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Memories Archives - Page 3 of 5 - All The Single Girlfriends

The Best Gift I Ever Got

May 7, 2011 by

Most of my life has been spent traveling and moving from place to place and job to job.  The one constant was my mother’s house.  My dad had built the house and when he passed away (I was 16) it was like time stopped.  The place looked exactly as it had for all my life, right down to the avocado kitchen cabinets and gold wall-to-wall carpet.  But it was home and Mom always gave me a place to land.  The number of boxes stored in her garage, including the darkroom I’d built right after college, was enormous. I’d just returned from one of my “moves” and landed a job with the Wildlife Conservation Society, and decided to go back to graduate school for a Master’s degree.  Limited funds and apartment rents in NYC made...

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Direct Connections: My Mother, My Daughter And Me...

May 6, 2011 by

My mother always cared about her appearance. In the Hospice facility where she spent her last two weeks, the staff knew her as the woman who greeted her visitors wearing a stylish scarf and earrings. She jokingly recited a ditty she had learned from her 90-year old neighbor: “A little powder, a little paint, Makes you look like what you ain’t.” Food never stopped being of importance either. I drove around the streets of Denver looking for a place to find Pho for one of her last meals. I inherited my mother’s adventurous and discriminating palate and love of beauty. My ability to shop successfully for myself and others came from the years of shopping with my mother in New York in the 50’s. Her feet were small – 71/2 quad – which meant...

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Clutter and Keys – How My Mother Taught Me to Live a Satisfying Life...

May 6, 2011 by

Much to my dismay, I had to cancel the housecleaning service this week. I’ve outsourced my housecleaning as long as I can remember and I’m annoyed that I can’t reconcile paying for cleaning now that I’ve willfully quit my job.  My housemate finds this amusing. “I just clean a little every day,” she says.  “Just as my mother taught me.” My mother probably tried to teach me the same thing, but in my contrary way I cultivated a trait usually ascribed to men.  I don’t see dirt.  More accurately, I don’t see clutter.  Dirt can be used to grow things and captures my interest.  Clutter, on the other hand, is simply my organizational system. It seems natural to me to overlook the clutter because of its low priority.  My mother did many things while...

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Caring Comes In Threes

May 6, 2011 by

When Toby suggested we write about our moms for Mother’s Day, I thought it was a wonderful idea; but for me, it was also a very difficult task.  The reason it is so difficult for me is because I write about silly, fluff-stuff and am not great with sentiment or emotion.  Since I have the greatest Mom in the world, I feel my writing can’t possibly do her justice.  My strengths lie in talking about poo and making fart jokes and though I’m sure she’s had a lot of experience with poo and farts after having six kids, she deserves much better, so this is a very daunting task. My mom has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met.  If someone is sick, she is there to help them.  If anyone needs...

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My Life Will Be Different From My Mother’s...

May 6, 2011 by

During the 20th century, it was a common goal of determined females: That our lives would be different from that of our mother’s. I was hell-bent to take the road less traveled for females from ethnic blue-collar families when I packed my trunk and took the train from Jersey City, New Jersey to Seton Hill College, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  It was 1963, before the women’s movement, so none of us at that all women’s Catholic college articulated what we were after.  But, you bet we were after not being our mother’s daughters. In the new book Art And Madness, Anne Riophe records the same fierce conviction.  In 1962, she recounts, “I lived near her [mother], the economics ruled. But I would have a different life from hers, I told myself.” That different life turned out not...

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Notes from a Deliberate Non-Mom...

May 6, 2011 by

I’ve never been a mom. Even though I had the kind of mother every kid hopes for – one who was always there when I came home from school, who baked the best cookies in the neighborhood, who patiently listened to my teenage tales of angst and romance, and who taught me things I’d never learn in school like how to make my own clothes and tend a garden – I just never saw myself in that nurturing kind of role. This was apparent from an early age when I’d be “playing dolls” with my friends. While they were busy with their “babies”, feeding them, changing their diapers, dressing and undressing them in various outfits and taking them for walks in their carriages, mine would always be sleeping until my imaginary husband came home...

