Line-dried Sheets and Other Unlikely Paths to Enlightenment

The heat pump hums inside our back door. It is 37° on our back porch this morning, and I’ve decided to sit in the corner of our bedroom instead. I settle into a comfy green and red plaid armchair, a chair I am proud to say came from a thrift store.

On most mornings, I […]

Five Reasons It Hurt Even Worse To Say Goodbye This Time

The Airport

The moment our eyes meet, she breaks gait and leaps ahead of her husband. In seconds my arms are wrapped around her slim shoulders, and the airport buzz disappears, like the hum of the frog orchestra had evaporated a couple of years ago the last time we crept up on the lotus pond […]

Christmas Time

On Christmas Eve, time hits a warp and bumps me into unexpected glimpses of Christmas past. Taking out the compost after dinner I’m transported to three years ago when the fence was still open to the farm, a path crunchy with fallen leaves worn between our house and Haruka and Jason’s. I squint into […]

Prosperity Day – the view from right here

Our willow oak on Thanksgiving morning

It’s Thanksgiving, a holiday with many meanings here in the United States. Around the world, expats spend weeks sourcing ingredients for their traditional meal. For most Americans, this day remains an honored ritual of sitting down to eat with family. At some point we will pause to […]

Homegrown for the Holidays

Not to jump the gun or anything, but we have in our deep freezer the ingredients for my Nana’s dressing, what we used to call “stuffing” because it was stuffed into the turkey and baked with the roast. It features chestnuts, one of the finest foods on the planet.

My Polish Nana’s was an exceptional […]

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

My friend Linda of Cook for Good fame drove down from Raleigh last week to give me some 150-year-old sourdough starter. Linda is a food activist, cooking instructor, author, and a cherished friend, so this wasn’t going to be any old starter; this is going to be “The One.” I fed my new starter three […]

Tunnel Vision, Cookies, and Snitch Pads

My chosen theme for self-improvement this year is “Focus”. Like a photographer narrowing their depth of field, I’m going to highlight three important things: writing, friendship, and cookies.

I got a taste of tunnel vision in the last quarter of 2017. Up against a self-imposed Christmas deadline, I was able to ignore distractions and finish […]

Potatoes!

Those who know me well have heard me say, “I’m never bored,” and yet I worry my life appears boring. My life is as predictable as the sunrise, especially in the culinary department. Bob and I get up, make the bed, and sip coffee and cocoa at our desks, before wandering down the well-worn paths […]

Pepper Fest – Annual Celebration of Local Abundance

“Wow!” I think, walking to the back of the line, “I’m doing that again.” My sinuses are infused with rosemary and roasted red pepper. A flake of pastry lingers on my lips. I snag it with my tongue and savor the perfect blend of shortening and flour. The aftertaste eludes me. Is it garlic, nutmeg, […]

In a Pickle

Emergency Room #10 Central Carolina Hospital

Seven miles out I congratulated myself for keeping cool and making good time. My hastily scribbled Google Map notes said the hospital exit in Sanford was 12.7 miles south on Hwy 1. Which is where the ambulance was headed with Bob. The odometer said I was getting […]