Every summer we power washer sap stains that have pooled on the ground below the pine tree.  It’s a Rockefeller Center worthy tree that stands firm and tall in the northeast corner of our backyard.  For all its majesty, though, it stops the sun from fully warming up the swimming pool.  I clean and sulk, like a baby, wishing to remove it.  Then I remember it’s our protector.  It shields us from inclement weather, reduces noise pollution, and provides privacy from too close neighbors.  So what’s a little cold water in the middle of summer anyway?  Refreshing, that’s what …


My grandfather was an only child, raised by his widowed mother.  Was she indeed a widow?  It was such a long time ago and no one remembered Sinforoso.  He died from a fall in 1903 when my grandfather was two.  I began to imagine hush-hush scandals, perhaps a married man who had an illicit affair?  Just when I gave up, a clue surfaced in  Sinforoso was a widower himself!  My great-grandmother was his second wife.  He had a son from his first wife.  The two half-brothers led separate lives.  One raised by grandparents, the other by an overprotective mother.


2014 came and went but tears remained suspended as if hanging to the corners of her eyes for dear life. Some people complimented their shininess. Others knew they merely hid the pain. Yet Sonia refused to let go of the constant hammering that struck her head. She sensed that if she allowed a tear slide down her face that her head may find needed relief.  Yet, she feared one teardrop would crack the dam that she built so carefully and her heart would float up and squeeze through the gaping watershed. Fearing this, she sacrificed her head to preserve her heart.