Summer 1980.

What began with The Shining, released on Memorial Day weekend, ended, a week after Labor Day, with Ordinary People. In between were Caddyshack, The Blue Lagoon, Airplane!, Brubaker, Urban Cowboy and He Knows You’re Alone. It was the summer of Luke and Laura, of Funkytown, Magic and Sailing. The United States led a 65-country boycott…

The American dream.

It is sometimes hard to be optimistic, even for an optimist; it is hard even for me. And so, from time to time, I ask the universe to help me understand, to feed understanding in a way that might feed hope. The universe usually answers, though not always in a cute, tidy or immediately accessible…

Today.

A little while ago, maybe two months, maybe more, we finally joined the 21st century and cut our cable service, replacing it with a Roku device. I thought that cutting the cord would eliminate the constant stream of television in our house, particularly in my bedroom at night when I would finally come upstairs after…

The glorious improbability of us.

┬áIf your two parents hadn’t bonded just when they did – possibly to the second, possibly to the nanosecond – you wouldn’t be here. Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, p. 397 Here’s your thinky-thought for the day: Whether the product of careful, clinical implantation or a bit of energetic reverse cowgirl, each…

In vino veritas.

Oh, screw it; it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Let’s talk about wine; everything else is too depressing. In our many family moves during my youth, there were a few belongings, in addition to clothes, dishes and furniture, that always made the journey from one stopping place to the next: the Encyclopaedia Britannica set; the heirloom Christmas…

Letting the days go by.

Here’s what I’ve been wondering: how in the hell did we get here? [This was one of my father’s favorite phrases, by the way: how in the hell…[whatever, whatever]] I’ve been wondering this wonder in a very literal sense, after reading Bill Bryson’s terrific A Short History of Nearly Everything, and then starting to write…

Starfish gazing.

Perhaps what I meant was actually this: When my children were little, during the age of great dependency, I sometimes, oftentimes, struggled in my job as their mother. My struggles were laid bare most visibly on weekends, holidays and vacations. Particularly at the beach. **** Once, we loaded the last bag in the car at…

destin-ation.

Here’s how I knew we were going to the beach and not to my grandparents’ house at Hardy: when we turned from our street and drove past the Howard Johnson’s (where we went to get ice cream), we turned and drove up a ramp, past the billboard picture of the girl with the dog tugging…