Posen

My mom was born in Posen, Michigan, located in the northeastern tip of the state (or the pointer finger of the mitten, for you Michiganders out there).  This village boasts a whopping 234 inhabitants as of the last census, 61% of whom are Polish.  That is the largest percentage of Poles anywhere outside of Poland. […]

The Theatah

There are many beautiful theaters in Detroit, but the Fisher Theatre launched my love affair with the stage.  Laura and I would dress up in our finest little girl duds, and our parents would drive us downtown for a night of music, melodrama, and Jolly Ranchers. There was no greater thrill than walking down the […]

The Mi Hermana Show

My sister is going to kill me for this one… Laura and I should have been child actors.  We were hilarious.  We were years ahead of our time.  We created our own late night talk show, aptly entitled, “The Mi Hermana Show.”  We essentially stole my dad’s camcorder after being super hyped up on too […]

When Val met Joanie

Most kids love to hear the story about how their parents met and fell in love.  Laura and I were no different, and would often ask them to tell us over and over. Me: So tell us again how you guys met? Dad: Ohhh, your mother!  She came to Finney as a substitute teacher.  I […]

Moms

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – From The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver A month ago, my dearest and oldest friend lost her mother to a long battle with cancer.  My newest friend just learned that […]

Grandma’s Advice

My grandmother, Verna, is 97 years old.  She was one of ten siblings born on a farm in Posen, the Potato Capital of Michigan (for you troglodytes who have never heard of it).  Her mother lived to be 101 years old.  Grandma keeps insisting she doesn’t want to live that long but I think she […]

Val & Joan’s Infinite Playlist

I sit listening to my “get pumped” playlist on iTunes, which features everything from Don Quijote to Lady Gaga to Creedence, while my daughter plays with her Bubble Guppy guitar nearby (P.S.  What the hell is a Bubble Guppy??) I wonder what my music choices will do to her psychologically.  This is especially prevalent because […]

A letter to my adopted parents

This letter is for two of the most important people in my life on their 40th wedding anniversary. Dear Camille and Jim, It’s not a coincidence that you were on the same flight to Mexico with Joan and Val, before you even met.  Its not a coincidence that they moved into the home across the […]

Val and the Greek Mafia

Pops and I were sitting having dinner at a restaurant owned by one of his former students, Jimmy, who my dad referred to as a “nice Greek kid” even though that “kid” was probably in his fifties.  As we were sipping wine and enjoying saganaki, he comes with this gem out of the clear blue […]

Uncle Feather

Imagine you spliced the genes of Tom Selleck, MacGyver, and Don Johnson, and placed this superb human specimen in a pair of cowboy boots.  That was my Uncle John.  He was the definition of suave-not smarmy or fake, just a good ol’ boy with a genius brain, a boyish enthusiasm, and a compassionate heart. Uncle […]