Mother’s Day Cheese – Grilled

grilled cheese, mothers and daughters“Sit down and don’t move.”

This is the first time in my life I can order my mom around, and she has to listen!

She sits on the couch, back against the long floral armrest, head against an added pillow, legs straight in front of her on the rest of the couch, more pillows raising her feet.

“But,” she protests, “I know where the butter is, and the pan to grill the bread. Don’t use the new tomatoes, use the ones in the vegetable bin, and I’m not sure if the cheddar cheese is on the left side of the refrigerator, or the bottom shelf, and…” Continue reading

Driving with the Top Down

In honor of my mom’s 94th birthday on February 28, I’m dedicating this post to her, mothers, daughters

ocean City NJ, Atlantic OceanI am here again, traveling along the same flat road, watching the tall green maples and oaks turn to scrubby, smaller bush and pine. What is it about my primordial need to return to the ocean – the Atlantic Ocean – every year?

As I breathe in the hot humid New Jersey air, a mixture of dirt, gas, grass, asphalt and salt water, I wonder if it’s just a childhood memory that needs to be rewritten and retold yearly.  After all, as a child . . .

“Why is he traveling so closely behind you?  How fast are you going?” my mother interrupts my slow, careful thoughts. Continue reading

The Joke’s on Them

soda shop, 1940s, true story, before WWIIWhen the older man enters the soda shop, Nev ignores him and continues wiping down the counter. The usual customers are teenagers right after school. But it’s 5:30 now, and Nev just wants to finish up his chores and get home.

“Coca Cola, son,” the man says. He must be over 40, and wears a business hat and fedora, carrying a briefcase. Nev fills the glass and takes it over to the bar stool.

They share some incidentals. The man works in the city and takes the train to work every day. The high schooler relates that his mom works two jobs; his dad hasn’t been around since he was 2, so he pitches in when he can.

“That you I see smoking with the Zoot suiters some days near the train station?” the man asks. Continue reading

Delicate Object

sunrise, sunset, photographySometimes I wonder if souls can shatter, despite their superb strength.

As I drive the seven hours to my mom’s facility where she is suffering from end-stage dementia, my heart beats fast and fills up with pale blue, silky pink emotions. At 6:30 a.m. I’ve been driving for over an hour. The sun begins its rosy ascent over the paved hard highway, and I’m lulled by the soft snores of my daughter in the passenger seat and my two young grandsons in the back seat, covered from chin to toe in soft flannel blankets. Continue reading