Before I understood what’s important

The Christmas of 1991, Bob and I were living together in an oceanfront condo in Melbourne Beach which we couldn’t afford. But did you hear me say oceanfront? We weren’t yet married, and although I was 27 years old, I wasn’t yet an adult. We didn’t have much money, but we had more than we do now because KIDS. I was working for the Vero Beach Press-Journal, and scheduled to work Christmas Day. Bob had been a copy editor atRead more

Giving thanks for my children’s birth mothers, and wondering if the feeling is mutual

Let me say this about November: it’s not all pumpkins and relish. Even in Florida, it sneaks up cold and hard, or at least occasionally chilly and hard, and I can’t yet be lured into the joy of the season. I don’t mind the season, exactly – it makes coffee taste better and hot showers feel so good. But it reeks of a reckoning, the kind of spiritual reconciliation we face whenever another end-of-year approaches. Case in point: November isRead more

Turtles and grief and a hard, hard world.

One afternoon not long ago, Nico called me from the bus stop. I was at the dentist with Scout. “MOM! YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT NOW! I NEED HELP!” “Honey, I’m at the dentist with your sister. What’s wrong?” I tried to swallow the panic. Was he hurt? Being kidnapped? Had he cracked his phone? “No, Mom, you have to come right now! There’s this turtle….wait….I just need to….okay, I’m tucking some of its insides under the shell….MOM. IRead more

A Cast of Characters Update

It occurred to me yesterday that since I wrote a bestselling award-winning really good book about my family, I can stop using fake names when writing about them in my blog. It’s with some regret that I say this – I really do like their deserving monikers. But to be honest, I have never gotten proficient at writing the word “pterodactyl.” It’s time, anyway, to give you a brief update on everyone. The Diva: The Diva is my daughter Scout,Read more

Annual Vacation Odyssey! and a Rocky Mountain High

I’ve missed you. I hope you’ve missed me. Would you believe me if I said I spend a percentage of each waking hour wishing my fingers were tapping on a keyboard? Probably not. But it’s the truth. When I say this to Hot Firefighter Husband, he says, Then write! Just write! Do it! and I think, I will! I will write today! Then the oldest child calls from the school nurse’s office because her toe is bleeding and the youngest childRead more

Trump, Putin, and the fake ADOPTION news

If I had never seen a photo of Don Trump, Jr. posing with a South African buffalo he had just shot, I might feel a tiny bit sorry for him. There he was, just going about his life as the father of five and a billionaire, when he was thrown into his father’s bombastic presidential campaign. And in an effort to make his dad proud, he agreed last July to meet with a Russian government lawyer and several other pro-RussianRead more

The Diva flies off, and Wonder Woman

I owe you an Annual Vacation Odyssey post, and I will deliver on that tout suite. But in the meantime, I want to tell you about my darling Diva, whom I’ve shipped off to the Dominican Republic with a bunch of people she’s never met to run a summer camp for under-served children. This idea hatched in my brain earlier this year as I watched her struggle through her freshman year of high school. It was like she was trudgingRead more

On being a Highly Sensitive Person. Also, mean people suck

I met a friend at the Ponte Vedra an anonymous library last month, and afterwards approached a librarian to talk about donating a copy of my book. No big deal – I just thought maybe there was a local author section. The woman behind the counter took my book and sighed very heavily. “I’ll have to see if it’s been catalogued,” she said. “This could take a really long time.” She picked up the book and started fanning through the pages, likeRead more

Worms and workouts. Memorial Day redux, again.

The day before the last day of school last week brought a terrible thunderstorm to Northeast Florida. The rain poured down in sheets and wind ripped through the trees like a buzz saw. But the next morning was clear and cool as the Tyrant and I walked to the bus stop for her last few hours as a fourth-grader. We had our eyes down because she likes to look for doodlebugs. Or roly polys, or the latin word armadillidiidae, whatever you callRead more

Clipping my own wings while Husband urges me to fly

Twenty-three years ago today, Hot Firefighter Husband married me under a gazebo on my parents’ country estate in Folsom, Louisiana. Dad had installed a ceiling fan because, in his words, “There’s nothing more unattractive than a sweating bride,” which is a fact I had not previously known. To celebrate, Husband is working a double-shift to help pay for our new car, and I am trying to convince our oldest daughter that it is earth-shatteringly important for her to know that tooRead more