Kudos to the very talented Executive Editor Darcy Jacobs, whose savvy/gentle guidance helped me improve the piece markedly...in large part by tightening it. (File under, Why We All Need Editors, Chapter 758.)
The story starts on page 82 if you just want to browse it in the supermarket checkout line (though you can bring the entire issue home for $1.99...and there are some killer recipes). By the way, if you do read and enjoy it, think about taking a moment to send a note of appreciative feedback to the magazine. You'll help keep the personal essay/memoir genre alive for those of us who've made a fair percentage of our living from the medium through the years...and for my wide-eyed students who are just starting out. ... For the record, this is 49th such memoir I've sold since the first one (also my very first published piece) ran in Harper's in January 1982. Alas, as many of you who dabble will also know, the (well-paying) markets for such writing have dried up considerably over the past decade or so. Now it's all about service/"news-you-can-use." That original Harper's piece ran at 4500 words; I've written a half-dozen others at that length or longer. But magazine space is at a premium nowadays. This one was really pushing it at around 1100.