MONDAY MUSINGS: Stuck In The Middle Again

I met Grace and Frankie last year.

Septuagenarians coping with a new normal.

Divorcees who never expected three score and ten to include a roommate and dislocation from all that once was.

I have watched their lives unfold.

I have laughed with them.

I have cried with them.

I have been angry with them, at them and for them.

I have grown to love them as friends and contemporaries.

I have never met them.

You see, “Grace and Frankie” is the name of a Netflix series I discovered last year.

Played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, the Anal Waspy Socialite and the Free Spirited Jewish Hippy Bohemian (who are radiant in these roles), they are an unlikely coupling as roommates but they find themselves having to run in place on the same track as they initially cast side-eye at one another.

Their husbands, soon to be ex-husbands, announce to them (around a restaurant table to waylay a scene, the husbands hope) that they are in love with each other, have engaged in an affair with one another for twenty years and now that they can, they want to get married…to each other.

Sayonara life as the ladies once knew and lived and loved.

Sayonara to a future filled with retirement and grandbabies and exotic trips around the world.

Sayonara yesterday, hello uncertainty.

I feel their pain, their sense of loss, their severed identity.

The ex-husbands move on with life as usual with the desired partner and no drastic unexpected changes (well, maybe one).


Grace and Frankie have to figure out exactly what is “moving on.”

This is not an attempt to review the series, and I suppose some of the material should be problematic for me, but it isn’t.

Instead, I want to talk about the “lossness” with which the women struggle, loss that is palpable throughout each episode.

Who wants to be seventy years old having to figure out the rest of their life, however long that life might be?

How do you pursue purpose at a stage in life when you thought you had accomplished pretty much all you were going to accomplish by that stage of the game?

Grace and Frankie stumble and fall, regain their equilibrium to move awkwardly forward like a blind person in a unknown space.

They have to learn to walk again, 69 years later, and they have to learn how to negotiate their own way through the rest of their life without fear hobbling their stride!

Eventually, they become fearless and fierce in pursuit of their own voice.

Real life Graces and Frankies take note.

Sometimes the end really is the beginning

I see you, Grace and Frankie  I see you!








A music teacher for the elementary school from which I retired asked me to sub for her tomorrow.

No big deal, two half hour sessions with Kindergarten girls.


I can do this, I tell myself.

I can sing.

I can stay on key.

I’m pretty good with pitch.

I look over the song list the music teacher emailed to me.

Some of them are childhood memories.

So long ago.

I don’t remember every verse.

And if they go round the mulberry bush,

I will have to watch from the sidelines.

How many animals did Old MacDonald have, anyway?

Are they ranked by seniority?

Is the farmer still in the dell?

Is that fly still bothersome?

“Alouette” is about a nice little lark

Whose feathers we are going to pull out

Because its song woke us up?


I thought there was only one verse but there’s a beak and feet and eyes and stuff

(all in French)


I only knew the one verse!

Childhood memory

Why did we sing this song all those years ago?

None of us spoke French!

I still don’t speak French

My foreign language in college was American Sign Language


Heck, I just learned what those French lyrics in “Lady Marmalade”

“Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir, Voulez vous coucher avec moi”

Really mean!


Goodness! I hope I don’t mix them in with Alouette’s poor little lark tomorrow!







I am a blank book junkie.

My bookshelves are filled with blank books of all sizes.

Some are completely filled with my writings but most are not.

This weekend I ran across one of those blank books, one that is completely filled with my writings.


Musings from 2004.

Different thoughts from a different time.

At the very beginning of this re-discovered blank book are my musings about my grandson and my granddaughter.




Blank Book Gold

“There is something to be said for a big-eyed, toothless welcome one receives from an eight month old granddaughter, or when one is the recipient of a delighted hug from a five year old grandson.

I call him Ganny’s man. She is Ganny’s girl. Woman just sounds too womanish for a girl and Ganny’s boy sounds like . . . well, boy is a definite no-no for this offspring of the Jim Crow South.”

He calls me “Ganny,” the growling “r” having been kicked to the curb by his grandmother. His big blue eyes (or, are they grey?) draw me into their depths. He is “all boy” (as my late husband used to say). My girl rearing instincts (three daughters) keep me jittery as he dashes around corners and jumps over hurdles.

‘Mom,’ my eldest reminds me (with just a note of exasperation), ‘He’s a boy! He will be alright.’

How did she make peace with this rough and tumble mass of energetic excitement, she the oldest of three girls?

Oh, yeah, twelve years of teaching a class of Kindergarten boys.

Ganny’s girl is all smiles and chortles. The dimples of her late PaPa run down the sides of her cheeks when she smiles. I make funny faces just to recall their delight.

She crawls across the floor like a wired whirlygig. Everything captures her attention and everything has to be experienced through her mouth. I watch her like a hawk but she still manages to pop something in her mouth, then gives her secret away with her “cat who swallowed the canary” look.

She is so curious, tuned in to everything that goes on around her. Sometimes, it looks as though her head is on a swivel, she turns it so fast to try and take in everything. She is going to be a talker. She talks right now — we just can’t understand what she’s saying.

One day we will and when that happens, I will tell her about PaPa and his dimples that run down the side of her cheeks.”

Blank Book Gold!