Friday, November 14, 2008

JCPenney Catalog

I was trying to explain to my kids the mythical tome of wonder that was the JCPenney catalog when I was a kid. We lived in rural New Jersey. The nearest store with toys was 17 miles away, so to see all those toys, toys there weren't even commercials for, in one place was nothing short of amazing. I tried to explain that even now I can smell those thin, crinkly pages. It is the smell of magic. Of possibility. I can remember going through the pages again and again, painstakingly trying to assign an order to my lust for each and every Breyer model horse. But it wasn't even about the individual toys so much as it was about the idea that the world held mysteries and delights beyond anything I could imagine and, once a year, if I circled carefully, they could be mine. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008


November is my favorite month, cozy and golden, tucked between the fun of Halloween and the craziness of Christmas. People come into the coffee shop suddenly craving pumpkin muffins (even though we've had them all year) and pumpkin spice lattes despite the still-warm weather. We long for sweaters and swoon at the sight of hand-knit mittens. It is a month that pulls at our collective desire for comfort and closeness. We snuggle in, settle down, thankful for this time of hand turkeys and falling leaves, cool nights and the warmth of home.  

Friday, November 7, 2008


I didn't realize that I had been holding my breath for eight years. This man fills me with hope. I am proud of us as a country for not bowing to fear and negativity, for choosing a new path. The day after, so many people smiling at each other, some crying and hugging. It feels not just as if we voted for a candidate, but that we chose our leader. I know he is human and he has a nearly impossible task in front of him, but he has already changed our country for the better. Thank you, Mr. Obama, for restoring my faith.