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Donnie

MY SOAPBOX TIME

Punta Gorda, USA

Margaret, loving called Donnie by friends and family began telling stories at the age of 5. By the time she was 8, her mom complained that she found it difficult to tell the difference between Donnie's truth and her fabrications. Her mom encouraged Donnie to start putting her imagination on paper, including poetry since she seemed to have a talent for it.

Donnie, finally had her first story published. The title is Max and Donnie wrote under the Donnie Harucki. She's had many poems published in various anthologies.

Now being in the senior category of her life, she want to write more and see how far it takes her. That's why she became a member of Biopage. She's hoping you'll read her stories and leave a message.

Thanks for reading about her. She appreciates your attention. Have a great day.

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I'm Not Paid Enough For This

Jun 09, 2021 1 month ago

I love my husband's family. When my husband and I first started dating, his family treated me as though I were already one of them. My husband became a widower the year before and I'd been single for much longer than that. Second marriages aren't always easy but when you have a family of in-laws that open their arms and accept you immediately, it makes life a lot simpler. While a few of his brothers were on the quiet side and others were more extroverted, they all were friendly and loving. The only exception was his sisters. None of them were introverted in the slightest way. When I say we were one big happy family, it's said with the absolute truth. Through the years, as each sibling's health weakened, communication became more important. The problem was that while they enjoyed speaking to each other, my husband is not a telephone person. In fact, he really hates speaking on the phone and avoids it as much as possible. Time past and now there are four of them left which includes my husband. While in my own mind, he should make more of an effort to call his sisters and brother, in his mind, he will when he has time. My husband is 80 and retired. I insist he can make time. He reminds me that he's too busy doing the gardening and general maintenance on the house. We don't live in a run-down, ramschackled house. It's 20 years old and in very good condition. He can take 20 minutes out and call his siblings. Unfortunately, he doesn't. I do. His remaining brother calls at least three times a week and leaves messages such as: “Hey, wanted to say hello and check in. Call back.” “It's me again. Haven't heard from you. Hope everything's ok. Call back.” “Uh, what's going on? Is something wrong? Call back.” “Come on, really? What's your problem? Call me back today! Damn it.” I give my husband the messages. He ignores them. No, he isn't angry with his brother. Their relationship is fine. It's my husband's problem with phones. The other problem is that his brother is an invalid, living in a nursing home, and has nothing to do. My husband keeps himself busy with yard work, and other things around the house. He never was one to sit still. There lies a good portion of the problem. His brother doesn't understand why Rich won't call him back immediately or why he doesn't answer the phone in the first place. Rich says his brother should find a hobby to occupy his time. Today, I found another messages on my husband's phone. I said, “Don't shoot the messenger but please listed to your brother's message.” He did. Then he grabbed the phone and said, “That's it! I'm going to straighten this out once and for all!” I tried reminding him that his brother lived over a thousand miles away, has no one to visit him, is easily bored. He's just looking to have someone to talk to. My husband remined me that he has things to do. One of his sisters called but is still trying to get used to her new cell phone. She kept disconnecting herself. She'd call and lose the connection. I'd call her back and she'd lose the connection. This went on for fifteen minutes and then I just didn't return her calls. I might try again tomorrow. I saw no point in telling this to my husband since there really wasn't anything to say. After that bit of thunder-rolling atmosphere involving my brother-in-law, I received a text from my other sister-in-law stating she was out of the hospital and staying with her daughter. I walked out the back door and said, “Jane called.” Before I could relay the message, he looked at me with daggers coming out of his eyes. I interrupted him. “Hey, just a quick message,” I began. “She's fine, out of the hospital, and staying with her daughter.” “Oh, ok” he said and calmed down. I know tonight, once dinner is done, he'll call his sister. Maybe I can even get him to call his other sister. At least, they'll be quieter conversations than the one he had earlier. Oh boy! It seems the older we get, the less patience we have. There are times when I could smack Alexander Bell on the head and say, “Why did you ever invent such a troublesome instrument?” There are so many times it comes in so handy but then there are other times!! As I walked away toward the house, my first thought was, “I'm not getting paid enough for this.” Then I realized, “Hey, wait! I'm not getting paid at all!”

