Reading, Writing & Chocolate

October 12, 2018

Driving west on Route 35, the colorful fall leaves reminded me of a road trip I took with my mom to Eastern Tennessee. In the mid-1990s, I made several trips to Eastern Tennessee to explore the possibility of relocating there. The topography is similar to Northern Westchester: rolling hills, trees, ...

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Last week, I asked my adult writing students to think back to the very first car they owned. I asked them to describe the car and write about the emotions surrounding that important milestone. For most people, that first vehicle represents freedom, adventure and responsibility. My first car was ...

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I like old movies. I especially enjoy old movies from the 1920s and 1930s. Those black and white films stand the test of time with good storylines and acting. I have dozens of old movies saved over the years on VHS tapes. I no longer have a VCR to play them on and can only gaze at the carefully ...

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I remember a few times from my childhood when I stayed home from school because I was sick. I rested under the covers of my canopy bed waiting for the doctor to arrive. Back then, doctors made house calls. My parents did not have to bundle up their feverish child to drive miles away from home in ...

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It’s happened again. No warning signs. I wake up after a cozy night’s sleep and the room is spinning. My own internal poltergeist. Vertigo. I used to look forward to the beginning of autumn—new classes to teach, warm cider donuts, pumpkin cake, and colorful leaves on the trees. But for the past ...

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The other day I had a hankering for a tomato. Not a mushy, red orb that tastes like cardboard from the grocery store. A real tomato. I did not grow tomatoes this year but I fondly recall the bounty of red ripe juicy tomatoes I used to pick every August from my garden. There is a farm stand on ...

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I like the natural environmentally friendly approach to gardening. No need for pesticides or exhaust-spewing machines when a spritz of cayenne pepper or the sweep of a broom will do. So, I was very interested to hear that Montpelier, Vt., was using goats to remove poison ivy. The noxious weeds ...

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As I was driving north on Route 123 toward the traffic light, my peripheral vision caught an unexpected sight on my right. A set of freshly constructed wooden stairs and handrails had magically appeared, seemingly overnight, leading into the woods. How delightful! My imagination conjured up a ...

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I am enjoying my summer so far. Walking every morning with my neighbor, reading a ton of new books, teaching summer writing classes, and eating chocolate ice cream has been very relaxing. But now that August is here, I’m thinking about planning a mini-vacation to a destination that sounds fun. I ...

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In a perfect world, I would like to know what will happen in the future. I could be prepared and make plans accordingly. But since I do not read my daily horoscope or visit psychics, I have decided to predict my future according to the activities of the chipmunks in my backyard. Why not? Every ...

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As a young child, I was quite the outgoing chatterbox. On an airplane trip to visit grandma in Florida, I asked a man across the aisle if I could have his chocolate cupcake. He was in a tough spot, how do you say no to a cute curly haired little girl? He graciously handed over his cupcake, as my ...

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I have a short name. One syllable, three letters. Easy to pronounce. My mother chose my name specifically because she did not like names that can be shortened into nicknames. My mother’s name is Sandra. And she was mightily offended whenever anyone called her Sandy. My mom associated the name Sandy ...

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