Here in Tidewater

Not too long ago my husband and I moved to a small town not far from Richmond. It’s quiet and near three rivers. There are marshes and the land is flat. Both of us are used to rolling hills and mountains, so this is something new.

I have this feeling that a place holds memories and in time will share them with you. My recent writings reflect this phenomenon. I’m working on a story about early English settlements and the natives.

Stories happen. History weaves itself into them.

Glenda Kotchish

Spinning Along

I broke my ankle.   No!  I can’t have a broken ankle.   Go back together you bones!  I have things to do, scores of things and I need to be efficient to get them done.  


You see I have to keep the world rolling, round and round on its axis–or at least my world.    I have to keep the business running and money coming in so that I can keep the debts at bay.  There’s the business loans and the house at the beach, the empty house at the beach, that no one wants, especially us.   Then there’s the insurance payments, in case one of us dies, we can pay off the debts.    The debts, they bark quietly each month for their payments,  softly at first and you better not miss one because they will start to bark loudly and gain weight, adding interest and fees–for spite.


And then there’s my bedsheets.   My sheets need changing.   They needed changing before I broke my ankle.    And my clothes are piling up on the chair in the bedroom.    I hang up my clothes.   Why are they piling up over there?   And the room is dusty and the bathroom, oh my–I’m embarrassed.   It was just a little dusty around the edges before I broke my ankle.  Now,  it all looks pretty scummy.      


I leave a trail of dishes and cups on the counters and tables.   It’s a lot of effort to pick up after myself.   I never knew how much mess I created now that I can’t pick things up so efficiently and wisp them away,  into the dishwasher.    


Just turning around in the kitchen to get a cup out of the cabinet is an effort–scoot, scoot, scoot, hop–open the cabinet, get the cup,  close the cabinet and repeat–in reverse.   Before, oh before,  it was blissfully smooth–pivot, reach, open, grab, close, pivot–seconds.


Shifting, yes that’s it.  The world, my world is shifting.   I lie to myself that I’m controlling things, running things.  I’m not, really.    The world is spinning all on it’s own.   I’m in the spin,  rolled my ankle in the process–pop goes the weasel.   It will all work out, this way or that.   No need to worry–spin away.


© Glenda Kotchish

April 1, 2017


Porch Light

Image courtesy pixabay
Image courtesy pixabay

My porch light, no lights–both of them–are possessed.   They each have a chip–the silicon kind–not the nick/dent kind.   The eleven page manual describes the various options and switches along with a nomenclature.  

(Yep, the diagram actually was entitled nomenclature--which I thought was a bit over the top, presumptuous even.) We’re talking about a porch light here–not a nuclear power plant.  Aren’t nomenclatures associated with complex notions like biology and chemistry?  You know that class in college that 98% of freshmen flunk?  Calling a picture with arrows and a legend a nomenclature is like calling a system analyst an architect.   Right?   Just where is the building, bridge, house, shed or outhouse built by any system analyst?   “Oh, but our designs are blueprints for complex systems,” the industry argues.    I think they– the IT industry–need to think up their own names for their own people and quit borrowing and mucking up perfectly good words with their obscure parallels.  Or they can just call a spade and spade and let it go at that.  I can say this because I once was a system analyst and I designed my share of systems–complex ones–but I was never by any stretch of the imagination, an architect.)

Back to the porch lights.   There are switches–many of them.   All I wanted was an on/off switch.  You know the binary thing–1 and 0.  It’s on.  It’s off.  You want the light on, switch up.   You want the light off, switch down.  Both of the lights at the same time–on, off–easy peasy.   But the system architect designed this very complex array of switches that allows the porch lights to come on at dawn and off at dusk, or vice versa.   And the determination of dawn and dusk apparently has nothing to do with the actual rising or setting of the sun.  And there’s no internal clock in those little chips–so you can’t set the time, day and night, and have the lights come on or off based on the clock.    The porch lights just come on or turn off arbitrarily.   It’s spooky, really.   

Then there’s the motion-sensitive feature.  For this to work, the switch in the house (that governs the porch lights) would have to be on, all the time, right?  And then, in theory,  if someone or something came into the designated range of the porch light, IF it was night (and dark)–then the light would come on.   Right? Nope.  Not true.  Not so.  False.   Those little suckers have a mind of their own. You can dance a jig and wave your arms two inches from the lamp and nothing happens.  Nothing.    But turn your back and the damn light comes on–slowly.   I mean slowly.   And don’t tell me it’s the energy-saving light bulb causing the slow progression from dark to light.   It’s not, because I don’t have energy-saving light bulbs in the lamps.   It’s a ghost or something.  And I think she or he is pissed.   I would be too if someone drew a picture of me and entitled it nomenclature.  

Glenda Kotchish

© April 5, 2016