“I Miss My Woody Station Wagon”

On a morning news show, a host mentioned she bought her husband a vintage woody station wagon for his birthday; the car looked a lot like mine in decades past.   It was a good car; I could lift the back and easily put all my groceries inside.   Now, I need orangutan arms to lift the back hatch of my husband’s SUV and giraffe legs to climb inside.

Okay, it wasn’t all wine and roses, as the song states.   The windshield wipers didn’t work; one blinding rainstorm I had to continually sweep my arm out across the windshield to see.

We said goodbye to the woody and I got a newer car…….I couldn’t put my groceries in back anymore…..but I could see in the rain…..(there were other things wrong with it, I am certain, though my eyes are glazed with the “rosyness” of time.

I packed my three kids in that woody……..without car seats, probably without seat belts.   I packed them without traveling water bottles, (how they didn’t perish from dehydration I will never know.)   We didn’t carry plastic water bottles back then; we didn’t carry snack bags filled with the now necessary Goldfish crackers or fruit.   Somehow, we made it home without starvation setting in……..  We traveled light; me, my kids, and I, and maybe sometimes my toy poodle, along for the ride to Grandma’s.

Now, Grandma is gone, the woody is gone,  my toy poodle is gone and my own children carry child car seats,  water bottles, snack bags, and dogs in crates to Grandma’s house.

Life just seemed less complicated then……..when you checked to see if all children were in tow as you locked the front door, without enough tote bags and accessories for a cross country journey to the grocery store or Grandma’s.



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“Talk with Spirits, they do listen”


Yesterday, I found a rock at my farmhouse……an ordinary rock, not a pebble, but of a good enough size.   What’s so strange about that, you ask?   Well, I found it in my kitchen sink.    I know it wasn’t there the last time I was at my Gettysburg home.   So why was there a rock in my sink.

Well, yes, farmhouses have mice.   But this rock was a bit hefty for a mouse, unless it was Rocky “Stallone” Mouse.

Yes, I have logs that form my ceilings, with spaces between……did a rock fall down from mice bowling with rocks in the attic?   The spaces were too slim for this to easily fall through, unless it was Harry Houdini Mouse…….plus, it would have to fall through to the second floor, then find a hole large enough to make it to the kitchen…..I would call that one hell of a bowling strike……  🙂

So, I ask again, how did a rock find its way into my kitchen sink?   My farmhouse has spirits.   They have been quiet lately.   Yesterday, I went about the day talking them, asking them to show me a sign or give me a message that they were listening.

Nothing………quiet as a rock, you might say.

Then, last night, driving in the darkness on the Garden State Parkway, a car changed lanes directly in front of us…….too close to do anything but brace and wait for the impact and think about all the things that fly through one’s head at these moments……..

I still do not know how we didn’t collide…..there must have been an inch between us……

But maybe I do know…….I think spirits watch us and listen and sometimes protect us if they are able to do so.

Sometimes, they show us signs……like a rock in a sink.   Sometimes, they move a car an inch sooner……..

Even in the quiet…… they are there.Black and White Me




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“A Spiral Staircase”

What is happening in our country.   It seems like a spiral staircase is climbing up to that glass ceiling and men are shoring up the seams and cracks that women have worked so hard to attain.

It’s lovely to fantasize about times past when Mr. Darcy rode his horse to your door and whisked you away to the mansion.

Women forget that women were often locked away in those mansions, their property lost, their brains deemed insane because of the depression of being locked away or the hormonal effects of having child after child after child………..

Women were beat, were imprisoned, were killed at the hands of back alley practitioners, wielding hangers instead of sterile, surgical instruments.

You don’t have to agree with a woman’s choice…….but you must agree in a time where she is allowed to make it.

I hope a vampire bites the neck of Ruth Bader Ginsberg…..I hope see lives forever…..

It’s nice to dream of old times and wish for Mr. Darcy………just remember what those old times entailed………It’s nice to be able to buy your own horse and mansion now……. and make your own choices concerning both…………. 🙂augusta




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“Princesses and Dinosaurs”

Yesterday, my five year grandson was “reading” me a book about dinosaurs…..the quotes because he was partly reading, partly recounting memorizations, and partly making it up.   You learn a lot from those made up parts….

