I originally published this post on Ricochet, on November 4, 2016, five days before the election that put Donald Trump in the White House. It would have been my stepson Michael's forty-ninth birthday. Today, May 2, 2021, is the 19th anniversary of his death. I'd signed up for the month's group writing challenge, which asked… Continue reading Gratitude: For Michael, And Why I’ll Still Be Here A Week From Now
The year was 1956. I knew something was horribly wrong that night, when Ahmadu dropped the soup! Normally exquisitely self-possessed, immaculately groomed, and imperturbable, our man-servant and friend was disheveled, the color of cement, and shaking like a leaf with acute anxiety and palpable fear. Our little family—myself, Kay, and our imperious eighteen-month-old daughter, known… Continue reading Gagara Yasin
These words were spoken by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to the family members of those who perished on September 11, 2001. And I’ve often thought she must have been channeling C.S. Lewis at the time: To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.… Continue reading “Grief is the price we pay for love”
My grandmother Molly could be a rather stern old lady. She was born when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, on April 16, 1898. She died in 1988, long-lived, like many in my family. If I were to tell you just one thing about Granny, it would be this: She. Never. Gave. In. Every morning… Continue reading On Granny. Oh, and On Chocolate, Too. And a Few Other Things As Well
https://youtu.be/8iwBM_YB1sE David Austin, PBUH (this is the US link; it's originally a UK firm) says that they've been shipped at exactly the right time for planting in my plant hardiness "zone." (My zone number is somewhere between 6A and 6B--worst case indicating that the temperatures in the winter might go down to about -25F, or… Continue reading I’m So Excited–My New Roses Will Be Delivered Tomorrow!
Hey, guess what? My Granny knew what she was talking about! About lots of things actually, but in relation to this post, about only one. She was a great believer, on a stinking hot day (remember, we’re taking about England, so any day on which the temperature goes above 60 degrees Fahrenheit qualifies as scorchio), in… Continue reading Want To Cool Down? Have a Nice Hot Cuppa Cha!
Almost two decades ago now, my stepdaughter and I spend a delightful ten days in Venice, on a trip organized by my sister on behalf of her "beading guild" (my sister is a world-class beader) in the UK. My sister, for those of you who don't know us, is marvelously organized, and an exceptionally good… Continue reading Lilibet and Me
Well. Lugubrious Joe and Gurning Anthony notwithstanding, 2021 proceeds apace, and we’re on the cusp of closing out its first quarter.** Yikes. But before we do, here's St. Patrick’s Day, not a big seller in the land of my birth, but huge in the two areas I’ve lived in, in my adopted country–Boston and Pittsburgh.… Continue reading Food And Drink Post: Weirdest Holiday Foods Edition
EVERY YEAR, about October/November a cattle tax of one-shilling-a-head was levied on every bull, steer, cow or calf throughout all the cattle-holding provinces of Northern Nigeria. This was in accordance with the principle that in order to establish sovereignty of the Crown, every adult in the territory had to pay an appropriate yearly tax to… Continue reading JANGALI, 1947
During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for… Continue reading Amazing Grace–A Lenten Post