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Patiently Impatient

Jun 09, 2021 1 month ago

Like most people I know, I can and often be impatient. You could also use the word intolerant because while they are different in definition and emotion, they often go hand in hand. We hired a private contractor to do some work and as we checked him out, we were told, “He's good, thorough, and efficient. Just not very timely.” I asked what exactly that meant and was told that while he would show up for work, his day began whenever he arrived. If he said he'd arrive by 9am, we could expect him by 11am or maybe a bit later. My husband called him and made an appointment to take place two weeks later for an estimate. He showed up three weeks later. We liked his estimate and hired him with a promise of work to begin four weeks later. He explained that he needed to finish his current job first. Taking that into consideration, we agreed. Four weeks came and went. The fifth week did the same. Finally in the middle of the sixth week, he called saying he'd be at our home by 9am the following morning. As promised, 9am sharp, he was at the door. We had the final consultation and arranged for the work to begin by 9am the next day. Normally, I'm a very patient person but I do often find myself intolerant of inconsideration. That's when my patience goes out the window. Nine o'clock came but the contractor didn't. As the hour hand on the clock snuck past the number 10, I tried to busy myself to keep from constantly glancing at it. Eleven o'clock passed as did noon. I commented to my husband, “It's a [expletive] good thing we didn't pay him anything.” He finally arrived at 2pm saying that he needed to make a quick trip to the hardware store and was delayed. I felt like screaming, “REALLY?” Here we are at the end mark of week one and 4 out of 4 days, he's been late. He has yet to show up at his 9am promised time. In fact, he has not once arrived before 11am. To his credit, he is not lazy. When he's here, he works constantly. He doesn't leave until around 8 pm (which interferes with our dinner, but we manage). You're probably wondering why I haven't confronted him about his tardiness. If it affected his workmanship, I wouldn't have hesitated but as I said, his work isn't just decent, it's good and he isn't lazy – just tardy. The work we hired him to do should take no longer than two full weeks. I'm eager to see if his tardiness affects that deadline. Our friends who recommend him urged us to not speak to him or speak as infrequently as possible. This man loves to talk, and it doesn't matter what the subject might be. He can begin about the weather and before you know it, he'll be telling you about the diamond mines in Africa. To avoid any lengthy conversations, my husband spends the day in the yard doing whatever he finds he can do; I close the door to my home office and try to keep busy but there is still only so much to do in here. Ergo, this essay. While the handyman is bustling around my living room, I'm trying to think of things to do. It was at that point when my brain's lightbulb illuminated. Ah! Write, I thought to myself. So, here I am, writing, and wondering if I can sneak out of here just long enough to make myself a cup of tea without getting caught up in a firestorm of time-consuming conversation..

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The Iron Man

Jun 08, 2021 1 month ago

Because I was eight years old and the only girl in the neighborhood at that time, my ten-year old brother always let me tag along with him and his friends. When the boys played baseball, my brother would say to me, “Hey Sis, you're so good in the field, go over to that spot and wait for a fly.” That spot was not just in “out” field, it was in “left-out” field. But, at the time, I was too young to realize what was happening and way too enthralled with the idea of being part of my brother's team. At the same time, my brother, Frank, although making sure I didn't get in harm's way or the way of the game, every now and then, asked his friends to hit a ball in my direction so I could “field” it. Naturally, that play never counted but it sure made me feel important and like I was someone incredibly special. Despite being only 27-months older than I was, Frank always found a way to do just that – make me feel special. However, there was one day in particular that, to this day, brings a warm feeling to my heart. It was the day we climbed the Iron Man. In a section of the park near our house, sits a statue. I didn't know it at the time, but the statue was and still is a memorial commemorating the battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the Merrimack, which was fought in 1862. The Monitor was only six months old at the time of its sinking and the street on which we lived was named after the massive and historic ship. The statue is huge and made of iron. It depicts a man in a semi-sitting position holding desperately onto a rope that stiffly hangs just below the ship's deck on which he sits. This was a favorite place for the boys as they would climb the statue and sit for hours looking at everyone who walked through the park. From that height, a child felt you could see for miles. On one of my “tag along” days, Frank and the other boys decided to climb the statue. I stood at base looking up helplessly. I, too, wanted to climb the big iron man, but was too small to reach. Finally, my brother stretched his hand down. “Come on, Sis, grab hold. I'll help you up.” As I took his hand, he explained where I should place my little feet and what part of the statue I should grab to hoist myself while he pulled me up. Within seconds I was sitting in the lap of this great iron man. I was on top of the world. I looked around and as my heart fluttered with excitement, saw the wonders around me that the others had seen from such a great height for so much longer than I had. As the boys laughed and joked among themselves, I was quite content to sit in silent awe. Eventually, it was time for dinner. One by one, the boys climbed down. I was the last to begin the descent, trying carefully to place my feet around the iron man's wide arm. My legs were just a bit too short. I couldn't get down. My brother realized my plight and ran to help. “Hey, Sis, turn around and kneel on the spool. Wrap yours legs around the rope. Then hold on to his arm and let yourself slide down. Once you get low enough, let your feet drop and then let go. I'll catch you,” he said. While I trusted my brother with my life, I didn't trust my life with my little hands and legs. Frank assured me I'd be okay. He stood directly beneath the stiff iron arm. I knelt at the edge and did what my brother suggested, but with one added thing. I closed my eyes. If I was going to fall and kill myself, I didn't want to watch. Suddenly, I felt Frank's gentle hands grab me. “You're down, Sis. Safe and sound. Let's go home.” I opened my eyes, gratefully and happily, as Frank gently put me on the ground. He grabbed my hand to walk the short distance from the center of the park, across the street to home. It didn't matter to him that his friends stayed and watched. After all, he was the big brother taking care of his little sister. As we approached the parks exit, I turned to give the big iron man one last look for the night. As I did, I realized I'd learned some particularly important things from my experience. Although for a while I felt like I was on top of the world, I didn't need a statue to keep me there. My brother's love and protection did that better than artificial things could ever do. I didn't need to climb a statue to see the beauty and the wonders of the world. They were right before me – at my own eye level, in my mind and heart. As we grew, I married and moved away, my brother enlisted in the Army and was sent to Viet Nam. Although he returned after his Tour of Duty, he did not return whole. There was something lacking in his spirit. Years later, we would find out that he contracted the cancer that would consume him before his 51st birthday. Several decades have passed since then, and although Frank is no longer a physical part of my life, I think of him daily. When I recall that day when I sat atop a statue, I smile and realize: my brother was my Iron Man.

