Sunday, December 26, 2010


It was the one thing he desired the most…  His desire wasn’t for health, wealth or love.  It was…  Well…just let me tell you the story…


The little boy quietly played with beer coasters on the floor behind the bar.  While he played, he appeared to be deep in his world of imagination.  He seemed oblivious to the fact that his Mother was scoring a hit in the backroom of the lounge.  The little boy, Donnie, was smart and knew a little too much for such a young child.  He knew what his Mother was doing…  When she comes back, she will laugh too loud and act stupid…in his humble opinion.

As Donnie played with the coasters, he was really worrying about where he would sleep that night.  He hoped they would not have to sleep in the car again, but then again, he didn’t want to sleep at Mrs. Wright’s house again either, but it was better than the car.  Mrs. Wright said that children should be seen and not heard.  Donnie tried so hard to be a good little boy for Mrs. Wright, but he didn’t think he would be good enough.  It seems like just breathing was an infraction in Mrs. Wright’s house. 

He allowed other scenario’s to enter into his imaginary world.  He really didn’t mind sleeping in the car when his Mom was there with him, but a lot of the time he was alone in the car while his Mom was in a bar or a motel room.  It was scary for him to be alone in the car because usually there were drunk or high people walking by or bumping up against the car or, worst of all, trying to get into the car.  But…no one ever called for someone to help him and he didn’t know how to help himself. 

His Dad lived in another part of town.  His Dad was just a plain old alcoholic.  His Dad wanted to take Donnie home to live with him, but he was married to a drunk lady ~ much like Mrs. Wright.  And his step-mother made him eat oatmeal ~ even when she knew it made him throw up.  It seemed there was no real place for Donnie and nobody really cared. 

He also worried about when and who his Mother would live with again.  The nice men didn’t want her for long and the bad men didn’t want her for much longer.  Sometimes the bad men beat him.  His Mother never stopped them.  He would rather sleep in a car in the parking lot of a bar than for his Mother to move in with just one more man…

Donnie, contrary to most five year old boys, learned to play quietly and become invisible to adults.  He tried to not only NOT be heard, but NOT to be seen either.  It would be the ability to be invisible that would get him through life. 

Another thing about Donnie was that his early life prepared him to play by the rules because if not playing by the rules, bad things happened.  So…Donnie grew up and went into the military because that is what good boys did.  The military would become both mother and father to him and finish the job of raising him…so to speak.  In the military, he was invisible.  When his time came to an end, he was discharged to go home to his invisible life.  Soon, he had the first of a series of invisible jobs.  He played by all the rules and began to save for the one thing he desired.  While other young men were racing around in sporty cars, Donnie drove a modest car ~ a sensible car ~ like him.  He married once, twice, three times.  Lacking emotions in his invisible world, he could not sustain a relationship long enough to have his own home.  Another marriage and a divorce returned him to his solitary world until many years later, when he gave marriage just one more chance.  This marriage was to a lady who was tenacious as a bulldog.  She could see through the pain that made him vulnerable.  She poked and prodded into the tender areas of his memory, into the cobwebs of his mind and the hard spots in his heart.  She knew there was a good man in there, but his defenses were many.  It was a daunting task, but she knew there was someone wonderful under the layers of scars.

Again, many more years passed.  She never forsook him.  Donnie grew strong in emotions, faith and love.  The man God intended him to be emerged from the wreckage…  He now has the one thing he desired ~ his own home ~ never to sleep in a car again…  And love fills his home to overflowing because when he allowed someone into his invisible world, he broke out of his lonely, invisible prison.


*This is pure fiction.  Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.

Darlene Cirinna
All rights reserved.  Do not
use without permission.

