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Mar 22 2017

From the Back Nine: Cripes, I have gripes | Sequim Gazette

Wednesday March 1st, 2017 | OPINION

This morning when I woke up, I was Andy Rooney. Well, OK, maybe Annie Rooney. I have spent the day bemoaning the way things are when any fool can plainly see the way things should be.

Gripe one

I remember when brain neurons fired together to bring up a name or date or fact. I could count on those tiny workers in the ol’ cabeza to do their jobs in an orderly fashion.

Now, they behave like millennials. They walk out when the going gets tough. They don’t want to be required to do anything. My memory has become unreliable.

For instance, I am sick of opening the patio door and bellowing, “HERE LIZZY!” when that particular dog has been dead for more than two decades. Not to mention how it confuses my current dog, old what’s-her-name.

Gripe two

Last week I went to a dinner party and grappled with a point of etiquette that strikes me as an absurd waste of energy. Let’s call it napkin management. I am no longer going to put the dinner napkin way down there on my lap where no part of my dinner ever lands.

Much like the trajectory of the Kennedy magic bullet, a spill would have to head outward before curving down around my chest, then veer sharply inward to wedge itself between the table top and my muffin top before free falling to the napkin resting uselessly on my thighs. Right. Ain’t never happened, ain’t never gonna happen.

From now on, I will keep the napkin on the table, where it is easy to reach. Report me to the manners police if you must.

Gripe three

While still in the etiquette department, here’s a dilemma brought to my attention by my niece. What is proper management of that divider thingy at the grocery store check-out? Does the person in line ahead place it on the belt behind her purchases?

Or does the person behind place it ahead of her purchases? We must solve this folks or we’ll have grocery store anarchy.

Gripe four

What really baked my cookies yesterday was a trip to the doctor. The nurse checked my height, and I am an inch shorter than I have been since I was 13. A WHOLE BLOODY INCH!

I made her check it again and again as I stretched in my sensible shoes as high as I could reach. Where the hell did I go? If I must shrink, why not in width vs. height? The phrase “Bah Humbug” really should not be reserved for Christmas use only.

I know I’m being cranky, but as Miss Scarlett says, tomorrow is another day. From the Back Nine does not appear in the paper tomorrow. In fact, you have an entire month to come up with your own gripes instead of listening to mine.

Enjoy the time off.



Linda B. Myers is a Port Angeles writer and author of such books as “Fun House Chronicles,” “A Time of Secrets: A Big Island Mystery” and the Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her work is available at and local bookstores, plus excerpts appear on her website Contact her at or

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Mar 06 2017

From the Back Nine: Online Dating for Seniors| Sequim Gazette

Wednesday February 1st, 2017 | Opinion

Since Valentine’s Day will soon be upon us, I thought I’d point out that romance can still be in the air even if you are older than granite. You just have to remember how.

I became a widow after 36 years of marriage. Five years later, I joined a dating website specifically for the geezer crowd. Here is what I found.

• Four decades without a date makes you feel your skills are rusty. Don’t worry. It comes back to you. You’ll do fine.

• Remember this is for your own good: Go with the flow. You’ll discover that any site you select will ask you some asinine questions. Don’t fight it or you’ll never get out of the chute.

• Put together your profile to reflect who you are now. Do you still want to zip line across the Grand Canyon or have you given up on extreme sports? Be as honest with what you say as you are with your photos.

• Question your goal. Presumably, you’re no longer seeking good genes for your baby. If you want a companion versus a hubby, do you really give a hoot how tall he is? This isn’t high school anymore.

• People on the senior sites are looking for final relationships which aren’t going to be “long-term.” We’ve been through marriages, divorces, deaths. We’re not likely to change much.

Let me say that again: WE’RE NOT LIKELY TO CHANGE MUCH.

• Don’t make a rookie mistake of thinking you can change us. You can’t. If you can’t handle an atheist, a libertarian, a hunter, a tree hugger, or anything else you abhor, believe me: he or she can’t change and neither can you.

