Frances Ellen Speaks!

Ideas, Thoughts, Memoirs, and News
July 21st, 2014

Small Town, USA–Part 2

What’s the first thing you learn when you live in a big city or anywhere for that matter–don’t tell anyone where you live!

So what do you think my reaction might have been when I met a man in the produce department of the supermarket and he asked, “Where do you live?”

We had been having a perfectly mundane conversation about the weather and how so many of the streets were flooded while we stood beside a display of eggplants. All of a sudden he veered off and asked me where I lived. I almost picked up one of the eggplants to smash  it over his head when I glanced at his face. He didn’t look like an aging lothario, so although my hand continued to rest on an eggplant, I stopped and gave my course of action some further thought.

You see, my town’s streets are divided alphabetically.  It occurred to me that he might be innocently asking what section I lived in, especially when he followed up his first question with, “I live in the E Section.”

Easing my hand off the eggplant, I smiled and answered, “I live in the Z Section.”

“Oh, nice area,” he remarked. “I have a friend who lives over there.”

Our conversation ended shortly after. Poor man had no idea he could have been tomorrow’s headline–Man Massacred With a Big, Juicy Eggplant By a Crazed Woman in the Produce Department.

July 14th, 2014

Small Town, USA — Part1

If you want to experience a tiny touch of culture shock, move from a large, bustling city to a quiet, bucolic town. Be warned though, the adjustment can be tough for a while. I don’t wish to make the changes sound like bad things, but it takes some getting used to when you’re least expecting little surprises.

For instance “rush hour.”

Recently, while driving home with a visiting friend after a day of shopping, she began to laugh hysterically for no reason. I asked her, “What on earth are you laughing at?”

She replied by pointing to the clock on my dashboard–it read 5:30. “This is your rush hour!” she exclaimed.

I looked around. There were about a dozen other cars on the road.

My friend still works in the city and has to drive to and from work on a crowded highway that I too was once well-acquainted with. I giggled with her. Rush hour was no longer a  part of my life experience, but I remembered the first time I encountered this small town rush hour.

I was delirious too.

July 7th, 2014

Do You Remember Your Dreams?

If I were asked, “Do you dream?” My answer would be “no.”

But the absolute truth is, once in a great while I dream. Now keep in mind, it is a scientific fact that everyone dreams, but I could go for years without dreaming. (at least I don’t remember dreaming.)

The thing is, when I do recall a dream, it is a certain type of dream. It’s always about water and someone is always drowning. It’s the kind of dream that I don’t want to think about–it’s sort of frightening.

That is why when anyone asks, “Do you dream?” I answer, “no.”

(but I do wonder what the dream means. why is it a similar dream each time?)

June 30th, 2014

Ella Fitzgerald and The Latin Casino

Ella Fitgerald

I belonged to a card club and I didn’t want to go to her show, but the majority ruled. That’s how I happened to attend a concert starring Ella Fitzgerald.

At the very least, I knew I would enjoy a nice dinner, since The Latin Casino served a pretty decent meal. What I wasn’t expecting was an out-of-this-world show. Ella turned out to be exciting–a stellar entertainer. Her voice rang out straight from her heart and her audience could feel the very essence of her music.

What made me think of Miss Fitzgerald today? I don’t know.

She is no more. Neither is The Latin Casino in New Jersey. But those were the days!

June 23rd, 2014

The Healing Properties of Amber

Amber Jewelry

Whenever I think I’m coming down with a cold, I run to my jewelry box and take out every piece of amber I own. That would be two rings, an amber brooch on a silver chain and a bracelet with a dangling amber charm. One of my daughters even asks to borrow my necklace whenever she feels a stuffy nose coming on.

I know it doesn’t make any sense. After all amber is nothing more than fossilized tree resin, but I’m in good company when it comes to believing amber has strong healing powers. The Egyptians, Phoenicians and the Greeks were among the ancient cultures  that valued amber, and many American Indian Shamans wore the stone for protection and for enhancement of their healing abilities.

Although it’s healing properties have never been validated by any scientific study, some crystal practitioners believe amber can draw out negative energy. I don’t know about you, but I’m good with that. I’m still going to sprint for my amber whenever I’m feeling low.

June 16th, 2014

Interview – Sometimes The Truth Doesn’t Hurt

I needed a job. The one I had turned suddenly sour with the arrival of my new boss. I decided to send out resumes, as many as I could, but the job openings were slim.

In desperation, I concluded that I would be forced to send one to a legal firm that was looking for a legal secretary. The thing is, I swore I would never work for lawyers. My quite outspoken opinion of them was they’re stuffy and in love with themselves. They think they’re superior to all other humans and they have no sense of humor. In short, I would die before working for a another attorney especially since my new supreme being was the definition of mean and despicable. The fact that I already worked in a legal department for a large corporation was a total fluke, but that’s another story altogether.

Anyway, I decided that if– on the off chance– I landed an interview, I’d go and practice my interviewing skills because it had been years since I sat through an actual interview. When I received a call from the law office to set an appointment, I wondered what it would be like to go in completely unrehearsed and give off-the-cuff answers. In other words what you see is what you get.

So, that’s what I did. To my surprise, I met two very nice attorneys. They met the “real” me, not a person trying hard to land a job. That same day I was informed that I had the position if I wanted it.

I was extremely happy working there for many years.