This was Mama’s “good room” – what we called it from my teen years and beyond. I remember seeking privacy for phone calls to boyfriends on that oriental rug with exotic colors – deep blue and rust. The walls are still the same shade of burnt orange they have been for 40 years. Timeless, somehow. Like she was.
My sister Catherine and I were walking along the bumper-to-bumper beach highway and turned onto a road running next to some birthday cake colored cottages. We followed an opening in the trees to a huge sundial, maybe 15 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter. Curious, we looked to where the shadow fell . . .
The first thing I noticed about the man was his turbulence. He didn’t walk into the store so much as take it over. His presence was like a low voltage force that could ramp up in power without warning. I busied myself behind a table, where I was signing my latest book about a therapy dog and tried not to make . . .
That’s me, Julie Strauss Bettinger, and my “editorial assistant,” Lily Belle. I’m an author and she plays a crucial role in my mental and physical health as she’s in charge of humor breaks, naptime and walks to see her four legged friends up the hill. She just turned four, but, has no plans to leave puppyhood.
For as long as I can remember, I have been borderline obsessed with reading. From studying the cereal box as a child, to craning my neck so I could make out messages on billboards. Words are like a combination lock for me, when I hear it click open, I discover . . . What?
The 180-pound European Great Dane lumbered into the psychiatric hospital’s recreational area, which looked a lot like an enclosed parking garage. He glanced around briefly at the dozen or so male patients gathered for the therapy visit, then elegantly lowered his horse-sized body to the ground.