July 2008 was the last time I saw Richard. An old high school friend decided we should all gather to celebrate the year we would turn 50. There followed a flurry of emails the chain growing daily. It included old friends, people I’d barely known and Richard who’d been one of my closest friends through […]

View full post »

  • July 26, 2017 - 10:10 am

    Peggy Gilbey McMackin - Such a well written story Nancy though I’m sorry for Richard.ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2017 - 10:21 pm

    Margaret - This has such a melancholy feel. Friendships lost and lives turned. Your opening paragraph set the tone so well.ReplyCancel

  • July 27, 2017 - 6:52 am

    Danielle Dayney - Nancy,

    Your story is so relatable. I think each of us has those relationships that end so abruptly that we can’t help but wonder what really happened. How do the years slip by so quickly? Then you saw him again and nothing, yet everything, changed. I hope he got the closure he was looking for and was able to get past his sadness. Have you tried reaching out to him?


  • July 27, 2017 - 12:44 pm

    Kalpana Solsi - i think relationships/friendships(most of them) come with an expiry date. it is better to end keeping the sweet memories rather than getting toxic.
    A well etched story of a relationship. Maybe Richard needs help.ReplyCancel

  • July 27, 2017 - 6:58 pm

    Hema - I loved how you’ve started and ended with the same line, but by the time we reach the end, we see Richard differently. Maybe the loss of your friendship deeply affected him. I feel sorry for Richard.ReplyCancel

Dumplings are one of those foods that appear across all cultures and the reason is that everyone loves dumplings. Dumplings come savory and sweet, stuffed and not. Your family might call them gnocchi, wontons, matzo balls, kreplach, kartoffelknoedel, and pierogi or one of hundred of other sobriquets.  Though I grew up slurping Campbell’s chicken and dumpling soup, I […]

View full post »

  • July 24, 2017 - 9:15 am

    Peggy Gilbey McMackin - The dish looks delicious Nancy. Like everyone, I love dumplings. D for dumplings makes it a good letter in the cookery encyclopedia mix.ReplyCancel

    • July 24, 2017 - 9:16 am

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Thanks Peggy! I’ve made chicken and biscuits many times, but this was a new one for me. I’ll definitely make it again.ReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2017 - 2:10 am

    Angel Stew & Devil's Brew - This sounds delicious! I’ll definitely be making this. I have my grandma’s tried n’ true recipe but it’s always nice to change things up a bit. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

This is week two of recipes starting with the letter C.  The recipe for cheese sticks sounded vague. I think if I had followed the directions as written they wouldn’t have come out right.  They needed more rolling and chilling to incorporate the butter into the dough.  I am a fan of southern cheese straws, but […]

View full post »

Three weeks into this alphabet project and I’ve been bested by the letter C. The C-section (I did toy with that as the title of the post)  is very big and the one I recall my mom using most often. It includes Cake, Canadian cookery, candy, canning, casseroles, cheese, chicken, Chinese cookery, chocolate, chowder, cookies, […]

View full post »

As I pulled out of the parking lot onto Passyunk Avenue I saw the sleek, antique Thunderbird convertible. It was black, the top was down, and seeing it flooded me with distant memories. When I was a little girl, maybe four or five, my grandfather, Bud, promised me that when I learned to drive he would […]

View full post »

  • July 6, 2017 - 2:43 am

    Melony Boseley - What a beautiful memory, Nancy! Your grandfather sounds like he was a wonderful man! You were very lucky to have him in your life. XoxReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2017 - 7:13 am

    Danielle Dayney - Nancy,

    You have a way with storytelling. I liked how you kept going back to the thunderbird. It anchored your story. One tiny thing. Maybe move the sentence about your grandfather’s passing to after your last visit? Or remove it entirely. I think the last paragraph will have more weight then.

    Lovely job either way 🙂ReplyCancel

    • July 6, 2017 - 7:20 am

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Thanks for the compliment and the feedback! ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2017 - 1:05 pm

    Michelle Longo - I am fascinated by those moments when something clearly known in childhood becomes fully explained to us as adults.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2017 - 3:32 pm

    Rowan - I love – as usual, for folks who know us – the same thing Michelle does, about the juxtaposition between child and adult perceptions, and how re-examination of what we “knew” feels. Your childhood perception stories always read very authentically, maybe because you don’t fall into the trap of being an adult trying to write childishly when you talk about childish things.

    Like Danielle, I struggled with your last two paragraphs. There’s some *there* there, but it’s not as clean as the rest of the story. I might even just swap the order of those two paragraphs and leave the bit about how you never got the Thunderbird up at the top where it is (or even higher) to keep the slightly empty, faded feel to the nostalgia, rather than trying to build it up as a piece about hoping for things and being disappointed. That’s an interesting essay but I don’t think it’s the essay you were trying to write.

    Your eye for detail can be both a blessing and a curse in your writing – with so much detail and memory available to you, it seems like it’s occasionally hard for you to pull out only the relevant ones and avoid the clutter. Your writing style is otherwise so clean and focused that the reader then struggles a little bit when they find something that isn’t moving the plot along, because they expect the digression to be more important or to circle back to the central theme, when in fact it’s just something else that happened that day that isn’t necessarily part of the same story. (This is me, passive-aggressively hoping the other Yw’ers that do the same thing are reading this comment!)

    Ultimately, it’s hard to write about something most readers may not have experienced – the maid, the expensive car, the country club – without coming off as bragging. You manage that incredibly well, both by presenting it as “this is a thing that child-me just accepted” and by showing it as almost fantasy, a divergence from your daily life like a fairy tale. Linking that feeling up with many readers’ fantasies about it keeps the piece relatable.ReplyCancel

    • July 7, 2017 - 5:16 pm

      nrlowell@comcast.net - Rowan, As usual, you nailed it, this wasn’t quite the piece I wanted to write. I am always grateful for your feedback, it is clear and sometimes I wonder if you have implanted a camera in my mind… Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2017 - 7:46 pm

    AmyBee - I agree with a lot of what Rowan said. I’m a fan and am always happy to read a post from you. The way you showcase your time in your Grandfathers world feels both nostalgic and mythical, kinda how my own memories of my Great Grandparents play out. Your story captures that space that children occupy within the family structure.ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2017 - 9:07 pm

    Asha Rajan - Your child voice is spot on. You don’t veer into an adult rendering of childhood events and that’s a joy to read. It’s something I wrestle with often, so I notice when it’s done well.ReplyCancel

  • July 7, 2017 - 12:02 pm

    YeahWrite #325 Weekly Writing Challenge: Popular Vote Winners and Editors' Picks - YeahWrite - […] an incredibly important detail. You know who really nailed down how kids think and act this week? Nancy, on the nonfiction grid. Danielle’s nonfic line: Mama! Can I make you a mermaid? Please! Please! Please! (the three […]ReplyCancel

T w i t t e r