tuesdays with maga

every week, every tuesday i talk to my grandmother. she lives in colorado. the more we talk, the more i realize how eerily similar we are. there’s the chasing of sunsets and handwritten letters and calls to say thank you for thank you note and despair upon seeing buckets of snow falling from the sky and wondering how the tiny clouds could hold so much and the exhaustion of winter and the gigantic never ending impossible wish for family to be closer to combat the bone deep ache of loneliness.

could this all be genetic or did she teach her habits to my mother and my mother taught them to me?



a major component of writing is finding your voice, but i’ve recently discovered it’s also a major component of life. hearing it, listening to it, and trusting it are complicated tasks when the world and your family and friends are adding to the cacophony. trying to pick out what’s best for you is never simple, easy, or straightforward, especially when the advice offered is provocative or simpler.

i surround myself with people i respect and like and so it made sense to survey them for help. the suggestions came flooding in and i had to wade past the overwhelming choices, including what i had every legal right to do, because in the end, it was about me feeling safe and secure. after two weeks of holding on as all the emotions and choices and decisions and actions ran the gauntlet over me, i dried my eyes and made my choice.

apparently i’m impulsive when big decisions need to be made.

the debris finally settled and i stepped out into the land of clarity and into a chance conversation with a coworker which revealed she had just moved out of the building next door to where i’m moving to and which is owned by the same people as my new building. her immediate reaction was the opposite of what i wanted to hear, but other than a slight flush in the very hot conference room, i remained stable. i waiting for the eruption or avalanche or tsunami of emotion. nothing came. i knew i’d made the right decision for me at this time and she’d made the right decision for her at this time and i’m moving into a different environment and building than hers so maybe/probably i’ll have a different experience. plus, she has 30 moving boxes she needs to get rid of and i find myself in need of some. the conversation turned out better than it started.

maybe this is also called adulthood?

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #111

2.18.15, in very long line at CVS

man: *holds up card* women are so wordy. we men need few words. we’re simple.

me: yes, you can really see the difference in the “for him” “for her” sections.

a couple walks in. husband: let’s go. i’m not waiting in that line.

wife: you need your prescription. get in line.

husband: *gets in line*

man: *shakes head* *laughs*

wife: i guess i was a bit bossy, huh?

man (to the wife): i’m just having flashbacks.
(to me): i told you we’re simple creatures. she says do this and men are like *nods head*.

me: *chuckles*

man: i’ve got a wife and 2 daughters at home.

me: so you’re well trained then.

oh the people you meet and lessons you learn while running errands!



this winter has granted me quite the education.

snow farms do exist. their main and only crop is snow. all the snow. oh, and cranes and bobcats to move it around.

there are machines designed to melt snow when the sun and mother nature don’t work fast enough.

the colder the temperature, the fluffier the snow.

the term blizzard refers to visibility conditions, not the amount of snow. it just so happens the two usually correlate.

@growingwisdom is a rock star meteorologist who explains in great detail the hows and whys of what he’s forecasting.

in the middle of extreme weather people are a bit nicer. they are gentler and more accommodating as they step aside to let you pass in the skinny sidewalks or point out icy / slushy conditions or wish you a safe journey. the longer the weather stays, the shorter everyone’s patience becomes. the higher the snow piles up, the lower everyone’s spirits fall. the skinnier the roads and sidewalks get, the fatter everyone’s anger becomes.

this article. (link via N’s website.)

i’m ready for an education in sunshine.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #110

*author’s note: you may have noticed my last posted conversation with strangers is #63. self, you say, how did we go from #63 to #110? and i’d respond, i’ve got them all locked and loaded in a word document that may or may not (probably not) see the light of day. i don’t have time to post them all, but i wanted to resume this series, so i’m starting here in 2015…*

1.3.15 (at philadelphia airport)

security guard: miss mumford, hello. hey, do you happen to know the singer of this song?

me: no, i’m afraid i don’t.

SG: i thought you were too young to know. it’s karen carpenter.

me: oh! she has a lovely christmas album. my parents are big fans of hers.

SG: yes, that is a nice album. it’s a shame she died so young and of anoxeria.

me: very tragic.

as we smiled goodbye and i removed my coat, shoes, sweater, bracelet, etc. etc., i pondered the ways in which music touches us all.

the next security guard was also all about the conversations.

him: you have your big winter coat, i see.

me: yup. and i have another one in my checked bag.

him: so you’re from boston. okay, explain something to me.

me: *pulls on boots* okay.

him: they said the snow wouldn’t accumulate more than an inch an hour.

me: and how long is the storm supposed to last?

him: 7 hours.

me: so boston won’t get more than 7 inches.

him: why don’t they just say “a dusting” then?

me: because 7 total inches isn’t a dusting. it’s a fair amount. it’s just not a nor’easter or a blizzard.

with my knowledge dispensed and my shoes, watch, bracelet, sweater, scarf, and coat back on, i wished him a happy trip to boston since he’s got a ski trip scheduled for next week. who knew airports were so educational as well as functional?