Monday, December 20, 2010


‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a sound could be heard
‘cept for the snore of a louse

no sugar plums imagined
no gifts were expected
no food in the fridge
no signs of Christmas detected

The little boy curled into a tight little ball
Hoping beyond hope to not hear a foot fall
Just another night of terror and misery
Nothing to look forward to, not even a tree

Fast forward many years
the little boy was grown
He married his sweetheart
Had a home of his own

It’s a miracle he grew
To be such a fine man!
His rocky youth
Now a memory ban

But deep down inside
His memories would erupt
Each Christmas when his wife
Put the Christmas tree up

He said “Bah humbug”
His wife not a clue
Why the Grinch showed up
Every year on cue

Many a holiday
Was spent in this way
His wife completely puzzled
Until one cold dark day

He said to his wife
You cannot know
The memories I have
Not allowed to show

My childhood was different
No happiness known
No loving parents
No kindness’s shown

No Christmas dinner
No toys under a tree
No loving words
It was not to be

So I don’t want a reminder
Of past misery
I want Christmas to be over
Take down that tree!

His wife was heartbroken
To learn of his past
So carefully hidden
Until this cold blast!

His memories hurt him!
But what could she do?
She said I love Christmas
I’ll not allow misery too

She thought and she thought
Of how to resolve
His issues with Christmas
To get him involved

Suddenly she realized
The answer so clear
He needs new memories
That he can hold dear

New Christmas Eve traditions
Were started that day
Traditions that now
Are here to stay

She went to her kitchen
And began to prepare
Mouthwatering delights
All made with care

She invented snack night
Much to his delight
They munch on treats
By the glow of Christmas lights

Only a couple of years
For the bad memories to leave
As he began to look forward
to their new Christmas Eve

Now the Night before Christmas
Is a wonderful night
New memories were made
And their world is all right!
Written by Darlene Cirinna
Copyright December 20, 2010
All rights reserved.  Do not
use without permission.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Yesterday, I shared a blog I wrote last year for BFF.  In the blog, I told all about hubby and my 1st Christmas in 1971.  Today, I want to share my current Christmas with my friends.

For our 1st Christmas in 1971, I went to the local Army & Navy store and purchased a small artificial tree and some really cheap ornaments and other decorations.  I also shared how I “hid” a new color TV under the tree and how my husband couldn’t find his present “under the tree”.  What a fun Christmas memory to have for our 1st Christmas!

I have not decorated for Christmas nor put up a tree for the past seven years.  Having decided so long ago that I hated how commercial Christmas had become, I simply stopped doing anything except for the annual cards to let family and friends know that I care about them.  I boycott Wal-Mart annually from Thanksgiving until after New Year Day.  The only evidence of Christmas in our house was the small nativity that I set up as a reminder of the real reason for the season.

This year, I decided to donate both of my artificial Christmas trees, ornaments, garland and any other Christmas decorations except for my nativity.  So I went to the garage and hauled boxes off the shelf that had not been opened in 7 years.  Oh my…there was that “old” smell that I can’t stand.  I can’t tolerate that “old” odor.  So, I quickly sorted things into two piles ~ one to give away and one to throw away.

While sorting, some items invoked special memories…like the small tree that I bought for our 1st Christmas and a shabby chic red metal star that graced our Christmas tree every year since my earliest childhood memories.  The small tree had been replaced with a much larger, much nicer artificial tree a very long time ago and the star for a glitzy new star.  But…I kept our first tree all these years.  Nostalgia, I guess.  I just never could bring myself to get rid of it.  It is no more than a green wooden pole with holes to insert branches and a metal stand.  The branches look like big green bottle brushes.  There are large gaps between the branches…  A sorry looking tree, indeed!  However, when decorated with lights, ornaments, garland and icicles, it was pretty enough.  In 1971, it was beautiful to me.  Heck…even a Charlie Brown tree would have been beautiful in my eyes for that very special 1st Christmas.

When I took the tree off the shelf, I was planning to donate it to our church thrift shop.  But, then I began remembering that first Christmas and how happy we were.   (Not to say we are not happy now because we are blessed and very happy.)  Suddenly, I knew that I just HAD to spend just one more Christmas with that old tree and, maybe, create just one more sweet memory for the old memory bank.

