Questions and Answers

img_7775About three weeks ago, the question of what it means to be an American moved to the forefront of my mind and stayed there. It can no longer be compartmentalized; it cannot wait for the moments when I read the news, discuss the election, visit landmarks or watch a Presidential debate. It does not wait for my children to go to bed. This question interrupts my sleep and creates ripples in my days, constantly intersecting with two other questions: What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be human?

The shift happened in late September, and is now my new normal. This is a change that will not be settled on November 8th. I remember the weekend when this shift occurred vividly. It is hard to forget a ruined rug, a dead rodent and the moment you look at your daughter and realize her identity and her future are on the line. Continue reading

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Handmade

IMG_6041Dedicated to my mother and grandmothers. Happy Mother’s Day.

Through all of life’s changes, my mother knits. She knits in waiting rooms during doctor’s appointments for her elderly parents and in-laws. She knits in hospital chairs alongside my sister or me after the births of our children. She knits when she has quiet time to herself, when no tethers, young or old, are pulling on her.

When my mom first started knitting again, reigniting a hobby she learned as a child from her grandmother, Mary, she had no grandkids. It was as if a factory had opened and we, her four children and our spouses, were the only customers. Suddenly I had scarves of many colors, mittens, ponchos, wraps, and hats; one made of something called Fun Fur. Continue reading

Ruth Nichols: A Little-Known Story in Honor of Women’s History Month

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Ruth Nichols with her plane, a Lockheed Vega, in 1931. Photo Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute

 

Dear friends,

I wrote this article about a Rye native, Ruth Nichols, in honor of Women’s History Month. It is published on the Rye Historical Society’s blog, Rye Stories, but I thought I’d share it here, too. Ruth Nichols changed our world and demonstrated that women can accomplish incredible things. I hope you enjoy learning about Ruth Nichols as much as I have!

Warmly,

Alison

Ruth Nichols: Rye’s Aviatrix Flies High

 

Finding David Bowie

berliner-fernsehturm-reservierungI wrote this piece following a recent trip to Berlin and left it for a while, but when David Bowie died two weeks ago, I revisited it. I didn’t know David Bowie personally and he has many more dedicated fans than me, but I love his music and what he gave us. As an icon, he taught us that talent can permeate many art forms, from music to film and fashion. He showed us that beauty transcends gender lines, and that music tells many stories. Here is my David Bowie story. Hopefully some of you might put Berlin on your bucket list, too, and rediscover some part of history.

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Fly Away Home

IMG_3487Sometimes I have to travel halfway around the world to appreciate home. With three young kids, I feel like I live in a state of constant motion; moving, making and doing all day but not really producing much other than a couple of school lunches and a few changes to the to-do list. Sitting still is now a luxury.

I love my life with my children and my husband, Rich, but sometimes our lives look and feel completely out of sync. Rich longs for more time with the kids and fewer flights and meetings pulling him away. I see his passport with its crumpled, thick pages, filled with stamps from business meetings all around the world, and fight back the envy. Mine is crisp and clean, sitting in a box with other important documents that rarely see much use. I fantasize about a little more time to myself, even if it means sitting next to strangers, dealing with security and eating airline snacks. I would gladly fly to Milwaukee or Cleveland, two of Rich’s current destinations, for a few waking hours without hearing the word “MOM” echoing through the house.

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