Memoir

The Best Christmas Present

    Jill heard the gentle clinking of ice cubes.  She and Jennifer were snuggled, each in their twin bed, reading.  Jennifer, in kindergarten, was only ‘pretend’ reading her favorite book, ‘Papa Small.’ Dad appeared in the doorway, balancing three Flintstone glasses of Coke in his hands. “I brought you a little drinkie,”  Dad offered

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The Navy Coat

    In November, cold winds blew across Overlook school’s playground. “Time to pull out the winter coats,”  Mother said as she rummaged in the front closet before school one Friday morning. “Jill, here’s your coat.” Mother lifted the dry cleaners’ clear plastic off a clean navy blue coat with shiny brass buttons. “That’s Wendy’s

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The 1802 Fables

  PREFACE (which I generally never read in a book) I wrote these fables for my grandchildren Ethan, Addi, Sophie and Henry Rommel.  Math love runs in the family so titled them with a number.  The moral, or “what’s the point?” is something I noticed they enjoyed discovering when we read Aesop’s fables. These stories

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The Spirit of Britain

Dad served on H. M. S. Glory, a British aircraft carrier, during World War II. He traveled to Deal, England, to enlist in the Royal Marines in October 1943.  This is that ‘last day’ photo before leaving his mother, father,  little sister Ruth, and the family dog Carlos, at 20 Valley Drive, Gateshead.  He was

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The Bathroom at 6105

6105 Abbott Avenue had only, one and three quarter bathrooms.  A family of six, we four girls shared the ‘main’ bath.  The infamous ‘pink shirt’ picture of the Mitchell girls: When we moved to 6105, Wendy and I were in high school,  Jennifer was in junior high and Pam attended elementary school.  I never remember

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Sunday Funday

We biked into the church parking lot this Sunday morning.  I was so happy to be back at church that my eyes filled with tears. I’ve been having flashbacks of Duane’s medical residency, forty years ago, during these last months of lockdown.  We had moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where we knew no one.  Duane was

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“1917”

              I didn’t want to see “1917” because I have two sons, and for a mother, realistic war movies are really horror movies.  I see all kinds of movies but not horror movies.   But with everyone talking about the amazing cinematography, the ‘Best Picture’ nomination, and some of

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We Will Dance

In June 2019 we sold our house with a pool and moved to the condo that had been our ‘beach place’.  We wanted to simplify life.  We turn 65 in 2020.  Duane was still taking care of kids at North Pinellas Children’s.  We were loving our small group and friends at church.  I planned to

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Mother’s Tabernacle

  I couldn’t imagine where Mother could be. She had come to help Duane and I a few days after Mike was born.  The living room was picked up and empty.  Mother wasn’t in the kitchen.  Mike was sleeping in his crib in one of the bedrooms, a rare but quiet moment.  I was resting

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The Mystery of 508

In Spain, every building had windows with Juliet balconies.  A Juliet balcony is a ‘half balcony’ outside a window, like the one where Juliet stood when Romeo wooed her from the ground. “Just like unit 508,”  I remembered. In April, before our May trip, we heard that our dream unit at Driftwood Sands was going

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