Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY ONE

On the first day of Summermas, my middle schooler gave to me: help at the library.-----------------------------------...more

How to Tell an Enchanting Story

“Please tell me a made-up story, Tutu,” my wee granddaughter begs as I close her picture book and tuck her into bed. I mentally scramble for an image and suddenly a little old lady pops into my imagination....more

Finding Gary Dush on Facebook

When my mother was 73, she said, “I want you to find Jonathan Pinsky for me.” *- I knew Jonathan Pinsky’s face from photo albums I pored over as a kid, thinking it kind of crazy that my mother was once young. I knew about Jonathan Pinsky from her stories about him. He was the smartest kid in her class and won a full scholarship to Columbia. He always had a crush on her and would drop by their house with flowers. My grandmother loved him. My mother was so-so. “What do you mean, find him?” I asked. ...more

Quick Requiem at the Red Light

After landing on Long Island and renting a car, I’m lost within ten minutes of leaving the airport parking lot. I didn’t think I’d need a GPS in my homeland, but apparently I do.One town just slides into another and looks exactly like the last one did. I feel like there used to be space between them that let you know you were changing zip codes. Okay, it’s been a while....more

We Took Lawns Very Seriously Once Upon a Time

Everyone who lived on Hamilton Avenue had children, except for the Markowskis, our next-door neighbors, who owned a series of standard poodles instead, all with the name Claude.The Markowskis weren’t fond of kids playing on their lawn, which is to say the Markowskis weren’t exactly fond of kids. So since there were no fences in those days to show property lines, we just had to be light on our feet during games of Tag or Statue, and we got really good at giving the Markowski’s yard a generous berth, even when running at top speed....more

Does This Address Make My Butt Look Fat?

I moved to Los Angeles under duress.I had some misgivings about LA. For one, I’d thought it was practically mandatory that transplants drop 10 pounds — I worried that I’d need to present a Weight Watchers’ certificate and my out-of-state license to the DMV before they’d issue a valid California ID.But LA was the place to be for the work I wanted to do. My NYC friends recited the mantra, “You’ll love the weather — it’s fantastic!” And I thought, “Hmmph, damned by faint praise.” Plus I was pretty sure I’d have to invest in a lot of lululemon attire....more

Ladies, Can't We All Just Get Along?

When I was a little girl, I knew early on that I enjoyed talking to people. Sometimes, I didn’t know when to shut up and, even today, I notice the subtle change in my husband’s expression and the way his eyes glaze over slightly when I talk…and talk and talk. I attribute this gift of gab to my Dad who lit up a room with his tall tales and spirited conversations....more

Conquering Gros Piton - A Story About a Little Woman and a Big Mountain

Image Credit -  Shutterstock (edited in Picmonkey)"I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go." Laurel Bleadon Maffei...more

Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY THREE

On the third day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: three hikes through glens—————We tried.By age four, we had Paco gliding on skis, running kids’ races, trailing the herd on a soccer team....more

Feeling Stagnant? 5 Ideas For When You Need a Fresh Start in Your Life

Two years ago, after a summer of extreme downsizing, I moved from a small town to the city. I cut my hair, sold my piano, and stopped updating my blog....more