So, I sprayed the tree with a freshener and took it to the backyard for fresh air.  Lovely….all odor is gone.  Then, I went to the dollar store and bought some new ornaments, lights and garland.  I have put that old tree up just one more time.
Anyone want to guess what is under the sheet this time?  Hahaha
After Christmas, it all will go into a box for donation to the church thrift store…all of it…tree, new ornaments, lights and garland.  I hope some young couple purchases the box for their first Christmas in 2011.

Friday, December 17, 2010


NOTE:  I wrote this blog last year for BFF.    It was a fun Christmas blog, so I am reposting this year.  I have almost completed a sequel that I will post tomorrow.  I hope everyone enjoys the story of my FIRST CHRISTMAS with my husband.  Thank you all for being my friends.  Those of you who are not my friends, please feel free to send a friend request.  How can I get to know you if you are hanging around in the shadows?  K?  ;-)
When I started thinking about this BFF topic, I thought about all of the “FIRST CHRISTMAS’S” in my life.  There was, of course, my first Christmas in 1947.  I would love to tell you about it, but I can’t remember that long ago.  Then there was my first Christmas in Florida in 1958.  Eh…  You all know the difference between a Christmas in NY and a Christmas in Florida.  Nothing interesting there…  I dragged my mind through the labyrinth of my memories…  AH HA!!!  I know the First Christmas I want to tell you all about…
In 1971, I spent my first Christmas with my Husband.  We didn’t have much, but we had each other and that was the world to me.  Our furnishings were minimal.  Our TV was a tiny 13” black and white portable.  All we had in the living room was a sofa, 1 chair and the portable TV on a small table.  I wanted Christmas to be really special, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for tree and decorations.  I went to the Eagle Army & Navy store and bought a 36” artificial tree and a few decorations.  The tree was too small to have set up on the floor, so I set it on top of a huge box, threw a white sheet over the box and decorated the tree.  It was rather pretty.  I wish I had pics, but I’m not sure I even had a camera at that time.

I bought 2 gifts for my Husband.  I couldn’t hide the recliner chair, but I hid his other present under the tree.  I hid it so well that he couldn’t find it.  Several times before Christmas, he asked me where I put his present.  My response was the same every time…”It’s under the tree.”  Finally, he said to me…I looked at every present under the tree and they are all for your family.  Where is my present?  “It’s under the tree!”  He was very frustrated with me.  But, honestly…it was under the tree.

Finally, Christmas Eve arrived.  In my family, we always opened presents on Christmas morning. His family opened them Christmas Eve…  OK.  That was fine with me.

My Husband was soooo excited.  Finally, he will have the present that made him crazy with curiosity.  He looked and looked and looked at every present under the tree, but did not find a present with his name on it.  He thought maybe it was a trick and I put a family member name on his present to throw him off…  “No, I didn’t put anybody else’s name on your present.”

Seeing that I was on his last nerve, I walked over to the tree and lifted the white sheet to reveal his present that was truly “under the tree”.  In the large gaily wrapped box, covered by the white sheet, was his brand new color TV.

I still smile every time I think about our very first Christmas and how I nearly drove my Husband crazy while he looked for his present that was “under the tree.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dear Santa,

It’s been many years since I last wrote.  Please forgive me for all the years of silence while I was totally immersed in life.  Since I last wrote, I graduated high school, college, married a couple of times, worked 42 years, and then retired.  There was more, of course, but I won’t bore you.

I have been weighed down with the cares of the world far too long.  The last 6 years have tested my faith…completely.  Then, I remembered!  Of course!  I’ll write to Santa.  You always gave me my heart’s desire.   I began to recall the many letters I wrote to you.  Each letter started out, Dear Santa…..  My letters told you how good I had been all year, followed by the carefully thought out list of items I wanted to find under the Christmas Tree.  I lured you to my house with promises of cookies and milk.  Ahhhh….  How simple it was to be a child.

