About Me

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A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Sunday, December 20, 2015


This time of year brings about a lot of traditions.

I feel as if Christmas and New Years are similar in that everyone is preparing for a new beginning. On Christmas Day we show the love and understanding we have for those closest to us in the gifts that we give. Some presents are tools for work, some are tools for play, some in jest, but they are all given in support of the recipient.

We want our loved ones to be happy and equipped to begin a New Year.

Resolutions act the same way. Just like when you set a big goal for yourself, and you break down the steps into manageable pieces, resolutions are the aspirations that you look forward to becoming reality.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m an avid scrapbooker – it’s my nerdly joy. I derive much pleasure from taking the pictures, and creatively arranging them on the page with short stories and mementos.

Images and words have always been my passion.

I create a 12x12 book for every year, and they each begin the same way: A “Buh-Bye” page showing the previous year’s world/pop-culture events, followed by a “Resolutions” page.

Unlike the typical “lose ten pounds” on the list, I’m careful to include specific, special events. While “Pay down two credit cards” inevitably ranks, I make sure that it comes after the important stuff.

As the year progresses, I add to the “Buh-byes” and check back on my resolutions, until the 31st of December rolls around, when the reverie begins all over again.

In the vein of my “Smile[s] of the Day”, the list comes to life at its end-of-year review. I sit cross-legged on my floor and flip through the pages, relishing all the memories: elation, joy, sadness, love, and challenge.

The rule of threes seems inherent in the results, the “Resolution Fruition” as I call it.

·        One-third came true as expected, as if made manifest by intent and will.
·        One-third fell by the wayside, due to either lack of opportunity or preparation.
·        One-third was a complete surprise, the Universe throwing in a treat that I never saw coming.

I haven’t performed the great recap yet this year, but I already know that 2015 was something else. There were moments that shook me, but in turn, helped me grow.

The woman who sat down crossed-legged last year is not the same one who will plop down next week, and that in-itself is amazing.

The holidays symbolize the passing of time in so many ways: Short-days, the patriarch of Santa Claus. The Capricorn image of Father Time is followed by the Aquarian icon of Baby New Year. Time passes slowly when bored, but goes by too fast after the sand hits the bottom of the hourglass.

Time teaches, it heals, and it tests the validity of your goals.

It’s funny how much time gives although we struggle against it.

And with a full, grateful heart, and an appreciation of life’s rhythm fresh in my mind, I will be drafting my 2016 Resolutions.

I can guarantee some interesting new items will be on the list for the New Year, and I look forward to seeing how many of them come true.

-         - SNG

Sunday, November 15, 2015


This week I was on vacation, the last of the year. The break was welcome as I’d been experiencing a time of change, and it’s good to slow down during those periods. It helps to have the world stop while you’re internally turning on your own axis. The week was productive: I cleaned my car, cut my hair, and walked each day.

I also had the great pleasure of seeing family who came to visit, their first time to the D.C. area. As we toured the National Mall and museums, I got my quota of exercise in, and the trip gave me a renewed appreciation for all the history and education available in my geographic backyard.

My family and I explored. I expected the museums to be the typical school bus tutorial, but what I saw opened my eyes.

It started with the basic stuff.

 Quotes from NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM were thrown around.

          My cousin had thought she’d read about an Okapi in a book a long time ago, and was thrilled to see that they do exist, and not a figment of her imagination.

          What spoke to me was an exhibit on early man. One would think that our beast-like ancestors were basic in their natures. I think of the parallel to the Id of the modern psyche, that base needs would trump benevolence, and that the first version of human was crude in it's development. I was surprised when I stopped by a display that showed the remains of a Neanderthal. The skeleton was aged by the wear on the bones and teeth, showing it to be the body of an elder. Given the time and climate, survival did not favor the mature. The older you got, the less able you were to hunt or protect yourself. The shroud and placement of the body showed that he was positioned carefully, a nascent display of respect.

          The senior had been cared for in his old age and buried. All signs of community, adoration, and love.

          Proof that humans had a sense of connection to one another from the beginning.

          The concept lingered in my mind as my family and I trekked to the Museum of American History. As we walked along, we passed a family ambling down the sidewalk. I noticed their little girl, no more than two-years-old, who was new to walking. The toddler had a knit hat on, the thing pulled down and covering her eyes. Despite not being able to see, the young one took hurried steps forward, sightless but leaping forward with excitement.

