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family

On sibling grief and becoming an only child

On sibling grief and becoming an only child

May 26, 2017 |  Category:   family favorite posts me

Two years ago, on the first Mother’s Day after my brother died, my mom confided in me that she didn’t know how to answer the question,”how many children do you have?” I told her that the answer would always be two, no matter what. It’s definitely a question that gives you pause after losing an immediate family member. At best, it delivers a potentially awkward moment in the conversation; at worst it can catch you off guard and open up wounds. It’s a pretty innocent question after all – to ask someone if they have any siblings – yet the answer isn’t quite so clear for some people, is it? Do I still have a brother? Am I an only… CONTINUE READING

immigration stories, and on being the first

immigration stories, and on being the first

February 24, 2017 |  Category:   family growing up half life remembering

I shared this image that I created on Instagram last week a few days after my grandmother died. She was 94 when she passed away and lived a far longer life than I think anyone would have expected, given that she outlived pretty much all her peers. Still, as ready as she was to go, a death of a loved one – whether or not we are prepared for it – is always hard. We’ve lost quite a few family members over the last few years and the girls have gone to more funerals than I ever have at that age. Death was such an abstract concept to me as a child because I never experienced that kind of loss… CONTINUE READING

the fondest of memories of those we have lost are often found in food

the fondest of memories of those we have lost are often found in food

December 8, 2016 |  Category:   family favorite posts life remembering

Some life events happen in such a way that when you look back, it makes you wonder how the universe orchestrates details that make moments poignant in retrospect. This is what happened this summer when Mark’s dad passed away. But let me tell you first about oysters because this is what I remember most – how he loved them, but also the most vivid memory of eating raw oysters with him in Alaska. I’m sure I’ve had raw oysters before as a child, but just coming out of being a vegetarian for all of my adult life and introducing seafood back into my diet, the experience of eating the freshest, just shucked oysters outdoors in Alaska where he lived at… CONTINUE READING

sunday dinners and kids who cook

sunday dinners and kids who cook

October 5, 2016 |  Category:   cooking family parenting

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mark’s been cooking with the girls for years. As soon as they took an interest and was old enough to stir a bowl of batter or de-stem a sprig of herbs, they’ve been sitting on barstools at the kitchen counter watching and learning how to cook. It’s nerve-racking the first time you let your child handle a knife on their own, but it is a culinary milestone when it happens. When I was regularly broadcasting live video on Periscope this past year, we’d sometimes do these “cooking with kids” videos where the girls would assist Mark on a cooking show style broadcast. I only reference this because it wasn’t long ago that the… CONTINUE READING

that time of year

that time of year

December 2, 2014 |  Category:   family holidays life

When you go through a life changing event, the first holiday season is often like a test. There are many conflicting emotions, so much so that you almost want to just turn them all off just to avoid the clash. I can understand why some people are numb to the holidays; I get it now.   But we had a really good Thanksgiving surrounded by many cousins. The girls love having a lot of family around and it isn’t often that we can all get together like this. Geography now separates many of us, but since our parents are no longer getting together like they used to, we make that effort to keep the family going, just like when we… CONTINUE READING

Upstate

Upstate

October 19, 2014 |  Category:   family life travels

Took a short road trip last weekend and was dazzled by Fall colors on the drive upstate. Just 2 hours north and it was like a different world, particularly since we came home to weirdly muggy weather for this time of year. Driving back home was like turning back the clock as we got closer to the city – greener trees and higher temps, but maybe the perception of time slowed down is ok. You know once Halloween hits it’s an accelerated rush towards the holidays and I’m not in any hurry.   In Ithaca we visited a big farmer’s market which I had never been to before. It was good to go someplace new in a town that has… CONTINUE READING

the golden hour and the end of summer

the golden hour and the end of summer

September 5, 2014 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels

The golden hour is usually stunning wherever you are, but we had some really good ones out West. We ended our trip with a spectacular sunset on the pier and watched the sun disappear behind the mountains (we always try to end our trips out west with a water view and a sunset). Our time out here for me was bittersweet. My brother talked of wanting to move to Seattle in the last few months of his life. We talked about how nice it would be if we all eventually ended up in the same area, all of us old and retired sitting on lawn chairs with our garden gnomes, eating blackberry cobbler. I really wish he had made the… CONTINUE READING

a birthday on orcas island

a birthday on orcas island

August 22, 2014 |  Category:   cooking family life Seattle & the NW travels

These are the sort of vacations that the girls will have fond memories of when they look back on their childhoods: a house full of family, meals eaten outside. This is a 70th birthday to remember – surrounded by family, a surprise Hawaiian dinner cooked by a son and a birthday cake baked in Seattle and transported 100 miles by car and ferry. Deer wandered into our backyard in the evenings and we saw the full spectrum of stars at night. Orcas Island was the first island I visited in the San Juans and it’s still magical 21 years later. It remains one of my favorite places on earth.… CONTINUE READING

Back in washington

Back in washington

August 15, 2014 |  Category:   family life Seattle & the NW travels

Looks like we escaped that crazy, record breaking rainstorm on Long Island just in time. We were watching the weather all day, wondering if our flight would get delayed, but it was on time and we even flew in 45 minutes early, missing the storm on the East Coast by a few hours. I feel like we’ve had some good weather karma this summer, escaping rain on market days when it’s been in the forecast.   The days here in Washington so far have been drizzly and cool. We come in August because it’s usually a guarantee of the best weather of the year. The sun usually shines and the temps are warm but dry, and it feels like an… CONTINUE READING

the summer of loss

the summer of loss

August 7, 2014 |  Category:   family life

This has been a summer of loss. Another member of our family passed away yesterday – a woman who I grew fond of and who–interestingly–grew closer to our family by reading this blog. She used to comment here regularly up until recently when she became ill and would email wondering if I was ok when I didn’t post everyday. After it was clear that she wasn’t up to traveling to Washington this summer as she did every summer where we’d meet, we talked about meeting up in Hawaii instead next summer where she lived. I thought about her yesterday when I read that Hawaii was bracing itself for 2 hurricanes, but I didn’t expect this bit of news quite yet.… CONTINUE READING

nothing and everything

nothing and everything

June 13, 2014 |  Category:   family life

The thing about grief is that eventually everyone moves on, but those who are hit the hardest stay suspended in time, frozen, unable to move. The strangest form of loneliness is felt when you’re out of sync like this with the rest of the world. I listen to music a lot. Sometimes I stare at nothing because I feel nothing and other times I feel too much. But most of the time I don’t know what to feel.   I spent 6 days in California last week, a trip that was often confusing, but necessary. Sometimes with siblings it’s easier to remember how we were as children when we were still living under the same roof than to think of… CONTINUE READING

A Letter to my brother

A Letter to my brother

June 2, 2014 |  Category:   family favorite posts life

Dear Eddie, You’ve been gone now for a week. When I got the news at first, I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t cry and I kept asking myself, why am I not crying? Maybe because I had been preparing myself all day for…what, I wasn’t sure, but I knew something was wrong. They say that twins have a powerful connection and know things about each other, like some kind of empathic telepathy. Well, we’re not twins–I’m your older sister by 6 years, but I knew something was not right. I keep thinking about how I called you on your birthday last Monday while we were driving to have dinner with mom and dad and the girls sang happy birthday to… CONTINUE READING

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