Image source: simonandschuster.com
When I read Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run in January, I learned that he and I have a few things in common.
- Both of us like the smell of coffee but not the taste.
- Neither of us can read sheet music.
- Both of us grew up in New Jersey (okay I knew that), in a family with two girls and one boy.
- Both of us learned our craft on the job.
Michael Phelps competing June 28 in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials on NBC Sports
Do you know who Michael Phelps is?
Unless you have been living behind a boulder, you probably do. (I avoid clichés.) The 31-year-old swimming phenom has 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold, and has set numerous world records.
Phelps’ main rival, Ryan Lochte, has 11 Olympic medals. Without Phelps present Lochte could be considered the best male swimmer of all time. But he happened to come of age at the same time as Phelps and therefore has an underdog position to him.
My husband Dan has a particular knack when planning vacations. I’m not talking about posh accommodations or exotic destinations or exclusive restaurants.
When he was helping to plan our trip to Paris to celebrate my 40th birthday, he discovered that a major chocolate exhibition was going to be there at the same time. Besides sampling and purchase opportunities, there were multiple exhibits including a replica of a 17th century dress made of chocolate.
I love autumn in New England, so I’m a happy camper up here right now. And yes, autumn presages a long winter, but I have found ways to enjoy that too.
One of the benefits of New England’s long winters is that you can wear boots six months of the year. I’ve gained an affinity for black boots and wear them almost every day once the cold sets in.
In a decidedly un-Imelda Marcos-move though, I’ve not amassed a huge collection.
Instead I have a few favorite pairs that I keep in good order with a yearly visit or two to my buddy Oleg, the cobbler in Natick Center.
One endearing quality about my sister when we were growing up was that she sometimes cried at TV commercials. There was one in particular where a large litter of puppies greeted children at their grandmother’s house that got her to well up. I was not surprised when, as an adult, she got a dog.
I teared up at commercials too when I was a child, and felt funny about it until I noticed her doing it.
I still shed tears at TV ads once in a while. And not just when they are maddeningly bad advertising.
I missed seeing Harry Chapin in concert by three days.
If you don’t know Harry Chapin by name, you would probably recognize one of his songs, particularly Cat’s in the Cradle or Taxi.
I was at a summer program in East Brunswick, New Jersey with 21 other teenagers in July 1981. We had tickets to see Harry perform on Thursday July 19th. He died in a car crash on the Long Island Expressway on Monday July 16th en route to a benefit concert at Eisenhower Park’s Lakeside Theatre. He was 38 years old.
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Would you hire an ambulance driver to repave your driveway?
My parents did.
Two days before Thanksgiving in 1980, my mother broke her ankle. She tripped on something left on the stairs while she was descending and carrying a laundry basket that blocked her view.
To say that I was a curious child is an understatement. I asked questions relentlessly. I was always trying to figure out how things worked and to understand why people did what they did. My parents patiently answered my questions, probably hoping I would outgrow the phase.
It never happened.
My husband Dan is a champion shopper.
When we identify a need in the household, it goes on Dan’s mental list. He doesn’t like to let his list stagnate. He begins to keep an eye out for the item and to research it. Before long, he’s able to give you an outline of the choices available and each choice’s defining features.
Having Dan’s shopping prowess in the family is a huge advantage. It makes the difference between thinking about a potential purchase to improve the house and actually making it. One of Dan’s recent quests resulted in a fabulous new refrigerator.
I love to write. I’ve been writing since I was 15 years old. I owe my discovery of this passion to my brother Ken. (Thank you Ken!!)
Ken is nearly six years younger than I am. When he was nine years old, he gave me a small journal for Hanukkah. It was about five by four inches and had a gold and white cover. I was so charmed that he would spend some of his allowance to buy me a gift – we didn’t usually exchange among siblings at that point.