Abby and I sometimes drifted far enough away from home that we felt like no one was watching.  That was, sadly, actually true. Our dad was at work and Mother was in her own little alcohol-induced world, so she did not give us a thought. She seemed to awaken from her slumber, so to speak, […]

The Iron Lady

In her way, our mother was The Iron Lady (and I am not talking about Margaret Thatcher). One of Mary’s ideas on how to ruin Abby’s and my mornings was to make us take liquid iron.  Every morning right after eating some of her homemade barf breakfast, Mary would get out the dreaded bottle of […]


When I was in second grade, a plague came down on our house.  I got the chickenpox.  In those days, a public health nurse came to your house and put up a big sign on your door stating that you were under a quarantine order.  You were not to leave the house and could not […]

The Book of Mary

Mother had a love of books.  She would spend all her spare time reading mysteries, science fiction, or tawdry dime store novels when she was not busy yelling at us.  You would almost always find her in her recliner with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other hand. Her books took […]

Mary’s Insomnia

Mary always said she suffered from insomnia and blamed that for her moods, her inability to ever get anything done, lack of energy and all around nasty disposition.  The truth is she slept on and off during the day when she wasn’t playing Scrabble with Marge.  Many times Abby and I would find her in […]

Mother Plays Scrabble

Mother and her very good friend Marge enjoyed board games. Once Mother had gotten rid of my sister and me at school, she would hightail it over to Marge’s. The first thing out of her mouth would be: Is the coffee on? They drank coffee all day long and sometimes into the night. Next, Mother […]