Downton Abbey: note to Julian Fellowes

Mr. Fellows:

I, along with multimillions of  others, adore Downton Abbey. But Lord Gillingham for Mary? Charles Blake with his recently disclosed inheritance any day of the week–yes! Just tell him to look a little less stupefied by the whole thing. Better yet, get him to sing. Surely you’ve heard Mr. Ovenden’s voice. You’re the writer; I implore you, make it happen. J. Uda


Too Much Food

Today as Lowell and I were mall-walking in a very large mall, we stopped for lunch at a chain restaurant  with an extensive, probably too extensive menu. We ordered an appetizer, lettuce wraps that you make yourself by stuffing all kinds of veggies and things inside lettuce leaves and dipping in sauce (yummy); and on top of it we thought we should share a hamburger (which came with fries).

It was all to much. We made away with most of our veggies, and then were too full to do the burger justice. We nibbled at that part of the meal and finally waddled away from our table feeling kind of puky-full. Our mall-walking finally took care of the uncomfortable over-stuffed feeling, but what I learned is that Lowell and I really do each have about half an appetite compared to our grandson in his mid-twenties.  There are so many hungry people in this world, even in our own country. Not that our burger would have gone to feed them, but the money we spent on the burger might have.


Have you ever been in a situation where you felt absolutely silenced? Where you’d said it all so many times nobody wanted to hear, or where the few people around you only gave you blank looks when you said something?

Where the best thing in your day was a hot shower, because at least there was reliably hot water in the shower if you didn’t try to take it at the end of a long line of leisurely showers?

Where you stared out the windows at a world covered in ice and snow, streets slick as bobsled runs, and you’d been staring out those windows for so long that seeing some stranger walking up the hill became a special event of your day and you watched until the person was out of sight, and you’ve read so many books until the thought of reading made your eyes cross and your mind scream: “No more substituting printed pages for living,” and the sound of a sand truck made you run to the window in anticipation?