While entertaining guests in our living room one day, I happened to glance under the piano bench, and there in all its splendour sat—a basketball. Was I embarrassed? Well, yes. But I remembered, not for the first time, a column by Erma Bombeck I read years ago. It was about her embarrassment at having a basketball in the living room when an important visitor dropped by.
With four active sons, I’ve had my share of basketballs in the living room—and soccer balls, volleyballs, footballs, baseballs, tennis balls, frisbees...I could go on. But the neat thing is that because of Erma’s column, I’ve been able to smile and say, “Erma would understand.”
As long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed columns about ordinary life. As a child and teenager, I rushed to get the newspaper first so I could read Gregory Clark. Later it was Erma. Still later, Gary Lauten. It was my dream to one day write like them....
And one day, I did get a job at my local newspaper writing a weekly column called "That's Life!"
This short book contains the 21 personal columns I wrote for the paper.
- Basketballs in the living room are part of life
- Can't I buy groceries without getting depressed?
- The joy of ripping paper off my bathroom walls
- Curiosity is a gift to be cherished
- Don’t call me a loser if you want me to win
- Putting the heart back into Valentine's Day
- Remember to learn from life’s “unfair” experiences
- Comfortable clothes help one feel at home
- Walking takes me back to childhood
- Take off masks, enrich relationships
- Material gains no match for riches family brings
- Milkshakes and lemon tea make me feel better
- Basketballs back to mess up the house
- Easter a time for true celebration
- Email returns us to the days of fast mail delivery
- Respect is the key to a great community
- Positive attitude’s catching
- Granny Shaw fondly remembered on Mother’s Day
- Insect army fighting for control of kitchen
- Pillow’s inventor deserves a spot in the Convenience Hall of Fame
- Machine people