What makes this year unforgettable?

After thinking about a short piece for a long time, which I envisioned being called “10 Things 10 Years After Your Brother Dies,” over the summer I finally wrote it and Modern Loss — a platform I appreciate so much — published it. I loved working with Gabi Birkner, a compassionate, smart, and intuitive editor... Continue Reading →

I hope your Christmas is OK.

It’s Christmas Eve, a night during which I still think I should be prepping to go to my grandparents’ house, then church. It’s been more than two decades since both of my dad’s parents, whom I considered the absolute King and Queen of Christmas, have been gone, and almost as long since I attended Midnight... Continue Reading →

What Haunts

After my big brother David fell from a mountain peak in Colorado eleven years ago, I became consumed with the loss, with his life, and especially with extreme sports and outdoor adventure stuff because it was what consumed him — and what killed him. It haunted me. It haunts me still.

Kindness matters

There’s that quote you’ve likely heard: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle” — attributed to Plato — or one of the similar iterations by others: “Be kind because everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” and “Be kind because everyone is carrying a heavy burden.” You get the... Continue Reading →

On Fairfield Street

Yesterday, while walking our dogs around the lovely esplanade a block from our house, my husband and I said hello to a young couple coming out of their house for a stroll with their baby in a carriage. Just a few hours later, their house had burned to the ground. Police had barricaded the neighborhood... Continue Reading →

precious

I've always had an aversion to the word precious. It sounds fragile and cloying in my mouth, like the way it's used to talk about cute babies: “Isn't she presh-uss?” There is something nose-raisingly snobbish about the word when it describes jewelry: “Made with only precious stones...” But the adjective is defined by Merriam-Webster as... Continue Reading →

Mindful wine

“Really get your nose down in there,” the presenter said as he demonstrated, tipping the glass and inserting his proboscis into the globe. Our pony-tailed, bespectacled connoisseur instructed us to swirl the wine around the glass swiftly to introduce oxygen and “open it up.” With a mind that whirls madly churning through worries, to dos,... Continue Reading →

What does your bookshelf say about you?

It's almost my birthday, and my mother needs ideas for a present. She loves books and book-shopping, so I go straight to my Goodreads list, thinking, Easy! I'll just grab two or three titles and email them to her.  There are currently 98 books I've earmarked as “Want to Read” on my virtual bookshelf there.... Continue Reading →

Music Lessons

My dad introduced me to music. Starting when I was a tiny kid, my father, who grew up fantasizing about being the next Buddy Holly, would sit cross-legged with me on the gold shag carpet in the den, acoustic guitar in hand, and teach me the songs from his generation, the songs he loved, folk songs.... Continue Reading →

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