I happen to work in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. I’m not connected to investment banking or a brokerage firm, but rather to a small eCommerce company. Over the past three years, I have spent more time in this neighborhood, than I would ever have imagined. This spring, I made a conscious effort to get outside during my lunch hour for some exercise and “fresh” air. Far from being a favored hood, it does offer history that is still in the making, and on a lucky day, some architectural surprises. Continue reading
My grandmother, a farmer’s wife, was unbeatable in the kitchen. She could cook like no one I have ever known. I have no idea where she learned this skill, certainly not from a culinary school. Sadly, I never asked her, during all those hours sitting at the red formica table in her kitchen, watching her roll out biscuits and pastry, or ice one of her many 3-layer cakes! She had just the right touch and taste to prepare a mess of southern dishes, both savory and sweet. She was a natural behind the stove, but more importantly, she loved bringing pleasure through her cooking.
A warm and fuzzy light bulb went off for me last week. It happened one evening when I returned home a little later than usual. My cat Twyla greeted me at the door wanting a belly rub, and then my son came over to give me a hug. Naturally, both were welcome exchanges after a long day. As I was basking in the tenderness of this “home sweet home” moment, Continue reading
It’s official. After a visit to the Social Security office with my final divorce decree, I’m back to being just a Branch. There is no more hyphen and no more Shaw. I am not exactly sure what prompted my decision to drop my married name, but as I approached my five-year anniversary as a divorcée, I decided that it was time to relinquish a status that I no longer held. Continue reading
Fear is a powerful emotion that is actually encoded in our DNA. It is part of our survival mechanism. Different kinds of fear make it tricky to define this four-letter word, which should never be underestimated. It carries a lot of weight, involves multiple scenarios–both real and imaginary–and seems incredibly complex to even touch on in one post, but I’ve decided to give it a try. Continue reading
If you were invited to participate in a trapeze class, would you do it? I was asked that question a few years back. At the time, the closest I had come to aerial acrobatics was cartwheels. I often walked past a trapeze school, located on the top of a building, and would see the acrobats flying through the air with the sky as their backdrop. It was an impressive and incredibly daring site, but not something I envisioned for myself. Continue reading
It’s officially autumn. The summer of 2014 is behind us, and we have a good 38 weeks before those warm, lazy days come around again. I usually accept this seasonal shift wholeheartedly, with an onward and upward attitude! But this year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, I find myself experiencing some sort of inner tug or rebellion. Visions of being somewhere peaceful, stress free and away from it all flood my brain. Continue reading