I’d Rather Take the Elevator

It’s said there are seven steps (or maybe just five, if we’re being efficient about it) and I walk them like a familiar boulevard.

Loitering under the awning of denial, keeping myself from crossing the street to the dressed- up windows of bargaining; I hold bags in one hand, my hope in the other and stroll down the cobblestones eager to hear the tell-tale jingle on the door of acceptance pierce the air.

I used to think of this journey as a flight of stairs, leading me up to the light, but maybe Springsteen said it best after all, “one step up and two steps back.”

Eventually I’ll get there.


100 Word Challenge.jpeg


Velvet, you’re on my mind and in my heart. I am sorry for your loss.

This week’s  100 Word Challenge prompt is Stairs.

On The Eve of Kindergarten Graduation

Dear Giovanni & Jacob,

I have a lot of favorite quotes but the one that sits at eye level while I plug  away at my desk is one I found on a plague inside a magazine before you were ever born.

“Impossible is not a definite…It’s a dare.”

I have always believed you were the result of a dare. A bet I made with God, the universe and my own body that resulted in a conception, pregnancy and your existence in the world that I still stutter over and find hard to believe.

For the years before you came into my life I had grown used to bargaining with the fates for a variety of things. I was an open hearted optimist but I was also unlucky. It seemed that things always worked out but never in the way I had ever expected.

So when infertility took hold of my life and threatened my sanity and tenacity I dug deep for the hope I had held in reserve.

Optimism, I learned, is nothing without resistance.

For there is always something that will push back as you push forward.

My body resisted unassisted pregnancies, my ovaries resisted Clomid, my skin resisted needles and my own mind resisted as I sat staring at the picture of two small embryos, perfect in every way that would be deposited in my uterus.

The image offered no guarantees, only the universe and finally the doctors that asked about transferring both.

I dare you.”  They seemed to say.

My whole pregnancy dared me.

Defied me to simply stay that way from the moment we realized you were twins, onto the everlasting nausea followed up by the unexpected (and terrifying) bed rest to your arrival at 35 weeks happy, healthy and whole.

And through it all I knew I was playing a game of chance; rolling the dice, betting on the house, taunting my luck.

Tomorrow you are going to graduate from Kindergarten.

There are a lot of parents around me that are lamenting their babies growing up too fast, begging the universe to let their children stay little a while longer.

I am not one of those parents.

While I love you with my whole heart, I have never asked life to slow down a little for me when it came to you. Sure, I am genuinely surprised when I realize how tall or articulate you’ve become and  it scares the pants off me to know that you are smart and capable of things, it even confuses me to come to terms with you being old enough to move from Kindergarten to First Grade.

But I, in no way, wish for anything but what we have.

I told a fellow mommy yesterday, “Well if I was wishing for that it means I’m not grateful for what I have. What is the alternative? Children who stay six forever? There are other people who are going to be parenting children that will stay six either mentally or physically or both for a lifetime. There are others who never got to be called “mommy or daddy” or lost their children well before six. Nope, I said, I’m happy right here and now, with the boys I was so lucky to be given.”

Throughout this year we met new people, we participated in new activities and we established a new routine. And with each new transition we adjusted and learned more than we could have if we had stood still, afraid to move forward or allow change into our lives.

And the world dared us anyway.

We suffered a crushing loss; we have been tested in ways that could have broken us a family and yet we are here. Maybe it’s pure laziness or even the act of merely letting life take us where it will without a lot of push back, but I’ve found that it’s  in those moments that I feel fully present because I am not fighting the dare.

I have seen you grow, change, accept and test the boundaries so much this year that I know my eyes will tear and well and spill over tomorrow night as I sit in church and realize that you’ve finished another milestone and are ready for the next one. I am not ashamed of those tears for they are born of gratitude and pride instead of lament or denial.

I know that tomorrow is just another first step toward another first step on your way to your dreams.

Remember nothing is impossible (and that you come from a powerful place of defying the odds)

Now go get them, my beautiful boys.

I dare ya.



 a post based on the word “dare” 

Mama’s Losin’ It
and linking up with Mel and Michele (two of my favorite ladies) for 
Ketchup with Us



I viewed your life through a peephole, sneaking glances by pressing my eye up to the slit.

So that when the box that held you came to a stop at the altar my knees buckled for all I didn’t know.

I had captured moments like a shutter falling, unaware of what vignettes would frame the final picture.


A decade apart

A gender difference

Your puffed exclamations that I was more mother-hen than sister-friend


But oh how I loved you.



Without exception.

And now  as you dance and dream your days away, safe in the arms of the universe,  I envy your unobstructed view.