I watched in owe as she showed no fear of falling down or misdirection, her parents standing close to monitor her. All the little girl had to do was reach out a hand, and guidance was available to her.

The two scenes made me think about trust and challenge.

I’ve read books that talk of a person’s spirit. When you are young, your personality is at it's strongest. You engage the big world just as you are—without fear of the bad, and devoid of the impact of other people’s opinions. It's time and experience that whittles away at our natural temperaments and forms our insecurities.

My Mom once told me a story about when I was the same age as the little girl, the boy who used to mow our grass had paid me a compliment. He’d said that "Like a cartoon character," I was “full of joy.”

At this time in my life I can’t imagine myself as ever being that way. Unencumbered. Jubilant. Free. 

           Not because I don't want to be, but because the consciousness of responsibility is there - as an adult you must be mindful of other people. And life is a process of learning, some of the lessons harder than others. 

Sometimes a piece of your personality is tested. A facet of you is muted where the rest of you takes on the extra weight, and is given a chance to build muscle. 

It’s proven that when one of your faculties is taken away, the other senses become more sensitive. If you can’t see, your hearing becomes more acute, etc. 

Right now it feels as if an emotional hat has been pulled over my eyes, and instead of playing with the disablement, instead of finding stimulus with the change, I’m feeling disorientation and alarm. I wish I could have fun with the lesson, but all I'm channeling is fear.

The secret of dealing with any impediment is to lean on your strengths and to trust those there to help you on your journey. My strengths have always been a ability to adapt and heal. And I’m tenacious.

Japanese Proverb: “Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

If I get something wrong, I’ll keep trying until I solve the problem. However some issues take many, many, many, many tries to get right.

And trust has never been my strong suit.

I've been staring down that demon a lot. In this current round, I find myself blind-folded and freaked out.

But the elder and the little girl illustrated something to me:

Life is Good and I have support.

          I post a “Smile of the Day” each day on my Twitter page. It’s my way of observing life's little joys. It proves to me daily that even though the world seems so big and intimidating, it's simple and altruistic at its core.

          Independent as I am, I don’t like asking for help, but every time I’ve reluctantly reached out a blind hand, the palm of a family member or a friend has been there, ready to hold mine.

          It's difficult for me to let someone else lead, to let go and trust. If I try, I may even be able to make it a game. I mean, why not play when you can, right? 

          Why not find joy in the challenge like the little girl?

Like the elder, you are someone’s parent, someone’s sibling, someone’s child, someone's comrade, someone's friend.

You are loved.

If you are blind and need a hand, reach out—one will be there for you. That is something I’m learning to do.

It’s called trust, and it’s a beautiful thing.

- SNG 

Sunday, October 4, 2015


          I watch the social media feeds of my friends and colleagues, and it’s evident that humans like tradition. We get excited when pumpkin flavored lattes and seasonal beers re-release in the fall. We plan events to commemorate the milestones in our lives (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

          When I was young I’d get crazy excited when the 1st October rolled around. More than the countdown to Halloween, the first week marked the arrival of my birthday, and back then, I wanted the party to last all month long.

As I got older that enthusiasm waned for practical reasons. While in school the initial exams of the semester always seem to land on the Monday following my day, where studying took precedence over festivity. Paydays would fall on off weeks, where self-presents had to be budgeted. Years passed since the last time I’d bothered to throw a party.

This year I decided that would change. I would host a small get-together, and I would dress up for it.

Similar to the Rollerblades, the creative visualization started early. For months prior, I’d dreamt of certain elements: a new perfume, ring, and an outfit to wear. Nothing had materialized yet, but I knew it would with the mental “purchase order” I’d give it. And true to form, the Universe delivered.

It’s a challenge for me to let go. By nature I’m a clingy person in extreme.

An article I read by Dr. Amy Johnson helps me understand the impulse well:

“We try to control things because of what we think will happen if we don’t… Control is also a result of being attached to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is best for us, as if we always know what’s best.”

And in a quote by the late, great Wayne Dyer:

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.

