Category Archives: freelance writer


I ran into someone,  or I nearly fell over someone, ok….I didn’t even recognize her; she did me! How awful I felt for the better part of the whole week after that! I used to be really good close friends with this person and the very fact that it took her to actually say her name, did I then (and only then) realize who she was.

I’m in no way forgetful and memories of great times, parties and events immediately flooded me as I stood there. As far back as Girl Scouts and elementary school functions, not to mention high school, we did a lot together~ then quickly after graduation we drifted, more precisely,  we never saw each other again!

Now as I stand before her with a manufactured smile and sweaty palms, I listen to her recall some of those fun times and I then see her face light up~ “Oh Wow, we had a blast back then”!  Now I’m actually engaged and truly smiling~  Thank you friend from days gone by, you’ve “rebooted” me! You threw me back to fond memories and while you said I haven’t changed at all; perhaps it really was me I didn’t recognize~

Keep in touch.

Just my thoughts, just my opinion, and always in a Conversationaltone!





Merry-Go-Round Memories

Merry-Go-Round Memories


Memories; lifetimes should be filled with them. Memories should make us giggle with delight

like when recalling your 12 year old self at the carnival. Do you rememeber the pure

enchantment you felt as you now spot the carnival in the distance? You see the lights and your

heart leapt!

Giddiness begins to happen, as you approach closer still, and now the music is softly sounds,

there are thrill screams from rickety roller coasters, and throngs of people sounds closer, closer

still and then there’s whistle of the man directing you to a pay booth with policeman’s flashlight

that causes us to jump and giggle again, as your parents follow the car packed with as many

children as will fit in it, in front of you while my two brothers and I sit quietly and smile feeling

extremely lucky to have arrived at this wonderland. My mom and dad share passing smiles

together that they were happy of their surprise vacation choice. We enter and the world warps

into a fantasy. The smells of a carnival are fabulous, the lights off the noisy rides and then there

are elephant ears dusted with white sugar, cotton candy a mile high, and corn dogs on a stick.

There were ropes of licorice in red and black….oh I want one of everything I see! There, I want

to ride the merry-go-round, I want to jump on a unicorn horse; but no I take the brown one with

the tongue sticking out weirdly. My brother is two ahead of me smiling with glee he is on a black

stallion, my younger brother is beside me and he is on a tiny white pony with blue eyes and he is


My parents station themselves standing between us children, my dad a hand on my brother and

my mom between myself and my little brother, her hand on each horse. We begin, the music is

bellowing, the operator gives us a few rules, now spinning quite quickly, my sweaty hair is

in the breeze. My brother ahead of me thinks we are racing; he is slapping the red strap like

a rein and is smiling and laughing gratuitously. I glance at my baby brother next to me and my

mom is now holding him entirely as the pony pumps up and down. I look above me and I now

realize that my horse is just a stationary one. Just a horse on a pole and now I no longer am

smiling somehow I feel I’m having a less than experience. I want to get off of that goofy horse

anyway! I am dizzy, my baby brother is crying and my other brother is smiling crazily asking to

do it again when we exit the merry-go-round. Secretly, I hated it. But, do you remember how

much you wanted that damned stuff bear? It was deemed the top prize on the runway that year.

Every time I looked up some adorable little girl was sweetly hugging one, except I knew I was

not ever going to be one of them. (father thought games were a waste of money)


That night continued, and our little family trudged forward into Never NeverLand, finding a fun

house with fabulous goofy mirrors and hard to walk up floors (they were tilted), but I got scared

because of the freaky clown standing next to the funhouse; he looked directly at me and asked,

“did you have fun little girl?” ugh really? Dad bought us cotton candy and I forgot that freak for

second. We rode all the tiny rides because of my little brother and my parents

hated rollercoasters; that made me happy though. I love a little train and I rode a car that looked

like a ladybug! Back then no one cared if you were 12, they saw you were having fun, they left it

alone. Well, it was getting late and we were getting ready to go home, we were getting crabbie.

By the time we got to the car, my little brother was already asleep on my dad’s shoulder. Both

my other brother and myself were asleep before we left that parking lot.

That night our merry-go-round dreams turned into magical memories, stuffed bear or no; I thank

you mom and dad.

Lisa Stebic Still Gone

Another awful anniversary has past just yesterday, April 30, the disappearance of  a woman. We hear this thing too much of late, that another woman goes missing. Police suspect fowl play but have a cold trail. And in many of these cases the one and only “person of interest” is that of the womans’ husband. A vigil for Lisa Stebic was held on Thursday that marked the two year anniversary of her disappearance.

It is all too familiar that the evidence trail leads only back to the husband. In Lisa Stebic’s case the couple had begun the divorce proceedings and on the very day that she disappeared she had mailed off papers to her lawyer for the eviction of her husband. Eviction to me means that he did not want to go willingly. Further steps had to be taken in order to ask him to leave. It is shameful that we (everyone) can equate our lives into just simple things. It’s awful that we can marry someone, produce beautiful children with them, and then suddenly we don’t just dislike this partner- we hate them! It is shameful that adults cannot agree to move on, especially when both spouses want it to begin with.

Domestic abuse happens everyday, it has no racial boundries, it has no socioeconomic borders and it is everywhere. We need to somehow put a stop to this. We can join the national abuse groups, we can go on walks, and we can give money to the cause. But I say let us teach our children that sometimes when we grow up we may not love or even like that person we have married! Let’s teach them how to handle situations that involve our spouses. Teach them to love themselves and to ask to be treated that way, and to never get stuck in a situation that gets so heated that they will not be able to handle.

I personally could not attend the vigil for Ms Stebic, but I did say my personal prayers for her, for her children, and for her extended family and friends. I hope and pray that some evidence turns up to help find Lisa Stebic so that she could have her day of grace and then my pity goes out to whom ever had a hand in her demise. Your day will come and while you have spread the pain and hurt around for two years to others as well as her remember “do unto others” for you will get yours two-fold.

In Lisa Stebic’s case there is an award out there for  $75,000 for any information leading to her whereabouts. In the meantime, let us think of the purple butterfly and the heartfelt line that read “even though you are not with us anymore, you’re in our thoughts, in our memories, and in our hearts forever”. (this was printed on a sign that was posted at the vigil and then reported on in the Chicago Tribune by freelance writer Joseph Ruzich).

Just my thoughts, just my opinions, and always in a ConversationalTone.

Mary Caliendo