Memories

20

Dad It’s been 20 years since we lost Dad. I look at that statement on the page and it shocks me almost as much as hearing the words from my sister on that early morning phone call. Two decades. I knew this would be a hard day to face,...

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Restaurants

Last weekend, I had a craving for Thai food. When you live in Hooterville, or, in my case, on the distant outskirts of Hooterville, fulfilling your Thai food craving is not as simple as calling the restaurant and having them deliver it. It means about three hours of driving....

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Canelés

I love canelés de Bordeaux. When I lived in San Francisco, I used to buy them at the French bakery on Polk Street, a charming place with little green metal tables on the sidewalk under a striped awning and delicious delicacies inside. Of course, this delightful place is long...

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50

Birthday Girl Today is my sister Megan’s 50th birthday. It’s hard for me to believe that the little baby who came home from the hospital on my 9th birthday is half a century old on this day. I still remember being called to the office on that bright spring...

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Firenze

In 1984, my father was invited to work for a few months at the University of Siena. He brought my mother and sister (who was 13 at the time) with him. I convinced him to take me along (I was 22), due to heartbreak and drama in my life....

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Amsterdam

Alice and me at her home in Amsterdam, 1991 I recently came across a box full of my travel diaries, including one with an account of a visit to my best friend, Alice, at her home in Amsterdam in 1991. It is shocking to think that this was 30...

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90

Dad and Margaret at the Tate Gallery, London Today would have been my father’s 90th birthday. Is it still his birthday when he isn’t here to see it? I would like to think it is. His birthday is always his birthday to me. This year it falls just four...

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Love

My good friend A was born on Valentine’s Day, an unfortunate date for a dedicated foodie like her, one of the top restaurant reviewers in London on Zomato. On Valentine’s Day, restaurants are full of amateur eaters, there is scarcely a reservation to be found, and you are likely...

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Past

My Proudest Achievement I have noticed that when I tell people stories about my childhood which I think are funny, they often get a horrified, yet struggling to be polite, look on their faces. It’s only at this fairly advanced stage in my life that I realize that what...

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Memories

It’s probably not surprising that I am looking toward Christmas Past rather than Christmas Present, which is basically a non-event, though there are a few presents under my tree. When I was a girl, our tree was always a real one, since we had our own grove of pine...

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Amy

I love my birthday, but I have never liked my name. Susan Jean is about as dull as you can get. I have always felt that I deserved something more glamorous, though I don’t know what that would be. My much-loved maternal grandfather, HoHo (named for his distinctive laugh),...

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Nostalgic

I took a couple of days off, and you know what that means! That’s right: a searing heat wave! There was an extreme heat warning for Friday and Saturday. And extreme it was. It hit 100 at the family estate and was probably in the 90s at my place,...

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19

Dad at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, 1993 Nineteen years ago, my life changed forever with a phone call. I will never forget hearing my sister’s voice telling me that our beloved father was dead. I understood the words individually, but not together. They seemed to hang in my brain,...

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Breakfast

Sometimes you just want someone else to cook for you. And more importantly, clean up after both the cooking and the eating. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather cook three meals than clean up after one. This may have something to do with the fact that the...

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29

July 1 marked Megan and Rob’s 29th anniversary! Here they are on the big day, with a beaming Dad: I realize that Dad was around the same age then as I am now. How did that happen? Megan and Rob were married at our godparents’ house in San Francisco...

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Fourth

Happy Fourth! My English father used to say that England should really the be one to celebrate the Fourth of July. After all, they were finally free of America and all its problems, which have not diminished in the two centuries since we became independent. I often wonder what...

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Ginger

Ginger and Jonathan at our childhood home I came across this photo recently of my brother and our dog Ginger at our childhood home in upstate New York. The photo gives a clear view of our route to the school bus stop, at the Nagels’ farm, just across the...

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Mothers

Mother’s Day has rolled around again, bringing with it all those complicated emotions. Since I took over writing all my work’s Facebook posts, maybe a year and a half or a couple of years ago, I have had to surmount challenges like writing something uplifting about domestic violence and...

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Randy

My happiness at seeing an email from Cammy, a friend of many years, quickly turned to sadness when I saw that she was alerting me to the untimely and unexpected death of a mutual friend, Randy. I literally gasped out loud when I read the news. Randy wasn’t much...

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Clock

The grandfather clock in my house is probably older than this country, depending on whether it was made by John Jullion Senior (born 1701) or Junior (born 1734). Mr. Jullion was a famous clockmaker from Brentford, England, who also made the oldest clock still on public display in Australia....

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