Life as a Classroom

As Sister Mary Fidelis firmly pressed the edges of a gooey, 5-inch-long strip of electrical tape to my lips, she screamed, “Jackie, how are you ever going to learn anything if you’re constantly talking?”

It was 7th grade, and the Wicked Witch of the Convent had slapped her signature solution for excessive chattering across my 13-year-old mouth. Shortly after that, with a flick of her long black veil, she twirled and headed on to the next unsuspecting student, her mission to achieve total silence and […]

A Mother’s Love for her Children

Looking more like an overstuffed mushroom than a petite 17-year-old girl, blubber oozed over the sides of my Montgomery Ward bell bottom jeans. This new style of the 1960’s was supposed to have a slimming effect, but at 5’5” and 170 lbs, modelesque I was not.

“What do you think?” I asked my mom as she gazed lovingly at me.

“Oh, honey. You look beautiful.”

Several years later, I realized my mother was a liar.

Pouring through old family photos, I was horrified to see that during those […]

In Praise of Birthdays


On a cold, dreary December day seven years ago, I was having coffee with my dear friend Twinkie Lyman, at our local Starbucks. Letting out a long and disillusioned sigh, I began to cry the blues regarding my upcoming 50th birthday. Menopause had crept in years earlier, but I felt my youth truly slithering away with the onset of this momentous age.

It was becoming harder and harder to look at the image in the mirror. Where there was once smooth skin, fine lines, along with […]

Brain Dead

Have you ever walked into a room on a mission only to find you have no idea why you came in the first place? For me, it’s a constant battle. My blind eyes never see because my glasses are lost on top of my head. The car won’t start because I’ve misplaced my keys usually in the black hole I call my purse, and my four children are close to disowning me because I tell them the same story over and over. But my […]