Goodnight To All That

By Lisa Scottoline

I love the simple things.

Like a flannel nightgown.

I can’t even tell you how much I love my new nightgown.

I can’t even wait to go to bed at night so I can put it on.

Who gets excited about a nightgown?

ME.

I DO.

I think part of this good feeling goes back to childhood, but it wasn’t an especially happy memory. Maybe you have one or two memories like this, where you were the odd-man-out.

Or the odd-kid-out.

Imagine a sleepover party in middle-school, and all the other girls have the same type of nightgown. It’s a long flannel nightgown with a pretty white ruffled collar, like a dress. And the patterns are really cute, either tiny red, green, and blue flowers or bright red tartan.

Like, these are classy nightgowns.

But at the sleepover party, you’re the only one who doesn’t have that nightgown.

You have a T-shirt.

Uh-oh.

But this isn’t a sob story, because nobody made fun of me or bullied me.

I did that all by myself.

The thing about a chip-on-your-shoulder is that you put it there.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that you can figure it out and take the chip off.

It only took me decades.

I grew up in a nice neighborhood, and all of my friends were wonderful, but I was vaguely aware that they had bigger houses and more money than my family. My mother was the only mother who worked, as a secretary in an insurance company. My friends had beautiful clothes from Villager and purses from Etienne Aigner, neither of which I had.

Again, my friends didn’t notice.

My chip did.

Anyway back to the nightgowns.

I remember asking one of my friends at the sleepover what kind of nightgown she had on, and she showed me the label, which read, Lanz of Salzburg.

Wow!

I never heard of Lanz, but I knew vaguely that Salzburg was somewhere in Europe, so that was automatically classy. And the next day, I told Mother Mary that I wanted a nightgown from Salzburg, and she told me that I was crazy and nightgowns bunched around your legs anyway.

So I kept sleeping in T-shirts.

Fast forward to last week, when the weather turned cold and I started wishing I had a nice warm nightgown. For some reason I thought of Lanz of Salzburg, so I looked online and found all of the nightgowns, exactly like I remember.

I bought two.

Now I have fancy nightgowns like the other kids, even though nobody cares anymore, not even me.

By the way, they’re made in China, not Salzburg.

And the tag that comes with it says, “Crafted from the finest fabrics, these classic gowns, pajamas, and dresses are just as beautifully made as you recall.”

OMG!

Were they at the same sleepover party?

Or did they just have a chip on their shoulder?

Anyway, there’s nothing like a flannel nightgown, no matter where it comes from.

It’s a soft, simple pleasure that bunches around your legs, but it’s so toasty and cottony you don’t mind because you’re all cozy.

And maybe it reminds me of the warmth of my girlfriends, all of whom loved me more than I loved myself.

Until now.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Lisa Scottoline

Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday ever.

Because it’s about food.

Oh, right. And people we love.

Or at best, are related to.

It can be easier to share a meal than DNA.

Some of my best memories of Thanksgiving are from childhood, and this is where I tell you I come from a big Italian-American family, because my mother was the youngest of nineteen children.

Yes, you read that right.

You may have also thrown up in your mouth.

They were excellent Catholics.

They were also excellent at something else.

Although, really, how hard is it?

Evidently, hard.

But I digress.

To return to point, every Thanksgiving, Mother Mary ran the food show, and most of the uncles, aunts, and cousins came to our tiny house and filled it with noise, laughter, argument, and cigarette smoke.

We weren’t the healthiest crowd.

And of course we needed extra tables. Not for the kids, for the food.

As Italian-Americans, we always had the typical Italian food like gnocchi, ravioli, meatballs, and sausage, but we also had American food like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce that came out of a can with ridges.

The ridges taste best.

 Plus there was salad before the meal, and fruit, nuts, and cheese afterwards, plus cannoli and cake and pie.

Everybody in my family was overweight.

Nobody minded.

On the contrary, it was required.

Those were happy days and wonderful Thanksgivings.

But that was then and this is now.

My Thanksgiving dinner is Daughter Francesca and me.

So there’s fewer people and less food, but here’s the point:

It’s just as awesome.

