2014 Blogs


On Reading Books and Reading Boys

December 2014

I’ve been hiding behind the pages of a book since I first learned to read. Even now, when I’m well-ensconced in middle age, I turn to books for escape and comfort, peace and quiet, and a way to avoid things I don’t want to do. Some days, books even provide the oxygen I need to breathe, and they only expect me to care for their spines in return. (Read More)

A Very Loud Quiet

December 2014

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of my parenting time is spent, as it has been over the years, thinking about what drives me crazy, and I’ve been working out whether that’s an entirely bad thing. (Read More)

The Wisdom in Falling Leaves

November 2014

As a little girl, fall was always my favorite season. I loved that the trees looked like enormous red and yellow lollipops and that the air tasted of cinnamon. When the leaves turned brittle and fell to the ground, I walked back and forth over mounds of them, just to hear their comforting rustle beneath my feet. (Read More)

Fear of Flying

October 2014

For 13 years, I flew like a bird. I did so with such frequency that I earned platinum status with my favorite airline, and I delighted in the perks, like an annual courtesy upgrade to business class and preferential boarding. I enjoyed venturing from place to place and seeing the world. I especially loved wearing those free socks during the flight. (Read More)

In Awe of the Moment

October 2014

Twice, I didn’t make it to shul on Rosh Hashana.

The first time, I’d herniated a disc while putting the holiday turkey in the oven. My husband ended up handling the chore himself, taking full credit – with a wink — for preparing such a tasty and tender bird. A friend stopped by to blow shofar. I nibbled on challah and some dark meat. Otherwise, the holiday passed uneventfully, lower back pain eclipsing my disappointment. (Read More)

My Elul Yard Sale

September 2014

Every fall, I’m drawn to the community-wide garage sale like a fly to honey. You never know what you’ll find at these things, and I love the thrill of the search. They also allow for a bold kind of people watching that wouldn’t be socially acceptable among living creatures. You can stare all you want at the stuff on the tables without being creepy, and there’s an awful lot to learn about folks by examining what they’ve owned and used, but want to unload. (Read More)

The More Roads We Travel

August 2014

I was born wanting to go places. My mother reports that I toppled my cardboard bassinet in the newborn nursery while thrashing around. She believed I was trying to break free. I walked too early as well, and had to wear special shoes affixed to a metal rocking plate because my legs were not yet strong enough to carry me. (Read More)

No Mistakes, Just Experiments

August 2014

I love the liberating sensation of being out on the wide open highway, especially when I’m driving alone late at night. It’s almost theatrical: streetlamps light the asphalt and memories of old personal dramas take center stage, edging out my usual mental clutter. Right one cue, I start thinking too much, mostly about roads not taken and mistakes I’ve made along the way. (Read More)

A Backyard Legacy

July 2014

Talk around the cul de sac tipped me off. The former mistress of our home and the former mistress of one of the neighboring split levels were both gardeners of merit, with a little competition running between them, friendly or not I cannot say. Decades earlier, they’d each planted a lilac bush, and the plants grew strikingly close to one another along the property line. (Read More)

A City Idyll, in the Heart of the Suburbs

June 2014

There is truth in the t-shirt adage, Once a Jersey girl, always a Jersey girl, though until recently, I would not have conceded it.

My mother and father, who grew up in the Bronx and Brooklyn respectively, fled to the New Jersey suburbs soon after my birth in Manhattan. The lure was typical: home ownership, room to grow, a yard for the children. Most of the families I knew had followed a similar path to our sleepy borough. (Read More)

My Time Is Theirs

May 2014

Over the past Memorial Day weekend, we spent a few days with my husband’s cousins near Corning, New York. If you ignore the occasional bear and bat, it is a splendid place and a real breath of fresh air – both literally and figuratively – from the usual pace of our lives. (Read More)

Getting Hooked

May 2014

I grew up surrounded by women who made magic with two sticks and some wool. It was clear to me that it was a G-d given talent, this ability to craft something from almost nothing with a rhythmic flick of the wrists. It awed me to watch them work, and it didn’t hurt that I often benefitted from the output. (Read More)


March 2014

There’s a lone pile of dirty snow on the street in front of our house. I want desperately for it to melt, but each morning it is still there and I fear it might linger until summer. Nevertheless, spring has officially sprung on the calendar and memories of Purim are nearly two weeks old. Stubborn snow mounds or not, Pesach is on its way. (Read More)

My World by a Hair

March 2014

Though my hair is standard Jewish girl hair – curly, kinky, unruly and black – it is has always been my crowning glory.

It ran long and straight until the fourth grade, when my mother cut it on the eve of a car trip to Florida. She was not going to fight with my knotty locks in hotel rooms along the Interstate. The result was that in all of our vacation photos, I’m the one who looks like a badly drawn Dorothy Hamill. (Read More)

Rolling Back the Angst

February 2014

When things get me down, so much so that I begin to wonder why I thought I could pull off this parenting gig in the first place, I go to Walmart. No, I’m not a fan of the store, for all the reasons people who don’t like Walmart don’t like Walmart. Yet it has become an inexorable part of my landscape as each of my sons has entered the Wild West of adolescence. (Read More)

Keeping My Eyes on the Road

January 2014

In winters long gone, my boys would see the first flakes fall and dart outside immediately. It took the older two much longer to get out there this week when the snow began and it amazed me once again how far we’ve come from when they were little. That thought led to a dangerous avalanche of memories, but I kept coming back to the night my oldest jumped out of his crib. (Read More)