In a nutshell, you can’t make anything happen. You should take action, of course, but in the end, things will work out the way they should. It’s essentially, “The Universe wants you to be happy, but your wills and wants don’t run the world.”

“Energy follows thought,” yes. As my Mom says, "You will never have a desire that isn't meant to be fulfilled." But ultimately, “what will be, will be.” There is a bigger plan, and sometimes what you believe is right isn't the best course in the overall scheme of things.

I know it seems frivolous to apply such divine logic to birthday presents, but that is how I’ve seen this power manifest in my life….

I’d been searching for a new perfume. Throughout September I’d visited the mall to peruse the fragrance aisles at the department stores. One day I came across a scent that reminded me a lot of a cologne I’d worn in high school. A grown-up version of its teenage predecessor, it was heavy, musky and sweet like vanilla. I sprayed a tester on the back of my hand to check the body chemistry, but found it too cloying to buy. So I put the task on the back-burner, mentally asking the Universe for advice, while I moved on to other objectives.

I passed a jewelry store with a pale rose, enameled ring in the window. I noted the price and kept shopping.

Movies I’d seen on cable influenced me to the type of dress I wanted to wear—the style made up of v-neck sequins on top and gossamer layers for the skirt. The dresses were different, but sparkly, swishy, and beautiful. All the things I wanted to feel on my day.

Seeing the young, twenty-something leads, I worried about appearing silly. I acknowledge my age fully, but what if I couldn’t pull it off? That glaring, fine-line between looking stylish and looking ridiculous.

But the Universe assuaged me of that fear, too. When I got home, I got a clear road sign—a picture that kept popping up, in my face.

Martina McBride wore sparkly and swishy at 41.
I don't hold a candle to her, but never let a number get in the way.

Time passed, and I let the request percolate. There were added obstacles as Astrological events loomed, (a Venus Retrograde immediately followed by a Mercury Retrograde). Despite the delays and miscommunications, I went all out, ordering a small arrangement of flowers I could display at work.

I told the florist, “As long it has red roses and daisies, the rest is creatively yours.”
My trust was rewarded, they did a beautiful job.

One fateful day I returned to the department store and browsed the clearance racks. Fresh from the post-Homecoming circuit, I found my dream come true. Black beaded on the top, and ballerina pink, gauzy layers on the bottom – the dress was perfect. AND on sale.
It required a few small alterations—I added the ribbons—but it was everything I wanted and more.

I splurged a little when I found the rose ring at a slight discount, and I settled, ordering the perfume online the same day. A surprise came when the package arrived in the mail. Many fragrances have several adaptations: Spicier, sweeter, etc. I’d ordered the confectionary one I’d tested in the store, but the merchant sent a toned-down, different version instead. At first, I was frustrated, thinking that I had to send it back to exchange it, and what a burden that would be. After trying it out for a few days, I found that I liked the subdued variation much better.

When I shared the story on Facebook, one friend astutely commented, “I love happy accidents!”

The words stayed with me. A simple, real principle.

The weather over the weekend was bad with the threat of a coastal storm, but I felt special in the dress, decked out with the “Cinderella shoes” I’d worn last to Prom. At the prompting of my Little Niece, I twirled, spinning around until the top sparkled and the skirt swished.

I received everything I physically wanted for my birthday: New clothes, jewelry, perfume, and dinner with my best friend who is always there for me.

For all the questions in life—the wrong choices, setbacks, and storms, it’s nice to know there are still “happy accidents.”


Sunday, September 13, 2015


I have a new tradition. I go grocery shopping on Sundays and bag up the fruits and vegetables for my lunch.

          This started simply about a month ago. Upon my return from the store, I was rushing around kitchen, a pressing anxiety to sort and store overtaking me. At the apex of the full dash a thought struck me: Slow Down. Breathe. Enjoy each moment.

          After stowing the perishables, I pulled out the strainer and paused. I inhaled and held the oxygen for ten seconds before letting it gently leave again. The next hurried impulse was to put on music, to grab my MP3 and speakers or my phone— but I quelled the notion. The five steps and additional electronics wasn’t necessary.

          All I needed was the food, my hands, and some quiet.

          And that is what I do now. I pull the grapes off their stems, one-by-one. I rinse the carrots carefully, immersing myself in the feel of the water. Then I bag everything up in preparation for the week ahead.

