Detroit, Michigan to Lebanon, Tennessee

May 18, 2015


I finally got around to vacuuming my car today (including the trunk.) I shampooed the front seat where I spilled coffee, and washed the inside of the windshield and the rest of the windows. Poor car. I’ve been working with my daughter renovating an old house in the historic district. My car was full of…

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Derby Hats

May 4, 2015


The horses were beautiful, yes, they were, but my favorite part of the Kentucky Derby is the hats. I’m a hat girl (I use the term ‘girl’ loosely) from day one. Raised in a Baptist church where every woman wore a hat, I don’t remember ever not having at least a few. When I was…

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Mr. Chips

April 24, 2015


My next door neighbors moved into their house a few weeks after I moved into mine. Since I live on a mountain, and bugs aren’t a problem this high, whenever the weather permits, I leave my back door open to get fresh air. The neighbor’s dog, a Shih Tzu named Mister Chips, became a frequent…

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Spring Cleaning

April 12, 2015


It’s spring here. In this area of Nevada, that means the pollen lies on the ground like a yellow blanket. I alternate between a runny nose and a stopped-up head. My Sterling Silver roses have gone insane and are blooming in groups of five or six on a single stem. I reward them with coffee…

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April 3, 2015


A woman needs other women in her life. I need the kind of friend who will take me aside and tell me there’s a run in my stocking or that I have spinach in my teeth. In “Lonesome Dove,” when Gus brings the prostitute Lorena to ex-girlfriend Clara’s house in the middle of the prairie,…

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Belle Isle

March 26, 2015


I grew up in the forties and fifties on the east side of Detroit. My favorite park was Belle Isle. It was a magic place, nine hundred and eighty two acres in the middle of the Detroit River. My daddy used to take me there to ride in the pony carts or on saddle. We…

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Better Times

March 14, 2015


I had lunch a few days ago with my daughter and one of her childhood friends. She’d just turned fifty and was lamenting getting older. I managed to pretty much hold my tongue and not reveal too much of what’s ahead for her. There are signs along the way to the place in your life…

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St. Paul Street, Detroit, 1948

March 4, 2015


In the summertime and on days off school, the turn of the century houses disgorged children of assorted ages and types immediately after breakfast. An alley divided the block. Once a week, a horse-drawn wagon came down the alley with an old, black man calling out, “Shee-neee!” Mothers left what broken-but-maybe fixable household discards they…

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White Brocade

February 24, 2015


The Christmas present I loved the best was the little red and white Singer sewing machine my father gave me when I was four or five. I had no interest in dolls except to make their clothes, a skill I must have inherited from my Aunt Dorothy, who spent her life making the most beautiful…

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Maurice Salad

February 15, 2015


I made my own wedding dress. I remember buying the fabric in the basement fabric department at Hudson’s Department Store on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. I loved that store. Shopping there meant I had moved up in the world. Hudson’s opened in 1911. At 410 feet, it was the tallest department store in the world….

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