Tag Archives: memories

What grandparents do

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” — Alex Haley I’ve written about my mother’s wonderful mother.  I didn’t mention my other grandmother, or either grandfather, but suffice it to say that my siblings and I hit the lottery jackpot when it …

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Consider having fun

“If you only do what’s important, you’ll never have any fun, unless you consider having fun important.” — Ashleigh Brilliant If you don’t consider having fun important, I hope you’ll think about it and change your mind!  Recently we had a discussion in the comments here, about end-of-life wishes, and things people wish they had …

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The onrush of scenery

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath It’s difficult to read this quote from Plath without thinking of the sad reality that she chose to end her own life while still young, with two small children.  …

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Beautiful discovery

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” — Elisabeth Foley One year ago today, I quoted from a wonderful book written by my friend Ellis Anderson, whom I met at college nearly 40 years ago.  Ellis and I were different in many ways, but we also …

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Voices at the door

“I sit beside the fire and think Of all that I have seen Of meadow flowers and butterflies In summers that have been Of yellow leaves and gossamer In autumns that there were With morning mist and silver sun And wind upon my hair I sit beside the fire and think Of how the world …

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So late so soon

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss My sister Carla has been teaching children for nearly 40 years, and she shares my love for Dr. …

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In the company of children

“Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.” ― Robert Lynd This quote sounds charming, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little to recall how exhausted Jeff and I used to be during the years when Santa would visit our sons.  It always …

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An act of recollection

“The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write… Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the story’s narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up.” — Chris …

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Deep in December

“Deep in December it’s nice to remember Although you know the snow will follow Deep in December it’s nice to rememberWithout a hurt the heart is hollow…” — (Lyricist) Tom Jones, from The Fantasticks I grew up listening to this lovely song, and Jeff and I saw the staged musical on one of our first …

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The summer of the soul

“A part of childhood we’ll always remember It is the summer of the soul in December…” —Paul Williams, from the song “It Feels Like Christmas“ There’s a persistent misunderstanding that adults with autism or intellectual disabilities remain children all of their lives.  This is a convenient but often demeaning illusion for those who have a …

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Unintentionally

“Small kindnesses often, unintentionally, produce the biggest payoffs.” ― Richard Paul Evans Sometimes people give us gifts that they don’t even realize they are giving us.  Here’s my memory of one such gift, an intangible expression of an all-too-unusual kind of love. Because my father has always been a good sport about being teased, all …

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Home is not where

“Home is not where, it is whom.” -Christianne Dettmann As most readers have figured out by now, I’m no longer posting two weeks in advance, but taking it day by day as I am able.  Since my days are mostly spent in hospitals lately, I have a bit of a one-track mind.  In any case, …

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Only with gratitude

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Have you ever had a friend who seemed to give you much more than you gave her or him?  At times, we feel helpless ever …

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Captured and preserved

“But in a jar put up by Felicity, The summer which maybe never was Has been captured and preserved…” — John Tobias, from his lovely poem The beautiful cherry blossoms pictured above were on display inside the Sackler Gallery weeks before the local trees were in bloom.  I asked staff there “are they real?” and …

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Don’t pass it by

“There it is round you. Don’t pass it by—the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.” — Henry James Until this year, this would be a typical sight for a Saturday in November; Jeff mowing the grass for perhaps the last time until spring.  I took this photo seven years ago, but even if I …

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Costumes tell a story

“Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.” — Mason Cooley I mentioned a couple of days ago that my siblings and I much preferred making our own Halloween costumes over buying them in a store.  Perhaps it’s because the store-bought costumes in those days were cheesy little plastic masks coupled with cheap apron-like printed …

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A child in every one

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~ Elizabeth Akers Allen There is a child in every one of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit front porch.— Robert Brault Perhaps no holiday brings back more childhood memories than Halloween.  The festivities of …

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Bright and intense and beautiful

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.” ― Siobhan Vivian That’s what I do on my walks; stockpile the colors and images and cool, smoke-scented …

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The simplest toy

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” — Sam Levenson There are colorful toys, singing toys, funny toys, educational toys, old-fashioned toys, and toys that wear out quickly.  Grandparents are all of the above.  Every child should have at least one or two – hopefully more!  If your child …

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Wild with leaves

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” ― Humbert Wolfe The photo above was taken just a few months after we moved to Virginia, having lived in northern California for the past five years.  I was almost unbearably homesick for …

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A moveable feast

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  ― Ernest Hemingway I haven’t even been lucky enough to visit Paris more than twice, let alone live there, but for …

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Things that look used

“I like things that look used, especially when they were used by someone who matters to me.” – Gary Hager Does this raggedy raccoon look familiar?  If so, you may have seen him in this post.  Actually, I have pictures of him in any number of places; looking out the window of the Coast Starlight, …

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In the fall

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” ― Nora Ephron I love fall because it is connected with my happiest memories of childhood.  In particular, the onset of cooler …

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The incredible gift

“The incredible gift of the ordinary!  Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life.” — Macrina Wiederkehar One of the hardest things about the past year has been the need to cancel no fewer than three scheduled visits to see my parents.  It’s good that our grandson happened to be born in Atlanta, so I finally …

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Because we are so loved

“I believe, with every fiber of my being, that when we are struck down by adversity, God weeps with us and, then, because we are so loved, heals us in ways we can never expect or even imagine.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach I’ve shared here in previous posts that the past eleven months, although fraught with devastating …

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