Why I Will Never Forget Henry

A few weeks ago, I came across these painted rocks in Colchester, CT. I’d stopped at Starbucks, thinking a caramel latte would cure my blues over the national news. But the rocks are what lifted my spirits. Thank you, anonymous artist, for reaching out to strangers.  I think of these rocks often now, particularly when […]

A Father’s Day Tale

I decided to repost this from two years ago since it is a beautiful example of the love between a father and his son. I met them both while working at the toy store, where I did my best to end Steven’s search for a whale. Happy Father’s Day!         Closing time […]

All in a Day’s Work

Sometimes I channel my current WIP characters, especially if I have been in a deep state of writing for hours. At times it feels trance like; scenes appear in my manuscript that I don’t remember writing. These scenes stay with me, long after I’ve logged off my computer to head for work at the toy store. […]

Good News To Share

With upcoming plans to visit my ailing father, who lives in Chapel Hill, I’ve been worried—and feeling a bit guilty—about leaving the toy store in the middle of the busy summer season. To compensate for being gone, and to starve my guilt, I’ve put in extra hours, which is why I agree to open the […]

A Whale for Steven (A story for Father’s Day)

On this father’s day 2011, I share a story from the toy store. A story that affected me greatly, long after it happened. It involves the love of a father for a son, and every time I think of that day, I am reminded that gifts do not always come wrapped in pretty paper with […]

A Bath For Big Bear

For years, Norman the gorilla sat in front of the toy store. He posed with customers, listened to children tell stories, and he even let crying babies sit in his lap.  But  then Norman began to wonder. Was there more to the world besides sitting on a bench, day after day after day? So he […]

Ducks, Dragons, and a Super Hero or Two

This month, the ducks of Olde Mistick Village have come out in full force. Unannounced as usual, the annual visitors have returned to the large pond with the intention of staying until Labor Day. Our permanent resident ducks now count for one-fifth of the current duck population. The mating has begun. Ducks waddle up and down the sidewalk, usually in […]

The Dragonfly

For months now, there have been rumors of a dragonfly living in the toy store. According to the children who have seen the insect, it spent much of its time in the stuffed animal room, but occasionally admired the puzzle boxes in the game area. The dragonfly has also hung out with the praying mantis finger puppets and explored the dress-up area, […]

Hats For Sale

Ah, yes, Halloween approaches. The toy store has a full display of dress-up. Firemen suits. Fairy outfits with wings. Secret agent coats with spy sunglasses and mustaches. Dorothy dresses and red ruby slippers. Doctor coats. Knight armour. Capes, and hats. King Tut hats. Crowns. Toy Story hats. Jester hats. Princess crowns. Thanksgiving turkey hats. Witch hats. And […]

What is Your Definition of Tons?

Now that school is back in session, the energy in the toy store has shifted. Fewer people come through the door, and I can actually hear which songs are playing on the radio. During school hours, the wee ones who frequent the store are generally in strollers.  And wearing diapers. Boxes arrive needing to be checked in, […]