Gift Searching

In August, I had surgery, which meant that I needed to remove my wedding and engagement rings. My hands have changed. My rings are now too small and taking them off was a struggle. As I ran cold water over my fingers, I thought about how often I had planned to get my rings resized. […]

Gift Imagining

Last week, I entered the Alberta Street Gallery searching for a birthday gift for my son’s girlfriend.  A million questions flooded my head: Which colors would work with her skin tone and stand out against her dark hair? What design might reflect her practical nature with a nod to her whimsy and artful aesthetic? I purchased a pair […]

Inspiring Gift

Shortly after my husband and I got engaged, his parents joined us on a trip to southern Vermont. While driving down rural roads, taking in the brilliant autumn colors, we saw a weathered barn with a sign advertising quilts. Inside, shelves of fabric occupied the cavernous space. On one wall, I saw a poster featuring […]

Pizza Topping

Alan and I needed some printer ink. After Office Depot, we strolled the neighborhood, and discovered we were a block away from Shalom Y’all, an Israeli-inspired restaurant in SE Portland. And it was happy hour. Yay! We munched lemon zest fries and sipped Fashion From Age cocktails, the Shalom Y’all interpretation of the Old Fashioned, while […]

Intimate Theater

During my acting class, the stage set was already in place for Laughing Wild, written by Christopher Durang. This two actor play takes place in New York City in the 1980s, and the characters struggle with toxic positivity, mental illness, loneliness, and a hunger for connection. I lived in New York City in the ’80s and […]

Lights Up

“Lights up!” my acting teacher said. I was sitting in a tiny, 46-seat theater in SE Portland, which was known as the Shoebox Theatre until the pandemic forced its former tenants to give it up. Brooke Totman and Ted Rooney, Portland-based actors, jumped at the chance to launch the 21ten Theatre where their non-profit produces intimate theater events […]

Taking Time to Recover

There’s an art to healing and relaxing—that was my September discovery. I had surgery this month and I’m fine, but I need recovery time. At first, I was weak and sore, unable to do the things that usually fill my days. I sat outside in my yard reading Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill, […]

Appreciating Abilities

Recovering from surgery is a daily exploration of abilities and limits. There are many things I can’t do yet, such as lift anything heavier than ten pounds or exert myself enough to get my heart racing or turn my body upside-down. That means no downward dogs for a while. But I’m still attending yoga class. […]

Alberta Street Gallery

The positive side to having surgery—my son, who goes to school in Scotland, came to Portland. One day, he wanted to get his girlfriend a gift. I was feeling better, so I suggested we stop in the Alberta Street Gallery, a cooperative gallery of 31 local artists who work in a dizzying array of mediums. We […]

Experimenting with Amaro

Several years ago, Ben Preacher, the owner of Wilder, our favorite local bar, turned Alan and me onto Amaro. From the Italian word for “bitter,” Amaro is a liqueur made from infusing a base alcohol (brandy, wine, or other spirit) with a blend of herbs, flowers, and spices and then aging it in casks or bottles. […]