abyssinia's Blog


Luxembourg, Luxembourg
November 28


Abyssinia's Links

MAY 12, 2014 4:53AM

The True Story of Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a time for breakfast in bed, cards, hugs, and sentiment.  Perhaps a walk in the park, or a fancy brunch, or a special outing to the beach.

Not in our house.  This is more like it:

Saturday, my older son said, in passing:  "I didn't… Read full post »

MARCH 28, 2013 2:56AM


“Time was a film run backward. Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them.”
― Ray Bradbury, A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories


My seven-year-old has been studying… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 2:05PM

Disabilities of the Heart

I swore when I adopted my first son that he would grow up to love himself, unburdened by the voices I still hear telling me I have not done enough, I will amount to nothing, and there are worse things in the world than having no one to love.

His early… Read full post »

AUGUST 13, 2012 11:55AM

Some of My Best Friends Are British

I love the British.  They are absolutely the world's best Scrabble players. And they are so clever and dry.  No one can do sarcasm and  wit like the British.   And no one can do rock, or the Olympics, like the British either.  I mean it when I say that some of my… Read full post »

AUGUST 4, 2012 4:35AM

The Language of Grief

The train was about to leave as we dragged our suitcases into the tiny station of San Vincenzo.  It was the end of our vacation on the beaches of Italy.  How I wish I could wake up every morning and walk by the sea.  I think I would stay more alive then, not drowse… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2012 7:21AM


You can tell a lot about people when you look at the beds they sleep in.  My brother, for instance, economized by having his children sleep in mattresses on the floor.  Frames and box springs seemed an unnecessary expenditure.

For most of my life I also slept on a futon on the… Read full post »

MAY 3, 2012 8:42AM

Motherhood does not sell books

This is the truth of it. Motherhood does not sell books. Sex does. Motherhood no. Over and over again they tell me my books are "nice." Occasionally even "profound" or "well written." The problem? The books are not linear. Translated, this means there… Read full post »

APRIL 15, 2012 1:41AM


Bj fried scrapple on a Coleman stove during our Cleveland Heights camping association tent outs.  The term association was loosely applied, as it was really just 5 families with a zealous romanticism for the outdoors.  What happened to all those famiies?  The superintendent of schools… Read full post »

APRIL 11, 2012 6:35AM

Mute absence

I sold my cello to see the world.  I was 27 then; I didn't think I would ever need it.  I didn't take to the musical life like my talented siblings.  What I remember is walking from room to room in our large aching house in search of a place where… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2012 10:10AM

An expert on not being loved

"Listen to me," I said to my youngest sister, the one who almost died when she was three, but then I called my parents home from their New Year's Party next door and they arrived in time to put a spoon between her convulsing jaws and carry her blanketed to the hospital.  I… Read full post »

The huge plastic container was located in the same aisle as the laundry soaps. Only it was much cheaper than the other laundry soaps. I should have been suspicious at that, but jumped at the chance to save in Luxembourg, the land of 5 euros per kg Golden

Read full post »
MARCH 26, 2012 4:22AM

Photo Shoot

·Bottom of Form 2

·I was the big sister. I used to beg my mother to let me wake up the babies( that's what we called them until they were far beyond that stage) and dress them after their naps. She always got crossRead full post »

MARCH 25, 2012 2:55AM

The edges of things

I don't really know how old I was when I realized I was annoying.  Not as a child.  Then  I experienced only my annoyance at others.  Or in my mother's case fear.  Fear at the sound of her heels click-clacking across the carefully polished wooden floors in that speed demon wa… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 26, 2012 1:36AM

Liberating the wine

In the divorce precedings for my father and his fourth wife, it became clear that my father had indeed broken into  the house in Peninsula they used to share and stolen crates of wine from the wine cellar while the sullen potter woman was out with her new fiance, the dentist. 

"I… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2012 4:21AM

The ins and outs of life

There is an outside and an inside of every life.  I always felt unknown by my family.  It turns out I didn't know them.

My sister, regarded as mad by some, eccentric by many, has also tested with a IQ clearly in the genius range.  Does she live the way we… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2012 12:24AM

Humpty Dumpty

My heart is in pieces all over the world and now I cannot put it back together again.  I see a photo of Africa and it is a knife through my heart.  Perhaps it is something about the light there, or the color.  Or the faces.  But I long for this… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 1, 2012 1:28AM

The things we never say

There are things we never say about my father anymore now that he is dead.  At his funeral we recalled his journeys and his optimism, not the fact that his journeys took him away from us (the absent father) or that in the face of any acknowledgement that his dreams were… Read full post »

JANUARY 19, 2012 7:46AM

This is your life

When I was little I used to enjoy a television program in black and white called 'This is Your Life!'  Typically, the winner of this week's honor was elderly, and often a teacher, it seemed.  Or someone who had hidden influence on dozens of people who reappeared magically to articulate the… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2012 1:40AM

I dwell in possibility

This morning I wept over my childhood.  They say that at the time of death all the images from your life flip quickly over you, allowing in an instant an insight into all that has gone wrong.  Everything you have learned and failed to learn.  Everything you accomplished, and… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2012 5:22AM


I have never been to Rio, or even Brazil.  Or even South America.  But my sister wrote a poem called "Flying Down to Rio."  It is about a romantic tryst (something I don't have anymore).  But when I read the poem I don't think about romance.  I think about my father's… Read full post »

DECEMBER 13, 2011 10:10AM


A friend donated a dozen or so books on space to my six year old son last week, and I lugged them home for him.  That night at bedtime, we curled up with Mercury and the Moon.  My heart sniffled a bit as I realized that at six he is past the age… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2011 2:16AM

Turning 55 on a Monday

Try explaining to your 6 year old, who already thinks you are so old that death is imminent, that he should be nice to you because it is your birthday.  This as he is lying on the floor screaming that you made him eat the wrong breakfast and wear a different shirt than he had… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2011 1:00AM

Arrows, villains, and shields

I am terrified of adolescence.  The sunny child who enveloped me with hugs and kisses when I picked him up at daycare grew into an elementary school child who was too busy with his friends to leave when I arrived to pick him up.  And now he won't even come out… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 8, 2011 9:05AM

Etown Part 4

The wedding cake was white, dry and tasteless, but was frosted deliciously.  The hors d'oeuvres were uninteresting to us children, and we contented ourselves with maraschino cherries.  My younger sisters whined in exhaustion and I was assigned the task of babysitting, a task I relished due… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 7, 2011 12:36AM

Etown Part 3

The rehearsal dinner was full of tall people.  Before then, I thought Randy and his friend Wally were the tallest people in the world.  Wally was Randy's friend from Dartmouth, who came to visit us often on holidays.  He was enamoured of my big sister Polly, a fact I know from… Read full post »