In loving memory of my brother, Benjamin Kovaleski



100 Word Challenge writing prompt

This week’s word with Velvet at Velvet Verbosity is



and my girlfriends Mel and Michele  have a new


Ketchup With Us

I’m linking up with them too today.

Daily Declaration (Trifextra)




It’s been a very long December. Maybe you’ve been wondering where I was.

If you haven’t heard yet, my baby brother Ben passed away suddenly on Dec 10th (he had been on life support after a massive heart attack on Dec 6th but we were waiting to donate his organs).

I haven’t been writing or thinking lately.

Just breathing.

In and out.

We celebrated Christmas this year in a bittersweet way, taking time to reflect and reminisce, hurt and begin our individual healing.

One of my gifts was a bracelet from my niece that took my breath away with it’s symbolism and message.

“Love this life.”

So simple.

Be present.

Be yourself.

Love this incredible life you’ve been given.


That’s my resolution this year, to be grateful, each and every day, for the life I am living.


(I am ever so grateful for all the love, care and support I’ve being given from every corner of the world. I am overwhelmed and comforted by all of it. I am loved and by extension the memory of my brother is one of love. THANK YOU so much for that)



Michael Hess inspired us with his three word New Year’s resolution – just be nice.  We’re asking for your own resolutions in just three words.  Make it count; we’ll be checking back in come 2015. – See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/12/trifextra-week-ninety-nine.html#sthash.rajh8XAe.dpuf

Michael Hess inspired us with his three word New Year’s resolution – just be nice.  We’re asking for your own resolutions in just three words.  Make it count;  we’ll be checking in come 2015. –

Michael Hess inspired us with his three word New Year’s resolution – just be nice.  We’re asking for your own resolutions in just three words.  Make it count; we’ll be checking back in come 2015. – See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/12/trifextra-week-ninety-nine.html#sthash.rajh8XAe.dpuf


We’re asking for your own resolutions in just three words.  Make it count; we’ll be checking back in come 2015. – See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2013/12/trifextra-week-ninety-nine.html#sthash.rajh8XAe.dpuf



Heaven’s DJ {Haiku Friday}

Haiku Friday

The bartender’s voice

Announces the hour and you

Spin one more dance groove.

Glasses raised high, they

Toast your entertainment, with a

Tumbler of the GOOSE.

Even as your light

dims, Your life still sparkles in

neon and backbeats.

Your music muted.

There will never be

Another quite like you now.


On December 10th I said goodbye to my baby brother at the tender (and very unfair) age of 34.

This is the first of many, many, many writings I know will come out of my grief.

My brother was a pharmaceutical rep by day and DJ Benny Beats by night.

His one true wish, his dream was to entertain the masses.

Thank you for letting me share a small piece of him here.

RIP my beautiful baby brother

Benny Beats2

Linking with my friends Tara of Thin Spiral Notebook and Lou for Haiku Friday.

Got the World on a String {Write on Edge/Trifecta}

My life is made up of moments;

small pinpoints of light where love and loss seeped in,

Eking their way past the rocky palisades of my best intentions,

until they transformed me.

I suppose I could have settled; waited for something (someone?) to pluck me like an ember from the fire,

while I silently smiled and blew on the fingers to stem the sting of the burn and called it (you?) savior.

But in every moment I chose, instead, to turn and unleash the lexicon that would unfold my soul, reveal my true nature, demonstrate my spunk.

And I was rewarded.

Tiny fingers wrapped around the finger that a silver band encircles.

My name whispered in a hallowed voice that drifts in and out of my dreams.

And within my life, my people; some blood,  so many others not; seep and eke and pour until I am full, teeming with gratitude.

My life is made up of moments.




In this season of Thanks, Giving and extreme Gratitude I had two prompts from two writing communities that I am humbled and honored to write for each week.

Write On Edge:

 my home, my light, my north star of writing 

THANK YOU for the opportunities and support you offer me.

and Trifecta

thank you inviting me in & allowing me back week after week.

asked us to give them 100 words on GRATITUDE (I might have gone over…oops 😉 )

Trifecta’s word of this Thanksgiving week is


3: to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly 


Wishing you all a grateful Thanksgiving, from my family to yours.

A Glimpse of Me {Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday}

I brought Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday over to my fiction blog this week because there is an important post on The Kir Corner about Thanksgiving, Helping Hands & Hearts and Being Awesome. Once you’re done here, I’d love for you to visit that post and do what you can to make sure families in need have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.



Now onto the Countdown. (Wait was I just channeling Casey? )

This week Jen has said, “Free SPIN!” “DEALER’S Choice!” “You MAKE THE CALL!”

and for a day or two I gave it a lot of thought.

Themes, genres, how much VANILLA could you take?

But in the end, I turned my iPod in the kitchen and I wrote down the first six songs that played on Shuffle.

