Summer of Love

There was a period in my early adulthood — just after college until I was right around 30 — when every year, I could count on attending a couple of weddings. Like turning pages in the calendar, every few months, I’d decide what suit to wear, whether or not to bring a date (going solo…

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Houses and Homes

Perhaps my favorite quote from any book is towards the end of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: He sat down on a grassy bank and looked at the city that surrounded him, and thought, one day he would have to go home. And one day he would have to make a home to go back to.…

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Rachel Getting Married

When I first started writing here — nearly seven years ago — I had little idea about the topics I’d blog about. In a pre-everyone’s-on-Facebook era, I thought that it might be a good way for my family to keep up on things together. Of course, blogging and social media evolved and now I mostly…

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The Girl That Drove to Mexico

When I think of my mother two versions tend to predominate. The first tends to be the Mom of my most recent memories – the last several years of her life after my father had died. She’s the mom that I visited either at home or at my sister’s, or the mom that came out…

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ANOKS: Jaws

I’ve posted before about our family’s weekly summer trips “down the shore” to visit my grandmother while I was growing up in New Jersey.  Every Sunday, we’d fill the car, drive to The Villas, and then head to the beach.   Like most kids, I loved the beach.  I loved playing in the sand.  I…

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Bent Into Shape

I was born and raised in New Jersey.  Now, I am a Californian.  If I look back over the last decade I can observe some changes in behavior that might be difficult to reconcile with my younger Garden State-self.  Things like drinking wine over beer and being able to toss around adjectives like oaky, earthy…

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2009 Favorites — Photos

With getting back from the big trip over the holidays and getting things back up and running at The Aerie, I haven't had much chance to do something that I have enjoyed in the past couple of years — reviewing some of my favorite things from the past year.  Now, I know that in this…

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New Traditions

For months leading up, the Beloved would ask me, “What are your family traditions for being at the beach?”  And I would tell her that we had zero experience with spending a week together at the beach as a family (PLENTY of experience with day-trips) but very little in extended stays.  In some ways, we…

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Surprise Party!

This past weekend the Beloved and I were off the grid (so to speak) and headed back to the Ancestral Betz Home (The Garden State of New Jersey) for a surprise 50th birthday party for my brother and his wife – both of their 50th birthdays are this summer. Surprise! The surprise was orchestrated by…

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Down The Shore

When I was growing up, we had a summer family tradition – no tradition isn’t quite the right word – "ritual" seems more correct.  Every (and I mean damn near every) Sunday during the summer, we would pack up the family and head “down the shore”.  Specifically, we would drive down and visit my grandmother…

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