Another Powerful Ancestor

My husband’s grandmother, Jennie, didn’t look like a sweet old woman. Was it the set of her chin? She was kindhearted and I never heard of her being mean but she was a bit (less than 5′ tall) of a family tyrant; quiet, unobtrusive, but iron-willed. And somehow she made that will known. I always […]

Oh, the “B” Street memories…

We were children when we married and our first apartment was, to me, like playing house. We couldn’t believe our luck in finding the second-floor apartment so cheap -$50/mo. Maybe it was furnished even. I know it was ready when we were married on December 20. (In those days there was no moving in together […]

Happy New Year/Decade

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” — Robin Sharma When I sent my grandchildren a New Year’s message this morning my oldest grandson came back with his shattering reminder – “it’s a new decade.” What??? Well, c’mon, I have lived through a lot of new decades. But this is […]

Christmas means to me…

It’s really no wonder that I have some ambivalent feelings around Christmas. I grew up without a secular tradition. Until I was a teenager, all of my Christmas memories were centered around church services. We sang a lot of hymns about the birth of Jesus but I never heard “Here Comes Santa Claus” except on […]

Merry Christmas to All

Reprinted from 2013 Dear Family, ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all the through the house, not a creature was stirring… …except for my gerbil mind racing on it’s circular track. Well, that’s not exactly true.  I have spent a restful night, just not a deep-sleeping night.  And I’m thinking that wakefulness on the night […]

A Site for Remembrance

Dad has been in the closet for a long time. He was cremated in 2006 and spent the next five years by the couch where his wife lived her days with him, her dog, and her cat. When his wife moved north with her daughter several years ago, he became my responsibility. My father’s only […]

Memories and Perceived Value

Red clover may not have been a big part of my life, but it made a big impression. I still experience a frisson of excitement when I see it at the side of the road. It’s a matter of perceived value. My mother paid us about a nickel a bag to collect the blossoms. That […]

I Remember Joanie(‘s mother)

I’ve been reading another book by Brenè Brown. The Gifts of Imperfection has encouraged me to examine how I deal with shame. Do you remember the first time you felt real shame? I must have been six or seven, old enough to have comprehended life and death to some degree. Mostly, though, I thought about […]

Voodoo Thoughts

Who knows why we buy what we buy when we travel. An even greater mystery is why we keep what we buy. Many ago my husband went to Mexico for out 25th anniversary.  One of the worst parts of the trip was a visit to an island which our travel agent had arranged with the […]

Stuffed Animals are Stuff (to me)

If my house is an expression of who I am, hmm…  There are a few things that really miss the mark or at the very least are sadly outdated. Am I the only one who ends up with shrines to something that is long-gone  if it was ever important at all? I have a basket […]