My in-laws are in town for a visit and today we took Isabella to the aquarium. The place was teeming with families and summer campers. We made our way in, past the hoopla of a play area with a giant … Continue reading
Hot, sticky August. A family reunion on my mom’s side, up north on a lake lined with pines, rocky outcroppings with rope swings. My mother’s people are genuine and kind. It’s all easy conversation and laughter. Today everyone was in … Continue reading
If I tell you I am sleepy, children on the beach past 6:00pm, then huddled in the outdoor shower, slick hair, pale torsos, patting at each other’s brown shoulders and arms, round bellied and round cheeked, toes curled into cracks … Continue reading
Oh this Cape Cod weather… crisp salt air, clean blue sky, conjures the carefree days of my early twenties with my best friends in Provincetown. I can feel us waking in the same room, bleary and laughing, splashing cold water … Continue reading
It’s been a long week, but we made it through. Yesterday we discovered Chris has Lyme disease, which explains why he’s been so sick. A relief to have a diagnosis, and to have him on the mend. It’s easy to … Continue reading
I attended Catholic school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Even my college was Catholic-affiliated. Today I think of Catholicism as an old family tradition. If asked whether I identify with a particular religion or philosophy, I would say I’m a … Continue reading
It’s taken me nearly forty years to realize that God invented yellow rain slickers not least of all so that we may create our own sunshine on rainy days.
A storm rolled in at midnight, lighting up the bedroom. Big cracks of thunder. The wind coming off the water gusted over the roof like it might tear it off. It was enough to wake Isabella, but she wasn’t … Continue reading
I love camping. Sleeping under the stars. Waking with the dawn and the dew. My guy can pitch a tent with one hand tied behind his back and start a fire without a match. I can cook anything over an open fire, even an apple pie.
This photo is from four or five years back, our anniversary. September in Acadia, camped out on the fjord.
The street I grew up on was U-shaped and quiet, half of it edged by salt marsh, cattails coming all the way to the street. Across from our house lived an elderly woman named Judy who resembled a kind, round apple doll. When we rang Judy’s doorbell, she would appear with a bag of marshmallows, and we’d say hello and stand there, polite and expectant. If my sister and and I came alone, without other neighborhood children, we’d usually receive two marshmallows each. We would say our thank-yous and skip off with our sweet squishy treats. This was a coveted ritual as we were’t allowed sugar and I had a terrible sweet tooth.
At the top of the street, close to my school bus stop, was Trudy and Ray’s house. Ray had turned their entire yard into a tall, thick, overgrown garden. He’d wear head-to-toe khaki and giant noise-canceling headphones and disappear like a groundhog into that garden. After getting off the school bus, we would knock on their back door and Trudy would invite us in and we’d sit at the small kitchen table, where she would chat and smoke cigarettes and offer us hard candy from a dish. I enjoyed talking to adults, but I was there for the hard candy.
Next door to Trudy and Ray lived a family from the Bronx. The mom, Lorraine, was brash and snarky and teased us whenever we wore dresses. Once my sister rode by on her bike and Lorraine yelled, “Hey, Kate, ya gettin’ tits?” Lorraine had boys (and eventually a girl) and must have found us reserved and kempt by comparison. Her boys would come to our house and dare each other to eat worms or the mushrooms growing around our maple tree, which resulted in more than one phone call to Poison Control.
Next door was my best friend, Thayer. It sounds made up, a best friend right next door. There’s a picture of us at age 4, naked in the middle of the street, dancing in the rain, jumping in puddles. I don’t remember whose idea it was, but looking back, all I can think is, it must have been the best day ever. We loved to run through all the neighbors’ backyards, make potions from flowers and swamp water, play dollhouse, and ride bikes endlessly up and down the street. Whenever one of us fell and skinned a knee, Thayer’s older brother would give us a piggy-back ride to one of our houses where one of our mothers would sit us on the closed toilet seat and squirt Bactine all over the wound. It was Thayer’s mom who cut holes in her brothers’ old baseball caps so our pigtails would fit through. We’d run across the street, up the big hill to Barb and Mart’s house and tramp around their backyard to the honeysuckle bushes, where we’d fill our baseball caps with flowers and then sit and suck the nectar out of each one.