She may be ancient, but she’s sturdy…

Photo by Rajkumar Kandukuri on Unsplash

I want to talk a bit about my old car Clarabelle.

I got her in 2008, when I was shuffling my elder friends around as a volunteer for the Culver City Senior Center. I wanted something practical, not flashy. I needed something sturdy, that was easy for older people to enter and exit. Many of them couldn’t drive anymore and they appreciated my assistance. I was happy to oblige.

The car served me very well for many years until I suddenly had to move to Florida in 2018. …


The hidden truth behind those rejection letters.

Sharon McCutcheon-Unsplash

Dear Writer:

Thank you for submitting your piece to our publication. We regret to inform you that it did not meet with our editorial guidelines. This is not a reflection of your work, so don’t give up trying to publish it elsewhere.

What we would like to tell you though, is that we tend to feature the same writers over and over again, so despite your efforts, it is very unlikely you will be published by us anyway.

It is just too hard to read the submissions from unproven authors like yourself. We…


Truths from a vacuum cleaner…

Creative Solutions-Unsplash

You know, I’m getting really tired of being in this closet, but at least it’s quiet for now, and I can rest. Connie took me out two days in a row, and man was it brutal.

There’s so much crap on the floor-crumbs from her mother, forgotten bits of dog biscuit, and of course the scum from having all those windows open, and the army of muddy tennis shoes.

Oh no! I hear her walking by again. Is she going into the bedroom? Nope, she’s slowing down and turning the closet knob again. She must be OCD.

I’m so tired…


Volunteering at our local senior center gave me such a sense of purpose

Rudy Paige-One of our favorite comics-photo by Mary McGrath

I retired in 2003, not because I wanted to, but because of a medical necessity. I had broken my leg in Switzerland, and I was forced to come home and be on disability for several months. When I finally got back to work, things were different. I just couldn’t handle my challenging sales career anymore. My territory fell apart, and so did I. Eventually, I was laid off.

I tried to get back into the swing of things again but it just wasn’t working for me. I…


It had been so long since they had been together…

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

It was late afternoon when the utensil drawer was pulled open. The knife yawned, and hoped that his luck had changed. He sat up and looked at the chef.

“Is the restaurant finally open again?”

The chef nodded, and moved over to the sink.

Looking to his right, the slim knife tapped the shoulder of his favorite fork.

“Darling would care like to have dinner with me tonite?” He was eager, hoping his invitation wouldn’t be rejected.

“Why in fact I would,” the curvaceous fork replied, seductively stretching her long…


Even if you’re a senior, it’s pretty easy to perform your creations with these simple steps

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

With live readings falling by the wayside, many of us are looking at other avenues for our live performances. In my theater group, I have recently started experimenting with reading my work on Zoom. It’s very rewarding, and relatively simple to do.

No commuting is necessary, there’s no fumbling for a parking spot, and if you’re adverse to standing for long periods of time, this is an easy remedy.

If you already have a free Zoom account, you can simply record yourself. Even within…


She tried to keep us in line…

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

When I was young, my mother often accused me of misbehaving. Not doing my chores, an altercation with my brothers, or staying out late were all reasons for disciplinary action.

Mom attempted various forms of punishment, but most of her efforts were futile. I remember her sending me up to my room to “examine my conscience.” But I couldn’t find it. Was it under the bed? Perhaps it was in the closet? Maybe it was in my sister’s room?

Sometimes she would try to punish me with a spanking. She had a hairbrush…


Lament of a teen-ager…

Photo by Rajiv Perera on Unsplash

I cannot stay in this room any longer.
These words buzz around me like flies.
So I head for the food,
And sit down amongst blood,
Chewing chit chat with glasses of lies.

I cannot stay in this room any longer.
There’s a cousin
Whose name I cannot recall.

We met in the spring
When her grandfather died;
She’s the step of the half of the second something
Babbles on about records and boys,
And calls me by my sister’s name, and

I cannot stay in this room any longer, But the porch is too tight…

Mary McGrath

Mary currently writes from Naples, FL. Some of her credits include: Newsweek, Wall St. Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store