The Opportunity

Rain droplets on my windshield obscure her face, it’s her platinum blond hair that catches my eye. I have a quick impression of a young woman, possibly a college student? A stylish, chunky knit hat is pulled tight to her brows against the frosty rain. The hat sports a pompom the size of a grapefruit... Continue Reading →

Secret Santa

Pick a classmate’s name out of a bowl, keep it a secret, sneak nice notes or small treats into their desk, share a present at the school Christmas party and reveal your identity. Sounds simple, right? If you’re familiar with the Secret Santa game, you’ll know that it’s played in a group during the Christmas... Continue Reading →

The Angry Doll

When our eyes connect the electricity takes my breath away. We belong together; no doubt about it. She’d strolled past nonchalantly, dreamily browsing. I willed her to look at me. She walked by without the slightest pause. Geez, maybe this wasn't meant to be – again. I startled when she took two steps backward, looking... Continue Reading →

The Tolerance Song

Melt the contradictions into oblivion I tell myself. “Mary, can we discuss the crucifix in your office?” My boss stands awkwardly at the threshold of my cramped office. Instantly defensive, I respond in my most convincing corporate voice, “Is there a problem?” “Let’s chat in my office,” she throws back in a tone clearly asserting... Continue Reading →

Butterscotch Demon

  Hard, butterscotch candy tried to end me. "Never eat these unless you ask first," Mom warned. Immediately, those golden pieces of heaven with matching cellophane called my name.My friend, Jan and I played with our dolls, our moms chatted. Taking a water break, I spotted the butterscotch in a dish on the table. My... Continue Reading →

Sandbar Swim

Waves glide over my head stealing my breath. Not a swimmer, I push forward toward the prize: a sandbar approximately 200 yards off shore. At least I'm praying that's what it is and not an oceanic mirage. Greg slips easily through the water next to me; damn avid swimmer that he is. We met at... Continue Reading →

Art Exchange

“Impressive portfolio … extremely talented … congratulations you are the recipient … scholarship.” I skim the text on my phone. My head whirls with excitement. “She got it. She GOT IT!” I shriek at Stella. Lifting her head, weakly tapping her tail on the floor, Stella is drowsily curious at my outburst. Tears hurry to... Continue Reading →

Waiting on Remy

   I sit in the pink semi-darkness of the growing dawn staring into the beautiful eyes of this tiny boy. I am overwhelmed. My breath catches, an ache in my throat, a sob of joy and fear. Fear of the future and joy for what it holds for him. He stares directly back at me.... Continue Reading →

Reagan’s Library

“Be cautious especially when you cross Seventh Street,” she said holding my hands while looking directly into my eyes. “Choose a book and come straight home,” she admonished. I didn’t understand Mom’s trepidation at letting me walk the half mile to the Dixon Public Library. I’d done it a million times; this was the first... Continue Reading →

American- Italian

America, 1914, destination Ellis Island. June 29 marked the beginning of my Italian family in the United States; the day Paul Vittori married Nina. Odd to outsiders, our Italian culture is constructed of a peculiar menagerie of food, jokes, and discipline. Experiencing a life-long food romance, Italians know there is nothing quite like waking up... Continue Reading →

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