Nancy Book Awards

Don't know if my choices were not memorable, or if I have memory loss, but 2019 was not a stellar year for books. You might give these a shot.


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Previous years:

That's all folks! Better luck in 2020.

© 2013-2019 Nancy L. Ruder


Pit stop heaven

Being kidnapped and taken to Buc-ee's is a Texas thang. Your friends feel sad for you if you have not experienced the roadtrip wonder that is Buc-ee's. So they take you to the nearest one and watch as you go slack-jawed. Welcome to the cult!

Buc-ee's is not a truckstop, nor a convenience store with gas pumps. Buc-ee's  is a Texas phenomenon with World Famous Restrooms.  The restrooms are clean and huge, and the stalls are large enough for a mom and several kids. They are the restrooms you wish for in every airport you've ever had the misfortune to visit.

Except for the Buc-ee's Ugly Christmas Sweater-style t-shirts I wasn't tempted by the branded merchandise. Planning ahead for next year's employee ugly sweater contest didn't seem worth $15.00.

The exciting news for this old litter educator is that Buc-ees and the Texas Department of Transportation have a cross-branded campaign to reduce litter on Texas highways. Don't Mess With Texas with Buc-ee's should be a powerful ad campaign.

My kidnapper and I are old enough to remember entering the gas station to get the key to the Ladies' Restroom out around the back of the Sinclair or Texaco station. Once in Utah the key was not required because the door had fallen off its hinges the last time the restroom was cleaned.

My mom, Fritzi kept a travel notebook in the glovebox. She noted mileage between clean restroom locations along highways AND places t o get a good piece of pie. Fritzi would have been a Buc-ee's cult convert!

On this day in 2010 my sister and I drove our dad from Lincoln, Nebraska's Eastmont Manor to the Life Care Center of Plano, Texas, the most difficult road trip either of us ever undertook. Today's adventure lacked the snow, the dementia, and the Depends, thank heaven.

Bob Daddy-O Wade passed away this week. Thank you, Daddy-O for the inspiration of your giant frog sculptures at Carl's Corner Truck Stop. They set me on a papier mache adventure of great creative joy.

Road trip reminiscence references:
  • Stuckeys rhymes with Buc-ee's. A feature of mid-Sixties travel on Interstate 80. 

© 2013-2019 Nancy L. Ruder


Faulty memories

Uncovered the ugly truth of my childhood today. No, not Granddad, although he was a scary character. Not Grandmother's lavender hair. I am talking about those dining room drapes!

This is not the dining room of my memory. Geez! The curtains in this Christmas 1964 photo were sort of yellow-green and a euphemistic "ochre," with black brush strokes on textured off-white. The bamboo blinds above were faded orange-brown with an ever-present dust coating. The glass shelf above the curtains was a head-bump waiting to happen. What color were the walls? For sure the linoleum tile was the black-speckled crumb-concealer, as we had that for a long, long time!

Repressed memories on those self-help cassettes I listened to in the nineties were usually sexual and physical abuse. Melody Beattie and Gerald Jampolsky were healing bigger stuff than bad drapes. But I definitely repressed this aesthetic affront.

© 2013-2019 Nancy L. Ruder