          The repetition feels simple, natural. The quiet calms me.

          I find peace in the process.

-         SNG


Saturday, August 22, 2015


Hi all!

Official announcement, I'm attending THE BALTIMORE BOOK FESTIVAL this year!

The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of appearances by local, celebrity and nationally known authors, book signings, more than 100 exhibitors and booksellers. There are book readings, cooking demos by top chefs, workshops, panel discussions, walking tours, storytellers, hands-on projects for kids, as well as live music and a delicious variety of food.

I'll be speaking on Sunday, September 27th, at the following panels:


with fellow MRW authors: Christi Barth, Megan Erickson, Avery Flynn, Heidi Hormel, Robin Kaye, and Kimberly Kincaid.

After the workshop I will be hanging out, talking writers shop, and signing copies of THE FIRE WALKERS.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, May 10, 2015


First off, let me wish all you wonderful matriarchs a Happy Mother’s Day. That goes for mothers of human babies, fur babies, or as a sweet person said to me last week, “If you’ve ever cared for someone else’s child.”

All nurturers are included in the celebration.

I would go on about my mom but as you could tell from last week’s post, she is awesome personified. The dedication in THE FIRE WALKERS refers to her as my “guiding light and spiritual compass.” I would not be level without her in my life.

“Level” is actually a good way to describe it. Moms encourage us to roam but lovingly catch us by our shirt collar when we’re about to stray too far off the beaten path…

I believe the Universe acts like a mother in that way sometimes, too. To use my sister’s expression, “when you’ve gone too far into left field, [it] kicks you back into play.”

The way I see this manifest is as interference. You know, the delays and detours that block you when you’re trying to go full speed.

The concept reminds me of a New Age book I’d read long ago. It said that “detours” were a stop sign from the Universe. That in the moments where you're stopped the best thing to do is look around. Instead of negatively focusing on the block, look at what else is going on near you, because the Universe is trying to show you something important.

For example, say that you’re late for work when you end up behind a school bus. As humans we get so fixated on control, on getting our aims checked off in rapid, succinct order. When the goal is getting to work on time, you will sit and glare at the flashing lights of the bus, anxiety building, frustration rising, when there could be an event or symbol nearby that you’re meant to see.

 I utilized this principle once, with a cool encounter the result. I was at work on day, many moons ago; the day moving by at a molasses-in-January tempo. Feeling twitchy, I was ready for lunch if for no other reason than to go somewhere, anywhere. While assisting my last client before break, my computer began to go slow, the process so sluggish that it almost felt deliberate. In no mood to make small talk, I stared daggers at the screen until my guest spoke. Surprising me, the lady struck up a conversation. The “stop sign” belief pinged through my head and despite my edginess, I engaged, and I was glad that I did. The lady was an expert on a subject that I happened to be studying at the time, and in the few short minutes we conversed, she was able to give me valuable information about the field. I was in awe. And, as if saying, “I told ya so” my computer miraculously didn’t give me any further grief that afternoon.

I touch back to that experience when I run into interference. I strive to: stop, breathe, and look around. To be receptive even when I’m restless. Which is tough, because contrary to popular belief, I’m not always sweet and easy-going.

Here I can give a shout out to Mom as being one of the few people who can coax me out those pissy moods; usually with a hug, a compassionate ear, and a bowl of ice cream—in any order.

But when the grumpy strikes I take full responsibility for my bad attitude, and I never forget the importance of understanding. There are a lot of people in this world, all of whom are subject to sub-par days. It would be great if everyone followed the rules all the time, especially where common courtesy applies:

·        Keep to the right side of the “road” with your shopping cart
·        Don’t dominate the walking path just because you’re a group and I’m solo
·        If you or your kids affect a stranger, apologize and correct appropriately

But there is a myriad of daily niceties to which we subscribe in order to keep the peace. The good ol’ Golden Rule, especially. I abide by the rules because there are defiantly days where I'm the idiot, and need to be on the receiving end of the goodwill. 

You will get those off kilter times, the periods where the cosmos seems to want to screw with your regular routine.

And the Universe must have realllly wanted my attention because last week was like the seven days o’ detour. I exaggerate not. 

