Vignettes

  • Vignettes

    Bathrooms, Brothels & Blimps

    My first Broken Filter experience was years ago, when Athol and I were showing an elderly couple homes. We’d sold their life-long business and at last, they were able to upgrade to a fancy pad. The wife was quivering with excitement, but the husband? Well, he was old and ornery and entirely devoid of “must have’s” or a wish list; he simply wanted to find a place to hang his hat, and quickly. The very first house we showed them was a lovely open plan where privacy’s only promised behind bedroom doors. Modern living makes eavesdropping a lost art – now you simply cock your head in the direction of…

  • Vignettes

    Love Month

    It’s Love Month and my prince, on the 15th February, yelled from his office to mine “Happy Valentine’s day for yesterday, Honey”. But that’s okay, because luckily, I have his heart 365.25 days a year. Consider all the glorious, passionate love stories in history or Shakespeare. They were mostly short lived. How easy it is to fall in “love” when you’re young and blinded by lust, and, like Romeo and Juliet, you’ll just die if you couldn’t be together forever. For me, the real test of love lies in time. Time brings out the worst in us all. Complacency is a killer. Taking your partner for granted is the kiss…

  • Vignettes

    Ice Rinks, Husbands And Spaghetti

    Realtors have long been compared to used car salesmen. We of the former profession, huff and puff, insulted to the quick that we should be compared to the latter. To parallel our “distinctive” vocation to one that reeks of sleaze and grease and falsehoods? No. NO. NOOO. We Realtors are far superior. Listen, a car may be a person’s second largest investment, but a house? Now we’re talking VERY important! That’s us! I am a Realtor—have been for 26 years. My peers and I are hardworking control-freaks, (I have license to generalize) intent on harnessing situations we don’t have a hope in hell of controlling. Contrary to what it may…

  • Vignettes

    Reflections

    First and foremost, I wish you and yours a happy 2019 filled with good health, unexpected joys, and MOST everything you wish yourself. (I have to remind myself that we can’t have EVERYTHING, but we sure as hell can try!) As is my custom, I look back and take stock of what the past year brought and taught. Since my 365 days of memories are not worthy of a whole brain-bin, I pop the nyaggas (bad stuff) in my handy, dandy, mental-shredder to eliminate lingering negativity and angst-inducing disappointments, chalk the tough stuff up to necessary life-lessons, and promise myself there is no room in the Must-Keep pile for regrets.…

  • Vignettes

    Foot Loose & Fancy Not-So-Free

    My very vivacious, delightful friend, Debbie, told me this fabulous true story. It was the first night of Debbie’s short stay with her daughter Sally on the west coast. When Sally’s boyfriend, Jack popped by her modest apartment after work, he immediately took off his shoes and put his sock-clad feet up on the coffee table.   Debbie thought, “Hmm, that’s a bit rude. I’ve just met the guy!” But as we all know, we’re not allowed to rush to judgment as far as our children’s/best friend’s/mother’s new significant others are concerned. “I see you’re working two jobs,” said Sally as Jack’s sock-encased toes wiggled. The couple tittered. “Ah, to…

  • Vignettes

    Blacklisted

    “Living in a homeowners association has its merits,” I always tell my real estate clients. “Yes, they might be a pain – but HOA’s protect the value of your property by preventing your neighbor’s house becoming an eyesore.” Yet, here I sit, hiding inside behind tinted windows, slipping out only when I must, wearing my false moustache and my hat. Okay, painting our house was not a financial priority…but when water gushed in through stucco cracks, we had to rob Peter to pay Paul and get it sealed and painted PRONTO before Michael and the rest of the alphabet of hurricanes veered our way. Listen, “Soft Buttercup” looked fabulous on…

  • Vignettes

    Have You Seen A Unicorn Lately?

    The neat, thick swaddling that covered my beloved’s naked back, did nothing to hide the newly stapled 9” incision under which I could visualize screws and rods and new, DNA-minted bone. Oh, my cursed imagination.  I shivered and reached for my computer – the only way not to feel his pain without stealing his drugs, was to start my monthly vignette. Something happy was called for. My 3 granddaughters popped into my mind’s eye, bringing me joy. When it was Anny’s turn to twirl in my head, I thought “Ah, the unicorn story,” and felt my heart smile. For the hell of it, I Googled “unicorn” and found: A legendary,…

  • Vignettes,  War Serenade

    Published At 60! (And It Only Took Me 58 Years!)

    War Serenade was first brought to life by my mother. It was my favorite bedtime story, not just because it was true and quite quite thrilling, but because in the excited telling, my mom’s expressive hands made her bracelets jingle. Though this epic love story was only named War Serenade a scant 18 years ago, it’s been a living organism in my soul for more than a half a century. I’d always imagined this WWII true romance set in South Africa, in moving pictures. War Serenade took nearly 40 years to spill from me as a 60-page essay. Like a precious gift long lost and just found, it delighted me anew. Who needs…

  • Vignettes

    The Ring

    Iris Mary Fuller married Peter Stuart van Niekerk in 1956 in Green Point, Cape Town.   Eleven months later I was born. I was an accident, but my mom assured me, a happy one. She said I kept her young. She was 40 when she had me. Fortunately for me, though all my friends’ mothers were 15 or more years younger than mine, it never felt that way. My mom was still young at 86 when we lost her. My mother had an uncanny ability to relate to everyone she met: young, old, man, woman, gay, straight. She talked everyone’s language. She never, ever judged. She treated everyone the same until…

  • Vignettes

    One Crazy Sister

    My sister Vivienne is a peculiar soul. We are as different as rock ‘n roll and baroque. The fact that we share only a mother has never been an issue. She is my sibling all-the-way, besides, there is nothing HALF about my sister! Eleven years older than I, and the youngest of the first three of my mother’s children, Viv was entirely pissed off when I was born. She stayed a tad put-out for quite some time. How dare I take over the last spot when there was no bloody vacancy? The family hadn’t seen each other for over a year when my brother and sister came to visit two…