In the Morning

06 - 15 - 2015

From Humans of New York

"My wife died five years ago today.  She went in the hospital on May 16th.  My sister is a nurse, and when she heard it was meningitis, she told me to prepare myself.  She spent 24 days in a coma.  I brought a radio with me and I sang to her and read her books all day long.  On June 8th, she woke up from her coma, and all she said was:  "I'm worried."  I told her not to worry, and that I'd see her in the morning.  But at 4AM they called me at home and told me she didn't make it."

Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

06 - 02 - 2015

As I Began to Love Myself

by Charlie Chaplin, actor and mime


As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering

are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.

Today, I know, this is "AUTHENTICITY".


As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody

As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time 

was not right and the person was not ready for it and even though this

person was me.  Today I call it "RESPECT".


As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life,

and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.

Today I call it "MATURITY".


As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,

I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens

at the exactly right moment.  So I could be calm.

Today I call it "SELF-CONFIDENCE".


As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,

and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.

Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do

and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in

my own rhythm.  Today I call it "SIMPLICITY".


As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for

my health - food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew 

me down and away from myself.  At first I called this attitude

a healthy egoism.  Today I know it is "LOVE OF ONESELF".


As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since

I was wrong less of the time.  Today I discovered that is "MODESTY".


As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry

about the future.  Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING

is happening.  Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it "FULFILLMENT".


As I began to love myself II recognized that my mind can disturb me

and it can make me sick.  But as I connected it to my heart, my

mind became a valuale ally.  Today I call this connection "WISDOM OF THE HEART".


We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems 

with ourselves or others.  Even stars collide, and out of their crashing

new worlds are born.  Today I know THAT IS "LIFE"!



In Memoriam

05 - 27 - 2015

Thank you to all who have served an protected us out of love for our country.




Photo Credit:  "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima", Joe Rosenthal, February 3, 1945

To My Immortal Beloved

05 - 12 - 2015

From Ludwig van Beethoven to his mysterious "Immortal Beloved"


"Though still in my bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved.  Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell.  Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.  Ever thine.  Ever mine.  Ever ours."

A Mother's Love

05 - 05 - 2015

In honor of Mother's Day, here's to all of the mother's out there who dedicate their lives to loving and nurturing their children.



Artist credit:  "A Mother's Love" by Pino (Daeni)

The Art of Being Apart

04 - 27 - 2015

By LISA GRUNWALD From the APRIL 23, 2015 edition of the New York Times:




Photo Credit Brian Rea 


My husband was leaving for London on a business trip, just a short hop. He would be back before the end of the week, but naturally, I spent the morning making a special card for him.

I always slip a card into his briefcase when he flies somewhere. Sometimes I add an old picture or a heart-shaped piece of coral. I do this, in part, so that if his plane crashes, I’ll know I’ve said a last I-love-you.

So far, this strategy seems to have kept his planes aloft. But, really, these notes are like bookmarks in the story of our marriage, each one created to hold a place until we’re together again.

Departures weren’t always this simple. I still remember his first business trip, mainly because I was on it. This was not a helicopter-wife thing. It was 27 years ago, and we were newlyweds, and I was just trying on a wifely role that seemed quaint and retro and loving.


The landscape of my childhood had been strewn with my parents’ suitcases — forever being packed and unpacked. Like my husband, my father had been a journalist, and my mother saw the world with him. Many wives got to do that then, and my mother brought back stories of large and little revelations, cotton caftans from Marrakesh and gold koi charms from Thailand.

My husband’s first business trip was to Toronto, and I brought back a hotel shower cap. But I thought: Yes, this is marriage. You do whatever you can so that you’ll wake up in the same bed.

Unlike my mother, though, I had an office job. Even if I had been willing to drop it for traveling now and then, the ’80s and ’90s hardly offered the plus-one largess of the previous decades. To take your wife on a business trip now would be the marital equivalent of having your mother walk you to high school. There were other obstacles in those days: employees-only off-sites (his), magazine and book deadlines (mine), two children (ours) and two school schedules (theirs).