We’re vegetarian, so we make eggplant Parmesan, a dish we both love. We buy pumpkin pie from Whole Foods. We splurge on vanilla ice cream. We treat ourselves to stone crab claws for an appetizer.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and some of us remember that iconic Norman Rockwell depiction of a table laden with food and more people than anybody can count.

But not everyone has tons of family.

My holiday doesn’t don’t look like it used to, or like Norman Rockwell’s, or even like my friends. They make a big meal with lots of family, extra silverware, and folding chairs.

Francesca and I have each other.

But we love each other, and we’re best friends.

So we make it fun, just the two of us.

Plus the dogs and cats, which outnumber us.

Some people are alone on Thanksgiving, whether by choice or circumstance.

And what I want to say is, that’s Thanksgiving, too.

There have been times I’ve had Thanksgiving dinner alone.

IT WAS GREAT.

Family is how you define it.

Family can look just like you.

I mean, exactly like you.

Like, be you.

It’s always nice to have a guest who’s company you really enjoy.

Try to make it special for your favorite person.

You.

Have yourself a nice meal, drink a delicious glass of wine, and toast to your good fortune.

Which includes being alive.

If you have a cat, toast her.

If you have a dog, feed him a scrap.

Give thanks for having only a handful of dishes to clean up.

And watch whatever you want on TV.

Or read without guilt.

Or scroll your phone without interruption.

And if you drink too much, take a nice, long nap.

Not everybody’s family looks alike.

Not everybody’s holiday looks alike.

That’s what it means to be American.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for you.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

Our New Neighbor

By Lisa Scottoline

I wonder if you heard the news last week.

They found a new black hole that’s closer to Earth than any other.

The new black hole is 1600 light years away.

Scientists consider this close.

You know what I consider close?

Anything on my lap.

If I have to get off the couch, it’s not close.

That’s why I make sure the remote control is with me at all times.

If it were 1600 light-years away, I guarantee I wouldn’t change the channel.

I just can’t be bothered.

Like if I leave something upstairs, I’ll just do without it.

I can get it later, when I go up to bed.

There’s nothing urgent enough to climb steps for.

Same if I’m downstairs in the family room, watching TV. I put my tea on the end table and not the coffee table.

Why lean over?

That’s like a sit-up.

It turns out that the new black hole is in the constellation Ophiuchus.

Did you even know there was such a constellation?

Could you spell it if you had to?

And is it shaped like a bear or a dog

I like those constellations, like animal crackers in the sky.

The new black hole is named Gaia BH1.

If you ask me, that’s a bad name.

I would’ve gone with Fido.

It’s friendlier.

It turns out that the next nearest black hole is 3000 light years away, in the constellation Monoceros.

Who named these constellations?

I’m starting to wonder about scientists.

The bad news is that the new black hole is ten times bigger than the sun, but the good news is that it’s dormant.

It’s a cold, silent, dark, black hole.

This would be a perfect description of my second marriage.

It had no bottom and no top, just an endless void that not even light could escape.

But I did!

In fact, the discovery of this new black hole got me thinking about the various black holes in my life.

For example, I learned that there are probably twenty black holes in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Coincidentally, three of them are in my house.

The first black hole is where the socks go.

They get sucked into the gravitational force of the washer and they shoot out the back into space.

That’s just science.

The other black hole is money.

This is a really big black hole.

You think you’re doing good in the money department, but all of a sudden, the money gets sucked away by science and shot into the black hole in the constellation nobody can pronounce.

In the black hole of money are the new radiators you had to buy and the new crown you needed.

For your tooth, not your head.

I’d never complain about the cost of a tiara.

That’s a necessity, for every woman.

Teeth are optional.

The third black hole is time.

You feel like you have enough time to do your job, run your errands and walk the dogs.

But time gets pulled into the black hole, too.

You get nothing done and all your time’s gone.

Then you’re dead.

But look on the bright side.

You don’t have to answer email.

Black holes can suck things in endlessly, but they can also spew things out endlessly, just like email.

No matter how much email you answer, you’ll never answer it all.

And no matter how much junk email you unsubscribe to, more will appear.

And then there’s email from strangers with the subject line: “Will you do me a favor?”

Is there anyone who sees that subject line and clicks it?

And what about the emails that say, “Do you order from Amazon?”

Ever wonder who sends those?

Now you know.

