Why Even an Art Infused Air BnB House Can be Dicey

Did you know renting and
Staying in Air BnB housing
Can be dicey and,
After cleaning and service fees,
Does not end up saving money anyway?

Renting houses via Air BnB
Is all the rage
For travel accommodation now.

I reserved what was listed
As a beautiful artist abode
For out-of-town family
Who came for Daughter’s graduation
And had high hopes
That this art infused home
Would be perfect for them.

The owner provided pictures
On the website
Made the house look magnificent!

And, in person, the house was,
In fact, what they listed–
Stylishly decorated, modern,
And possessed the correct number
Of bedrooms and baths
Freshly cleaned.

Even so, what if the mechanism
That cools the house down
(Swamp cooler in this case)
Hardly works
Making the upstairs temperature
Read 95 degrees
No matter what dials or buttons
You press
Per usage instructions?

What if, when you arrive,
You find that the
“Entire use of the house ”
Apparently means
Squeezing our food
Inside a fridge and freezer
Already spilling over
With items that previous guest(s)
Left and thus can be used
Mixed in with the
Owner’s personal stash
Which must not be touched–
Which is which?

What do we do if
The closets are stuffed
With clothes of the house’s family
Leaving very little room
For anything we brought
And might wish to hang up?

What if the stairway railing
Flanking 3 steps down
Is loose so that your
Elderly father, upon reaching for
Support but then finding none,
Slips and falls down hard,
Crashing into the recycling
After cutting his foot
And bruising his hip?

Good God–
A fall like that
Could have resulted in
Broken bones, head injury
And a trip to the ER
If Dad was less athletic
And coordinated.

What then?

Let’s just say this–
I’m less enamored with
Air BnB than I once was.



Reprieve–A Night Away From My Own Life


Live jazz
Elaborate cocktails
Fried fancy appetizers
Overflow onto my lap.
Sensory abundance
Gliding effortlessly over
Glass bottomed
Present minutes.

An adults only
Evening out
A corners up reprieve
From reality.
So much good exists in my life
But still…

A few hours
Without much thought
Or worry about expense,
Caloric decadence,
Exhilarates and enhances
The experience
A velvet box
Topped with a glittery bow.

I feel warmed and special
By spirits shaken and iced
Quenching my parched throat

By being dressed up
In a black Mandarin
Collared dress
Splashed by a silver dragon
Cascading down one side
While shod in
Heeled high boots,

By being on the second floor
Looking out onto
One of the newest, hippest clubs
Shimmering aglow
In candle flame.
Stairs softly lit
To guide our enjoyment in
An up and coming part of town
On a Friday spring night.

These stanzas
Generally aren’t me, no,
But I’m here tonight
Consuming drum beaten brass
In full swing motion.

Not often a later night,
Live music fan,
I sit, tonight, mesmerized
Caught up in the flow
Of musical composition
Riding the shape and cadence
Of each note combination,

Living at the edge of
The next groovy set
Barred and decked out
In flecked rainbows
Of melodious sound
And layered possibility.

What a night this has been.

I want to return
To this magic space
Where time stops and
Anxiety din mutes

To feel like a
Well adjusted, successful
And fashionable adult again.


Surviving Major Passages in Life-PHEW!

Night winds rise
Setting sun brings
A torrent of rain so brief,
The thunder storm is over
Before we can settle
Into the tone and rumble.

What a full day we had!

Transportation logistics
To the event,
Waiting in line to gain entrance,
Venue seat saving for family
And then remaining in the present
To be wrung out
Riding the joys of Daughter’s
High school graduation–

Celebrating and weeping
With classmates who gave speeches
About academic and personal
Obstacles over come,
Losing a mom to cancer and
About moving on to unknown
And promising futures.

Photographs followed,
Then a large earlier dinner
At a Northern Italian restaurant–
Flawless–Everyone found parking,
The bread came to us still warm,
The cocktails cold and well mixed,
And portions considered
Extremely tasty and ample.

Now, the dishes from ice cream
Graduation cake washed
And put away,
Out of town Family,
Tired, full and satisfied,
Have gone back
To the rental house for bed.

Thorough planning has paid off.
Grateful for how
The day turned out,
I can breathe now.

The girth loosened
Upon reaching the stable
After a long sweaty ride.
I survived this family day
With passable colors.


Life Minutes that Make Positive Impressions–Day 23 of Getting Dressed


Amid all kinds of
Busy obligations and
The unforeseen,
There are always moments available
If you pause to notice
That make positive impressions,
Give you something
To look forward to or
To smile about–
Other people have compiled
Fabulous lists of
The “small stuff”–
Here are a few for the day:

Getting to the crosswalk
Right as the “walk” sign lights up.

Putting in the
Last piece of a puzzle.

Being awake while
Everyone else is sleeping.

Now, it’s my turn:

Feeling that coffee-milk
Swirl kick in
To get the morning started.

Watching butter melting
On thickly sliced toasted bread
With delighted anticipation.

Collecting and dropping off
Four tote bags worth of
Random unused items
To a donation place–
Seeing that bare space
On the floor again
Where “stuff” had piled
While waiting to leave me.

Running my fingers
Through freshly treated hair
Without catching on any tangles–
Hair that’s now soft,
Dark, shiny and smooth.