Inside the book, a used one from a book or garage sale, were the words K. Lee inscribed on the inside flap.   “Maybe, it’s the author,” my grandson asked.   With an author for a grandma, he is used to my signing his books……  No, it’s probably the girl or boy to whom this book once belonged, I told him.   Then, I told him a bunch of names that began with K.  ………Kevin, Kristina………..

“Grandma, it can’t be a girl’s book,” he informed me.   “Girls like princesses and unicorns, not dinosaurs.   Boys like dinosaurs.”

“Oh, really?” I answered……..channeling the Ruth Bader Ginsburg in me.   “Well, when I was your age, I happened to have my own dinosaur book and my own dinosaur coloring book.  Girls can like dinosaurs too….”

Later that day, I recounted the episode to my other daughter.    Her son, (my other grandson), is 7 years old and in first grade.   She said she recently had a similar exchange with him, about boys and girls and the world.  It must have left quite an impression, because evidence of this impression was revealed in a school assignment.

His class assignment was to draw something for which you wished to occur in the future.   My grandson drew his version of a bag of money with the words……I want girls and boys to have equal pay…….  Ruth would have smiled……  🙂

Now, if a 7 year old can grasp the clarity of this………why can’t so many others who wish to have women remain in the dinosaur age……………….dinosaur final

Miles and Thomas………this blog is for you……..


Grandma  ♥♥


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“Leonardo and Nelle”

I just finished reading two books……

“Leonardo Da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson


“Furious Hours” by Casey Cep: “Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee”


I think somewhere in the Universe, I was led to read these two books back to back.

One is the biography of a genius and his masterpieces.

One is the struggles of a genius writer trying to create the perfect second masterpiece to her adoring public…….

I am struck by how these two people were alike.   Genius is a strange thing; there is a fine line between genius and madness.

Leonardo, so obsessed with the perfection of every stroke, that he left so many masterpieces unfinished.   So obsessed with how each corner of every room’s light fell upon the eyes of his subject, the curls of his hair, the shadow of her hand, the curl of her smile, that he walked to every corner of that room, memorizing the details of that light.   And how those paintings were carried about for years, sometimes just one brush stroke change, sometimes, years of changes…….to “perfection”…….sometimes, never finished.

How he obsessed over every muscle, every artery, every facet of life by dissecting the dead.

Nelle, so obsessed with every word, every line…..pages took hours, days and then were rewritten and obsessed over…..carried about for years……..to “perfection.”

How she wanted the dead to be portrayed to perfection, for words to speak the truth, not embellished, not glossed over, but true.

One wonders how many masterpieces, how many books did not meet our eyes because in the eyes of Leonardo and Nelle they were not perfection………


I recommend both books…..

There is a fine line between genius and madness…….many of the most gifted walk upon that line…….sometimes, they cross over…..sometimes that line holds them prisoner to perfection………..

Happy Mother’s Day,


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“Six Years”

Tomorrow, six years since the death of my friend, Janet.

A lot has happened in six years…….before she died, I told her my daughter was pregnant…  Now, my grandson is five years old.

I wrote many books in those years……I wished she could have read them.

I think of all the things we could have done, all the places we might have journeyed, and then realize I have no right feeling sorry for myself.

She never got the chance; I got the chance and still have it.

Each day we have the chance to read, to journey, to live……..

One hopes other chances await somewhere beyond the imaginable, beyond the stars…..

The chance to read every word ever written……

The chance to journey to every corner of every star………..

The chance to find a long missed friend, once again……………………………………………………Black and White Me

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“I’m Convinced….My Poodle Reads in the Night”

Two mornings ago, in my dogs’ toy chest……..yes, they have a toy chest, were a few of my paperback books…..

Strange?……..Perhaps, but I have a poodle who likes to “take” stuff…..usually in the early morning hours……Sometimes, it’s my knitting, one time it was my scissors…..(thankfully, no injury sustained.)

This morning, I found my reading glasses lying in her dog bed.   So, mystery solved, I have a poodle who reads during the night…   🙂

Ruby’s “Book of the Month” selections are, as follows……..

“Blind Hope, A Dog and the Woman She Rescued”

“Nantucket Ghost Stories”

“The Pig who Sang to the Moon”

Eclectic tastes……just like her mom  ♥p1200329


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