Cafeteria Garden

My mother's gardens were bountiful and beautiful.  She could grow anything from radishes to roses. Given the chance, she'd work in them all day long. Me? Hardly. Nevertheless, I keep trying to grow flowers. My success has been limited, mostly because we've moved to houses with too much shade. The bright floral expanses I dream of have…

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A Degree and a Dime

No one turns a college degree on a dime, so to speak. In May I watched Maggie graduate and wondered how so much time had passed. Of course every parent thinks the same thing. What were the markers? The turning points? Where did her confidence come from? How did she become an academic success? One…

Mysterious Love

Because I graduated in 1969, my 50th high school reunion is on the horizon. I've seen Facebook "Calling All Classmates" announcements. Honestly, I'm only distantly connected. I spent high school not talking to most people. I recently happened onto a friend's video, based on yearbook photos, for the Class of 1968 reunion. It went on…

Just a Teacher

Every time I turn around, another teachers' strike begins. The issues never change--higher wages, better benefits, smaller class sizes, expanded book and supply budgets. People in charge never get the message, do they? Yet dollars can't fix everything. The profession is plagued by a pervasive negative attitude. While usually unspoken, I heard it loud and…

Fringe Apology

Yes, this is really about fringe. And a mistake I made about tangled fringe. Keep in mind I was a late-in-life mother. So when we adopted Maggie, I was over-the-moon ready. Okay, some people would call it overzealous. Looking back, I see I turned my perfectionist's dial to 11 because 10 simply wasn't sufficient for…

Celebrate Yourself

Overwhelmed yet? It's now or never as far as Christmas goes. If you're anything like me, the holiday crash course begins around Halloween with a parallel list of orange/brown decor beside the green/red one. If you're clever, with a few additions and deletions, the Trick or Treat decorations morph into Autumnal Pilgrims, easy peasy. But…

Vacuum 2.0

What happened to vacuum cleaners? I'm sure you've kept up with the times better than I have, but they now look like you could use them to fight dragons. With a charging unit and fleet of attachments, they require a room of their own. Cliff and I have been through several over 40 years of…

The Wonder of Television

People complain about television. They always have their reasons, but mostly parents worry about its impact on children. Anyone can see how that might be true. But let me tell you about an astonishing connection Maggie made through television when she was a toddler. This begins with my mother who became a widow at forty-six,…