Apr 192021
 
Why Family History?

The stories of my ancestors from my maternal grandmother piqued my interest. When she died in 1994, I became the keeper of the flame. Family members gave me materials, adding to my collection my grandmother (Grammy) had given me. The family stories are compelling and have been waiting for me to propel them into the […]

Mar 032021
 
An American Tail

March 3, 2021 — Earlier this week, Herman and I got our second COVID-19 vaccines. Anticipating a rough time, we made a big pot of chicken noodle soup for our recovery.  Both of us had sore arms, and yesterday felt a tiny chill all day. When I checked the thermostat about 9 p.m. last night, I […]

Jan 312021
 
Did I Mention I'm Writing a Book?

January 31, 2021—If you talked to me recently, you know I’m completely obsessed with living in the past. This work is the book I’ve wanted to write since I was a child. In 2019, I compiled letters my now 92-year-old aunt gave me; letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother before they married  “Always Carl” […]

Jan 262021
 
B-I-N-G-Ohhhhhhhhh

Updated from 2010–January 26, 2021–(This was written when I was a spry 52-year-old, having hot flashes. My sales job required that I visit senior centers.  The senior centers required that sales people “do something for them,” thus, I called Bingo once a month.) I  have math dyslexia. Numbers just do me in. When God formed […]

Nov 012020
 
Pandemic Halloween 2020

October 31, 2020 — Today was a great day until about 6 p.m. I’ve spent most of the last 48 hours at a (virtual) humor writers’ workshop named for the late great Erma Bombeck. Erma’s spirit hovers over the conference, and like her writing, the speakers are uplifting, inspiring, and wildly funny. Laughter has soothed […]

Oct 042020
 
Hibernation Eight Months Out

October 4, 2020 —  Earlier in the week, I walked into our kitchen in the afternoon to find my husband in his pajamas, eating lunch.  I wore the pink flannel nightgown I had slept in the night before.  Two p.m.  I noticed that husband Herman was eating clam chowder out of a saucepan. “We’ve completely […]

Sep 092020
 
Rainy Day in Venice

September 9, 2020 —  I huff and puff up white marble staircases of the Doge’s Palace, over-the-top gold ceilings high above. Even on a rainy day, the gold-leaf reflects a shimmer in the mighty stairwells.  We cross over the Bridge of Sighs and see Casanova’s home in captivity, a lightless cell where he likely contemplated […]

Aug 312020
 
1968

August 31, 2020 –  A strange parallel exists for the years 1968 and 2020.  Much was written two years ago for the 50th anniversary of that seminal year, marked by assassinations, upheaval in the streets, and a contentious presidential election. Our grandparents bought us a new RCA Victor color television set for Christmas 1967.  The […]

Aug 302020
 
Notes from a Suburban White Woman

I live in a suburb.  I am a white woman. I don’t want anyone to assume they know how or what I think.  I am an individual.  I’ve been called a member of the Me Generation and a Baby Boomer, often in pejorative ways.  I acknowledge my own lifelong privilege because of the circumstances of […]

Aug 242020
 
Why I'm Voting for Joe Biden

August 24, 2020 (revised for length 8/26/2020) — With the Presidential election just over two months away, I want to share why I am voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  I suspect many won’t get past my headline, but I ask you to bear with me.   I need to tell you a little bit […]

Aug 222020
 
A Touch on My Hand

August 22, 2020 —  Something strange happened to me Wednesday evening.  I cannot explain it. We were watching either the DNC or Major League Baseball.  I honestly don’t remember because I was listening to an Audible book on my phone and playing a video game on my tablet.  My husband and I watch the Boob Tube […]

Jul 232020
 
Pandemic Birthday

I celebrate another trip around the sun today.  Either I’m 36 (what my head says), or I’m 163 (what my body says). Since my mother died, the week before my special day is always filled with weeping and grief.  Though this mini depression happens every year, it still surprises me.  This year was no exception, […]

Jul 062020
 
One Crocodile, Two Crocodile

July 6, 2020 — Today was my third session back at the hospital’s cardiopulmonary gym since the pandemic started. I’ve been going to this remarkable place since late spring 2019 when I began the cardiopulmonary rehab program. After my “graduation,” I started in the after-program. I’ve had asthma for 29 years, which had morphed to […]

Jun 282020
 
Somebody Else's Mother

She was not my mother.  Jean Germann had three smart and beautiful daughters, one five months older than me, the other two bookending my younger brother.  Still, Jean was a huge influence during my childhood.  To borrow a cliche, she was from “the village” who raised me. Earlier this week, Jean left this world for […]

May 262020
 
Hair Club for Girls

May 26, 2020 — I wear my hair short, in the same Pixie cut I wore as a toddler.  My hair is unreasonably thick and unruly, and five cowlicks means it goes where it wants to go.  My hair doesn’t grow longer, just wider.  My mother — God rest her soul — tried taming it by […]

May 232020
 
Reading in the Time of COVID

  For many, a small silver lining in these months of unprecedented global disease is  time for reading. I’m usually not a fan of fiction, and I prefer non-fiction and primarily narrative history. But since I was in junior high school, I’ve enjoyed the secret pleasure of apocalyptic novels.  Do you remember reading “On the […]

May 192020
 
Strange Times, Indeed

All Creatures Great and Small–We moved to our present home in the mid- nineties, and, it is May 2020. And what happens in May besides Mother’s Day and usually Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500? It’s the annual return of Fat Bastard, 25th anniversary season. As my husband gazed out the kitchen window this morning, […]

May 152020
 
Next to Godliness

I wasn’t really clear on how dirty our old world was, until we entered this new normal. Now, everywhere I look, advertisements try to convince consumers that their service or product is the cleanest. What does this say about our former life? The car dealership where I bought my last car is running a commercial […]

May 142020
 
Fluffy, Light and Plump

Cooking is not my strong suit. I’m very good, however, at eating. As we wait for the locusts and the rest of the plagues to arrive, we have to have something to eat. I’m the cook; my husband is the shopper. In these strange times, this means he’s the one who goes to get the […]

May 062020
 
Testing, Testing, Testing

Not opening business will cost more lives due to suicide and drug overdose — POTUS May 2020. Is it any wonder we stay up late at night and watch hours of “Fraser” on the channel with the disgusting lovey-dovey romance movies? The news is bleaker with each passing cycle. Flipping channels this morning, I heard […]