Each week Honey produces a story for her memoir-writing class at Bridge Point, the community for seniors where she lives. Honey writes on a wide variety of topics. Sometimes she recounts — in astonishing detail — events from decades ago. Other times she recounts — also in astonishing detail — happenings from the past week. Sometimes her stories are simply keen observations about modern life, such as the mysterious disappearance of pockets from women’s pants. Here is a sampling of recent stories by Honey.

Fashion 2004: Whatever Happened to Pockets?

What an experience I'm having! Fashion designers today are making jackets and pants without pockets, and it's driving me crazy. Has anyone in this class bought new pants or a jacket in a department store or a specialty shop within the last six months?

Recently I went to Kansas City, Missouri to visit my daughter Shari. She took me to a petite-size specialty shop, and I purchased a few outfits, including pants and jackets. They were mailed to my home address in Los Angeles. When I chose to wear one of the matching pants and sweater sets, I discovered, to my dismay, that I had no pockets in either one of them.

We now live at Bridge Point, and I find having pockets is essential. Since we have been here I've been noticing when we go to the dining room for our meals so many women bring their purses with them. I could not understand why, but now I know. They can carry with them some much-needed essentials such as house keys, Kleenex and perhaps cosmetics. Since I do not want to carry a pocket book, I am burdened as to where to put my Kleenex and house keys. The only place I could find for my Kleenex was to fold a piece and put it up my left sleeve. The downside of that is, when I remove my jacket, the Kleenex drops to the floor.

My daughter Shari finally found a large pocketbook, which is now attached to my walker. Now I put my keys in the walker pocketbook, which has solved my problem.

I can't understand why jackets and pants are missing pockets. Is it because of economics, or have the designers forgotten how essential pockets are to the female consumer?

January 20, 2004

A Spectacular Toothbrush

This morning I started to brush my teeth with a toothbrush that had been given to me for my birthday by my granddaughter Suzanne. She brought me five toothbrushes, which were enclosed in a plastic bubble. I unwrapped my beautifully wrapped gift and found that they did not look like any toothbrushes I had seen before. I was wondering why she bought me such an odd gift. We visited a while, and when she left, I put them away.

When I tried to remove one of the toothbrushes from the package, it was so difficult. It was enclosed in a plastic bubble, and it was laying on a thin, fancy red and green cardboard the same size as the elongated toothbrush. I finally opened it and read the name "Colgate MOTION." It also said, "Dual action bristles" and "Great Cleaning." I turned the cardboard over so I could read the writing on the back. I needed instructions. The toothbrush I had been accustomed to was quite different from this. I read where its motion was battery run. The battery was enclosed at the bottom of the toothbrush and was replaceable.

I used my usual toothpaste, which is also a new product on the market. Instead of the toothpaste being in the usual tube, it is in a squeeze bottle. I then started to brush my teeth. I felt the toothbrush had a soft brush underneath the mechanical motion. The massaging and the motion both working simultaneously felt so good on my gums and teeth. It took me much longer than usual to brush my teeth. I don't believe I can ever go back to using a regular toothbrush again.

March 10, 2003

A Tour of Shari's Horse Trailer

It was 10:30 a.m. last Sunday when our daughter Shari came to take Julius and I on a tour of the Los Angeles equestrian center in Burbank.

I have written a previous paper about Shari driving from Kansas City to Los Angeles in her truck and trailer and bringing her horse, Red, and her weimeriner dog, Gracie, for the month of January. Next month, she will take her animals and drive to Arizona, where she will meet her friends from the Midwest, who will bring their trailers and horses. They plan to trailride in Sedona and Wickenburg, Arizona.

When Shari was here last month, she made arrangements to rent a stall for her horse at the Los Angeles equestrian center. Last Sunday she took Fran Davidow, my husband, Julius, and me to see the equestrian center.

On our tour Shari showed us her horse, Red. Then Fran and I saw her trailer, both outside and inside. Julius went inside the trailer to go to the bathroom. He had a quick look and returned to the car. Shari was upset, but he thought he had seen enough. Fran and I looked at the details of the trailer and thought it was beautiful. This was the first time I had been inside a horse trailer that had combined living quarters divided by a high gate. This provided space for the horse in back and a bed in front for Shari. The living quarters are fully equipped. She has a modern kitchen complete with a microwave oven, a refrigerator, a freezer and two stainless-steel sinks.

She can sleep three comfortably. The queen-size bed sleeps two (she and her dog) and her sofa makes into a bed for one additional person should she be traveling with a friend. The sofa is covered with a western-theme yellow fabric that has horse shoes, boots, saddles and western hats. Near the sofa and in its own compartment is a TV complete with a satellite hookup.

The bathroom is a separate room complete with another sink, drawers, mirrors and lights and a fan. There is a shower and a fairly large closet too. Adjacent to Shari's living quarters is the part of the trailer for hauling horses. Three horses can fit in this compartment.