Gaia BH1.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

We Have a Winner

I love a good contest.

So my head is exploding.

Along with the Powerball pot.

Let me explain.

My love for sweepstakes, contests, and lotteries goes way back, and I blame Mother Mary, but in a good way. She got me addicted to Publishers Clearing House. I remember her poring through a brochure that showed covers of a billion magazines, and she would choose a bunch, order them, and enter the sweepstakes. She believed it increased her chances of winning if she bought the magazines, and no one could convince her otherwise.

And let’s be real, I’m sure they kind-of wanted her to buy the magazines.

Even now if you go on the website, it says, “No purchase or fee is necessary to enter. A purchase won’t improve an individual’s chance of winning.”

But still.

It’s reverse psychology.

If they keep telling me that X won’t increase my chances of winning, sooner or later, I am going to do X.

Of course, the headline on the website is WANT TO WIN THE PRIZE OF A LIFETIME?

How can the answer be anything but YES!

Or, YOU’RE DARN TOOTIN!

Or, WHAT AM I, STUPID?

I even want to win the PRIZE OF THE DECADE.

Or THE PRIZE OF THE YEAR.

Even THE PRIZE OF THE WEEK.

I’m not picky.

Anyway, we never won Publishers Clearing House, but we got Popular Mechanics, Tiger Beat, Prevention, Readers Digest, and Field & Stream.

Meanwhile no one in my house was going near any fields or streams.

We never left the kitchen.

We can’t even swim.

I remember my mother telling me she ordered me Seventeen magazine.

I was nine.

But as a result, nowadays I enter all sorts of sweepstakes, and of course I play Powerball. I used to buy tickets all the time, but I went on a lottery diet. I don’t buy tickets when the pot is only $100 million.

Only.

Like I won’t get off the couch unless it’s $500 million.

Now that it’s a billion, I’m driving the couch to the store.

A billion-dollar jackpot gets my attention.

A billion is the new 500 million.

I know the odds of me winning are slim to none.

But it’s not costing me that much.

And I admit it, I love the thrill.

It’s gambling for the menopausal.

And that’s why I love staging a sweepstakes on my own, for my next book. The title is Loyalty, and it’s about the rise of the Mafia in Sicily. Please forgive me for telling you about it here, but it really is cool and the odds are on your side.

You could win Gucci perfume, Williams & Sonoma pasta bowls, a Vera Bradley bag, Alessi corkscrews, Apple air pods, Etro scarfs, a Cuisinart breadmaker, a Missoni tote bag, and the grand prize is an Apple iPad!

Brand-name prizes!

Not junk!

Actually bought by me, for you!

This is the third year I’ve had a pre-order sweepstakes, and I have to tell you, I love running the sweepstakes almost as much as I love writing books.

It’s fun to give stuff away!

It makes me happy and it makes all my readers happy!

It’s the least I can to do reward you for your loyalty, and I’m not kidding. I wish I could hug every one of you, but you have boundaries, and this is almost as good.

And you truly don’t have to buy Loyalty, though I’d love it if you did. This way, if you lose, at least you get a great book! And if you haven’t read my books before, why not gimme a shot?

I’m going to pick the prizewinners live on my Facebook page, every Monday night starting this week until the book is published in March. You can watch the Facebook shows, in which I yak about videos of my research in Sicily, basically me doing dumb stuff without wearing makeup.

Or getting chased by the Palermo police when I filmed at a prison.

Or eating pistachio cookies, prickly pears, and lemon pastries made by nuns.

You haven’t lived until you’ve watched me eat pastry that’s more religious than I am.

So enter!

Details are on my website!

And your odds are damn sight better than Powerball.

Also, you can stay on the couch.

Goodness in People, Part II

By Lisa Scottoline

I have another example of the goodness in people.

Yes, I know I wrote about this last week.

But if you’re like me, you might need to hear good things these days.

Two examples aren’t too many.

In fact, it might be the last one.

So I’m jumping on it!

Also my mission is to make you smile, not frown.

So welcome to me!

And here’s what happened.

I was visiting Daughter Francesca in New York, and we decided to take a walk along the river, pushing her beloved dog Pip.

You read that right.

We don’t walk dogs anymore.

We push them in strollers.

