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Category Archives: Journal

A Skater’s Winter

It didn’t snow for Halloween The Pocahantas Halloween that skater’s winter Hundreds of little white girls dressed as Indians Too cold to go door to door They raided the stores in the biggest mall in Anchorage Moms wearing ranch mink Carrying their daughters’ pink coats lined with rabbit fur Those trap lines are so romantic […]

Ben and the giant stairs

It’s such a simple thing, a staircase. Yet I spent a good half hour with a two-year-old recently using the library stairs as a giant fascinating toy. Up, down, jump, fall, hold onto my hand, DON’T hold onto my hand, go up, turn around, step back down, do it again, repeat. Fischer-Price doesn’t make stairs, […]


Halene and I were eating lunch together, together for the last time as it turned out. “So, you remember that scene in Titanic where Jack sketches Rose lying nude on a couch?” Yes, I said. “Well, that was Dogie and me.” She was looking down at her salad and remembering her cowboy-painter husband who had […]

Many weanings

I often tell new mothers about the “many weanings” a woman goes through and that weaning a child from breastfeeding is just one of many. Now I’m going through another weaning myself: as of this week, all my children will be living on their own. My oldest son lives back east with two roommates in […]

Finding the eight-year-old me

Sometimes I think my whole adult life I’ve been searching for the eight-year-old me. The eight-year-old who was so confident, creative, and sure back in 1956. That little girl who wrote stories about collies and Army men and nuclear war, who made up plays with her marionettes, held circuses in her backyard, directed plays, and […]


My dad was a brilliant suburban Cleveland kid, a loner, and an only child till his little brother came along when he was 12. Starting his teenage years with a little tag-along brother couldn’t have been easy. He wasn’t brilliant in school academics, though, telling my brothers and me that his teacher separated the class […]

My Parisian visitation count

I finished my 60th birthday present of spending 60 days in Paris: one day each for 60 years lived. I’ve tabulated below my activities, whereabouts, and visits for those 60 days. Tuileries Garden: many walk-throughs Notre-Dame Cathedral: many walk-bys and visits; walking up the stairs for view from the top: 1 time Louvre: 4 visits Musee d’Orsay: 3 […]

My top 10 reasons to visit Paris

I’ve listed below my top ten reasons to travel to Paris. Maybe you’ll be able only to visit a day or two, or stay for a week, or maybe you’ll be able to move your household to the Left Bank. In my modest 60 days here, these are the reasons I think make sense for making the […]

A plaster of Paris museum for Montmartre’s butte

It was supposed to be foggy and cloudy, but it was sunny. We were supposed to be tired, but we were energized. There was a transportation strike, but we were walking. These factors all made a perfect combination for a trek up la butte of Montmartre. I hadn’t realized we were walking up to the Montmartre’s […]

The Lady and the Unicorn–La Dame a la Licorne–for the ages

Sometimes you fool yourself into thinking you’ve pretty much seen all the gorgeous art there is to see. You’ve seen towering sculptures by Michelangelo. You’ve seen the sketch-like brushwork of Fragonard. You’ve marveled at the pastels of Cassatt, and you’ve looked goggle-eyed at works by Van Gogh, Soutine, Lautrec, and Monet. I just hadn’t realized […]