Photo by Simon Hrozian on Unsplash

March 9, 2021

Today is my 65th birthday. Because I have been lucky enough, and just careful enough, I am a healthy older lady.

Until today, I have not been lucky enough to qualify for one of the precious vaccines that everyone on earth is now clamoring for. Today, as a 65 year old in Massachusetts, I can officially get my jab and start getting back to real life. So I’ve spent the past two days making phone calls to pharmacies and local hospitals in search of any available shot. No luck.

I’ve used every known internet site, including Massachusetts’…


My mother was beautiful. She was elegant and stylish. She always looked immaculately put together and ready for anything.

She was a wonderful cook, and was able to keep 6 kids and our Dad happy, well fed, and healthy on a very tight budget.

Mom was an artist, and could paint and draw in ways that left me amazed.

As the oldest daughter in a family of six children, I grew up very much in awe of my Mother. She was fiercely opinionated, always outspoken and she never backed down from a conflict. I remember her as the champion of…


I love spring. I really do. I love the smell of wet earth and the sight of the first few robins. I love Easter, and stale Peeps and the first time we roll out the grill and make some burgers.

But I’m realizing that there are certain parts of the spring ritual that are not really designed for the elderly. Especially the elderly like me who have the kind of memory issues that make us forget the arthritis in our spines and the nerve issues in our necks.

Today was a beautiful day out here in North Central Massachusetts. It’s…


Spring is always uplifting, always rejuvenating, always full of hope.

But after watching 64 springs come and go, I know that I can get a little jaded. I mean, of course I’m happy when the first few crocuses open and the daffodils start to push themselves up through the straw and pine needles.

The thing is, I am old enough to know that here in New England, it might snow again before it’s really time to relax and enjoy the weather. Yesterday I walked through my yard and what caught my eye was the mud, the downed branches, the many…


I know that this makes me look a bit ridiculous to some. I know that people think, “She’s giving up the best part of her retirement!” and “She’s letting herself be taken advantage of!”

I know.

I have many friends who tell me, “I am willing to babysit once in a while, but I’m not giving up my hard earned freedom!” They tell me that now is the time to focus on myself. Now is the point in my life when I should just have fun and do whatever I want.

Even after six years, I don’t know exactly how…


It never fails out here in suburban New England. One dog in the neighborhood lets out a bark, and the one next door feels compelled to answer. Then the hound across the street and the one around the corner join in. Pretty soon the air is filled with the howls and yips of a dozen pups, each one standing as close to their fence as they can possibly get.

So I was thinking this morning, as the canine cacophony made its way around the block, the life of a suburban dog is a lot like life in prison.

No, I…


Every day, no matter what else has gone on, I read aloud to my class.

They are fifth graders, growing tall, beginning to mature, just entering the terrible miracle of puberty.

You would think that they’d be too old to have an adult reading them stories, wouldn’t you?

They aren’t.

They love “Read Aloud”. I love it even more. In a time when so much of education is focused on gathering data, on scoring rubrics, on force-feeding those Common Core State Standards, it is both a relief and a joy to settle into my chair after lunch, a good book…


Photo by Catherine Hammond on Unsplash

Yesterday was the birthday of beloved children’s author ‘Dr. Suess’. It was also the day that the company which owns the rights to his books, Dr. Suess Enterprises, announced that it would no longer publish six of his books because of their outdated racist imagery.

Fox News and other conservative outlets spent the day ranting against “cancel culture” and bemoaning the loss of access to Suess’s work. Many, many Americans agreed, and social media was deluged with complaints about censorship, book banning and overreactions by “woke” leftists.

Good heavens.

I am here to try…


I’ve tried to write this piece five times in the past three days, but words keep failing me. Emotions rise up, my fingers tremble and I find myself thinking, “What’s the point of even saying anything?” And I delete everything. Then I try again.

This time I’m not going to think too hard. I’m going to just let it flow. I may need to apologize to some people, so I’ll do that right up front. I’m a teacher; we tend to be polite.

I’m retired now, but I was a teacher for three decades. My daughter is a public school…


I haven’t written here for weeks.

I lost my voice a while ago. Covid took it, and I had no idea how to get it back.

I’ve been enormously lucky, and I know that. As the United States passes the point of half a million deaths from this terrible new disease, I am one of the few who can say that I have not lost anyone close to me. …

Karen Shiebler

A Mother, a grandmother, a progressive voter. I write because it’s getting harder to march and because words are my only weapon. I blog at momshieb.blog

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