Channeling Grandma

In a few weeks, Bob and I will arrive on our daughter’s doorstep and welcome her new baby, Evelyn Fox, to planet earth. She’ll be two months old, born in October to Emily and her husband, Tyler. For a few days, we will fuss over Evie and her older brother, Nolan, and attempt to ease […]

The Power of Perception

My mother says I tested at 130 in the ’60s when I.Q tests were de rigueur, but I don’t put much stock in that. And, if she is correctly pulling up that specific number for this particular child — who could keep track with six little geniuses — I think it was a fluke. I’ve […]

Line-dried Sheets and Other Unlikely Paths to Enlightenment

The heat pump hums inside our back door. It is 37° on our back porch this morning, and I’ve decided to sit in the corner of our bedroom instead. I settle into a comfy green and red plaid armchair, a chair I am proud to say came from a thrift store.

On most mornings, I […]

Being Amy

Bob lifts Amy over his head and places her atop Jesse’s plush, winter coat. He makes sure she has one foot on either side of his spine before stepping away. She runs her baby-sized hands over the soft brown hair and leans in to breathe his smell as her dad hoists her older sister, Emily, […]

First Love

My first love arrived on all fours one winter day in 1965. I was standing in line, shivering with grades K through 8 outside St. Mary’s on City Island. I stared at the wooden doors with my fingers tucked into my armpits, willing the nuns to emerge and usher us in when a disturbance made […]

Pearls to Pay Forward

Consciousness felt its way through the weave of the screens with the crow cries. Nana’s bare feet plucked at the linoleum downstairs, moving toward the kitchen door where the dogs stood, fanning the air. I lay still, eyes closed. There was something else, an image, a niggling whisper.

Remembering how I had wrapped my final […]

Under the Sweet Gums

I push her through the automatic doors into a blindingly beautiful day. Past the others in their wheelchairs under the shadow of the main entrance overhang. I want her all to myself. When we leave the shade, my mother forms two shelves above her eyes with her hands. “I lost my sunglasses,” she says cheerfully […]

Faces I Remember

I was talking with my brother, Michael, after dinner last night and he conjured up an old face from way back when. He’d been visiting with our father, and Dad mentioned his long time friend. “Peter someone,” Michael said, and I grasped at his last name until it came to me. It was Curran. Peter […]

Disassociating

“It’s not them, it’s us,” Bob said, stepping from the shower on October 20, 2004. “We need to leave.” We had been living on Maui for four years. George W. Bush was up for reelection. 9/11 had happened, the administration had cooked up the whole “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco, and Bush had ordered the […]

Swinging With My Eyes Closed – family without expectations

Before I go to bed, I like to climb into our back porch hammock and listen to the day shut down. The sounds yoyo around my head while I swing, curved like a banana, eyes closed. Robins tweeting their single-note sign off, the buzz of hummingbird wars, the last big trucks of the day looming, […]