I pride myself on being a keen observer of the humorous, outlandish, and conversation starters that permeate our everyday. And because my 2023 is off to a tumultuous start, I’m sending some laughter out into the world through this series of easily digestible vignettes. After all, it’s easy to see the negative, but much healthier to find the light, even in the littlest of moments.

“As we lingered uncomfortably, I began to lose my nerve. The one nerve my friend and I both depended on.”

Fox in Heat

I was driving home from a friend’s house one evening around 11 pm. It was the night I realized I needed to have my eyeglass prescription updated due to the constant squint I was straining to hold. But do not let my failing vision discount what I’m about to tell you I witnessed.

It was quick, and peripheral, but I know what I saw. Two foxes, a black male and a red female, were copulating in the middle of the road like their lives depended on it; and because of their location, I suppose that was the truth. I did a double take and checked my review mirror as they continued their passionate procreation activities. I didn’t want to stop as that would be an invasion of privacy. Instead, I kept driving and felt honored to have been privy to such an intimate moment amongst the locals.

Petrified Lizards

Is this an anomaly or is it me? During a visit to Hawaii, I noticed a small lizard, about the size of my ring finger, sitting still on the inside of my bedroom door jam. I do not like to disturb wildlife, so I observed it, left the door open and moved on with my day. The following day, I opened the bedroom door to greet the day and, lo and behold, my lizard friend was still there. In the exact same spot! Upon further inspection, I noticed the lack of dimension in my little lizard friend, as if he went on a starvation diet. When my curious finger poked it, he fell straight to the ground in his petrified state. That lizard wasn’t greeting the morning with me—he was caught between a door and a hard place. Poor guy.

Fast-forward three months. Location—Cancun, Mexico—I’m exiting the hotel room to get my sun on and am stopped in my tracks. What is it with lizards and me?! There was another lizard in my door jam, the exact same size as the Hawaiian lizard; it may as well have been its twin brother. It was poised perfectly, as if in mid-scramble. “No way,” I whispered as I poked the second petrified lizard in a door jam. He falls to the ground—no movement, legs and arms stick-straight. What is it with anorexic lizards, me and door jams?

Hot Cocoa Straight Up

Upon sitting down at a Boulder restaurant on a freezing cold evening…

Waiter: Can I get you ladies anything?

Me: Yes, I’ll have a Crown Royal on the rocks with a Coke back, please.

Friend: Do you have any hot cocoa?

Waiter: No, I’m sorry.

Friend: Okay, then I’ll have a dirty martini straight up with three olives.

Me: Ha!

Party Crashers

It was a late spring afternoon full of buzzing hummingbirds and bugling elk. A friend and I were taking our weekly “cruise-about.” It’s a tradition where we drive around our mountain area and talk instead of sitting in a restaurant drinking and spending money. Sometimes our cruise-abouts take us to parks or maybe a trail. But this day was different. I was feeling adventurous. Fearless.

As we rounded a corner into a lovely little residential area, we noticed lots of cars parked outside a home. I slowed down and we observed the happenings. It was a rather large party. Some people were inside the house, others were in the garage, some outside smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and playing corn hole. It looked like a good time, actually, so I just parked the car.

“What are you doing?” my friend asked.

“Let’s go check out the party,” I responded with a spicy gleam in my eye. It’s not like we were going to rob the joint or anything.

“No way.”

“What? Come on!” I jabbed back. “No one is even going to realize we weren’t invited. If anyone asks, we’ll just tell them we’re here for Joe and Diane’s engagement party.”

“Who are Joe and Diane?”

“I don’t know. Come on, let’s go,” and I exited the car. She followed me. We were giggling with the thrill of the unknown. A feeling rarely experienced as an adult.

We entered through the garage, smiled and said “hello” to all the kind people we didn’t know. Each of them assuming we knew someone else. We inspected the food table chock full of pigs-in-a-blanket, chips, veggie trays, fruit bowls, odd salads. Too nervous to eat anything, I began to wonder what/who this gathering was for. There was a festive looking cake, so it wasn’t a repast (thank goodness!). No writing was on the oblong sheet cake, so I was still at a loss. After a few beats, we stopped and realized we were in the heart of the party, the belly of the beast. This was where party hosts usually congregate—in the kitchen. As we lingered uncomfortably, I began to lose my nerve. The one nerve my friend and I both depended on.

I turned quick on my heels, bumped into my deer-in-the-headlights friend, and we made a semi-casual exit while continuing to smile. Who can say anything to someone who is smiling earnestly? We maybe stayed three to five minutes total.

Once we made it back to the car unnoticed, it was determined the mission was a partial success. We were obviously unprepared. Next time, we decided, we’d bring fixings to make some serious guacamole, which, in turn, would help us make more friends. Plus, who would turn away freshly made guac and chips?


I like to sometimes just hit shuffle in my Apple music library. In doing so, I get songs and playlists created by my young adult kids, too. I like to know what they are listening to these days; I’m cool like that. A few tunes in a row made me sing out loud because they were from my youth. Songs I hadn’t heard in years and was excited to belt out. I was curious whose playlist they were on. Later to discover, they were on my daughter’s playlist titled “Old.” Sigh.

Here’s to highlighting the positive and appreciating the small stuff.