Category Archives: family

“What All Children Know”

I am working to organize my new office on our recently renovated third floor. It’s been slow going. In fact, it looks like a small U-Haul storage facility threw up in here.
I just found a black moleskin notebook in a box from our old house which a few years ago, I used to carry with me everywhere.
Not only and I’m an innate archivist, I am a Junior Varsity record keeper. I think this is an off-shoot of being a writer.
What’s in this notebook?
Well, notes; everything from daily “to dos”like “pick up dog pills” to a five-year plan I wrote in 2007 that I still have one year to complete. Continue reading

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Summer Lovin’… Had Me a Blast? Happened Too Fast?

The older I get… the more pressure I seem to place on summer. I’ve attempted to examine this dynamic but I’ve only managed to cobble together a few pale theories.

Is this because______?

A). I live in New England. Our winters and springs are long and cold. It seems to take summer forever to arrive. When it does it’s time to get cracking on boating, beach-going, lobster rolls, and all manners of summer fun?

B.) Time feels like it’s passing faster than ever, therefore I need to really make summer “count” because “it’ll be over before we know it”?

C.) I want to futilely recapture some summer romance of days long gone by, while being in complete denial that this is no longer truly possible because I am a full-fledged grown-up? Continue reading

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The Death of (Most) Problems

I’m trying to get my kids out the door to get to camp on time. We’re running behind.

I look at the clock. Rats! There is no avoiding that they’re going to be at least ten minutes late.

“Oh the horror!” I mean, who cares? It’s ridiculous, right?

Yet I do care to a certain extent, because I like to be organized and on the ball and all that.

Being late feels sloppy to me and I don’t like sloppy.

Plus, I feel it’s disrespectful to keep people waiting.

Clearly, I bring a lot of baggage to being late. Continue reading

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The Tao of Poop

Last winter, right before Christmas, I was trying to soothe my frozen shoulder (another story) with an Epsom salt bath. When the tub drained in our second floor bathroom, the tub in the first floor bathroom filled with water.

“Must be the salts,” I thought.

We called the plumber who performed a thorough diagnostic. He had “bad news.”

Water was backing up into the house from our sewer line connecting us to the street — meaning our sewer line is collapsed. The water has no where to go, so it backs up into the lowest point in the house.

As far as I was concerned, the fact that it was only water backing up into the tub — and not sewage — was really pretty awesome.

Yes, we had a problem. Yes, it was going to be expensive to fix, but I was very grateful for what wasn’t happening … a veritable indoor shit storm at Christmas. Continue reading

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The Power of “No.”

Some dear friends were recently complimenting me on my ability to say “no.”

I was surprised yet pleased, because saying “no” doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve had to work at it like I’ve had to work on my posture or my penmanship, since saying “yes” is my reflex.

My sister and I have long shared a joke about the a nodding “yes” that almost indiscernibly segues into the gentle “no” — complete with the casual shaking of the head. When we observed people doing the “yyyeahhhhhhhnnnnnoooooo,” it cracked us up because it was so relatable. Neither of us really knew how to say “no.”

For years, I would automatically answer “yes” to invitations — Yo Alix, do you want to go ice fishing at 4 a.m.? (beat) Um, yeah — because I didn’t have the skills or confidence to kindly decline. God forbid I should offend someone. I mean, what if they don’t like me? Everyone has to like me, right? Right?

I would accept jobs, social obligations, or projects that I really wasn’t feeling for one reason or another but felt powerless to refuse. I really love people. I don’t want to let them down. It seemed much easier to let me down than let others down. Continue reading

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The Hope of Ye Olde U2

When I first heard this song, I was fifteen years-old, very impressionable and kinda boy crazy — a classic combination! I loved to crank this song in my room on my Philco double-cassette stereo and try to sing along. Being an Alto, I thought I could vocally really get in there with Bono. In hindsight, I probably couldn’t. The song’s concept of true-romantic-soul-mate, Dublin-style-gray-sky love set to a pulsing drum beat, stirring base, and soaring guitar made me feel incredibly hopeful for the future. This is the song that made me love U2. I still think it’s one of their best.

All of these years later, the song is still potent. I can’t say as much for the production values of the video, but I think Bono’s look still holds up, New Wave mullet and all (that’s right, you heard me). Thankfully, I am no longer boy crazy, except for the one to whom I’m am happily married.

When I play this song for my kids in my car, my son thinks the refrain is “Two birds eating pie” instead of “Two hearts beat as one.” Now when I listen, I laugh and hear his version of the song over the original. Continue reading

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