How I go from Pop, to Dance, to Ballads in the space of 20 minutes of so.

Songs that rev me up, dance me around the kitchen and then bring me to hot salty tears. New songs making their melodies on my heart, old songs bringing me sweet (most of the time) memories.

I’m naming this  Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday mix:
Glimpses of Me: 


My Skewed View


Oh my lady P!nk, if I’m not playing her, Adele is playing instead. This is a song from her newest album, THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE and I count it among my favorites. This is the song that I bang on the counters to, the one where I channel gracious anger and of course when she sings “F*&% it, take everything!”  it’s my favorite part.


P!nk : Timebomb


The smooth voice of John Legend. My husband tells me (often) that he really thinks there is a very soulful, spiritual and opinionated (and beautiful!) black woman inside me. Maybe a past life? Because Patti LaBelle, Aretha, Whitney, and John Legend?…oh my, I do love those harmonies and melodies.

This is recent song from a recent movie (that John Legend did not appear in) but it doesn’t matter, this song makes me feel sexy and soulful.

John Legend: Tonight (Best You Ever Had)

So Sirius/XM radio is the reason I know about Gin. One song and I was hooked, have downloaded her albums and just love her voice. She reminds me of Adele, Duffy, a British P!nk and I love those women.


This song is just 3 minutes of fun and rhythm and snark. I love snark.

Come for the lyrics, stay for the horns (OH how I adore horns!) in the second bridge.

Gin Wigmore: Man Like That

So I’m in my 40’s. (Can you tell?) I was raised in a house with a radio on and car with a radio on at all times. So this song by Poco brings me right back to 38 Spring Street.

Plus after after these years, my heart still squeezes at:
and the river she rises

just like she used to do

she’s so full of surprises

she reminds me of you. 

Go ahead, take your own trip down the Pontchartrain.

Poco: Heart of the Night

This is one those songs, from the moment I heard it I felt a connection. The lyrics, the opening sequence, the magnificent voice of Brandon Flowers…so much to like about this song.

Maybe we all just are Runaways…


The Killers: Runaways

I can’t tell you how I came to know and listen to Jeff Buckley, my memory is hazy, but if you listen to him you know that when he left this world (too soon, too early) a light went out for all of us.

This song? Wow, there are really no words for how I feel about this song. Sometimes when it comes on, I have to sprint across the kitchen and shuffle past it, or if I’m in the car I have to press skip and other times I let the emotions and lyrics of this song just overtake me. I have an enormous emotional response to this song every single time I hear it.

Some songs are like that, I don’t even know where those emotions come from, but when they do…I have been known to cry, to sob for 3 minutes.

Let me know how you feel about this song after you’ve listened to it. I’d love to hear how it affected you.

Jeff Buckley: Everybody Here Wants You



So that’s it, the first 6 songs that my iPod played.

I can’t wait to see what all of you have in store for me this week, I’ve been finding and listening to so many good songs because of this blog hop. Again, thank you so much for letting me join the “chorus”.

Thank you for visiting !

Lessons in Her Lap {Trifecta}





I had long outgrown her soft, comfortable lap but it didn’t stop me from folding myself into it, sinking into the crisp scent of peppermint from a favorite candy that clicked against her false teeth while she soothed me, stroking my blonde curls with gnarled arthritic fingers.

“Babci!” I wailed.

She rocked me, shushing my sobs, ” nie płacz, dziewczynka*, it will be okay.”

Sliding the babushka from her head, it became a delicate hanky she used to wipe the tears from my swollen cheeks.

“Oh dear,  how your heart hurts with love, but it will not break. Not today.”



Trifecta is celebrating it’s 99th post

and it’s community judged this week.

Taking a page from the Oxford English Dictionary we were to pick a word & give you 99 words.

The first word reminded me of my late Great-Grandmother who I called Babci (Polish for grandmother).

* nie płacz, dziewczynka is ‘don’t cry , baby girl‘ in Polish. 

Any Given Saturday 1976-1988 {Trifextra}


Music would always have its way with me during Saturday morning chores.

Under my parent’s watch I dusted and danced.

And I would learn when to rock the boat, and when not to. 




Trifecta this weekend: 
This weekend, we want you to give us a 33-word time travel story.  We don’t usually tell you what to title your piece, but we’d love it if you could title it with the year/date that you choose.

I will give not give a huge back story. I will say that this song always reminds me of my family, that my father LOVED music and our house was always filled with it. I grew up in a house that was full of love and sometimes full of violence, a place that offered me care and pain in equal amounts during any given year. I am  also an unapologetic admirer of all pop music of the 70’s and 80’s.

Thank you for coming over to read, HAPPY WEEKEND! 

lechuga.erica@mailxu.com buchmann.rmg@mailxu.com
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