That said, remember your mother isn’t watching anymore. It’s never too late to be curious. Live a little.

• Expect regional skews. The Olympic Peninsula has its own, well, oddities. One gent wanted to know if I could skin an elk. Another was more interested in canning tuna. Sexy dress for a female seems to be hip waders. This is not true if you live in, oh say, Chicago. Keep this in mind if you decide to look outside the Pacific Northwest.

• Young people have their own list of watch-out-fors. So do we. Some men are looking for a nurse with a purse to take care of them when their health slips. Men have told me they are frequently approached by women seeking sugar daddies.

I’m not saying that either is necessarily bad, just know the truth of what you’re signing on for.

Bottom line, the experience has been fun. If you decide to try it, don’t be a chucklehead. Don’t send somebody money to buy a ticket to come see you. Don’t meet in a graveyard at midnight. If you use your head as well as your heart, you just might have a great time.


Linda B. Myers is a Port Angeles writer and author of such books as “Fun House Chronicles,” “A Time of Secrets: A Big Island Mystery” and the Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her work is available at and local bookstores, plus excerpts appear on her website Contact her at myers or

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Jan 13 2017

From the Back Nine: The age of cuteness | Sequim Gazette


Wednesday November 2nd, 2016 | OPINION

This is not a column about golf. For all of you wearing pants in bad plaids or mistaking this for the sports page, I apologize.

This is a column of viewpoints and observations from someone on the back nine of life. I have reached the age when I actually think about things like insurance with a prescription benefit. I never pass up a clean restroom. I consider shopping at Walmart to be an extreme sport. I don’t much care anymore whether anyone thinks I’m too fat or too opinionated or too indecisive or too anything.

There are many signs of aging that we all know are going to happen, come what may. These signs involve strange spots that weren’t there yesterday, a memory that floats just out of your reach or enough excess skin to incubate a penguin egg.

But there is one sign of aging here on the back nine that has surprised me: I have an ever-increasing desire for cute clothing. You know, the kind you had as a little kid.

I’ve spent my whole adult life in tailored business casual, avoiding ruffly blouses with embroidered daisies on the collars or humorous slogans emblazoned across my chest. OK, maybe a school logo but never anything like Dear Santa: Could you define good? But just lately, I find a hankering for the sweatshirt (excuse me, I mean fleece) that maybe sports an embroidered teddy bear in a scarf with real fringe. Or a row of flamingos prancing around the hem of my cruise wear. Heaven help me, I actually have cruise wear.

My closet is now full of happy clothes with beaded birdies and sequined gardens and appliquéd flip flops. I still stop short of puppies and bunnies, but I confess I have needlepoint ladybugs on my shoes. Again, I apologize.

Speaking of shoes, if there is any definitive proof of the Mars/Venus theory, it is in cute shoes. No man understands what every woman knows about shoes. Trust me, the collector desire in this category gets worse as you get older. Shoes with stripes, wild colors, bows, charms, tassels. Stilettos, pumps, platforms, wedges, flats. There is no limit until a medical professional one day says to you, “For heaven’s sake, if you keep falling off them, quit wearing them.”

The Age of Cuteness blindsided me. It was kind of a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when as a child I wanted sweet things — be they to eat or to wear. What a joyful surprise to discover it waiting here for me on the back nine all along.

BTW, are you familiar with that T-shirt with the slogan “What if the hokey pokey is really what it’s all about?” Cute. If you know where I can get one, please let me know.



Linda B. Myers is a Port Angeles writer and author of such books as “Fun House Chronicles,” “A Time of Secrets: A Big Island Mystery” and the Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her work is available at and local bookstores, plus excerpts appear on her website Contact her at or
© 2017, Sequim Gazette and Sound Publishing, Inc.  Subscribe Newsletters Green Editions About Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us

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Jan 13 2017

From the Back Nine: ‘Tis the season | Sequim Gazette

Wednesday December 7th, 2016 | LIFE

At this time of year you find many handy tips and happy how-tos for holiday decor and gift giving. The following list is one compiled by someone who no longer feels the need to be a right jolly old elf.

