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A Tree Full of Stories: The Evolution of Our Favorite Christmas Ornaments

What is more festive than twinkling lights on a beautiful tree as the backdrop to delicate, unique ornaments that each have their own story? The first Christmas tree Husband and I had together, in our first apartment, was pretty void of any such ornament. I had a couple of personal ornaments that I brought to the table and he had none so most of our ornaments were store bought. You know the kind; classic ornament balls – some with glitter, some shiny,...

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Swim {The Man of Little Words Series}

Many kids from Havana came to Caimanera with the same hope of leaving Cuba. Many died. My mom reminds us, “You had to know the ocean. That there was a pattern to the channel. And if you didn’t know that, if you were caught in the current when the water was too strong, you would be washed out to the sea with no chance of making it back. You had to be from Caimanera like your father.” Read Part One...

leaving Cuba

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Wait {The Man of Little Words Series}

Half of my dad’s friend’s house sat right over the water. The boys would have easy access to the Bay without being noticed by anyone by lifting the floor boards of the house. The plan was to stay in the house until the evening, hidden under the floor boards, until the sky was dark and the tide was high. And then they’d jump in the water and make a run swim for it. Read Part One. Their plan became a bit more...

My Dad’s Story of Leaving Cuba: The Beginning {The Man of Little Words Series}

Sometimes we think that because someone hasn’t got much to say that they must not have a story to tell.  The truth is, sometimes those who stay quiet have the loudest stories. Stories that need to be told. After a few Coronas my dad might get chatty. But he is – and always has been – a man of very little words. Most, if not all, of my previous boyfriends were terrified of him. “I don’t think your dad likes...

What Cuba’s National Drink Trinity Says About Cubans

I consider myself lucky to be Cuban. Being Cuban stands for a lot of things: hard work, struggle, survival, gusto, controversy. It also stands for the national drink trinity: The Mojito, The Daiquiri, and The Cuba Libre. That’s right, Cuba boasts the birth of 3 of the yummiest and most popular signature cocktails served at any bar. When we were in Cuba this summer, I noticed how similar these drinks were (in rum count) and yet how each one represented something...

Notes from a Local Scene: Sosua Getaway

When people “visit NY” they usually mean they’re visiting Manhattan. They probably don’t branch out to Brooklyn unless they’re visiting an old college roommate or rich aunt. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t… Enter Sosua, Dominican Republic. Chances are if you are flying to the north coast of Dominican Republic, you are staying at the “Manhattans” of DR’s north coast, the more popular Puerto Plata or Cabarete. But right in between Cabarete and Puerto Plato is Sosúa, another great beach town, that just like...

My Total Truth #7 – Words are Powerful

Each one of us has inside of us our own truth. My Total Truths is a series based on MY truths; a list of things that I know to be true. What are your total truths?   # 7 – Words are Powerful   Words matter. The writer in me knows this as an essential truth. They don’t always have to be neat or pretty or elegantly spoken; they can be simple and rough around the edges but no matter what words you choose to...

The Man of Little Words

After a few Coronas my dad might get “chatty,” but he is – and always has been – a man of very little words. Most, if not all, of my previous boyfriends were terrified, “I don’t think your dad likes me very much.” And my response, ever the same, would reassure, “Don’t worry; everyone thinks that. He’s just not much of a talker.” Sometimes we think that because someone hasn’t got much to say that they must not have a...