Grateful for a challenge.

And there. Despite the Vulcan death grip the winter has on our fair state, the calendar insists that today is Ash Wednesday and we have indeed launched the Lenten season. Or as my sister and I like to treat it, that special time of year when “spittle” is embraced in our daily vernacular. Just doesn’t…

Happy trails, little buckaroo.

He was an experiment of sorts. A test for a nearly-newlywed couple to measure their aptitude at raising and nurturing another living being that wasn’t a houseplant. He was a rescue kitten. An ad in the paper – because in those days, fancy things like websites were still taking baby steps across the Internets –…

Good manners: gifts for your care team

Upfront, let me just say that this is in no way a “must do.” Everyone has different care experiences, and some believe this is going too far. This is intended to share what I did without turning it into a “should” for you, dear reader. Unless you think it doesn’t go far enough. I’m not…

Overheard recently in the Living Room

Me (under pile of back-to-school paperwork): hey, what’s the kiddo’s student number again? Him (sitting in front of the computer): you don’t have the email I sent you? Me: Not in front of me, no. This form has a line for the student number, and we could leave it blank without penalty, I’m guessing. But…

For Luann.

A dear family friend, gone too soon. Missed most by her husband, children and grandchildren, but almost equally by countless friends. What Sweeter Music What sweeter music can we bring Than a carol, for to sing The birth of this our heavenly King? Awake the voice! Awake the string! Dark and dull night, fly hence…

A Conversation at Costco

(Recently conducted, after lugging a 40-pound bag of cat litter into the shopping cart.) HIM: Maybe we should toilet train the cats. ME: No, we don’t want to do that. KID: That’s silly, Daddy! HIM: Why not? ME: You don’t want those cats toilet-trained. HIM: Okay, tell me why. ME: Because, if they truly exist…

Conversation to kill time on the road

DISCLAIMER: No one in the car was pregnant at the time this conversation happened. No one recapping this conversation is pregnant, either. Felt the need to state this up-front given the subject matter about to be discussed. Sooo, not pregnant. Got that? Okay. Moving on, now. … [Conversation in the car on our way somewhere,…

In lieu of flowers.

It was a bright, clear Summery sort of Sunday recently when the phone rang and my mom told me that one of my great-aunts had passed away. She was 87 years old, and had lived a long, full life. While she never married, or had kids of her own, her many nieces and nephews gave…

Beware of Greeks bearing a Thesaurus.

Or, never look a gift dictionary in the index. Nostalgia occupied my mind today. Far away from my desk, for reasons good and logical, a place of my childhood was changing hands and out of family custody. (At least, I think so. I haven’t heard if anything may have caused a delay in the transaction.)…

I get to remember.

I get to remember that… I get to imagine how… Many are the stories I’ve heard… This was the grandmother… And this: I understand that, as long as I can keep remembering, she’s never really that far away. But that won’t stop me from missing her.

Our next cat’s name

We’re not getting a new cat for the family. Or a new kitten, even. But you know how you’ll think of that perfect name – for a human, or a companion animal – and want so badly to share it with your friends but you’re afraid they’ll have a baby/get a pet and steal your…