My husband considers himself quite the romantic. He weeps at old movies and love stories. He always roots for a happy ending.

Golden Sunrise March 7, 2016

To me, that’s sentimental, not romantic. It’s sweet and that’s certainly an attractive quality in a man. Candy, flowers, candles, and music. All nice things to make a courtship memorable.

But, on the whole, sentimentalists don’t have a long game. No need to be a constant lover. The occasional grand gesture is fine and fun. Dinner and a good movie … with flowers on the side.

It’s fine. More than good enough. I doubt a relationship could get through the weary years wrapped in romance — not without a lot of financing to smooth over the lumps and bumps of the modern life.


Constant romance would make it difficult to take care of the daily dilly-dally, unsympathetic bosses, bills without money to pay. Growing children into good citizens. Making hard choices. Coping with loss. Illness and recovery. None of which are even slightly romantic.

Life is messy. Yet, if you do it for love, perhaps that is enough to make it a romance.

I think my romance synapses have grown mossy from lack of use. Hugs, kisses and a bouquet of flowers — and a nice sushi dinner — will do it for me. Throw in a movie with a happy ending? I’m stoked for at least six months.

sen·ti·men·tal (sen(t)əˈmen(t)l

Of or prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia.
“She felt a sentimental attachment to the place creep over her.”
Synonyms: nostalgic, tender, emotional, affectionate More
(of a work of literature, music, or art) dealing with feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia, typically in an exaggerated and self-indulgent way, such as “a sentimental ballad”
synonyms: mawkish, over-emotional, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, overly sweet;
(of a person) excessively prone to feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia, as in: “I’m a sentimental old fool.”

In the opposing hand, we hold “romantic” stuff:

ro·man·tic rōˈman(t)ik

1. Conducive to or characterized by the expression of love.
“A romantic candlelit dinner.”
Synonyms: loving, amorous, passionate, tender, affectionate; Informal: lovey-dovey: “He’s so romantic”
2. Of, characterized by, or suggestive of, an idealized view of reality, such as: “A romantic attitude toward the past.”
Synonyms: idyllic, picturesque, fairy-tale;
1.A person with romantic beliefs or attitudes: “I am an incurable romantic”
Synonyms: idealist, sentimentalist, romanticist.

yellow roses anniversary bouquet

Reality ain’t so bad. Add a few flowers and a night out? I’ll call it romance and be content.


I was an only child and I loved it! I felt bad for all those poor kids with siblings who had to share rooms, toys and above all else, parental attention. The world of my parents and grandparents revolved around me and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When I decided to have a second child, I was pretty much in the dark about what it meant to grow up with a sibling and how a parent was supposed to handle this, to me, alien situation.


When I was pregnant with my second child I worried how I would handle sibling tensions. I wondered if I could avoid identifying with the older child who had been an only child for almost five years. I felt guilty about destroying his monopoly on adult love and attention and also about bringing a child into the world who would never experience being the sole center of the family’s universe.

In the early years, juggling the needs of the two children turned out to be easier than I had imagined because of the large age difference. For example, for several years I could give exclusive attention to my baby daughter when my son was at school. In fact, my kids got along amazingly well throughout their childhoods so I was spared a lot of the sibling rivalry and hostility I was so afraid I would mishandle.

Then they grew up and all Hell broke loose!


They reversed the usual sibling process. Just when they should have stopped fighting and butting heads, they started doing it. I don’t know if it’s easier to be in the middle of this bickering and sniping with young adults than with young children. I know I obsessed about what I had done wrong that prevented the great sibling bond I had heard so much about from forming in my children.

It took years but the anger and tension seem to have ended. Lo and behold, my children have found that incredible adult sibling bond that surpasses parental approval and attention in importance. When one of them has a problem, the other is there in a flash with unquestioning loyalty.



They have very different interests and lives, but at 30 and 35, they have a connection I envy. For the first time I my life, I wish I had a sister or brother to share memories and family responsibilities.

I wish I had the special bond you can only get from growing up with someone, day in and day out, in the same house with the same family, sharing pets and friends, secrets and jokes. I don’t have that special person who shares my genes and childhood. The person who will always be there for me in a unique way no one else can.


My long deceased parents and grandparents made me the center of their world, but now I have no one with whom to share those memories of my cherished only childhood.



I took these oddballs less than an hour ago, using my Pentax Q-S1 and its “normal” f1.8 lens. Nothing remarkable or notable about this, except that for the past week, I thought I’d lost it.


I have never lost a camera in my more than 40 years of photography. I’ve dropped one and seen it explode, but never lost one.

A Blogger's Whiteboard

A Blogger’s Whiteboard

I obsess about my cameras. Every lens is packed in a protective pouch, then put in a protective bag. Camera bags are organized. I can find whatever I want quickly. So how did I misplace a camera? Especially one I use so often? Glad you asked.

We’ve been traveling lately, most recently to Connecticut to visit Tom and Ellin Curley (newest members of Team Serendipity). Go team!

Waiting for spring

Waiting for spring

But, I digress.

I have not been taking a lot of pictures lately. It’s a dull time of year for pictures. When I wanted to take a few quick shots at home, I reached for my Q. Not there. Garry’s camera was where mine should be. Lenses were in place … but my red Pentax Q-S1 was missing.

I hadn’t used it in Connecticut, but I was sure I’d brought it back from Arizona. I looked. Garry looked. I looked again. Then, looked one more time, just in case. I was certain it would turn up. It had to. No way would I lose a camera. Totally out of character.

Today, after more than a week with my camera still MIA, I began morosely to check online for a replacement. The Pentax Q camera series isn’t expensive — a brand new body costs just over $200. But I didn’t want a new one. I wanted my little red Q-S1. It is almost new. It’s red, cute and all set up the way I like it.

That’s when Garry asked if I’d checked the car. No, I hadn’t checked the car. Why hadn’t I checked the car?


It was in the car. In the case. On the floor in the back seat where I put it myself. (I put cameras on the floor because they can’t fall off the floor.) Why didn’t I look there first? No idea. Why didn’t Garry tell me to look there? He has no idea.

My camera is home. It’s fine. But I think my brain is broken.