Up and Boom
I’ve been a first time grandmother for six months and have loved every scrumptious moment of the experience, even though most of them occur via electronic bits and bytes on either my computer or my iPhone. Watching a new life take shape is thrilling, and knowing that this beautiful baby girl named Jade emerged from my daughter’s body just as she had emerged from mine more than thirty years ago, still seems miraculous to me.
Last week I spent four days in Jade’s presence and soaked up every smile, every sound, every kick and squirm as she repeatedly came within an inch of being able to roll over. During several hours while my daughter and son in law took their dogs on a badly needed walk, Jade and I were left to our own devices. She’s just beginning to learn what her chubby legs are for and can stand up on my lap by clutching onto my thumbs with her little fists. I began to turn this into a bit of a game by starting her from a sitting position and as I said, “Up”, pulling her to standing, waiting a second or two, and then lowering her back to sitting as I said, “Boom.” Within a few minutes she started to pull herself up as soon as she heard “up” and sit down at hearing “boom.” Ten minutes later, she no longer even needed to hear the words, but as soon as I gave her my hands she would pull herself up, give me a little toothless smile, promptly plop herself down, only to immediately start the process again. I was surprised at how quickly she learned and thrilled at our ability to communicate with each other. Jade and I showed off her new accomplishment as soon as her parents returned and all three adults couldn’t stop beaming. Read the full story »
What is Wisdom?
Years ago, when I began thinking about creating this website, the name came easily. I knew I wanted to focus on the writing and thinking of women as we age, but there was something more than that that I was after. It was the search for an expression of what the years we’d gained meant. I wanted to know who the women of the generation that bridged and linked Betty Crocker and Gloria Steinem had become. What do we think and feel? What defines our lives as we age and move away from center stage?
I made one clear assumption about us all: We’d gained wisdom.
In a culture that makes pride and self-congratulation a near sin at the same time it lauds the individual and accomplishment, many of us hesitate to say we’ve mastered anything; that we’ve grown wise; that we’ve made enough mistakes and had enough success that we are …
Welcome to the Poetry Café. Whether you love blank verse or are a solid devotee of iambic pentameter; or love sonnets but aren’t that enamored of the ode; and, if you get Emily D. but wonder what e. e. cummings is trying to tell you, you’re in the right place. Share your original poetry or your favorite poems.
Walking up hill each struggling with the stiffness of
Dog and mistress alike, heads down
Suddenly the dog darts off the path
Returning with stick in mouth
Her eyes now sparkling, her body quivering
“Throw, throw, time to play
Time to enjoy this beautiful day!”
The trees come alive with fall’s golden color
The sun shines brighter
Every step becomes lighter
Together we rejoice in “just being.”
Just the Thing for Those Winter Blahs
As most of you know, I’m a Ari Seth Cohen fan. Each day I get a picture from Ari’s Advanced Style blog of an older woman or man, usually a New Yorker, who’s style is remarkable in some way. I often forward the day’s picture to a friend, usually with a comment on what I think of the wearer’s choice. Even when I nearly get nosebleed from one style note or another, I always applaud the wearer for not falling into the trap of thinking that aging means we lose our love of self-adornment. As we get older and watch our bodies and lifestyles change, there is no better time to take risks our self-consciousness or conservative bosses wouldn’t let us take when we were young workers, homemakers or community activists. Imagine your school child’s reaction if you showed up for a school event dressed in orange from head …
Movie Review: August: Osage County
I’m exhausted. I just saw August: Osage County. What is it some of us love about dysfunctional families – except, of course, our own? I knew what I was in for because I’d seen the play with the marvelous Estelle Parsons as the mean-spirited Violet Weston, but the movie was claustrophobic in the way a stage play can never be. Of course, this feeling is helped by a hot, dark and brooding house that seems to tell its own story, almost as a backbeat to the dialogue. The opening scenes with Sam Shepard’s beautiful, worn out face foretell the weariness that will overtake us all as we watch the truly horrid Violet – aptly named for missing only the n to tell us what she is – eviscerate every member of her family, and the smarmy boyfriend of one of her three hapless daughters.
My Sister is a Potted Plant
It was a major personal breakthrough.
I’m the oldest of three girls born of the same parents and raised in the same Middle-of-America town. An adventurer by nature, I enjoy new ideas, different flavors, and meeting novel people. If there is an opportunity to learn, move forward with my life (and shed an old skin), or try out a different restaurant, I’m game.
For me, routine is fine so long as it isn’t a rut, and my idea of being steadfast is modeled after an ice skater; Moving, leaping, running and twirling but in complete control of her center of gravity. I like stability in motion.
My youngest sister, on the other hand, is a potted plant. Nine years separate our ages and at times throughout our lives together we have been at odds in our perspectives. Each of us still gets confused about how the other functions in – and views – the …
My Coffee Thing
In my late twenties, I discovered French press coffee. I don’t know exactly when or how, but it became a sort of obsession with me. Regular perked coffee, are you kidding me? That was for the uninitiated. I was a coffee connoisseur. I used what I thought were the best coffee beans; whole bean organic, hand roasted at a local coffee specialty shop.
When prepping my coffee at home, I would boil spring water, measure out and carefully grind my beans in my coffee grinder, pour the grinds which were not too fine into the clear glass and stainless steel French press, add one inch of hot water, wait one minute, fill the pot with within one inch of the top, wait six minutes, then press. Back then I drank my coffee with heavy cream, slightly warmed, with two teaspoons of organic granulated sugar. Ahhh, it was heavenly.
Fast forward more years …