Author Archives: Leigh Porter Cutrone




It is Spring in Georgia.  This time I’m sure of it.

The trees surrounding our house are opening their new delicate light green leaves ever so slightly.  The daffodils are bending low and seem quite tired.  Our Japanese Maples are showing off their new red cloaks.

Birds are chirping their hellos, “I’m back!”, with friendly but worldly sounds. We have seen our very first Hummingbird of the season!  The feeder is hanging ready to attract any more newcomers.

It has been a very long winter in so many ways.  The weather has been abysmal.  So much rain, no snow, no ice storms and just grey sad days.  Everyone has said so and so it must be true. Generally, I love grey days when nothing has to be accomplished but this year it was the norm.  Glad to see them go.

Spring is a new beginning to be sure.   A new baby has joined our family.  Love gained for others and, perhaps, love lost.  I can’t help thinking that this year will be a new beginning.  I’m counting on it.  My ‘to do’ list is long so I tell myself to STOP OVERTHINKING and get on with life wherever it takes me and whatever it throws my way.

Spring fever!  A relationship expert, April Masini, writes that “spring is still for humans what it is for animals: a time to get out there and meet potential mates.”  Interesting.  You singles?!  Do you hear? No matter what your age, love may be near.  It is fleeting so don’t take it for granted.  Treat it with respect.  It is a gift.

So many of us have been housebound for months and now we want to go out into the warmer air. Walk the beach, the Boardwalk or the Park with our face towards the sun.  Feel the warmth and the love surrounding us.

Our questions and disappointments from yesterday and our fears of tomorrow must be put aside while we enjoy what is happening right before us. It is not always clear. But…

“Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers.

    Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul”

                                                                                                  Luther Burbank.







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th-1.jpegThe other day I was at my gym (NO, this is not the beginning of a joke)…

I began thinking about how my gyms and memberships had changed so drastically over these coming of age years.  So drastically that I really had to laugh at the whole gym thing.

In Woodstock, we have quite a few very nice and ‘expensivey’ gyms close by the house.  We have LA Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, Golds Gym, One Life Fitness, 24/7 gym, and many other smaller storefront gyms. I could really walk to a few BUT who wants to walk and get exercise when I can join a gym and pay good money to get exercise?

I have had lots of gym memberships over the years beginning at 40 when we lived in Phoenix. I loved it.  The gym was new and it had childcare!  Praise the Lord!  I could go exercise and my children were happy!  All was right with the world.  I was happy.  They were happy.  We always had a McDonalds run afterward.  Really doesn’t get much better than that.

That was the year I thought my body would start falling apart!  WHAT?  Was I kidding??  At 40 your body starts to fall apart??  What a joke.  Can you say NOT!  Anyway, I loved the gym and I loved working out at 40.  Thinking about that workout now, I am getting very tired.  I think I need a nap.

When we moved from Arizona to Marietta, Georgia I joined another gym.  A few years had gone by.  MANY years had actually gone by.  Somehow my energy level had wained a bit.  I wasn’t that much older (or was I?) so what was going on?  The exercise was more difficult and I didn’t enjoy it much.  I needed a diversion.

For the next years, I was in and out of gym memberships.  I would join and maybe go once a week and then the weeks mounted between visits!  I wasn’t feeling it at all.  After paying for a gym month after month I yelled…”Enough!”  I hate this.  The thrill was gone.  Too many people were so serious about weight lifting and running on treadmills.  I started noticing that the majority of the members were actually younger than me.  OMG.  Was I getting ‘older’?  Say it ain’t so…

There was a tennis period when I lived and breathed only tennis.  People, never mess with tennis in the Atlanta area.  ALTA is serious business.  Tennis was like a gym membership.  I may even get back on the court IF my knees are up to it?  Who am I kidding???

We are now in the here and now.  My husband actually signed me up for a membership at a…wait for it…a GYM.  All through the holidays as I was enjoying all those holiday goodies, as well as lots of vino, I knew a gym would, once again, be in my future.  All I can say is “Damn” (again).

Planet Fitness.   It is very much like going to an Early Bird Special for Senior citizens minus the food of course.  Their motto is “The Judgement Free Zone”.  I think I have found a home.  ‘Young people’ at the front desk make you feel welcome, warm and cozy even. There are 30-minute circuit rooms including an intense one that is for anybody but me.  A trainer 24/7 but I have yet to actually see him.

As gym memberships come and go through the years, for this one Senior Classer,  I realize that my main goal now…is to just keep this body moving at all costs.  Very simple really.  Just keep moving it!  OMG, the pain.




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t_500x300.jpgThere are many pitfalls being on Facebook.  I have been quite verbal about how addictive it can be and how it takes away from well…talking (out loud)!

However, there is another side of Facebook which I am sure you, too, have discovered.  It seems as if when I consider obliterating my FB account I always find new ‘old’ friends! Point being is that I LOVE two Facebook sites (which were recommended to me) and I find myself cruising them more than I would like to admit.

One site is geared toward remembering South Jersey (where I completed HS etc etc) and the other site is geared toward “my” Long Beach Island (LBI) where I lived for many years full-time and part-time.

What is great about this and absolutely amazing to me is how we can reunite with those we have not talked to, chatted with, caught up with, conversed with or passed the time of day with and, yes, not written to (does anyone write letters anymore?), or even, perhaps, thought about for decades and decades!  Quite the run-on sentence! Can you say 50 years?  Oh my!

The other day,  I was browsing through the LBI FB site and found a comment from someone whose name was very familiar!  Lightbulbs!  It was actually my stepbrother with whom I had lost all contact many years ago when my Father passed away.  Shocked but nicely surprised is an understatement.  One is never completely sure if the person you think they are is actually that person!  YES!!  Jackpot!  It was him and I am glad we caught up since his Mother was, after all, my Stepmother for many years.  Now we are  ‘friends’ on FB and I’m very happy about that.

