Elusive Time

Time has begun to play an elusive role in my life as I age.  Without the guardrails of a given schedule provided by work or caregiving, time becomes ephemeral and instead of treasuring the passage of my limited number of hours, days, or years  left, I find myself at the end of the day empty handed and adrift. I lecture myself, to set up a schedule and at the end of the day I should have accomplished some goal I have set for myself,

Older Folks

The images of older folks whom I meet on the street are among my favorites. Etched into faces and revealed in unique styles or personality are hints of diverse and often surprising personal backgrounds and accomplishments.


     Once, many years ago, I was riding in the backseat of ’64 Mustang, going downhill in a snowstorm, and the brakes went out. There were four of us along with textbooks and suitcases crammed into that Mustang. We were college kids heading home for Christmas break, five hours into an eight-hour drive. Until the moment the driver started frantically pumping the brakes and downshifting, we’d been singing to the radio to keep awake. Carefree and oblivious. Through the driving snow we could see a red stop light at the bottom of the hill and a line of cars and semis on either side of the intersection. We fell silent as we barreled toward the light. Just as we thought our brief young lives were over, the light turned green. We flew through the intersection, then to avoid slamming into a car that suddenly appeared in front of us, we careened off the road into a frozen corn field where, screaming and cursing at this point, we eventually slid to a stop, shaken but upright. I remember that once we knew everybody was alright, we broke into laughter, wild, uncontrolled, adrenalin-filled joy. What a relief it was to be alive.

Chapter 1- Going To School

A cheerful ding-ding announces my presence at the gas pumps just as the sun peeks out behind the SUNOCO sign on Route 9 in Wellesley. An attendant about my age saunters toward me. Up close I can see his greasy, acned face as he peers in at me with a crooked smile.

Smoke, Coke & Something To Come Back To

I was twenty years old when I took up smoking, fully planning to become addicted. In my future life as a social worker I saw myself ministering to heroin addicts. To truly understand what they were facing, I thought, I should experience addiction for myself. Nothing prolonged, just a quick in and out. Also, I wanted to lose ten pounds.

How To Make Pie

When you make a pie, make it with your heart. It’s not so much about what goes into the pie as what holds it together. You must understand that no matter, it’s always about the crust, the foundation of your pie. Everything else will withstand a margin of error. Not true with the crust. The crust must be perfect.

By the Pool

Palm trees shifted restlessly overhead. The dead fronds around their trunks made them look more like giant bottlebrushes than trees. “Can’t anyone figure out how to trim those things off?” I mumbled to myself. They had the look of ruin.

Reflections on January 6

The day after the bloody siege on the Capitol, I dug out an 8 x 12 black and white glossy of a bunch of teenagers standing on its steps. There’s me and forty-six classmates posing with our Congressman, John B. Anderson (who would later run for president as an Independent). We’d just graduated a few days before, the Hanover High School class of 1966. For three days we’d been packed on a bus, traveling from our little town in Illinois, stopping along the way to tour Gettysburg.

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