In 1960 the country was concerned about the Cold War with Russia, but I worried about the hot and cold wars in our household. Pearl was my mother’s housekeeper, and if I sensed a warm ocean breeze floating through the house, I knew Pearl was there. She eased the tension of a household stressed by financial and emotional turmoil, smoothing what vestiges of discord remained from the previous night.

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Porcelain Birds Can’t Be Broken

© Sharon O. Blumberg As a child, I admired my neighbor’s birdbath, adorned with two brightly-colored, porcelain birds. Outside playing with friends, I would eye the red porcelain one resting upon its white platform. I adored watching Mrs. Vitriola tend to her birdbath; she had the sweetest disposition. But my curiosity overcame...

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Big Hairy Deal

We all have aspects of our appearance that we’re comfortable with and other things we are self-conscious about. For me, teeth fit into the first category, hair the second. I was born with thin, fine, stick straight brown hair. No amount of curling, coating, fluffing or fixing has ever achieved a look that allows me to walk...

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God Sent Me Someone

“What’s the matter with that girl now? Is she going to bawl the rest of her life? Tell her to get in here and wash the dishes,” my dad said. My mother had more sympathy. At first we thought I had a rash. Big ugly red bumps appeared all over my face, but when they turned into ugly sores, I could hardly bear it.

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Bunk Bed Blunder

For a full twenty minutes I begged my older sister to trade bunks with me for one measly night. I just had to know the thrill of sleeping in the top bunk bed or die of disappointment. Life is just that dramatic when you’re eight years old.

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Autobiography Of A Pencil

A pencil changed my life forever. I was in eighth grade sharing a class with sixty other students. Sixty students and one teacher – that is the student-teacher ratio in an average Indian classroom. Mrs. Poornima Kumar, our English teacher, commanded utmost respect even among us unruly adolescents. Always impeccably dressed in her...

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