It’s easy to scatter but hard to gather: Celebrating Mother Earth every day

Earth Day comes but once a year, but my mother, Helen, practiced the three R's of environmentalism -- reduce, reuse, and recycle -- every day.Case in point: egg cartons. They are perfect for holding jewelry. An empty 12-egg carton cushions a dozen pairs of earrings beautifully, so Mom kept her earrings in several custom-crafted boxes. … Continue reading It’s easy to scatter but hard to gather: Celebrating Mother Earth every day

New Role: Caregiver of Memories

I grappled with each emotion, one by one. It made no sense to feel like an abandoned orphan, but emotions don't always make sense. I talked to other late-in-life orphans and found that their emotions mirrored mine. Turns out, I wasn't so crazy when I longed to give my mother one more hug. I just missed the woman who always chatted with me when I came home from school and who enjoyed making and eating just-baked treats by Mrs. Goodcookie with me. I was normal!

Resolved: Shop ‘Til I Drop

Surrounded by men’s slacks, a Mizzou sweatshirt and a black and white poncho, I debated whether to buy short black Naturalizer boots with a side zipper and a wooden heel, almost two inches high. Would my feet hurt? Enough traction? Too high of a heel?  I looked up as two shoppers approached. “Hi, girls!” My daughters … Continue reading Resolved: Shop ‘Til I Drop

A birthday note to Ed, the baseball fan

Guess what, Dad! Baseball season started yesterday -- the same day as your birthday. You would have been 94 years old. I never realized the two milestones frequently coincided until Jim pointed it out this weekend, but I imagine you appreciated it. Many of my memories of you relate to baseball. For instance, I remember … Continue reading A birthday note to Ed, the baseball fan

Potato Salad: More Than Picnic Food

A memorable picnic needs homemade potato salad. Perfectly cooked potatoes. Hard-boiled eggs cut in chunks. And creamy dressing with zip. Multiple textures meld, delivering one delicious bite after another. Mmmm, mmm, .... mmm. Just thinking about it makes my taste buds tingle. My mother, Helen Yorkgitis, considered potato salad her signature picnic food. She cooked … Continue reading Potato Salad: More Than Picnic Food

Love Doesn’t Need a Measuring Spoon

For Mother's Day, my daughter Elizabeth made a decadent chocolate pudding pie with a cookie crust. The recipe called for a teaspoon of vanilla. When the time came, did Elizabeth reach for the bottle of vanilla and a teaspoon? Nope. She just poured in what she thought was the right amount. "Oh my," I said … Continue reading Love Doesn’t Need a Measuring Spoon