Pip is fourteen, the oldest of our senior dogs, and at this point we have an entire fleet of dog strollers.

We take our dogs out for a roll.

We used to feel weird about this, but we don’t anymore. More and more, I’m seeing people pushing dogs in strollers, so it felt more normal. Besides, at my age, I’ve finally learned that normal is whatever I’m doing.

That’s either wisdom, or egocentricity.

In any event, when we go for his walks, I don’t want to bring my purse because it’s too heavy, and I don’t want to bring my wallet because I have no pocket big enough, so I slip my credit card in my back pocket, with my phone.

I do this all the time.

Not anymore though.

Somewhere along the walk, I slid my phone out of my pocket to take the umpteenth picture of Pip, which was undoubtedly duplicative, but vitally necessary. I probably have 10,000 photos in my cloud and they are all dogs, many gone now, looking down at me from heaven.

The cloud is Technology Heaven.

So I put my phone back in my pocket, and we walked another fifteen minutes, stopping at a vending machine. I reached in my pocket for the card, and you know where this is going.

The card was gone.

I realized I must’ve dropped it when I pulled out the phone, and I told Francesca what happened.

She blinked. “You mean you walk around with your credit card loose?”

“All the time,” I told her, and she only smiled, because she’s a good daughter and knows not to criticize the woman who gave her life.

So we retraced our steps along the walk, and by this point that there are a million people on the route. Some are running and some walking, but they’re all on the phone.

To digress a moment, I finally figured this out in the same trip to New York. Because if I see somebody walking along the street wearing a Phillies hat, I shout, “Go Phillies!” If I see an Eagles hat, I shout, “Go Eagles!” I even saw somebody wearing a Penn hat and shouted, “Go Penn!”

None of these people reacted to my relentless quest for connection.

Their ears were plugged.  

Francesca chuckled. “Mom, you might have to stop yelling at people.”

“I see that,” I told her. Unhappily. 

To return to point, we looked for the credit card, but didn’t find it, which frankly didn’t surprise us. There are a lot of people who would pick up a stray credit card and charge a lot of things, and that’s what I expected had happened. So I called the credit card company, canceled the card, and made a vow to myself.

I’m not going to carry my credit card around anymore.

I’m going to carry my wallet and lose that instead.

But here’s the surprise ending.

The next day, I got an email from a very kind woman who found the credit card, googled me, and wrote me to sat she would happily return it to me.

How great is that?

Another nice moment in the annals of humanity!

Look at us, being good!

So take heart.

And keep the faith.

It’s normal.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

Inspired

By Lisa Scottoline

This is a story about the goodness in people and the stupidity of one person in particular.

Namely, me.

We begin with the fact that Daughter Francesca was home from New York visiting me, and one day, she gets into her car to go see her friend.

By the way, Francesca’s car is a VW Cabriolet and looks like a blue M&M on wheels.

And it’s 20 years old.

In fact, it still has her high-school parking sticker on the back, which we both think is pretty cute.

And by the way, the car has only 29,000 miles, which is why it’s worth hanging onto, so it sits in the garage plugged into a charger like on life support.

And on the day in question, Francesca pulls it out of the garage and I notice that the front tire is dangerously low.

I say dangerously because I’m a mother.

I actually don’t know what can happen if a tire is low, but I’m afraid it will blow up.

This would be one of the irrational fears I carry around, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, because a mother’s job is to worry about random explosions.

Anyway, Francesca takes off in the car while I worry and to fast-forward, she comes home in one piece. But the next one she has to go out again, and travel farther, and I say to her, we have to do something about this tire because I have only one child, whose life I value.

This is where we come to the stupid part, because I have to make a confession.

I’ve never put air in a car tire.

I’ve put air in a bicycle tire, but that’s it.

Though I’m pretty sure I can handle a tricycle tire, if pressed.

In my defense, I get my car serviced regularly and at every inspection, I ask them to make sure there’s air in the tires. And for the same reason, Francesca has never put air in a car tire, plus she’s a New Yorker and they barely drive.

So we looked at each other and said we’re going to have to figure this out, which means I wanted to go to the garage and ask for help. She was already looking it up on YouTube, learning how to put air in a car tire and finding out that every Wawa has an air pump, so we go there.

