A Hill to Live On

My home sits near the top of a hill. A big hill. Half a mile up, and pretty steep. We moved here in 2001 after I stumbled upon the house on Mother’s Day. Our kids were not quite two and four, and I’d been getting them ready for brunch with my parents. When Bill noticed […]

Begin Again

On November 3, 2015, I shared this post announcing that I was beginning to run again after months of not running. I did this partly for accountability, but also because I wanted everyone else to join me in pursuing a deferred dream. Let’s do this, I said. TOGETHER, I said. It was a post aimed at […]

Mother Knows Best

In my earliest memories, she wears a long blue robe and smells like coffee. My dad offers goodbye kisses to her, my little sister and me. Then he goes to work. He’s a high school Spanish teacher. My mother’s work is us. She is young, in her early twenties, ironing clothes in our den. Love, […]

Since You’ve Been Gone

  I mean, you’re not that far from us. You’re in Oregon. Our states touch. We’re one plane ride away. (If we fly direct to Portland then drive to Eugene. Otherwise it’s two plane rides with a connection in San Francisco. Sometimes one of the planes has a propeller.) So what I’m saying is, you’re […]

The Graduate

My insides are humming. The low-grade buzz of bewilderment mixed with nerves and how did we get here? In my head, a gaping space. Hollowness. I don’t remember. So I freeze like a statue in the kitchen while the bread toasts. Memories present themselves for inspection. Slowly at first. Then, all at once, these details […]

The Heavy Bag

My sister Nancy tells the story about a time when her boys were under two years old and, as mothers of young children often do to keep from going insane, she visited a friend. Besides her two sons, Nancy brought along with her a backpack she carried in lieu of a diaper bag. It featured […]

When the New Baby is Coming: Petal Lashes

The petal lashes blink once, twice. A third time. I don’t believe you, his blue eyes say. This is what he knows: There is a bed in my room now. Next to my crib. I pull tufts from my blanket, white balls that look like bubbles. Mama’s belly is hard and tight, bigger than it used […]

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Simplifying is ONE of the things I want to talk about today, but first can we all agree Henry David Thoreau’s philosophy does NOT apply to exclamation points? (Spoiler alert: I’m using extra today!!) Punctuation aside, I’ve long been tempted to travel down Mr. Thoreau’s spare path. Then I remember Walden Pond probably required a […]

To My Daughter on her Birthday

On July 14th, 1999, you made me complete. A nurse slipped you into my arms (all four pounds, fourteen ounces of sticky skin and soft bone), and I looked down at your tiny face and knew you for my own. These shaking hands cradled the first great-granddaughter; the first niece; the first sister of a […]