ME AND MY FIRST HUSBAND ON A TRAIN IN SWITZERLAND. I WAS 22.
So many of you have left comments on my blog, Instagram and Facebook and even sent me emails, telling me how much you like my writing and urging me to write my story… a memoir. Thank you, sweet friends, for supporting what are sometimes difficult things to write, but that’s what I do. I’m a writer, and our stories are not always pretty. While I haven’t decided whether writing a book is something I want to do, you’ve made me think about it. In the meantime I found a piece I wrote 20 years ago for a writer’s workshop. The assignment was to write the first page of your memoir. For your consideration… xoxox, Brenda
I’ve often wondered if he liked to possess me just as some men like to own fast cars. “This week she landed on an aircraft carrier, cooked a gourmet dinner for 12 and won a race at Texas World Speedway.”
I was fast and sleek and hung my ass out over the edge. A risk taker. A reflection of him.
I’ve been chased out of two stores—on two different continents—by store owners, wielding meat cleavers. The first time was in San Francisco’s Chinatown when the owner nodded at my camera and screamed, “Not in store! Not in store!” then proceeded to run out from behind the counter and chase me down Stockton Street.
From what I could surmise, I’d insulted the dignity of a row of headless ducks in the window.
We all need competent, compassionate doctors who listen and then give us thoughtful answers and next steps. Most doctors are great about writing down complicated medical terms or drawing diagrams of things like the hypothalamus, although we’ve all had doctors who, at the very least, were arrogant jerks.
Like the doctor who, before introducing himself, slipped my x-ray into the light box and said, “This will probably result in the amputation of your right foot.”
A couple of weeks ago while I was in South Florida, filming my new TV show, Food Quest, on the Food Network, I went for a run. As I pushed open the front door of the hotel, I realized how windy it was outside.
Like any good runner, I decided to head into the wind on the first part of my journey so I could take it easy on the way back.
With spring just around the corner, this fashionista is more than ready to pack up the wool sweaters, down-filled jackets, and yes, the Cuddl Duds. Just thinking about warmer weather makes me want to open the champagne and celebrate!
Truthfully the task of transitioning my closets from a winter wardrobe to spring throws me into a fashion panic.
People always ask whether to use heat or ice, and the honest answer is, for the most part, it really doesn’t matter. Neither is going to ruin the opportunity to heal or have a major effect on the outcome.
For most conditions, it’s about what feels best. Especially when it comes to chronic conditions, like arthritis, bursitis or tendonitis.
Fear dictates our feelings about a great many things, especially death and dying. Death is something we try to outrun our entire lives, but because we don’t keep our end time in sight, many of us don’t live our best lives.
I’ve already realized my biggest fears—my two husbands died and I’ve had cancer—so death holds no fear for me.
I love lemons, but not long ago I squeezed one so hard it ripped the inside of my thumb. How did I not know you’re supposed to roll tough lemons before cutting and squeezing them? While recuperating from surgery I reflected on the various accidents I’ve had over the years.
I was surprised at how many could be attributed to rushing, including this one.
PHOTOGRAPH ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2018
Over margaritas and quesadillas my girlfriends and I reflected on some of the difficult times in our lives. Referring to a particularly stressful time one of my friends matter-of-factly stated she’d “lost her glue,” to which I replied, “I can identify. My glue died,” referring to my husband, James. While our individual stories prompt serious conversation, the real question for all of us—at one time or another—is how do we change what’s not working in our lives?
How do we get our mojo back? More importantly, how do we become our own glue?