Me Mensan

“Sorry,” our young visitor has said three or four times along with “Oh, I don’t think my opinion counts for much” and “I’m not that brainy, really.” This last was in a throaty whisper to the one man at this party I’d really like to communicate with. He’s suave and… Continue

Am I Now a Wise Woman?

This story, “Am I Now a Wise Woman?,” was the first one in a client’s book of memoirs. It contains almost no detail itself, so could be considered lacking in elements that make a memoir memorable. However, it does introduce a book that is rich in experience and, well, wise…. Continue

The Power of “Yes”

As a philosophy of life, you can hardly beat:  “Say ‘Yes!’”   “Can I open one of my presents before my birthday? I don’t want to have to wait a whole five days.” First, we have to talk about who gets to select the present. If it’s Mama, it’s going… Continue

What I Learned in Philosophy 101

I have to procrastinate for two weeks before writing about Philosophy 101. Today is the day, though. No putting it off any longer. Here’s what I remember from that class 35 years ago: Socrates: Knowledge is the only good; ignorance is the only evil. In the first week of philosophy class,… Continue

Something Else to Show I Care

This story was written by a client to warn her grandchildren against falling prey to consumerism and wasting their money.   I just read that each year in the United States, four million tons go from logs to landfills just to make wrapping paper and holiday shopping bags. Here I… Continue

And the Pain is Gone!

I’m old. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, my back hurts, right here, see?  Where my hand is. I get up anyway, go downstairs and let Lilly the dog out, waiting just inside the door for her and absent-mindedly pressing where it hurts. After she comes back in,… Continue

Where is Quinn?

The rule was that you call Grandma when you’re leaving wherever it is that you’re playing. You tell her where you’re going to play next. When you get to where you’re going to play next, you call again to let her know you’re safe. Then, if you‘re ever not safe,… Continue

Pulling the Trigger

When I was 10, the kids in my neighborhood played war. All our fathers were in the military, and with World War II in our recent history, the Korean War just over and the Cold War just beginning, I think we were all feeling that the world was a really… Continue

I Believe…

It’s Sunday and my family is visiting with relatives I’ve never met. I have a scarf on my head that my aunt has lent to me because my mother—slight sarcasm here—“didn’t think” to pack a hat for me. My mother isn’t going to the Catholic church, maybe because she also… Continue

The Names of My Husbands

What can I say? In those days, we married them. You remember, “for better or worse”? My First Husband When I was in high school, I was a distressing two inches taller than pretty could be and an awful four inches taller than beautiful ever was in those days. Not… Continue

The Word that Describes Me

It’s one of those writing prompts you find on the Internet: “What Single Word Describes You?” I am playing around with “honorable,” “intelligent,” and “caring,”—some word guaranteed to swell my chest with pride—when my son, David, wanders past my desk. So I ask him. “Practicality,” he states immediately and firmly…. Continue

Rosa is Ready

One year I wrote a poem for my granddaughter Rosa to recite to her at bedtime when she would be visiting that summer. I now remember only the ending:  “Rosa is ready, ready for bed.”  And that for several weeks after writing the poem, I smiled a lot, looking forward… Continue

My Favorite Car

In 1967, I bought a 1947 Renault Quatre Chevaux for $50. I drove the car for a year and abandoned it the day the entire front end fell off the frame onto the pavement. On a weekend shortly after I bought the car, I drove it to the beach with… Continue

I’m an Egghead

I’m the new student in fourth grade in Atlanta, GA, in 1952. I’m on the playground for the first time and am beset on all sides by eight or 10 kids I haven’t yet met. The biggest one, male, swaggers a couple of steps closer to me and demands to… Continue

A Creature!

Noise-loud-scream-female-near-Rosa! I launch away from the kitchen sink, skid across the linoleum, tear through the bedroom, and round the corner to the bathroom. My granddaughter is up against the bathroom wall, white faced and wailing. I lean down to her and put my hands on her shoulders. “What? What is… Continue

The Trash Man

Quinn is visiting. My grandson, age 5, is delighted with swimming at the beach near where I live, with his summer daycare where they let him climb almost as high as he wants to, and with taking out the trash. I’m living in an old three-story residence hotel no longer… Continue

Mean Grandma

My granddaughter Shayna lived with me the year she was in first grade. I worked, so Shayna went to after-school care along with many of the kids in her class. At the after-school playground, kids would be playing ball, skipping rope, putting puzzles together or just milling around. As end-of-work-day… Continue

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