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 … Continue reading Summer 1980.


"Women - particularly Southern women - can't really come into their voices until they lose their mothers," a writer friend said to me recently over lunch. This particular friend, who also was around 40 when she lost her mother and with whom I often discuss mothers and mothering, is the same friend who said, "you … Continue reading Materfamilias.

No, I am not Santa. (food, week of 12.23.13)

For the past seven days I have struggled with the challenge I set last week, the challenge of anonymous giving and do-gooding to revive my waning Christmas spirit.  Anonymous giving is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be, accentuating my completely irritating Type A-ness instead of increasing the spontaneous flow of love … Continue reading No, I am not Santa. (food, week of 12.23.13)

Every mom’s Jean Valjean moment.

It's coming for you, as it came for me.  It comes for us all. You can (over) prepare yet still be surprised, caught off guard, when it happens. You might think you are ready, having known what to expect from the beginning.  You got your groove back, maybe more than once.  You carefully bent to … Continue reading Every mom’s Jean Valjean moment.

Blackberry summer.

My mother's parents were farmers, and their farm had everything from peanuts to peaches. They also had blackberry bushes, the harvest of which was my mother's least favorite activity. My mother had fragile alabaster skin, and walking through the blackberry brush left her looking like she'd rolled in a barbed wire fence. At least, that's … Continue reading Blackberry summer.