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Springtime


We're very excited by the cherry blossoms which cover the street two blocks north of our house and fill us with hope and a desire to plant vegetables, or at least Michael has such a yen. I'm just reveling in all the possibilities for the garden and our daffodils. And doors and windows open and sweet smells and no coats.

I have a confession: I am writing a memoir but I rarely read memoir. Why would I write one if I didn't enjoy reading them? Probably because I just want to tell MY story. Oh, there are stellar memoirs to read and I loved (Mary Karr's Liar's Club or Cheryl Strayed's Wild or Fierce Attachments (Vivian Gornick), plus The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, West With the Night by Beryl Markham, Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior, Just Kids by Patti Smith, but mostly I inhale fiction. Or any good book. what have you enjoyed reading? And when is MY memoir, Trouble With Fun, going to hit the bookstore shelves? I've gotten edits back from an independent editor and there's much to do, but we are moving toward the dreaded submission process. Essay rejections are one thing, but a whole book? Alas, it is the way of the industry, and it IS an industry.


After mother-love which of course is the very beginning and I see it now in my nieces, there was love of books. I have a recollection of weekly trips to the Magnolia Branch Library, not the new one now, but the old Carnegie-style branch on 28th, where I piled up

a stack to take home. The smell of the place, the musty, booky, papery odors of rows and

rows of possibility. I only owned a handful of my own books back then, like Christopher

Robin in Now We Are Six and the Better Homes and Gardens Story Book which had the

guilt-inducing story where the dolls come alive and scold their owner for rough treatment.

By the time I was in junior high, I started my accumulating tendencies and had my own

two-tiered bookshelf on the south wall of the bedroom I shared with my younger sister.

We both had gold, chenille bedspreads and matching reading lights with cream-colored shades, but only I had the bookshelf. As part of my treasuring, I wrapped each volume in giftwrap to obscure the titles from others (i.e. my mother who frowned on my D. H. Lawrence titles). I love books and consider myself a bibliophile (book lover) but not a bibliomaniac (who doesn't care what they collect, more of a hoarder) which, most of all, makes this current weeding process all the more challenging.


Lately, I've read and enjoyed several good books: Sigrid Nunez' The Vulnerables acknowledged by Dwight Garner in the New York Times: “I am committed, until one of us dies, to Nunez’s novels. I find them ideal. They are short, wise, provocative, funny — good and strong company.”; Magda Szabo's stunning The Door about the bond between a writer and her cleaner in Budapest; and Three, about a ménage a trois, by an "experimental writer," Ann Quin. We just finished a 3,000-mile drive down to San Diego visiting friends and bookshops along the way and came home with a few treasures including The Greens Cookbook written by Deborah Madison for my ever-intended "meatless Monday" vegetarian efforts. I know, I know, I got rid of dozens of my cookbook collection, but this is the treasure which turned vegetarian cooking around. Everything sounds tasty.

And a few of their exceptional recipes were written up in a Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/jun/21/ofms-classic-cookbook-the-greens-cookbook-by-deborah-madison The potato gratin and the Mexican soup are delicious.

And for any of you who get lost in cookbooks, here is Serious Eats link to various famous cooks and their favorite cookbooks. https://www.seriouseats.com/deborah-madison-vegetarian-cooking-favorite-cookbooks-recommendations-gifts-for-cooks

Gave me a few pangs of remorse.


Many of the women I know are talking about the Isabella Rossellini article: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/03/magazine/isabella-rossellini-interview.html?unlocked_article_code=1.ck0.a6qd.0ucig5tMr_JP&smid=url-share Rossellini describes the freedom that comes with old age as diligently following whatever amuses her. “I just play,” she says. “I’m playful. And I became increasingly more playful with age.”


Enjoy the change of seasons. Let me know favorite cookbooks of yours, or any titles you favor.


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2 comentarios


Robert Pankl
Robert Pankl
21 mar

I have similar emotions about spring and everything blooming. I also have a cherry tree. Molbaks was Diane's and my favorite nursery. Have either you or Michael had any experience with the Wells Medina nursery in Medina?

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Mary Kay Feather
Mary Kay Feather
21 mar
Contestando a

We have found treasures at Wells Medina, but usually drive out to Swanson's for bulk purchases. Sunday we had to go to White Center to pick up some fine rabbit poop so we bought a bunch of lettuce & veg starts at McLendon's. A shame about Molbak's though. And our City People's on Madison, too.

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