Effortless English – Lesson 4: Changed



My husband of 39 years no longer hugs me or shows me any affection. I have seen him through cancer and diabetes. We have four grown children, and we have been seeing a therapist for a year and a half. He is kind, generous and friendly, but there are no compliments or any of the flirtatious banter we used to enjoy.

He swears he’s not having an affair, and he doesn’t know why he has changed. Perhaps you do?


Effortless English – Lesson 3: Bubba’s Food

Sara Smith, who lives in San Francisco, went shopping for cat food.
Sara is 30, and lives at 3037 Market St. She has lived there since 1990. Sara is married. She is married to a man named John. She has been married for 7 years.

They have two children, and one very big cat. Their son Bob is five years old and their daughter Nancy is three. Their cat, Bubba, is 2 years old. Bubba is huge. He weighs 258 pounds (117 kilos)!

At 9am, Sara got into her car and drove to the pet store. She bought 68 bags of cat food for $10 each plus tax. The regular price was $15, so she got a good deal. The total was $680. She paid by credit card.

On her way home, Sara stopped at a convenience store to buy milk. Bubba loves milk. The milk was $3.00 for one gallon, and Sara bought 30 gallons. She paid $100 and got $10 back in change.

Sara got home at 11 a.m. Bubba was waiting at the door. He was very hungry.

Effortless English – Lesson 2: A Kiss

Carlos buys a new car. It’s a very expensive car. It’s a huge, blue, fast car. While driving down the street, Carlos sees a girl on a bicycle. She has long blond hair and is beautiful.
He yells to her, “What’s up?” She ignores him.
He yells, “How’s it going?” She keeps going and ignores him.
He yells, “Hey, why won’t you talk to me? I want to go to dinner with you. I’ll take you to an expensive restaurant.”
The girl turns, gets off the bike, and looks at him. She says, “I don’t want to go to dinner. But if you give me your car, I will give you a surprise.”
Carlos says, “OK!” He jumps out of the car.
He gives her the keys and says, “Here are the keys.”
The beautiful blond takes the keys and then kisses Carlos on the cheek. Then she jumps into the car and drives away.
Carlos stands on the sidewalk. Now he has no car and no girl.
He says, “That’s it, just a kiss on the cheek?” He gets on her bike and rides home.

Effortless English – Lesson 1: Day of the Dead

I arrive in Guatemala on The Day of the Dead, November 1st. I’m curious about this holiday, so I go to the cemetery to see what’s happening. What I find is quite interesting.

The atmosphere is like a party. There are people everywhere. Families are sitting around the graves of their dead ancestors. They clean the graves and add fresh flowers. I walk through the cemetery and admire the beauty of all the colorful flowers.

There is also color in the sky, because many kids are flying kites. Some families are having a picnic next to the graves. They eat, drink, and chat together. People laugh and smile.

In the Unites States, cemeteries are always somber. We certainly never have festivals or parties next to graves. We don’t laugh or play music or fly kites in cemeteries either.

I find that I prefer the Guatemalan approach. I like the way they remember and celebrate those who have passed away. I like that they acknowledge death, instead of denying it the way Americans do. I like that there is life, as well as death, in their cemeteries.

Guatemalans call it “The Day of the Dead”, but it is also a day to appreciate life.