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The Dutiful Ones

My mother is nearing the end of her life. Healthy, active and mentally spry until just a year ago, she is deteriorating at a rapid pace. She remains in perfect health but she is 91 years old. She lives alone in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh near Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral […]

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Gratitude on Veterans Day

In memory of all who served, including my father Vincent Paul Moravec Sr. in WWII, pictured here with his wartime sweetheart, my mom. My mother’s father, Paul Howe of Beaver PA, served in both World Wars. In 1917 he lied about his age to join up and claims to be the first American soldier to […]

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Seven Reasons to Bare Your Soul

I had always maintained that the Smith College Alumnae Lives update never found me completing a postdoctoral fellowship or building schools for girls in Afghanistan because even after my graduation in 1994 as a nontraditional age student, I still only wanted to be a writer. The risk factors had not dwindled. My profile never appeared […]

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Don’t Be Afraid to Buy This Book

When I tell people I have a book coming out at the end of the summer, they naturally ask, “What’s it called?” I have learned to brace myself before answering. “Magnificent Obesity,” I say with a fleeting grin in anticipation of what has become the most common reaction: embarrassment. Their eyes dart away from mine, they […]

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Vermont Hippie Zombies

Three years ago, Hurricane Irene surprised Vermonters – we who have grown complacent over our temperate, mostly gentle environment – with eleven quick inches of rain that led to the worst flooding the state had seen in eighty-four years. The rising waters forced evacuations, knocked out bridges, tore up roads, destroyed houses, left thousands of people […]

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Why I Write

Until I was old enough and sufficiently well informed to engage in arguments with my father, we did not have a lot to say to each other. On their wedding night, my father said to my mother, “I don’t know anything about girls. You take care of the girls. I’ll take care of the boys.” […]

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figures in wood

Let it Be and Let Go

PRAYER FOR TODAY Embrace your feelings, all of them.  They’re safe and they’re beautiful. Let it be and let go.  Loosen your grip on the guard bar, appreciate the ride. You are not in control.  Accept it. You are mortal.  Accept it. If you cannot trust in God, if you cannot trust the universe, trust […]

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International Woman of Mystery

My mother lost her younger brother Paul Keveney Howe early on.  He died of kidney failure in 1969 at age thirty-eight.  The night she got home from helping her parents through the loss of their only son, I remember her saying, “It’s the oddest thing.  I never really knew my brother.  I don’t have very […]

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