Category Archives: family

On the occasion of my sister’s birthday

girls a


Yes, our mother made us both wear the hamantaschen costumes

It’s April 9th, my sister’s birthday. Three years ago I was out of town and missed celebrating with her. So I put together something special to make up for being away. Today I spent the afternoon with some of her good friends, and I mentioned this post. In case you missed it, here it is again: a recycled virtual birthday card:

When Susie turned 50, I did a retrospective of her many bad hairstyles over the years. She loved it! Obviously, I can’t do that again. Instead, I’m sharing some of our  history in photographs.

I went through my many piles of pictures and albums and tried to select some classics from over the years.

Many of the pictures from the early days are of the two of us, usually posed on the front lawn of the house in Richmond where we grew up. The hedges always look like they need pruning.

off the boat


Two babushkas right off the boat–with a jump rope, just in case.

girls 1


In our sundresses

girls b


Not dressed for the same party. Wish I still had that pompom skirt.

We’re two and a half years apart, so we played together pretty well most of the time.I have a few scars, however. . .

We lived in New York City for a year in the 1950s. She was in third grade and I was in first. We struggled with our new snow clothes, rode the subway, and tried many new kinds of food. I got the mumps first, and gave them to her. The measles too. It was a big year for childhood diseases.

snowbunnies


On the sidewalks of New York

Back in California, where the hedges still needed pruning, we took tap and ballet lessons. She went further in ballet, and still takes tap lessons.

ballerinas


Two in tutus

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From Manager to #1 Fan

  Here’s something you probably never imagined when your kids were little: There will come a time when you, the parent, are no longer the most important person in your child’s life. Over the years, so slowly you may not even notice, you will transition to a position of diminishing influence, and will lose theContinue Reading

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

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

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

My Passover Seder Memories: Not the long version

The Passover Seder is a highly ritualized family event, during which children must wait patiently to eat dinner until the last plague is listed, the last bite of horseradish is choked down, the last prayer is read, and the last song is sung. Depending on how hard core the leader of the Seder service mightContinue Reading

and this is the sun’s birthday

In honor of my son’s birthday today, I’m posting a re-run. I used to tell him this story, or parts of it, every year on his birthday. Now that he’s a daddy, maybe he’ll carry on the tradition when his little boy turns three next month… Halloween, 1980. Not too much longer…      Continue Reading

Trick or Treat

It’s almost Halloween, so I’m raising this one from the old, dead, Zero to Sixty in One Year blog.   Whose arm is that? I have no idea This photo was taken at an Intensive Care Nursery reunion picnic at UCSF.  My daughter spent several months in the ICN as an infant. The reunion usedContinue Reading