Reflections of growing up, remembering my roots and seizing a life free of regret

“Listen, when I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were all over me.” – Under the Tuscan Sun




Here We Are, 2015

Seasons GreetingsIt’s that time again – time for a new year to begin and reflections of 2014 to surface.

As many of you know, I have published a New Year’s post every year since I started blogging in 2010. I always focus these annual posts not on resolutions, but on the memories I am thankful for in each closing year.

As I reflect back on 2014, I realize most of my highlights have revolved around life’s simple things: spending time with family and friends, exploring my own neighborhood, and making myself known to local coffee vendors.

I have been presented with a series of challenges the past couple years. While life has moved mostly forward, it has also presented a series of losses ranging from tragic deaths to sick family members to unsuccessful relationships. I have been learning not only how to find stability through my personal challenges, but also how to remain a strong social worker while absorbing stories of my clients’ trauma on a daily basis. The combination has required a great deal of personal time and self-preservation.





A Week in Arizona

This Thanksgiving, my family and I flew from two separate Northeast airports to the Grand Canyon State to spend the holiday week together. With my brother, Dan, now living in Flagstaff, we figured it a perfect opportunity for a Griswold-style vacation in the desert. Here are the week’s highlights:

Saturday: Day 1.
We landed in Phoenix. Dan picked up my parents, sister and me in a sleek black minivan from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and we headed for Flagstaff. We wouldn’t have made it the two-hour drive, though, without stopping for a delicious Mexican dinner en route. Besides the salted margarita and homemade salsa, my favorite part of the dining experience included a sign on the restaurant’s front window that read “NO FIREARMS ALLOWED.” You can carry guns on your person in Arizona, but not all restaurants want them brought to the dinner table.


View from "The Swing"I come from a family of five, with an extended family of 77. Like many families, we are one of reunions and traditions. And, one of our most popular family traditions is “The Cottage.”

My grandfather began the process of building our cottage in 1945 on a plot of land next to Lake Ontario in the Thousand Islands, New York. For perspective on our location, we can walk down the shoreline and see Canada. The Cottage is also a 30-minute drive from the town where my grandparents raised their six children. And, over the years – as most families do – we multiplied.

The Cottage, as my cousin described it, is a place where tradition meets new-aged thinking. He was actually referring to the food at the time, but I think it’s an appropriate way to describe The Cottage as a whole. For 69 years, this quaint, two-bedroom dwelling has been a gathering place for my continuously growing family. It’s a place we all return to in the summers, no matter where in the world our lives have taken us. And, while the family has grown in size, the foundation of The Cottage has stayed mostly the same. The space is sparse, the amenities limited, and one might consider the experience more comparable to camping than visiting a lake house.





Writer’s Block

Blogging in the parkHello. It seems I may need to reintroduce myself. It’s been eight months since I last wrote a blog post. And, laid before that was another shameful year of inconsistent writing. Where did I go? I’ve been wondering that about myself for a while now.

For those of you who forgot, I’m Sara. I’m your daughter, friend, niece, cousin, friend of a friend’s daughter, coworker…I’m that girl who’s been growing up, traveling the world and writing about it.

I’m in New York City now – Brooklyn to be exact. I have much to say about my time here. But, we will get to that later. Today, I’ve chosen to talk about my re-coming out…in the blogging world.





Take My Hand, 2014

keep-calm-and-say-goodbye-to-2013At the start of every new year, I publish a post highlighting key events of my 365 days past. I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, but instead prefer to wrap up each year by reflecting on those people and events for which I am grateful.

I usually find my New Year’s posts easy to write. Most Decembers, I open my laptop and list my annual bulleted highlights with thoughts like, “Wow, I did a lot of cool things this year!”

This past December, my highlights prompted thoughts more along the lines of, “Wow, this year really sucked.”