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…

Falling in Love with Spanish Guitar Music

“If music be the food of love, play on.” –William Shakespeare Earlier this month I attended a concert of Los Romeros, the “Royal Family of the Guitar.” They played a lovely concert that included Angel Romero as a guest. I first heard them nineteen years ago on what turned out to be my first date…

A Crane, A Square and A Pussy

I learned to knit in third grade. A hat and scarf of psychedelic green and orange resulted from my efforts; the colors well indicate the 1970s. Many a gift has been knit for friends and family over the years. As noted in a previous post I have participated in charity-based knitting efforts. In the past…

Buying Batteries at Big Bird

We do not comprehend the privilege of being white. It occurs in micro-moments throughout the day and escapes us white people. Why? Because we do not experience the small slights that people who have darker skins deal with every day. I can only claim to have understood it once. The epiphany occurred at a Giant…

Thank You, Gore Mountain Ski Instructors

I wrote this letter as part of my Gratitude Project and mailed it on January 24, 2017: For Gore Mountain Ski Instructors who taught the Meixner Family (1967-1992) Dear Joan, Joan, Jack, Nick, Wendy, Bob, Tim, Gail; Over fifty-five years ago my parents, Betty and Ray Meixner, married in New York City between snow storms….

Inauguration Walk in 1977

Forty years ago my family and I attended President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. In what seemed an unprecedented event, my siblings and I had January 20th off from school. As a Washington, D.C.-based federal worker, my father also had a holiday. Our family adventure to D.C. started with a drive to the Silver Spring Metro station….