Welcome to Fashioned For Joy. I created this blog as a way to connect with friends, stimulate my own thinking, and maybe entertain and inspire you a little bit. I’m glad you’re here.

I drew the name Fashioned For Joy from two sources: first, it is the title of a poem appearing in the hymnal at my husband’s church; second, it refers to my mother’s long and successful career as a fashion designer in New York City and my hope that she found the joy I believe calls each of us.

My blog has several sections. I describe them briefly below.

Essence: My invitation to you, dear reader, to journey with me as I seek wisdom and joy from everything around me.

Living Joyfully: Stories, with bits of insight or humor sprinkled liberally throughout. You’ll also find my reflections on a piece I wrote that (luckily) was published in The Sun. (Mine is the eighth micro essay.) 

Wonderings: Reflections drawn from my life as a person of faith, along with musings about living a powerful life. This is also the place where I sometimes get cranky. And you will also find my piece Birth Amid the Noise, which was published by the literary journal Exhale.

My Mother’s Pattern: In this section, I explore stories from my mother’s life: as a child who learned English in first grade; a teenager who defied the New York City police attempting to seize the radio of her Italian immigrant family during World War II; a young adult heart-broken at the departure of her Brooklyn Dodgers; a successful fashion designer; wife; mother; Monmouth County (NJ)’s first Director of Consumer Affairs; executive; councilwoman and mayor; grandmother; friend. Unlike my father, she left no memoirs or reflections, but she told me many stories. Now I’ll tell them to you. I think her life was remarkable. Perhaps you’ll agree.

My Mother, Emilia M. Siciliano, at Monmouth Beach, New Jersey

In this section, I also post a short essay, published in The Christian Century magazine, about my visit to my grandparents’ hometown of Priverno, Italy. Don’t read this post if you’re hungry!

My Year of Delights: Inspired by “The Book of Delights,” by Ross Gay, I record a handful of sentences each day to acknowledge and celebrate a small delight that might have slipped by me unnoticed. Each week, I post seven tiny observations of beauty or joy. Like Mr. Gay, I began on my birthday. As I record these delights, I find myself wondering: am I chasing them? Or, better, am I giving them the chance to find me?

A Story: This piece was published in The Christian Century magazine in their May 8, 2019 issue.  That date! As my friend Hedy says, the Kosher Choreographer is at work, unspooling for me the last starburst of a most amazing birthday year.

About Me You’ll see a photo of me, a bouquet of petals and blooms and a glimpse into things I know and love.

Dome of the Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa

A word about navigation: You’ll see the section names at the top; select one to see my posts in each category. I also encourage you to scroll all the way to the bottom of each blog post. You’ll see a place for comments. How I enjoy, dear friends, as you engage with me and each other! 

You’ll also see a bundle of additional material, including my recent posts on Instagram and a “Tag Cloud,” which functions as an index to my blog posts: click on a word that interests you, and you’ll find a few posts that talk about it.

I also hope you enjoy the photographs. In 2018, I traveled to Cambodia, Scotland, Vietnam and China. (I’m telling you: it was an amazing year.) I still marvel at those experiences and all the photos I was able to take. Even if they are not quite on point, I splash them everywhere because they make me happy. Maybe they’ll delight you too.

To receive notifications by email each time I make a post, just scroll all the way down this page (next to the “word cloud”), look to the left and click on the black button that says “Join Me!” And if you think a friend might enjoy these, please share the Delight!

If you’re still reading (thank you!), scroll down and you’ll see what I mean about the special features at the bottom, including a photo of my parents on their wedding day, February 1, 1958.  I love you, Mom & Dad!

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