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  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Judith Robbins: ‘Now I was the mother’

    Three of my kids and I were driving down I-95 on our way to Shrewsbury, Mass., to visit my mother, their grandmother, whom they called Mummu, a reflection of her Finnish heritage. As we crossed the Piscataqua River bridge and saw the sign welcoming us to New Hampshire, the level of excitement rose. We were […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Coming home to say goodbye

    Maine was in the glorious throes of autumn when the phone call came. I had just pulled in the driveway of my Old Orchard Beach home. It was my sister. “It’s Dad.” She said in an urgent voice. “He’s going quickly. I think you need to come home as soon as you can.” My eyes […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    On the last lap, and heading home

    There’s no denying I’m on my last lap and heading home. I’m healthy and happy, but I know I’m edging closer. I enjoy telling family stories. Mistakenly and often I think my children and grandchildren will find it interesting to hear them. My stories are met with eye rolls. Clearly I am a dinosaur. Thus, […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    The better angels of my muffler

    It was the summer of 1975. I had a summer job in western Maine. With 24 hours off, my destination was Bangor. Homesick, I was hoping my tired Ford Fairlane would get me there. The winter before I had replaced the spark plugs, the alternator, the battery and the brake drums. It was a great […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Dad and an angel, waiting for me

    The Anderson Christmas angel was simple. She was not a store-bought porcelain doll. Her simple starched lace dress held the round head made of wood. Her hair, eyes and slight smile were painted on. Her halo and arms were shiny gold pipe cleaners. Her wings were of gold tin foil. The trumpet she played joyously […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Walking through the woods of memory

    One cold, quiet morning last autumn, I went out to the woods behind my family’s house in rural New Hampshire for solitude and fresh air. It was an intense and emotional week. I’d retuned home to to be with my father and sister to help take care of my mother, who was in hospice and […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    First an escape, then the long trip back

    Growing up in Anson, I couldn’t wait to escape. A nearby Carnegie library proved there was a more exciting world out there. A high school so small it took five towns and two unorganized townships to exist was hardly that bigger world. Even then I was living an Eagles refrain: “I’m already gone.” College in […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    Lobsterman’s wife

    My husband gets up around 4 a.m. to go lobstering on days that the weather allows. By 5 o’clock, he’s down at the boat and headed out of the cove, well before I’m getting out of bed and getting the kids ready for school. Once the kids are off, I head to work myself. I […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    ‘Home’ can be delivered to your doorstep every morning

    There are all kinds of home. There’s the home you enjoy without thought when you’re a kid, the first apartment you decorate alone, and the house you share later on with those you love. If you’re lucky, you’ll have more than one home at a time – a job that feels just right, and a […]

  • Published
    December 2, 2018

    A cat’s rebellion threatens homecoming

    We’d flown since early morning from Seattle’s SeaTac Airport, via Detroit, then Boston and finally home to Portland. It’s late. I’m tired and hungry. You don’t get anything to eat on the later flights. Not even a peanut. Home after Christmas. Our headlights cascade down a long, winding, driveway piled three feet deep with snow. […]

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