Baby Dolls vs. Stuffed Animals

Today I read a story in a back issue of Creative Nonfiction magazine by Brenda Miller that revolved around the National Toy Hall of Fame (who knew such a thing existed?). Though Miller wrote about all kinds of memorable toys—Etch a Sketch, slinky, Legos, and the like—there was a significant focus on dolls, as they seem... Continue Reading →

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Matrimonial Making

This arctic chill is getting on my nerves. I want to take a long walk with my dogs more than ever, and we can barely stand 10 minutes outdoors in the sub-zero weather despite all of our bundling, just long enough to take care of “business” if we're lucky. But being trapped inside has cultivated... Continue Reading →

First snow, second snow

Maybe it’s because I’m a native Texan. Maybe it’s because Mother Nature always amazes me. Maybe it’s the same for most people. But the first snow in New England each year really does feel like some kind of enchantment. It seems incredible that light, pure, sparkly dust suddenly sprinkles from the sky, sugaring everything below.... Continue Reading →

Old Rockers, Not the Chair Kind

I guess I've reached middle age. (That's one of the most shocking sentences I've ever typed in my 44 years. I'm still wrapping my mind around it.) It means that the musicians of my youth — those vibrant men and women who blew my mind wide open and taught me to love the beat, the style,... Continue Reading →

Days of the Dead

I think a lot about loss. Past loss, future loss; past pain, future pain. The delicacy of existence, of life. The only absolute for each and every one of us: eventual death. There are times it nearly consumes me — it creates anxiety even in moments I am attempting to enjoy something as benign and... Continue Reading →

Storm Surge

There’s something inherently Houstonian to me about living through the ritual disaster of multiple hurricanes. Maybe it’s the same for kids anywhere along the coast. During my childhood, I spent several occasions taping huge Xs across window panes with rolls of masking tape, ensuring flashlights had working batteries, and filling up the bathtub with water,... Continue Reading →

Picking Blueberries & Friends

I've always felt it is harder to make friends as an adult. Back when we were all in school, being shuffled into different classes and sports and performances and projects, we were forced to meet and interact with different people all the time. As grown-ups, a lot of long-lasting friendships have been forged, which is... Continue Reading →

Free Solo

People in the outdoor adventure world and anyone who has read about it in the last ten years knows the name Alex Honnold. I’m certainly in the latter camp, an armchair explorer, strictly studying to try to understand, not actually experience. Honnold is so unique that when I came across his name along with the... Continue Reading →

Fits and Starts

I turned 44 just before I attended my first Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts last month. Almost exactly 22 years before — half my life ago — I graduated from Hampshire College, just down the road from UMass, having spent the previous four years studying, writing, breathing, eating poetry. Degree in... Continue Reading →

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