On the Sidewalk

I met Betty sitting outside on the sidewalk. Betty spends a lot of time there. She lives in the adjacent building. It is a place for older folks who need a lot of help and don’t have a lot of money. Betty lost both legs, below the knee, at some point. She wears a curly…

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Sepia-Toned Teenagers

“I don’t remember you at all!” the portly man informed my husband, Peter. Peter smiled, introduced himself, and reminded the gentleman where they might have met half a century ago. The man shook his head. “Nope!” This was the first high school class reunion I had ever attended, and it was filled with moments like…

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The Story of ‘The Redhead and Cat’

Here’s the thing: I’m not superstitious. It all started when I was still in Mexico, visiting a gallery, and I saw a painting across the room. The composition was striking. The bottom third was black and the top two-thirds were filled with a deep blue sky and great white clouds rising from the horizon. There…

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Not Much of A Joke

It wasn’t much of a joke, as far as jokes go. I saw the man wearing two hats, one on top of the other. The second hat may have been for his wife. It was decorated with intricate drawings. He was walking with her, a third hat tied to the handle of a stroller, and…

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I’m Coming Home

I sometimes envy people who have a family home to return to, a place where they grew up, where their parents or even their grandparents lived. The closest thing I have is the farmhouse where my mother grew up. My grandparents lived there until they died, and my mother’s older brother, Andy, and his wife,…

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Marta, Me and Piccolina

I was walking down an old street in an old part of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Brightly colored wooden doors lined the streets. There was no indication from the outside what might be within. It could be a courtyard filled with flowers and a fountain, or a small business, or somebody’s kitchen. It is…

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At Least Two Degrees

They call the impossibly complicated screen I am looking at a “dashboard,” which I do not find reassuring at all. It would be nice not to associate my ignorance of technology with crashing some out-of-control machine into a ravine, although, as I think about it, that is very much how it feels. Learning new technology…

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Carrie Gets to Know and Appreciate Lulu

My husband, Peter, and I are back in our little place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Of course, it is not really “our” place. We don’t own it and have no desire to own anything here larger than a pressure cooker (yes, Peter bought one). When we arrived, Pepe at the front desk said,…

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I Am Good Enough

I’ve decided that I’m good enough. I had a big birthday, and it got me to thinking, as big birthdays will, about what would change and what would stay the same in the decade to come. I found my list of self-improvement chores much shorter than in previous years. I used to exhaust myself with…

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The Perfect Pet

My mother has found the perfect pet. She just doesn’t realize it yet. A clever little red squirrel has been trying to get my mother’s attention for months. “He’s such a pest!” my mother complains. But the squirrel does not give up. He has become quite tame, hanging out below the bird feeder, waiting for…

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