Unable to go on work jaunts together, we did what we thought was the next best thing: We tried to talk on the phone every day. This was before the cellphone, so we sometimes failed to connect at all. When we did, though, we aimed for full debriefings: all the meetings and meals, the gossip and grind, of our days apart.

Even then — years before we started to edit anthologies together — I had read some exquisite old letters written from one spouse to another. To people like John and Abigail Adams, distances were the same as time. If there was an ocean between you, there were three or four months also, and the Adamses used their letters to express their feelings and distill the facts.

Traveling in America a century and a half later, Dylan Thomas wrote his wife, Caitlin: “My dear one, my Irish heart, my wonderful wonderful girl who is with me invisibly every second …. Why oh why did I think I could live, I could bear to live, I could think of living, for all these torturing, unending, echoing months without you.” (Granted, he would commit adultery many times, but still. Nice words.)

Such communication, however, depended on husbands and wives understanding that apart was truly apart, that they had no life together except their lives in the past and future. Stephen and I were trying to be together while being apart, and instead of a florid Welsh poet, I got a harried New York journalist. Instead of a sweet Irish heart, he got a disconcerted writer facing work and children and the unexpected realization that the quaint wifely role had definitely lost the quaint.

Absence was making the heart grow cranky. When we talked, I imagined him in his hotel room, rolling his eyes and mouthing the words “two minutes” to some colleague waiting to hit the town.

I thought: Where’s my Dylan Thomas letter? Why aren’t I “my wonderful wonderful girl who is with me invisibly every second”? (It didn’t occur to me that if Dylan had called home daily, Caitlin would have probably heard little more than the slurring of words over the rattle of ice cubes.)

Petulantly, I sometimes resorted to monosyllables when Stephen called: “Fine.” “They’re good.” “Not much.” It was passive-aggressive and punishing, and I’m not usually either. If I had been married to me, I would have asked what I’d ever seen in myself.

Gradually, though, I realized that our daily reports could feel startlingly irrelevant. Deprived of the sharing of place, mood and time — all the factors that can make the mundane parts of marriage so festive — I was no more moved by the personnel problems of his newspaper’s Frankfurt office than he was by my editor’s comments on some article I’d rewritten. Dimly, I started to wonder if there might be certain benefits to getting some distance now and then.

And there were. With Stephen away, I fudged the kids’ bedtimes. Sometimes I took them out for breakfast. They were shockingly young when they watched “The Godfather.” Along with the extra fun came extra duties. At night, I’d be the one, not Stephen, to take out the garbage and lock the doors. Chores get assigned in marriage, but a short separation reminds you what you can still do perfectly well by yourself. After the children were asleep, I rediscovered, too, how much more writing you can get done when you’re not also having a conversation, let alone having sex or dinner.

My monosyllabic shtick slowly turned into confident restraint. I missed Stephen, but it was better to want him than to need him. The haunting mystery of any marriage — “What would I do without you?” — is often a rhetorical endearment. In my case, it was just practical: What would I do without him? What I had to. And sometimes I’d have fun.

After more than two decades of marriage, we had finally gotten it down. We would talk when we could and keep it brief. If something big arose, we would share it. But mainly, we said what people in love say. The freedom from all the details allowed us to miss each other, and coming together again suddenly provided a fluttery joy.

Good thing we had found all this wisdom, because it came just before my doctor told me, seven years ago now, that I had multiple sclerosis. My energy, even for simple tasks, became finite. Daily, my batteries drained. My balance was off. I broke an arm.

I would lie in bed and look at a window and think, “I need to close that.” And then, half an hour later, I’d think, “I need to close that.” The children were older — a huge help. But all of our lives were altered.

Stephen was now head of a global news agency with offices all over the world, and yet he was traveling less than he had in a decade. The first year or two after I got sick, he kept his travel stateside. But it was clear he would have to go much farther to spend real time with colleagues abroad.

