Living Legend

Twenty-plus years ago, when I decided to freelance full-time, my father wrote me a long letter extolling the virtues of corporate job security, medical benefits, paid holidays and 401(k)s. Not an unusual reaction for a parent concerned his thirty-something offspring had lost her mind. But it was unusual for my father who was always a little too incorrigible for the lock-step of big business.

Different and daring were my father’s watchwords. He worked his way to the top of his profession as a mechanical engineer with no high school diploma. His brilliant mind and unique approach to problem-solving were his keys to success and upward mobility. Continue reading

The Gift of Laughter

mom glamour 1Mother’s Day was beautiful here in Oregon. The kind of day where my mom and I would have headed out for brunch, then headed for the coast, hit the iris gardens, or wandered through a nursery. But my mom is gone, so I had brunch with a friend instead.

Standing in the buffet line, I happened to see a woman at a table in the grip of helpless laughter. She was shaking all over and was holding her hand over her mouth as if her shout of laughter would rock the restaurant. I found myself smiling just to see her. And I remembered my mom, her laughter, her joy in laughing, and her joy in making others laugh. Continue reading