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Erika Hoffman

My pal and I had lunch at a local brewery. We’ve reached that age when a person, just for existing, earns an extra discount on Thursday at Harris Teeter. So, not surprisingly, our waitress appeared younger than our youngest children. After scanning the menu, my friend queried our bubbly server: “What do you recommend?” Our […]

Whew! I’m beat. Am I worn out from digging up deeply buried granite rocks in my yard with which to build a retaining wall for newly purchased rich soil for a garden I’m hoping to create this spring? Am I exhausted from doing perpetual laundry, washing dishes from my book club meeting, chez moi, this […]

Cast Off

By Erika Hoffman

My husband and I embarked on a Scandinavian cruise. We felt young when we looked around the dining room and witnessed many fellow passengers clutching canes or snuggled in wheelchairs. Some of the faces we saw only at mealtimes and never on the excursions. Many of the trips ashore were physically taxing. In the Hermitage […]

Recently, I read Girl on the Train. I propelled through it as fast as an express about to veer off the tracks. I consumed it. I flipped the pages trying to discern if the alcoholic, seemingly harmless protagonist was indeed a murderess during her black-outs. She had no memory of what she’d done after a […]


By Erika Hoffman

The day before Turkey Day, an editor friend wrote and asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving. None of my four kids were coming home. Three are married and don’t live nearby, and two of them had plans with in-laws; one an overseas trip to take, and the oldest, a manager, works in the restaurant […]

Mother-Son Dance

By Erika Hoffman

The first time I watched a child of mine before the altar say, “I do,” I wondered where all the time I was supposed to have with him, as my son and I as his mom, had gone. In my mind, the years, like pages of a calendar fluttering by in a gust of wind, […]

Just Breathe

By Erika Hoffman

At my desk in front of my computer within my study, I sit, slumped in my swivel chair slowly pecking out this essay and mulling over the fact that traits one possesses which might be deemed undesirable can turn out to be useful in certain situations. For instance, I don’t like to rush about. I […]

A Cup Half Empty

By Erika Hoffman

Trudging down an endless, dusty road to the tour bus parking lot on a stifling summer day in Italy, I complained to one of my traveling companions about the heat, my feet, and the lengthy bus drives. Pam stopped and stared at me. “Erika, you always see the cup as half empty!” This remark startled […]

Twenty-twenty vision was mine until age 42. The morning after I turned 42, I woke to blurry eyesight, not due to any celebratory libation the night before. I saw the optometrist. He diagnosed bifocals, and for the next twenty years every photo taken of me is of a bespectacled person. As time passed, my prescriptions […]

Snip, snip, snip. Scissors clicked away. My eyes were closed, as instructed. My ears alerted me to this cosmetic alteration. I felt her hand and the blade brushing my cheek. Why did I decide on a make-over only hours before my son’s uptown, out-of-state wedding: a make-over done by a stranger in a salon where […]

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