Where I was born: Brooklyn, New York
Where I grew up: We moved to Croton-on-Hudson, New York, when I was one. We lived in a 100-year-old carriage house with a large antique sleigh in the front yard. We moved to Connecticut when I was four.
Where I went to college: Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
Where I got my first (real) job: Scholastic in New York City
Where I live now: A small town in coastal Connecticut
MY FAMILY – NOW & THEN & WAY BACK WHEN
Now Me, my husband and our two daughters
Then Mom, Dad, me, younger brother, even younger sister
Way back when My great-great-grandfather was a lighthouse keeper in New Haven, Connecticut. He left to join the Klondike Gold Rush and according to a book I found, “came back a much wiser and poorer man.”
AS A KID
Until I was 10, I had really long braids. Really long!
My eyes are green, but most people think they’re blue.
They change, depending on the color I’m wearing.
I have a scar under my chin.
I was the youngest person in my hometown with a library card.
My mom adored animals, so we always had a parade of pets, two or three at a time. They included:
Things I Liked
s with my mother
The dawn-to-dusk hullabaloo that occurred on any family member’s birthday
My Etch-a-Sketch, Slinky and Trolls
A little silver horse I won in my first horse show
The Christmas my father actually bought all our presents with no help from my mom
Fading our jeans at camp by tying them to the back of a motorboat
My parents’ ‘65 Mustang convertible
Things I Didn’t Understand
Why mothers worked inside the house and fathers worked outside
Why the big, scary Standard Poodles across the street had to chase us on our bikes
Why I couldn’t draw
Why I had to be the oldest and set an example
Why my brother was ALWAYS in trouble
Why I had to take piano lessons when it was my mother who wanted them
Things I Could Have Lived Without
Practicing piano (See above.)
Eating mushy foods This included tomatoes, eggs,
even sweet mush like whipped cream!
Getting my bangs cut (See my book BAD HAIR DAY.)
Swimming the crawl Although I loved to swim, I could never get the breathing right. My way around it was to put my face in the water and swim on one breath to the other end of the pool. The swim coach kept asking me to be on his team because I was so fast. Little did he know it was self-preservation.
Our annual six-hour car ride to Cape Cod
My backyard My childhood house was on a small hill that had various flat levels. There was the sledding hill, the garden level, the field, the playhouse level and “the woods.” It was in the woods where I spent time in “my tree” and on what my brother and I called “The Secret Rock,” which was actually quite dangerous. Only accessible by grabbing a branch of a nearby tree and swinging yourself up, it was a rock outcropping that jutted out into space, overhanging a sheer drop into the neighbors’ yard. The best place on earth.
On a boat I grew up sailing dinghies, Blue Jays and Lightnings. Now my husband and I own a J36 with friends. Summers, we like to sail up and down the New England coast, stopping at all the little islands in Maine. My latest boat is a cedar strip kayak my husband built for me.
Sailing from Tortola to Bermuda and then back to Connecticut on an Ohlson 38.
Three days out, the battery went dead and we lost lights, navigation and the engine.
We found Bermuda by using the
and a hand-held sextant!