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Mystery Man

In my family, we tend to keep our history right where we can see it. That’s not because we are important, or unusually fixated on the past.  We do tend to hold on to things and use them, objects that serve a function—here's a cast-iron…
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Thank You, Villagers

My mother turned 87 a few weeks back, so I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about her legacy—never more, of course, than around Mother’s Day.  And I remembered a time a few months ago when a kind friend told her, in my presence,…

Easter's Oak Leaf

I saw Death And I grieved, right then Stock still, I recalled the you of summers past, at your finest Suave sentinel, on duty at the front door Loosely, artistically lounging at your post Terribly handsome, careless and oblivious to…

Recycling Holiday Memories

And here we are: The Holiday Aftermath has arrived. If you are among the fortunate for whom the holidays brought fellowship and giving and celebration, you may hope that memories of those times will sustain you as you face the stark days…

Advent, Revisited

I noticed the other day that Christmas is back. The signs were small, but distinct. I went looking for my holiday coffee mugs, grinning as I liberated them from an upper shelf, where they had been imprisoned for four straight calendar…

The Invincible MM

A few years back, a well-intentioned therapist probing my history for signposts tried to steer me down the Mother Track.  It must be routine and fruitful territory in her line of work.  It was high on her list of questions, and she seemed…
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Listen, here: That much, I can do

The status of grandmother was bestowed on me six years ago last month.  Oddly, it didn’t come with a manual.  Though it is surely one of life's richest blessings, I’m still trying to figure out how to do it. There must be others…
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What the Mirror Asked

Like so many Americans, G-ma has been diverted from her usual ruminations on grandchildren and family and turned instead to pondering this historic time in our nation. Anyone with their eyes open in America this week has watched shock…
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On Sibling Bonds, and Remembering Jane

It’s a funny thing about sisters and brothers. You might long for them if you don’t have any.  But if you do, nothing in your life will ever drive you nuts in quite the same fashion.  That is, if you are like most of humanity. Ours…
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The Journey Ahead: Continued

An age-old instinct was triggered the other day, when I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, felled by a nasty stomach virus and trapped at home, recovering but still weak and irritable. I wanted my Mom. A little old for that, aren’t…
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There's No Friend Like an Old Friend

The first time I saw her, she was sitting alone in the bleachers, a row or two above and to the side of my little cluster of friends as we waited for the pep rally to start.  We were freshmen in high school, that tender, socially feverish…

The Journey Ahead

Those of us who reach mid-life (a time-frame with a definition that seems to stretch, these days, thank heavens) and still have one or both of our parents are among the very fortunate, indeed.  And as the journey continues, inevitably we…
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Spirits in Treasures and Handing Down the Ancestral Seat

A few years back I read a fascinating book about Te Maori, the first U. S. exhibition of ancient art from the native Maori people of New Zealand. The opening of the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York was preceded by elaborate…

The Empty Box: A Christmas Memory

If you are inclined this time of year to reminiscing about Christmases past, like so many of us of a certain age, you might linger on memories of treasured gifts you received as a child. Perhaps there was a favorite toy, a bicycle, or maybe…
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