Archive | June, 2014


27 Jun

My backyard was the first thing I fell in love with in my house 15 years ago. Read my piece on downsizing in the attached link…there’s a mistake in the Dame piece. My town, Montclair has 36,00 residents, not 6,000.IMG_2006Here’s the piece I wrote for an on-line magazine, Dame.

B. Smith

18 Jun

The news that B. Smith has Alzheimer’s disease has hit me and a lot of folks really hard. I saw the segment on Sunday Morning last week and broke down in audible sobs. The sight of the once gracious, warm, always put together B not knowing the day, date or year just broke my heart.

In the 80s Continue reading

The Wedding, The Marriage and Weather

13 Jun

So today is our wedding anniversary. On June 13, 22 years ago, it was a perfect spring day–cerulean sky, high 70s, impeccable air pressure. The wedding was outside. ┬áThe reception was inside and the food and drinks were sublime and abundant. All during the planning, my usually optimistic mother keep asking:”What if it rains?” My response: “It’s not going to.”

I don’t know why I was so sure about the weather forecast, I just was.



Has our marriage been like that perfect day in spring, of course not, but weather is a metaphor for marriage as it is for everything in life; we’ve had good periods and bad ones. We’ve had stretches of the in-between.

What I’ve learned about marriage, as in life, is that everything changes. For hours this morning it poured a chilly rain. My dog was so wet from our ritual morning walk, that when I picked him up to get him to leave the park (for some weird reason he didn’t want to) his hair felt like a used sponge. By noon the sun had come out and now it’s a humid almost 80 degrees.

When we got married, our parents had been married for a combined total of 75 years. Cliff’s best man Darryl had interviewed them and included their words in his amazing toast–okay it was a speech. One of the things he said was that given our familial history, a stable income, a solid American-African ancestry, we had all the ingredients to have a successful marriage. People loved Darryl’s speech. We loved Darryl’s speech, but as I now know, you can have all those ingredients and more and the marriage can still crumble. ┬áLuck and fortitude can tip the odds.


One of the things that made me feel that we could make it was we could always talk to each other and Cliff could always make me laugh. I tend to take things seriously and pretty much nothing is serious to Cliff. Sometimes that works, sometimes we drive each other crazy.

It’s now the height of wedding season and I know people go crazy planning. I say focus on the marriage, not the wedding. The wedding is a party, it’s the easy part. The marriage is everything after. Two other suggestions: focus on your partner’s strengths. What has worked for us and I highly recommend: laugh.

Happy Anniversary Sweetie