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Showing posts from April, 2014

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British Isles Friday: Little pink houses for you and for me.

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"Ain't that America, home of the free"? No John Mellencamp, it's not. This little pink house is in London, on Elgin Crescent in Nottinghill. A street known for it's pretty pastel-painted row houses.
When I think of the colorful—colourful?—houses of Nottinghill, I think of rows of shining happy facades, neat as a pin. My mind skims right over the places where they need a touch up, the chipped white painted iron work of the front gate, the dirt that comes with the drizzle of the rain tainting the cornice over the front porch.
My photos from the trip that took us to London last spring clear the misty haze from my romanticized image, revealing the truth. As pretty as this pink house is, it isn't perfect. Still, I love it. I'm a fan of pink houses, turquoise walls, green doors, houses painted in the colors that you see on homes in the tropics.
They're not everyone's cup of tea, many preferring houses that come in shades of white and grey. How about you? Wo…

Seven Reasons Older Women Love Older Men

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How sweet it is! The Good Men Project ran my piece Seven Reasons Older Women Love Older Men! A response to their Seven Reasons Men Love Older Women. When I turned sixty my one thought was, wow, sixty is shitty!  Really! I wished I felt like rocking some sort of 'sixty is the new sexy' tattoo except for me, sixty sucked. 

But I've had a change of heart. Looking back at some photos of younger self, I know exactly how critical and self-loathing I felt at the time. I could fill a page at least, listing all the things I've hated about my inner or outer self at one time or another. And I know that while the dreaded sixty isn't pretty, it's perversely going to look a whole lot better when I'm sixty four. While sixty four, in turn will feel even worse if I continue to focus on the lines gathering like a perfect storm on my face. What a waste of perfectly good time that would be! The inexorable march of time moves on, what are you doing to embrace it?


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Little House on the Hill

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Living in the little house on the hill for six straight years was a gift. That's not quite hyperbole. We got the Mountain View house - #33 in the list of places I've called home -  when our good friends, Mike and Judy, found their dream home and moved out of the Mar Vista bungalow they'd been renting. They recommended us to the landlords as the perfect tenants; that perfection being a bit of a stretch considering the house was going to cost us a challenging $300 more every month than what we were paying for our townhouse. We signed the lease with the owners, dropping us within the boundary lines for our school of choice just days before the deadline to register for a coveted kindergarden spot in the fall.

It had happened organically, inevitably; exactly as I'd laid it out on my treasure map. A couple of years before then, back when Mike and Judy were only dreaming of homes, I was dreaming too.  Using a photograph Judy had taken one afternoon of Mark, Russell and me stan…

Qué sera, sera; What will be, will be.

My mother passed away two years ago, this Sunday, April 13th. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a dozen years earlier, she really left us long ago. It's painful to think back on how confused she was, not just at the very end, but in those last years when her memories, her life and its details faded as if they'd been written in disappearing ink. While the image of her looking lost and bewildered as her identity slipped away still haunts me, I'm pleased my eternally singing mother is so present in my writing. When I wrote the piece, Of Brasso and Brownies, about growing up in Niagara Falls in the sixties I thought it was about me but, reading it again, I can see my mother, alive and vital, loving and proud, played as big a role in my story as I did. Of Brasso and Brownies is #9 in my On the Street Where I Live stories.

Of Brasso and Brownies

It’s daunting to move into a new house and make it yours. A never before lived in house seems more than new as it stands before…