Note from the editor Lesley Jane Seymour
Welcome to the (Midlife) Dog Days of Summer
August is my favorite month of the year. Maybe it’s because I was born on a naval base in Puerto Rico and moved to Miami, Florida, when I was four, but I have deep, positive memories of sticky, hot, tropical afternoons running around carefree and topless as a toddler. I have vivid memories of sticking my face into the cloying red flowers that grew around our property and finishing the evenings with the refreshing quench of presweetened iced tea (given as a reward for eating my dinner). And I am always comforted to have cicadas as the backup singers for my evening meditation.
I am particularly excited about this August because for the first time in my life both kids are settled into their respective cities and jobs, neither Jeff nor I are tethered to New York City–based jobs, we have a reliable house/cat sitter, and we can spend a month in Paris exploring whether or not the city could really be a part of our future. Ever since I lived in Strasbourg as a college student I have loved the French way of life, which I find so much more civilized and grounded than the American upward mobility with which I grew up. Even after working at Marie Claire, which was consumed with the most divisive French/American politics, I came out still loving all things French. I am still close with the Alsatian family I lived with back in the ’70s and their grandkids, who have visited us here in the states and have gotten to know Lake and JJ. So look for me to be reporting and sharing my shopping and museum finds from the city of lights with a short stopover in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well.
This issue of TheCovey contains some special treats. The first one is the opening story, “No Guns For Old Men,” which, I must say, makes me laugh out loud each time I read it. Not only is the bingo card riddled with bullet holes (created by our wonderful illustrator Emily Ryan, who designed the CoveyClub site) just a killer (pun intended), but Mel Miskimen’s story about trying to pack off her 89-year-old former-cop father to assisted living is hilarious. For any of you feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of elderly parents, Mel will let you know you are not alone. I found Mel at More magazine. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she really understands the Midwest and the American iconography that surrounds it. But she also recognizes the absurdity of what the sandwich generation is going through. Mel will be writing about her empty nest in a continuous monthly comedy series for TheCovey. For that reason, I call her our Mark Twain. Please let me know what you think by commenting below her piece.
I hope you will also enjoy the article by CoveyClub’s Editor-at-Large Cari Shane called “Why You Need a Midlife Dog at Midlife.” Too many of us feel lonely and abandoned when our kids move on, and we reach for a new baby dog. But experts know the better match, for both mother and dog, is an animal with a few years on them.
Because of the upcoming selection of a new Supreme Court justice and the inevitable looming debate over Roe v. Wade, I reached out to three award-winning journalists and asked them to take a moment to reflect on their own personal or journalistic encounters with abortion for TheCovey. Our mothers and grandmothers grew up before Roe, and I wanted to acknowledge how that 1973 decision allowed our generation to take for granted that we have control over our bodies. Despite a July 23, 2018, NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll finding that 71 percent of current American voters say that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, it looks like the debate will still be heated. I have unlocked these stories from the paid section of TheCovey so that you can share them if you’d like.
Lastly, thanks to each and every one of you for joining and supporting CoveyClub. We are creating a new kind of media brand. Everyone said it could not be done, but because of your support and your willingness to jump in and believe in us, it is actually happening. This July we hit our first milestone: 3000 members. And please remember: My mailbox is always open for story ideas, personal pitches, and ideas of how we can serve midlife women better.
See you in Paris. xoxo