In search of story


Connections: January 28

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGrandma says we need fresh air!

It’s time to climb and jog!

Grandma seems a wee bit daft;

we think she’s slipped a cog.

It’s quite all right

to say OUTSIDE!

when there’s no ice floe

 on the slide,

but today it’s frozen

like our digits —

really, Grandma,

there are limits!



Connections: January 5


one day

too old

or so foretold.

But December

makes us remember

what we did

as kids.





cardboard hold-out

iThing rout-out.



sellerless, buyerless

the original wireless.

For related musings/rantings, see Legacy and @Grandma’s.

And Happy New Year, dear reader!


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Fruitcake, Part 2

While I was writing my last post, “Fruitcake,” I was plotting “Fruitcake II,” intending to suggest that my grandmother was the fruitcake, making myself as snarky as the fruitcake nay-sayers. But I wasn’t sure I should do it. To write such commentary about my grandmother seemed dishonorable.

The NYT sensed my writer’s dilemma and on 1 December published a piece by Ken Budd, who told of similar misgivings and maintained that “honest writing” (his memoir) wins over “feelings of the dead” (his father’s). Helpful, but not quite a perfect parallel since he admired his father and I am, at best, ambivalent about Grandma. Also I am that private person he says his father was. Writing anything remotely personal makes me squirmy, and I know when I write about family I’m writing about me at my life’s foundation; I cringe, knowing that putting life into words — even if no one else reads them – is a way of baring it.

But that precisely is the reason to write, yes? To bare — and bear — life?

Yet enough baring already. With a cosmic chorus of self-revelation reverberating through our quivering psyches, why would I want to add my little paragraphs about my grandmother? Because I am addicted to the writing process, indebted to it, intrigued by it. It dims the din.

I do care that I’m exposing my dead grandmother — and me — to strangers. I do care about her right to rebuttal, which is inconvenient for her right now. But I care more about finding the words. Maybe I’m becoming a writer.