After many decades of experience with Christmas, here are some good practical observations and priceless advice from the back nine of life.


  1. No matter what you are told, nobody wants to receive six geese a-laying.


  1. Chipmunks do not form trios and sing to you. If you are past your middle school years and still believe this, you may want to seek professional help. I’m not sure from whom.


  1. If your dog refuses to wear the Santa hat or jingle bells, remind Muttsy how much you are spending on non-China kibble throughout the year and suggest he/she better watch his/her step. The same goes for cats, but cats won’t care so don’t waste your breath.


  1. Nobody in my family could cook their way out of a giblet bag, so I have very few must-make traditional recipes. Before you tsk tsk, here are a couple of examples that make my case:


  • Aunt Beth’s recipe for figgy pudding: Get some figs. Pound them into pudding.


  • Cousin Earl’s recipe for a holiday nightcap: Get some rum. Add one 12-ounce can of whole, unsalted pum-pum-pums. Serves eight per pum.


  1. If you insist on jamming holiday gifts and foodstuffs into your stockings, they’ll never really fit right again. You’ve been warned.


  1. If Jack Frost nips your nose too often, you might point out that it’s considered assault in the state of Washington.


  1. In days of yore, my family grabbed deer and rubbed their noses vigorously until they glowed bright red. On Christmas Eve, we lifted eight of them onto roofs. We stopped doing this when we realized not all deer actually enjoy reindeer games.


  1. Because this year has been so, ah, fractious, there will be a continuation of protests. I can think of at least three that are likely to interfere with your holiday enjoyment and may even carry into the new year:


  • A small but vocal group will stand up and declare they actually like fruitcake.


  • Concerned parents will protest Santa’s overweight condition, demanding he be grounded until he shapes up to provide a better example to children.


  • The greeting card industry will lobby for a 13-month year when they discover there is no room on the existing calendar for any more holidays.


That’s the holiday wrap up from the back nine. Here’s to a safe and joyous season for one and all.


Linda B. Myers is a Port Angeles writer and author. As a gift to ebook readers, her holiday mystery “Bear Claus” is free until Dec. 9 on at Contact her at or
© 2017, Sequim Gazette and Sound Publishing, Inc.  Subscribe Newsletters Green Editions About Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us

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Jan 13 2017

From the Back Nine: ‘Look out!’ ‘Yikes!’ ‘We’re doomed!’ | Sequim Gazette

Wednesday January 4th, 2017 | OPINION

By now I trust most of you have recovered from your New Year celebrations. You may have even broken your resolutions already. Congratulations on holding out for so long.

My resolution this year is the same as the year before and the year before that: I WILL QUIT WORRYING ABOUT THINGS THAT I CAN’T HELP. I break this resolution early every year because it worries me that I will break it until I actually do.

The fretting starts each morning when I wake up, beginning with a physical inventory. Why is my foot a little bit sore? Is there a hint of a headache forming behind my left eye? Am I regular? This is likely to escalate through the day: Is my foot gangrenous? Will my retina detach? Do I have IBS?

After the physical evaluation, I move on to a personality assessment. Why am I so annoying? Why don’t I ever quite close a drawer and always leave cabinet doors slightly ajar? Can’t I quit interrupting people’s sentences? Do other boomers still bite their cuticles?

Once past this self-flagellation, I agonize over family and friends. Will the airplane John is building take to the sky and stay there until he wants it to come down? Is Mindy furious because I am a really bad friend who never, ever calls? Why did cousin Sherry review my book as only a three? Is Don such a curmudgeon that even gila monsters are more affable? I can even work myself into a lather over Facebook ‘friends’ I’ve never met who ‘like’ me. What if they unfriend or unlike me? Imagine being dumped by someone you didn’t even know.

By now it is nearly noon. I move on to national and world affairs. Is anyone NOT losing sleep about the economy, education, environment, medical costs, government? If you’re not concerned, you have a bigger problem than being a worrywart. You are dead and the You Fall We Haul funeral home will be along soon for your remains.

