My favorite Thai restaurant is stashed away in a nondescript strip mall. It’s busy — I admit to feeling a little smug watching the line snake out the door and down the sidewalk just after I’ve snagged the last table. The aromas, the spice, the fact that the chef takes my request for heat seriously…
I’ve been reading sections of my old journals, because apparently I’m masochistic. (There’s nothing like re-visiting a 20-something version of yourself who spouts off assured philosophies that life has yet to test.) Still, despite the general cringe-worthiness, I re-read periodically, usually zeroing in on the same time frame. I’m convinced that there’s a reason I’m…
A few months ago, my husband and I decided to walk through the cemetery near our house. We entered the main gates and continued along the winding paths that loop through the grounds. Naturally, our pace slowed — we got caught up in reading tombstones and searching for the graves of people we knew. The…
Hello, New Year
I sang with bands for years, and it was a blast. Weddings, dances, black-tie galas…we played them all. I could tell you that I did it because I wanted to share my music with others, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. While I got great satisfaction from helping to make special occasions memorable, I also…
On the morning of December 6, 1917, residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia began a day like any other. The city was busy. Halifax had been a wartime port since 1914, when Canada’s legal status as a British Dominion had brought the country into the Great War alongside Britain. As Canada’s largest Atlantic port, Halifax had…
I’ve driven westbound through the Columbia River Gorge twice, the first time because I’d never done it before and the second time because I had. It’s a breathtaking drive through Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, with scenery that never bores or disappoints. The first time I made the drive I stayed on I-84, which runs mostly alongside…
I copy recipes. I don’t mean I find them online and print them. I don’t even photocopy from other sources. Instead, I go to the library and choose a cookbook that interests me. Then I sit down with a stack of 4×6 index cards and a pack of multicolored pens. I date each card and…
Attention to Detail
My daughter’s wedding is approaching, which means we’re in the midst of tying up loose ends that rely on other loose ends that can’t be determined until a completely different set of loose ends is resolved. Some tasks, at least, are more straightforward. We needed signage to guide guests from the curb to the backyard…
Use the Force, Luke
It’s a classic scene: Luke Skywalker is learning to use his lightsaber under the wise tutelage of Obi Wan Kenobi. “A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him,” Obi Wan says when Luke’s lightsaber once again misses the targeted training remote. “This time, let go your conscious self and act on instinct.” Because, of…
My grandmother had two birthdays. For most of her life she celebrated on August 26th, the birthday she’d known since childhood. Then, sometime during the late 1960s, her husband found a box on the upper shelf of a closet in their Bronx apartment. Among the important papers it contained was Rachel’s birth certificate, something that…
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