As I write today, I think…  How do I explain?  I need a definition of naughty too, Santa.  I have been very naughty in my life, but not much lately…  Well…I can think of a couple of things, but I’ll get to it.
Is this naughty?
HA! Santa…do you really think I would put my 60+ year old body in that?  So, on that count, you can chalk me up as good.
What about this?
I quit smoking almost 2 years ago.  Not one single cigarette since 1/24/09.  That means I have not been naughty even once in 2010.
Then there was this:
No.  Once again…not in 2010 or the 32 years before.  Nope, no alcohol for me.  Nor have I ever done drugs except that time I didn’t inhale and was scared because I just KNEW there was a police officer hiding at the corner of the house just waiting for me to inhale.  Hee hee….maybe I did inhale just once, but surely you wouldn’t hold that against me for the last 4 decades…would you?
At one time or another, I have given up every vice I ever had except for coffee.  Even that is now a sissy version of caffeine…
Now that I told you how good I have been, I suppose I should explain the times in 2010 that I was naughty.  Hmmm….How do I explain?  I don’t know that I can.  But, I will try.

For every time I get in trouble, it is a toss-up between whether the reason came from my heart or my brain.  Both are rather deep wells, you know?   I never know what might come up from those wells.

That said…I’ll start with my brain, since she (brainiac) thinks she has the upper hand.  My brain is always up to mischief.  I call it the “party in my head”.  It was my brain that created that raisin man party in the backyard.  You know the one…I blogged it…remember?
Then there was the coffee art blog the day I was bored…  Heh…  That was fun.
Actually…now that I think about it, I’m never naughty when I am using my brain.  It seems that the times that I have been the naughtiest are the times that I thought with my heart.
Mostly, my heart is a tender one, however, it can roar like a lion when something touches it or breaks it.  Many years ago, I had rental property.  One tenant poured a sob story on me…[I tend to believe people until they prove to me they are liars]…  It was just another time when my heart got me in trouble when I let the tenant slide on rent for about 3 months.  It took another 3 months to get her off the property – legally.  My husband was livid.  He asked me “Do you know what your problem is?”  I’m pretty sure he didn’t expect my answer, which was…  “My heart is bigger than my brain???”
My brain/heart ratio:
So,  Santa…  There you have it.  Every time I was naughty in 2010, it was a case of my heart being bigger than my brain.  You know me from when I was a small child and you know my heart.  I have taken in dozens of lost or injured animals…from birds to squirrels, nursed them back to health and released them.   You know I have 8 cats only because I couldn’t take my Mom’s 6 cats to the pound when she died.  They were a family and had always been together from birth.  How could I take them to a place where they would be split up and end up….how?  So, I brought them home.  They love it here and are very happy to get to live outside of the confines of a house.   Then, there are the dogs.  Each of my last 4 dogs were rescues…  Each one not wanted primarily due to age and physical condition.  Why can’t other people see with their hearts?  I saw little lives – not finished yet – not to be thrown away like garbage.  God didn’t create garbage.  I adopted each one, paid the veterinary bills to get them healthy again, and then loved them every day thereafter.  Two have gone on to the rainbow bridge at ripe old ages of 17 and 19 years old.  My two who are with me are 15 and 8 years old…  The 8 year old one being the newbie…  The 15 year old one has been with me for 5 years already.  Both are happy, healthy dogs…and I love them so very much.  No…they are not the garbage that other people considered them to be…..not garbage and not disposable.

Now that I think of it, those aren’t good examples of my heart getting me in trouble.  I mean…after all…how can love for helpless creatures be naughty?  Unfortunately, that tender heart doesn’t extend to EVERYONE in the human race.  Lots….but not everyone.

Hmmm…..think, think, think….  Oh yeah…my heart roars in defense of cruelty and injustice.  Those are the times I have been really naughty.  I won’t go into detail because I’m sure I made your naughty list for some of those times.  If anything, Santa, I would hope that you would look at my amends.  After all, my conscience does not allow me to continue a battle in anger.  I pretty much blow up, then blow over.  I make amends for my wrongs and usually it does not happen again for a long time.  You know most of my anger does not stem from these little instances but comes up out of that deep well of grief.  I’m getting better about controlling that anger that roars to life when I think of how my Mother died.  It was 2 years last month and my anger roared again when my 18 year old cat died just over 2 weeks ago.  Yeah…it roars at whatever little mouse happens to be there when the grief turns to anger once again, then gets bumped up again, this time due to Mikie’s death when my grief was already resurrected by an anniversary.  *sigh*  I cannot excuse myself, but I have made amends where I needed.

