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Family Food Happiness Self Reliance Writing

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 […]

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Community Food Happiness Our Life

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 […]

Categories
Dreaming Happiness Horses Our Life

The Test of Time – 25 Years

I can still recall the vision, Bob’s dream of 25 years ago. It was golden hour, and we were loping side by side across a field of grass so tall that the bottom of our stirrups brushed against the seed heads. A gentle New Zealand breeze kissed the prairie, sculpting a sea of undulating waves. […]

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Animals Family Happiness

First Love

My first love arrived on all fours one winter day in 1965. I was standing in line, shivering with grades K through 8 outside St. Mary’s on City Island. I stared at the wooden doors with my fingers tucked into my armpits, willing the nuns to emerge and usher us in when a disturbance made […]

Categories
Happiness Self Reliance

On the Alerts

My Google Alerts serve me well. For example, on the day the news story broke, I learned that Timothy Cox was sentenced for 2nd-degree murder. That’s the driver who recently widowed one of our friends. I understand some might think it odd to stalk stories in this manner, but I prefer to be in the […]

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Happiness Observations

Drama Management

January has been a real test. I’m settling into a new job and I won’t lie—the learning curve momentarily took my moxie away. A new operating system, new software, a new type of business, and a tiny keyboard had me wondering if there was something wrong with my brain. But I rallied and have recovered […]

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Dreaming Food Happiness Our Life

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 the […]

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Food Happiness Our Life Thanks Giving

Prosperity Day – the view from right here

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 reflect on those things we are grateful for: […]

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Cookie's Bliss Family Happiness Recurring Epiphanies

Swinging With My Eyes Closed – family without expectations

Before I go to bed, I like to climb into our back porch hammock and listen to the day shut down. The sounds yoyo around my head while I swing, curved like a banana, eyes closed. Robins tweeting their single-note sign off, the buzz of hummingbird wars, the last big trucks of the day looming, […]

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Cookie's Bliss Happiness Observations

A Little Better – The Power of Incrementalism

“That looks a little better,” I think, nudging a weed-laden wheelbarrow south towards the brush pile. It’s turned hot, and my ponytail is stuck to the back of my neck. My friends are staying cool inside their offices, and I remind myself I planned on leaving work a couple of hours ago. Fifty feet down […]