What I Learned On the Last Day of the Year

Found TreasuresAlmost a month into the new year and finally 2015 is a soft blur, a whirl of high emotion spinning over a constant, blinking beat of down lowness. I grappled with sadness and grasped at spurts of wonder, wanting to hold on to them, pocket them like found treasures: the smoothest amber stone glimmering in the creek bed, the tiniest acorn dropped too soon from the oak, the downiest gray feather clinging to the rose bush. Talismans. Augurs. Omens. Somehow they always slipped away.

I wanted so badly to make sense of each day, drop into bed satisfied and yawning, emerging each morning shining and whole, ready for Joy because – and this is true – Joy is everywhere. It’s right here in the kitchen in the buttered up frying pan, in the sizzling egg. Oh, and here it is again, in the sweet, firm kiss from my husband as I stand against the sink, dirty dishes piling. Now for some more Joy from the tail-wagging dog, her head in my lap, and in the gap-toothed grin of my four-year-old when she comes running to me after putting on her socks by herself. I sweep her up into my arms and…and…and what? I am fleetingly happy in the glow of others’ happiness, but Joy does not seep through my skin, douse my heart and stay. Continue reading

The Best of Flingo 2015

IMG_4354Even though we’re a week into 2015, I decided to go back through Flingo and check out which posts you, the readers, found most engaging. Inspired by one of my favorite writers, Alexandra Rosas of Good Day Regular People, I nostalgically combed through my monthly stats. On the whole, the most popular posts were also my favorite ones to write and share. Reading through them again, I noticed a few themes and a subtle but important shift.

About half of the most viewed posts were those I wrote for Finish the Sentence Friday (FTSF). Hosted by Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee, FTSF is a weekly link up of posts inspired by an open-ended writing prompt. If you’re looking for a supportive community of kick-ass writers, definitely try out FTSF. Continue reading

Thoughts For the New Year: When a Missing Umbrella Makes Room for Joy

IMG_8169I wanted to write something wise about this past year. I wanted to take a sage look back, bright spots highlighted with gratitude, low points vaguely alluded to then quickly turned on their ears and repackaged as lessons learned. I wanted to recount our family vacations, our celebrations, our laughter. I wanted to write about a few trying moments so I could show how I’ve weathered the storm and come up with a plan for next year. I wanted to smile nostalgically at last year’s blinks of undiluted bliss as I leave the cliffs and crags of 2015 behind me and soar into 2016 with my wings fluttering in the brilliant light of the new year. Continue reading

Remembering My Grandpa, Latkes in Bermuda and a Dash of Nutmeg

We are in Bermuda on vacation with my grandparents. This is the first and only time we will vacation with them. My grandpa is sick. Is it lung cancer? Kidney failure? I can’t remember what will lay him to rest within the year.

We spend mornings on the beach, rocky outcrops shielding us from the big waves. My dad and I explore the tide pools left behind in the crags and dips while my mom and grandma sit in low, folding chairs watching my two-year-old sister play in the sand, her diaper warm and soggy. My mom wears a wide, brightly colored fabric headband and huge, bug-eyed sunglasses. My grandma has her signature shmata on her head, a white triangular kerchief that keeps her hairdo in place. Continue reading

Favorite Selfies of 2015

This is one of my favorite prompts during December Reverb. Like most of us, I have a gazillion photos on my phone that I rarely go back and take a look at. This morning I perused every picture my lens captured this past year, experiencing the joy and serenity, humor and beauty of each moment all over again. Such a gift. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite selfies from 2015:

The year started out with a winter beach retreat with these four lovely ladies, treasured friends all. Jan15Friends Continue reading

Letting Go, Creating Space and Wondering What’s For Dinner

Breakfast for dinner?

The clock creeps up on 5 p.m. The sky hangs gray and wintry outside the window. I’m sitting at my mirrored desk in the small alcove of my bedroom. When my older daughter needed her own room two years ago, I ceded my office to her, although it was never really an office. Work went on there, yes, but not officey work. More like creative and contemplative work, wondering work, the work of collecting and sifting and building; quiet work, whirling-words-in-my-head work and then when I needed and wanted, the fraught and delicious work of writing.

Now everything that is mine and meaningful from that room sits atop this desk, in the single drawer, pinned to the large cushioned board hanging on the wall. I am tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard, desperate to use my words, see them appear on the screen, before I have to go downstairs to make dinner. My three girls are endlessly hungry from 4 p.m. on. I have learned to serve dinner early, but that means a few minutes less for me, words flying. Continue reading

The Right Side of Grateful

photo source: Orion Magazine

photo source: Orion Magazine

It is the day before Thanksgiving and I am driving. The road flattens and curves like a lazy river. Farmland on both sides, one planted in neat little rows, the other dotted with grazing, black cows. The car is stuffed. Duffle bags and pillows, snow gear, three kids and a dog, enough groceries for a month even though we’re only staying four days. We are on the road to Tahoe.

The hour and a half drive to the halfway point is taking double that. Holiday traffic. Everyone running into one another, tapping each other’s bumpers all in a hurry. Cars pull over on the shoulder. We all stop to stare then carry on. Neil Young sings Harvest Moon and I turn it up, hoping the girls will take notice, soak it in. Appreciate. “Because I’m still in love with you, on this harvest moon…” Continue reading