Have a wonderful day
With at least a few your own
Warm smile moments…


Riding Panic within Adult Life

Afternoon slump
Leaves me jelly fished,
Limp weary.
Lackluster choice leads me
Retreating to my bedroom
To crawl under slightly scratchy
Blankets even though
The sun shines brilliantly
Warming friendly playgrounds,
Quiet now, with naps
Lulled by mild wind
To unroll weather into
Pure spring perfection
On this day off.

Clean laundry lies strewn
On the bed next to my prone self
Waiting for my feminine
Homemaking “magic” to materialize
To bring each wrinkled shirt,
Crumpled towel and sheet
To full attention with
Crisply folded corners
Before being neatly put away.

The many bills,
The dirt and dust,
High school senior receptions,
Family preparations,
House renovations and
Job related issues that require
My attention and decision
Overwhelm my visual
And mental landscape
Clouding peace of mind.

So I lay here, paralyzed,
Creating and accomplishing nothing,
Just breathing my existence in,
Fighting off age old
Anxious dread and
Oncoming galloping panic.

I wonder how other people
Grab life’s rearing head so well–
Full of sudden side steps,
Abrupt bucking and other
Unforeseen moments.

How do they grasp wiry mane
To meet life’s demands, head-on,
While maintaining composure,
Equanimity and the will
To go on and on,
Day after day?

These engaged people
Proactively deal with life’s
Cleaning, house tidying,
“Kin work” card sending,
School volunteering and
Undertake even more extras like
Planting and growing things
While working full and part time–

And appear so adept at
Keeping life in such
Contained control that when
You need to drop something off,
Last minute, unexpected,
They are able
To calmly say “Yes,”
To you briefly coming over.

While at the entrance,
You note hooks by the front door
Holding coats hung up
In orderly rows.
During quick conversation,
You catch a glimpse of
A living room containing
Visible furniture and table top
Surfaces relatively free
Of paper, magazine, newspaper,
Dirty sock and other random
Debris piles,
Unlike those that
Clog my own spaces.

Morning after emerging
From a respectably rare,
Long sleep,
For which I am grateful,
I ought to feel content
After a spinach scramble
Accompanied by heavily buttered
Crispy toast and
Drunk down with
Multiple milky espressos
Sweetened with a square
Of dark chocolate
Between my front teeth….

I imagine that’s enough
Consumption procrastination
And that housework
Ought to be dipped into now…



Taking Control of Your Health in 15 Minute Increments–Yes You Can!

Working a Lego Roadshow,
I’ve unexpectedly become a
Builder of sorts
Constructing tiny family room
Furniture sets,
Erecting buildings complete
With doors, windows and
Pitched roofs, mini horse jumps
And racing cars–free form–

I find the process
Surprisingly soothing
In intricate concentration,
Precision and design.

Small young people
Show and tell me daily
How to build stronger,
Faster, smarter.

I learn from them
Places joined together
Where stress and impact
Are greatest
Must be reinforced with
Long skinny plates
That appear to make
All the difference in
How well a car,
No matter what it looks like,
Holds up and stays together
After crashing into the
Ramp’s bottom wall.
Building to make a brick
Jut out ahead of the front wheels
To serve as a bumper
Also helps.

Who knew designing and building
Could be this much fun?

Watching, I marvel at their
Level of concentration
Their spatial creativity
And measured forethought.
I strive to be
More like them.

Sticky hands, many mouths
Spewing coughs and saliva,
Inevitable hair and skin shedding
From all ages,
I’ve caught what I’m hopeful
Will only be a mild spring cold.

Lengthy debilitating sickness
Must be avoided at all costs.
I’ve got shifts to work,
Money to put in the bank
For graduation and
Family visit expenses
As well as house repairs this month.

Therefore, I’ve had to
Take a break from a different
Kind of building–gym work,
Running and swimming–
I’m a 7-day a week gym bum
So I detest skipping!

Stopping workouts
Amounts to a forced
Dropping out of momentum
Within a power groove
Where I’m in touch
With my striations,
Can feel endurance forefront
Amid good health brimming over.

When unable to workout,
I am more apt
To sink into an undefined
Slowing and tamping down
Of body motion and emotions.

Every effort to incorporate
Physical fitness into life
Counts and
Makes a difference
In better breathing,
Increased limberness and
Helps quiet most minor
Body aches as they emerge
While also lifting spirits
In the process.

Swim sessions combined with
Five sets of lifting
And core exercises are
Ideal for me
But actually finishing
Such routines takes
Considerable blocks of time
And thus cannot always be done
When work days span
12 hours apiece.

So, small increments like
15 minutes of core work here,
Tricep push-ups and
Stretching there–
Still help me maintain
Control of my
Core stabilizing muscles
In my abdomen and back,
If no other workouts
Can be done.

But with coughing, sore throats
And fever running rampant
Among others around me
And now starting
To creep up on me,
I’ve had to skip doing
Even these mini sessions
To try to cap the arc
Of any virus
Trying to encroach upon me.

The cellulite army
That I feel marching onward,
The mounting shoulder and neck
Stiffness starting
To accumulate during this
Squishy pillow sinking
And 6:30 pm bedtimes,
Although temporary,
Make me sad….