I’ve been around awhile. Long enough to have made a call from a payphone, rented a VHS tape from Blockbuster and navigated a cross-country trip with a road atlas. I’ve been a local newspaper reporter, a PR specialist, a waitress, a bartender, and an English teacher. I even once sold Encyclopaedia Britannica’s door-to-door. Most recently, I was a conference and event director at a college until the pandemic closed that door, so now I am opening another one. These may be strange times, but haven’t they always been?
I’m still a mother, but the nest is empty. I am a daughter to an older mother, a sister and aunt to many and a partner to one lovely silver-haired man. But now, theoretically, I have more time, and I’m savoring every minute of it, in spite of and because of this off-kilter time we are living in. I’m exploring and traveling (when I can), reading and reenvisioning, and also, more than ever, writing.
I’m currently working on a memoir about my larger-than-life godmother and how her marriage to a South Philadelphia mobster shaped my childhood and my understanding of love and family, the kind I have and the kind I don’t. I think about my family a lot, where we came from (Ireland and Italy, mostly. Then Philadelphia.). I also think about our traditions and aspirations – the ones that stuck over time and the ones we let go, for better or for worse.
My father, “Himself”, the late, great leader of the Lafferty clan was known for loving life, his family and Old Granddad Manhattans, as well as for his sage advice and pithy sayings. If he knew I was writing this blog, I think I know exactly what he would say. He’d say, “What the hell is a blog?” But then, after that, he’d probably fall back on one of his old stand-bys, something like: “Remember who you are.”
And I guess that’s what I’m trying to do here, a little exploring and experimentation, a bit of travel, a bit of time travel – all on the road to remembering who I am and celebrating all life can be at now and then, here and there. It will be one hell of a ride. I hope you’ll come along.