Every Parent is Proud

“The Phantom … was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by… Continue


Don’t push me into that Fire It’s flickering Bickering with me No! I am too Insubstantial I will burn! This is no Daydream But wait! It’s no Nightmare Either It’s just my own Drama Silly I’m not even here Yet Continue

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

Counting Every Rib

At a table at a beach-front open-air restaurant in Boca de Tomatlan in Mexico, my date and I are approached by a Chihuahua who is even tinier than he would be if you couldn’t count all his ribs. I think the poor fellow must be starving, and this is distressing… Continue

This is Grim

Shayna is 8. I’ve received a phone call from her. She is sobbing. “No, I don’t know where she is.” I speak to my granddaughter across 400 miles of phone lines: “Doesn’t she go away a lot?” She wails, “A whole lot.” I say, “And she always comes back home…. 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

Love or a Straight-Five Engine

“Grandma,” says Quinn, plunking himself down in the passenger seat of the car, “we have to go to the grocery story now. I have get roses.” “Why,” I ask my little car guy. Not once since my grandson has been old enough to talk has he ever shown the slightest… 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

Light Up the World

An heirloom might not be expected to survive unbroken during all those relocations: from Albany, Georgia to Bracketville, Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana to Angola, Indiana; back to Lake Charles and on to California in Walnut Creek, then Reseda and then Canoga Park; then to Indiana in Fort Wayne followed… Continue

My Best Christmas

Since it is December 2012 as I write this, my thoughts turn to a standard chapter in one’s memoirs: My Best Christmas. It was December thirty-odd years ago. At the time, a new job was proving to be stressful and demeaning. I had moved to a different city to take… Continue

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