• La Toussaint

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  • Mirror, mirror

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  • “Oooh, here’s another one!”

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La Toussaint

Opening the shutters one autumn morning, I saw large flocks of great white egrets landing in the field across the road, next to the stonewalled cemetery. They come every year to feed in our rich pastures before flying south to the Mediterranean and Africa. This year they arrived…

Mirror, mirror

My mother was only 69 when my father died and she had just retired from her 30-year teaching career in a Philadelphia Friends school. Their marriage had been difficult because my father was difficult. He was charismatic, narcissistic, handsome, and charming— and a philanderer. He was also a…

“Oooh, here’s another one!”

My sister Shelley invited Harvey Heiges to her first prom in the 11th grade. She didn’t know him well, but at least he was the son of friends of our parents. This was one of the downsides of going to a girl’s school in the 1950s, we had…

Cardinal Event

Many years ago, when I was a young, single mother, I took my daughters, Jennifer and Meredith, on an ambitious road trip from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Booth Bay Harbor, Maine — a 15-hour, 930-mile drive. It was August, 1976, and Jennifer was nine and Meredith was six.…
Jacques' castle

The beginning: Jacques’ Castle

My first trip to France with John was not long after we met and he asked me to go to Paris for New Year’s, an invitation he didn’t need to repeat. I loved Paris; I was 16 years old, an exchange student, when it became my favorite city…
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