The (Sometimes) Solitary Soloist

For me, most of the time solitude means I have time for quiet moments of reflection. Maybe an opportunity for writing, or reading. But for others, a little quiet time is also the perfect time to make some beautiful sounds.

Musician at work. #guitar #musician #theadaptations

A post shared by Marissa Othon (@salsanista) on

(This also gives me another opportunity to plug my husband’s duo, The Adaptations. Check out their website, follow them on Facebook or Instagram, and come out to see them this week at The Kenmore Inn in beautiful and historic downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia.)

My Name or Yours?


About this time seven years ago, my divorce with my first husband became final. It was over a year in the making and was quite often difficult and contentious, as most divorces are I suppose. About half-way through the process, my husband demanded I “give him his name back”. Being a stubborn Taurus woman, as well as a Latina, I refused on the grounds that it was my children’s name and I wanted to share that name with them. So I kept it. But not for long.

Months later I changed my mind. I was in the process of redefining who I was and what was important to me. What I valued and believed in. I was in a new relationship with an old friend. He suggested that going back to my maiden name might help me get back on the path I started to make for myself when I left my home in Panama so many years ago. As is almost always the case, he was right.

Later, when we decided to marry, the question came up again. Keep my name? Take his? There really was never any doubt what I would do. Changing my name to take his would not have made me, or him, feel any more married and bound to each other spiritually or emotionally or even legally. I kept my name this time. So we each have our own name, and no one is quite sure what the right pronunciation is for either of them.

Besides, after going through all the hassle of changing it everywhere (work, emails, bank, DMV, credit cards, insurance, etc., etc.) there was no way I wanted to deal with that again. 🙂




The Resilience of Sammy T’s

A local example of resilience is downtown Fredericksburg’s Sammy T’s restaurant, a local favorite celebrating 30 years in 2016. When it closed unexpectedly in October we found out the building was sold, along with the restaurant on the main level and all of its recipes. Earlier this month we were all happy to see that Sammy’s wasn’t gone forever, just taking a little break and getting a few much-needed renovations in the meantime.

You can read more about it in these stories in our local paper:

Yesterday as I was doing a little window shopping along Caroline Street I passed Sammy T’s and noticed this sign in their window.

A resilient Sammy T's

A resilient Sammy T’s


The Sunday Post: The Road to Relaxation

We all lead hectic lives and finding time to relax is not always easy. Whether it’s fitting it into a busy schedule, finding wiggle room in the budget to afford it, peace and relaxation just seems to get the lowest priority on the weekend checklist.


Weekend drive

A few weeks ago we took a short road trip to Newport News to visit family. Rather than taking the interstate we took back roads and this made our trip much more relaxed. We spent the weekend just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company. Definitely something we need to bump up near the top of the to-do list as often as we can.

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

I’ve been working on my nostalgia photo posts (as you may have already seen) and as I was thinking about my options one thought kept circling back around: it’s Jeremy’s 18th birthday. If this photo doesn’t make this mom feel nostalgic nothing else will.

As we prepare to celebrate this milestone with him, there are so many things I want to say to him. Mostly I need to convince him that his future starts now. I don’t expect him to answer  all the “what do you want to be when you grow up” questions that adults always have. Some of us still don’t know the answer to that. We’ve been told to “follow your passion and you will be happy” but maybe we haven’t figured out what we’re passionate about. I saw a video a little while back on this subject, or rather, on not taking that route. The speaker believes that success fuels passion, even creates it.

So maybe nothing at school has inspired you to pursue a particular subject any further. Working at a grocery store may not have motivated you to pursue a career in retail. But I hope that having a little money in your pocket will lead to wanting a little more money in your pocket. Enough money so you can have a car, pay for insurance, put gas in the tank. Which would lead to better jobs because you can now drive yourself to work, which could lead to more money in your pocket and in the bank, and who knows, maybe even a job you love.

You’ve reached adulthood, young man. It’s a big world out there and it’s yours for the taking. You know the possibilities are endless. But only if you do something … make it happen. It’s not going to come to you. Get out there!

Prophecy — Happy Birthday Scott!

Here’s a second shot at the nostalgia photo challenge. This one is in honor of Scott’s birthday. This is a picture of Scott, Doug, and Bob back in New Martinsville, West Virginia.  Back in high school they were in a band called Prophecy. Not sure what “Brew Productions” was… but a $1 entry fee? What a deal!