Grace on the Ledge

House of Food and Fun for Thought

January 23, 2016 • By

Excerpt from Grace on the Ledge

January 23, 2016

Our cream-colored three-bedroom pressed brick rancher was built in 1953. It was not one-of-a-kind. I hadn’t been born yet when Mom and Dad knew they needed more space. Two more bedrooms with a connecting bath were added in 1959.

four of us kids in snow boulder

Next big project, the attached garage was sealed up with matching brick. Wide fake wood paneling covered the inside walls.

That space with the green and white checkerboard tile floor was labeled the playroom. And it was. A massive pool table dominated the space. My brothers organized weekend tournaments, to which I was never invited. Added next was a ping-pong table that unfolded overtop the pool table. Great use of space. That game’s first objective was to nab any ball sailing off the table before Mele, the not-so-gently-jawed Shepherd got to it first.

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My Peek Year

December 23, 2015 • By

December 23, 2015

Christmas in our house was a verb. For my sister and I the flurry of holiday activity began in sunny August when the JC Penney catalog was shoved into our mailbox. The first hundred pages were filler. Who needed to look at moms, dads, and kids dressed up in holiday garb or flannel pajamas?1967 jc penney xmas cover One flick of my wrist and the mail order magic began. Toys were segregated strictly by color. I never lingered on pages of browns and greens showing an articulated GI Joe and his assorted accessories- rifles, camouflage tents, hard helmets. I never cultivated a keen interest in hotwheels cars and the orange racetrack wrapping around every corner in the house. My eyes narrowed on pink and purple pages- dolls, tea sets, and pretend makeup. barbie lounge singerEach was  thumbed a thousand times; it would take weeks to make final selections. Those were circled and initialed. No reason for Mom to wonder who wanted the Barbie lounge singer in black glitter with a floor mic, dreamy.

I remember one Christmas especially. I had found the perfect gift to reflect the sophistication achieved in nearly a full decade of life; a small cream colored French style telephone. Bonus- it was an AM radio. It radiated understated elegance. Why, Grace Kelly would use this to answer a call from her real live prince.

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The Hurt in Quiet

December 11, 2015 • By

December 11, 2015

I stepped into my kitchen and heard the quiet. It echoed with each footstep. I stopped and noticed the hum from a lamp for the first time. My mind flooded with pictures.

Just before Easter nearly fourteen years ago I drove to a farm nearby and watched three children chase puppies around a barn for two hours. My mission was to assess the personality of the adult dogs they would grow into and select the one most suited for my family of four. The description in the newspaper mentioned the pups were Border Collie Lab mixes, three males, three females, available in two colors, cream and black.

Two years before we had to let go of our dog Dillon, another lab mix. He was a ruthless hunter struck with wanderlust. No doubt those traits were nurtured as a puppy growing up in the Adirondacks. We picked Dillon because he was the smallest and cutest puppy on the planet. He didn’t stay small. And he didn’t come with a tag declaring his love for moving vehicles and solitary walks in the woods. He stole our hearts. We loved him back.