Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rambling post

My son didn't go to class today. Instead he had to go down to court and get himself excused from jury duty till his paramedic training is done. He got through early, and so he's hanging out here for the rest of the day, as we're all going to see my wonderful accountant tonight, to sign off on our taxes. Lewis has done my taxes ever since I was a brand new working girl making hardly anything at Life magazine in the eighties. The first few years, Lewis didn't even charge me. Later, when I got married, he folded in my husband's taxes, and now he does my children's taxes as well, and this year, even my children's partner's taxes. He is such a gift in our lives as he demystifies this annual crazy-making ritual. Bless him.

My daughter and her boyfriend took care of an elderly French bulldog this past weekend, and that old guy kind of broke our hearts. His paws were all swollen and bent, his eyes were rheumy and watery and we think quite blind, he couldn't lie down without great effort and apparent pain, and there were bald pink patches on his skin. Those two cared for that dog in such a beautiful way. It moved me to see it. The dog's owner had dropped off a sleeping crate for him with no blankets, just a hard plastic floor. My girl and her guy made the coziest nest for the old Frenchie in there, and he seemed at peace in the presence of their tender care.

Later, I went walking with the them around the neighborhood, a Sunday evening twilight stroll, the air turning chilly, the wind whipping up, and I thought how lovely it is to live one building away from your grown child. I am very conscious not to drop in unannounced, or be too demanding simply because of proximity, because I want them to love living nearby, too. I adore when our girl or her guy drops by to borrow a certain pot, or to grocery shop in our pantry, or to introduce us to the latest dog they're sitting for, or to watch Survivor together on a Wednesday evening. There is truly nothing I enjoy more than being in the company of my husband and children (including my niece) and their loves. I can only imagine how much more expansive that feeling will be when grandchildren become part of the picture. Not rushing anything!

In other news, yesterday I had my first meeting with the subject of the new book I am ghostwriting, and it could not have gone better. We met in a diner in Brooklyn, and though the ambient noise made the recording of our conversation difficult to hear, we waded right into the deep places of her story. My hope, always, is to forge a bond of warmth and trust with my subject, and I believe we made a good start on that yesterday. Last night, in bed, the first chapter of her book started coming to me, and I began typing furiously into the notes app on my phone, excited to be writing so soon in the process. We are talking again by phone this afternoon. There is a kind of intimacy that can happen in phone conversations once you've made a connection in person. I hope this will be the case for us, as she's an incredibly busy woman, traveling all the time, and I want this process to feel easy for her, not disruptive. Today, I am exhaling in a major way. What I am feeling in this moment is abject relief. Hopeful optimism. And gratitude.

Isn't that a beautiful garden? The photo was taken in the front yard of my cousin's home in Jamaica. Aunt Grace is there, and last night we video chatted for a delightful hour. She's 91 years old and she was vibrant. I told her she looked tanned. She said she's been swimming daily in her daughter's pool, then shared that she hadn't been in the pool since she was last in it with my mom, her beloved sister, nine years ago. I still remember the photos they took back then. My mom, on the left in the pool picture, was still up and moving around, before Parkinson's robbed her of her mobility, and then her life. Aunt Grace, the only remaining one of her nine siblings, misses her sisters and brothers intensely. But she has wonderful children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I don't know if they are the source of her joyful spirit or if she is the source of theirs.

Apropos of nothing, I've been binge watching the legal drama Suits, which is pleasantly undemanding, starring the future princess Meghan Markle. Can you believe the House of Windsor is displaying such equanimity about the fact that one of the royals is marrying an African-American woman? It makes me think the world has evolved a bit, all evidence to the contrary. Now look at the photo of the prince and his bride to be. To me, they look exactly alike. Identically shaped nose. Similar beaming smile. Same joy.

Happy Tuesday, gentle friends. I am glad to be with you here. 


  1. My son lives just a short walk away, less than 5 minutes. He brings his laundry here which I don’t mind doing if he’s busy since he asks so little of me. And with both my kids, we text a lot which is a beautiful thing in its own way.
    I love that garden picture and I’m going to add it to my desktop. We are still waiting for blooms and spring here.

  2. Such a very, very joyful post. It makes me happy for you and reminds me that there are indeed days like this.
    You are completely right about the prince and his lady love. I'd never noticed.

  3. Lovely post...That dog stole my heart. Best of luck with your newest project.

  4. Loved this post! I especially loved where you wondered about Aunt Grace and the source of joy, I suspect that goes both ways! What a good observation about Harry and Meghan. They look so very happy.

  5. Having adult children near is truly a gift. That dog is very sweet, and so lovingly cared for. I'm sure he felt the love. Your new writing project is off to a great start. Harry and Meghan make a beautiful couple as the world waits for the big day. Susan

  6. I'm glad the dog was cared for so well by your daughter and her boyfriend, but now I worry that the actual owner doesn't have the same kind of empathy and it's breaking my heart . . . what kind of owner would provide a hard crate for an old and fragile beastie, even for a night or two?? . . .

    I'm glad your writing project is off to a good start, though; that's good news.

  7. I love everything about this post. Your daughter’s boyfriend is so cute and fits right in with the great looks of your family! The dog!! That’s how they’ll treat a little baby. Good luck on your work. You don’t need it tho - luck. All my best to you. Joanne

  8. Such a happy post. Congratulations on this exciting new book project!
    My daughter lives 15000 miles away but we chat every other day. Probably more than we would if she lived close by. Strange.

  9. So great to read this! Congratulations on the gig. And how sweet and wonderful to have your girl as a neighbor! The ease and comfort and love!!! Also, that dog cracked my heart a little. Poor thing and lucky to have your girl care for him with so much tenderness and love. May we all be so lucky.

  10. The world has definitely progressed, and despite all signs to the contrary I really think it's continuing to do so. I'm glad the book project seems to be getting off to a good start. The kids are looking great! That poor dog -- I'm glad your daughter and her boyfriend at least made it more comfortable.

  11. I love all the news in this post. The beaming happiness comes through all the words. How kind and beautiful your daughter and her partner are to be pet sitters. Your family makes the world a better place in every way.

  12. I would love to have my daughter so close. Sadly she lives in Vancouver, a thousand kilometres away, sigh. She's happy though which is what matters.

    I'm glad the book is coming together for you. I am in awe of writers.

    Thank you for the lovely pics to remind me that the entire world is not still covered with snow.

  13. I’ve been having 0 luck posting on blogs. But I’m reading! I love your family! Love.