Little Magic

One Wing Down


Out walking the first day of vacation in Vermont, I fell on ice and broke my wrist.  I knew immediately.  At the closest urgent care facility 45 minutes away, I was treated by a hand specialist who performed a “reduction” which I, even in my ignorance, recognized as a euphemism for some procedure that would test the limits of my fragile courage.

Nothing to Wear


Thinking that I’d be caught in a rut the next social function, my wardrobe ever inadequate to the demands, I went online.  There I found a red dress that took up residence in my imagination.  It was spring, not traditionally a red time of year, and I had not gone looking for a red dress. There’s not a single shade of red in my color palette, and I’d come to avoid it, though that hadn’t always been the case.

The Journey of Dementia


dementia image

My sister and I had traveled home to give my brother a break.  We were with my mother at her primary care physician’s, technically a licensed nurse practitioner whose manner is part game show host, part private investigator.  We all love her.  After the good news –physically Mom was in top form — Lynne shifted gears, getting to the real reason we were there.

Our Girl’s Mad Libs


woman in the woods

Up early reading, our girl stumbles upon this: “In truth, few of us have been well-touched.” And, a bit later, the term dysfunctions of touch. Naturally, she starts thinking about the many stories of groping/rape/physical abuse that have been popping up everywhere, about the “dysfunctions of touch” that women, in particular, have endured. The stories have become so common, in fact, that it’s been suggested that the women who step up to tell them may have an ulterior motive/hunger for attention, or maybe that their stories are fiction/just a pack of lies/part of a vast conspiracy.

Closing the Gap




I’m speaking of the gap between upper left canine and bicuspid that first appeared after dental work on a back molar several years ago. Flossing, which had before then had been tricky on account of too close contact, suddenly posed a new problem:  the floss flew through this gap, catching on nothing.  I coped as best I could, relying heavily on dental picks.  Recently my dentist proposed a more thorough cleaning with anesthesia.  After this “good” cleaning, he would build up the gap, restoring favorable relations between those once sympathetic neighbors.  I practically leapt at the prospect.

Dog Walk


crime scene

While walking her dogs with her daughter, writer Lindsay Fleming feels compelled to reveal the scary recent murder in Roland Park.

We left the house to walk the dog at about nine.  The shadows were long, the trees and shrubbery heavy with summer growth, the waxing moon not yet high in the sky. Many of the houses were dark, with neighbors away enjoying the last few days of summer vacation.  As we walked along the park, past the house that will always be “the murder house” to me, where the grandparents had been bludgeoned to death by their grandson, I told her.

Beach House Blues: Sorority of the Beleaguered Housewives



Welcome to Little Magic, a new monthly column that explores the mysterious forces in our everyday lives. Look for Little Magic in the Baltimore Fishbowl on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Some months after I began dating the man who was to become my husband, we spent a weekend at his family beach house.  Though it seemed a harmless enough invite at the time, hindsight reveals it to be an early domestic hazing ritual and I an unwitting pledge.

Mirror, Mirror

Welcome to the first installment of Little Magic, a new monthly column that explores the mysterious forces in our everyday lives. Look for Little Magic in the Baltimore Fishbowl on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

I was always dubious when people told me I had beautiful skin, as they sometimes did in my twenties and thirties.  As a teen, I faced off with the enemy in front of a medicine cabinet with mirrors like sliding glass doors.  Behind the sliders, I kept an arsenal of witchy potions:  pHisoHex, Stridex pads, Benzoyl Peroxide, Witch Hazel.  I could never square my angsty, blemish-worrying self with the apocryphal advertising girl others seemed to see.  If I had a dime for every time, someone said I looked like the Ivory Snow girl back then, I could have bought a chocolate bar.