Thursday, September 30, 2010


Stories are told in various ways.  Aunt Ruth and I are ladies who had charm bracelets.  On hers was her baby ring replete with teething marks along with trinkets from years of travel with her beloved husband who is now deceased.  My mother bought mine.  (note the bee hive)  My mom brought me a little charm from her travels along with a couple that marked some of my childhood milestones; confirmation and learning to drive.  They are all dear, and I always knew it.  Fourteen karat gold and kept in a special box to this day, but their value to me outweighs monetary measure.

I spent the night with Aunt Ruth, photographed the story telling, and listened to the charmed tales emanating from her golden goodies.  I left with her baby ring.   My gift from her history.

Aunt Ruth has sold the gold, but the memories will linger in my photographs and heart.  Thanks to Aunt Ruth, I am keenly aware of the many ways to remember.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I had a brilliant photography teacher, Mary Jo, and she theorized that we take many of the same pictures over and over again despite the contents appearing to be different.  I did a project called The Portable Universe that was about the things women carry in bras, pockets, laundry bags, and so forth from cradle to grave as a way to bind women's lives without prejudice, since most women leave the house with a portable universe of things.  

Photographing Aunt Ruth, I noticed that I was drawn to her photo array, her recipe box, and her giraffes.  Most of the giraffes are gifts from friends and family, and they have become her signature.  They make her laugh.  In telling her story, the giraffes must be included.  

I collect bees.  No surprise with a name like Honey, and most of them have been presents.  I have yet to have bee shoe ties like Aunt Ruth's giraffes.

Maybe, your Aunt Ruth would like to tell you about her collection.  It is a nice way to get to know someone.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have wonderful memories of riding in the car with my mom, as she pointed out front yards dotted with blooms or freshly mowed grass.  She'd always say, "Honey, you can tell how happy someone is by the way they take care of their yard. "  She was talking about attitude not finances.

Life has been a tad heavy lately.  My terrace looks exactly like my mood which brings me to Aunt Ruth's terrace.  I don't remember a summer when her yard didn't sing, and now that she's in an apartment, her terrace is always decorated with flowers.  No matter what.  Her husband and children are gone, but her life is filled with friends and family and an underlying optimism fueled by her faith and her attitude towards staying the course.

As you can see, I bought mums.  They were my mom's favorite flower, and she adored her baby sister, Aunt Ruth.

To the sisters who taught this daughter and niece that mustering courage to plant flowers during tough times helps hope bloom, I send my deepest thanks.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Be Prepared

By mid-century, people over 55 will outnumber those under 18 for the first time in history.  As I face my own senior citizenship, the importance of learning from Aunt Ruth deepens.  She is teaching me that caring for others through small acts of generosity and kindness make all the difference.  She is always prepared to be of help.

In her building, Aunt Ruth is known as The Pharmacy.  She keeps shelves stocked with bandages, aspirins, cough medicines, and various over-the-counter remedies that neighbors and friends might need but not be able to leave home to get.  Her hours are 24/7, and the price is right!  

Imagine the comfort of knowing that Aunt Ruth is upstairs!

Another lesson learned.....thanks, Aunt Ruth.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Honey Cake and Breaking the Fast

With the honey cake in the oven, early morning is spent looking ahead to Yom Kippur and breaking the fast.  Just when I thought that having grown children exempted me from cooking, Aunt Ruth has taught me that sharing holidays makes them sweeter.  She is right, of course.

Photographing Aunt Ruth for Loving Aunt Ruth is teaching me how to live fully.  Aging is a universal experience, so the separation between the photographed and the photographer seems quite blurred these days as appreciation deepens.  Aunt Ruth and I hope that you are enjoying this project and are inspired to call some friends, have a gathering, and enjoy this day.

We appreciate all comments left here or on Facebook.  Thanks, honey and Aunt Ruth

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rosh Hashana

It is not easy at 91 to be making kreplach soup and brisket, but Aunt Ruth manages to delight us with her culinary skills, her welcoming hugs, and her commitment to family and friends.  May you all have a sweet New Year, and if you are interested in a recipe, please send an email to, and Aunt Ruth will happily send you one of her favorites.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Taste of Aunt Ruth

Would You Like a Recipe?

Aunt Ruth is committed to friends and family.  I am lucky to have enjoyed holidays, birthdays, and ordinary days with Aunt Ruth.  She has taught me to make my home a welcoming place with something in the freezer just in case.

As her story unfolds on this blog and in  Loving Aunt Ruth, I am aware that she would want her recipes in others' kitchens.  

If you will send me an email to,, with your address, I will send you a taste of Aunt Ruth.