This Time of Year, We Go Hot and Cold

If, like mine, your heart gets pounding faster with a stark contrast, then you must have already noticed that we’re in a fire and ice time of year. First, the ice. Asserting itself in streams that persist in running, the trying-to-be-firm stuff is always valiant in seeking to overtake the water.         But anyone with a dog around here already knows that the coveted (by dogs, mostly) daily walks have gotten a bit challenging in the past … Read More

Emily Dickinson Returns, with a Rocker’s Mom

It’s Mother’s Day, but this will not a Mother’s Day blog; or at least, not one exactly. The culture that surrounds us spews out more than enough material on this tired theme. The person I have most on my mind never was a mother in the regular sense, although she left almost 1800 offspring that live on and on. She also spent a fair amount of time thinking about death, not a very celebratory subject, in the Hallmark sense anyway. … Read More

Short on Reading Time, Long on Pleasure

The way I see it, time is getting more and more precious, so I’m less and less embarrassed about reaching for the simplified version of something I still want to learn. If there’s a long and a short, I’ll often opt for the short, with clear conscience. The birds are twittering, the field is more soggy than snowy, Easter is coming, and days continue to be jam-packed: kind of like a bulging suitcase that you have to press down hard … Read More

Liking Them Apples

Some things in life come easily, slide into place, pour forth, work out. Other things are damn stubborn and don’t want to budge no matter what you do. This fall, apples growing on trees all over our neighborhoods have been in the former category. Have you noticed how heavy laden the branches were? I wish I’d taken more pictures to capture all that deep red color, everywhere. It was richness portrayed in fruit. Just by looking at it all, your … Read More

It’s Easter, and More

Over the course of the past Holy Week, my husband was preparing for services culminating with Easter today — the pinnacle of the Christian calendar. Meanwhile, I was, for the first time, teaching a unit on ancient India to high school juniors. In my mind’s eye, I saw temples with elaborate carvings and women in colorful saris as I made the daily drive up and down a fairly bland stretch of highway. It made for a kind of interesting mash-up … Read More

Robert Frost State of Mind

Here we are again, in the middle of October, a time of year that always seems like a kind of precipice between the living and the dying, when we are at once basking in the sun-filled richness that Nature is offering us everywhere and at the same time wondering how we will cope with the inevitable darkness and sense of loss that await us right around the corner. Not to be too dramatic or anything. We got a newsletter from … Read More

Hang on to that Through Line for Dear Life

Flying home from the Midwest last night, I had a slight delay in Detroit, not of the usual kind. The problem wasn’t with the flights themselves; the one from Duluth arrived in Motown on time, and the second leg to Manchester was even better. No, it was a recalcitrant jet bridge— that thing that extends out to provide a walkway for passengers into the gate—causing some distress. We were all ready to get off the plane, the door was open, … Read More

Polly, Proliferating

I had more or less gotten over the fact that I was not Joan of Arc, riding boldly on a horse smack into battle, when I discovered that my name—something that I had heretofore thought had distinguished me, at least slightly—was suddenly turning up all over the place. We aren’t exactly a field of dandelions, but my quality of Polly-ness, just as of this past week, has put me in a whole bouquet of other females. This has taken some … Read More

Learning From A Not-So-Good Wife

  Since becoming a bishop’s wife, I’ve been paying more attention to how other wives of other public figures – perhaps religious, perhaps not – conduct themselves, establish their identities, make their mark. Is there any perfect formula, I wonder, for mixing the need to be oneself, to find one’s own particular way to happiness, with the need to be a supportive spouse for a husband in the public eye? I don’t have the thing down yet, completely, but I … Read More