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Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.
My dad grew up in a mud hut and studied by candlelight. He was 14 when he got a scholarship to Russia. He was super clever - the cleverest person. He landed in 5ft of snow, and was alone at 14, studying science and engineering. He didn't have a bed, and he slept on a table.
As a child, I felt that Hallowe'en was a time when creatures of the night suddenly came to life - we would turn off all the lights in the house and let flickering candlelight conjure up scary shadows and create the effect of imaginary figures lurking in dark corners.
I was brought up in a very open, rural countryside in the middle of nowhere. There were no cell phones. If your lights went out, you were lit by candlelight for a good four days before they can get to you. And so, my imagination was crazy.
I didn't leave home until 27. I was an only child raised in Philadelphia by my mother and grandmother. My grandmother controlled the stove. She made a lot of potato meals - mashed potato, potato souffle, potato pancakes. When we didn't have electricity, we ate romantically by candlelight.