The journey of 12,000 miles begins with a single plane reservation. In February 2011, he rolled his suitcase down the hall, out the door and toward China. We kissed goodbye and flashed reassuring smiles that were filled with equal amounts of love and lying. But no trip had ever felt more essential. He needed a break from the me who was sick, and I needed a break from the guy who needed a break from the me who was sick.

Friends reminded him how easy it would be to stay in touch. There were iPhones. Wi-Fi everywhere. Skype. We could text and email at any hour. But we had learned our lesson, back when illness had nothing to do with it: For us, apart, if we did it right, allowed us to be our better selves, to rise above the daily dreck and feel the kind of marital bond that’s sometimes strongest when it’s stretched.

More than 2,000 years ago, Pliny the Younger (Pliny the Younger!) wrote to his wife, Calpurnia: “The eagerness of my desire to see you is incredible. … I pass a great part of the night in thinking of you. In the day too, at those hours, when I used to see you, my feet carry me spontaneously … to your apartment, from whence I constantly return much out of humour and dejected.”

If Calpurnia had been sending him Snapchats, I doubt he would have felt the same.

I stayed home, and Stephen went to Asia. We talked occasionally, but we didn’t Skype or text. He had left a letter on my night table — not Pliny or Dylan Thomas, perhaps, but pretty majestic in its own right. And I had put a note in his bag.


Lisa Grunwald is the author, with her husband, Stephen Adler, of “The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration and Cautionary Tales, from Adam & Eve to Zoloft,” to be published next month.

A Kiss in Times Square

04 - 21 - 2015

"V-J Day Kiss" was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt August 14, 1945.  In the photograph, sailor kisses a nurse in the middle of Times Square in New York City in celebration of Victory Over Japan Day and the end of World War II. 

A Valentine

04 - 14 - 2015

By Edgar Allan Poe

A poem riddle written for married poet Frances Sargant Osgood, with whom he was secretly in love.



For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,

Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,

Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies

Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.

Search narrowly the lines!- they hold a treasure

Divine- a talisman- an amulet

That must be worn at heart.

  Search well the measure-

The words- the syllables! Do not forget

The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor

And yet there is in this no Gordian knot

Which one might not undo without a sabre,

If one could merely comprehend the plot.

Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering

Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus

Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing

Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet's, too,

Its letters, although naturally lying

Like the knight Pinto- Mendez Ferdinando-

Still form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying!

You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.


Paintings:  Portraits of Frances Sargant Osgood and Edgar Allen Poe.  Both portraits were painted by Osgood's husband, Samuel Stilllman Osgood.  Paintings are property of the New York Historical Society.

To Josephine

03 - 31 - 2015

From Napoleon Bonaparte to his wife Josephine.

Spring 1797 

To Josephine, 

I love you no longer; on the contrary, I detest you. you are a wretch, truly perverse, truly stupid, a real Cinderella. You never write to me at all, you do not love your husband; you know the pleasure that your letters give him yet you cannot even manage to write him half a dozen lines, dashed off in a moment! What then do you do all day, Madame? What business is so vital that it robs you of the time to write to your faithful lover? What attachment can be stifling and pushing aside the love, the tender and constant love which you promised him? Who can this wonderful new lover be who takes up your every moment, rules your days and prevents you from devoting your attention to your husband?

Beware, Josephine; one fine night the doors will be broken down and there I shall be. In truth, I am worried, my love, to have no news from you; write me a four page letter instantly made up from those delightful words which fill my heart with emotion and joy. I hope to hold you in my arms before long, when I shall lavish upon you a million kisses, burning as the equatorial sun.


Artwork:  "Napoleon and Josephine," Harold Piffar


Shakespeare Sonnet 116

03 - 24 - 2015

By William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, 
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle's compass come; 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

Not "The Scream"

03 - 17 - 2015

Norwegian painter and print maker, Edvard Munch, is best known for his famous work "The Scream."  However, housed in The Munch Museum in Oslo is another more sensual painting that joins "The Scream" in Munch's series of paintings entitled "The Freize of Life." Painted in 1897, "The Kiss" shows two lovers in a passionate kiss, with their faces merged together as one.