By day’s end I am nearly exhausted but have done nothing. Still, there are the evening hours. I move on to the free floating category. Things like invasion by killer bees. Or who will make it to the Final Four. Whether any of the Kardashians will have sex changes this year. If cheesecake can count as a protein serving.

Quit worrying, people tell me. Oh, sure. This year, I just may be too worried to get out of bed at all. Happy New Year from the back nine.

Linda B. Myers is a Port Angeles writer and author of such books as “Fun House Chronicles,” “A Time of Secrets: A Big Island Mystery” and the Bear Jacobs mystery series. Her work is available at and local bookstores, plus excerpts appear on her website Contact her at or
© 2017, Sequim Gazette and Sound Publishing, Inc. Subscribe Newsletters Green Editions About Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us

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May 10 2016


lifevest-smThere are no voices in my head at the moment … Bear and Lily and Eunice and all my other characters seem to be taking a vacation.

My innards appear to be shifting around like tectonic plates and I am trying to listen. So what’s going on? Damned if I know. But here are three suspects:

1. It’s hard to feel like a stranger in your own skin and in your own land at the same time. American politics have taken a terrible toll on so many of us.

2. I have had an eye issue that is working itself out but that has resulted in hazy vision for a month or so. This makes it annoyingly difficult to look at a computer, to read, to write. Humbug.

3. I spent the month of April in a situation that was mentally exhausting. It involved hours of hospital rooms and tension and grief. The story has a happy ending but I think I am grappling with the events along the way.

While I’m chewing on my own cud or stewing in my own juice or whatever other event the day holds, I am going to take a break from blogging. I’ll be back in a little while. Don’t worry … I’ll be wearing my life vest because you just never know.

If you see Bear tell him two can play this silence game. I’ll speak up for him but only if he’ll speak out to me.


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Apr 09 2016


My friend Earl and I visited the Chihuly Gardens in Seattle. This day trip involved car, boat, cab, monorail, shank’s mare. That may be why we both look like refugees from a tour bus in the free photo taken at the garden. Hey, free.

It also involved a love of glass and a sense of humor. Dale Chihuly combines beauty with a laugh better than anybody. My kind of artist. Chihuly onechihuly three

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass




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Apr 03 2016


I have a spotlight blog here today at It is about how blogging has made me a better writer. Learning not to flinch. Here is an short excerpt:

So I blogged about sex. And fear of fatness. And being a widow. And bankruptcy. And cancer. Personal stuff like that. I got better at it with practice. Writing about things that hurt became a way to heal the wounds. I knew the audience was there, but I couldn’t see them. Still, many connected with me and told me that what I was saying touched them. Made them laugh, cry, feel squeamish.

If you are interested in the writing process, you might enjoy reading the whole blog so just follow that link. If you are not interested in the writing process, it would bore the crap out of you. So move along with my blessings.


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Mar 29 2016


For a fun interview at Coffee with A Canine take a look here.

Yep it’s all about Dotty and me. You will have to guess which is which!

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Mar 26 2016


At long last, I have published Fun House Chronicles in paperback. Here are the top five reasons why:FHC new cover mid

  • To see just what a techno-butt I can be when working with formats that are a simple challenge for the rest of the world.
  • I have a strong emotional connection to the subject matter. You can read the facts of long term care elsewhere … my mission was to explore the emotions of it. We’ll all face it for ourselves or a loved one.
  • Because Bear, Lily, Eunice, Charlie, Jessica and Sylvia demanded it. Never doubt that a writer goes through life with characters yapping in her head.
  • To design the interior type on crisp white pages and decide on a slick gloss cover finish and choose for myself what the cover should be. The paperback smells good and feels right in your hands. And it doesn’t need a plug.
  • And, most important, because many good souls have asked for it.

Fun House Chronicles is now available on here along with its ebook sister. FYI, I chose a price based on a deeply researched and highly sound dynamic: at $13.95 for the paperback (still $2.95 as an ebook), my royalty will be about enough for a good cuppa joe. Which is payment enough to write the next book.

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