A Secret Wish: Morphing into Gidget!




A post by poet Barbara Crooker:

Barbara writes:

This poem came from a prompt, which was to imagine that you were suddenly an expert in anything you wanted, that this talent magically was yours. 

I’d always loved those Gidget movies (and books), and so this was (and still is) my desire. Even when younger, I wasn’t very athletic, so this has been my secret wish for years and years. Think “transformation into Cameron Diaz!”  Of course, I’m referencing Keats’s epitaph at the end.



I’m walking on the beach this brisk November morning,

the bleached sea grass bending in the wind, when there,

up ahead, in the pewter waves, I see a surfer in his wet suit,

sleek as a seal, cutting in and out of the curl, shining in the light.

I’m on the far side of sixty, athletic as a sofa, but this is where

the longing starts, the yearning for another life, the one

where I’m lithe and long-limbed, tanned California gold,

short tousled hair full of sunshine.  The life where I shoulder my board,

stride into the waves, dive under the breakers, and rise; my head shaking

off water like a golden retriever.  I am waiting for that perfect wave to come,

so I can crouch up and catch it, my arms out like wings, slicing back

and forth in the froth, wind at my back, sea’s slick metal polished

before me.  Nothing more important now than this balance between

water and air, the rhythm of in and out, staying ahead of the break,

choosing my line like I choose these words, writing my name

on water, writing my name on air.

~Barbara Crooker (More, C&R Press, 2010)



Barbara Crooker’s poems  have appeared in magazines such as The Green Mountains ReviewPoet Lore, The Hollins CriticThe Christian Science MonitorNimrod and anthologies such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature.  Her awards include the Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, fifteen residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a residency at the Moulin à Nef, Auvillar, France; and a residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Her books are Radiance, which won the 2005 Word Press First Book competition and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Poetry Prize; Line Dance (Word Press 2008), which won the 2009 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; More (C&R Press 2010), and Gold (Cascade Books, 2013). Her poetry has been read on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), and by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and she’s read in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress.

“Surfer Girl” is from Barbara’s collection, More. Here’s the Amazon link.



Check out Barbara’s website here.

And here are links to two more posts featuring Barbara’s poems Peeps and Nearing Menopause, I run into Elvis at Shoprite.

Gidget! The character first came to life in a novel by Frederick Kohner. Gidget is based on the author’s daughter.


The Gidget you see above is Sandra Dee, standing with Cliff Robertson and James Darren in the 1959 film.

And of course, Sally Field played the part with gusto in the 1960s television show.


The Early Morning Trail



I’ve made a vow to hit the walking trail early this summer, shortly after the sun is up. I’ve walked for years on the sidewalks of Hillsborough, but am now venturing farther to the trail.

In the South, when you pass someone on the street, you say, “Hey.” If you want to go a step beyond “hey,” you call out a comment about the weather.


I stepped onto the trail.




Uh oh.

My fellow trail-goers weren’t responding.

Some averted my gaze. Some looked at me but said nothing. Not even a slight smile.


Maybe saying “hey” isn’t a rule of the trail?

At a turn, a man with a German shepherd was so pleasant we went right into the weather.

In fact, I crossed his path again twenty minutes later, and we discussed the weather some more (although I’m not sure we came to any firm conclusions).

But mostly, runners and walkers ignored my greeting.

I’m not giving up, I thought. I’m going to keep up my attempts to be friendly.

A man about my age came toward me. By his side was a young women I suspected was his daughter.

Time to pull out all the stops, go a step beyond “hey.”

“Good morning,” I said.

The man frowned at me. The woman looked down. They were intent in conversation.

“Her sister’s name was Rose,” the young woman said.

“Then I doubt if her name was Rose,” the man said.

“Duh, people!” I wanted to shout. “Of course not. You don’t give sisters the same name.”

But I didn’t.

I want to follow early morning trail etiquette, which seems to feature a lot of silence among strangers.

Cliff goes to the trail in the afternoon. He comes home with glowing tales of friends he’s made.

So it must be the early morning crew.

They’re pondering the day ahead. They haven’t downed their morning coffee. They endured a tough argument the night before.

So do I keep trying?  Or is silence fine at seven a.m?

What about you? Do you stick to your own on a walking trail? On the sidewalk?  Smile?  Nod?  Speak?

P.S. Of course in the Bob Newhart show, three brothers share a name: Darryl, Darryl, and Darryl. So maybe, tiny maybe, the woman’s name really is Rose just like her sister!

The Bathroom Door Art Series: Part Three!


Bumble and Bumble

Bathroom doors!

What fun!

Especially these super cool doors at Bumble and Bumble in New York City.

Love the names above.

And below, note directions to Bumble’s unisex bathrooms.

Thanks to Jamie Brown, who works there, for the photos. Makes me think going to the ladies room at Bumble is an adventure!
Standing Sitting

And thanks to Candace Allen, for the photo of this lovely door at The World of Beer, Arlington, Virginia.


When we went to our niece Becky’s graduation, I spotted this sign leading to the ladies room at a Lone Star Steakhouse.

Longhorn steakhouse

And this bouncing door at   Beezer’s Bullpen Campus Canteen near the University of South Carolina at Columbia.

Womens Locker Room


As you travel this summer, keep our Ladies Room Door Art Series tiptop in your thoughts. Send me those photos!

Happy summer trails!

PS. Here’s the first post and  the second  post in the series, and the charming Door Lady I met at the park.


Estroven’s Summer Giveaway! Keep Cool!



Estroven is offering one Friend for the Ride reader their summer giveaway!

They wrote to us:

Menopause is already a tumultuous time for nearly half of women in the United States, and between hot flashes and night sweats, it can seem like an uphill battle to beat the heat: especially in the summer.

As the temperature rises, so do the number of beach days, and for these women, a trip to the beach could feel like a trip to the sauna.

This season, Estroven®, the safe multi-symptom menopause relief supplement, is helping women ditch the discomfort associated with menopause so they can feel good about bathing suit season, with “Beat the Heat with Estroven” Summer Survival Kits.

The kit includes a 50 ml. spray bottle, an ice sphere mold (perfect for fruit-infused refreshments), beach towels, sunscreen, a water bottle and a sample of Estroven’s newest product, Estroven Weight Management which helps provide relief for hot flashes, plus helps women manage their weight.*

For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by July 10. Sometimes, readers have trouble finding the link to comments. It’s at the bottom of the post, right here:



Thanks, Estroven! Neat kit. Love the colors!