Time is the Substance From Which I Am Made…


“Inside every older person is a younger person – wondering what the hell happened.”

—Cora Harvey Armstrong

“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.  But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul’s own doing.”

—Marie Stopes

The arrival of a brand New Year (always a treat to be able to begin again, isn’t it?), plus a cockeyed economy, and an article in a scientific journal that suggests we may all now live to 120, have prompted me to think more than I usually do about this strange business of growing older.  (Something I try to avoid altogether, ever since my accumulating birthdays seem to be adding up to alarming new numbers!)  

Continue reading “Time is the Substance From Which I Am Made…” »

Posted on December 29th 2011 in Life, Loving Life

Memories of My Father

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Papa opening Christmas presentsI’ve been thinking about my Father a lot this Holiday Season.  Missing him… wishing he were here with me and Dakota to watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time.

Papa was a rare bird.  He laughed a lot and taught me useful things… how to hang storm windows… how to recite poetry with passion… how to love every minute of being alive.

He had a way about him… a kind of gentle poetry of being.  Not a namby-pamby-Ashby-Wilkes gentlemanliness, but the sturdy, stalwart kind that men of “The Greatest Generation” seemed to have.  The “protect the family, save the world for democracy, go to church on Sunday, play pinochle with the men in the family, roll up your sleeves, fix the toaster or your skinned knee” kind of benevolence that makes a person feel safe and loved.  Continue reading “Memories of My Father” »

Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

My New Year’s Resolution


papa standing in the doorwayI can’t think of a better New Year’s Resolution than to try to live up to the gentle truths of my father’s philosophy, so I’d like to offer them to you in this little poem I wrote about him, both as a loving remembrance, and as a tribute to the kind of old fashioned values that could change the world for the better in a heartbeat, if we could only find the courage to believe it would make the difference.  Continue reading “My New Year’s Resolution” »

Posted on December 23rd 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Christmas Past


Christmas DecorationsThe ghosts of Christmas past 

Wandered by my tree just now

A cup of tea in hand, I stopped 

To admire the sweetness of the nearly trimmed tree

And there you were

My Mommy and Daddy

Young and shiny, hopeful as when

On Christmas morning I’d open the presents 

You’d saved to buy. Continue reading “Christmas Past” »

Posted on December 16th 2011 in Family, The Philosopher’s Teacup

Christmas Thoughts….On the Virtue of Being Naïve


A friend chided me gently at lunch the other day for being naïve at my advanced age, and tending to believe the best of people.  At first, I was hurt, then I tried to decide if she might be trying in her kindly way, to help me.  A friend’s eye is a good mirror, they say, and she’s a most beloved friend. Continue reading “Christmas Thoughts….On the Virtue of Being Naïve” »

Posted on December 16th 2011 in The Philosopher’s Teacup

The Timeline of Dreams


Life breaks everyone’s heart somehow, somewhere in time.  Betrayal or death or illness or failure or war or most any tragedy can do the deed.  The question is what happens then?  In that dark night of the spirit, how do we live till morning?  How do we resilient, courageous, fragile, faltering humans take our licks and still survive?  Or even prevail, and manage to live or love again? Continue reading “The Timeline of Dreams” »

Posted on December 9th 2011 in Sorrow, The Philosopher’s Teacup

List for Dakota


DakotaMy daughter Dakota is just about to graduate from college, and I have the awful maternal fear that I might have forgotten to tell her something that’s really important. So I made a list. 

I know the accumulation of wisdom is a lifelong task and can’t be hurried or culled from someone else’s hands – but maybe it can be supported by the good will of one who truly loves you. At least, I hope so. These thoughts probably don’t have much to offer her at this moment of youthful discovery and untried freedoms, but maybe one day, a while from now, she’ll look at them again and understand what I’d hoped would sustain her, as she climbs life’s mountains. Like an On-Star System to turn to some dark night on a lonely road, where the path is not quite as clear as it seems today, and the task of finding the way home seems daunting.

The original list held 100 hopes, but I’ve picked out 25 today, because this seems like the time of year when introspection and wishes for those we love, intersect. If any reader would like to see the rest, please let me know.

Continue reading “List for Dakota” »

Posted on December 2nd 2011 in Notes to My Daughters, The Philosopher’s Teacup, Women
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