Spring break passed in a blink

Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash

We had a wonderful spring break, filled with scootering and leisurely picnic lunches and reading whatever we pleased.

And then, too soon, the time to go back to school came. Or, as my eldest says, but homeschooling is so HARD!

This always makes me chuckle, because we rarely spend a full seven hours per day doing schoolwork, which is the amount of time the boys used to spend in school every day. …


Or, happy ever after is no match for midlife crises

“The Lovers,” 1855, William Powell Frith, Art Institute of Chicago (Public Domain)

Sadness and Sassiness: The Pride and Prejudice Sequel

“But, Father…” wailed Charlotte.

“Enough!” shouted Darcy. “I went through this nonsense with your aunt Georgiana nearly twenty-five years ago and I’m not going to go through it with you! Bingley is your first cousin and you will not marry him. He’s an apple fallen far from two most excellent trees and is a wastrel with money. You will not be able to run away with him because I am locking you in your room.”

“I will find a way to free myself, father,” Charlotte retorted. When she was wild like this she looked nothing like her calm namesake, Charlotte…


Are you doing too much reading and too little writing?

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Have you heard this one before?

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” — Stephen King

The idea that aspiring writers must also be big readers is one that is propagated everywhere. In addition to luminaries like Stephen King spouting it, it is hammered home in every set of submission guidelines you read: “Read our publication to learn our tone before submitting.”

But is reading too much stopping me from being a writer?

Are you addicted to reading too?

I love to read. I always have and I always will. When…


Even though she died forty years ago

Photo by Manner Chuck JH News, USFWS on Pixnio.

Hey, Grandma, I still miss you.

Little Sarah. I’m so glad to see you’re not letting your mother give you that bowl cut anymore. Although you were still cute.

Thanks, Grandma. I was cute because I looked like you — so Mom tells me you said. The bowl cut was okay. I grew my hair long in high school and that looked ridiculous too.

You’ve got my thin hair.

No worries, Grandma, I’m not entering any pageants. Grandma? Sometimes I wonder what you’d think of the lives we live now.

What’s to think? Aren’t you just going along doing it?


All of them

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Two Simple Words and the Space Between Them

Stuck to my fridge with a magnet is a two-year-old piece of lined notebook paper. It’s got two words on it: “Negative,” and “Positive.” A simple arrow connects the two, starting at Negative and pointing to Positive.

I look at that picture all the time.

In second grade my son had a long-term substitute teacher who understood him better than any teacher ever had. For lack of a better word, my son is very intense. When he’s happy, he shines like the sun. If he is worried, or unhappy, he wallows in those emotions to the point where he literally…


Because everyone should meet Ramona

Beverly Cleary. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Beverly Cleary, infamous children’s author who was noted for the groundbreaking idea (at that time — the 1950s) of writing books for kids about other “realistic” kids, has died, at the age of 104.

I liked to read a lot as a kid, so I got through a lot of books. I remember a lot of them, too, although perhaps none as much as Cleary’s books that featured the main character of Ramona Quimby. I thought Ramona was wild, in the best possible way. I didn’t know if I actually wanted to be Ramona’s friend in real life, but I…


Take it from the guy Mt. Rushmore is named after

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Due to the pandemic, I am homeschooling my two grade-school-aged sons. I think I’m learning more than they are.

Most of what I am learning is not academic. Although it’s been lovely to have a fractions refresher course, what I am really learning is the joy of finding insights where you least expect them.

Take, for example, a recent Social Studies lesson. My fourth grader is learning about the American states, so periodically we watch YouTube clips on such notable sites as Niagara Falls, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Rushmore.

Watching this video on Mount…


In which I face how much I hate crafting

Photo by the author.

I’m trying. I’m really, really trying to teach the boys some Art, but at this stage of their lives, Art looks a lot like making crafts.

AND OH MY GOD DO I HATE MAKING CRAFTS.

I didn’t, when I was little. I enjoyed drawing (particularly when I learned how to draw Garfield and drew him all over everything, because I loved Garfield and his big fat lasagna tummy), and I even used to make capes and other little simple outfits for my stuffed animals. …


Hell hath no fury like a senior driver scorned.

Image by M Ameen from Pixabay

For a while now my siblings and I have been telling my mother it is probably time she stopped driving. For a while now this has not been going well.

It is estimated that, in the United States alone, nearly 11 million people suffer from age-related macular degeneration. If you’re not familiar with the condition, just wait: chances are good that in your lifetime you’ll either know somebody who develops it, or you’ll struggle with it yourself.

It’s one of those “good news, bad news” conditions: in a way, macular degeneration is as prevalent as it is because people are…

Sarah Cords

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything.” Author of “Bingeworthy British Television.” Fellow curmudgeons welcome at citizenreader.com.

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