Men, Chocolate and Roses

scan0002In honor of Grandmother Power’s blog week, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from The Tiffany Box, a memoir.

We thought my grandmother Forest was going to die many times.  One time, we even thought she was dead.  Three handsome paramedics arrived at her home, transferred her to a flat bed and wheeled her down the walkway.  They were almost to the ambulance when Forest whispered to my mother in a soft, Georgia accent, “Get my lipstick.”  That’s when we knew she’d live.

Another day arrived when we were certain it was her last.  Forest lay in bed at home, not eating, breathing rapidly as her lungs filled with fluid.  “In the freezer,” she instructed.  A few minutes passed, as she garnered energy.  “A shoe box… Mexico… on it.”  Under frozen bacon and coffee beans, we found a shoebox tied shut with the word “Mexico” scrawled in her free-flowing hand.  She had traveled in Mexico years ago.  Perhaps this was some illegal drug, a way to make dying easier.  We untied the string and removed the lid.  Inside we found six bars of dark, Godiva chocolate.  “It will help,” she said and held open her mouth. […]

A Rose Garden

My neighbor has beautiful roses.  She’s like Julia Childs except she dotes over flowers and not food.  She dances out barefoot in the morning wearing a fluffy terry-cloth robe.  Sometimes I’m there with our lab, Lily, picking up the morning newspaper, and my neighbor is in her garden dumping coffee grinds on her plants.  Lily pees on rocks in our front yard while my neighbor sings to her flowers.  This woman sounds like a music teacher humming to a classroom of children, encouraging them to sing along.  Every spring, I watch my neighbor’s roses form, take shape and bloom.

I was more than curious about her roses, I was jealous.  I wanted a rose garden, my own, but […]

A dream…

Sparkling SunglassesDid you ever have a dream when you were a kid of who you were going to be when you grew up?   I did.  I dreamed that someday, when I grew up, I’d be a writer and I’d write books.  I remember announcing this on the sidewalk at school to my two best friends. We were walking to the cafeteria.  I stopped, they stopped, and I said my dream, “I am going to be a writer when I grow up and I am going to write books.”  I was seven years old. […]


lose the leashThis morning our puppy was particularly exuberant when I let her out of the crate.  She danced circles around me.  “It’s a beautiful, wonderful, glorious day,” she said with her tail wagging and body twirling. Then she leaned into me, eager for a scratch, and a hug.

“Good morning, Lily,” I said and she was off.

My son’s bedroom door flung open.  I heard paws run, run, run and leap.  Lily pounced on a snooze-button-pushing teenage boy.

“It’s a beautiful, wonderful, glorious day,” she said to him […]