When Martha chats with her mother on the phone, her mind often wanders.  She can’t seem to forget how much her mother wants her to be perfect….and she can easily recall every difficulty and challenge they have experienced.  Excerpted from Interior Designs.




When my mother called later in the afternoon, touching base about our dinner plans, I tried to sound perky.  I knew she expected that of me, since all my life she’d been like my cheerleader.  How could I disappoint her by showing sadness, depression, or even just being out of sorts?  I had learned very early to hide my feelings.

So it didn’t take much effort to do it again, as we agreed on the time, and then gabbed for a few minutes about Meadow, about my father’s golf game, and about their vacation plans.  They were going on a cruise, which was nothing new for the two of them.

James and Marie Scott were perfectly matched:  well-groomed, good looking, and energetic.  Nobody would have guessed their true ages, early fifties, since they worked hard to maintain the youthful façade. They had been high school sweethearts, caught out with an unplanned pregnancy in their senior year.  They had married almost immediately, so unless their friends were counting, it all looked totally planned.

All these years later, they were still together, though their parents and friends had secretly anticipated an early demise to the relationship.  In fact, they’d had two more children…boys.

I seldom saw my brothers, who had moved on after college.  Gregory, who was thirty-two, lived in New York, while Jonathan, who had recently turned thirty, lived in Boston.  Both were married, but Gregory and his wife had no children.  Jonathan had one child.

Why was I wandering down memory lane while my mother chatted?  Oh, yes, because I had zoned out on the conversation minutes ago.  Embarrassed, I jumped into a momentary gap in my mother’s chat:  “Hey, Mom, I’m looking forward to it, but I really have to finish up a few things.  So…see you later?”

“Oh, of course, dear,” Marie laughed.  “I do go on and on, don’t I?  See you soon….”

I sighed, and then put my head down on the desk for a moment.  Closing my eyes felt so good after a long day of dealing with visual images.

Moments later, I was asleep.




Front Cover-resized



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