July 4th, 1976

imagesI had a great love in my life. I was in my early twenties and had just arrived in New York City from the cornfields of the University of Nebraska. He was ten years older than me, on his way to success, and further along in the “being a grown-up” arena. He was handsome, smart, funny and incredibly energetic — the kind of energetic that took others along for the ride. During one of the first marathons in New York City, he had his two kids and me out on the streets of First Avenue handing out water to the runners and cheering them on for hours … like four hours. We were more tired than the runners, but his joy in their success and spurring them on was something to behold, and we joined it. In the end, he dumped me (rightfully so — it wasn’t our time), but I never forgot the best weekend I’ve ever had in New York, a weekend that he brought to me.

It was the 200-year celebration of our country, July 4, 1976. Seems like yesterday to me, and in this time of turmoil and strife among all our countrymen and -women, I find myself reliving it a bit this year. I find myself yearning for it. Civil unrest in the South, Watergate, and Vietnam were all behind us. Ford was our leader and I now appreciate steady and boring in a new way. We were still reeling but the future looked mighty bright. And, that weekend …

The tall ships came through the New York Harbor, and we were there watching them in awe. Everyone was together though they didn’t know one another, and as the ships majestically sailed up the Hudson (or was it down the Hudson), we all knew what a journey we had as a country to get to this moment. There were festivities in the streets. There was food from all the other countrys’ patchwork fabrics that make up this country: Italian, French, English — and even hot dogs (oh yeah, baby). There was a searing fireworks display with a live version of “Stars and Stripes” that set the bar so high for love of country during fifteen minutes of explosive glitter that I have never ever come close to that feeling in other celebrations. It was three days of running all over the city via the subway to make sure we didn’t miss a moment. There were private moments too that bonded the entire weekend together, and it felt as if we were among citizens who all had the same love of country and yet, at the same time, it was just the two of us experiencing it together. To this day, it remains a weekend in my top ten of all my time.

You see, another great love of mine is my country. I am devastated by the division of our people — myself included. I am ashamed that I haven’t more empathy for those that see things so very differently from myself. I don’t think about Trump much, unlike others from my neck of the woods. He is one person who is filled with something I don’t wish to be around. I think about the millions of people who like his point of view, and that they are Americans too. That’s who I think about, and I realize that on that weekend forty-two years ago, there must have been many of those people there hugging us in the streets standing as one.

And, so I realize that something happened in those forty-two years that sent us to different corners of America. What was it? And, where was I living that I didn’t see this coming?

I will ponder it all tomorrow, but for today I’m going to remember that weekend in 1976 and how utterly perfect it was, and that we all asked God to bless the same America.

Kate Spade

The thing thing about Kate Spade is that her accessories made me feel pretty. Not “Chanel pretty,” which always made me feel like part of a club I didn’t want to belong to. Not pretty like Saint Laurent, who always made me feel that I better make my body deserve to wear him. Not pretty like Valentino, who made me feel masculine in a feminine way. Powerful. (I liked that, but I never felt pretty

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The American of Old

I was on the phone with my BFF, from Alliance, Nebraska, talking about conversations with aging parents. She said she loved the stories her mom told her about her father. Lorie’s mom is 97, and her father would be 120 if he were he alive today.

“Tell me one,” I said.

“My mom told me that her dad, who had come over from Lebanon to Nebraska, was a laborer and so proud to have found

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Good or Evil. Either Or.

October 2003

Last week the headmaster from the school my daughter attended through fifth grade was arrested for child pornography. It seems that he was entering chat rooms for 13- and 14-year-olds and sending them graphic pictures of things he would like to do to them. I forced myself to write the last two sentences. It is the only way to make real the fact that someone I know — an old, old friend —

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A Drug Addict's Random Thoughts ... as Told to Me.

Recovering Drug Addict & Pirate As Told To Chris “The difference between a thief and a drug addict is a thief will steal from you and deny it. A drug addict will steal from you and help you look for what’s missing.” Chris asked me why I keep calling myself a recovering drug addict. She said that she felt I was more than that and I should find myself another way to describe me.

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Focus & My Ex Husband

Much is written about being in the moment, whatever that means. I had an epiphany today. It’s not just about being in the moment; it’s about turning moments into habits. Let me explain.

Someone for whom we were writing something mentioned that she has her Saturday “Mommy–Daughter Day.” She doesn’t plug in on Saturdays; she and her daughter plan a full day together. and it’s written in stone, or blood, or whatever ink is used

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Bayley: Well Trained Terrorist

I’m pretty sure Bayley is being trained by the Taliban at night to be a terrorist. It’s really the only possibility because during the day, she is constantly with me, so there is no other access to her. They have taught her well.

She never strikes in the same place twice, so when you have protected the vulnerable location where she previously struck, she moves on to other locations along the perimeter. It’s really quite

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Abraham, Martin & John

Martin Luther King Day.

There was a song from the sixties, Abraham Martin & John, that personified the racially-charged times in which we lived back then. I used to listen to it over and over again. It occurred to me this morning, Martin Luther King Day, that it points out what is possible when leaders step forward to help us rise to our best selves.

My generation is really lucky. We have lived and watched

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Three Wise Men?

When I leave my house to go anywhere this holiday season, I drive by the Nativity scene set up in East Hampton. It’s the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the three wise men, a shepherd (maybe two) with some sheep, and a few other men who don’t seem to be of much use at all. Whenever I glanced over, I experienced this uneasy feeling, like I’m missing something or something is out of place. I

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My iPhone X

I recently purchased the new iPhone X. I mainly got it because my other iPhone wasn’t holding its charge, but in addition, the photography capabilities of the new iPhone X were something of a turn-on to me. So I ordered it and will pay an additional $15 per month for the rest of my life to pay for it. Whatever.

So now I am using the phone, and let’s just say, I am not a

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