7 Women in a House by the Sea

There were 7 of us in the old white house on a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean last week. We’d gathered because this is the year we all turn forty. We’d traveled from California, all over New England, a small town in Georgia and New York City to be together. We're single, married and soon-to-be single again. Some of us have kids and some don't. One of us is extremely pregnant. Some of us have high-octane careers. Others of us work at home with our high-octane families, a few of us do both....more

Coming Out to Play

I'm going to my happy place in a few days to celebrate my 40th birthday with my mom and my sister. Yippee! Well, I have lots of happy places, actually. In Henry's arms. Where two rivers meet in Vermont. A certain chair in my livingroom when a fire is burning in the fireplace. Sunday mornings in bed. The library. The front seat of any car at the beginning of a road trip. Martha's Vineyard any time of year....more

I'm a water lover too, sassymonkey. I grew up going to Martha's Vineyard. The ocean's in my ...more

Anniversary of Roe V. Wade

If you end up behind me on the twisting roads of my small New England town you'll probably see the heads of several children (mostly) happily bopping around the backseat of my Volkswagen van, some of them mine, some of them friends. You'll see me trying, in vain, to keep order. You'll also probably notice the  Keep Abortion Legal sticker on the back of my van. More than one person has commented on the incongruity of the two images: the van nearly constantly full of children and the pro-choice bumpersticker. I don't see it. ...more

Christmas in a Minor Key

  "Do you remember that first tree?" Henry asked me the other night with a smile. He was watching me attempt to hang a few more ornaments on our already-stuffed Christmas tree after the kids had gone to bed. Some trick of memory and light had made him think he'd spotted a gingerbread ornament from years ago. I was having trouble finding room for another single solitary ornament. Our tree tells the story of many Christmases....more

Me and the D.C. Sniper

I don't remember too much about how that day started. But I can't seem to forget the hours that followed. I was on my way back from Dunkin Donuts when I learned my 2 year old daughter and I were in the path of a shooting spree.We had stood on the sidewalk beside the long, low brick elementary school watching with the other parents in a crowd of strollers and milling younger siblings while Finn and his classmates lined up behind his hawk-nosed and eyed kindergarten teacher, Ms. Blumenthal....more

Thanks so much for your comment. You said a lot. I know what you mean about how we ask our ...more

Sexy Witch Costume for 8 yr. old?!!

Lucy was tromping and harrumphing a stormy path through the aisles of the costume shop. She looked askance at one plastic-trapped costume after another. Her green eyes narrowed and her freckled brow furrowed into an angry stamp of rejection. Over and again. We were on the hunt at the local temporary Halloween store that pops up every year. Like a mushroom. It just appears one day. I don’t know why I bring my daughter in there every year....more
I absolutely agree.  My daughter is now four this year and I am appalled at the selection of ...more

Enough Halloween Spirit for Everybody

Grammy and Papa drove over two rivers and through the woods to be at our house every Halloween that I can remember growing up. We would gather for a somewhat fancy family dinner, my sister and I keeping our eyes on the clock throughout the meal, not wanting to be a minute late for trick-or-treating. For one of those suppers, my mother took an adventurous culinary left turn, serving a meatloaf that featured a bright orange carrot mash rolled up into its center a la an autumnal buche de noel....more

Wild Things! You Make My Heart Sing!

 Unless this story has become dislodged from your subconscious since childhood and you've forgotten that Max doesn't get eaten by any Wild Things, then there is only one suspenseful moment in the film version of Maurice Sendak's story. Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" is hardly a plot-driven movie so there's no need for any spoiler-alerts in this review of mine. For me, the suspense comes only when the most deeply mournful and mute Wild Thing finally speaks....more

Soft-bellied Woman

One of the many things that distinguished Nanny from all the other grandmothers in the world was her belly. Nanny's arms and legs were really skinny but she had this belly. It wasn't large but it was soft and a little rounded. And every once in awhile, she'd flash it at us. Yup. Nanny was nothing if not mischievous. And, at some point in her hard-working adult life, she had herniated her belly button. I never knew how. Pushing furniture around? Gardening?...more

Lemon Squares and the Autumn Wind

I had a small secret this Summer. Remember all those unseasonably brisk days we had early on? When the clouds obscured the sun on the East Coast for weeks on end and the temperature dwelled in the low sixties into early July? When it rained grey and claustrophobic day after dank day?...more