Carmen is my tailor. She transforms my thrift store finds into perfectly fitted favorites. She lets me stop in without an appointment and turns things around in a matter of days. I’m a loyal if infrequent customer of many years. Carmen is a no nonsense business woman.  “When do you want it, lady?” she asks…

Dave needs his knee replaced. Jan is getting chemo. Sharon just got home from the hospital with three diagnoses. Frank is healing from shoulder surgery. Gay’s cancer is spreading. Mary’s meds are keeping her up at night. Too many to count are anxious or depressed or both. Many people I love most live each day…

“Go to bed, Suzy,” he said. It was not a command, but more like a kind instruction given to an impaired person in need of direction. My late husband would say this phrase to me at the end of a day when my fatigue and its accompanying grumpiness were obvious yet I was oblivious. John…

“The path of least resistance,” he answered. I felt a barely detectable bristle of judgment. I had asked my friend how he chose a particular career path. To his response I thought: He must not have that much ambition.             He probably likes to stay where it’s comfortable.             I’ll bet he’s missed out on…

The height of my academic failure arrived mid-way through a semester of political science. Due to my performance, it was prudent that I drop the class. This required a personal visit to the professor known more for his rigor than his relationships with struggling students. I could feel the shame as I waited my turn…

How many tries does it take to change a light bulb? If it’s me, about ten. When a light went out in my home office, I reasoned that the two remaining bulbs in the chandelier were enough. When it went dark in my parlor, I rationalized that the sun from the skylight was enough. When…

When I saw “Portland Marathon” on the back of her shirt I knew I’d made a mistake. Six weeks earlier I’d signed up to stretch beyond my comfort zone doing something I’d never done before. I would complete a 5 mile run. I put my plan in place. My first obstacle was verified in the…

I pulled on the door handle but it was locked. I walked to the other side. Locked, too. I look inside. My small red purse with keys inside sat next to my bag of frozen fish and yellow May Day tulips. I felt the ache in my gut at once. I was going to have…

I can’t believe I did it again. I began so clear. Focused.  Attentive. Determined not to repeat my past ways. In a flash my good intentions flew out the window crossing shame as it rushed in to take its place. When will I learn? How many times do I have to repeat this lesson? What’s…

I was excited when I got picked for the travel team. Unlike the time in college when I was chosen to go to a bowling tournament in Iowa City to be a body with a hand that could hold a ball, this time I was welcomed warmly. Three of my friends were inspired to substitute…