I missed the memo that last Saturday was National Drive at a Snail’s Pace day. 

I don't mean going the speed limit or the random cautious driver. I mean 15 mph while in the fast lane, then swerving when I try to go around. And that was just the beginning. My blood pressure remained kosher by Clueless Driver #3, but it was thirty minutes later with Clueless Driver #4, that I began to question whether the Universe was trying to tell me sumthin’.

I stuck to the drill. I stopped. I breathed. I looked around.

Nothing caught my eye.

Pan to an hour later, I made a pit stop at my house. While rushing to lock up, I tried pulling my key from the door, but the deadbolt wouldn’t let go.

I tugged. I waggled. I yanked. I cursed.

I didn’t have time for that crap.

I heaved a sigh, and breathed. With a bit of cajoling and a finger bruise, I got the key to come out.

It was while exiting the parking lot that Clueless Driver #5 decided to make an appearance, the guy blatantly stopping in the middle of road, ignoring the fact that I was stuck behind him.

I waited. Patiently. While wondering if I was cursed.

I watched, as he stared down at his lap, the newsflash not registering that he was selfishly taking up more asphalt than necessary and thus preventing me from going on my merry way.

I sat some more, a picture from my previous CN post coming to mind, the image sparking a psychology theory—dial up internet. In the 90’s the two and half minutes it took for your computer to ‘speak’ to the dial tone of the phone was considered brief with the convenience of the break-through technology. You simply did something to fill the time while you were waiting; file your nails, flip through a magazine.

The point being that time can be defined in several ways. When you say “a long time” do you mean a million years ago? Seven hours? Five minutes?

With the advent of high-speed and Wi-Fi our expectations have been conditioned. What constitutes a “long time” isin realityless than a minute.

I tried to remember that as I was waylaid by Misuer Oblivious. I also reacted as any mature, conscious adult would in that situation. 

I growled, “Get off your phoooooone!” at the top of my lungs.

The “O” got morphed into the drawn-out, base “moo” sound that cows make—my personal take on “Mooooove your ...!”

I waited two minutes—timed using the dashboard clock, not my own distorted perception—and I then started like I would drive over grass to get around him. *Cue lightbulb*

He noticed me then. And proceeded to move... at 5 mph out of our complex.


I didn’t glean any divine wisdom from the experience other than:

Sometimes the more you push, the further nowhere you get.

          I’m sure everyone has had times like that. Where there are hurdles everywhere, and the more you try to correct it, the worse it gets. The situation is what it is. 

          It’s okay to let go. To just endure the feelsthe frustration, the anger—whatever form they take.

          We run here and run there, buying milk, picking up the kids. We rush from point A to point B to the extent that we fail to see the wonder occurring around us.

          Buddhists call it the art of “staying present” of being in the moment.

          I’m the first to admit, it’s those frazzled moments that make me think that meditation is a bunch a hooey.  

Be silent...be still... Ain't no one got time for that.

          But when you think about it, every second is a beat of our life — it's alive, vital.

          Do you want to waste that moment feeling hassled?

Like my fight with the door lock—I expected the lock to work and fast. That’s the thing's job. When the lock stopped working as it always has, when the set expectation failed, it put a bump in my seamless routine.

I was delayed.

Similar to the high speed internet, waiting that extra minute feels daunting. But a clarity comes when you take that moment. You may be performing a task that is second nature to you, but you’re doing it consciously. There’s no harm in re-learning something, you may notice something that you never have before.

You experience things when you slow down.

And you have a choice: you can be forced to pay attention or be willing to conduct the task with patience.

The next morning I gave myself plenty of time. Pausing at the front door, I turned the key and pulled, anticipating resistance. None came. It clicked and released without issue.

It's a thorough lesson.

Take your time.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Last week’s post got me thinking about the hobbies; the activities that exercise your mind, body, and spirit.

          With summer around the corner, I wonder:

How hard it is to pick up a hobby after a long hiatus?

          Personally, I know it takes practice. I mean; I write, walk, and take pictures, but all of those activities have been constant endeavors for me. I keep up with the trends and technology where I rarely encounter a lapse. Or so I thought.

The other day, a friend mentioned to me that she’d taken up skating, the type of wheels—Rollerblades.

