Last Day for NaBloPoMo 2012

My husband is breathing a sigh of relief right now. This is the last day of National Blog Posting Month, and I’ve written a post once a day for the whole month. Whew! I’m a little sad it’s over. November has been a wonderful month! I’ve had over 2,500 views this month, which for my small blog is unbelievable! I’ve written a total of 8,360 words. Not much compared to the 50,000 words that National Novel Writer’s Month participants had to write, but still–a lot of words!

I enjoyed typing away late at night, even though I was tired the next morning. I enjoyed wondering what I would come up with next, and surprised myself with some fairly decent posts at the last minute. I loved being part of a NaBloPoMo grid at Yeah Write, and I made connections with some wonderful bloggers. I know that I’ll continue to visit their blogs even though NaBloPoMo is over!

I tried to think outside of the box for my posts. The best part of “The Twenty Third of the Month” is not my words, but the words I asked my readers to write in the comments. My eight-year-old daughter wrote this post about What to do With Leftover Pumpkin. (Was that cheating? Just a little? I don’t feel too bad because I doubled-posted on Nov. 19. That’s right, I published 31 posts for NaBloPoMo.)

This month, I was the featured blogger on SITS, and a post I entered in the Yeah Write 84 Open Grid came in second place.

Yeah, I nailed it!

Congratulations to all of you who nailed NaBloPoMo, too!


The Hair on my Chinny Chin Chin

Looking in the mirror, I gasped. Under my chin was a long, dark hair. I reached for my tweezers.

As I tried to get the fine, single hair in a metallic pincer grasp, I remembered a phone conversation I once had with my mother.

My ninety-year old Grandma lived in an assisted living apartment, but she insisted she did not need any assistance. She wanted to be self-sufficient, just as she had always been. Her eyesight, however, was not cooperating. Her washed dishes were not as clean as they used to be. Dust, which never would have been tolerated in her younger years, collected on the antique furniture. She couldn’t see the fine, white hairs on her chin. “I want to pluck them for her!” Mom told me. Such a simple thing, and yet so difficult to bring up to Grandma.

Grandma was a stoic woman. She did not express emotions easily. When I saw her, I would hug her bony frame gently and tell her I loved her. “Mmm-hmmm,” she would say. As the family gathered around my dying grandfather’s bedside, tears flowed freely–except from Grandma. She wanted to explain herself. “I do feel sad, I just don’t cry,” she told me.


Growing up with stiff, seemingly unloving parents had been difficult for Mom. In her sixties, she was still intimidated by her own mother. But those long, white hairs on my grandmother’s chin bothered her. Every time Mom drove Grandma to get her hair done, or to the acupuncturist, or to buy groceries, she just wanted to pluck out them out! She was afraid, however, that she would offend Grandma if she brought it up.

A couple of days later, I heard from Mom again. “I did it!” she said.

“What did Grandma say?” I asked.

“She told me to never let her go out with chin hairs again!” Mom was relieved that Grandma had accepted her help.

Three years ago, just a couple of days after Thanksgiving, Grandma sat stoically in a chair. Her back was as straight as usual, her hands were folded in her lap. Staring at the casket in front of her, she did not have a tear in her eye. We all knew she was mourning her daughter in her own way.

Just three months later, we were saying goodbye to Grandma, each in our own way.

I stared in the mirror, wishing Mom had grown old. Wishing her eyesight had failed, her hands had grown shaky, so that I could pluck out her chin hairs for her.

I plucked; tears filled my eyes at the sudden pain. Too many tears for such a small, errant hair.

Mom, my sister, and Lily–Mom was laughing because she thought Lily was feeling her “chin whiskers.”
VOTY 2013
I’m honored that this essay was chosen as a Voice of the Year by BlogHer in 2013.


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