Big Mike

03 - 10 - 2015

January 31, 2015
These are notes I wrote to myself after talking to Big Mike, approximately 3 weeks before he passed away.  We had the absolute BEST conversation.  I asked him if I could fly to Tampa to see him.  He said “Nanny, why don’t you wait ‘till I get home?  It will be a nicer place to visit…and you and Janie can go to dinner together.” He was so optimistic. I thought I’d have a chance to put these thoughts in a letter to him and see him again. 
I want to share these notes with you.  You will find the present/past tenses mixed.  I didn’t want to send a letter as if his life was “done.”   Here goes……  
Big Mike:
I know that your health is precarious now.  I also know what the doctors say and I’m going to choose not to believe them.  However, just in case they know more than I do, I’m taking this opportunity to tell you some things.
You are the poster child for ethics, integrity and character.  Never once have I even thought of questioning your motives.  That speaks volumes about you and the person you are. 
I want you to know how much I respect you.  At first, you intimidated the shite out of me.  You were so strong, determined and forthright.   However, as I grew to know you, I found myself looking to you for your comments and approval.  I’ll never forget showing you my balance sheet for the company, after the first 6 months I was in business.  You looked at it, grinned and said “nice Nanny!”
I love the way you recognize your passions in your life….the hunting, fishing, golf and tennis.  All the things you love, you do.  You’re not like most people who sit there and think about what they like to do, or what they wish they would do, or how they plan to eventually do it.  You simply make a decision and do it!  For that, I admire and respect you and am just a wee bit jealous/envious of you.
I love the way you were such a good dentist.  I love the way you treated all your patients with so much skill, respect and kindness.   I love the way Dr. Khalil speaks so fondly of you and how you negotiated the sale of your business to him.  He said you were very upfront, above board and with no bullshit.   You wanted to make sure your patients were in good hands.  That’s so you!
I also love the way that I always know where I stand with you.  “No bullshit” Mike.  That’s you!
I love the way that you always accommodate Janie’s family and friends.  Your generosity of your personal space cannot be compared.  “The Collins B&B is famous – both in Arlington and FMF!”
The stories crack me up of how, in Arlington, you’d get up many mornings ready for work (or play) and come down the stairs to a body or two, asleep among the chairs and couches in your family room!  You would shake your head and laugh, as you walked out the door.   
I remember having a good ‘ole time at your house one night and falling asleep on the sectional in the family room.  The next morning very early, I heard you come down the stairs and into the kitchen, laughing at the hung-over lump (me) on the sofa!
I love the way you taught Bullet to retrieve the Washington Post, from the edge of your sidewalk, in the morning.
I love the way you allow me to treat you to dinner.  When I ask you where you want to go, you always say “let’s go where Janie doesn’t like to go!”    We hit the Lebanese, Vietnamese, Indian and Greek restaurants with abandon!  I always enjoy our conversations at these dinners.  We talk about all subjects – no subject is taboo and always thought provoking, sprinkled with a few laughs! 
I love the way you made plans with me to celebrate your retirement.   I’ll never forget going to the Indian restaurant in Clarendon and being seated next to two women.  We ordered our bottle of wine (against Doc’s orders!) and we were talking, laughing and having fun.  We were truly celebrating your retirement and new found independence.   Not too far into our celebration, we wanted a picture and asked the two women next to us, if they’d take our picture.  Do you remember the look we gave each other when they REFUSED to take our pix?  We called them “uptight dykes” and had a very good laugh.  I think they heard our comment, but we didn’t care.  We were celebrating your life!  Later, after the two women departed, the waiter who was so nice to us, took our picture.  
I love the way you treat me like family.  Do you remember the time I had a major anxiety attack at my office when I worked for Noblestar and I went running out of my office sobbing and I came to your house (still sobbing)?  I was a mess and you were so kind to me.  I knew I could stay at your/Janie’s house for as long as I needed and you would be supportive.
Let’s discuss your Old Fashions!  Geezus, Big Mike, they are legendary!  I walked into your front door with a prance and after one of “OF’s,” stumbled out of your front door to go home!  I’m surprised there have been no disastrous “OF” stories!  Crikey!
I love the way you’re willing to play golf with me.  It’s like my saying to you: “Big Mike, will you play golf with a dead-weight, who will only drag your golf game down?”  I wish I’d played more golf with you!
I love the way you love your family.  I love the way you said “Janie lights up a room.  That’s how my Mother was.”  I love the way you love and respect your children and adore your Grandkids.  I love the way you said how much you enjoy Sunday night “family dinners” in FMF.
Finally, I love, admire and respect who you are and who/what you are to everyone around you.  I am privileged to call you my friend and my family.
With love and respect,

