Getting On With It

Monday morning. My backyard is filling up with leaves. Behind me, a desk and table are piled high with stuff en route from the old backroom, now Caroline's bedroom, to the bookshelves in my bedroom, where I've piled all the books en route to new homes.

Somewhere in this machine is a nearly completed, but still unfinished - or is that nearly finished, but still incomplete? - novel.

My back - oh, we really will not go there. Read more about Getting On With It

Night of the ...

... noooooooo. Not going there.

I am not a zombie fan. The first time I tried to watch Night of the Living Dead was on a Halloween night 20 umpteen years ago. My boyfriend was busy tending to something that could be characterized as "illegal" and I was trying my best to be seasonally festive. Alone. I couldn't watch the end. Read more about Night of the ...


Opera can be embarrassing. The music is wonderful, the poetry is 19th Century sentimentality. How can you listen to lines like "Oh sweet kisses, oh languid caresses and I, quivering, unveiled those beautiful shapes!!!" without wincing?

Placido Domingo, in a recent Great Performances production, talked about singing Tosca. Why he loved it. It's the emotion, he said. Lines like "languid caresses" bother him not at all. He gets it. He gets into it. Listen!

And the stars were shining… the earth Read more about Heartfelt

My Favorite Sister

My favorite picture of the three days I spent with my favorite sister is one I carry only in my head: in it my sister Joan, her husband Mete and I are sitting around their kitchen table in Lafayette, IN, Joan and I on our netbooks, Mete on his Ipad, sipping tea and talking - yes, talking to each other. At the same time. It was a true communion of spirits. Read more about My Favorite Sister

Time Travel

Last week I got into the wayback machine and leapfrogged through a kaleidoscope of past lives. There was first a visit to my brother's house on the north side of Chicago, a little north of the neighborhood in which I lived with my first husband and where I brought my first child home. I remember riding the Ravenswood El into work and fighting my way east to the lakefront against biting winds and blowing snow. I remember when the Prudential Building was the tallest skyscraper in town. Read more about Time Travel

Work, work, work.

Slave, slave, slave.

That is the mantra I sometimes grumble to myself these days when doing some paltry little task that I know is far from actual work and a galaxy from actual slave labor.

It is, of course, a bit of self-mockery.

In a time long ago and a place relatively far away, my ex-husband and I owned an 80-acre farm. He had an actual job. I did a lot of the actual farming. Read more about Work, work, work.

Home Alone

It's cloudy this morning. Cool. Green. Red and white twinkle lights left over from the summer parties are still plugged in. There's a lavender and gold play castle sitting in the garden house window. That's left over from a party - a year or two ago? A rusty iron dragonfly is leaning against the blue-needled white pine, both temporarily bereft of the variety of juncos and chickadees that will soon be here. I know this, because I just refilled the suet feeders, hoping to lure the first waves of the winter people. Read more about Home Alone

Letter to the Class of '61

I am sorely tempted to quote Bilbo Baggins who said, on the occasion of his one hundredth and eleventieth birthday, "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

Which is only to say that there are few of you here, outside of my beloved fellow Girl Scouts, whom I ever really knew at all.

And yet, here I am, come back to the town whose dust I brushed from my feet too many years ago. Because now, I like to think, I have grown up enough to be able to do so. Read more about Letter to the Class of '61