This Novel Life

"Live the life you dream." -Henry David Thoreau

Month: August, 2015

Work In Progress

She hides in her car with the heat on high,

The radio blasting memories through speakers

While the rain pounds on the roof,

And tears stream down her cheeks.

There’s nothing but memories left

And questions that can never be asked.

She looks to sunsets for solutions,

But buries her mind in heartbroken lyrics

Hoping for some sunshine between the clouds.

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She loved the way she remembered them

They were infatuated with each other

That summer by the beach,



Enjoying life.

Her memories were her solitude

Reminding her of a time when smiles were endless

Like the ocean,





The Amie Project

We all lose people we love, and in my experience, there are so many things I wish I could have asked but never got the chance to. So, I dedicated an afternoon to asking my grandmother – who raised three kids, saw a good chunk of the world, was a military wife and then found herself raising me in retirement – some questions that I can cherish forever. I also took the opportunity to take some pictures of her house, a time capsule that has barely changed in my life. It turned out to be an incredibly emotional moment for me when I sat down later on and listened to her answers. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into her life.

What in your life are you most proud of? I’m proud of graduating college, and teaching.

Do you have a favorite thing in life? My dogs, and Abby the cat. Animals are very, very special.

What’s your favorite animal? Dogs.

If you could hold on to one memory, what would it be? My father. He was a wonderful person. He was a kind person, a smart person, a very hard working person, and he loved us kids.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory? Yes! At the farm we had an archway to go in the back and you could climb to the top of the archway. There was an opening at the top and one day I was throwing a ball back and forth, and I went down with the ball one time. It was a long way down.

Do you believe in love at first sight? No, no. I don’t think you can fall in love at first sight – it just doesn’t work. I mean you have to know a person before you can love a person, really.

So you didn’t see Papa (my grandfather) and think this is it? No! He came looking for my roommate.

But you went? Because he couldn’t get a date with her, and he says “how about you?” so I went out with him. I guess I wanted to go out with him. I wanted a date, really. He was a nice looking guy.

What’s the first thing you remember about him? That he came to date my roommate. I don’t know, I had seen him up at the campus… I was teaching and he was teaching, but after he went out with me, he called me at work all the time.

Do you have any relationship advice? Don’t fall too soon. Get to know the person.

How do you think he wants to be remembered? As a smart guy, intelligent.

What is your favorite memory of him? When he came back from Vietnam. I was glad to see him.

What about him made you smile? Just seeing him.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A dancer, and I taught dance [at the University of New Hampshire].

So you did what you wanted to do. Yeah.

What was your favorite family tradition? Thanksgiving when I was growing up. My mother always cooked. And Christmas… seeing my kids faces when they opened all their presents.

Do you have any regrets? Probably quite a few. I don’t remember one, though.

How do you want to be remembered? As a sweet grandmother. A kind person, I guess.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life? Be yourself. Be honest, and be good to people.

A Life In A Moment

She clung to her memories because they wore rose colored glasses,

To let her see the moments where she blossomed

And loved relentlessly and laughter was abundant.

He was the beach and the sun and the salty air

He smelled like home

And his smile was her weakness

When he put his arm around her and the world was safe.

It was easy to pretend that they would always exist for one another,

In a candy coated bubble somewhere high in the clouds

A place where she was entirely his and he was entirely hers.

What broke her heart was that moment couldn’t last an eternity.

But even in a world that was messy and imperfect

She could always climb into her heart and exist in one day

Where his words and his smile would play on repeat.