America Family Life parenthood Uncategorized

Train ride from … ?

This blog originally appeared at The Roses of Prose where we’ve been exploring movie themes. To check out what my friends are writing, go here. This is a true story. I will use it in fiction some day. Until then, I couldn’t think of a better story to share for this month’s topic. It happened about 20-something years ago when I was a young mother and my sons were ages 8 and 4. My best,…

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Memories of Beach Days

When my sons were of school age, June meant the ending of the school year. In their later grades, I worked full-time, so summertime meant finding activities for them throughout the summer (translation:  keep them busy so they wouldn’t maim each other). But in their earlier years, I worked part-time from home (transcribing court depositions…talk about story fodder!), so I was blessed with the flexibility to do fun things with them. With memories of hand-made…

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Happy May

Happy May! May is my favorite month of the year. It’s usually a perfect temperature in the mid-Atlantic area where I live — not too hot, not too cold. May also means it’s time to plant, and although I don’t have the gift making things grow, I love the colors that blossom on trees, shrubs and in flower beds as I drive around the area. In the middle of the month we celebrate our mothers…

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parenthood Uncategorized

You owe me a hug, son

My older son turned 30 today. I looked in the mirror this morning and saw skin crisscrossed with lines that weren’t there yesterday, sections of my face and neck dragging and drooping that, I swear, just yesterday were smooth and, if not firm, at least firmER. I feel ancient, as if his turning this magical age (the age beyond which my generation couldn’t trust another) propelled me into the phase of  old croney-hood. The truth…

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It’s pre-springtime already!

News flash! Punxsutawney Phil just saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter! I must confess, I don’t pay much attention to Phil. For one thing, since moving to southeastern Virginia, where the weather changes as frequently as what’s playing on the TV in my house (translation: at least six times an hour, if my hubby has the remote), I’ve learned not to trust forecasters, at least not long term. Our meteorologists seem to have…

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Chillin’ for the holidays

Every year I tend to go on a rant about “The Holidays” — the increasing commercialization of what, to me, is a sacred holiday, the crazed Black Friday shoppers who this year even resorted to tasing to get the best of fellow bargain hunters. (Really, people??) I need to stop there. I can feel my blood pressure ramping just thinking about it! Instead, I’m trying something new this year:  chilling. Not fussing over what I…

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Uncategorized Writing

Lessons of a novice author panelist

A couple Sundays ago I had the privilege of participating in the Fall for the Book event in Fairfax, Virginia. I was wearing two hats for the day:  the first as organizer for the two romance panels (historical and suspense), and second as a first-time panelist on the suspense panel (Ticking Clocks: How to create pressure-cooker moments in fiction). As far as events go, I’ve been organizing these types of things in my day job for…

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Jersey Girl’s lifetime memories ‘down the shore’

When I was a kid, like most kids in America, I flew out of the schoolyard on that last day of school and looked forward to the next ten weeks of vacation–days of sleeping late, reading every day and night, games with the kids in the neighborhood, camping out in the backyard, and the beach. I didn’t have a wealthy or privileged childhood — not by monetary standards, anyway — but I was rich in…

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Fatherhoold gifts Leah St. James marriage Uncategorized using gifts

Dear Home Improvement Store Lady…

I had a truly graceless moment yesterday evening that took only seconds to erupt but several months in the making. It all started in April when I visited my sister and brother-in-law in Florida. They had one of those new-fangled infrared grills. I nodded and said, “Oh, that’s nice.” My husband, however, starting poking around its innards and promptly fell in love with its something-or-other shield, and for days after we got home continued to extol its…

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I miss James Bond

Last night I sat down to watch the new James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” with my son and husband — a man who can (and will) not only name all the previous Bond movies, but tell you which of the various actors played our fearless hero in each, which version of “M” is in each (male, female, actor’s name), the name  of each villain, the famous chase scenes in each, who sang the theme songs…and probably who…

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