Salamanders

The big plastic bag of potting soil had been lying on the coiled garden hose in the backyard for several weeks, leftover from fall planting. Annoyed at the eyesore of my own making, I heaved it up to move it inside. To my surprise, snuggled in between the green loops...

The Nativity

I carefully opened the worn, thin cardboard box, lifting the clumps of excelsior out, to reveal the crumpled tissue paper. I gently unwrapped the tiny porcelain figures lovingly nestled in the tissue, arranging them just so. Mary, Joseph, the baby, the angel, the...

Sun Dogs

It was late one fall afternoon, and I was frustrated, disgusted and ready to throw my shotgun down. My sporting clays lesson had gone poorly, and I felt like I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. Cody, my instructor, stood patiently behind me while I took a deep...

Halloween

It is Halloween 1959, or thereabouts. The neighborhood of tidy red brick houses under the tall pine trees is like many that were quickly thrown up after WWII when the GIs came home, got married, and started families. We, my older brother Bob, and I, have already raked...

On Call with a Non-Doctor Husband

I’d already been in practice for several years when I married John. I had had years of training in night call, during med school, internship, residency, and private practice. He, poor guy, had not. So, it was a new world to him. It was in the days before call centers...

Polio and an Unsung Hero

Now, here’s a must-read book! Lynn Cullen’s latest book, The Woman with the Cure, is historical fiction about the last great polio epidemic of the 1950s and race to find a vaccine. Dr. Dorothy Horstmann, a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and virologist was the first...