Category Archives: Nancy Orans Eder

Anya’s Thumbprints


Anya’s Thumbprints

Nancy Orans Eder



One eight-year-old granddaughter

One seventy-seven-year-old Nana

Two sticks of butter

One half cup of sugar

A bowl of patience

A bundle of enthusiasm

Sprinkled with joy — oh boy.


Two cups of flour

Keep it in the bowl

Don’t let it fly to the floor


One teaspoon of vanilla

Some apricot jam

Can’t help but think

How lucky

I am.


A few thumbs and fingers

— Sticky at times —

Go into the making of

These lines of rhymes.



And figures

Steady as you go

Just follow directions

Just go with the flow.


Hold that spoonful level

Check the measuring line

Sit straight on the chair


Pay attention to your elbow there.


Put into the fridge

Hold the tray steady

Cover and fold

Get the soft dough cold









Finally Anya’s thumbprints

Pressed into each ball

Filled with apricot jam

Popped in the oven

Bake them all

The cookies are leavened

They’re done in ten minutes

The scent is from heaven


Now write it

Erase it

Change the fraction

To half

First comes the draft

The final version is aft.


While cookies are baking

Sweep up the bits from the floor

Left in the path

Of two happy people making cookies as planned

We’ve got enough recipes to beat the band.


A recipe book is brewing

We’re cooking with steam

It won’t be long now

We have a fond dream.


Markers and pens

Measuring spoons and cup

Parchment papers all crumpled

There’s a lot to clean up.


Cookie pans and

mixer blades collide

with spatulas and knives

butter wrappers and

jam pots


Fly into the sink

The oven is heating

Our cheeks have turned pink.


It’s hot in the kitchen

Anya is through

The cookies come out lovely

What else can we do?

Complete the page with a drawing

Let the cookies cool on the counter

Eat one Gobble two

We are done for today.


The cookies will be devoured

The memory shall fade

But for now we are happy

The cookies are made.






By Nancy Orans Eder

Sorry can’t make it.
Must break that date.
Going to London for art.
No, not the National,
Royal or Tate.

I’ve decided to go to London
After all
It’s my show.
In the middle of November,
To Beacon Hill I’ll go.

My sister has decided to display
Once more
Paintings in exhibition at her
faraway shore.

My room is a wreck,
My plans all awry.
Don’t know whether to laugh
Or to cry.
As I juggle
My grandchildren
Classes and dates
All in the air
Cancelling plans
Isn’t quite fair.

But acting quite bold
Life is for travel
Even in the cold
of November — damp and dreary.
Though thinking about going
Makes me a bit weary.

Winter’s for warm weather
Miami vs. London
was the big divide
But I’ve now booked the flight
Put British pounds aside,

Though the sale itself
Might not pay for the flight
It will be lots of work
but also delight
to see my paintings
in colors blue and bright
To share seashore sights
In gouache
And in pen
I will go
And see them. . .
I will live it again.

The thrill of sharing
My summers in Ceret
Will be worth the time change–
lack of sleep,
seven hours in space–
to once more peep
at the paintings
my sister has deemed
appealing to show
to friends
who traveled to
Ceret in summer and snow.

And won’t she be happy
and surprised to
see me there as well?
Shall I tell her or shock her . . .?

I imagine her face astounded
as she opens the door
to see me standing,
there with suitcase
stepping onto her floor.

Shocking as well.
Maybe too much
A risk to tell no one I’m coming
Would need to be taken–
But I might be mistaken
for what if she were out shopping?
I’d have to give a shout to
Let me in and no one would answer.

A chance far too risky from a distant star,
I’ll tell them I’m coming
It will be better by far.

The surprise is not fun
If the price is too dear,
So I’ll call to say
I’m coming to see
the pictures and the family there.

She’s made the arrangements
We’ll cater for sure
With olives and cheese
Spinach pastries to please
Chips and dips
French wine flowing to tease
Those buyers of art
Who want memories of France,
I sure hope somebody buys one. . . .
Two or three per chance.

But if it’s a flop
If nobody buys,
That’s a nice risk to have taken
To make a spontaneous visit —
A destination worth the price of the ticket.

I know I shall relish
The trip on its own,
So London get ready
It’s now written in stone.


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Inside Outside – Reflections on Raising Children


By Nancy Orans Eder

February 2015

I was a masquerader —
A fraud.
A fake disguise employing love and energy to smile
hiding the fact that my marriage was disintegrating
Inside. Continue reading

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