Grounded

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As any parent knows, grounding an acting-out adolescent is punishment for the parent.  This is an extreme action to take, and the parent is equally grounded – s/he has to provide some basic supervision, hear the doors slam, shouts of … Read More

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The Quotidian

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“Quotidian” is a word I haven’t used before.  It derives from Latin and refers to dailiness, mundane.  Kathleen Norris, a spiritual writer, has a book called The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work. The title reminds me of dish … Read More

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Grace

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From the Essay “Winter Hours” in the book Upstream by Mary Oliver. In the winter I was writing about, there was much darkness. Darkness of nature, darkness of event, darkness of spirit. The sprawling darkness of not knowing. We speak … Read More

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Banning a mural of hope

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An artist’s rendition of Greta Thunberg on a mural in Bismarck, North Dakota, was recently withdrawn from consideration after protests against the mural.  I feel deeply saddened and aggrieved. I grew up with the belief that I could do anything … Read More

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Handbook of small indignities and Comic Relief

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I love to watch the sitcom Grace and Frankie because of the comedic fuel normal aging provides.  Yes, I like the actors and actresses (Klute? Laugh-In?), but in this season Grace can’t get up from a low couch or toilet, … Read More

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Grandchild

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Dear Little Girl You looked perfect Your parents said And it is True Rosebud lips and button nose Deep gray blue eyes Pink baby, pink skin Hair – ginger, sandy Yet to tell. Your mother surrenders Her body to you … Read More

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The Stamp Collection

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I took my stamp collection to a wizened man in my city, who dealt in collectibles – postage stamps, coins, silver.  I was moving across country, and since I would pay movers by the pound, I was de-accessioning pounds of … Read More

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Orcas and Life after Menopause

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Orca grandmothers lead pods, as matriarchs of their family units.  Science has discovered that only  some whale species, and humans, have a long life post fertility. Many other large mammals –primates, elephants—may be fertile into old age.  I wonder how … Read More

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My Santaland Diary

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The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris is my favorite holiday chestnut.  I grew up listening to an LP of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol my parents played on Christmas Eve, and that was wonderful during a certain age of innocence, but … Read More

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Santa Lucia Day, December 13

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In dark December the eldest Swedish daughterDresses in white, lights the candles,Glides from room to room with coffee,Cardamom buns, the lilting songAn old tradition from an old countryCandles lighting dark.But the story, reduced to pink-cheeked girls,Breakfast in darkened rooms, Does … Read More

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