Reparenting on Mother's Day, Week Nineteen in the New Abnormal
Though cards, commercials, and media would have us romanticize motherhood, the truth is Mother’s Day can be stressful for so many. Whether families grapple with mental illness, death, physical illness, the court systems, mismatched needs of child/mother, in-law drama, or whether there are reproductive issues, or other circumstances that make the day difficult, allow for kindness and caring while enduring the day.
City Blooms, Week Seventeen in the New Abnormal
A three-minute walk from our apartment stands a small lone cherry blossom tree. It’s located behind a dull brick building. On this seemingly empty city block the tree feels like a sign of hope. Hope that beauty can hold up in the face of asphalt and concrete.
What We Don't Know, Week Fourteen in the New Abnormal
CIty Gallery, Week Nine in the Time of Coronavirus
We went for a lovely birthday celebration of a new friend. To get there we took the subway. It’s been quite a while since I last went on the underground train. The most recently expanded line, The Q Train, has an artist featured on each of the newest stops. We got a good look at a few by Chuck Close done with tiles as portrait mosaics.
Thank You For Your Kindness, Week Four in the The New Abnormal
Small kindnesses have huge impacts. This week I hadn’t felt well, and the comments, texts, calls, messages, and extra care have been particularly meaningful. Larry, my husband, asked me if he could help take care of me, if I would let him. The truth is I usually don’t let him help me. I can be stubbornly independent, even at my own expense. So, I “let” him. Every query to see if there was anything he could do was welcomed. He made trips to the pharmacy to find the right over-the-counter remedies. He cooked or ordered dinner. We chatted casually. Something we don’t often have a chance to do.
So Long, 2021, Week 35 in the Time of Transition
2021 was so, so long. In this last week I have little interest in reviewing this past year. The fact that I, that we, got through it is good enough for me.
Generosity of Spirit, Week 34 in the Time of Transition
I always thought I was a generous person. Then I got married and I came to realize that I was only generous in certain circumstances. If something was my idea, great, I was happy to offer services, a gift, or lend an ear. However, if asked, I found I could be withholding. Somehow I felt being asked for something implied I was stingy. And I was. Sometimes I still am. Apparently a generous heart is not a one way endeavor.
Thank you Mr. Sondheim, Week 31 in the Time of Transition
I was working at Strawbridge and Clothier in the Men’s shoe department. This was a branch in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ, a short commute to Philadelphia. I was a student at Rutger’s University in Camden, still a theater major, though I would finish with a degree in English. Paul Puccio, an English major at another college, who worked in Men’s Furnishings, introduced me to the music of Stephen Sondheim. I was 18 years old. He was enamored with Follies and Alexis Smith. He invited me over to his home where I listened to his original Broadway cast album with Paul narrating to a neophyte. I was changed for life.
Funny Thing About Gratitude, Week 26 in the Time of Transition
I find it incredibly annoying when I’m upset about a person, place, or thing, I’m on a rant, and the individual listening responds by telling me I should be grateful. It feels like a dismissal of my complaint, valid or not, and a recommendation that I pivot to a “soft music inserted here” blissful moment when I see how lovely life is and how wrong I was to find the awful in this grand world we inhabit.
Sweet Sixteen, Week Sixteen in the Time of Transition
Sweet Sixteen. It doesn’t feel so sweet these days. I remember when I was turning sixteen, I yearned to have a fancy party as many of my friends were having that year. We couldn’t afford an expensive affair, so I begged and cajoled my parents into allowing me to have a house party. My mother did not enjoy entertaining, nor did she feel comfortable in having a good number of adolescents in her home. I didn’t realize at the time what a gift she was giving me just by saying yes.
July 4th, Week Ten in the Time of Transition
Nothing is Perfect
Happy Father’s Day. For all who are fathers or have present and past relationships with your fathers, only you know how best to honor what you’re experiencing. And, for those who do not have relationships with your dads, or who have complicated relationships, take care of yourselves. That’s all I’ll say about that.
I was preoccupied this past week with a few things that didn’t quite work out the way I would have liked. You know when you hear people say, “I don’t like to complain,” and then they’re off and running with their objections? I am not that person. I actually like to complain. Truthfully it’s more that I feel compelled to complain, than that I like it, out and out. I tend to be very particular and even when things are going really well, I’m apt to find the fly in the ointment.
No Ending to Mental Health Awareness Month, Week Five in the Time of Transition
The Joy and Trepidation of Seeing Smiles, Week Three in the Time of Transition
I woke up early and ran to the East River promenade to get a glimpse of the sunrise. I almost forgot my mask, but quickly put it in my pocket testing the waters of walking down the block without one. No one was wearing masks but the few of us out were all at least 20 feet apart. That felt comfortable enough for me.
Boy, Oh, Boy, Week 44 in the Time of Coronavirus
Yesterday I hit the wall. Before I lost all steam, I had lofty plans. I had research to do. There is always cleaning and organizing. I was behind on my writing. Yet, by the time I was three fourths of the way through a walk in Central Park, I felt as if I was dragging my leaden legs on the southern arc of the Reservoir. When I finally reached home, I couldn’t get my sweats on fast enough. Then Lucy had to go out. I love her, and also dearly wished there was someone else who would have taken her out. I was able to speak with a friend from the other coast, and that gave me a pleasurable energy shot. Though life in California is as fraught as it...
Free Shakespeare in the Park
On a sweltering Tuesday in August, in my first full summer as a New York City resident, I was nervous and excited about the prospect of obtaining free tickets to A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The day in 1982 was hazy, and the great lawn was full of picnickers all with numbers for a place in line. I was number 26. I had gotten there so early, maybe 7 AM to ensure my audience participation. And, I was far from the first one in line. But with a coffee and an H&H bagel for breakfast, I felt well-prepared. Hour after hour of baking in the sun, I was a lucky recipient of two tickets...