The Eyes Have It

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share her thoughts about how important her vision is to her and all the visual aids she’s had over the years.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.   //

My biggest fear in life is losing my vision.

I’ve never had good vision. Nobody seemed to notice and I thought people saw things the same way I did. It wasn’t until the 5th grade when they gave us the eye test in school. All I could see was the big E. The teacher wouldn’t let me walk home; instead, he drove me and broke the news to my parents. As soon as he left, the arguments started. “It’s not from MY side of the family!” Mom declared. “Are we suppose to get her a seeing eye dog?” Dad lashed out.

When they first put glasses on me, I was amazed. I could see individual leaves on trees. Part of me was angry at all I’d been missing over the years. However, they picked out sparkly pink frames, baby frames. Even at 10, that’s an embarrassment.

When I was ready to go to high school I “lost” my glasses. The next pair were stylish cat-eye frames. Then I heard the adage “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” I wouldn’t wear them at school. Classmates now tell me they thought I was snobbish because I never returned their waves.

When I joined the Navy, I told them I wanted to be an air traffic controller. “You have 20/300 vision. You can’t even see an airplane!” I was considered legally blind by their standards.

I graduated to aviator frames. That’s what pilots and Gloria Steinem wore. They were cool. They made me feel like a woman to be dealt with.

Over the years I’ve treated glasses like jewelry. I’ve had John Lennon glasses, huge over-sized glasses popular in the ‘80’s, rose-colored glasses and even hexagonal blue-tinted glasses. I’ve tried and rejected contacts. Now I’m sporting titanium glasses where I can bend the sides into figure eights.

As I age, I worry about losing my eyesight altogether. I’ve had friends who can’t read anymore. Or, their hands can’t hold large books now. Sure, there are audio books and I would definitely go that route. Then I look at all the books I’ve collected over the years but never had a chance to read because I was writing my own books. I waited to retire to indulge in my favorite pastime.  If not now, when?

I recently put my books in alphabetical order by author. I have a daytime book and a nighttime book. I prefer reading historical fiction (but not romance). I want to know about Alexander the Great and the Borgias. I never want to stop reading. I treasure every book and my eyes even as they age.