What Was I Thinking?

August 14, 2018

I enjoy receiving feedback on my columns whether by email or meeting a reader at the pharmacy or post office.  I especially love hearing how they relate to what I’ve written. Not too long ago I wrote that son, George, and I had set up the outdoor furniture on the deck.  We were oh so careful ...

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Our little sister, Rosemary (Roe), recently celebrated her birthday—won’t tell you which one, but suffice it to say she is on Medicare. Yes, there is quite a difference in our ages—I was 13 years old, my brother, Jack, was 10 when our father shared the big news:  “Mother needs more help from you ...

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Fifteen-year old grandson Nick just returned from a five-day trip to Houston, Texas, with the Youth Group from Emanuel Lutheran Church, Pleasantville. They had traveled with the group from The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection of Mt. Kisco. Some 30,000 teens and their chaperones came from all ...

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This year I was late in setting up my deck. Call it procrastination, muggy weather or whatever excuse, I finally got to it last week. With help from son, George, we set up the outdoor dining table and chairs; he methodically placed the flower boxes on the railing: “they have to be evenly ...

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We didn’t have the luxury of minivans when the boys were small. What we did have was a 1966 Ford Country Squire station wagon: long, sleek, solid and hunter green with imitation “woodie” trim. Our wagon was certainly big enough to accommodate three growing boys and a baby in a portable crib ...

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Boys will be boys! That phrase is embedded in my brain and soul after raising four of these loveable, imaginative, spunky and sometimes mystifying creatures. My brother Jack doesn’t escape this description; he is a part of this fraternity big time! Picture this: On a hot, muggy day way back ...

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As you know, I love going through boxes of photo albums and other significant memorabilia—never can tell when something long-forgotten and special will turn up. That being said, I came across an old newspaper clipping from The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. There was a sticky note attached: ...

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Shades of the late Darren McGavin! If you liked the ‘70s horror shows on TV, you knew him as Kolchak, crime reporter, in the series “The Night Stalker.” It seems that I have a night stalker living with me. My kitty, Bonnie, had her 18th birthday in April and I’ve noticed some subtle changes in ...

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Several years ago, as part of an assignment for Linda Spear’s writers’ workshop, I began developing a short story. With a dear friend’s permission, I wrote of her long-ago troubling encounter; again, with her permission, I am sharing it with you. I wrote it in the first person, and all names, some ...

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Does Ruthie’s Brigade ring a bell? Sure it does! You are family, friends and faithful readers who’ve been my support network as I’ve done battle with various medical issues. A Brigadier suggested a column to update everyone on a couple of these ongoing battles. Here goes: As you know, I have ...

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It seems that warm, summer days are finally upon us. That being said, I think about summers past: when we were kids, when our kids were little and other occasions that make up a book of great memories. Growing up, our family spent many summers in Eastham, on Cape Cod. The cottage was on a ...

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I celebrated my birthday last week, surrounded by the love of family: What a joyful occasion. I’ve thought about past celebrations and how tremendous it was to be remembered and loved. One such birthday was a real hoot. As you know, my mother’s birthday also was in May. Years ago, we were having ...

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Mom’s birthday is this month. She passed away in 2004 but she lives forever in our hearts, thoughts and memories.   Mom had class. I see photos of her alone, with Dad and/or others, and her elegance shines: the way she stood, her expressive hands, sparkling eyes and beautiful smile. She dressed ...

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Some time ago, I went to Home Goods with a friend to look for picture frames. As we entered the store, I saw an arm chair on display. It was upholstered in neutral shades of cream and taupe, had soft, easy lines and looked quite comfortable. I sat in it and immediately felt embraced in pleasant ...

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One night, not too long ago, I had problems falling asleep. The oxygen machine was quietly running, I was warm and snug under the comforter, but sleep had taken a leave of absence and my brain was working overtime.  I opened the night table drawer looking for a magazine, something to read to ...

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On that terrible Friday night a few weeks ago, I was sitting by the fire watching TV when poof! I and thousands of others were plunged into a cold, dark nightmare of magnitude proportions: the first of three nor’easters.  I kept the fire going all night and bundled up the best I could. The next ...

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“Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.” Anonymous   Fifteen years ago, son George adopted six-week-old kittens he named Sammy and Roxy. Sadly, Sammy recently became ill ...

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My friend Rosemarie and I asked ourselves that question as we set out for dinner on that snowy Saturday night a few weeks ago. As I drove very carefully down the major hill in Heritage Hills, there was a steady line of cars slowly coming up the hill, heading to the safety of their homes. Not us! ...

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Last week I chatted with a long-time friend from my IBM days. We caught up on our families, friends, thoughts about the world and whatever else came to mind. We revisited, finally with humor, the time we got stuck in the elevator at work. Mind you, she suffers from ...

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A few days ago, I watched a rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” In this particular episode, brothers Raymond and Robert went head to head over who would take care of their mother, Marie, during her later years (anticipating that father, Frank, would predecease her). It brought back the decision ...

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I absolutely must share this special and humorous story with you. My childhood friend, Irene, recently celebrated her 80th birthday. Her family made it an occasion for the books. Irene’s sons, Ken and Rick and their families, live in New Hampshire. My bold and daring friend drove from ...

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Author’s note: As I gazed out the window at the trees today, a beautiful cardinal landed on a branch and looked in my window for a minute or two, then cocked its head to the side and flew away. I just knew it was a sign from our mother, a gentle reminder that the anniversary of her passing is Feb.

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Every now and then, I come across something posted on Facebook that hits close to home: “One day, when my children are grown, I hope they still come through the front door without knocking. I hope they head to the kitchen for a snack and slump on the sofa to watch TV. I hope they come in and feel ...

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Do you remember Ruthie’s Brigade? You are my family, dear friends and faithful readers who make up a much-needed support network when I do battle with my various medical issues. I haven’t written much lately about them, so I will share an update with you—you will then know as much as I do at this ...

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The touch of a hand can bring warmth and love; it can bring comfort and understanding to those who might be overwhelmed by life and its trials and tribulations. I choose not to write about the pain and unhappiness hands can inflict; it’s enough that we read about it every day. I recall once ...

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It seems the norm nowadays to flip out your iPhone, or whatever you use, to show pictures of family, pets or places. I prefer looking through photo albums, and I truly enjoy receiving Christmas card photos of my family, friends and other special people in my life. I keep a large envelope labeled ...

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Brother Jack and his lovely wife, Patti, will be celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary Dec. 31. My “anniversary card” to them is a reprint, with love, of my column, “Cupid strikes in the soup aisle!” published in 2013: how they met, their wedding ceremony and two lives going forward. Read it ...

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In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve written stories about Christmas and what it means to my family. I’d like to share with you a sweet family Hanukkah story. My nephew, John, his lovely wife, Debbie, and adorable children, Emily and Derek, live in California. John is Christian and Debbie is ...

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Even though our world is so unsettled and sometimes scary, I still love looking at the Christmas lights, displays of the nativity and menorah, listening to Christmas carols old and new and feeling the joy of the holiday spirit. They give me hope. My holiday season began with my dear friend ...

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Many years ago, my mother gave me a tiny, gold guardian angel pin to wear on my collar. When I think of it, that poor angel has worked overtime all these years and never been compensated! Imagine “her” performance plan: serious health issues, automobile accidents, family crises, broken ...

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