But as soon as we parked in front of the air pump, another woman pulled in next to us, waiting to use the air pump.

I instantly asked for help, and the woman turned out to be the nicest person in the world, because she actually says:

“I’m so glad you asked!”

Which is so nice I still can’t believe it’s true.

Anyway, her name turns out to be Kim and she says she can teach us to put air in tires, and the next thing we know she whips out a tire gauge, shows us how to use it, and demonstrates how to put air in all four of our tires!

Thank you so much, Kim!

It was the nicest girl-power moment ever!

I hope it restores your faith in humanity because it did mine.

I felt positively inspired, which is why I’m writing this now.

You know, the geek in me will tell you that the word “inspire” comes from the Latin word for breathing in, because when you’re inspired, your lungs fill with air.

So now my lungs are filled with air.

And so are my tires.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

PB & What?

By Lisa Scottoline

Today I’m talking about peanut butter.

Not eating it – wearing it.

If you have a dog, you know what I mean.

If you have three senior dogs, we are the same person.

It goes without saying that we love our pets, and somehow, as the years go on, we love them even more.

We know that time with them is precious, and always too short, no matter how long they live.

And I’m happy to keep my dogs healthy, even though that costs me a small fortune, because what they give me can’t be counted in dollars and cents.

Love, right?

But let’s be real. My dogs are on drugs.

Lots of them.

Heart pills, blood pressure pills, allergy pills, and joint-pain pills.

(And by the way, I have a 14-year-old cat that requires not a single pill. She always knew she was superior.)

Anyway, consider that I have three dogs who get pills several times a day and I don’t want to count how many pills I dispense daily, given with peanut butter.

Dogs never get tired of peanut butter.

Understood, because are things I never get tired of:

Spaghetti. Chocolate cake. Bradley Cooper.

I can’t get enough.

Actually, I can’t get any, but that’s another matter.

In any event, with so many dogs on so many pills, I’ve got my hands in a peanut butter jar most of the day.

I used to give them their pills by putting the pill in the peanut butter with my finger, which you can do if you live alone and don’t mind your own germs.

But then Daughter Francesca would come home, open the jar of peanut butter, and see fingerprints. So I dedicated a jar of peanut butter to the dogs.

Doesn’t everybody have pet peanut butter?

But also when I used my fingers, it meant I was wearing peanut butter 24/7.

Peanut butter was under my nails and in the lifelines of my hand.

If you read my palm, you would see death by peanut butter.

And at night, when I would go to bed, the dogs would lick my fingers so I couldn’t fall asleep.

Like I say, a lot of action in my bedroom.

I would also find peanut butter around the house, like the knob of the front door and the handle of the refrigerator.

Plus I smelled like Skippy.

Get a whiff of my Jif.

So I started using spoons to get the peanut butter out, but I end up with peanut butter all over my spoons.

And it never goes away.

It fossilizes.

You can put a peanut-butter spoon in the dishwasher a billion times, but all that happens is the peanut butter bakes onto the spoon.

And in time, you give up.

Every spoon goes dark brown.

Everything stirred tastes peanuty.

Even a cup of tea.

Peanut butter and Lipton is not a great combination.

Which brings me to honey.

I like honey in tea, but honey is even worse than peanut butter in terms of wardrobe.

Honey gets everywhere.

If you get honey on your hand, it will never come off.

If you get honey on the counter, your mail will be stuck there forever.

Honey will come off a spoon, but never a refrigerator handle.

You will glaze every knob in your house.

The only problem is you can’t blame the dogs.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

The Four Seasons

By Lisa Scottoline

As far as I’m concerned, there are four seasons:

Winter, spring, summer, and grilled cheese.

I can’t explain it.

But as soon as October rolls around, I’m dreaming of one thing.

That is, besides Bradley Cooper.

And it’s grilled cheese.

We begin with the fact that I’m on a diet. I’m always on a diet. I’ve been dieting for three months and lost an entire pound.

Yay?

But one way I learned to lose weight is eat a salad twice a day.

Of course, it’s a really big salad.

And usually has tons of pasta, which is not kosher on a diet.

Well it might be kosher, but it’s not a diet.

But who can resist the siren song of penne, ziti, and rotini.