There is one outside compartment where other supplies are stored, such as electrical hoses, water hoses, folding chairs, a large outdoor mat, a barbeque grill and other such essentials. From her friend Myra's house in the hills of Encino, Shari drives often about 20 minutes to the stable. She exercises her horse and sees to it that he is fed, well groomed and exercised.

It was an exciting adventure to see so many people riding their horses on the grounds of the equestrian center. One can see both English and Western-style riding. We saw horses that were being trained for jumping.

We had great fun, and it was definitely a different kind of an adventure.

January 27, 2004

John Is a Celebrity

Today is Tuesday, the 25th of February, 2003. I awakened at 6:30 this morning excited that I had a story to write about.

Last night. Julius and I went to Judy and Carl's. After dinner we all gathered in the den to watch television. At 7:00, Carl, using his hand-held remote control, tuned in on ABC Channel 7, which is one of the leading television stations. We watched a program called "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here." This being Sunday, it was aired for two hours; through the week it is aired for one hour. One has to check his local newspaper to find out the time it can be seen, as the time varies.

The show is taking place in the "Rain Forest" in Australia, which is a jungle, and can be seen any where in the world. Our grandson, John Lehr, is the host of the production, which will be continued for eleven more days.

There are 10 carefully chosen celebrities from Los Angeles who agreed to take this challenge for the sake of charity. Each night, one is given a task to perform, which was chosen for him or her by the producer of the show. At the end of the show, the viewers are asked to vote for the person who met the challenge that night. If the person meets the challenge, he is given points. If he has met the challenge, the reward is "four meals," and he or she will be the contestant on the next day's show.

I will give you an idea of some of the challenges. One night a celebrity who is called Stuttering John climbed a rope ladder, which was secured somehow in this dense jungle. He was told to climb this steep ladder, and on his way to the top he would find a vessel of non-poisonous snakes. If he snatched one of them and held it long enough to show it out of the water he would get four points, equivalent to four meals for them. In a body of murky water below there were fierce-looking snakes, huge frogs, crocodiles, leaches, and other kinds of mammals, different kinds of insects flying around. I will leave it to your imagination how terrible it is. (I'm sure the celebrities who live in comfort at home and work in Hollywood knew their work would be in a jungle, but it was only an idea to them. They had no idea how bad the conditions would be.)

Stuttering John climbed up to the third vessel on this swaying ladder and was pleased he had made it thus far, so he earned a few more meals for the cause. He was proud of himself that he had done it.

I will tell you one more of the challenges, and from these two feats you can make up your own mind as to what these celebrities are going through.

Nicky is her name and she had to step into a 6-foot-long wooden box with a lid on it with small openings so the air could come through. The camera showed her lying in the dark, and how miserable she was. She endured it as long as she could until she called out "I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of here." With tears in her eyes, she was taken out immediately. She got four meals for that, and cheers from her camp mates. You now have an idea of what this is all about.

My Dog Ami

It was a long time ago when our neighbor Mrs. Kirkpatrick called and told me that out of a litter of three toy poodles, she had a grey and white puppy for us. She was ready for me to come over to get the puppy.

Without telling me, my daughter Shari had arranged to get a puppy from the litter of her friend Linda Kirkpatrick's pregnant dog. Shari then left with on a trip to Israel with her friend Janice. So when I received the call from Mrs. Kirkpatrick, I was shocked. She went on to tell me that the puppy had her shots and whatever was needed.

Since Shari was away and had committed to get the little poodle, I went over to pick her up. When I saw the litter, the little puppies were so tiny and so cute. I held all of them in my hand. I had discussed the schedule of feeding and the care of the puppy. Then I took the one that belonged to Shari and brought her home.

The next day, I went to make a condolence call and I met a darling young lady from Mexico, who was a relative of the deceased. She was introduced to me as Noami and was so amicable that I decided to give my new puppy the name of Ami.

I was very fortunate at that time to have a couple working in my home, and they promised they would look after the puppy. She would have to be house broken and sent to obedience school. They were very helpful to me.

I used to take Ami for dog walks and had part-time care of her. We became close friends. Each time I would leave the house, she would try to jump into the bag that I was carrying. One day I opened the bag, and she jumped into it. That made me think that she was telling me that she wanted to go with me. From that time on, whenever I left the house I would put my bag on the floor, and she would jump in. So we went everywhere together.

I took her on trips with Julius and me, and she would jump in my bag, and I would take her on the plane with me and put my pocketbook on the floor. She was very quiet. In those years hotels would not allow dogs, but I would take Ami with me, anyway, and no one ever heard or saw her.

Ami had apparel that included a mink coat and hat. I had bought a mink coat in New York, and the furrier designer thought Ami should have a matching coat, too. It was made so beautifully, and she wore it a lot because Kansas City had cold winters.

Ami moved to Los Angeles with us, too. She lived to be 15 years old. I missed her when she was gone, but never did replace her.

January 6, 2004

Copyright © 2004 Grandma Honey Karosen All Rights Reserved