Then, there is my mouth – *sigh* – I am opinionated and outspoken.  Blunt honesty is not appreciated:
[For the record, this comment came out of the blue from someone I didn’t know.  Nonetheless, I have protected the screen name of the attacker who took exception to my avatar of a clown face.]

Then, there is my tendency to point and laugh … like the time someone made an ass out of himself on Myspace, then moved to another site.  Yep..I pointed and laughed…
[Once again, identity is protected.  I should be the only one to look like the ass here ‘cause I won’t lie to you Santa.]

So, Santa…Yes, I have been naughty in 2010.  But, not as naughty as I was in 2009 when my grief was so raw.  I am getting better.  My anger is below the surface again as I continue to heal from the worst thing to ever happen in our family…EVER…  But, I will conquer this fault in me, just as I did the alcohol and cigarettes.  Then I will be perfect….  HA!  Like that will ever happen.  I’ll never be perfect, but I can continually strive to be better.
Just let me keep my last vice….
Just one question, Santa….

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Ginger sat at her computer station and just let the rage continue to wash over her after she had finally gotten Ted out of her life. Try as she might, she just could not get his sneering face out of her mind. Ted lied and cheated and stole her money for just one day too many. When he came home smelling of his usual mixture of sweat, stale cigarette smoke and cheap perfume, he was welcomed to the sight of packed luggage on the doorstep and a changed lock. He simply stepped over the luggage, kicked in the door and came in anyway. Ginger was still shaking from the encounter, but he was gone now and the shaking fear changed to shaking rage.

Hand poised on her keyboard, she tried to think where she wanted to begin. Ginger always took her rage to her keyboard. As a skilled hacker, the elimination of data was a piece of cake for her. She just wanted to eliminate all evidence that the piece of crap ever existed. So, with her rage, she went into countless entities and eliminated him. She began with the Dept of Human Services, birth records…delete. Moving on to his school and military records…delete, delete, delete. She paused in consideration as she located records of his countless bad debts. Nope…resolve took over and she deleted all. Again, her fingers paused on the keyboard when she located his criminal records…thinking….let this be the one thing to stand. But, after considering all, she deleted. After all, she could not stop her rage until all traces of him were gone from the Internet.

Ginger pounded her keyboard late into the night - deleting every piece of evidence that he ever existed. Every time she thought she had it all, she would find another piece of data - maybe from credit card use or a comment to someone somewhere on the Internet. But, try as she might, she finally realized that she might never be able to eliminate all evidence he ever existed. She began to understand that it was easier said than done….

In her intent to destroy him, she forgot about her MySpace account. Ginger logged into her MySpace page to locate a blog she had written about Ted….actually a rant about his cheating, lying and thieving ways. It must be eliminated… But, just before she hit the delete button, she realized that she had just spent a whole night in denial. There are literally millions of data bytes on the Internet pertaining to the average person. Every transaction creates a record in data bytes. Slowly, the realization settled in her mind….there is just no way to eliminate all of those data bytes. Her shaking rage began to recede into the shaking fear again.

Thinking very hard, considering all, she came to realize that it was no use. So, instead of hitting her delete button, Ginger hit her edit button. Near the end of her blog, she changed one entry from “I could just kill him“ to ”Please pray for me because I fear this man. I fear that one day he will kill me.”

Satisfied that she had planted the seed she would need to secure her future, she logged off her computer and called the police to report to them that she killed Ted.

The defense team took the position that Ginger killed Ted in self-defense. The prosecution team had all of Ginger’s computer records….every data byte.

It was easier said than done….

A work of fiction by:
Darlene Cirinna
Copyright October 29, 2009
All rights reserved
Do not copy or use without permission of author