What you keep becomes your story

It is no small irony that a few weeks ago, days after writing the post Careful What You Throw Away, I was notified of a sudden death in the peripheral family and summoned into service as the estate’s executor. I’d agreed to this assignment about six years ago, when a cousin dear to me had […]

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Careful what you throw away

Autumn, like spring, is traditionally a time for cleaning up and casting off. This year, as I bagged clothing to give away, canned goods for the Boy Scouts, and books for the library sale, I had a few thoughts on the subject. Marie Kondo’s ruthless approach to divestiture (the things kind, not the money kind) […]

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On holiday ‘table talk’

It’s way too early to be obsessing about the complexity of timing that a full-tilt Thanksgiving dinner requires, so I’ve been obsessing instead with the need to keep the day pleasurable and comforting. Translation: No heated discussions about politics or anything else (including tasteless jokes) that makes volume escalate and tempers flare. By nature reasonably […]

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Crown jewel of the White Mountains

At 6,288.2 feet, New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington is the tallest and most imposing peak in the Northeastern United States. You can read about its singular wonders in detail at www.mtwashington.org, the website of the private, nonprofit organization that funds and staffs the very well fortified observatory at its summit—clearly the crown jewel of the White Mountains […]

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Grand hotel: The Omni Mt. Washington

Give me a grand old hotel any time.  There are quite a few of them in the United States and Canada. If I had my way, I would spend at least a night in every one.  My fascination with North America’s legendary old hotels far precedes Somewhere in Time, the epic time-travel romance shot at […]

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A garden by the sea

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I spent a day strolling through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay with my cousins Liz and Paula. Although the gardens had taken on the fading tinge of fall, for us they were no less intoxicating than they would have been at the height of the blooming season… […]

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Beans and macaroni

Not long ago, one of my high school friends hosted a retro luncheon. The assignment was to bring something that was “always on the table” when we were growing up. I struggled with this request. In our Italian-American household, there were no Jello salads or tuna noodle casseroles. Lasagne was way too heavy and rich […]

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The peach, with apologies to E. E. Cummings…

…given its perfectly splendid nature, perhaps the line should have read, “Do I dare NOT to eat a peach?” All bad J. Alfred Prufrock jokes aside, the peach is surely the most splendid of summer fruits… not only for its singular taste and texture, but also for its range of luscious color, from the fairest […]

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Thank you, Anne Tyler

I try to be open to new writers and each year read a few debuts or authors I’m unfamiliar with, sometimes on other’s recommendations, sometimes at a writer’s or publisher’s request. Still, for me, there is a clear gold standard reserved for those writers who, over decades of wonderful books, always satisfy me, challenge or […]

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