Archive | families RSS feed for this section

No cell service

While we were in Maine, my daughter sent us a text message with a photo of our dog, Ginger—who was happy staying with Mary Elizabeth. She didn’t miss us at all. I tried to reply, but I was in a cabin on a lake with lousy cell service. I finally wrote: “I have not had [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Advice from a lobster

“Don’t be shellfish,” proclaims my “Advice from a Lobster” t-shirt from Maine. I followed that advice while we were on vacation—except when I was eating my blueberry pie. I was selfish when I picked the biggest piece. My lobster t-shirt also suggests: • Don’t get yourself in hot water. • Be a good catch. • [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Why are you unhappy?

I have a tendency to be happy and optimistic a lot of the time. My mother was usually a happy person. But, I also sometimes have a tendency to be negative and depressed. My father had a tendency to be negative and discouraged. “Unhappiness is an avocation,” says Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland: A Memoir. [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Happy Fourth of July!

Remember why we celebrate this holiday—and be sure to eat some ice cream! Here’s a gift–part of a poem–by Nikki Giovanni. One of the reasons I like this poem is that we always ate homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July when I was a child. Usually it was peach ice cream. Joy I [...]

Read full story Comments { 1 }

A network of mutuality

“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny,” Martin Luther King Junior once said. “Whatever affects one directly affects all directly.” I found that quote in Shery Sandberg and Adam Grant’s book Option B—Facing Adversity, Building Resilence and Finding Joy.

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Another person

“Inside every person is a universe, and we’ll never know what it feels like to be another person,” author Elizabeth Strout told Time magazine in its May 15, 2017 issue. And, then, Strout concluded, “Which is horrifying.” Horrifying? That’s a strong word. I try to understand what another person is feeling. I think I can [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Her daughter’s secrets

Marilyn, a character in the book Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, had left her daughter, who was only 11 months old, playing on a quilt in the living room and gone into the kitchen to get a cup of tea. Marilyn was startled to find Lydia, who had taken her first steps, [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Free from family?

Her brother Nath was ready to leave his family and go away to college—“to start over as a new person with a new life.” It’s “just a problem of geography,” he thought, “with the confidence of someone who had never yet tried to free himself of family.” Most of us, like Nath, a character in [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

A vast web of misunderstanding

I just went to a cousin’s birthday party in Colorado City, Texas. Although I see most of my cousins on my father’s side of the family at least once a year, I haven’t seen many of the cousins on my mother’s side of the family in years. I was reminded of a line from Anna [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

What’s your story?

Everyone has a story—or two or three, and most of us tell the stories that define our lives over and over, explained author George Saunders at an Art & Letters Live presentation in Dallas on March 8, 2017. I’ve been thinking about my stories. What are the stories about my life that I tell over [...]

Read full story Comments { 0 }