Cloth Puzzles With Mom

Word Puzzles, Jigsaw Puzzles, Number Puzzles, Crossword Puzzles, Tangram Puzzles. All these puzzles involve solving a problem either with word clues, numerical plays on numbers or spatial proportions. Puzzles were part of our family upbringing. Both my parents liked tackling the New York Times crossword puzzle; often shuttling it between themselves during the weekday mornings….

Movie Sharing with Sean

Last fall I arranged a stop in Tucson, Arizona to visit my brother and his family. My nephew/godson Sean would be appearing in his high school’s production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s “You Can’t Take It With You.” While his was a small part (one of the G-men,) it created a lovely excuse…

Logistics and Love with My Family’s Vacation

One year I copied Nancy, chief of physical plant at my home, on an email response to my siblings regarding that year’s family vacation. The intention—let her know of upcoming travel. Inadvertently, she remained on the ensuing exchange which covered grocery lists, arrival times and potential activities. When we spoke next she remarked, “Wow, you…

Best Baseball Book—Revisiting Books

Baseball remains the only professional sport I know well enough to follow a game. Via countless games of Pepper, I learned to swing and connect bat to ball. We followed the NY Mets, as two of my father’s aunts worked in the team’s office. My father’s love of the game piqued my interest, which I…

Open House at The Enchanted Cottage

A celebration of my home occurs in June. This annual open house has taken place on almost every first Saturday in June. My first home–I bought it and moved in April in 1996. By holding the housewarming in early June I gave myself a deadline to be ready for guests. The party, held inside and…

Learning that Diction Matters

How does an engineer become good with words? One word at a time. Long before I knew the word diction, I understood the impact words have on everyday conversation. A simple change of a word could clarify a request or a direction. Adding a few adjectives made the meaning more precise. An adverb communicated the…

Meditation on Enjoyment Over Capital or State

Last fall I arranged a visit in Tucson, Arizona to visit my brother and his family. My nephew, Sean, would be appearing in his high school’s production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s “You Can’t Take It With You.” Though he had a small part as one of the G-men, it created a lovely…

Girl Scout Leading Mom

In Northport, New York, I joined a Brownie Girl Scout troop. Vague memories float in my mind about meeting at the church after school and doing craft projects. Then we moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This was the fourth move in my eight-year-old life. In my third grade class some kids mercilessly teased me….

Museum Living and Mixed-up Files: Revisiting Books

The title must have captured my nine-year-old imagination as I pulled it from the shelf. What stood out in my memory was solving the puzzle of the mixed-up files, sleeping in the Metropolitan museum, bathing in the fountain. These recollections spoke of adventure that entranced a nine-year-old. “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E….

I Still Have a Landline

The young men looked at me in awe: “You have a landline!” They went on to explain that it had become a status symbol. I had been signing up at a volunteer expo and mentioned I was providing my landline. I smiled at their response; it used to be that having a cell phone signified…