsidized by the purchase of stamps

Some laughed at the expression ‘junk mail’

And with the restriction that the USPS could not charge above cost

Private delivery companies were able to make inroads

Which brings up the need for semi-annual mailings

Christmas cards once a requirement for relationships

Is now a a diminished communication method

The price of stamps seemingly undermining

The very thought of Christmas cards

And yet periodically businesses realize

Money must be spent to increase income

Or in this case to increase friendships and relationships

Thus now a conversation starter is

Would semi-annual mailings increase one’s personal corespondent life?

Say, Christmas and July 4th

The address list is already available

Surely additional news and a more current photo could be enclosed

For a second update

The deal breaker is the cost of a stamp

Airline tickets, the price of gas, car payments

Do not provide an economic method for encouraging relationships

Start a real revolution!

Semi-annual mailings to friends and relatives

FXC 12/20/2022 Copyright

Peggy’s best friend

Oftentimes a kid sister is just that

A kid and a sister

Possibly useful as a cohort in crime

Like having someone to blame if some candy goes missing

Frequently required my younger sibling to walk behind me

So that no friend would mistake her for a girlfriend

With seven siblings however there were useful moments

Such as when I was thirsty and her bottle was just too close

That scene was captured on a ‘Brownie’,

Did periodically have pangs of guilt

As my closest age wise sibling was in the middle of three boys

But childhood would fade as adolescence appeared

Didn’t take too long to notice that the sister I once distanced myself from

Was now in the company of multiple young beauties

It was the 60’s and we were in our teens

A truly awesome epoch

And then would you believe it

My sister Peg invited me to go with her and a few girlfriends

To see a play in downtown Chicago

So with eternal gratitude I met my best friend that night

Who happened go be Peg’s best friend

The much treasured Julie Becker

Thank you dear Peg as you, Bob, Julie and I

Are still enjoying your gift to us, you.

FXC 12/05/2022 Copyright


Seems like yesterday

Preparations for Thanksgiving

Would begin weeks earlier

Penciled notes scribbled

Reminding of actions needed

To ensure the perfect feast

Celery, golden raisins, onions, a frozen turkey

Ah yes a frozen turkey which by itself adds to the drama

As then experts would weigh in as to the proper time to begin thawing

Many years ago, too many to remember

My involvement in the Thanksgiving dinner was to buy the ingredients

Really didn’t quite understand nor grasp that women

We’re doing most of the work

But after thirty years the time seemed right to

Begin an apprenticeship as a sous chef

Promoted myself from the buyer of ingredients

But the new position was taxing on my ego

Quickly learned, I had no culinary skills whatsoever

Peeling onion, cutting, celery, drying bread we’re all a new skill set for me

Yes, but over time, gradually, my performance seemed to improve, if only to myself

After a number of years of apprenticeship, I was promoted

I was given the position of preparing the food the morning of the feast

This was a position with much more responsibility

It wasn’t until years later that I found out from a “whisper”

That my job performance was not always perfect

That occasionally I had not sliced the onions thin enough nor maybe dried out the bread enough

That news was, of course, quite disconcerting to my mental state

It seems as if the ego must be left at the kitchen door

As the taste of the meal takes precedence

Just glad I had a place at the table

FXC Copyright 11/26/2022

Doughnuts explain it all

Sweets by definition are sweet

Desirable, decadent even

Yet over the last twenty years

Many have sought to reduce sugar in foods

Included in this onslaught are fat grams

But this microcosm of public discourse

Defines our political juggernaut

Just as for two hundred years

No one seemed to notice the great divide in American politics

Yet the disparities in political thought mirrors

The varying tastes in doughnuts

This very morning at Plehn’s bakery

An old codger within five years of me give or take

Was getting into his Chevy Equinox

As I was exiting my Toyota Highlander

Noticing his treasure firmly in his grasp

I had to mediation ‘well you’ve done your job’

To which he replied, ‘Grandchildren you know

Ah so true, I said

He added, ‘but they only want specific types,

One plain chocolate pull apart, one sprinkle and one plain’

Yes, mine are the same and you can’t get them to try something different

But they keep us going, I replied

’Well, he concluded, I hope so!’

FXC Copyright 10/22/2022

How did they know?

