the Madonna, revisited

After a long work week, a very long day, and a longer drive, we arrive just before 11 to the dark house. My sister is still in her car when we pull in the driveway behind her. Too sad to open the front door and face the emptiness. But together we go in, and together we begin to sort through all that’s still there.

Our mother made an inviting home for all who visited. A god-daughter stopping by for a luncheon. Her sister up from Philadelphia for the weekend. Dinner parties with old friends and new. Holiday meals and birthdays. All reasons for her to arrange flowers and light candles along her dining room table. My daughter was a summer-long guest while she took on a NYC internship; my youngest son stayed for the whole year after college as he found a job, himself, direction. And always her six coming and going, stopping by to enjoy her hospitality. This, her last home, is imbued with bright sunshine, streaming in all afternoon, as well as reflecting from the yellow walls and warm-toned furnishing.

She was, however, a rolling stone, often on one of her trips. Only in “her pad” (as she referred to her home) here and there. She visited us in Vermont, other children and grandchildren in California, her siblings in Florida, traveled across Europe, exploring the National Parks, Alaska, Egypt, even the Panama Canal. Kept moving that one.

On Saturday we wake early, dash about, reeling like at a garage sale of memories; we pack up the last of her, even though I still see her reflection in the mirror over her dresser as she pulls out a well-worn cashmere sweater from the third drawer. Funny how I can still remember where she kept what, even though her clothes are folded in piles across her bed now, and it’s been decades since I even looked in those drawers.

But now we empty kitchen cupboards and cabinets, drawers and closets, making piles for what goes where, the whole of her boxed and sealed, made ready to be transported elsewhere. How can one laugh while undertaking such a sorrowful task? In my mother’s joyful home, how could one not? So we do. At the end of the weekend, we each drive away with carloads of her, off to our separate homes, carting simple objects made priceless by memory.


What follows this paragraph was posted in November of 2012. For those who were lucky enough to have visited my mother’s home or for those of you who read this blog way back then, I hope this post is a sweet remembrance. For the rest, I invite you in for a glimpse of her home as it was, before, yes, before she was divided into neat piles; for, as we have come to say, mom is everywhere. Indeed.

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Coming Home to the Madonna

Wedding Gift Madonna: 62 years ago

Like 42.5 million other Americans I traveled more than 50 miles “home” for Thanksgiving, and like so many, our gathering was in a different house than the one I grew up in. My mother sold the big family home and now lives comfortably in a sunny condo. Luckily, many of the artifacts from my childhood settled in as well as she has, including her collection of Madonnas.

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First Year Holiday!

If we took a holiday
Took some time to celebrate
Just one day out of life
It would be, it would be so nice

Everybody spread the word
We’re gonna have a celebration
All across the world
In every nation
It’s time for the good times
Forget about the bad times, oh yeah
One day to come together
To release the pressure
We need a holiday … (Madonna, “Holiday”).

Yes, it is time to celebrate, time for the big holiday, Nine Cent Girl is one year old!!! I don’t remember exactly what I thought last October when I first struck on the notion of blogging, but it’s been more of a blast than I imagined! Mostly because of you all, my constant readers, who subscribe and comment and let me know how much you enjoy the musings of ninecentgirl. Thank you so very much for all the love! Continue reading

Dance Party

Are you moved to dance every time you hear a rhythmic beat? And once you’re dancing, your mood lifts, possibilities expand, life just gets a whole lot sweeter? Well then… why not plot a dance party? Every musical genre creates a different mood, but the dance party I’m suggesting is a butt-shaking hip-hopping dance-ball-spinning kind of dance party. 

The following is my playlist recommendations for exhilarating hours of dance:

First on my list is Madonna; yes the Material Girl a forever ninecentgirl favorite. Start your playlist with “Into The Groove” and I guarantee once you hear this one all the moves you busted out in your twenties will rush back. In fact, the whole Like a Virgin CD will start your party off right. While you’re listing one name music icons, don’t forget dear Britney. Maybe her latest “Circus” didn’t smash your doors down, but it’s rocking enough to remind you why she sold over 100 million records during the decade she’s ridden the top of the charts.  Continue reading