Snail Mail Snafu

snail mail, birthday cards, mail, stampsYesterday my guy received five crank calls that made no sense to him.

The phone calls originated from a CA town where we’ve never lived. The first two calls were hang-ups, then three voice mails, delivered in a shaky female voice: “I have your card. Please call me back.”

“My card? What card?” he worried. He checked his wallet; all of his credit cards were in place. Continue reading

With a Little Help from My Friends

Fear not the vast emptiness of the universe for

Right beside you, surrounding you with understanding,

Identifying your needs and wants and supplying

Endless support as you laugh and cry, and even when

Nothing seems focused or centered in your world,

Damn if your friends don’t suddenly

Smile, and your world becomes sunshine.

friendship, shorebirds, sun rises

The Wind Beneath My Wings

friends, celebration, e-publishing, writing Whenever I hear the expression “you are the wind beneath my wings,” I think about how my friends have blown me through misgivings, doubts, mistakes, dilemmas, marvels, damnations, mysteries, and discomforts.

The times I laugh the loudest, and cry the hardest, are with my friends.

The wind beneath my wings.

One night this week, a group of six friends took me out to celebrate the publication of my book, The Right Wrong Man. They passed around cards of encouragement and pride, they plied me with chocolate bars to fortify me in my (writing) times of need. They gave me a bag full of ‘writing essentials’ in case the power went out: notebook, candle, pencils, pens, and an eraser that says ‘delete.’

writing, writing with no power, friendships, publishing

God, I love my friends.

college friends, friendsI cherish the faded photos of my first steady friends – friendships cemented during our college years of love found, love lost, tests failed, classes college, dorm, friendshipspassed, maturity endured, parties survived.

And I cherish the photo of us, decades later, still smiling together.

Women are only as strong as their friendships, yes?

friends, college, dorm, aging

Decades after college, still smiling.

champagne, congratulations, friendships, writing, publishingA week ago, another friend, “Inda the Bride,” took me out for lunch to celebrate my book, and before I knew what she was doing, two glasses of champagne sparkled on our table. Her friendship goes way back, including an evening 20 years ago when my daughter made glittery nameplates for our dinner table, but the glimmering “L” came off long before dessert. Linda’s been Inda ever since. Oh, and she and her love married in our house; I even pressed the CD button as she came down our stairs, so Pachelbel Canon in D Major would soothe her jittery nerves.

The wind beneath our wings.

Just as I’m writing this, I see an e-mail pop up from a ‘new’ friend. We’ve only known each other for 12 years. A Baby Friendship. She writes:

friendship, writing, e-book, publishing

MADS helped me survive New England winters, teaching me how to drive in the snow (close your eyes and pray), how to tutor special ed students (stare them in the eyes and love them), and how to laugh when you want to cry.

The wind beneath my wings.

When I began this blog almost two years ago, the second post I wrote was about a long-time friendship – “A Place I Could Easily Call Home” (, and the first poem I posted explained that “Friendship sooths the rough edge of life.” (

As I scroll down the friendships of my life, the special women who have helped me get through my fears and my devils, helped me celebrate my joys and my loves, I thank them for the wind they’ve provided beneath my wings.

cheers, writing, congratulations, publishing, friendshp Cheers and love to you, my friends!

Touchy Feely

Napa, brunch, bed and breakfast, cinnamon crisp, food, loveI spent the weekend in Napa with my man and friends visiting from the right coast, and they either insulted me or paid me a great compliment by the end of our time together.

“We didn’t realize you’re one of those ‘touchy feely’ kinds,” the couple said to me on Sunday.

At first I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong (assuming it was not a good thing to be touchy feely).

“Ah,” I finally answered. “Yes, I complimented the chef at the B&B we stayed in, but you don’t know the whole story.”

“You told him that the food he created for his guests came from his heart, not just from the ingredients, saucepans, and oven!” they exclaimed, a bit of recrimination in their voices.

I gulped. It did sound hokey when my friends repeated it, even though the chef made improbable but fabulous brunches for his weekend guests.

Imagine inn-made, melt-in-your-mouth cranberry scones with fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade jam and fresh-squeezed orange juice, then thick cheese sandwiches grilled with delightful homemade bread and a small cup of tomato bread soup cradled in the center of the plate.

Think tiny soft-on-the inside-crunchy-on-the-outside cinnamon twists that melted in eager mouths, then a five-inch square chef-made ravioli filled with ricotta, basil, and other savory spices, topped with a pouched egg. A weird combination that tasted like Tuscany and sun-ripened mornings.ravioli, food, Napa, bed and breakfast, brunch, love

“I read a newspaper article about the chef,” I explained defensively. “He’s the 10th of 17 children. In his family, cooking and serving meant survival and love. Plus, he became a Catholic priest until he realized he didn’t belong there. He had an epiphany on Epiphany and bought this B&B with his partner.”

“Sooooo?” my friends asked. “He serves good food to keep his guests coming back. It’s called economic survival.”

I shook my head. “This chef’s main ingredient is love. I could taste it in every bite. This is his service, not as a priest, but as a giver, a nurturer, maybe even a ‘touchy feely’ cook.”

My friends rolled their eyes.

My heart sank.

Can’t food preparation equate love?

Call me touchy feely (and I have a feeling many do), but I think so.

touchy feely, pineapple, food, love, granddaughter

First pineapple – a touchy feely food photo of granddaughter Sophie.




Ernest Hemingway, memoir, writingErnest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in only six words. His response:  “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

I’m sniffling already, and it’s only a six-word story!

Since then, similar challenges have been thrown out in magazines, books, and blogs:  can you tell your life story in six words?

Well, can you?

Here’s a few I’ve come up with:

WHO IS THAT IN MY MIRROR?  writer, story, memoir

Well, that’s not my life story, but sometimes it’s what I scream to myself in the morning.


LIFE’S HARD, LOVE SOFTENS IT UP grandkids, love, family, memoir

Life IS hard, I think we all agree. But can you imagine how much harder it would be without your loved ones? Your friends, your spouse or significant other, your children or nieces/nephews? Since I’ve been old enough to wonder about the meaning of life, about why we’re even here, I’ve figured out that it’s all about the love.


That’s how I feel – like I’m 30 years old and having a heck of a time each day making it through my job, my joys, my fears, my … but wait. My son tells me he’s 30? How’d he catch up to me like that?

I love the title of a book that published six-word memoirs by “Writers Famous and Obscure” (2008) called Not Quite What I Was Planning.

I imagine that’s how most of us feel by the time we’ve reached a certain age. Are you nodding your head? Did you plan to be where you are, who you are, years ago? Doubtful!

Oh, here’s another one I just thought of:


Spoken like the empty nester that I am. Yes, Virginia, there is life after 50 (um, and even later!)

My turn now to challenge YOU. I dare you to send me (in the comment section) your six-word story or memoir.

Come on, you can do it!

6-word memoir