Friday, September 28, 2018

See Me

My name is Everett, and I’ve been told I’m a handsome guy. I’m feeling neglected today. In fact, I’ve been feeling that way for some time now. Here I sit in this lovely sunroom surrounded by greenery both inside and outside the expanse of windows. My setting is pleasant enough, but I’m not used to being idle and mute. I try to gain the attention of my mistress, but she walks past me to get to her laptop. Wouldn’t you think she’d notice me since I occupy nearly half the space of this room? I try to call out to her but cannot. Devoid of her attention I am constrained to silence.

For many years I received daily strokes and responded faithfully, but now she is more interested in writing. She sits only a few feet away, scarcely acknowledging my presence. If my legs were not stiff and wooden, I would stomp on that laptop of hers. I wonder what I’ve done to warrant this neglect. Have I become invisible?  

If I could express the depth of my emotions without her help, I would tell my mistress how abandoned I feel, that I miss her touch, and that I’m fairly bursting with repressed communication. Doesn’t she remember how fulfilled our interaction once made her feel? Has she forgotten how willingly I responded to her loving caresses, answering with the songs of my soul and hers?

Only a few months ago, my mistress spent a good deal of money to move me from our previous home to this condominium. I was heavy and required a specialized moving company. The careful attention to my safety and comfort made me feel valued and important, but only briefly.

My name is Everett, and my life’s purpose is to serve my mistress with sweet warbles, cooing and chirruping as she tickles me lovingly. Occasionally, she runs the feather duster over my smooth mahogany shell. Still it’s not enough to unlock the captive melody within. Pound me, kick me, scream at me. Any attention will do. But please don’t ignore me.
Cindy L. Freeman (a retired musician and music teacher) is the author of two award-winning short stories and four published novels: Diary in the AtticUnrevealed, The Dark Room, and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through or

Thursday, September 20, 2018

An Attitude of Gratitude

By nature, I am a negative person. Unless I make a conscious effort to view life positively, I tend to see the glass as half empty. As someone who has suffered from depression, I can easily fall into a blue funk, focusing on everything that is wrong in the present or was wrong in the past.

It has taken a lifetime for me to understand that gratitude is more than an emotional reaction to the good that comes our way. Rather, gratitude is a decision. I decided to be grateful. I chose to look at life through a different lens, recognizing all the things for which I am thankful, both big and small. This “attitude of gratitude” is not the same as denial. Far from it. I don’t pretend everything is fine when it isn’t. Rather I focus my energy on addressing issues through direct, honest conversations with people. That way, interpersonal problems don’t fester and pollute my relationships. Often, I’ve had to deal with past mistakes and unresolved matters before I could open my heart to gratitude. 

Many years ago, someone gave me the book, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. As an accompaniment to that book, Breathnach published The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude which gives the reader a daily opportunity to record something for which s/he is grateful. Depending on our circumstances, it isn’t always easy to feel grateful. Sometimes we can’t think of a single thing to list. In the first few pages of the journal, Breathnach offers 150 suggestions of “often overlooked blessings.” Here’s a sampling:

·       Reading a book that changes your life
·       Serenity as you pay bills
·       Waking up early enough to watch the sunrise with a cup of tea of coffee
·       An afternoon to do as you please
·       Holding your child [grandchild] in your arms
·       Meeting a deadline

I must admit, as easy as this exercise sounds, I often fail at it. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in anger, frustration, anxiety, or fear that I can’t seem to muster an ounce of gratitude. Instead of focusing on all that is good in my life, I fall into old patterns of feeling sorry for myself or allowing worry or doubt to overwhelm me. That’s when I pull out Breathnach’s book and start thanking God for my blessings, however insignificant. Sometimes my utterance is simply, “Thank you for life.”

The premise of saying “thank you” until I feel thankful is so simple that I end up wondering how I could have allowed my heart to close off from gratitude for even a minute. I’ve learned that gratitude has transformational power. Psalm 22:3 states that “God is enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” In other words, God inhabits the praise (gratitude; thankfulness) of God's people. As God’s child, I believe it, but sometimes I forget to own it.

Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories, a novella, Diary in the Attic, and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room, and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through or

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Other Woman

I’m married to a bona fide geek. Every time I turn around, Carl has subjected our environment to another aspect of complicated technology. As grateful as I am that my retired computer systems analyst keeps my state-of-the-art laptop, phone, and iPad in tip-top condition, I usually respond to any changes with frustration. Every innovation, adjustment, or update creates for me a new learning curve.

Before we moved into our condo last year, Carl spent weeks automating it with Google. Now, whenever he arrives home after doing an errand, Google announces, “Carl has arrived!” preceded by  a cheesy musical fanfare. If we want the kitchen lights turned on, we say, “Hey, Google, kitchen on.” Likewise, he has programmed commands for all the other lights, the TVs, the computers and printers, and the door locks. At bedtime, all we have to say is, “Hey, Google, good night.” This command turns off all the lights, locks the outside doors, closes the garage door, gives us a local weather report, and activates relaxing spa music that turns off automatically after ninety minutes.

So, what’s the problem? Often, I wonder if we of the twenty-first century are becoming slaves to artificial intelligence, instead of the other way around. I recall the disturbing actions of HAL the computer in the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey and wonder what kind of sinister plan is being hatched by Google, Siri, and Alexa to overthrow the human population. The signs are there. Who knows? Clandestine meetings may be underway at this moment.

Already Carl talks to Google more than he talks to me. As I sit writing, I hear him carrying on conversations with inanimate objects throughout the house. What’s scary is that I’ve gotten used to it and usually ignore their back-and-forth discourse.

How is a wife supposed to compete with an entity—sexy female voice and all—that does her husband’s bidding any time of the day or night, responding with, "Yes, master."? As long as I can keep writing my blogs and novels uninterrupted, I suppose I should try to get used to it…or should I say “her.?” Now if Carl could program Google to do the laundry, life would be perfect.

Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories, a novella, Diary in the Attic, and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room, and I Want to Go Home, (launching September 23, 2018). Website:; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through or