I also received a Message from my stepsister!  Yay!  The circle is complete and I am thrilled to be back in touch with her as well.  ‘Friends’ on FB.  Score! Happy days for sure.

An old friend and neighbor from LBI contacted me after seeing one of my posts.  I haven’t spoken to her for years.  In fact, haven’t seen her since the mid-’70s.  Love that because she was part of my happy memories of LBI.  Score again!

There is a FB site just for those of us who graduated from our High School in 1967.  I treasure it because it has put me back in touch with friends from ‘back in the day’.  I love to see who is doing what, who is traveling where and where people live and to know the paths they have taken in their own lives.  We are involved with each other once again albeit from afar on FB.

Getting back in touch with people can sure conjure up beautiful memories that we have had tucked away in storage.  How fun is it to share memories with past friends only to have the memories come alive again? I am certainly not suggesting to live in the past but…

Those memories become more precious in our lives.  Friends help us remember.

If I am completely honest, some days I feel young and on other days I feel quite old reminiscing.   OUCH!   But I take the young and that damn old.   Embrace them, I have recently learned, and happiness surrounds us as we look back and remember.  We really don’t have a choice.

Thank you dear friends.





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It never fails.

I have not been feeling my 100%. I caught whatever it is from a little girl named Lucy or, perhaps, Lenox. Both are my Granddaughters. Both had runny noses this past Sunday. One had an ear infection.

Truly, I don’t understand how a Grandmother can catch anything from a four-year-old or a 19-month-old. They are pint size! How does that happen exactly?

I am getting away from what I want to write about. Let me take a bit of a right turn.

Since I did catch that ‘something’, I went to my Doctor. What is the very first thing the nurse asks you to do when checking in at the office? Ladies? You know!!

Yep…“Let me get your weight” she says. “Really?” I say. “Why?” I say. the nurse mumbles with something like “I know…..blah hard blah”.

NOOOOOOOOOO she does not know! I am coming to the office to see the Doctor. I already feel quite lousy. My throat hurts, my ear hurts, I have absolutely no make-up on and my hair is dirty and should be brushed. I threw on a sweatshirt and jeans and I barely drove myself to the Doc’s office without hitting a rest area. We should not have to endure at our age.

They feel it absolutely necessary to take your weight. I get why they take your blood pressure (to see if you are near death) and a temperature. I get that part. The degradation of getting on the scale during the holiday season? What nerve! Getting on the scale during any visit is mind-blowing.

What difference does your weight make when you are feeling so sick? Does the Doctor say, “Well, I see you have gained five pounds since Thanksgiving. That must be the reason you are not feeling well!! Here is a prescription. Go in peace.” Nope. Doesn’t say that. I am sure he doesn’t even look at your weight.

Same during your yearly physical. If you have lost weight, does the Doctor say anything about that wonderful news? NO! Not even a comment to boost your self-esteem. No balloons no nothing. Thanks Doc. YOU go in peace.

It’s just anti-everything, insensitive, noncaring, and should be against the Doctor code…you know that oath they live by. It should be added, “I will not take the weight of my patients unless I believe weight may be part of my diagnoses.” Easy enough.

I am here to tell you we may decline being ridiculed on the scale. We can say, “No, I don’t want to get on the scale” There is pretty much nothing the nurse can do about it. She may say she “must get your weight” but we can straighten up and boldly say “Nope, not today”! This is truly liberating. She may say, “I will make a note you refused to get on the scale”. Go right ahead sweetheart. I have many files that say, “Difficult” on them written by nurse or Doc. So it goes.

If they just give me one (not true…two) good reasons why they need my weight, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, I will agree. Otherwise, NO. Hear me Docs? NO NO NO.

I want to keep my joyful Christmas spirit. I want to taste all the goodies and drink all the goodies and I do not want to pay that damn piper at the end of the holiday season.

So I say. GO FORTH. EAT AND DRINK and stay in the Christmas indulging spirit!

Say “NO” to you know who. You will feel much better for it.

Merry Christmas!




I’m hooked! It’s a bit embarrassing but there it is. The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem

My husband has even gotten into the spirit. Amen to that since I just can’t stay away! I’ve been monopolizing the TV.

Those damn Hallmark Christmas movies! Love ‘em but so addicting.  Never seen one? In a nutshell:

Girl goes back to hometown from her home in NYC/Chicago/Anywhere to see/help her parent/parents with a ‘problem’. Wait! She just learned before leaving that she is up for a promotion/a new job/something she worked for her whole life! The anticipation kills me! She flies home to a wintry wonderland small town USA. Breathtaking snow covered mountains. Main Street all decorated. I soo want to live there. Here comes her first love who still lives in the hometown. Single/divorced/widower and very handsome. They fall back in love in a short two-day window.  She does get that job/offer/etc and has to decide on man or job. What a problem to have. Can’t have both. The fella wins each and every time! They kiss. Roll the credits! THE END!  How good is this?

Romance, gorgeous scenery, twinkling lights, beautiful girl, handsome man and the true spirit of Christmas. LOVE. Family, old and new friends who surround us at Christmas.  We all slow down and reminisce. All of the wonderful memories of Christmases past and loved ones that are no longer with us.  The thankfulness for the gift the Lord has given to us all.  

Hurry! Grab the happiness the season of Christmas brings with it. “Soon it will be Christmas Day”!

Hug your loved ones and friends and be thankful. Eat, drink and be Merry. I’m wishing for ‘A White Christmas’!

Oooooooh a Christmas movie is about to begin…”Christmas Memories”…’s gotta be a good one!



(*WHITE CHRISTMAS with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, 1954)

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