Thursday, February 1, 2024

Happy Birthday, Sam

By my reckoning, today would be Sam’s 35th birthday. He came to live with me and Allen on April 22, 1989, and according to the vet who examined him for us, he was about eight weeks old, so we made his birthday February 1, 1989.

I still make room for him on the bed.

B&W Sam Edited 11-26-03

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Celebration of Life

The service is at 3:30.  We’ll sing one of her favorite songs from the Pooh Songbook — “How Sweet to Be a Cloud” — then share memories with friends as a part of the service.  Then we’ll gather at the wall and place some mementos in the niche with her, then come back to the house and receive friends. It’s the way she wanted it.

Here’s a view of the chapel.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Sam

He died twenty-one years ago today.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the old bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Farewell, Sombra

I am mourning the passing of my former housemate Josh’s best friend Sombra, who allowed us to share this house with her for more than three years. I can see her now, sitting in front of the patio door, gazing out as life went by. I can see her crouched under the table waiting for Josh to come home. I can hear the pitter-patter of her feet as she does her zoomies. And I can hear the rather demanding meow when it’s time for dinner.

Just because she’s gone physically doesn’t mean she’s gone forever. You were a good friend to her, Josh, and in her own way, she showed she was to us, too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Happy Birthday, Sam

By my reckoning, today would be Sam’s 34th birthday. He came to live with me and Allen on April 22, 1989, and according to the vet who examined him for us, he was about eight weeks old, so we made his birthday February 1, 1989.

I still make room for him on the bed.

B&W Sam Edited 11-26-03

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sam

He died twenty years ago today.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the old bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Four Years

It seems like both an eternity and an instant since Allen left us.

But he’s not really gone. One of the duties I have as a writer is to keep him around, so he shows up in my plays: “A Tree Grows in Longmont,” “Allen’s Big Adventure,” “Another Park, Another Sunday,” “Going for a Walk with Sam,” as Arnold in “Last Exit,” and J.R. in “Home-Style Cooking at the Gateway Cafe.” His personality is a big part of the character of Adam in the “All Together” plays, and Pete in “Cooler Near the Lake.” So, hon, wherever you are, you’re still getting into the act, and I will always call you Sweetheart.

“Never stop laughing!” – Allen J. Pfannenstiel, September 7, 1964 – June 8, 2018.

The tree growing in Longmont, planted in his memory.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Thank You, Friends

With friends like these — Craig Houk and Doug DeVita — who made the trip to Tampa to see my play The Sugar Ridge Rag staged by Lab TheaterProject, I cannot find adequate words to express my love and happiness that their friendship has meant to me. This is what playwrights do, but more importantly, this is what true friends do.

Thank you.

I’m heading back to Miami this morning, but I plan to come back to see the final performance next Sunday.  In the meantime, the play will be available on-demand from May 12-26.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Happy Friday

A wild week, but I’m glad to welcome friends Doug and Craig who are coming to Florida to see The Sugar Ridge Rag with me in Tampa.  Craig is already here, and we’ll meet up with Doug in Tampa on Saturday.  Road trip!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Sam

He died nineteen years ago today. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the old bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Monday, February 1, 2021

Happy Birthday, Sam

By my reckoning, today would be Sam’s 32th birthday. He came to live with me and Allen on April 22, 1989, and according to the vet who examined him for us, he was about eight weeks old, so we made his birthday February 1, 1989.

I still make room for him on the bed.

B&W Sam Edited 11-26-03

Friday, January 29, 2021

Happy Friday

Eight years ago today, Allen and his then-partner Terry surprised me with a visit to Miami Beach.  We met up at the sidewalk cafe on Ocean Drive and spent a couple of hours laughing and remembering previous vacations.  He was living in Chicago at the time, but we made plans to get together again.  We never did, and that evening was the last time I saw him.  But I can still hear his laughter.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Sam

He died eighteen years ago today. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the old bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Happy Anniversary

Thirty-six years ago today — April 22, 1984 — a young man came up to me and asked me to dance with him. I said yes, and we did for the next fifteen years. Allen Pfannenstiel became my partner, my lover, my husband in every way, and he changed my life. Even though we separated in 1999, we stayed friends and in love, and when he died on June 8, 2018, a part of me went with him.

I wrote about our life together in “A Tree Grows in Longmont.” He will always be with me, and I will always call him sweetheart.

Allen’s graduation picture – 1982

Our last picture together: Miami Beach, 2012

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday

The Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) always coincides with Easter weekend. It’s not that Quakers acknowledge or celebrate Easter (some do, some don’t), but it’s usually a time when families can gather at the retreat center in central Florida and have a good and meaningful time together.

This year, they’re not gathering in person.  A lot of the gatherings are being done via electronic means, just as the Miami Friends did last Sunday, and will again this weekend.  So no matter what the circumstances are, we and they find a way to be together and share the silence and each other’s company.

My friend (and Friend) Steve took this picture in 2013 as Friends gathered.

SEYM 03-29-13

Let this be the setting for the day.

Monday, August 19, 2019

First Day/Last Day

Today is the first day of the 2019-2020 school year in Miami-Dade County, and the last day for me at my current job with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

My official retirement date is August 31, but I need to use up nine vacation days or lose them, so today is the day I’ll go in at my usual time, see what needs to be done, then turn in my key and make a graceful exit.

I am honored to have spent the last seventeen years doing what I could to improve the education and lives of the students and staff of M-DCPS.  I have already made plans to continue doing what I can in another capacity in the near future; more about that later.  But for now, I’m taking some time off to visit my parents, do some writing, and get used to not setting the alarm for 3 a.m. for a little while.

Meanwhile, best wishes to the students and teachers throughout the fourth-largest school district in the country.  Yours is a rewarding journey filled with opportunities and challenges.  I am forutnate to have been a part of it.

My office threw me a very nice retirement party last Friday with a cake and everything.  Thank you all; it was a swell time.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sam

He died seventeen years ago today. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and miss him. There’s still that worn spot on the old bedspread where he slept, and I still make room for him on the bed.

Sam BW 11-26-03

Sam
February 1, 1989 – July 20, 2002

Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday

The Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) always coincides with Easter weekend. It’s not that Quakers acknowledge or celebrate Easter (some do, some don’t), but it’s usually a time when families can gather at the retreat center in central Florida and have a good and meaningful time together.

My friend (and Friend) Steve took this picture in 2013 as Friends gathered.

SEYM 03-29-13

Let this be the setting for the day.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Happy Birthday, Sam

By my reckoning, today would be Sam’s 30th birthday. He came to live with me and Allen on April 22, 1989, and according to the vet who examined him for us, he was about eight weeks old, so we made his birthday February 1, 1989.

B&W Sam Edited 11-26-03I still make room on the bed for him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019