My son buttoned his pajamas wrong. One button off, all the way down his shirt front. I lean down to fix it, and in the space of time it takes to straighten things out, I am overpowered with all the moments that have led to this one.

My surprise at discovering I was pregnant. Feeling scared and hopeful and completely inadequate.

The tiniest nose, the tiniest toes. The biggest, wildest love I have ever felt nearly breaking my heart with its weight.

Words and thoughts and discovering a friend. A friend who is the kindest person I have ever met. A friend and a son and a gift.

Milestones and holidays and birthdays. Cakes and cookies and cupcakes. So many celebrations and not enough for this little boy.

And buttons. A thousand little moments of shoelaces and zippers and buttons. These buttons that just about melt me into the floor. Maybe you’ve loved someone this much. Maybe you get it. The big highlights are great. But the buttons? Oh, the buttons.


Can I be honest?

I have absolutely nothing to say. I don’t know the last time I experienced this level of writers’ block. I know people say that isn’t a thing, but at this moment, it feels painfully real. No idea takes root. No paragraph feels right when I read it again.

It’s a scary thing, because you wonder, will it come back? Will I ever feel the ease of a good hour of writing? Have fun bringing a thought to the paper? It doesn’t feel within my power.

I’ve been sitting with this computer on my lap, wondering what to say. Opening up different projects, closing them again. Nothing takes. So this is it. I have to write. It kills me not to. So, even if what I am writing about is not being able to write, I’ll do it.

I’m praying the words come back. I’m desperate for them to come back. I’ll be here when they do.


Listening to Perry Como.

Reaching back through time to my grandma. Perry, her favorite singer, and thus, one of mine too.

He sings and she does too and for this moment, she is here with me.


Yesterday, I was prescribed an antibiotic for a persistent cough. I assumed that the pharmacy would be open late and didn’t check their website until dinnertime. When I discovered they had already closed, and would also be closed today, I knew exactly what my future held. When I die from this cough, the doctor will look across my deathbed to my husband and say with a sad shake of his head:

“If only she had started her antibiotic 48 hours sooner.”

chow chow

A couple of months ago, my parents brought me back a jar of Chow Chow from Lancaster. In case you don’t know, this is an Amish specialty, a kind of pickled/preserved vegetable side dish. And I love it. And I can’t eat it. See, I am super duper afraid of botulism. More specifically, I am afraid of eating badly canned food and dying a sudden, violent, embarrassing death. I mean, what kind of a garbage deal is it for my husband to have to tell people for the rest of his life, “Oh, my first wife? She died young. She ate bad Chow Chow.” He would be forced to make up some alternate explanation for my demise, which feels unfair.

So the Chow Chow is still sitting on the fridge shelf. I don’t know. Maybe, one of these days, I’ll just go for it and…chow down. Surely, by now, if this particular batch of the stuff was bad, I would have heard on the news about some other unfortunate consumer who ate it and promptly bit the dust. Surely, by now, someone out there has unknowingly acted as my personal cup bearer by tasting it first. Right? Of course right. Maybe I’ll have some tomorrow.

Probably not.


Tonight, while showering, I started to think about how lousy my shampoo and conditioner are. I mean, I can never just wear my hair down because it is always so dry. I used to always wear it down. But at some point, I started buying everything -even my shampoo, my nail polish, my soap- at Whole Foods Market.

I did this almost entirely because I am afraid of getting cancer. I thought of how, after losing two aunts to that awful disease to end all diseases, I went into panic protocol and ditched anything that had a whiff of cancer to it…I’m looking at you, Harmon’s.

Then, I thought about my mom. How healthy she is. How I could never imagine…

This was the point at which I found myself weeping in the shower. Because this is one of my greatest worries. Call it worry, call it fear, call it whatever. Cancer.

But I wouldn’t have it. I took a deep breath. I wiped my eyes. I turned the water hotter. And I reached for my all-natural, very safe, keep-away-cancer lousy shampoo.