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….

Quotes to Aspire to for 2017

Those who know me know my adoration of quotes. Over the many years at Intel I collected quotes. By the time I departed Intel, the document consisted of 79 pages and 23,978 words. Entitled “Good Quotes,” it became my touchstone as I would write my status reports. Over a decade ago I began choosing three…

An Almost FAO Schwarz Christmas Job

I came back from Manhattan to Grandma Elizabeth’s house and told her my adventures for the day. It included a stop at the toy store, FAO Schwarz. She proceeded to tell me of interviewing for a Christmas job at the store. Her story ended in my mouth dropping open. The time frame: World War II….

The Gratitude Letter Project

Turning fifty a few years ago compelled me to pause and reflect like so many who become middle aged. These reflections often take the form of questions: “why am I not where I thought I would be?” and “how did I get here?” My reflections have centered on “how did I become the person I…