I love Mondays. That’s kind of un-American, isn’t it? Like saying I don’t much like fireworks–also true. But back to Mondays. We’re all supposed to prefer weekends to weekdays because weekends are the times dedicated to fun fun fun. You know–long hillside hikes, and parties, a trip to the art museum, and parties, a day at Disneyland, and parties. But in the midst of this sybaritic whirl, chances are you neglect to wash the dishes or pick up the kids’ toys, so that by Monday all the hampers are overflowing with damp towels and your kitchen looks more like a Continue reading
Category Archives: Jean Shriver
Two dauntless dames from Vassar’s Class of ‘54 plan to meet for lunch in Santa Monica. This should be easy, except Alumna Number One lives several miles down the coast and rarely drives her grey Camry into the metropolis of which Santa Monica is a part.
She looks up the address on Google and memorizes the location.…well, sort of. She doesn’t remember how to find the GPS button on her phone. When she exits the freeway, she turns in the direction she thought the map had indicated, looking for 27th and Pearl. She can find 26th and 28th streets, but no 27th and no Pearl. Continue reading
The catalog from the Vermont Country Store arrived in the mail today. Immediately, I’m plunged into Continue reading
I put my groceries in my car trunk, (all except the bag of low sodium popcorn) and settled myself into the front seat of my car. Time to drive home, but I didn’t feel like it. Home meant cleaning chores, laundry, and some vigorous digging in the garden. I’d rather stay here. It didn’t hurt that my supermarket parking lot has one of the best views in town. It overlooks the ocean, which today was a steely gray with dramatic black clouds filling the sky above. Continue reading
When my cousin Ruth phoned, I said, “You were nice to call. I bet you remembered this is the day my mother died. “
“Alice,” she said, and I could just see her primming her lips, “nobody says died any more. You really should say Continue reading
I could have been arrested. Some might say I should have been. But thanks to the passage of time, I can continue leading my reckless life while the children I “endangered” have safely reached adulthood. Today parents like me are being arrested for letting children play in parks unsupervised. I picture my face on a TV screen over a scrolling subtitle: “Mother Arrested for Sending Children to the Los Angeles Science Museum ALONE.” Yep, that was me.
The Christmas I was three
My mother held a woolly bundle
in her arms.
“It’s what you wanted”, she said smiling.
“A kitten!” I yelled, all delight.
But it was just my brother Pierce. Continue reading
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” That’s what Grandma said every time she slipped me some coins. I had no idea what she was talking about. For me having pennies in my pocket meant a trip to the candy store to buy wax lips or Tootsie Rolls. But now that Grandma’s gone, her sayings keep coming back to me. Guess that’s why I started saving my pennies. You know, those pesky little coppers that clog up your change purse. I got out an old sock and every night I dropped in the pennies I’d collected that day. You’d be surprised how fast the sock got heavy. Grandma would approve, I thought….which shows you how much I know. Continue reading
When my son was in first grade, he was the smallest kid in the class. So when a bigger boy invited him to go trick or treating chaperoned by parents, I said yes, glad Steve was making friends at school.
Steve wanted to be a pirate. I can’t sew a stitch, but I rustled up a white shirt, a red bolero, stuffed his jeans into his rain boats and penciled a curly charcoal mustache under his snub nose. My piece de resistance was the pirate hat created from stiff, black cardboard, cut into the right shape, stapled together, and sporting a fancy skull and crossbones decal. When his friend arrived on our doorstep, Steve grabbed a paper bag with handles, dashed into his room, then came back and went off with them. I took his younger sister, dressed as a fairy, around the block.
Therefore, I was gone when the first calls came in from the friend’s family. “Is Steve back yet?” they said,“We can’t find him.” Continue reading
In the novel Faith Fox, Jane Gardam, a well regarded British writer, demonstrates a thorough understanding of the many strands that make up today’s Britain. There are ragged remnants of the upper classes and people of middle age who consider themselves middle class, most of them eccentric and all quite different one from another. There are as well a professional or two, a religious fanatic, several worker bees and a handful of exiled Tibetans. All play an important part in finding a home for a motherless infant. That baby, Faith Fox, too young to talk, lies at the center of all 312 pages. Continue reading