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Do You Need a Contact High?

February, 2020

Dawn in December, Palo Alto, CA: Photo by Martha Clark Scala

Special Souls Who Spread Joy

We could all use an Aunt Florence in our lives.

If you are lucky enough to know someone who exudes a fabulous mix of intelligence, sensitivity, playfulness, pluck and loyalty, you know exactly what I mean.

I heard so many good things about my Aunt Florence before I ever met her. I knew she was the beloved aunt to my then-fiancé and his siblings, and the cherished wife of Uncle Milt. But that was just hearsay.

When I finally met her, all that hearsay was confirmed. She was the embodiment of warmth, love and welcoming without being overly saccharine. In fact, there was a spicy quality in Florence that I found quite refreshing. I was an instant fan.

On our wedding day, I was thrilled that Aunt Florence and Uncle Milt schlepped across the country to witness our vows. After the ceremony, and before the usual toasts, Florence came up to me, offered a scrumptious hug, and simply said, “Welcome to the tree.”

From that day forward, she treated me like a Scala, like any other member of her family tree, even though I grew up with a very different last name.

And now, our tree has lost one of its mother-branches. But the joy Aunt Florence imparted just by being who she was will never die. Never.

So, when I say we could all use an Aunt Florence in our lives, my wish for you is that you have someone who makes you feel special, who takes a genuine interest in what you are up to, and who helps you relish the magic and mystery of life.

If you have an Aunt Florence in your life, you’re bound to receive a nice big dose of joy. A true contact high. Here’s hoping!

Rest In Peace

Florence Scala Cohen


Why Assemble a Life? An Interview with Author and Artist, Martha Clark Scala

In case you missed this last month, here is a video that explores what motivated me to write Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself). My totally biased interviewer is a dear friend since college days, Sue Murphy Murray. Comments and feedback welcome! [NOTE: If you have trouble viewing this video here, use this link.]


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Prompts For Joy

This month’s Prompts celebrate the joyful talents and playfulness of James Corden who is the tireless host of The Late, Late Show on CBS.

Click here for Carol’s portrayal of a housewife who gets bad news after she runs an errand.

Click here for a hilarious sketch featuring Carol and Bernadette Peters in a bygone era.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above

Top: I celebrate this tree's beauty in all four seasons from my back patio. Palo Alto, CA.

Middle: Aunt Florence & Uncle Milt outside their charming house in the woods. Goshen, CT


Front Cover of Assembling a Life by Martha Clark Scala

"When Martha took to the role of collage artist and began to 'assemble' her dad’s life into book form, she gifted us with both a family history/memoir, and a guide. Many of us find ourselves wishing to connect the various factoids and anecdotes we’ve heard about relatives who are no longer with us, but it can be intimidating to say the least. This book is a good place to begin for inspiration."

~ Judge, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

To purchase the premium softcover or e-book versions of Assembling a Life, click here.


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