Happy Birthday Princess

03 - 02 - 2015

A love letter from Johnny Cash to his wife, June Carter Cash, on her birthday.

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get used to each other.  We think alike.  We read each others minds.  We know what the other wants without asking.  Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit.  Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.  You still fascinate and inspire me.  You influence me for the better.  You're the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence.  I love you very much.

Happy Birthday Princess,



Source:  Letters of Note


02 - 24 - 2015

by Rose Solari to her husband Jimmy on their wedding day.

First one, then two, then a whole constellation
of stars comes into focus, as you lie
on your back again to study the sky.  Self-taught
in this as in everything that matters, you
no longer need a map to find Orion's Belt,
those glimmers that, strung together, make
tools or gods.  You can stay here for hours.
As with love, there is always more to see.
Where did it start, this habit of looking up
as if what surrounds you here on earth
everyday cannot be enough?  What feeds this desire
for just the right lens to help you see clear
to the moon's stony face, the two moons
of Mars?  First one, then two, then a whole sky
flushed with stars.  As with love, it can overwhelm you.
As with love, you can never have too much.


Photo by Michele Girardi, Flickr

Falling In Love is Like Owning a Dog

02 - 17 - 2015

An Epithalamian by Taylor Mali

First of all, it's a big responsibility, especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defese?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life, 
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time?  No!  No!
Love can be bad.  Bad, love, bad!  Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back
again and again and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.


Photo:  Flickr

Leaving You...

02 - 10 - 2015


"Leaving you is always an odd sensation.  When you turn away the final time and I drive off, my first impulse is to turn up the radio so that it blares out nothing but distortions and yell out the words of the songs.  I clinch the steering wheel and grit my teeth and drive off.  If I ever hesitated I'd stop and go back."

Photo:  Flickr


My First Book - Age 3

02 - 03 - 2015

 Pick Your Own Peaches in New Jersey

"My Mommy and Daddy"

by Emily, Age 3


My Mommy and Daddy love me.

They play with me.

They snuggle me and take me to the park.

We eat peaches.

I "Love Peaches."

They give me a bath and put on my polkadot pjs (they're pink).

Then I go to bed.




Photo:  Flickr

The God of Love

01 - 27 - 2015


Kamadeva, the Hindu God of Love, and his partner Rati, the Hindu Goddess of Love and Carnal Desire, riding a parrot.  


01 - 20 - 2015

“So why am I writing this to you? I need you to do me a favor. I need you to tell me that I am nothing more than a friend to you. Tell me you’re not attracted to me. Tell me you don’t think of me. Tell me that you do not feel connected to me at all. Tell me you want me to go away. Tell me I suck. Tell me that I was a good way of not thinking about your ex-boyfriend, and once that wasn’t necessary, I wasn’t necessary. Tell me you think I’m a punk. Make your lack of romantic feelings so completely and brutally clear that I can’t possibly see things any other way. Or, if you can’t say that, if you realize that when we are together the world quiets down and shows us that we should give it a chance, tell me. Let me know exactly what you are thinking. Please, be brutally honest.”


