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Retirement in Athens, GA

So much to catch up on. I've been living in Athens, GA for nearly 15 months. Adjusting to retirement and living in a new town, indeed different region of the country, has been difficult. New house (selling two houses and buying a new handicapped accessible house); finding doctors and a dentist; change of addresses; registering to vote; new friends. The time has been fraught and all of it complicated by back injuries and pain. Only this past week have I finally knuckled down to work on my next book (I'll fill you in on that sometime in the future when I near publication). The big event this spring was our trip to Atlanta to watch our younger son compete in the Atlanta Marathon. I admit that retirement is a real shift in perspective -- when I read the emails in my Rutgers account I feel so out of the loop and forgotten. But it is also a blessing: no more rush hour driving hassles or heading into work before the midwinter dawn to insure I get a parking space. I also enjoy going to the UGA music school every week. It reminds me of all those Saturdays I hung out at the old Juilliard music school building as a child or the 2 years I spent cloistered in the windowless music building at IU practicing, rehearsing for the next opera production and attending lessons and master classes. And, finally, Peter and I look forward to celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary in May.  Read More 
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Stanley Cup Begins

The Stanley Cup Finals started moments ago at Prudential Arena, "The Rock". The pride of New Jersey, the Devils, face the California glamour boys, the Kings. The Stanley Cup Finals are for a hockey fan the zenith of the sports season. It is the Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup rolled into one. This  Read More 
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42 Years, History & Marriage

My sometime co-author and I are celebrating our 42nd wedding anniversary. I know 42 isn't one of the big anniversaries, not ending in 0 or 5, but 42 is still a large number. Our very first co-authored book, Murdering Mothers (about infantide in England and New England from the 16th to 19th centuries), was published when we'd been married less than a dozen years. We wrote it under extreme conditions. Peter was teaching at OSU in Columbus, Ohio; I was in graduate school at Columbia University in New York City. Long distance telephone rates and air fares were prohibitively expensive for an impecunious graduate student and an untenured assistant professor. There were no unlimited calling plans. There was no Skype. Calls and visits were few and far between. There were times, almost frighteningly, I began to forget what Peter looked like. Increasingly, our two lives drifted apart. He was consumed by teaching and campus politics. I was completely absorbed in my graduate studies and caring for our toddler son. Telephone conversations became stilted. We had only two reference points upon which we could connect. The first was that toddler son I mentioned. The other was the book we were trying to write together, what became several years later the aforesaid "Murdering Mothers." Our tenuous relationship, the very survival of our marriage in those early years, hung by those very thin threads. I have often thought that if we hadn't been collaborating on that book during that period apart we would not have been able to sustain the marriage. Nearly four decades later, we still struggle with separations. And the collaborations -- at least five books and counting -- continue to act as the glue keeping our marriage in tact.  Read More 
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