Archive • Columns 2022

December 20, 2022
Take Joy!
  Vladimir Nabokov’s short story “Christmas” is one of my favorite Christmas stories.  A father, mourning the death of his teenage son, spends Christmas Eve at their summer manor, alone and consumed with grief.  His son had collected butterflies and the father discovers a tin box in his room with a cocoon tucked in the … Continue reading "Take Joy!"

November 20, 2022
Giving Thanks
  “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.” This is the first line in Isak Dinesen’s book, Out of Africa, first published in 1937.    Karen Christentze Dinesen, or Baroness Blixen-Finecke, wrote under the name Isak Dinesen. She lived in Kenya from 1919 to 1931 before returning to her home … Continue reading "Giving Thanks"

November 08, 2022
Books Downtown
  Books allow us to explore. They offer time for reflection.  Through books we learn about our history and can contemplate and speculate on the future.  We never know, do we, what we will find when we crack open the covers of a book.  We can get lost in the pages exploring the mystery of … Continue reading "Books Downtown"

October 30, 2022
The Spirits of Halloween
  Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ evening”) has become one of the most popular holidays in the United States, second only to Christmas.  As it has become so much a part of American pop culture its ghostly traditions have been exported to countries like Japan, where dressing up like monsters and zombies has now stretched … Continue reading "The Spirits of Halloween"

September 27, 2022
The Rivals: Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees
  Henry, a dear friend, and neighbor, always extends an invitation to join him at a Yankees game once every season. Recognizing I am from Red Sox Nation he always sends me the dates when the two rivals, Boston’s Red Sox and New York’s Yankees are playing. If you don’t know how the two teams … Continue reading "The Rivals: Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees"

September 09, 2022
Remembering Queen Elizabeth
  My maternal grandfather, James Millar, emigrated from Killyleagh an enchanting village in County Down, Northern Ireland in 1906. My paternal grandmother, Nina Palmer Howard, was born in Canada to parents who had emigrated from England.  Since the 1960’s, when I first traveled to London and Northern Ireland, I have spent time in England, Ireland and Scotland. My “Grandpa … Continue reading "Remembering Queen Elizabeth"

August 15, 2022
Ice Cream Fit for a Queen
  When we were children, our family would occasionally travel to the Weirs to sail on the M/V Mt. Washington around Lake Winnipesauke. That was decades ago. Recently I decided to spend a morning on the M/V Sophie C, the mail boat that sails from the Weirs twice a day. It was a glorious day, … Continue reading "Ice Cream Fit for a Queen"

August 02, 2022
The Way We Live Now
    Anthony Trollope, the British writer, published The Way We Live Now in 1875. It’s a long novel and like many at the time first appeared as monthly, serialized stories in a London magazine. Trollope was a prolific writer and if you haven’t read one of his many novels, I encourage you to dip … Continue reading "The Way We Live Now"

July 02, 2022
The Loons on Golden Pond
  “Norman it’s the loons. Listen they are welcoming us back.”  Remember On Golden Pond? The movie, released in December 1981, featured Henry Fonda as Norman, Katherine Hepburn as Ethel, Jane Fonda, as their only daughter, Chelsea, and Doug McKeon as Billy Ray, the young son of Chelsea’s beau who is left with the elderly couple … Continue reading "The Loons on Golden Pond"

June 21, 2022
Nostalgic for the past
To say I’m nostalgic for the past doesn’t mean I don’t engage with the new world.  That is not having cash and paying for everything by flashing my phone at a small device.  Buying clothes, groceries, and household items online, abandoning shopping as a Saturday afternoon past time.   Not owning a landline yet having … Continue reading "Nostalgic for the past"

June 02, 2022
Books for the Beach
  There is summer reading and winter reading.  Books we carry to the beach in a basket and read sitting on a folded chair, often in a wet bathing suit and wearing sunglasses, are usually different from the books we read in the winter when we’re sitting quietly in a chair wrapped in a warm … Continue reading "Books for the Beach"

June 02, 2022
Nostalgic for the past
  To say I’m nostalgic for the past doesn’t mean I don’t engage with the new world.  That is not having cash and paying for everything by flashing my phone at a small device.  Buying clothes, groceries, and household items online, abandoning shopping as a Saturday afternoon past time.   Not owning a landline yet having … Continue reading "Nostalgic for the past"

May 23, 2022
Longing for Ice Cream Cones
  Ice cream cones.  Summer evenings watching the sunset over the lake. Long warm days filled with sunshine. It’s the middle of May and even if there has been a chill in the air my mind is thinking about Memorial Day weekend.   Often when I begin writing I look back through the archives to … Continue reading "Longing for Ice Cream Cones"

May 02, 2022
Rescuing Memory
  The daffodils are out.  Crocus are pushing through the hard, brown earth.  Yesterday I noticed two pots of pansies in an urban garden.  Yet, fickle is the only word to describe spring.  The flowers may be blooming, but there remains a frigid chill in the air. After a long walk last weekend, I couldn’t … Continue reading "Rescuing Memory"

May 02, 2022
The Velvet Queen
  Friends who grew up in Puerto Rico or California are either surfers or have a love of the water. In one way or another they understand and embrace the surfing culture. Think sunglasses, colorful flowered shorts, blonde hair.   If you grew up in New York City you know the difference between a bagel made … Continue reading "The Velvet Queen"

April 02, 2022
The Country Bunny
There is something about rabbits.  Soft as kittens. The ability to hop, mimicking a frog seated on a lily pad, and eyes that peer at you from a narrow head and pull you in, if you can get close enough. Just as reindeer play a role in Christmas, rabbits and bunnies are associated with Easter. … Continue reading "The Country Bunny"

March 20, 2022
Maple Sugar, Moonlight and Mardi Gras
  This week I opened my inbox to find a note from Eric Masterson with information about his spring birding weekends on Star Island. Several years ago, I participated in one of these weekends and found it a fascinating three days.  The birds migrating north for the summer use the rocky terrain of Star Island … Continue reading "Maple Sugar, Moonlight and Mardi Gras"

March 02, 2022
My Vintage Bike
  “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens these are a few of my favorite things.”  I think we all know these lines from the song in the beloved Oscar and Hammerstein musical, Sound of Music. Among my favorite things? Books and my vintage bicycle, a handsome Fuji … Continue reading "My Vintage Bike"

January 02, 2022
A Winter Garden
  As we slide down through January, my thoughts turn to summer, even skipping over spring.  It’s gardening I’m preoccupied with.  Don’t we all enjoy those weekend trips to the nursery to pick up boxes of plants for our gardens?   And, if we are working in the garden, it means warm weather and long days. … Continue reading "A Winter Garden"

January 01, 2022
Reading 2022
  It was difficult to resist using “Reading 2022” as the title of this column.  If only I thought, as I typed the words on the page, we could read the year that is unfolding before us.  Since, we cannot, we read books. Now when the days are short, and the nights are (too) long. … Continue reading "Reading 2022"

April 02, 0202
Spring Cleaning
  Last week, after spending thirty minutes (at a minimum) searching for a book I decided it was time to reorganize my bookshelves.  Most book addicts do have a method of organizing their books and I do. In fact, writers are often asked, “how do you organize your books?” Unfortunately, as the volumes accumulate and … Continue reading "Spring Cleaning"