Blue Valentine

I learned early on that you’ve got to pay the price. The lesson so touched one of my little brothers, that Mom recalls him sitting on the potty, legs dangling, chanting, “Pay price, pay price.” Apparently, Bob’s family stamped him with a similar meme. “No pain, No gain” has served us both well. He and […]

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 reflect […]

Florence

Although it starts soggy, by mid-afternoon the day turns bright and crisp. The kind of day you can pick out individual leaves on the willow oak across the street. Hurricane Florence was already inhaling humidity from 600 miles away.

I take advantage of the pre-storm calm, washing and hanging the bed sheets and shower […]

Straying From My Lane

I’m going off the road, I think, my heart pitching to the beat of a noise I can’t identify. “Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock”, so loud it drowns out all rational thought. “Do you hear this?” I shout into my phone, shoving it towards the window. “Yes, I hear it,” Bob answers, “Calm down so […]

Disassociating

“It’s not them, it’s us,” Bob said, stepping from the shower on October 20, 2004. “We need to leave.” We had been living on Maui for four years. George W. Bush was up for reelection. 9/11 had happened, the administration had cooked up the whole “weapons of mass destruction” fiasco, and Bush had ordered the […]

Wake-up Call

The day before Mother’s Day, I’m dreaming the usual stuff, probably trying to set a table for twenty with five water glasses, or squeezing underneath a car in the parking garage, or maybe stepping from a floating dock to a boat bound for Belize, when two big thuds that don’t fit into the dream bring […]

Christmas in April

I watch the big truck backing towards me, standing under the red tips in our back yard, trying to ignore the disturbing scent of its flowers. Like Christmas in April, black magic spills off the end of the truck, filling the air with earthy musk. Mulch is a wonderful thing! Like furniture polish or a […]

Wyoming Soap

On your way to John’s Italian Pizza, your heart begins skipping around in your chest. You try not to panic. You know it is not right to blame the jelly beans, but you keep returning to them as the culprit. You hope you can make it to the finish line. If your luck holds out, […]

The Middle of the Horse

You might not notice to look at me that I’ve got a lot going on. Or then again, you might. You might catch me losing my balance. Or I may seem less compassionate, somewhat detached, distracted, and a little less patient.

And for good reason. My Mom and Dad are at a cross roads in […]