Progressive parenting?

We have a little white cardboard box at home marked: Box of bad memories. Do not often open.
Everyone knows where it is, approximately. It is not hidden away or locked up against prying eyes. Occasionally it becomes buried under housed debris; sometimes it disappears, only to be rediscovered with a new entry written inside. Anyone can use it, no questions asked.
My Mum was brought up in a large, hard Scots households, where expressing emotions or expecting empathy was seen as a sure sign of weakness of character and firmly discouraged. To her credit she was determined that the next generation be permitted such luxuries, till overwhelmed, the drawbridge … continue

The Christmas Card

December 1995, Greece. As I looked out my kitchen window at the green groves of olive trees, I had an aching homesickness for a different picture of winter. I wanted to be in the Vermont Life calendar photo on my wall, breathing in the cold air outside a tiny wooden post office, its roof covered in fresh, deep snow and a red ribboned wreath on the wall frozen with icicles. Above the door was a small sign:

POST OFFICE. PLYMOUTH. Vt. 05056.

On an impulse I decided to write a Christmas card to the people who worked there. It lifted my spirits to do so, might lift theirs too and … continue