Magical Memoir Moments

A Pork 'n Sauerkraut New Year: Happy Birthday, Stuart!

At our house, the holiday season begins with Christmas and ends on January 11. Why January 11? That’s my husband Stuart’s birthday. We don’t clear out the wrapping paper and bows until Jan. 12. Our serious efforts to go back to low-carb eating only starts after that date also. This year, Stuart discovered a tradition…

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Couldn't find any Pepsi in glass bottles, so I went with my water bottle.

So Much Fun: Making Collage Photos and Getting Chills

A few weeks ago everyone seemed to be playing with FaceApp, which aged faces of young people. You could see yourself in the future, say, fifty years from now. On our second honeymoon to Nova Scotia, we did the reverse.   These collages were much fun to make. They were taken almost exactly fifty years…

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The Song of the Lark, one of two copies in my library.

Our Callings, Our Bodies, and Our Lodestar Books

Do you have a lodestar book? One that explains your self to yourself? One that you can read in any season of life and it still instructs, comforts, and inspires you? Like this one? I have read this book at least four times. I come back to some passages nearly every year. This novel tells…

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Our pear and cherry trees in the back yard. With severe haircuts.

Purging and Pruning Post Epiphany

Yesterday, the Day of Epiphany, fell on a Sunday, and a little group from our church jumped into conversation about the wise men, the star, and global warming, in response to the sermon. So, I was receptive when my friend Richard posted a wonderful epiphany reflection, which begins this way: For this Time Being –…

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Lydia is wearing a Hess family heirloom dress at least 100 years old.

The Celestial Openness of the Child’s Mind: Lydia’s Breakthrough, Our Goodbye

Those Romantic poets, especially Wordsworth, got it right. We do arrive on this earth trailing clouds of glory! For the last eleven months, Stuart and I have had a front-row seat as Lydia exuberantly shared with us the trailing clouds of glory she brought with her from birth. Today neuroscientists are using the term “celestial…

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Magnavox-Collaro-Blonde-Mid-Century-Record-Player

Baby Songs: “You’re Gonna Thank Me Everyday”

Did you have a record player in your house long ago? This record player came from an estate sale, the first one Nik and Kate went to several years ago. The price was $150. That number seemed high. It’s probably about as much as the original cost in the late 1950s or early 60s. They…

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Tina, Mary, and Gloria traveled to Pittsburgh and made Lydia and me very happy.

Living in a Almost Tiny House: Creative Grandparenting Spaces

When we decided to move to Pittsburgh for a year, to help take care of granddaughter Lydia, we thought it would be important to have a place of our own. The more intimate the work, the greater the need for two-family-privacy, was the idea. So we moved into one apartment and later into another. But…

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Prince Charles, Pittsburgh, and People Turning Seventy

I remember how pleased I was to read, in My Weekly Reader, in 1957, that Prince Charles was born in 1948. He was my age! I would later learn that Al Gore, James Taylor, Kathy Bates, Stevie Nicks, Samuel L. Jackson, Alice Cooper, and Andrew Lloyd Weber, all share the same birth year, which means. ….

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Little Golden Book: Martha's House

Moving Across the Bridge: From Dream to Reality, Christmas to New Year, and Part I and Part II of Our Pittsburgh Adventure

The end of December is like Monet’s Japanese footbridge, says writer Philip Martin. For us, this time has been a moving experience, bridging Christmas and New Year, dreams with reality, and the first half of our “grannynanny” sojourn with the last half. Christmas Kate and Nik hosted our whole family in Pittsburgh, the city of…

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Lydia and me enjoying a visit to the lovely Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh.

Feeling Useful: A Place Where Age and Love Meet

In my twenties and thirties and forties, I was a professor. In my fifties I was a college president. In my sixties I was a foundation executive. Now that I am six months away from age seventy, I’ve been promoted to “granny nanny.” But what, exactly, does that mean? Obviously, it means helping to keep…

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