Photo:  "Sad Man Alone in Love,", photographer unknown.

Love from Frida

01 - 13 - 2015

A Love Letter from Artist Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

Truth is, so great, that I wouldn't like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love.  To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within the very beating of your heart.  All this madness if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.  I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth.  I'd like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.




Photo credit:  Unknown

Before Vietnam

01 - 06 - 2015

From a soldier to his girlfriend before being deployed to Vietnam.


27 August 1968

Dear Maggie,

Just a quick note before I leave for the field for my last training stateside.  Enclosed you will find various assorted nicnaks accumulated since I've been here.  All of which are little momentos of me to you.

I do very much like the St. Christopher charm.  It is surprising how many people have them out here.  I just hope yours has some special effect on me.

By the way, the 2 snaps of the charming couple enclosed is a typical "in love" couple.  Some guys get pretty lonesome for womanflesh.  

I'm glad my letter was explanatory.  I tried to make it that way.

You can write if you wish.  I must finish packing so until later.


So very much love,


I Wasn't Lookin'

12 - 16 - 2014


By Jeffrey V. Kelly

Verse 1

I wasn’t lookin’ through the park that way

I wasn’t seein’ but the sunny day

How do ya’ find a love when you’re not lookin’?

She was cookin’ and the ground was hot

She was lookin’ for what the summer’s got

How do ya’ find a love when you’re not lookin’?



But it found her that day, a funny way and it found me too

Hey, hey, we weren't lookin'


Verse 2

She wasn’t lookin’ through the streets that night

She wasn’t seein’ but the town so bright

How does a love find you when you’re not lookin’?

She was coolin’ but the place was hot

Was just on my way to the parking lot

How does the love find you when you’re not lookin’?



But it found me that night, it was a shinin’ bright

And it found her too, that's right, we weren't lookin'


Instrumental Break


We weren't lookin'


Verse 3

I said we’re anyone’s guess

She said, “Let’s take off!”

And I said, “Yes!”

I guess the love finds you when you’re not lookin’



But it found her that way, it was a funny day

And it found me too, hey, hey

We weren't lookin' and we found love

We weren't lookin' and we found love


Written 1991

Artist Credit:  "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper

The Sun

12 - 08 - 2014

From Isadora Duncan


"Darling - Whenever my spirits get low comes a letter from you like a ray of Life.  Without you it would be like the Earth without the Sun - and I confess that when I am not with you it is sometimes like a partial eclipse - but never a total eclipse for you have a way of sending your rays even from afar... pouring into my heart floods of joy and light.

I can see outside - the Sun is shining - you and sunshine, what a beautiful world.  Now I must arise and dance in the Sun.  Love - it's written across the sky."


Photo credit:  Tann Chesney

I Love You, Bubbles

12 - 02 - 2014

From an 8-year-old little girl to her pet budgie.

Dear Bubbles,

     You are a lovable cheerful bird that makes my life much happier.  Although you are sometimes naughty, you are the pet that makes me think about wildlife and nature.  In case you are wondering, you are a pretty bird AND a baby bird.  I love you and enjoy the twist you add to my crazy life.  You help me enjoy my time more and keep me happy.

Love from your Flock,



Photo credit:  Amos T. Fairchild

A Valentine Life

11 - 24 - 2014

From President Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan, Valentine's Day, 1960


February 14, 1960

Darling Mommie Poo,

     Feb. 14 may be the date they observe and call Valentine's day but that is for people of only ordinary luck.

     I happen to have a "Valentine's Life" which started on March 4, 1952 and will continue as long as I have you.

     Therefore realizing the importance of this to me, will you be my Valentine from now on and for ever and ever?  You see my choice is limited, a Valentine Life or no life because I love you very much.




Photo credit:  Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan with sons Michael and Ron Reagan, Jr., 1960. Photo from the Reagan Library.


