A New Beginning

Recently, I was having a lovely lunch with three close friends, outdoors at The New Leaf Café, in Fort Tryon Park, when one of the women announced that she and her husband were planning to sell their place near us and move into a retirement community down south. We all paused in our eating. There was a moment of silence before we congratulated her and began asking questions. We have been together, the four of us, for almost 15 years, meeting at least monthly to discuss a memoir we had read and to share the intimacies of our lives through writing. We are all headed toward 80 and the topic of retirement communities was not a new one. Still, as I looked across the table at my dear friend, I felt tears welling.

Of Race, Culture, and Age

They were all young, beautiful, vibrant, and clearly multiracial and multicultural. As I walked into the registration lobby of the writing conference,[1] I couldn't help but pick up on their energy. I live in New York City, a place where it is difficult, if not impossible, to miss the changing demographics of the world, but,... Continue Reading →

A New Moment

One of the students in my chair yoga class felt very stimulated after a certain pose and asked, "Can I do this pose at home? It felt so good!" It was a beautiful summer day and a little breeze blew in through the slightly open window of the community room. [To read the entire post, click on the title.]

Backpacks

In younger days, I traveled with a backpack. It was an army surplus backpack, its green canvas fabric soft and flexible, as though it had been washed many times, although I can’t remember ever washing it. It had fraying straps and an ink stain on one of the pockets. [Click on title to read entire post]

Heights

[Click on title to read full post] The east-facing windows of our new Brooklyn Heights apartment, on the 32nd floor look out across the expanse of Brooklyn and Queens, building after building. On the horizon, I can see the air traffic control tower at JFK airport, twelve miles away as the crow flies, more visible in some lights than in others. The horizon stretches north and south behind the tower in a long, flat line, broken here and there by a building that rises higher than the land.  The expanse of Long Island lies in the distance behind.

Starry, Starry Night

I grew up in northwestern Maine, in the foothills of the White Mountains, at a time when electricity had drawn only the slightest curtain over the night sky. In New York, I missed the stars.

As a young adult, I spent summer vacations on a three-acre island in 42-mile long Moosehead Lake, a venue which offered the most rewarding of night skies. [Click on title to read the whole post.]

A Caring Society?

He was probably in his twenties, this young man who was sticking the needle into my arm to draw blood. I was still upset from my earlier visit to my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) doctor, on the eighth floor. I had seen my doctor (Dr. S), who had said my RA was under control, kept my medications at the same level, sent me for blood tests, and told me to return in three months.

A Caretaker’s Tale: Inequitable Health Care

The first day in the ER was unpleasant, but not horrible. It was Sunday. There were waits, but when we finally were called in, Rosemary was assigned a stretcher and there was a chair where I could sit. We had hoped to avoid the visit, but, after a four-hour stint while the on-call doctor opened his office and confirmed a re-occurrence of her optic neuritis, Rosemary had been sent to the ER for the first of a series of steroid infusions. [To read the rest of the post,click on the title.]

To Virtual Friendship

For several years now, I have started most days with a glance at my friend Scott’s puns of the day: “Pigs are stymied,” or “Beginning campers do it intentionally.” Sometimes, our mutual friend Rick posted a pun in reply and it seemed just like when we used to be in English class together. When Scott wasn’t well enough to post, I missed him, and I guess others did too, because when he showed up on Facebook after an absence, there would be comments, “Glad you’re back!” “Missed you!” “Welcome back!’ I didn’t know, until I read his obituary, that he had published several books of puns. [To read the whole piece, click on the title.]

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