It’s like the Three Tenors of carbs.

Opera pasta.

In any event, I was trying to stay on my salad-only diet, but I kept thinking about the grilled cheese, and the other night I ate the whole entire salad and then had to make a grilled cheese and eat that, too.

I started with half of the sandwich and tried to stop there.

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Of course I started over and made a second half.

I couldn’t refrain, even though I’m trying to cut out cheese.

And now my diet is really big pasta salads followed by grilled cheese.

In my own defense, at this time of year, I’m not sure there is anything in the world that beats grilled cheese.

It’s great with mustard.

It’s great with tomato, too, if you’re gourmet.

You just can’t go wrong.

I love it so much in October that it got me wondering about the people who live where there’s no change of seasons.

I can’t decide if I should move there, or stay away.

What excuse do they have for eating grilled cheese on a diet?

It’s not my fault, blame October.

Either way, I’m guessing I’m not the only person who has a cold-weather food they simply must have.

Or maybe more than one.

I heard there was a restaurant that was called Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese, and If there is, I could live there.

Or maybe I dreamed it, in which case it was a great dream.

You know you’re middle-aged when you fantasize about food.

It occurs to me that grilled cheese is called comfort food, and it’s all the rage to talk about emotional eating, and I know it exists. I eat all the time and I might be the most emotional person on the planet.

But my love for grilled cheese isn’t about emotionality.

It’s just because this time of year, grilled cheese tastes so great.

To use an old-time expression, it Hits The Spot.

Doesn’t it?

Not everything is psychological.

One bite is proof.

Maybe you can ignore the grilled-cheesy temptation when it happens, at least I can’t. The only comparable pull is when I decide I need a haircut.

As soon as I have that thought, I want a haircut.

I’ll call around, get an appointment, and count the days until it happens.

And if it’s more than a week, I’ll cut my hair myself.

You can imagine what a great idea that is.

As if I could be any more single.

Turns out, I can.

Come to think of it, the thought that you need a haircut is exactly like the thought you have in the middle of the night, when you have to pee.

As soon as you think it, you might as well go.

You can lie in bed and go back and forth in your brain, hoping the thought will go away, but take it from me, it won’t.

Just get up and go to the bathroom.

Then go downstairs and have some grilled cheese.

Recipe for a happy life.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

Rock Stars

By Lisa Scottoline

Ladies and gentlemen, this was a week!

Not only one miracle, but two!

First, NASA shot a spacecraft at an asteroid 6.7 million miles away – and hit it!

Wow!

This is bocce, only big.

Like across-the-universe big.

Or maybe across several universes.

By the way, the asteroid was only about 500 feet in diameter and the spacecraft was the size of a vending machine.

Plus the asteroid was moving.

You get the idea.

What a good shot!

Me, I can barely put the key into the lock in my front door.

I miss all the time.

And don’t get me started on texting.

If I mean to hit T, I hit Y instead. I always hit whatever key is to the right of the key I want.

I can’t aim my finger and it’s attached.

This is why I don’t work for NASA.

In fact, if I text NASA, it comes out MSDS.

News reports say this is the first time humanity has moved a large celestial body.

About that, they’re wrong.

I walk to the refrigerator several times a day.

The name of the asteroid was Dimorphos, and it wasn’t doing anything wrong when we smacked it around. Even NASA admitted that Dimorphos was “posed no threat to Earth.”

We hit it just to see if we could.

And we could!

Do we rock or not?

Actually, we rock at rocking rocks.

Also we didn’t kill it or even blow it up.

We just moved it over.

And we had an excellent reason.

We wanted to see if we could save the planet and not have to remake Armageddon.

I agree.

Not all remakes are necessary.

And if the feat itself wasn’t amazing enough, you could watch it in real time.

It looked like we were getting closer and closer to a Heath bar.

I got hungry just watching.

The name of the camera was Draco. The name of the mission was DART.

Name-wise, Dimorphos drew the short straw.

NASA might be the ultimate mean girl.

The spacecraft traveled at 14,000 miles an hour.

This is why I hate the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Its speed limit is 70 and I never want to go above 60.

Trucks going 80 scare me.

Can you imagine a vending machine going 14,000?

You’d have to run fast to catch those potato chips.

