“Are you done with it yet,” my girlfriends ask, annoyed that I’m taking too long.

“Hey, no pulling out pages until we’ve seen it, too,” someone adds.

We’re sitting in a circle in our low chairs on our favorite Cape Cod beach. We smell of Coppertone, our bodies glistening from the oil.

This is Labor Day weekend, the saddest weekend of the year. The days are getting shorter, school starts on Tuesday, and the drudgery of schedules, deadlines, sleet, and darkness begins again.

But today it’s the beach and our Labor Day ritual, reading the September issue of Vogue and…

photo by @Sigmund Pictures @Unsplash

The white Honda SUV pulls into the driveway as I’m lying on the couch fake shopping, ignoring the moving “to do” list that never ends.

That’s weird, I think, I’m not expecting anyone.

No knocking. They open the door and come in.

“It’s your sistas here to help you,” they announce, emphasizing the hard-core Boston way to pronounce sisters. No “ers,” it’s “ahs.”

“And we stopped at Lindell’s to get you a Boston Crème Pie.”

“Geeze, thanks. You know I’m OK. I’ve got things under control,” I lie, the empty moving boxes littered around the room.

I am under a…

(Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Dear Melania,

I saw your photo with Barron in The Post last week. Oh my gosh, he’s grown so much! I can’t believe he’s 6’ 7” and only 15. Just imagine what he’ll look like when his growth spurt is over at 18.

Have you found a good school for him in Southern Florida? Does it have an especially good math program?

The reason I ask is because of his hips. I noticed from his photo that he’s going to be a wide-hipped, big-ass guy. From years of observation, the wide-hipped men I’ve known have excelled as actuaries, tax attorneys…

Photo by David O. Andersen on Unsplash

“Is there anything else we need,” asks my sister as we meet at the checkout counter of Publix with two shopping carts loaded with food for the week. “Speak now because this is it. There are no grocery stores on the island.”

“As long as I have whole milk for my coffee in the morning, I’m good,” I say, holding up the half-gallon that I know will last me exactly six days. My sister laughs and holds up a small carton of half-and-half that everyone else prefers. In a pinch, they’ll use heavy cream. But never milk. And black coffee…

New Hampshire Forest Fairies: collage by Lois Kelly

“You know what Catherine Deneuve once said, “It’s your face or your ass,” I tell my old college friends as we sit down for a decadent dinner in the mountain-top house.

Veuve Cliquot and Sidecars with oysters and robiola cheese.

White Burgundy with tuna, asparagus and roasted potatoes.

Apple tarts and vanilla bean ice cream.

We eat. We laugh. We are so happy with this feast and being with one another.

Even though they tried to kill me earlier in the day.

Four of us park in the six-car lot at the back of Mt. Sunapee at 10:30 a.m. The…

The Don of Rawson Pond

The mafia don runs our pond.

But he hasn’t been around yet. He usually lets everyone settle in, fluff their early spring nests and birth their babies in May. Every year I hope he’ll forget about this pond and won’t come looking for his protection payments.

Probably not. The pond’s spring cycle works like clockwork.

The peepers start singing exactly on cue between March 25–28. They have never disappointed me in the 30 years we’ve lived on the pond.

Then come the Canadian Geese, hundreds of them swarming the pond in late March, just after the peeper all-soprano choir. …

“You bring up ideas that you haven’t thought through and you don’t stick to the agenda. Your presentation skills need work, too. You go off script and your hands and arms distract from what you’re saying,” explains my boss to me during the always fun annual performance review.

“Wait, you know Toni, that famous London presentation guy the agency brought in? He loved my style. He even asked me to help him with his business. And you’re criticizing me for my presentation style? Really?” I shoot back, incredulous at this “improvement area.” Sure, if I was being dinged on administrative…

photo by @BekkyBekks

So, what brings you here this morning?

My friend Maria told me I should talk to you. She thinks I’m depressed.

Are you?

No, I’m just feeling kind of lost.

Tell me more.

Well, I have this hunger to wander. To take off without a schedule. With no responsibilities or commitments.

Where would you go?

First, I’d drive up the coast of Maine, get the ferry to Halifax, and then wander through Nova Scotia and hang around Cape Breton for a while. Then, I’d head south to Georgia and get the ferry to Cumberland Island, the place where the horses…

Photo by Ian Cylkowski for Unsplash

The teashop sits at the end of a mile-long dirt lane. One room, fire blazing, with windows overlooking the sea, which is wild and rough this August afternoon.

We are lost in a month-long adventure. No plans, no reservations, no expectations. Just the thrill of walking away from jobs, mortgages, car payments and being free in Scotland.

This is our second trip to the tiny teashop on the Isle of Skye. Today is a celebration of sorts, and we are eating chocolate fudge cake. It is moist, gooey but substantive, soaking up the heavy cream in which it sits.


I see more when I’m alone.

The hooded mergansers on the pond, with their black and white grace.

The old woman’s hair dye, an unusual grey/blue color. Does she do it herself? Does she like the color or is it a mistake?

A middle-aged man’s beer belly, tired bomber jacket, and sensuous eyes and mouth. He must have once been a looker.

The spiked high heeled shoes with the red soles. Who teaches women to walk in stilts? My friends and I are stiletto illiterates.

The vivid green pine needles on young hemlocks. I can’t pass one without taking off…

Lois Kelly

Most happy in the wilder-ness of people, ideas and nature. Joyfully rebellious when rested.

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