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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Watching the sun set

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It was a clear, warm November day, so I headed to the Oregon coast on a spur-of-the moment jaunt.  I have to remind myself, periodically, that the Pacific Ocean is only two hours away.  I wanted to watch the sun … Read More

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Baby Nightlight, Curmudgeon Edition

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I will become a grandma in another 4 to 6 weeks, so I have been looking at items the new parents might use.  It’s a different world out there. I won’t tell you I walked five miles to work while … Read More

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When I listened to donald trump’s phone call

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By 1977, Jackie Onassis and others had led a successful campaign to preserve Grand Central Station, and the Commodore Hotel, next to Grand Central, was over fifty years old and losing money.  New York City was in the depths of … Read More

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Gift from the Sea: Proto-feminist Book

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh published Gift from the Sea in 1955.  It was on my mother’s nightstand, and like many women of that era, I think she treasured the book.  I was surprised to see it described as a proto-feminist book, … Read More

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Lydia Pinkham’s Tonic

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When I lived in upstate New York, a friend bought a nineteenth century home, not uncommon in that area, and discovered a stash of empty Lydia Pinkham’s tonic bottles in the attic. For those of you not familiar with Lydia … Read More

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Baby boomers: Off-stage, please

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When will the Baby Boomers move off-stage?  The daily political discourse right now is an assault, and I am not attributing that assault to age, but maybe this generation has had its run. What would be the impact if tomorrow … Read More

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At the Poetry Slam – Medicare Division

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I went to a poetry slam on Sunday night and I placed second, out of not many.  I lost to a young woman who used the F-word in all forms of speech – adjective, adverb, verb, noun – but she … Read More

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The Thermostat Game

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Every autumn I wait to see how late in the calendar I go before I turn on the furnace.  I don’t know why this frugality is a pleasure, because the self-abnegation, the suffering, is only mine to bear.  I don’t … Read More

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the stale marshmallow

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Remember the marshmallow test?  It still comes up in casual reference.  Forty years ago, a Stanford researcher put a marshmallow in front of a small child, and basically said “Don’t touch it, I have to leave the room.” The ability … Read More

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