And a tip: save the wine for last

Step 1: Sell your house

If your house is in California, particularly anywhere in or near the San Francisco Bay Area, this is likely to happen with blinding speed. It’s nice to be on the shiny side of the region’s apparently pop-immune real estate bubble. Still, it’s a little disorienting when your house hits the market on a Monday and is in contract on Wednesday.

Don’t complain. Nobody wants to hear it.

Step 2: Notice you have a lot of stuff

You downsized when you moved to this place, vowing to live forevermore in Zen-like simplicity. You have broken your vow. …

Why President Biden’s use of the G-word matters

On April 24, 2021, President Biden kept a campaign promise.

He became the first U.S. president to call the massacre of Armenians by the Turkish government between 1915 and 1923 what it was: a genocide.

There is a lot of power in a word. Though the United States has long decried the wholesale murder, torture, starvation, and forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians — up to 1.5 million perished during those eight years — no U.S. leader has been willing to risk rupturing ties with Turkey. …

It just looks that way in the real estate photos

Our house doesn’t feel like our house right now

We’re selling it — in fact, it goes live on the market in a couple of days — and that means it’s no longer our home, our refuge from the crazy, chaotic, COVID-corrupted world. It’s now a product. A fungible asset, which we have decided to liquidate, and while that does not mean we are literally shoving the whole contraption into a blender, at the moment it kind of feels that way.

Our house is only seven years old and is in excellent condition. But in the piping hot Bay Area real estate market, expectations understandably run high, so our…

If there’s a fountain of youth, it’s flowing with this stuff

I’m not a young thing anymore, and I’m okay with that

Considering what a befuddled twit I was in my youth, I really wouldn’t want to go there again — unless I could do so with my present wisdom and experience. Generally speaking, the older I’ve gotten, the happier and more at ease with myself I’ve become.

I stopped coloring my hair several years ago, and frankly, I think I rock my silver pixie. I wear clothes that have some flair and attitude, as long as they’re comfortable — ditto shoes. I stay in good shape, working out six days a week, and while I love to eat, I don’t eat…

Lessons to remember while emerging from the pandemic

The dark winter of 2020–21 is behind us, giving way to an uneven spring. Depending on your circumstances — your profession, your age, where you live, whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, or if you’re one of the millions grieving someone dear who’s been lost to COVID — you may still be slogging through each grim day or feeling a sense of renewal, a return to something like your old freedoms.

In any case, if you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. With each passing day it’s increasingly likely you’ll make it to whatever will mark the final page of this…

Have taken on new meaning

We’ve been shot! Twice! Thank God

As an educator as well as a woman of a certain age, I’ve been fully inoculated for a month. My husband is of similar vintage but due to various details too tedious to mention (if you’ve tried to sign up on some of the handy vaccine appointment websites, you know what I’m talking about), he’s still in immunity escrow. That is to say, he’s gotten both Moderna shots but has another week to wait until he’s officially, completely, mostly entirely protected.

Already the world feels different than it did two-months-and-a-bit ago. Of course, back then we were still reeling from…

The trick is not wishing things were different

My sister has a terrible disease

It’s rare enough that you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s a progressive neurological syndrome, incurable, eventually fatal. Not Parkinson’s, though it has some similarities. I know several people living with Parkinson’s and while that’s a condition I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I’m pretty sure my sister would trade it for her malady any day of the week. …

It can’t just be me

Since late January, there’s been a shift in tone in the nation

At least in my corner of it, which is admittedly a deep-blue pocket in a majority blue state, where most of us were mightily relieved once the Inauguration was finally fait accompli. But even scanning a cross-section of news media (leaving out the vitriolic fringe) and scrolling my Twitter feed, I notice a generalized head-cooling.

It’s not like everything is tickety-boo, of course. The flags at the middle school where I work were, like most places in the country, at half-mast this week in solemn acknowledgment of a heart-breaking milestone: over a half-million of our fellow citizens lost to COVID-19…

Jan M Flynn

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at

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