Writer, author, memoir teacher. I write about the connections we find by giving each other the time and space to be heard.

Words From Now and Then

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Making Room

As spring approaches with its longer days and more time to “do things,” I get a little anxious. What happened to my list of things to do this winter when I looked forward to cozy days writing in my office or sewing or knitting or reading or…? Eeek! Didn’t finish a thing. And now it…

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Valentines, Black history and 2023

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate love. Here in Bucks County, PA, 23 weddings will be performed at the county courthouse. Six proposals were made on live TV on the Today show in New York City this morning. Anywhere you look, you can find articles about how to handle this day. Single women have…

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A Lifetime of Reading

January is a good month for reading. It’s cold outside, new books are coming out, and we may have received a few as holiday gifts. Getting lost in a book is one of the ways I deal with stress. My passion for reading has carried me past many rough patches: an emotionally fraught childhood, lonely…

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December Dreaming

I juggled a salted caramel latte with my purse and bag of drugstore sundries as I opened my door. Inhaling the warm comforting aroma of my coffee, an old man’s voice came back to me. “My son said to get a lah-tayyyy,” he said, drawing the word out with a little smile. He was amused…

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What’s In Your Bucket?

“You’ll hate yourself if you don’t see it.” So said my husband’s cousin Jimmy. He traveled to Florence after law school and visited the magnificent marble sculpture of David by Michelangelo. The iconic larger than life slayer of Goliath is viewed by thousands of tourists every year. When I mentioned my forthcoming trip to Italy…

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Election Time. Who Cares?

Around this time of year, when I was quite young, a car rolled slowly past our house with big round “loudspeakers” fastened to the roof, from which blared the voice of a man telling us who to vote for, a voice I heard even after the car rounded the corner and moved down the next…

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Continuous Small Treats

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” – Iris Murdoch I have a little routine, and I suspect many of you do, too, when I need to do something hard. I promise myself a little treat, and to keep from worrying about the hard thing, I think about what the…

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The Mysterious Black Madonna

Her face was everywhere. Growing up Catholic in the 1950s, statues of saints and their pictures on “holy cards” were a part of daily life. But the scarred face of the Madonna of Czestochowa was special. In our immigrant community, she represented the Polish people’s struggle for nationhood. A fifteenth-century Polish historian wrote that the…

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The Last Witness

There is a poem I love called The Last Uncle by Linda Pastan. It captures the feeling I had when my own last uncle died. My mother’s brother John was the last person I knew who had witnessed the Great Depression and WWII. Everyone who knew me as a child had now left the planet.…

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The Hartwick College Piano Man

A long time ago, in a land far away, an eight-year-old girl who was me stood alone in the Hartwick College parking lot. She was stiff, and scared and not sure what to do. My little family of four had just driven over an hour – a big trip in those days – to Oneonta,…

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It’s Touching

Yesterday, a woman I know only slightly rubbed my arm. “I like to touch people,” she said. “It’s good for us.” She happens to be a very sweet, kind person whom I like, so I didn’t mind. We had a little exchange about how we felt we had to do air hugs at the beginning…

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If Birds Could Save Us

What would it be like, a world without birds? Rachel Carson said it would be A Silent Spring. We are losing birds at an alarming rate. Since the 1970s, 2.9 billion birds have been lost in North America alone, or 29 percent of the total population. I’m afraid I’ve ignored them most of my life,…

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