Freedom is Found in Different Ways

 Listening to my child sob hysterically on the other end of the phone, I instantly transformed into Mom, the Helicopter Goddess, my alter ego; the warrior for my children’s happiness. With mighty engines revved, I prepared to swoop in and make everything alright.

Two hours later, I hung up the phone exhausted after I successfully completed my super hero duties once again. But as I placed the receiver on the hook, I wondered, “did my mother do this for me?”

Even though I was beginning to […]

Feeling Exposed Can be So Liberating

“Shit!” I screamed as I sprinted down the street in my bare feet. “They’ll be there any minute!”

On that dreary April morning in 2010, I feared that my reputation as a respected Alain Pinel real estate agent would never be taken seriously again. How could I have been so stupid as not to allow myself enough time?

A few weeks prior, I’d obtained a listing on Dartmouth Lane, my very own street. This golden opportunity gave a whole new meaning to walking to work, plus […]

Display of Affection

My mother watched as I sprayed my Farah Fawcett curls with an extra dose of liquid glue. I was just finishing my three-hour glamor preparation for the sophomore dance when she opened her crimson painted lips. I prepared myself to hear the usual, “Oh, honey! You look precious.” Instead, she said something quite different.

“Jackie, when you’re at the mixer tonight, remember – no groping.”


“No physical displays of affection!”

Turning quickly to confront her, the layers of thick shag locks whipped my face nearly knocking my eyesight […]

Come Back as My Children

Waving goodbye to my daughters as they boarded a plane to visit their brother in Barcelona, Spain, I couldn’t help but think, “I want to die and come back as my kids.” Oh, the life they’ve lived.

Back in the olden days of the 1950’s and 1960’s, times were hard. Children in San Carlos, CA, had to trudge ten miles in the snow to school– uphill in both directions and in bare feet!

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a requirement […]

Born to Be

“Jackie, you have to leave,” the kindergarten teacher whispered, gently nudging me out the classroom door. “You’re scaring the children .”

It was 1993, and my baby, Timmy, was about to begin his illustrious school career at St. Simon Catholic Grammar School. Looking like a happy-go-lucky Smurf in his tiny blue uniform, blond curls dancing merrily in the wind, he bravely escaped my vice-like grip and ran straight for the book corner. Watching him fly off to the great unknown and be one with twenty-five other […]

We all Need to be Our Own Advocate

In March of 1973, Los Altos was experiencing the explosion of springtime. Hillsides were awash in emerald green and fruit trees were laden with pink and white popcorn-esque blossoms. The hint of ensuing warm weather brought excitement to city dwellers and one could not help but feel re-born. All except my mother.

Lassie Pearce Madden was an intuitive woman. So perceptive that I often thought she had psychic powers for she seemed to be able to sense the trouble her children were about to get […]