Category Archives: family

Easter Then and Now

Back then, I wore a new dress every Easter. I usually had a new hat too and sometimes a new lightweight matching jacket. We called it a duster. (I was in eighth grade in this photo, out in the backyard … Continue reading

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An Assassination, Martial Law, and a Revolution, Part 2

  The phone call came at five in the morning. It was my husband’s secretary. “Turn on the radio,” she said. “Marcos just declared martial law.” That’s how it happens, without warning. For the next two hours, my husband sat … Continue reading

book reviews, books, expatriate life, family, Philippines , , , , , , ,

What Writers Can Learn from a Carpenter’s Workshop.

Writers like to show pictures of their work spaces–their shiny or messy desks, comfy or straight chairs, desktop or laptop computers, bookshelves filled with books, plants, and personally meaningful knickknacks. According to Virginia Woolfe every writer’s room ought to have … Continue reading

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Seasons of Love, a Post for Valentine’s Day.

                                    On Valentines Day we celebrate love as it is at this moment in time. But love has a history. It has ups … Continue reading

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2017, the Year of the Rooster.

 The Year of the Monkey is drawing to a close. On January 28, we’ll enter the Year of the Rooster, sometimes called the Year of the Cock. (Funny, they never call it the Year of the Hen.) As the previous … Continue reading

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December 7, 1941: “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy.”

Seventy-five years ago today, The Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it, “A date which will live in infamy.” The following day, the United States declared war on Japan. Three days later, it declared war … Continue reading

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Secrets and Revelations

The allure of secrets. Keep something secret, and suddenly everyone wants to know what it is. I’m thinking now of John Wayne, an actor who became famous for his portrayal of the strong, silent type of cowboy. Watching his movies, … Continue reading

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Aunts and Uncles: So How Are We Related?

  In all the stories my husband told me about his childhood in China and Taiwan and his teenage years in Japan and the Philippines, he never mentioned any aunts, uncles, or cousins. It seemed reasonable since neither of Eugene’s … Continue reading

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Two Maids? Really?

In the earliest letters I sent to my family after we moved to the Philippines, I wrote about all the touristy things: the hot weather, the juicy mangos, the ornaments on  jeepneys. “We rode in one jeepney,” I wrote, “that … Continue reading

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“Everyone” Has a Maid (or Two or Three).

 Back home, I was an independent woman. I did my own house cleaning, washed the clothes, cared for the kids, weeded the garden, mowed the lawn … No pizza delivery for us, no take-out, no supermarket deli food. We cooked … Continue reading

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