Marcia's Daughter

Navigating Middle Age and Beyond

Judith A. Ross

Judith A. Ross
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
March 21
I am a contributing writer and columnist for Talking Writing, an online literary magazine, have been a regular contributor to Harvard Business Online, and am the former Senior Research Writer at the Center for Effective Philanthropy. My byline has also appeared in Harvard Business Review and numerous publications at Harvard Business School.


JANUARY 29, 2012 7:04PM

Marcia's Daughter has a New Name!


Please follow me at my new blog, Shifting Gears.


I look forward to seeing you there!


Judith  Read full post »

DECEMBER 25, 2011 3:20PM

The Gift

It was late, almost midnight, on the Friday before Christmas. Our family was all together in the car, driving home after a fabulous meal in Boston. It had been a memorable evening.

My younger son works at Menton, a Barbara Lynch restaurant. That evening, we ate at the sister restaurant located… Read full post »

DECEMBER 11, 2011 3:53PM

Shifting Gears: When a Spouse Retires

At the last minute, on a rainy Thursday, my husband suggested that we go into Boston to visit a favorite museum. With this seemingly innocuous request, my personal tectonic plates began grinding away. Thursday is a work day. I should be at my desk writing, not wandering around a museum like… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 29, 2011 11:30AM

Finding Pollutants in Unexpected Places

As a first-time mother-to-be I was acutely aware of the environmental toxins around me. I’d cross the street or take another route altogether if I saw someone spraying their roses or a lawn service truck parked between me and my destination. Those little yellow flags at the edge of a lawn… Read full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2011 3:00PM

Why I Joined Moms Clean Air Force

A few weeks ago, I watched my 25-year-old son head out for a job interview. Dressed in crisp grey slacks, a shirt and tie, and some shiny new shoes, his face glowed with optimism. If he gets it, this job will keep him busy for the next few months until he… Read full post »

In late September I joined two other women in Vermont to help clean up the mess left by Hurricane Irene. My friend, Kathy, who grew up in Vermont, organized the trip and her friend Sue also joined us.  On an almost balmy Sunday night, we arrived at the sweet little cabin… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2011 1:31PM

Lessons from a Good, Old Dog

This morning, after Irene, the slight chill in the air reminded me that fall is coming. As my puppy and I took our morning walk through the local woods, I began thinking about my yellow lab, Hobbes, who died almost a year ago.

We knew that at 15, we wouldn’t… Read full post »

This song is going through my head these days.


The soundtrack started up when I was out walking the dog and I saw my teenage, bikini-clad neighbor washing her car. "She’s saying good-bye to it," I thought. "She’s getting ready to leave for her first year of college."

This was…

Read full post »

AUGUST 8, 2011 1:38PM

Driving Through Maine with Adele

Road trip! Those two words never fail to bring back the first vacation my husband and  I took together. We’d known each other less than a year when we set off on a three-week camping trip that took us up the East Coast and west through Canada into his home state… Read full post »

MAY 8, 2011 9:59AM

Remember to Laugh

After 39 years, its her laugh I struggle hardest to remember. If I concentrate long enough, I can just make out its music. She loved to sit at our kitchen table drinking coffee and laughing with her friend Rolande.

Her smile is easier. At least I have photographs for that.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 19, 2011 11:07AM

The Stuff We Keep

Has anyone seen our birth certificates? My husband needs them to prove our birth dates to his company. After working there for 32 years, he is retiring in June. The search for these pieces of paper has taken me to the bottom of drawers and into file cabinets I haven’t examined… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2011 3:18PM

Puppy Love

 As I write this post, our new puppy is fast asleep in her crate. She wore herself out playing with the puppy next door. 

I began my first long-term relationship with a dog 15 years ago on a cold January day like this one.

Back then, dog shelters didn’t… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2010 12:02PM

Bucking Reality: Portraying Cancer on TV

Okay, so I know lots of folks on Open Salon have already voiced their objections to “the big C,” which aired on Showtime last summer.

I just finished viewing season one with my husband last night. And while I agree that it does not realistically portray what it’s like to have cancer… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 26, 2010 3:04PM

Attention Please!

While I have always been a bit of a daydreamer, in the olden days, before the Internet, I was more able to stay focused on the task at hand. Ever since the advent of email, instant messaging, and web surfing, staying focused has been a lot more challenging.

This inattention has spilled… Read full post »

OCTOBER 23, 2010 2:32PM

Artifacts II

  The Old Lakota Was Wise...


The Old Lakota was wise....

He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard

he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things

soon led to lack of respect for humans too.


Read full post »

“You don’t feed me enough,” I joked to my husband last night as my stomach loudly and persistently announced itself. Apparently the dinner of homemade soup and bread I’d made wasn’t enough. We needed dessert.

"Karen Edwards’s Version of Buttermilk Cocoa Cake" from,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 5:44PM


One of the benefits of being unemployed is that you have time to make connections between seemingly random events and ideas.

This morning, for example, an article about condo glut in Florida drew my attention. The comment from an angry Floridian about cows grazing just a few years ago on land that… Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2010 4:17PM

Marcia's Daughter

Why "Marcia's Daughter?" Quite simply, I miss my mom. She died when I was a teenager. Her seat was empty at all the important events in my life: high school and college graduations, my wedding, the birth of my two children. She never met my husband, played with my kids, or… Read full post »

AUGUST 15, 2010 11:50AM

Walking and Talking with Girls

Lily and Hobbes

A couple of Sundays ago, my friend Kathleen and I went for a walk with her dog, Lily. The Sunday dog walk has been a routine of ours for years. Kathleen lives on one side of the town woods and I live on the other. We often met halfway, me… Read full post »

Are we expressing our displeasure more openly these days? Certainly the Republicans are – though they are not the only ones. Personally, I think it all started with email.


The first email I ever received – sent via DOS – came from a perfectly lovely boss I had while I worked… Read full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2009 11:36AM

Office Talk


Workplace communication: a phrase as fraught with the potential for contradiction as any in the English language. Job-related interactions can be as clear as they are confusing. They have the power to motivate us to work harder or make us want to go home and crawl under the covers. And… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 16, 2009 6:53PM

A Mother's Intuition Only Goes So Far

When I hear people argue against a public option for health insurance, I immediately think back to a June day in 1983. I was 28 years old and 35 weeks pregnant. I woke up that morning knowing that something was very wrong: I hadn’t felt the baby move in at leastRead full post »