Archive for April 2014

The Healy Michigan house: the porch swing and popcorn bowls

The Healy family Michigan house was green and white, in what would now be called cottage style, a big rambling thing with two floors, a bunch of bedrooms, ancient linens, a claw foot bathtub, and a pantry stuffed with Blue Willow dishes and all sorts of popcorn bowls and baking pans. It was a throwback... Read more »

10 things I learned through travel:Waffle House, French Broads, and dating over 60

Travel is instructive. Let me share what it taught me this spring as I made a swing through the South. If I’d stayed home I would know nothing of these amazing facts. If you order cheese grits at Waffle House, you get a Styrofoam bowl filled with steaming grits topped by a square of American... Read more »

Dismantling alcoholic denial piece by piece: someone you know needs to know this

Someone you care about is slipping into an alcohol problem, and it might be you. He or she (or you) can’t see the problem and gets mighty touchy when anyone brings it up. So this is the denial you’ve always heard about. At first, denial seems like a high stone wall. There is no getting... Read more »
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Handling denial: for the addict (who is anesthetized) and the loved ones (who are not)

I’ve spent a good long time talking to people who have addictions, years in fact, trying to be helpful as the addiction counselor. It was always a struggle, not between me and my client, but between the both of us and the addiction. Here’s a slice of what I learned, in honor of Alcohol Awareness... Read more »

A guide to walking into your first AA meeting with an open mind

Here is some of what 30 years as an addiction counselor taught me: There are at least a thousand reasons not to go to AA. My clients have believed them all, until they no longer believed them. If you know someone who might benefit from trying out AA, especially if that person is you, have a... Read more »

Memories absorbed: Saying goodbye to my grandparents' house

My visit to Bryson City was almost over. Early the last morning I drove up Deep Creek, site of my coldest (temperature-wise, not memory-wise) childhood times. I said goodbye to the creek, recorded some birds trilling high in the trees, and walked the new wooden path along its curve. Located on the edge of the... Read more »
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Memories unleashed: How I got into my grandparents' house 50 years later

I heard about it before I saw it, when my cousin Jim held up a green vase to say, “This is about the color.” Someone has painted my grandparents’ house apple green, with maroon accents. The big old white house by the river that held some of my best childhood times was now a completely... Read more »

Memories trapped inside: My grandparents' house down by the river

In 1940 my grandparents moved into their new house. It was an old house already, white, covered in asbestos shingles. It was nothing fancy but solid, warm via the wood stove in the kitchen and the bigger one in the living room, and backed by a giant garden, a chicken coop and pig barn. Grandma’s flower... Read more »