I’m not a fan of growing up poor, but I’m forced to admit it gave me an eclectic trove of neighbors. Money and prestige, (trust me, I am not opposed to these things) but they can limit our choice of acquaintances. Surgeons seek out other doctors to golf with. Hedge fund geniuses live among other big money makers, but gas station attendants and school aides often have to live cheek to jowl and make the best of it. My family was no exception; there were truck drivers, a failed TV repairman, a luncheonette counterman and a science teacher (the last-thanks to the post-WWII GI Bill). Our neighbors eked by on shoe salesman paychecks, secretary salaries and cab fares.Read More
One More Thing Before I Go
Last spring when the scent of lilacs followed me from the backyard into my kitchen, I thought of my mother’s distant cousin and her daughters, who, like my lilacs, visited yearly when the earth warmed and the days grew longer. I pictured us all in idyllic memories of jump rope games and playing with dolls. But, except for MaryAnn, the littlest daughter, I could not remember their names.
A few years ago, I could have called my mother. She would have teased me for my forgetfulness, asked what I was making for dinner (there was never a phone conversation where we didn’t talk about food) and repeated her mother-to-daughter mantra, “When are you coming over?” We would have shared stories of those long-ago days before hanging-up and re-joining our lives. But my mother has passed on and while the images of our family lingers-the details are lost. I write One more thing before I go, my living record for my son, in hope that one day, when he has a question I can no longer answer, it can be found in this blog.