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The Rope in the Swimming Pool


Remember the rope in the camp swimming pool?  If you were only able to swim in the “shallow” water, you stayed on one side of that rope. The more skilled swimmers who were deemed able to swim in The Deep, ventured out to the other side of the  rope. But everyone – all swimmers – knew the cardinal rule, that when the lifeguard blew the whistle and called “everybody out,”  we had to swim to the steps and get out of that pool. Fast. We stuck to that rule like our lives depended on it. Restrictions can be a very good thing. Boundaries. They’re important in raising children, following religious laws, enjoying friendships, keeping to a nutrition or diet program, and relationships. I don’t always follow every single rule (that’s for another post!) but when I do,  they make me feel safe and in control. For example, I feel really great and at peace when my food is in order, and when I pretty much stick to the number of … Continue reading


Drizzles Can Become Showers


girl-with-umbrella

Today, my husband and I took our grandsons to the park so their Mommy and Daddy could have a break (and my husband and I could enjoy the cutie-pies). It was a beautiful, sunny day with gorgeous blue sky, but very hot and dry, so we headed out in the mid to late afternoon, after the heat of the day. As the kids rode their bikes in the residential area and we followed behind them, I thought of how it hasn’t rained here in Southern California much for the past two years. We are in the midst of a drought. Something so mundane as rain is so huge for us. While some of us (especially East Coasters like me) may have grown up taking rain for granted, we no longer do that. These days we kind of have to ration our water. As dictated by the Department of Water and Power. Yep. There’s a limit to how much water we … Continue reading


FAREWELL TO A HOUSE


When a neighbor sold her house, her grown children complained. “How could you give up our childhood home, Ma?” they asked. My friend couldn’t understand what the fuss was. Her kids were already married and settled in their own homes with growing families. Why the guilt trip? A few months ago, my mother sold her house of 53 years – the one my siblings and I grew up in — to a construction company. Today, I’m that balking adult child who dislikes any change. I’m miserable at the thought of our house being demolished, unhappy that a huge apartment building will replace my childhood home. I want to kick and scream, “No, No!” I am emotionally tethered to this home and I need some closure. Badly. So I travel to Brooklyn from my home in Los Angeles to help Mom clear out some final things before she moves and to say my official farewells to… The House. To me this … Continue reading


Beyond Knitting in the Rocking Chair


One of the best things about being a grandmother is that I get to define my role as I go along. I can be hands-on sometimes, hands-off other times, fun-loving when I’m in the mood, and too-busy-to-take-care-of-them at other times. It’s all good and it works; my relationships with my grandsons are really comfortable. My daughters-in-law appreciate the time I spend with the kids, and the family dynamics are great (most of the time!). So when last week, photographer Gloria Baker Feinstein from Kansas City,  emailed me and asked if I would I write a review of her new children’s read-aloud photo book called Some Grandmas, I said yes! Some Grandmas is a collection of photos taken by Gloria of  all kinds of grandmothers from all over the world doing all kinds of things with their grandchildren. Short captions accompany each photo for reading aloud to a child.  While one grandmother might be flying a kite with her grandchild, another will be painting. While one grandmother … Continue reading


Please Tell Me That Story Again!


About two weeks ago, my mother-in-law had hip surgery. After several days in the hospital, and a remarkable recovery thank G-d, she was released from the hospital and admitted to a rehabilitation center where she stayed for about a week. While my mother-in-law (we call her “Grandma”) was in the rehab,  I visited her. Wanting to cheer her up, I shared a cute story about one of my grandsons. My husband mentioned to  me that after I told Grandma the story, she was so happy that she repeated it to my husband that night when she saw him. And the following evening she asked my husband to review the story again with her. She wanted to remember every detail. When my mother-in-law (did I mention she will be 95 kain ayin horah, in May?) joined us at Pesach where our family was together for the Holiday, the first thing she asked me was “Miriam, please tell me that story again. The one about the little one who you took shopping with you. I love … Continue reading


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