Not long ago read an article by a would be arborist

Postulating that an oak tree shed

An average of five thousand acorns a year

True enough but a very limited study

During this past two year pandemic revealed

At least two oak trees in close proximity

Neglected to drop acorns during the pandemic

So much so that where once the lawn needed to be cut while wearing combat boots due to the acorns

During the pandemic said lawn was able to be cut while wearing socks

Any proof for this non-scientific study

Said lawn does not need to be cut now

As acorns have returned to their rightful

They have returned without

Without benefit of the internet, pundits orr public opinion
Once again Mother Nature wrote the story Copyright 10/2/2022


Cool breeze lightly blowing

Summer’s heat seemingly dissipating

Is another year being whisked away

Trying to remember this year before it is gone

Ireland, Hattiesburg, Chicago

Yet always downsizing

Not exactly sure how our house became

The repository of designated ‘hand me down items’

And it is a repository that seems to replenish itself

Progress is being made though

Currently there are now boxes labeled for dispersal

Some to Goodwill

Some to grand nephews and grand nieces

But then a box is found in such a way

As to indicate my possible inclusion in eternity

A box of three sets of Lincoln Logs

Labeled for the unborn children of our grandchildren

With the box going to the first grandchild who has a great grandchild

Needless to say none of our grandchildren are married yet

But I’m beginning to get a sense

Of how the script for the future might

Have already had it’s first reading

And somewhere in the hazy mist is

I don’t know yet 9/24/2022 Copyright FXC

Darcy’s Room

Darcy turns 13 next March

As an aging canine she does well

A beige mixed breed rescue dog

Hobbling periodically after a long walk

Perfectly all right staying close

Where once she desired to wonder

Her early years at night spent on an old blanket

Maybe in the living room or kitchen

But on storm filled nights

Seeks the safety of our room

As the children left the house

A spare bed room became available

Still complete with bed, dresser and desk

The marbled top desk  was a family heirloom from G.P. Becker

Grandfather of the current mistress of the house

Family pictures adorned thei desk along with an oft used sewing machine

So Darcy’s now cushioned bed had a more permanent location

We always knew when friend or family were appearing at the front door

Darcy arises from her bed, tail wagging to attend to the door

But on the oft chance a stranger might approach the door

Darcy would give a well heard growl, or low bark but no more

Rushing to defend the house is not part of her genetic makeup

The highlight of the day for Darcy are meal times

Not her meal times but the meal times of the lady of the house

For at those times, Darcy has honed the ‘look’

She fixates her stare at the young lady eating the meal

Until a morsel of food is flung to the floor

Mission accomplished

Can’t really get lonely with a dog looking you in the eye  9/4/22 Copyright












Hold tight to what matters

One’s values seem to be able to be castigated

By any one’s opinions or blogs

What was seen as ‘the good old days’

Considered as false history now

But met a lady quite clear in her value

Of personal possessions

Seems a relative, a close relative

Took it upon themselves

To survey her kitchen utensils

While visiting for an extended time

Value was being given to her possessions

Based on age, along with wear and tear

Totally the opposite of how my lady friend

Judged her pride and joy

A particular faded red metal pot

Seemed to come under particularly harsh judgment

The poor lady’s relative did not quite understand

The well worn condition of the red metal pot

Only elevated the value of the pot

Long after this lady’s relative had left town

The red metal pot would again occupy

The top shelf of the faded white kitchen cabinet

Much as it had for half a century

Periodically warming a pot of chili

Nothing would ever change the value of

The precious red metal pot

FXC Copyright 8/7/2022

Hold that thought

The closed door that each possesses

Allows privacy, ecstasy, anguish, to remain behind the door

Vestiges of our hidden truth might have been revealed

If the door is slightly opened to engage in daily business

This reality has been so enforced by the pandemic

Masks aided the muting of conversations

Greatly reduced commingling

Zoom is the new norm for communication

Can’t think for oneself, the media will provide endless ideas

The far left and the far right now own the press

Went to a family reunion last weekend

Just so perfect to hold and hug

Those we love and have missed so much

Can’t really care anymore about those shouting for my attention

Just want to hold those so close that I have missed so much

Need to be able to open my door again

Hold that thought

FXC  6/12/2022 Copyright