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130 Meals and Still Counting

May 2, 2020
Sheet-Pan Sausage

If you are in Texas or another state that is opening up again, perhaps you have mixed feelings like I do. While I love the concept of dining out with family and friends, I have no confidence that it’s safe. To the contrary, I think May might turn out to be the riskiest month of all. I am looking forward to getting home to my …

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100 Home-Cooked Meals and Still Counting

April 22, 2020
chalupa compuesto con pollo

Today is Day 35 of mostly sheltering in place on the 15th floor of a large apartment complex in Dallas. Even with four takeout meals, I have prepared more than 100 meals at home alone in the kitchen. On Wednesday, March 18, I flew to Dallas with my son in time for takeout Whataburgers for lunch. The trunk of my daughter-in-law’s car was stuffed with …

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Alone and Anxious or Depressed?

April 15, 2020

You aren’t the only one. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, The Struggle to Cope With Depression, reports than “more than one-third of Americans say the pandemic is having ‘a serious impact’ on their mental health,” citing a March 25 survey from the American Psychiatric Association. Anxiety is through the roof, and crisis lines across the country have had a surge in calls. …

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Searching for a Sanctuary

April 5, 2020
home office as sanctuary

Today I needed a sanctuary, a place to withdraw from the clutter on every available surface in my living room and kitchen, from the unmade bed and the pile of dirty towels. When I had to move without notice from a water-damaged condo to a rented apartment February year ago, I turned the wee-tiny third bedroom into office space that I have seldom used. I …

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Powerless and Needing Power

March 29, 2020
Dr. George Mason

Are you as confused as I am about the day and the date? It’s all a blur and there is nothing to mark the passage of time except by the increasing daily numbers of coronavirus cases. People don’t go to work or school on weekdays; we don’t go out on Saturday night. Whether your Sunday included worship or brunch or pro sports on TV, there …

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Taking Time for Joy

November 8, 2018
Dallas Arboretum

The unseasonably cool, gray, wet weather in October left me feeling like Mrs. Noah aboard the Ark; and shorter days added to my growing dissatisfaction. I had a mild case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which has plagued me each fall since Lev’s death. With too little light, I struggle to be happy. This fall I had my garden plans—indeed, I had removed the dead …

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Home Alone: With Whom Do I Celebrate?

June 28, 2018
Rejoice with those who rejoice

As a new widow, I had to accept and acknowledge my limitations and embrace my new role if I was to reclaim joy. I did not like my new status—widow—neither the circumstances that made me a widow nor the images the word conjured up. I envisioned sad, lonely old ladies, living on their memories, dependent on others to take care of them. That was not …

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reclaiming joy in lower case

June 21, 2018
large island t-shirt

In many ways, my memoir, Reclaiming Joy, is a love letter to Nantucket, for this is where I first experienced sustained joy after Lev’s death, which I described in last week’s blog. Though I know intellectually that I had many moments of joy even in the midst of the thick fog of grief, my memories of the pain and anxiety are much more vivid. Sheryl …

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If You Want to Visit the Dordogne

May 24, 2018
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Getting Practical “It’s on my bucket list,” several of you responded after you saw my photos on Facebook and Instagram and read last week’s blog, “Not Quite Solo Travel in the Dordogne.” However, most of you are not ready to do what I did—fly alone to France and spend a week or two by yourself. What are your options? Find a tour; Spend a week or …

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LIVE WELL, Look Good, Travel Light

April 19, 2018
Ella at Roman ruins, Bordeaux

We all want to live well, though each of us—at different periods in our lives—defines living well differently. My friends and I resist the idea that we might be old—“I don’t feel old!”—but as a long-ago newspaper reporter, I know too well if I get hit by a car when I am crossing the street, the headline will read, “Elderly woman hit by car.” Many …

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