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Giving My Mother Her Due

May 6, 2011 by

For years, when people asked if I were close to my mom, I’d demure. It’s not that I have a vitriolic relationship with my mom, we’ve never had a huge fight, rarely had harsh words. Never called each other names. She’s not mean. If I ask for help, even at age 85, she bats 800. If the request is to pick up an item at Target or Mall of America, she’s on it in a flash. If it’s to have my dog stay with her when I go out of town with the promise that I will hire a dog walker to take care of all the walks, not so much. She’s always seems happy to see or hear from me and has never told me how to lead my life. As a child,...

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Hiding in Plain Sight

May 6, 2011 by

When I brought a tool box with me to my first post-college apartment, my roommates were amused. Hammers, screwdrivers, a hand saw, vise-grip pliers and wrenches were, to say the least, not a typical sight in apartments occupied by artsy, bohemian twenty-something women such as ourselves. This strange contribution to our new home was vindicated a few months later when the kitchen sink drain clogged. One of my roommates called the property manager, who told her that since it was a weekend it would be a couple of days before a plumber could come by. So I hauled out my trusty pipe wrench, put the dish pan under the drain trap, and twisted off the clean-out plug. After a cascade of fetid grunge-water poured into the dish pan, I reached in and pulled out...

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It Was All About The Pancakes

May 3, 2011 by

I registered for a 5 mile race with my friends Laurie and Tara.  We agreed to meet at the start around 7:15 AM, do the five miles and then go out for pancakes after. This particular race was the first of a three race series to benefit The Ohio Canal Corridor (aka The Towpath).  For each race you run, you get a very nice tech running shirt to commemorate the day.  Participation in all three races gets you a snazzy bonus shirt. Laurie arrived at the start shortly before I did.  The race was to begin at 8AM, but the roads leading to the start were closing at 7:30.   Laurie sent Tara a text message to tell her where we were parked and then we sat in my car waiting for her to arrive,...

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Remembering Newhart

May 2, 2011 by

I love reading about the pets whose presence in our lives combined companionship with guidance, silliness with responsibility. And when they die, we miss them, mourn them and tell stories about them. My dog Newhart came into our lives as a Guide Dog Puppy which my teenage daughter raised as her 4H project.  He quickly revealed himself to be an extraordinary spirit garbed as a Golden Retriever. Even the other parents of kids who were raising guide dog puppies admitted that Newhart was different. He was smart and goofy, totally tuned to whoever was with him, and a love magnet beyond any I’ve encountered since. We were good 4H members, following the rules that allowed puppies to develop the right social skills without spoiling them in ways that would hinder their later life of...

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Passover – The Exodus, Again And Again...

Apr 22, 2011 by

It’s that time of year again for Jews. The challenge of confronting what Passover means to each of us. For observant people, and in this case I am thinking about the women in particular, it entails engaging with the many requirements related to purifying our environment and freeing it from ‘chametz,’ which for most people means things with yeast in them or any of the five species of grain:  wheat, spelt, oats, barley, and rye. Just think of it as Spring Cleaning on steroids. My grandmother did it all: rid all her shelves of offending products, changed her 2 sets of Kosher dishes for 2 different sets of kosher Passover dishes. Her house, which was already immaculate, became even more pristine for the holiday. My grandfather observed the night-before Passover ritual of going through...

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Feel Better Food

Apr 8, 2011 by

Yesterday I was watching the Food Network’s a Best Of .. Comfort Food. Comfort foods are usually food from our childhood that help get us over a little bump in the road.  For me it’s chocolate. For others it’s mac and cheese or grilled cheese or .. or .. or .. There’s a side step to comfort food that seems to be neglected. Let’s call it Sick Food. No Gf, not food that makes you sick! Hmm .. perhaps Feel Better Food is a better name. Food that wraps you in a big warm blanket when you’re not feeling physically well. For me this type of food is different than what we think of as “traditional” comfort food. Oh sure, home made chicken soup might have been for lunch; but in the morning, it was tea...

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