In a haze my brain shut down, re-booting with a barrage of teenage memories at the news. Rollerblading is special to me for personal reasons...

The dawn of Rollerblading emerged in the wonderfully weird 90’s, the decade in which I spent my teen years. A way for winter athletes to train year-round, the inline skate revolution was also like an evolution of quad roller skates; the neo-design seemingly specific to the culture of the time. Rollerblading belonged to the 90's and there appears to be a revival going on now.

This could be the future, who knows?

Roller skating in general was a breakthrough in the 60’s and 70’s— The image of James Caan in the movie ROLLERBALL springs to mind with a chuckle, but I can see how the sport could be projected onto a post-dystopian future a’ la THE RUNNING MAN. You can compare it to modern roller derby, which is badacle in its own right. There’s even a 90’s movie based on blading that hasn’t lost its awesome after almost twenty years.


Looking back, Rollerblading was all the rage by my junior year of high school, and it fit with collective ethos of the time. While all teenagers are rebels, I was a member of Generation X. It was the era of coffeehouse indie rock, clodhopper shoes, and pagers. A plaid button-down thrown over whatever you had on was the fashion staple (and still is today).

Proof that dial up was once badass.  (HACKERS movie)

Laptops were the wave of the future as was dial-up internet, and rollerblades evolved from California boardwalk recreation to a hip, urban form of transport.
          I wish a few of the trends would come back: Metallic jackets, skater Henley tees, layered tanks, and drawstring cargo pants.

That's what I'm talkin' about..

Back in the day, black and bright blue were my colors, and the transient 90’s fad of comic book neon and vinyl jackets were a dream come true.

Imagine this in blue. Wild, right? 

I was grateful that the clothes were comfortable and the conversation was intellectual. A shy kid, it was enough of a struggle coming out of my shell during those delicate, ego-forming years. It was just me and my mom then, we had little money but a lot of love. Summers were a frugal time when I had to find ways to entertain myself on a budget, and hopefully expel some energy in the process. I'd worked part-time job at a pet store where I'd earned extra spending cash, and things were good.

A few weeks into June a friend from school started spending long periods of time at the paved lake near us, talking animatedly about how she’d gotten a pair of rollerblades. As so many things were novelty, I listened to her stories but dismissed the idea of participating, sure that this new roller sport had an egg-timers wait to obsolete. But shortly into our friend's foray into the blading life, my best friend also got a set of blades, the two going to the lake together every other day.

At first I didn’t mind much, I had work to keep me busy, and I really wasn’t the type who had to jump on every new trend. But June turned into July and I watched from a distance as the Rollerblading achieved all the goals for summer:

·        Kept us out of trouble
·        Social time together
·        Outdoor workout
·        Burned pent up energy

I tagged along one time on foot to see what all the hype was about. The lake had a paved path around it with a roller hockey rink. My friends would take a few laps around the water to warm up and then spend hours practicing tricks at the rink. After scouting it out I was intrigued. The problem was that Rollerblades, the professional kind, cost upwards of $200.00, a small fortune for a family of two.

So I put the idea on my mental back burner, not telling my mom, with the hopes that I’d eventually forget about it. July dragged on as my friends got better and better, and my want for blades hadn’t diminished. I eventually broke down and put aside some of my work money for a pair of non-name-brand skates which turned out to be a huge mistake. I'd paid $50.00 and rushed the cheapo pair home, my mom noticing my infatuation as I tried them on. The wheel frames were steel, not plexiglass, which made them heavy as hell and clunky. The next weekend when I tried the bad skates out, I trailed so far behind my friends that they thought they’d lost me. I got so many blisters on my feet that I had to sit at work the next day, and of course, once used I couldn’t return the skates to get my fifty bucks back.

It was disappointing. And to top it off, I began to wonder if it were me or the equipment that had failed.

After the bum attempt, I didn’t try to skate again, and as the summer came to a close my mom picked up on my lethargy. I caved and gave her a full disclosure of my issue. I was afraid to tell my mom because I knew that she’d do anything to get me a real pair of skates, and I didn't want her to stretch our already meager budget.

