There Was a Fire Here: The Mixtape

Friend and writer buddy Nancy Davis Kho kindly invited me to be a guest on her Midlife Mixtape blog. I was delighted to pull together an admittedly oldies sound track for my book, which she graciously published today. Come back to yesteryear with me and listen to the songs that are woven into the fabric of my story.

“There Was a Fire Here” Mixtape

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Button, button . . .

My aunt had the buttons! I’ve written about my Aunt Ruth and her buttons here and in my book. She inspired me to start my own collection when I was a teenager. I kept them in a small box inside my grandparents’ secretary desk. I visited my cousin recently and we talked about his mother’sContinue Reading

Aunt Augusta’s Chair

 An excerpt from my book, in which a special chair follows our family through many transitions. This is from one of the “artifact” chapters that are woven into the story of the fire’s aftermath. There is only one black and white photo in the book, but there are so many more… I first saw thisContinue Reading

Please Mr.Postman

I got an email from the United States Postal Service this week. It was a notification that my mail–or rather, my sister’s mail–would no longer be forwarded to my address, effective June 15th–one year after I sent in a change of address form. As the anniversary of her death approaches this month, there are soContinue Reading

Days of Our Lives

    For many years, I gave my sister a calendar for Chanukah, along with other gifts of greater substance. She insisted on using the little checkbook-size calendar and accompanying notepad to record her many social events and the birthdays of friends and family members. I ordered her a calendar every year at the sameContinue Reading

My Aunt Rocks!

Her name is Rockie, but don’t take her for granite. One of her jokes. Her given name is Rokama. According to several sources I consulted, in Hebrew the name means “comforted.” Or beloved. Or one who has received mercy. Or possibly: compassion. They all fit. If I had to name some of the influential womenContinue Reading

Old Dreams

During my MFA program at Saint Mary’s College, I read Abigail Thomas for the first time. She rocked my world as a writer. Doing a search through some old documents, I found this piece that was inspired by her. Kind of like finding something special that I’d forgotten about.   Inspired by Abigail Thomas: OldContinue Reading

First Birthday

  My sister’s birthday is coming up in April. This will be the first time in over sixty years that I will not buy a card, select a gift, or have dinner with her. No candles, no cake, no celebration. The following month, in May, I will observe the first anniversary of her death—and thenContinue Reading

About my Aunt Ruth, just because

 Aunt Ruth used to chide me when I complained about being exhausted after chasing my young children around. “In my day,” she said, “we’d put the kids to bed—and then figure out how to save the world!” Saving the World Saving the world meant throwing herself into the fray: she’d hoist a sign, march andContinue Reading

Simple Pleasures

Today is the first day of the spring season. Although the spring equinox isn’t until March 20, today may as well be considered the first day of spring.  Where I live, the trees are vibrant with pink and white blossoms. Bunches of yellow daffodils have sprouted up everywhere in my neighborhood, clustered together along theContinue Reading