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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Introducing Dear Ol’ Dad

If you’ve stopped by recently, you may recall that Dear Ol’ Mom filed an official complaint … about my blog, and she has demanded that I spend as much time teasing my father in ‘09 as I did teasing her in ‘08. To be totally candid, my mom scares the pee out of me when [...]

Abundant Blog Fodder for the New Year

There’s no place like home, and after a road trip that was a full day longer than It should have been, there’s really no place like my own bed.
Christmas in Vermont was like a carefully wrapped piece of magic in a red quilted stocking hung with care. It’s wonderfully nostalgic and comforting to spend time [...]

Marking Time

It’s the same hat, four years later.

I Was Waiting for My Mother

I’m a little nervous about our upcoming trip to Vermont. Well, perhaps nervous isn’t the right descriptor. I’m feeling so many different things it’s difficult to articulate. Sure, there’s always a last minute rush of activity and minor stress as we arrange for someone to watch the house, pack our bags, and make sure I [...]

Memories that Dance

I wonder if this is the year. When Aaron is all grown up and someone asks him about his earliest Christmas memory, will he pull tidbits from 2008? He’ just discovered that Santa is magic, that reindeer can fly and snowmen can dance in the street.
He’s taught himself how to work the stereo and he [...]

Drinking Tea is More than Please and Thank You

My husband and I come from two very different worlds. I’ve written before about our cultural differences (he’s Portuguese. I’m American), and our age difference (He’s 63. I’m 36), but one of the most significant differences Kim and I have encountered is that he drank tea while growing up, and I did not.
I’m not talking [...]

Starve the Bitch

Fear is a bitch that sits on my shoulder and whispers, non stop. I’ll bat at her every now and then, swipe her from her perch, but she’s persistent, egotistical. She has long fingers, claws really, and she effortlessly rakes herself over my back and climbs once again to sit just above my heart.
We’ve been [...]

Finding the Beginning

I’ve taught memoir writing classes for adults and I remember clearly the most significant stumbling block for students was simply finding a starting point. Here I am about to take on the most significant memoir writing project I’ve ever tackled and I’m trying to remember the advice I used to give while standing in front [...]

Setting Her Free

We’ve just finished hosting my grandparents, my sister and her beautiful six-month-old daughter. They traveled to be with us for the Thanksgiving holiday and there was a little bit of magic in our home to have three generations under the same roof cooking, eating and mothering together.
We’re all so different with dissimilar lives, spouses, homes [...]

Forced Home for Christmas

All year we have planned to spend the Christmas holiday here in Georgia rather than make our annual trip to Vermont to be with my parents and family. For 11 months I’ve stuck to my guns, shrugged off the guilt, remained determined for Santa to visit Aaron in our own home. Even if I changed [...]