My GD Neighbors Who Clearly Don't Use Electricity

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-10-44-16-amEvery few months my electric company sends out an e-mail telling me how my energy conservation compares to my neighbor’s … and it’s never good news. Anyone who reads Freesia Lane knows I’m a competitive person and that I get anxious if I don’t perform well, so when I first received this email, I thought, Gotta get on this! But every month it’s getting worse — this month they say I’m 32 percent worse than everyone else in the neighborhood.

I have the heat set at 60 degrees now. I’m gone at least a week a month. I have an office I go to for the day, and I turn the heat way down while I’m out. I watch television in the dark, squinting. I rarely cook. And now I’m mad as hell.

Do you think they send this to everyone, hoping everyone will live like a Pilgrim, as I do?

Here is the deal: I’m not going to open any more e-mails from these people. I’m done.

And my goal in 2017 is going to be to stop competing in arenas that are not really of interest to me. Goodbye guilt and angst, and hello F-You attitude to come.

I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

Dear Nebraska

I went to the University of Nebraska in 1972 and stayed four glorious years. During those years I cheered for the Cornhuskers on many a cold and rainy day. I became a PiPhi sorority girl; I had found a home at a time when my own home was so very far away and newly fractured. I went to Alliance Nebraska and stood up for my BFF when she took her vows. I made friends with

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The Morning After 11/9

There is a famous story that when they woke the Emperor of Japan to tell him that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had begun, he responded, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” (There are those that dispute it was ever said, but I have always loved the quote and the sentiment.) He was right. And I will say that after the first

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Election Day

It’s Election Day, and here is a picture of me voting in 2008 for the first black candidate for President of the United States. (Note to self: your daughter is right, you have had the same glasses for years and you need to get new ones. Maybe that’s why things look blurry around this election.) I wrote about my excitement after he was elected. My hope for our future.

Today I will vote again for

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Halloween Angst

It’s Halloween, and I’m starting to stress all over again. Last year you might remember I had to contend with my neighbor’s “Look at me I’m so cool” décor, which ultimately made me want to move to another neighborhood. And now I’m going to come clean about the rest of the Halloween issues that trick me every year.

Okay, let’s start with the candy issue. Did you know that $7.9 billion is spent on Halloween

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Nasty Women

Over the last ten days I’ve watched Michele Obama blossom as a speaker giving voice to that feeling inside so many of us for so very long. Stronger than the Versace gown she wore at her last State dinner (was that fabulous or what!), she stood tall in New Hampshire (not a state that has been particularly supportive of her or her husband) and spoke about assault on women. Not the kind of assault that

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My Back Pages, Politics, & Bob Dylan

My country is falling apart. Hatred seeps in from all corners. And, today Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. And hope springs eternal again. Or at least that is my hope.

Watch these greats; George Harrison, Dylan, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton and more, celebrate the music of one of Dylan’s best. Who knew the words from that tumultuous time would resonate so loudly now? And let’s hope, no even I can pray, that

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My Uber Rating Obsession

I didn’t even know Uber drivers rate their clients until I was told by my daughter, Sarah (about whom I am not allowed to blog). I’m not sure how it came up, but I was intrigued. She put her fiancé on the phone and he walked me through the process of finding out what my rating is.

“Oh, I see it now,” I said when I finally understood. “My rating is 3.68. Is that good?”

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Debbie From Dunkin Donuts

I live on Cape Cod when I’m not traveling for business, which is at least half the month. I grew up coming to the Cape in the summers. My mom was raised here as were sixteen prior generations of our family, so it’s in my DNA. I feel connected to the earth here – really more like sand I guess – and when I’m on the Cape I’m calm and grounded. That said, my social

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Lost Friendship

I always knew she believed those things that she never said. There were signs. There was a dinner party for twelve at my apartment with H2 (husband #2) in the mid eighties and AIDS was just becoming a topic of dinner party talk. The left wing international set around our table were all talking about the horror of it, and about the long-term possibility of the annihilation of those we love. You have to have

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