One Saturday, Mom and I visited the sports store up at the mall and perused the selection. That’s when I saw them for the first time. With all the stereotypical fanfare that accompanies divine intervention; the clouds parted, rays from heaven shining down on a pair of dark purple, name-brand Rollerblades. The box had a distinct dent on one side, the European sizing chart an exercise in translation, where a try-on was required to see if they fit.

They did.  They were light and comfortable and…perfect.

Mom and I immediately took the skates to the layaway counter. I remember the sinking feeling in my chest as I reluctantly handed the box over to the store employee, as if I knew the parting was not “farewell for now” but “goodbye.”

Sure enough summer turned into fall and we couldn’t buy the skates. The time expired for the layaway and I avoided the sports store. I found evidence of my mom’s efforts to find a solution around our apartment; rollerblades circled in sales flyers, budgets written out on scrap pieces of paper.

My birthday passed in October as did Christmas, and I understood. It was too expensive, it couldn’t be done.

As I was my pre-New Age self then, I didn’t yet know about Creative Visualization but I’d utilized the primal form of the belief well—pining. I’d lay in bed and dream of how fast I’d be if I had those purple skates. I imagined how happy I’d be…

Winter made for a nice distraction because everyone was indoors, but I knew that spring would bring with it a little heartache, my purple skates surely sold to some lucky girl. February rolled around and one cold afternoon after work I wandered to the east side of the mall, a strange intuition luring me into the sports store. I walked in thinking I must be masochist, strolling past the Rollerblade racks. A flash of purple sitting under a sign that read “70% Off – Clearance” caught my eye, my neck cracking from the force of turning so fast. 

My first response was It couldn’t be. The same skates COULD NOT still be here six months later.

I picked up the box, my fingertips finding the tell-tale dent in the side. I proceeded to have a happy-dance like seizure in the middle of the aisle. They were my skates, the same pair. Approaching the store clerk I learned that the skates were lost in the stock room after their return from layaway. As a clearance item they couldn’t be reserved again, but using every ounce of charm I had, I got the guy to make an exception and take the box off the floor for twenty-four hours while I rushed home. In an incoherent torrent I relayed the turn of events to my mom.

My blades were marked down, a total of $68.19 with tax.

My mom beamed a smile at me as she held up a rebate check that had come in the mail for $70.00.

I started to cry. Straight-up wept.

My mom had to take my arm and lead me to the car. We got to the store ten minutes before they closed. The checkout clerk looked at me like I was nuts as I clutched the box to my chest as if they’d have to surgically remove it in order to get to the barcode. I don’t recall the ride home at all, I was so excited.

I spent the following months learning about the skates, how to rocker the wheels for stunts, how to stop without the brake.

When May finally came I stood at the mouth of the trail, shifting my weight from left to right. There was one fleeting second where I thought, “What if I went through all this and I’m still no good?”

It was that moment when my friend said something like, “Going to keep up this time?”

I shot her an impish smile. Then I took off and never looked back.

That summer was the best of my life. I bladed every day, all day. I developed amazing tone in my legs and the overall cardio was incredible. I learned spins, jumps—all without a helmet.

I know.

As the saying goes, “Before you are old and wise you must first be young and stupid.” With the scars to prove it.

My beloved purple Rollerblades lasted me fifteen years before rain water from a leaky car trunk took them up to skate heaven.

To this day my mom and I refer to those blades as our miracle.

Santa Monica Beach, CA - 2000

So when my colleague told me about her new skates I must of gotten a faraway look on my face, the memories strong.

Summer is approaching again and everything feels like a repeat of the past. I need to watch my budget, but having fun is imperative, too.

Expel a little energy…

The first excuse I gave myself was that I’m too old, what if I can’t pick it back up again. But the very words make me a hypocrite.

Wasn’t it me that just last week spouted, “You’re never too old to try something new.” Or, "Old made new again."

Never limit yourself.  Life is short.

Wear bright blue.

Pin your hair up in girly poofs.

Throw a plaid button down over your tank top and cutoffs.

Go out and BLADE.

With rogue thoughts rolling, I let out a sigh that was part surrender and part elation. I did my homework, checking out the features before adding them to my digital cart. After I checked out, I opened Outlook and started a new email to Rollerblade customer service.  

Shelley, Rebooted  :)

Subject Line: "How to rocker the wheels on a new pair of Macroblades"

-         SNG