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At Seventy—My Bold Adventure

I became a gardener when I bought a house in Raleigh, on my own, and restored the old garden. Up until then, I merely did yard work. I was fifty-five. I considered myself a writer when I started my first blog and shared it publicly. Before that I was just a journaler. I was fifty-eight. […]

Strawberry-Citrus Shortcake

The Story: Strawberry Shortcake was a June staple in my childhood, Pacific NW strawberry season coming as it did in convergence with my mother’s birthday, my birthday, and my sister’s birthday. It was never ever made with the tasteless little store-bought sponge cakes sold in the produce section at the grocery store. Never with pound […]

Best Ever Granola

The Story: I had the great privilege during my sojourn with my mother to attend a master class at Hedgebrook women’s writing retreat center on Washington’s Whidbey Island. A week of living alone in a tiny cottage and being cooked for. None of the locally sourced healthy food was food Mama could have eaten, due […]

The Unreliable Narrator

Mama has cognitive dysfunction, or brain fog. As the years go on, gradually more of her brain succumbs to the fog, while other parts continue to fight it—and me—in every way it can. While dementia is advanced cognitive dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s a type of dementia, I still don’t believe she has those more debilitating diseases. […]

They Left Us Everything: Is It Clutter or Memories?

It’s the ultimate spring cleaning, and I’m not talking spiderwebs and dust. I’m cleaning out the overflowing basement room that has been storing the ephemera of my parents lives for the nearly sixty years they lived here. When my parents migrated across the country in 1946, after the war, they must have brought only what […]

All the Time in the World, Part 1

December 2015 My mother wasn’t always old, I try to remember. She once had a straight spine and strong legs. Legs that rode a bicycle and climbed mountains. She met a man, fell in love, and survived the war years without him, writing and reading hundreds of letters that traveled for weeks to cross the […]

Mug Brownie

The Story: Sometimes you Just. Need. Chocolate. And you need it NOW. But you really don’t need a whole pan full. When I lived with my mother, my little suite in the basement didn’t have an oven or a stove, just a microwave. I used the kitchen of course, but sometimes I just wanted to […]

I Hear Birds. All the Time.

Hearing loss is one of the myriad ways I’m beginning to align with my mother. For years, my mother had life-disrupting tinnitus, until she became completely deaf in one ear and critically impaired in the other. (Or maybe she became deaf and thus the tinnitus.) She avoided places where there was noise, it made her […]