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The Girl I Wished I’d Been

When I was thirteen, I wanted to be just like the girls in the popular group. At seventeen, I aspired, with absolutely no justification at all, to be a Broadway star. At thirty, I harbored envy for two sisters who had written a best-selling book on how to keep your house clean. I had a very messy house, and wanted to be more organized, but these two had the system figured out and became rich in the process. By fifty, I began looking back, thinking, “If I’d only taken drama in high school and college, I could have triedacting. Given…

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Moss and Crows

One of the joys of grandparenting is having the time and energy to enjoy children. Naturally, I loved every minute when I was a parent, but, working full time while engaged in day in, day out parenting, several years of which my husband was attending post-graduate school out of town, I was so exhausted that when my kids would do something darling and wonderful it would register, but with more of a “If I wasn’t so tired, I would write this down in that book I started about how fantastic Kid Number One is, wherever I put the thing –…

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Finding Joy During Covid – A Pessimist’s Guide

I’ve always been a full-fledged pessimist. Completely developed and continually active, nearly one hundred percent of the time. I wish it weren’t so, but it’s a genetic and environmental legacy. I come from negative, critical stock who always saw the worst in everything.

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Culling Down

We’ve all gone through so many phases and feelings the past nine months, it’s hard to sort out if it’s time to grieve some more, focus on the positive once again or start over on the hall closet. Part of all of those processes has been a culling down, a prioritization, of what matters. What clothes will we really wear in 2022? Is that red skirt I’ve been saving for a holiday party ever going to fit anyway, particularly with some slight Covid poundage added? That’s hardly worth pondering when the real priorities have become so clear, who we love…

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Saving Our Swan

Last week, Ariel Cordova-Rojas rescued a swan with lead poisoning. Visiting New York’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for her 30th birthday, and previously trained with identifying and rescuing wildlife, she quickly realized the swan was in severe distress.

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Is This Weird?

I’ve watched a lot of television these past months. Lots. And not documentaries (though “My Octopus Teacher” was the exception and well worth it). Basically, my viewing habits are focused on a combination of what I watched in the eighties plus anything else that helps me forget about reality for twenty-two minutes at a time. For some months, instead of reading before I fall asleep, I’ve watched “Cheers”. Then my iPad stopped facilitating access, so I was forced back to books, which hold my attention for approximately seven minutes, regardless what time of day or caliber of book. I’ve steamrolled…

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My mother taught me the imperative of voting

My mother had what we used to call an Irish temper. Her last name was O’Donnell, and though she didn’t come from Ireland (her father was born there), she could turn, when prompted, from a gracious, well-mannered woman to a seething, manic force in seconds. Sometimes it was after a few drinks, but mostly, her metamorphosis came when her principles were challenged. One of those convictions had to do with the importance of voting. When I was 23, I had never voted. It was the presidential election, and President Richard Nixon and George McGovern were opponents. I was for McGovern,…

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The Life-sustaining Value Of Female Friendship During Covid

For most women, friends form the basis of our well-being. Sure, our partners may be on the front line, but, particularly for women over 60, friendships have great emotional heft. They form the basis of our social life and contribute greatly to the health of our psyche. These days? I cherish the life-sustaining value of female friendship. First Response: Panic When Covid crisis began, one of the first things I did was form an email community of various friends from all over the country. How were we coping? What strategies helped? Where were we, day to day, in this extraordinary journey?…

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Book Signing Initiation

I had the pleasure of experiencing my first book signing recently at the Barnes & Noble in Palm Desert, California. It was, in all ways, a positive learning experience. Barnes & Noble allows and deftly facilitates signings for ‘independent’ authors. Theoretically, it’s a win-win for both parties; the writer gets exposure, and hopefully they bring customers in the door for the host. When I asked Mike, the genial employee who set up the event, for advice on how best to maximize the experience for all, he said something like, “Create a relationship with the customers – it’s all about that.”…

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