I was six and Jenny was five. It was our first year in different schools, and I hated being apart from her every day. So we spent our weekends together. One night, she informed me she had met a ghost. His name was Herb, and he lived in my house. Herb communicated with us via the First McGuffey Reader. Yes, that McGuffey Reader. My mother had scads of old books, and Jenny and I were precocious.
I’ll never forget the hard brown cover or the black ink picture of children sitting under a leafy bower. Paging through the text, we would recognize words that felt out of kilter and interpret Herb’s instructions to us.… Read the rest
I knew what I wanted.
I’ve been a writer since age ten. Initially, I just wanted a career (yes, I was thinking seriously of my future career then) where I could use the old Remington Rand manual typewriter. I loved the way it felt under my fingers, and I savored the letter-arm’s whack against the paper. Even now when I’m feeling completely empty, I type just to hear the clickity-clack of my keyboard.
My parents supported me. My dad is a musician, so they kind of had to by default. “Write,” they told me. “But have a backup.”
That advice has haunted me, still haunts me.… Read the rest
I’ve had two car crashes in my life, both many years in my past now. The first one was one hundred percent my own fault. Trying to find the museum center in Cincinnati, I drove all around the base of Union Terminal without ever discovering the actual entry road. I had a passenger, a fellow student at the college of Mt. St. Joseph. We wanted the history museum. I can’t remember her purpose, but I was looking for newspaper images of the 1937 Ohio River flood for a short story I was working on.
I got turned around in this warehouse district.… Read the rest
These are recipes from my grandparents.
Mummum wrote out this one in September of 2001, just before Scott and I got married.
Brad’s Favorite Butterscotch Pie 9-2001 [Brad was my grandfather's nickname]
1 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons of flour } mix
Add 1/2 cup of water
When thick add 2 egg yolkes[sic]
2 table spoons [sic] butter
1 teaspoon vanilla few grains salt
Cook allogether [sic] til thick. Pour into baked pie shell.
Cool whip topping
And this one a few years later
Great Grand Mother Bradshaw’s coated [?] pecan haves [sic]
1 egg white
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of pecan halves
Beat egg whie [sic] til it stans[sic] in soft peaks
Fold in pecan halves coat each pecan well.… Read the rest