Lunch Notes: A Christmas Card Recycling Program

In August, my son Wally started first grade. For us, this meant the first time he’d be doing full day school. This also meant the first time we’d be packing him a lunch. I had heard all the stories about all the mom mistakes. An Eeyore-mopey kid saying to the mom at pick up after the first day, “You forgot to put a note in my lunch.” I did not want to be that mom. I also could not imagine...


I Want to Be Forever Young

We watched an old family video the other day. We were at my mom’s house, and she was feeling sentimental about my Grandpa, who passed away recently. He was so quiet, so he is an interesting man to mourn. You dig back in your memories of him, and he’s not jumping into the spotlight, giving you long bits of advice or story, doing wild and crazy things. Mostly he is sitting in his easy...


In Memory: My Grandpa, on the Power of Joy

As read at the Celebration of Life Memorial Service, February 21, 2016. In loving memory of my Grandpa, Charlie May, September 18, 1923-January 27, 2016 When my siblings, cousins and I were small, my grandparents lived in what is affectionately called by the family “the house on Cedar.” I remember only a few small things about this house. It smelled like pipe smoke, a theme for the...


Tales from the Waiting Room Vigil

A few weeks ago, my brother’s baby was on the way. The baby was a week late, so it was time. By hook or by crook, this baby was coming. My brother Joe and my sister-in-law LizE were at the hospital, waiting, waiting on labor time. If normal time is tick-tock, tick tock, labor time is tiiiiiihck sigh breathe yawn tohhhhhck. It’s agony to wait. So much of pregnancy is about waiting. You...


Kookie Kellen

I remember my sister Liz clearly as a toddler. Her back was shaped like a lower case L, curving around her bubble behind. Her voice was high and bubbly, and everything that she said was goofy—intentionally goofy. I didn’t realize until high school, unfortunately, that she was trying to make me laugh. I missed out on years of laughter, because I just thought she was Little Liz. Little Liz,...


Ode to my Dad

My dad. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. What can I say about him? Well, for starters, we are trying to have WV call him Gramps. Because it suits him just right. He is exactly how you would picture a Gramps—goofy in a sometimes weird, sometimes funny way, persnickety, he makes stuff up, and he cares a great deal about his friends and family without showing it outwardly all the time. I thought, in order...


Ode to My Mom

My mom gets a lot of flak, especially from my sister and I. Something about mothers and daughters seems to inspire a lot of teasing and nitpicking from the daughter’s end. But my mom says some things, and Liz and I can’t stop ourselves from laughing. It all started when we were in high school and my mom said “shmoosh” instead of “smash”. From then on, she has...