Stories by Inga


Let Inga Tell You: Keeping it fresh

Oct 6, 2015, 4:19 p.m.

When you look at our idea of excitement now, it’s hard to believe that Olof and I met 50 years ago as intrepid adventure-junkie 17-year-olds spending our senior year of high school in the Amazon. How times change. This summer, the celebrations we had for both our 20th wedding anniversary and Olof’s 68th birthday caused our younger son Henry to drily observe: “Now don’t get too crazy.” Henry had tried to talk us into doing something special for our 20th ...


Let Inga Tell You: You’re not the Dalai Lama

Sep 22, 2015, 5:44 p.m.

I was hugely dismayed to walk into a local doctor’s office recently and see the following sign: Please be advised that your waiting time could be extensive. If you are unable to continue your wait, please let the receptionist know and she will reschedule your appointment. Thank you for your understanding and patience as the doctor takes the time to provide excellent medical care to all. Here’s the translation: We make absolutely no effort to schedule in any meaningful way ...


Let Inga Tell You: The perfect teacher

Sep 16, 2015, 2:26 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU I don’t think there is a parent out there who wouldn’t agree that if there’s a good teacher-child fit, the school year flies by. A bad fit and it’s a long year indeed. I should probably interject that there might not be anything wrong with the teacher other than she doesn’t like your kid. As hard as it is to accept, your child may be a total pain. You try to work with the teacher, ...


Let Inga Tell You: Adventures in Babysitting

Sep 11, 2015, 10:59 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU Recently, we spent four days in LA babysitting our grandchildren — 5, 4 and 14 months — paroling our son and daughter-in-law for a much needed get-away. Overall it went well. There were, however, three heart-stopping episodes but fortunately nothing that could not be resolved by either 1) acetone 2) phenobarbital or 3) the realization that the house wasn’t on fire after all. Fortunately, we were provided the assistance of a babysitter as Olof and ...


Let Inga Tell You: Technodespondence

Aug 26, 2015, 4:18 p.m.

There are infinite numbers of things that can go wrong with your computer. And Microsoft thinks of new ones every day. I have a personal hate-hate relationship with all things technical, which includes computers, software, cell phones, and the entire workforce of Time Warner Cable. I am suffering from serious technodespondence. I really don’t do anything that weird. I’m very careful about what e-mails I open, have good virus protection, rarely sext, don’t do social media or download videos. So ...


Let Inga Tell You: The cheapness Olympics

Aug 19, 2015, 4:41 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: At a happy hour recently, we were having a contest about the cheapest person each of us had ever known. I actually entered three candidates. None of them won but they all got honorable mentions. Fortunately, we’ve been surrounded by truly generous people for all of our lives which makes the pikers that much more memorable. My first entry was a couple whom my former husband had known in college. He hadn’t had any contact ...


Let Inga Tell You: Letting it go

Aug 12, 2015, 3:44 p.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: There was definitely a selection factor about the people who attended my 50th high school reunion in suburban New York a few weeks ago. We were the people who weren’t dead. I confess I was seriously ambivalent about attending this event. But in the end, I was glad I went, despite, as I’ve previously written, the nightmare air travel to get there. Fortunately, there was one shining light in the airline experience: flying from Martha’s ...


Let Inga Tell You: Melted asphalt insurance

Jul 30, 2015, 11:51 a.m.

Our sons have long since been paying for their own cars and insurance but when we got our annual automobile insurance bill this week, I could only wonder if we were still paying for their youthful indiscretions. My husband, Olof, was actually pretty sympathetic about some types of adolescent vehicle mishaps. As a college student, he remembers working as a delivery person for the father of one of his friends and backing the man’s vehicle into stationary objects not once ...


Let Inga Tell You: They regret any inconvenience

Jul 23, 2015, 1:09 p.m.

After our flight to Boston was delayed in 30-minute increments for eight hours only to be cancelled, it occurred to us that the reason TSA confiscates guns and knives isn’t just to thwart terrorists but to protect the gate agents. I wrote recently about how Olof and I only travel these days if we really want to get some place. The knee room is ever smaller for the 6’3” Olof. The coach seats on long distance flights are brutal for ...


Looking a gift dog in the mouth

Jul 15, 2015, 5:52 p.m.

If there’s one problem I’ve never really worried about, it’s my dog’s dental care. That would probably be because I don’t have a dog. Or didn’t anyway. I’ve written about our granddog Winston a number of times before because even though we technically don’t own a dog, Winston, for a variety of reasons, has spent a LOT of his eight years at our house. At this point, we suspect he’s not going back home. Such are inbred health problems with ...


Let Inga Tell You: Terminal inertia

Jul 6, 2015, 9:14 a.m.

• LET INGA TELL YOU: Now that Olof and I are retired, people often comment how nice it is that we’re free to travel. Where air travel is concerned, however, the romance is long gone, especially for my husband. It’s not that we don’t travel but we have to really really want to go. In January, I wrote about the 50th anniversary of Olof and I meeting as foreign exchange students spending our senior year of high school in Brazil. ...


Let Inga Tell You: Lawn Wars

Jun 16, 2015, 2:29 p.m.

Every letter to the editor on the subject of the drought suggests converting lawns to a garden of “attractive native plants.” Is it just me or is “attractive native plants” an oxymoron? We’re clear that our highly-used lawn may soon be a thing of the past. We’re already mourning it and contemplating what we’re going to do that doesn’t involve the five grandtots dodging cactuses in the front yard. I can’t help but observe that people who are most vocally ...


Let Inga Tell You: Water bills from heck

Jun 3, 2015, 1:54 p.m.

It's never good news when your refrigerator suddenly starts sounding like a fountain. We actually have a small recirculating outdoor fountain that we turn on when we’re reading the paper on our patio in the morning. (Lighten up, water zealots: it takes like a gallon.) For several weeks, for hours at a time, I’d hear the familiar fountain burble and think we’d accidentally left it on until I realized the sound was coming from the refrigerator. Suffice it to say, ...


Let Inga tell You: In Memoriam: My Dryer

May 22, 2015, 8:48 a.m.

Last week, my 42-year-old dryer gave up the ghost, mid-load. Worse, I think I killed it. I ran a wet heavy blanket on the high cycle, something I’ve done on numerous occasions before. But under the strain, its aged heart, er, power relay, gave out and it tumbled its last. Services are pending. Seriously. Major grief going on here. Now, those who are not pathologically sentimental saps would think of this as an appliance. But this machine and I had ...


Let Inga Tell You: Fancissimo cars

May 6, 2015, 11:48 a.m.

One night about a year and a half ago, some miscreants wandered up and down our street and smashed the side mirrors and tail lights of more than 50 high-end cars. They significantly damaged our neighbor’s Lexus SUV then moved to our driveway where they whacked Olof’s BMW. But like the Angel of Death, they passed over my 2005 Corolla. I couldn’t help but wonder at the time: was this a class thing? Did they consider my crappy Corolla one ...