Truth Like the Sun

AFTER MY GRANDMOTHER DIED in 1962, my mom blew her entire inheritance on a red Ford Sunliner convertible. She drove my brother, my baby sister, and my 15-year-old, bikini-clad, sun-seeking self, all the way from Houston to Seattle to visit her mother’s grave, and — ta dah! — to see the Seattle World’s Fair.

Read More

Mom's Place

When I was young, maybe seven or eight, my girls’ club made terrycloth covers, with dog faces, that fit over bars of Ivory soap. When we distributed them to a nursing home, the residents’ naked neediness as they reached out for their silly hand-made gifts – their scrawny outstretched arms demanding that their little visitors enter their rooms and stay awhile – haunted me for the next five decades.

My ensuing aversion – dare I call it what it was? repulsion – to the elderly was ironic because as a child I’d shared a bedroom with my grandmother, the person after whom I was named – Josephine, Jo – and the person I loved best.

Read More

Lessons From Babe

One day Babe and I were discussing why some people we knew were so unhappy and cranky. I asked her, “Why do you think I turned out so happy?”

“Because you take after me,” she said.

That’s when the idea of Lessons from Babe was born.

Read More