Healthy Monday

Old Photo of Pam and Joy

Friends to the Bitter End

The audience is riled up, rocking its way towards midnight. I am standing on the stage with a microphone in my hand. The band plays behind me. I shout out over the noise, eager to keep going. “I don’t look sick, do I?” I ask, shaking my head and nodding to the crowd. “No, no, no,” they shout back. Turning to my keyboard player, signaling for her to begin the intro, “One, two, three,” I count, as my fingers strum guitar strings. I have been performing my entire adult life. Now, standing in the club, aptly titled The Bitter End, I have bargained my way out of the hospital to perform this gig....
Books on a table on a ship

My Solo Fling with a Mediterranean Playboy

It was a blustery August day in Marseille. The view overlooking the Mediterranean was dramatic. The waves crashed against the rocks, mere feet below my table. I chose Restaurant Peron because it was extensively featured in famed author Peter Mayle’s Caper series. The four books ran the gamut from vintage wine theft and unsolvable diamond heists to the influx of Russians along the French Riviera, and a real estate deal gone bad....
House for sale

Seller Beware

It should have been so easy. Everyone else had done it in a snap: why not us? The real estate market was booming in our town and after 3 years of vacillation, of should-we-stay-or-should we-go we decided to go. We called our agent friend, our neighbor, who had sold two houses already on our street, and told her we were ready...
Ingredients for cooking

My Unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner

Fantastic post about Mother/Daughter relationship from the NYT...."Last March, before my mother flew from Washington, D.C., to visit me in New Orleans, we negotiated how long she should stay. I was having knee surgery after tearing my meniscus and A.C.L. during a Mardi Gras parade, and she offered to help me recover. She wanted to stay for seven days. I said five days was the most I could handle. In the end, she stayed for 53...."...

Covid And The Mutation of Language

The pandemic has led to an explosion of new phrases and a language that has become commonplace in how we talk and understand the new world. Quarantine is no longer just for dogs, Garden parties are no longer just for summer, Lockdown is not only for those in prison, Tiering now has nothing to do with cakes, Super spreader has nothing to do with butter........
Hamilton the dog

Six Ways Puppies are Not Like Kids

Try searching “puppy diarrhea” on Google at 10pm and remaining calm. After reading all the horror (Hamilton slept peacefully after making a total mess of his pee-pee spot), I found myself at 5am buying organic chicken breasts and white rice, nearly screaming with panic during what turns out to be a COVID canned pumpkin shortage. Kid and puppy diarrhea cures are the same, as is the (unfortunate) inspection of poop. Thank goodness there was no internet when my Kids were little, I would have been one of those berserk zombie Moms forever banned from my beloved Pediatrician’s helpful office. Advantage: Pup...

The Holidays and The Beast within Me

Since our separation, my soon-to-be ex-husband of thirty years and I have spent the holidays together with our young adult children. I rationalized that handling a little discomfort for a couple of days of celebrating together was far better than the heartache of feeling left out. Normally, it’s been fine for a day or two with all the extended family around, but this Christmas, due to Covid, there would be no big gatherings, just the five of us—me, my ex, my daughter, my son and his wife. And this year, it wasn’t just two days, unexpectedly it turned into ten....
meme

Move Over You’re Sitting too Close to Me

“Why is she sitting so close to me?” I think, as I feel my heart rate going up. “If I stretch my legs a bit, maybe she’ll scooch over.” “It’s fine. We are outside, on a boat – the air is constantly moving.” “Let it go, Karen. She is staying at your house and that’s indoors.” Yes, this is my internal dialogue on almost a constant basis. Obsessively analyzing the situation, calculating six feet, looking at air flow and wind direction....
Felice

I Gave Myself A Yoga Oscar For Sitting Still, And I Want To Thank…

Dearest Teachers and Yoga Community: "Thank you, thank you for allowing me to gift myself this Oscar for the least likely getting to stillness  category.  I couldn't have done this without you. This particular Oscar isn't about the best down dog competition to be sure, it's about sitting. And it has taken me 22 years of practice to embrace sitting still....
Magical autumn forest with sun rays

No Downside To Being An Optimist

At 10:00 on the night before Thanksgiving, two nurses walked into my room to say, without a trace of panic, that the ninth floor had to be evacuated to prepare for an influx of COVID patients. All seventeen of us were immediately to be transported to the fourth floor. Calmly and efficiently it took them ten minutes to maneuver my bed, my IV, and all my belongings thrown on top of the blanket, through silent hallways and down two elevators to my new room....
Red Roses

The Intimacy of Sex, Marriage and Death Preparation

At the conclusion of the first night of our beautifully sensual life together, the man who became my second husband, breathlessly rolled over onto his side of the bed and exclaimed, “If I have a heart attack, don’t call the EMTs until I am cold and blue!” I could hear his smile in the dark and I knew exactly what he meant....
Woman looking in mirror

Loving Your Body Well as it Ages

Emerson writes, “There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.” My friend Patty, who has made it into her sixties with a congenital kidney disease, likes to tell her body every day how proud she is of it. How grateful she is that it has bravely fought to give her a long life on the planet. I am beginning to suspect that for those of us who have been graced with long life, the attainment of self-love could be our last challenge to enlightenment. I am not talking about ego, or pride, but a certain grateful recognition for the bodies that have carried us through our years on the earth...