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Jeanne Blasberg

After reading my recent post about a “Grown-up Gap Year” many people asked, “But, won’t you tell me where you actually went?” And even as I nodded, “yes,” in my heart I knew where we went wasn’t the point. I’m a little sheepish coming clean because last summer I tried to be positive, claiming from the cocoon of our quarantine bubble that the universe handed down the perfect opportunity to press pause, the perfect opportunity to sit still. But you know, it was damned hard. Last summer I wrote full of optimism how I was appreciating home life and when…

We assert the phrase “misspent youth” so easily, but lack an equivalent term for misspent adulthood

Car loaded up with supplies for a grown-up gap year with mountains in the distance.
Car loaded up with supplies for a grown-up gap year with mountains in the distance.

I was skiing my way onto a chairlift at the Crested Butte ski resort in Colorado when a fellow masked and “single” rider asked if he could join me. After unloading, we sped down to the bottom and ended up riding together a few more times, both appreciating the friendly conversations that chairlifts bring about and the beautiful outdoors.

He was also from “back East” (an expression that struck me as funny, implying it’s where we all began, or maybe it’s where we’ve all left behind). He and his wife had just moved to town permanently. He must have heard…

My husband and I are on a road trip this winter. With freedom heralded in by an empty nest and working from home, we loaded the car on New Year’s Day and began driving west. We’re keeping to ourselves, preparing and eating our meals in hotel rooms, and doing everything possible to stay safe and remain socially distanced from others. The destination was Colorado Springs where we bought some serious snow tires for our car and then headed into the San Juan mountains.

Of all the things chilling me out in Colorado, the biggest has been its soundtrack. Spending an…

And had big plans for 2020

For many women of my generation, kitchens are command central, the headquarters from which the multi-tasking happens. And as much as we love the warmth and nurturing sentiment the kitchen represents, let’s be honest: the work required to maintain the hearth can start to feel like a chore. Indeed, the home in general, as we move through it with the discerning eye of the woman of the house, starts to take on the dread of a to-do list rather than a place of respite.

“At home” always felt like one of those dismissive boxes on forms offered to those of…

I propped my head on pillows this morning, listening to the sound of the rain on the roof. Still early, I picked up The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and finished it in one last gulp. It’s a classic I rued not already having read, if not for its importance in the cannon of feminist literature, then for its ties to my alma mater, Smith College.

COVID has provided time to address several gaps in my education and I was pulled to Sylvia after references kept popping up in contemporary work. In My Dark Vanessa, Small Fry, The Dollhouse, there…

Why the Pantry ?

Because when we built the house, the room behind the kitchen represented the structure’s fulcrum,

Because I became enamored with the bright layout in a design magazine (or maybe it was Pinterest or Housz) representing a bespoke moment of well-rendered functionality, a desktop that at first glance was no more than a continuation of the kitchen’s long, white, marble counter,

Because a workspace in the pantry was domestic aspiration, enabling a seamless glide between ideas on my laptop and soup simmering on the stove,

Because it would house the coffee and espresso makers and a cute…

My children are my best teachers. Having been in quarantine, in isolation, and cohabitating with them now for what is going on four months, I truly appreciate their perspective and ability to suspend judgment. My son was quick to cite “The Parable of the Horse” back in March and it has served as a reminder to just do our best with what life has handed us.

The old Taoist story goes something like this:

A farmer worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,”…

I am often asked about my writing practice and whether I have a certain routine. The answer is yes, I am, for the most part, a morning writer. What I don’t really talk about, however, are the steps I must take before sitting down at my desk. About six or seven years ago I incorporated morning ritual into my life, intentional actions beyond brushing my teeth and washing my face and getting dressed that have fueled not just my writing but my life.

Early morning near Fisherman’s Wharf
Early morning near Fisherman’s Wharf

During this time of self-isolation while anxiety and fear seem to hover like a dark cloud, my…

First Annual Cousins Ski Trip, February 2020, Deer Valley
First Annual Cousins Ski Trip, February 2020, Deer Valley
First Annual Cousins Ski Trip, Deer Valley 2020

My earliest memories of family outside the nucleus of my mother and father was my mother’s family: her father, three siblings, and my cousins. My eldest uncle and his first wife had three children and we were often sandwiched together during the summer, swimming in Lake George, singing in the back seat of the car, and scouring the attic in our grandparent’s home for dress up material for skits we’d put on for the whole clan as they sipped cocktails and pulled dinner together.

The next crop of cousins would appear when I was ten years old, creating a span…

John and I flew down to the Dominican Republic to spend New Year’s with friends at Casa de Campo. It was the afternoon of our arrival and we were enjoying cold drinks and their view of the sun lowering over the sea when I reached for my phone to take a picture. My head flashed with heat as I realized the phone, credit cards, and drivers license attached were missing. A quick back-track of our steps had us returning to the resort’s security gate where I had been so excited to see our friends pulling in to great us, that…

Jeanne Blasberg

Jeanne is the award-winning & best-selling author of EDEN (SWP ’17) and THE NINE (SWP ‘19). A graduate of Smith College, she lives in Boston & Westerly, RI.

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