By now, all of you must know how much I enjoy writing these little billet doux to you. As I work on bigger projects—like the memoir that now consumes 90% of my attention—creating them is like flexing a word conscious muscle. It helps me to grow as a writer as it simultaneously keeps me in…

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How did I get through the loss of Gulliver, the dog of my heart, to whom I dedicated Bespotted? How did I put away my grief and return to living and enjoying myself once again? The answer is a simple one: I bred a litter of puppies. Two years after Gulliver’s death, we sent our girl,…

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Writers keep bizarre schedules: some compose late at night, some early in the morning, some whenever the urge overwhelms them. I am a disciplined early riser–or should I say that my three Dalmatians are early risers who tromp all over me and my blankets until I get up and feed them at 6:45 a.m., just…

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I looked at my calendar and realized that Mother’s Day is about to roll in once again. I hope your Mom is still by your side. But if not, perhaps you–like me–can feel her presence once again because on this particular day we remember and celebrate her influence upon us. The following poem captures the…

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Doesn’t everyone think their grandchildren are the very best ones around?  Of course, my own grandson is truly amazing. At twenty-one months, his vocabulary is something of a shock: he is able to attach names to objects and emotions rather than simply repeating them all back to me like a parrot who doesn’t know what it is…

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Retirement agrees with Brad! His retirement agrees with me! When my husband reached the ripe old age of 67 and said goodbye to his stressful career last winter, I worried whether he would find enough with which to occupy himself. However, to my delight, he seems happier than I can ever remember. He has begun to…

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Spring arrived yesterday with the vernal equinox. Two daffodils and a yellow and a purple crocus have popped up in the small, curved garden alongside my driveway. Every year, I have the same surge of hope for the new season, with all its blooms and possibilities. But today, it is rainy and raw, and those…

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This morning, Breeze got up from her padded armchair–which we have allowed to become her dog bed–and walked across our room to greet me. I was slipping out of bed, ready to take her downstairs to potty and eat breakfast, when I noticed she was holding one paw up off the ground in an exaggerated…

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Spring 1972. My freshman year at Harvard. I was walking through “The Square,” where the street was filled with students still dressed in the tie-dye that the ’60’s made fashionable. Young men and women moved in circles, holding placards for their current protest; SDS was passé–nevertheless this protest would shortly have its leaders pounding on…

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My husband retired last Friday and I am worried. While I celebrate his freedom from a job of which he was truly tired, I am also concerned about what he will now do with his time, as well as the loss of his income. How will the family budget survive? How will he survive psychologically? …

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