Posts by Fleda

My Wobbly Bicycle, 169

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Featured | 13 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 169

  I can see myself in my crib, pushing my fuzzy bunny from one side to the other, to see how it looks over there. I grew up in a very messy house, and I guess you could say that my decorating was to quell the storm. But more than that, I get aesthetic pleasure out of beautiful spaces. We had very little money when I was young, but that didn’t stop me. I painted a bookcase, I put up old curtains I found in a box. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I kept a notebook of decorating ideas. I pored over my favorite magazine, Metropolitan Home. I cut out pictures. I made a kitchen chandelier out...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 168

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 in Featured | 4 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 168

I once took a course in speed-reading. Actually, I also taught it a few times. It was popular in the 70s. The idea was to learn to move your eyes over and down the page in syntactic chunks, to train yourself not to read word-by-word. We used a machine called a ratometer that could be set to move a guide down the page at a set speed. When you finished a section, there was a comprehension test. You had to get a certain score before you could advance to a faster speed.   I guess it made a difference. I’m a fast reader. My eyes can fly over the page, or down the column, and get the gist of...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 167

Posted by on Mar 13, 2019 in Archive | 14 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 167

Last year, the attorney told me that settling my father’s (modest) Trust would not be hard. I understood him to say he could handle most things. What that meant, apparently, was that he would give me a nice, neat three-page list of what needs to be done. Unless we want to spend a fortune on attorney’s fees. I have kept an equally nice, neat file box, 11 items (investment accounts, retirement accounts, etc.) each in its own folder. This is not my area of expertise, for God’s sake, but I thought I had it under control.   Okay, we are going to play Monopoly. No matter where you land,...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 166

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in Archive | 8 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 166

Gray and cold. Very cold, day after day. Reading a lot.   I read Katharine Smyth’s All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf,  based on a short review in The New Yorker. I didn’t realize she would include so much detail about the death of her father. Maybe not what I wanted to read right now. But maybe so. Smyth seamlessly weaves Woolf’s To the Lighthouse through her own story. (“Perhaps there is one book for every life,” she writes).   Both books are in their way about grief. Smyth’s father was a difficult man, an alcoholic, but funny, smart, and...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 165

Posted by on Feb 13, 2019 in Archive | 27 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 165

It was a beautiful day. I wanted to get my father out of his tiny assisted-living quarters. I took him for a drive up the Leelanau peninsula. This is a poem from my new manuscript:   Not Dying   He says he wakes and it feels momentarily like he’s finally dying, a giving way, a sinking or hovering, can’t say, but momentary: a window swung open you don’t realize until a breeze.   I take him for a ride along the tongue of land, west looking east, looking back at the city from a point. Jet trails. He points them out, strung like necklaces, one fresh, with its glint out...

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