Bogwillow Archives

A few weeks ago I was sorting out the drawer where I keep all my filled journals. I ran across a notebook that I had made of all the Bogwillow stories that I had posted on my blog between 2003 and 2006 I read a few and waxed quite nostalgic for the entire saga. I decided that I would like to share them here again, for those of you who may not have read them. And to bring them into the ‘present’ so to speak here in 2022. I have two introductory things that I wrote to explain how they came about. The Chocolate Chip Food Group one was posted on the blog. The Forward is a general explanation of characters. Anyway, here are the two explanatory pieces. In the coming weeks, I’ll post the stories. Most are amusing, a few are more serious. I hope you find them entertaining.

Here we go:


 These stories originally appeared on my blog, which has been in existence since November of 2002. I wrote them over the course of several years in response to the emotional roller coaster I was experiencing while sailing my way through the perilous waters of peri-menopause. 

 One by one, a group of imaginary friends, which I choose to call ‘literary devices’, showed up in the fevered pages of the blog as I was trying to hold onto the few threads of sanity that were left to me in the exploded paradigm of my world. You will meet quite a few of them in these pages. Those of you who have been reading a long time will be very familiar with them. As of late only Parenthesis ( ) has been a regular. 

( ) was the first to show up. He is my vicious inner critic. Ruthless and sarcastic, he is apt to say anything nasty that comes to mind.

The Little Red Hen is my homemaking taskmistress who tries hard to keep me in line when it comes to all things domestic. She has a highly developed work ethic and thinks everyone else should have one too. 

At some point, I decided that once a year I would answer questions from my readers, and The Oracle of Pupik a came on the scene. (Pupik means belly button in Yiddish)

Dr. Rubber Duckie came to me as a gift from a friend. Sometimes the only place I could find comfort from the rigors of ‘the change’, was soaking in a nice hot bath. Peri-menopause can really make you run for cover, and the bathtub was my bunker of choice. One particularly difficult day, I started talking to him, and my very own therapist was born.

 Then things got really out of hand, and the quirky citizens of Bogwillow showed up. I will forever be grateful to them, for they helped me keep my sense of humor during periods of time when I felt like the main character in a disaster movie.

 I hope you enjoy the ride. 

 The Chocolate Chip Food Group

 I went to my doctor just recently for my annual check up. I’m in my fifties now and my body is cautiously peering over the wall into the upcoming transition from a predictable, recurring monthly psychosis to what I can only surmise will be either smooth sailing normalcy or permanent entrenched psychosis. One or the other.                

 Needless to say, I am a bit nervous about the whole thing. Nervous enough to write on the form they gave me at the doctor’s office in the space provided that asked, ‘What would you like to ask the doctor today?’ these words: ‘Menopause, what is it and how can I avoid it?’

 This got a nice chuckle from the doctor when she read it, but after describing my symptoms to her, she cheerfully informed me that she had forty year old patients with more symptoms than me. I didn’t know whether to be cheered or depressed by this news. I started thinking that I was going to be one of the bench mark cases. Statistics say that menopause can occur anywhere from age thirty to sixty. I hope I am not aiming at sixty just to be a show off!

 So though I am not technically in menopause right this minute, my first born, INTJ, Aquarian nature urges me to analyze the entire thing to death so that I will be prepared for the beginning of “The Change.”

 That is an interesting, if vague phrase don’t you think? It could describe a lot of things. Such as, “She changed into a manic depressive.” “She changed her hair color.” “She changed her philosophy of life.” “She changed her socks.” “She is changed, I don’t know her any more.” That last one is the one I fear.

 Although it might possible that, “Change” will be a positive thing. “She’s not afraid to walk into a room full of strangers anymore.” “She brings her pistol with her now.” “She’s a better cook.” “Chocolate chip cookies are now on her list of major food groups.” “She’s more likely to talk back to men.” “She’s more likely to snap your head off.” Oops, maybe that one belongs in the first group. Don’t you think that the Queen in Alice in Wonderland must have been going through “The Change”?

 Anyway, I left the doctor’s office mildly encouraged by the things she had told me. (It’s ALL normal) And very encouraged that since the last time I was there, I had lost twelve pounds. I was quite smug standing on the dreaded scale. I think I made a little face at it in defiance. “You don’t scare me bucko!”

 But to tell you the truth, sailing off into the seas of the hormone unknown is not for the faint of heart. I’m annoyed with my monthly mental illness, but I am used to it. What I will be trading it in for remains to be seen, or “Changed” whatever that means. Oh dear, I think I am back at the beginning of the worry loop. 

 ‘Menopause, what is it and how can I avoid it?’