A special thankfulness this year.

A special thankfulness this year.

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving morning, as I sit alone in the kitchen enjoying my coffee. It’s before Michael is awake and before Matt, our older son, comes over and we hop in the car to drive to Boston to spend Thanksgiving with Steve, our younger son.

I wasn't going to write about Thanksgiving, but, well, maybe the spirit of the day has moved me. Or maybe it’s my special thankfulness today that has inspired me to conclude:

How can I not write? 

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What I’ve learned in a year of blogging

What I’ve learned in a year of blogging

On October 13, 2016, with a deep breath, a prayer, and a mix of trepidation and pride, I hit “publish,” sending my first blog out into the great beyond.

Blogosphere, here I come. 

I’ve written 48 posts since then. It’s been the hardest professional challenge I’ve faced and there’s no paycheck on Fridays. The compensation has been in personal growth. I could fill a book, but instead I’ll give you some snippets on what I’ve learned:

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A simple question with a long answer.  A one-act screenplay based on a true story

A simple question with a long answer.   A one-act screenplay based on a true story

A kitchen, every surface covered with diced, sliced, or whole veggies, some still steaming and fragrant from the grill, some still raw. 

Michael, Karen’s husband of 35 years, enters through the kitchen door, stage left. Dressed in colorful cycling gear, helmet in hand, he glistens in sweat, face red, dirt streaked on one calf, hair matted to his head. He looks tired but jubilant.

Karen stands at the kitchen sink, center stage. The afternoon sun shines through the spotless windows behind her, giving her hair a golden glow, her dewy complexion complimented by the soft pink flush of exertion. Trim and tan, she wipes a loose strand of silky blonde hair from her smooth forehead with the back of her youthful hand as she leans over to kiss her husband.* 

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My gluteus maximus research.

My gluteus maximus research.

After close to a year of blogging weekly, I can say that I’ve learned some interesting things. Like when I researched different names for the gluteus maximus, sometimes called the gluteal muscles, or glutes, for short.  According to, Wikipedia , the fleshy mass of these musclesin a quadrilateral shape, forms the prominence of the buttocks."

In case you’re still on your first cup of coffee, I’m talking about the butt.

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I had to eat crow last week.  At least it was nicely seasoned.

I had to eat crow last week.  At least it was nicely seasoned.

You know the saying “Be careful the words you use because someday you may have to eat them?” 

I learned that lesson recently.

As a fledgling writer, I’ve discovered that I’m more protective of my written words than I am with other aspects of my life. I haven’t always stood up for myself, but I’ve easily stood up for my writing. 

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Keep your eyes open to the little things. Avoiding a thankless marriage.

Keep your eyes open to the little things. Avoiding a thankless marriage.

Years ago, I sat across a table from my new husband as we enjoyed a night out on our honeymoon. As we waited for our food to arrive, the wait staff appeared, singing Happy Anniversary, and delivered a cake with a single flaming candle to the couple at the next table.

Michael and I looked at each other with wide-eyed awe and said, almost in unison, “Wow. A whole year.”

It was hard to fathom being married for a year. Now, it’s been 35.

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This time, I will take a stand.

This time, I will take a stand.

Over 30 years ago, when I worked in Washington, D.C., I took the Metro to work. It’s always crowded on a subway during rush hour, and you get used to being jostled by people, bodies crammed together. But one morning on the platform, I thought a man purposefully touched my butt with his hand. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure. But then I watched the nicely dressed middle-aged man as he walked through the crowd, hands at his sides. As he passed several women, he distinctly turned his hand out to brush their back sides.

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Saying "I’m sorry" is an opportunity for connection and respect.

Saying "I’m sorry" is an opportunity for connection and respect.

My husband Michael leans vegetarian and I “steer” Paleo. It’s hard enough to cook shared meals at home, but finding a restaurant with a menu that works for us both is tougher than beef jerky.

When we do agree on a restaurant, Michael seems to be the one whose order gets messed up. It happened again last week when we went out for dinner. 

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When simple solutions are - literally - right under your nose.

When simple solutions are - literally - right under your nose.

"We live on our front porch in the nice weather." That’s what my husband Michael and I say, which is a bit of an exaggeration. But we do spend a lot of time there. It's a great place to read the Sunday paper, sip our morning coffee, eat lunch on a weekend, or watch a thunderstorm. My favorite seat is the porch swing, which we hung last year after it sat in a box for 30 years.

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I am a warrior.

I am a warrior.

Earlier this year, I wrote my four brothers an email with the specifics of the surgery I would be getting in May. I talk regularly on the phone with my parents and my sister, so those three already knew the particulars of the very intimate procedure. My brothers and I talk less frequently. I couldn’t bring myself to call each of them and go through the whole story four more times. Plus, they’re, you know - guys - and I’m, well - a prude - so I opted for electronic communication. 

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Acceptance. I’m working on it but not yet there.

Acceptance. I’m working on it but not yet there.

I wrote so much last week, I think the writing center in my brain is fried. 

Not all of my writing appears on my blog, but between my regularly scheduled blog, a bonus blog, an op-ed, working on my memoir (here’s an earlier scene) and some pieces that I sent to online publications, I’ve been busy. And my brain is worn out.

I’ve worked on at least seven blog topics so far this week, but I can’t get any of them to gel. Here’s a few that I’ll have for you someday:

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    The thrill of realization: I am a writer.​​​​​​​

    The thrill of realization: I am a writer.​​​​​​​

    This morning, as soon as I wake up, I stumble down the stairs and into the kitchen. The newspaper is sitting on the counter. Michael must have brought it in before he left for his early morning bike ride. But the paper isn’t open. Did he not see my article? Is it not in there?

    I open the paper and flip through to find the Perspective section. Darn, didn’t make the front page there. 

    I open to page two of Perspective, holding my breath just a little, hoping not to be disappointed. 

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