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IDENTITY CRISIS

May 25, 2021 2 months ago

Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I'd face an identity crisis. While it's true that for my entire life, I've had a nickname that has nothing to do with my legal name, I always knew who I was. When I became a teenager, the time arose for me to apply for my social security number. Yes, I'm that old - nowadays, a child is given a number upon birth. Back when I was born, that didn't happen. You “applied” for your number, usually at the age 16. You needed one so you could work, and the government collect their taxes. Being like most people, with forms and applications of every kind to fill out, it was easier to remember my number than to always retrieve it from my wallet. Things were simpler then. Only a few businesses owned computers and even they were limited. As technology expanded, computers became more popular. Before too long, many people were buying computers for their homes to keep track of whatever they needed to be kept track of. Then, the unthinkable, unimaginable, science-fiction-like tool began filtering in, not just for businesses, but homes as well. I'm talking about the Internet! When I was a kid, not even the most imaginative sci-fi movie maker entertained thoughts of the Internet. Now, most everyone who owns a computer wants an online service provider. Yes, there are still a few who prefer staying off-line. You can join clubs, do research, receive, and send mail, do online banking and a whole lot more to make our every day lives easier. The only problem is that almost everything you do online, requires a username and password. Maybe it isn't so much of a problem, but it can get complicated. Since these sites don't intertwine with each other, most often you can use the same username and password. At least, then, you can remember them, but some computer geek began designing problems that required more letters to your username and password. So, if you wanted to use mydog, suddenly, you'd need to write, mydoggy - or something similar. In many cases, four or five lettered words or names aren't acceptable. To make matters worse, some sites want you to include a number or two. In that case, you could write my1doggie. Or maybe, doggie1pet? There are a few people, like me, who prefer is using a variation of their names. Tom might turn out to be tommyboy. Angela could be angiebaby. That's fine until you get beyond the username. Now, add your password. Tommyboy might use loverboy as his password. At least until he signs onto a site that requires a number. Tommyboy might now be loverboy1. Does that mean he's the first lover boy or the only one? Hmm! Good question! What about those crazy sites that want you to put the number somewhere IN the letters? Suddenly, loverboy1, might turn out to be lover1boy. I registered with a site today that wanted eight characters - didn't matter the amount of numbers or letters as long as I used a full eight characters. Oh, yes, there was a stipulation! No two alike characters were allowed to be near each other. So, if tommyboy were to sign on to that site, tommyboy would have to have his name to tomyboyme or just use a completely different username. Can you imagine the dilemma my friend has? Her name is Lorraine. She likes to sign on using her first name and last initial, which is E. Her password is - or used to be - the last four digits of her phone number. So, how would she sign on with (user) Lorrainee, (password) 7111? Somehow, I don't think that would work! Before the Internet became popular, I never had a problem remembering who I am. My name was familiar to me as, well, my name! Now, every time I attempt to log on to an Internet site, I must first grab my small spiral notebook, look up the site's name, then find out what name I used when I registered. When I think that the Internet is supposed to make life easier, and more often than not, it does, my first thought after attempting to log on is, “What were they thinking?” In today's society, we have Internet Hackers who are determined to steal our identities or whatever else they can get their keyboards on. The Internet is no longer as safe as it once was, even with the use of our usernames and passwords. Don't misunderstand. I'm not really complaining too much about the Internet and its security, which now has become a nightmare, but as we get older, our memories begin to slip a bit. We aren't quite as sharp as we once had been nor do we remember as much as we once did. I realize that all these precautions in logging on the Internet are for our own protection. No one wants to be a victim of Identity Theft. On the other hand, though, I don't want to be a victim of my own Identity Crisis - which is something I feel I face every time I turn on my computer.