I would.

I would move my large celestial body.

And that wasn’t even the only miracle last week.

You may have read that Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, gave away his family’s ownership of the company, reportedly $3 billion.

You know that had to be one uncomfortable conversation at dinner.

Thanks, Dad.

In fairness, his wife and two children were completely behind the giveaway, which shows what wonderful people they are.

The newspaper called him a reluctant billionaire.

Me, I can’t imagine a bigger oxymoron.

If I were a billionaire I wouldn’t be reluctant about anything, especially having billions. In fact, if I felt myself becoming reluctant, I’d buy a big castle with a really soft bed, lie down, and take a nap until my reluctance went away.

The amazing thing is that the Chouinards gave their money to a trust that would preserve the environment and combat climate change.

In other words, they did it to save the planet.

Just like MSDS!

Me, I shop.

I’m going to buy something on Patagonia right now.

Do they sell castles?

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022

Lucky Break

By Lisa Scottoline

I have good news.

And even better news.

You may remember that recently I was riding bikes with my bestie Franca when I fell off and broke my arm.

It was a groundhog’s fault.

He wanted to date me.

Anyway, since then I’ve been to the orthopedist twice, and in the good news category, I’m healing nicely. The fracture wasn’t even displaced, which means that the bones didn’t come out of line. The bottom line is this is the best kind of fracture you could ever have.

But on my second visit to the orthopedist, I asked him if this happened because I’m an old lady.

And he said, “No, this is a middle-age fracture.”

Whew.

The last thing I want is an old-lady fracture.

Even though I’m an old lady.

Anyway, I told my friend what the doctor said, because she fell and broke her wrist recently, requiring surgery. And she said that her doctor told her that she had a “geriatric” fracture.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Then I started to talking to my friends and I discovered something they’re all worried about:

Falling down.

And it’s not like we’re klutzes.

On the contrary, I have a remarkably athletic group of friends; Franca is a marathoner, Nan rides horses, Paula mountain-bikes, and Laura hiked all over Iceland. I mean, these ladies are fit.

But we’re all of a certain age, and everybody’s worried about falling.

Which could mean surgery.

Or knee replacements.

Or hip replacements.

And somehow I’m getting the idea that falling is the Beginning of the End.

Like an express train that starts at Hip Replacement and stops at Six Feet Under.

And even I worried because I want to start riding bikes again, but was already thinking that I would ride slower.

This is remarkable because I ride so slowly to start with.

Franca and I talk the entire time, and we talk fast, but ride slow.

This is the perfect balance, if you ask me.

But in any event, I started to think we should ride slower or maybe even stop riding altogether.

I was succumbing to fear of falling.

And that’s not a good thing to succumb to.

If I’m going to succumb, it’s going to be to Bradley Cooper.

Women my age are all over their bone health.

We know our DEXA scan numbers like our social security numbers.

My friends all take calcium, but I think it’s because it comes chocolate-flavored.

You could give a woman anything if you dip it in chocolate.

I would eat a sneaker dipped in chocolate.

Sometime they call it “chocolate-robed.”

I myself want a chocolate robe.

A few years ago, I ate four chocolate Viactiv in one day and couldn’t go to the bathroom for a week.

So I took a chocolate-covered laxative.

Win-win!

The good/bad news is that my statin drug has calcium, so there’s an old-person phrase for you. If you have high cholesterol, you might be on calcium, which might also be why I had a lucky break.

Either way, I’ll take it.

But it occurred to me, whether you worry about a middle-aged or a geriatric fracture, you can’t live afraid to fall.

Everybody falls.

Young, middle, and old.

Small, medium, and large.

It’s hard to stay upright in this world, especially if you’re having fun.

Look on the bright side:

You could have a lucky break, like me.

Or you could get a brand new knee or hip.

I’m not minimizing the surgery, but the good news is you get to keep going.

That’s my motto in life, keep going.

Nothing keeps a good woman down.

Or man.

Everyone I know has gotten up from a fall, either literally or figuratively, and I bet you have, too.

In fact, I’m about to do that in a big way. Because just before I fell, I bought myself a pony for my birthday.

So I’ll be back in the saddle, on medicinal chocolate.

Life is good.

And it gets better.

Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2022