In a pinch, skip the naughty. Be nice.

The blond pharmacist checked on my insurance and said sure, she could give me a flu shot.  

I see her behind the counter just about every time I pick up a script.  Always engrossed in the computer, on the phone, in and out among the shelves.  So focused, she rarely looks up and we probably have never spoken before.

She wore a beautiful turquoise necklace with large stones, the kind you might buy on a Caribbean cruise and wear with a sarong on a sunset beach.  I wanted the necklace, the cruise, and the rest of the fantasy.  I was so close to complimenting her on it, but I stopped myself.  I don’t know why.  Maybe that day I just didn’t feel like being nice.  

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In full swing after 30 years.

About 30 years ago, we got a porch swing.  A few years earlier, we had purchased our first house, a modest old Dutch Colonial with lots of charm hidden behind its 1960’s updates.  It had a large front porch – deep enough to gather with friends or spend time in solitude, contemplating life.   

The swing didn’t cost us a dime – a good thing in those early days of parenthood and home-ownership.  We got the swing with coupons.  My in-laws ran a corner grocery store, and the manufacturers’ coupons they collected from customers could be redeemed for merchandise.  Like S&H green stamps for small businesses.  I had helped to organize the coupons so I got to pick my prize.     

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