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Anne loved to parties. Pete hated parties.. Halloween was approaching. She would dress up; he refused. During the party, Pete's friends mingled with the other guests but Pete, never one to go out of his way to make friends easily, just leaned against the wall deciding on grabbing a beer. He'd speak occasionally to someone passing by. He was bored, again. After pushing himself off the wall, as he approached the keg a few of the other guys began tossing a football around which resulted in Pete being pushed directly into the path of Anne, knocking her to the ground. “Hey, man, I'm sorry,” Pete said not paying any attention to the person at his feet. “Hey, man, yourself, buddy!” Anne stood up and placed her hands on her hips. “Do I look like a man to you?” Pete looked her up and down and laughed. “Well, uh.” He felt lost for words so gently took her arm and led her to the bathroom so she could see herself in the mirror. “Tell me what YOU see,” Pete insisted. “Oh God!” Anne was horrified. While choosing her costume carefully, she went a bit too far. Since she loves baseball and was, in fact, on a softball team, she dressed the part. Her hair was tied up beneath her cap, which was pulled down just above her eyes. Her jersey and pants were stained with mud as if she'd just slid into home plate. Even her sneakers were covered with dried mud. To matters worse, she opted to wear no makeup, but smeared her cheeks with black goo in the manner of a baseball player. “Oh God,” she repeated staring at the stranger in the mirror. Pete tried to suppress a laugh but failed. “Great! I look like hell and all you can do is laugh!” Anne didn't know if she was more embarrassed at how she looked or angry at Pete for laughing or worse, angry with herself for wanting to laugh. “Come on,” Pete started, “you have to admit, with that uniform, you don't look like a girl. And you certainly didn't fall like a girl!” Anne admitted that the uniform was hers and that after playing softball for many years, she learned to fall without getting hurt. Pete was impressed. “So, do you want to dance?” She laughed. “Do I look like Ginger Rodgers to you?” Pete was puzzled. “Who?” “Never mind. No, I don't want to dance. Never learned how.” “Whew! You have no idea how glad I am to hear that! I don't dance either.” He sighed with relief while uncrossing the fingers behind his back. “Then why'd you ask me?” “Just being polite. Hey, my name's Pete. How about a movie Saturday night?” “That's tomorrow night! What makes you think I don't have plans?” Although Anne was thrilled he asked, she didn't want him to know the plans she'd made earlier fell apart. “Oh. Sorry. You're right. I just don't make plans a week ahead of time. You just never know what's going to happen. So, how about next Saturday?” Pete was a bit disappointed but tried not to let it show. At the end of the party, just before Anne walked out the door, she pushed a folded piece of paper in Pete's hand. “My number. Call me Monday for directions to my house.” On the way home, Anne's cousin asked about the handsome young man. “I really don't know what to think of him,” Anne answered. “First, he knocks me down, then he laughs at me, then asks me to dance when he doesn't know how and to top it off, asks me for a date for tomorrow night? What's going through his head?” “Well, are you going?” “Next week. I'll tell you then if this thing will go any further.” Their first date began leaving Anne with mixed emotions. After enjoying a good dinner at a nice restaurant (yes, Pete wore dress slacks, dress shirt and jacket), there was a mix-up with the bill. While Pete left a substantial tip for the dinner, he never noticed the separate bar bill. The waitress was furious, followed Pete and Anne to the parking lot and threw Pete's tip on the ground at his feet saying that if that's all he could afford, he should keep it. Pete ran after her asking what he did wrong. After an explanation, Pete gladly corrected his tip but still felt humiliated. Anne, at first, felt the same as the waitress. “How cheap can you get?” Plus, he left her standing in the parking lot when he ran to follow the waitress back inside. Once Pete returned, he explained the situation and Anne agreed the waitress should never have acted the way she did. Anne saw the look in Pete's eyes and realized his embarrassment. Her heart melted and offered to go for a long walk rather than sit in a movie. She felt Pete needed to talk. She was right. Anne and Pete saw each other regularly after that and on a warm spring evening the following year, Pete took her hand, knelt on one blue-jeaned knee, and placed a diamond ring on her finger. With tears in her eyes, she put her arms around his neck and suddenly found herself almost speechless – a first for Anne. As she nodded yes and smothered his face with kisses, between breaths of air, she asked, “Please, just don't wear jeans to our wedding.”

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