Saturday, September 28, 2013


What a perfect autumn day! I've been lucky enough to have had two events on two consecutive days on Cape Cod, and was able to enjoy the drive there and back (twice!) with the gorgeous views of water and changing leaves.

Yesterday was at the Dennis Library was made even more special when I got a true surprise from an old buddy showing up. I almost had a heart attack when I saw him standing there! We even got to have a quick glass of chardonnay before I had to get back to Providence. So often here, and in our daily lives, we are caught off guard by something sad, or hurtful. But yesterday as I drove home I was all warm and fuzzy with this kind of surprise, one that you really never thought would happen and that opens up all kinds of possibility.

Another big surprise there was that they are making a brick walkway with the names of all the writers who have appeared in their Author's Series and it was really special to see my brick! What a great idea! And a great series!

On Thursday I spoke at an Author's Tea, which is a wonderful library fundraiser. i was delighted to take Gogo with me, and share cucumber sandwiches and macarons as well as lots of good cheer.

On this beautiful day, one of my favorite Libras (see last post) and I are shopping for her birthday dinner and then spending the afternoon making our famous bolognese ragu. Much food, wine, and friendship is on the schedule for this evening when we share that bolognese with a dozen other people!

I am treating myself to the gorgeous yarns from Purl Soho to knit up their Whitecaps cowl, my next knitting project now that the second Mara shawl is almost done! I think the story that goes with the pattern won me over as much as the beautiful cowl:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Libras

I admit that when I was planning my kids, I thought about astrology. I can't help it. As a teenager Linda Goodman's Sun Signs was like my bible. And I have found it to hold true. I'm a Sagittarius. And I get along best with fire and air signs. Somehow I managed to create a family of fire and air: Aquarius, two Aries (Sam was supposed to be a Taurus, which would NOT have worked! He cooperated by coming early), a Leo, and my Libra Grace. Two of my favorite most beloved people in my life are also Libras: September 26 and 28. So Grace coming on September 24 was perfect in the birthday lineup. (She too came early, due date was October 1). September 24, 1996 was also F. Scott Fitzgerald's 100th birthday-- so all around, Gracie had the perfect birthday. 

And as I begin the march into fall, my Libras all having their birthdays, I am relieved I got through that first one. I never know what makes grief rise up and punch you in the stomach. But this year it sure did. I was comforted by family, by shell pasta with butter and Parmesan, by Sicilian wine and blueberry pie and memories of my beautiful funny daughter. 

Now the other Libra birthdays come. Saturday GJ and I will make her birthday feast. We'll make a bolignese that will cook all day. And gather friends around my dining room table. We'll celebrate love and family, and my beloved Libras, those with me and those gone. 

Fall is my favorite time of year. The chill in the air has me browsing knitting patterns all of this early morning, dreaming of cowls and cables and needles in my hands. I can see red and orange leaves in the trees outside my bedroom window. I want to cook and read and wrap myself in a warm blanket. Libra marks the beginning of all these things I love. Happy birthday, to mine: Gracie, Gina, and GJ. Let autumn begin!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Watching the sun rise

On a day like today, when I have to give a lecture and a reading, I still get enough butterflies to wake me up early to obsess about said lecture and reading. But then I get to see this. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief...

Most of you know that is a quote from the ever amazing Mary Oliver. I have spent this morning re reading her poetry in honor of her birthday and it's a good way to start the day. 

I'm here in NYC, listening to my favorite city sounds, drinking coffee, and organizing the work I have to do today--most of which will be done on the train back to RI. So much to do before I leave for Sicily on Thursday to teach at Bread Loaf there. I am super excited, since my last trip to Sicily was kind of hellish. Don't ask. Suffice it to say I left several days early! 

Getting so many good emails and such good news about KNITTING YARNS, my anthology of writers writing about knitting. Non knitters will adore it too! Contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, Sue Grafton, Anita Shreve, Elizabeth Berg, and many more! Pub date is November 11. 

Ok. Work work work. 

But I leave you with this:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First day of fourth grade!

Chocolate croissants in the oven. Purple dress and silver sparkly shoes ready. Lunch packed. School supplies gathered. This mom is going to miss my buddy. But boy did we have a summer together!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back on the grid

September: new pencils, new shoes, school clothes, book covers made out of brown paper bags. For me, September is beginning again. End of summer. I love the chill of fall, the first red leaf, the first fire in the fire pit. I make promises in September. I make schedules. I get back to things I've let slide. I read more. I write more. I start new knitting projects. 

This September 1, I awoke to loud thunder and bolts of lightning flashing across the rooftops. Both kids sleeping under this roof. Gogo's 82nd birthday party of all you can eat chicken at Wright's Farm at noon. 

Seventeen Septembers ago I was waiting for Grace to be born. The promise of fall and a new baby. I remember that every September 1, how full of hope and joy we can be. I steel myself too, for the inevitable memories that overtake me this beautiful month.