A November wind swirls the last leaves on the sidewalk in front of my house: ruffle-edged, yellow gingkoes and pointy red maples. Cooper and Reilly–the neighborhood Labrador twosome–bark to herald me from their corner yard. I pass by with my ragamuffin dog Tati who points her nose into the wind blowing down from Alaska, so they say. I pull my cap tighter. I wonder if my life-long walking friend Linda knows–wherever she has gone in her next life–whether Linda knows that an unseasonable cold has settled in this November.


A tart green orchid, fuchsia at the center, blooms in my sun room.

Fragrant with cumin, lentil soup bubbles.

Grainy snow covers ice outside our door.

A fat Sunday paper waits for me there.

Against a steel gray sky sparrows peck at seed scattered from the feeder.

Snow menaces, so does melancholy.

My ever joy-filled college roommate died in January.

John and I map out grandchildren visits.

In the big Webster’s dictionary, we look up “out of the box.”

Hellebores hide in my garden, late this year.

My boots sit ready to carry me through six more weeks of winter.




This weekend I discovered a remarkable narrated ballet called “A Life Unhappening,” presented by the Alzheimer’s Association of St. Louis. This world premiere of Adam Stone’s work shows dancers representing three generations plus spoken narration. Together dancers and voices tell the story of how Alzheimer’s affects victim, family, and caregiver. The one-act show was warm, engaging, and surprising as Alzheimer’s makes its mark on the arts.