River Muse


Photo from Pixabay

Countdown to a marriage

On May 25, 2019 our daughter will be wed, in our backyard, to her sweetheart of seven years. Unlike her mother, who, after a four year courtship, announced she would be wed only 30 days before the event, this couple gave plenty of notice. But a wedding has its own timetable.


Photo from Pixabay

Mud season and the Angel Tom

The first sure sign of spring in the river valley is mud. Thick brown mud that sucks you in, coating your soles and turning your tire treads slick. There’s also wind. Wind that tugs those hold-out leaves from limbs of oak and defeats autumn preparations for winter by turning heavy tarps into paper airplanes that sail across the yard.


Photo from Pixabay.

Welcome to retirement

Planning a home-based, backyard May wedding in the Catskills while simultaneously starting a new business and selling a co-op apartment in Brooklyn is not an activity I would recommend. Yet that is exactly what we are doing.


File photo

Squirrel Hill

Leave it to my mother, the daughter of Irish Catholic Republicans from Pittsburgh, to move our small family to Squirrel Hill in the 1950s.


File photo

Reliving the trauma

“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter.” “100% certain.” “As sure as I am talking to you now.” These statements, from a victim of sexual assault, will be forever remembered as the words of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.


File image

Labor Day

Two bald eagles, one green heron, a blue heron and an egret, a flock of geese, several jumping fish of indeterminate type. This was the visual haul of a two-hour paddle down the Delaware River on a perfectly beautiful Labor Day, the result of a chance encounter between friends at the farmers’ market in Callicoon the day before.


File image

A sense of place

“You look wonderful!” a friend exclaimed, seeing me at the NACL festival recently. That friend was a founder and former artistic director of said theatre company, and she was looking pretty good herself. “What is it?” she wanted to know, imagining who knows what? A lover, cool-sculpting, a facelift?


File image

Signs of summer

The first sign was the feeling of tiny blisters through my silk nightgown on awakening. Now, the rash is hot. It itches constantly. Blisters cover my back from neck to hip. It has come early this summer.

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