Fresh rosemary plucked from my daughter’s hand as she was fussing over a pan of balsamic, garlic, and honey chicken. She volunteered to cook Christmas dinner as her gift to me. She was worried she couldn’t afford to buy gifts. Her academic course load was heavy this semester, I suggested she drop her campus job and focus on classes. She didn’t need to worry. I told her I’d only accept her gift of a meal if she was doing it… Keep Reading
Mulling spice from the organic cooperative market. One of our new traditions is making hot mulled apple cider for the holidays — Thanksgiving and Christmas. I pick her up from school, we grab two gallons of fresh apple cider from our favorite orchard, stop by the market for bulk spices, and head home to start the holiday festivities. It’s only been two years since we started this tradition, but I can’t imagine a time when we didn’t do it, as… Keep Reading
During the solstice sunset, I was in the car driving with my daughter on the way home from college for winter break. I’d planned to pull over at one of the highway lookout points that provides views of the rural landscape to catch the day’s shift to night. I warned my family the night before: we were getting on the road before 11AM, returning books to the campus bookstore first thing, grabbing breakfast to go, spending no more than 20… Keep Reading
My dad died in 2011. This photo is of my mom holding his hand at his bedside the night he entered hospice, the last week of his life. 2011 broke my heart. It’s the year I began losing my hair again from alopecia. It’s also the year I finished my poetry manuscript for How to Make Pink Confetti that was selected for publication the following year. It is the year my daughter was accepted to an outstanding academic program, entered… Keep Reading
Traditions, old and new. Every year we decorate a gingerbread house for Christmas. It’s a task that begins with anticipation, spirals into my frustration and yelps when my gingerbread roof caves in or I break the icing bag tip and have to spread the icing with my finger, and ends in laughter and our eating a third of the candy sprinkles and dots reserved for the trim. I love it.
Homecoming weekend! Tailgating, s’mores making, theater performances, live chess match, cider pressing, and barely time to sleep. Of course no visit to see your kid is complete without the obligatory pose in the quadrangle for photographs in the cold rain.
This is my favorite photo of 2016 not just because it’s of my daughter, but because it captures her disposition. The day I took this picture of her, we were aimlessly wandering the lighthouse jetty. She was happy to be home from school for a short break and I was happy to have the time with her, if only for a few days. I told her to sit, stood over her and asked she look up at the camera. Those… Keep Reading
When the month began, I thought we would see the country usher in the first woman president. By month’s end, I was grieved to see so many examples of the cruelty of mankind. November has been a fever in a year hostage to the crackle and sizzle of a slow-burning fuse. Self care was vital. Each day seeking out that which gives me joy. Holding close those I love. Praying I made a positive impact somewhere, anywhere. Still, I am… Keep Reading
Water always calls to me. The solitude. The romance. The constant churning of earth beneath the tide. Every important thing in my life is, or has been, a characteristic of the sea: my daughter, a small sea bird; my brothers, bright sturdy boats; my father, a lighthouse; my mother, a mooring; my lover, a fisherman; and myself a mermaid. These roles shift over time, but unlike the shoreline they never erode. These are the people who anchor me.
Beneath the thinning ice A small streamlet flows; Spring is made of my heart. She’s a fighter. Not a brute or a bully, but determined, resolved, purposeful. Water flowing around rock, slowing jagged edge into something level, smooth, a way through. She’s a fighter. Not a clamor, but a quiet hopefulness. She didn’t walk until she was ready and then she stood, unassisted, and walked from the family room into the kitchen. She didn’t talk until she had something to… Keep Reading