A Nutty Gift

the Nutcracker, Boston Ballet, balletMany years ago I dated a guy who loved the ballet.

Not any ballet, though.

Specifically, the Nutcracker.

I thought he was rather nuts.

Not that I had anything against the ballet. At the time, I liked it in principle: incredibly ‘fit’ people in tights and leotards and sometimes sequins performing astonishing leaps and bounds.Nutcracker Ballet, Boston Ballet

But then on our fifth date, this man took me to see a performance of the wooden implement that turns into a prince. My date hummed along to every symphonic number, much to my amazement. Turns out, this was his sixth year of attending the December extravaganza.

I was kinda deciding I liked this guy, but really….a grown man enjoying a kid’s ballet every Christmas? Continue reading

Blue Tooth Tête-à-Tête

Blue tooth, car conversation“Mom’s hospital stay wasn’t covered?” I ask, trying to not sound as disturbed as I feel.

“No, that’s not what I said,” my brother replies, raising his voice during our blue-toothed conversation. “The hospital didn’t think she was covered.”

“How could they possibly think that?” I protest from the driver’s seat of my car. “We’ve only filled out dozens of forms in the past year with all that information.”

I hear Chuck’s groan, hundreds of miles away. He’s in Maryland driving home from work. I’m racing in my car in New England on the way to teach an evening class.

“Toll Booth in ½ mile,”

           an alien-sounding female voice intones loudly from Chuck’s car, just as he says, “…called (garble garble) insurance (garble garble) card!” Continue reading

Success NOW

New England dawnFunny, how conflicted a person can feel about success.

And there’s the rub. What IS success, and what is not?

That is what I’m thinking at 5:30 a.m. as I take in a deep breath, smell the essence of my tropical green tea, look outside my window and glory in the darkness and the early morning moon shining through my window.

This, this is my success. Continue reading

You Look Like a . . .

Groton Library, Groton MA, shop local, read localLast Saturday I participated in a “Shop Local” Book Fair at a beautiful picturesque library in rural New England.

Twenty other authors and I sat behind tables covered with colorful cloths and plants, candy in dishes and strong stubborn wishes that visitors would want to buy and read our books.

Sally Field, you really like me

Photo: AP

As a writer, I wanted to hide behind the stacks of library books behind me. But as an author, I stood tall and smiled tremulously, feeling like Sally Field before she got her Oscar, thinking “Please Like Me (my books), really really Like Me (my books).” Continue reading

Thanksgiving Turnip Twist

turnipsIn a time long, long ago, I watched my grandmother boil turnips and mash them and then place them on the Thanksgiving table as if offering the sweetest dish imaginable. My dad would sing the praises of this Thanksgiving offering, and as a little girl, I learned to love the purple-orange vegetable of ill-repute.

Decades later, I boiled and mashed and served turnips on my Thanksgiving table. My guy compared turnips to garlic – he disliked both. But turnips became a vegetable my kids learned to revere. turnips, mashed turnips

But this year, Thanksgiving was not at my house. This year, we were invited to good friends, who happen to be the parents of our son-in-law. In a wide web of texts between a dozen people, we guests began to offer what we’d bring to “the table.” Continue reading