11 - 17 - 2014

I found a glimpse of you in an old poem.
Like secrets hidden in the long shadows of evening light. 
Never spoken, 
but gently tucked inside a weathered book.
The table of contents removed, 
the index tattered and torn.
Unanswered questions hide among the verses.
Each remembrance carefully dispersed just so.
Memories on my side, too dear to be forgotten.
Tears fall deep in my bones.
Passion on your side, long since gone missing.
Blood in veins, heart pumping, 
nothing has been lost at all.
Each page I carefully flatten. 
I smooth each crease, 
I unfold each marked page, 
I erase other’s penciled notes.
For this poem belongs to Me and You.
Even the cared for pages you carelessly removed. 
The final emptying of me from your mind, your heart,
appears surprisingly effortless.
You remember next to none.
I remember all.
I am only a girl with a riddle for a heart.
And You, My Muse.
Photograph:  Isadora Duncan and husband Sergei Esenin by Everett

A Sister's Love

11 - 10 - 2014

Letter from October 14, 1918

My dearest, darling sister,

     I do not know how to express my sympathy and feeling for you dear.  The telegram was so sudden, we did not know that you were sick until to-day.  Your letter came this morning and we all feel dreadfully sorry for you.

     Darling, I do hope you are better.  Spanish Influenza is terrible.  I had it and know all the suffering.

     Dear Wilfred, we all loved him so much darling but, God knows best.  He was too good for this world and he has gone to a much better one.  Please, my sweet beautiful sister get well as quickly as you can for our little angel Marion's sake.  I am so, so glad that she is not ill and am praying that you are improving every minute.

     I would give the world if I were only there to take care of you and you know I am a marvel with the babies.  How is Mrs. and Mr. Garcia?  Trust that they are not ill too.  I'm so glad that your Aunt and cousin are with you dear.  Is Myrtle the one who wrote the letter?  

     Muriel has been very ill with influenza is better now.  We are all well in body dear but sick at heart for our darling's misfortune.

     It certainly is a terrible blow to you dear but you have a beautiful, well-trained mind dear and with God's aid can survive it.  

Trusting that this letter will find you improving, I remain your ever-loving sister,


On Your Return

11 - 03 - 2014

The folds and turns of you
Your inner canyons
And the openings to light
The welcome inhalation
That still carries your perfume
Gems earthed within you
Waiting for discovery
And blackberries

The Wind

10 - 28 - 2014

(An excerpt from a love letter)

I miss you all the time.
But I also feel like you are here because I carry you with me.
It is comforting.
It gives me courage.

I would be such a different person if you were never in my life.  A version that would pale in comparison.
You have helped me believe that I can create beautiful things and that I have beauty to share with the world.
You have always cheered for me.  
Even in silence.
And I have always felt it.

Thank you for being a constant in my life.
Thank you for reminding me I am the wind.
Thank you for believing I can do the things I am too afraid to try.

I hope you know and feel how loved you are.
I am forever in love with you and what you are capable of.
The world is more beautiful simply because you are here.

Thank you for loving me the way no one else ever has.
Thank you for loving me like a child.


Artist Credit:  "Starry Night Over the Rhone", Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. 

The Love of a Grandparent

09 - 12 - 2014

Dear Elizabeth,
     Being a Sagittarian with a lot of talk, all of my limited knowledge and wisdom has been expounded, but I would like to have you know how much I love our family.  Four grandchildren, two sons, two daughters-in-law and a wife, all of whom have brought nothing but pride and happiness.
     You, dear Elizabeth, being the first grandchild and the first girl for a couple of generations, are very special to me.  Your company brings me much happiness and your letters are a ray of sunshine in my life.  You should also know what a great grandmother you have.  Her knowledge, wisdom and patience have been a great asset in all our lives.  I know it has in mine.
     I want you to have a long, healthy, peaceful, and happy life.
All my love,
Painting:  "Man Seated by a Radiator", Norman Rockwell, 1935.