Skipping Fairbanks, Tending– maybe it’s Trending? — Home

A friend of mine recently brought her husband to the bus station to embark on a faraway trip. Then a friend of hers asked, “How did you feel about not going?” She replied, “I don’t know. ALASKA!’ You guessed right: that friend was actually yours truly. So I don’t really need to ask anybody else about my feelings; in truth, though, they’re a little hard to parse out. Fortunately, this remains a blog about contrasting elements lying side by side. That’s … Read More

All At The Same Time

I wasn’t feeling particularly older until my son shouted to me today, while he was starting to pack for our two-day journey out to his new campus, “Mom, what did you take to college?” Well, let’s see….a typewriter, definitely a bunch of records and a turntable, turtlenecks for the long winter, somebody’s old wooden skis, and a yellow Schwinn bicycle. Naaah, it wasn’t that long ago. But here we are: my third child is about to be on his own, … Read More

Driving With My Son Past Family Church

Let’s hear it for summer, and the pleasures of leaving those pesky home chores for a while to take in some kind of elsewhere, to see how others struggle with their chores—or maybe loll on their front stoops. Just about wherever you go that’s really away, you’ll draw something from the change, see something with a new twist. Depending on what kind of existence we’re accustomed to, each of us takes a journey with a particular slant in our vision. … Read More

He Packed a Punch

A whole lot has happened since Muhammad Ali left us. But since my particular mission here has always been illuminating and celebrating contrasts of all kinds — the “Look, there’s this but right next to it there’s that” moments — I’m sticking with the Greatest for a time. Soon after he died, a friend of mine, in a Facebook post, said she was surprised to learn that Ali had been such a humanitarian in addition to being a boxing champion. … Read More

Same Lady, Different Van

Déjà vu experiences, much like birds, come in a variety of plumages. They swoop in unexpectedly, often leaving you stunned, or smiling, or maybe wondering about the trajectory of your own life. There are those magical time travel moments when— whoosh—you’re suddenly back in a previous day, and then, amazingly, even what happens after you make the connection is exactly like what it once was, down to the slightest gesture or expression, as if the same movie is playing. Your … Read More

Alabama in August? Yup, That’s Right.

“What brought y’all down to Alabama?” the coffee seller on a Montgomery street corner asked, as friendly as she could be. We paused. It wasn’t so easy to explain to a welcoming Southerner that we were a group from New Hampshire travelling through their state to commemorate the murder 50 years ago of a civil rights activist from our state– Jonathan Daniels. But she didn’t flinch and, in fact, said something like, “Oh, that’s SO interesting!” Then she went on … Read More

What the Rockies Have Done For Me Lately

“Look at that…just miles and miles of emptiness!” “But Mom, what we’re seeing is not empty at all…it’s full-up with Nature.” This is, more or less, how a bit of conversation between my older son and me went as we were driving through the vastness of Wyoming last week. Conversations were few in that car, actually, as we all just tried to drink in the dry spaciousness of what we were seeing, mile after mile. Small talk seemed, well, particularly … Read More

Going to Africa, for Reasons Large and Small

“Malawi….isn’t’ that in Africa?” “Yes, in southeastern Africa.” “Well, it’s still Africa, and with this Ebola, I don’t think I’d want to send my kid there.” Over Family Weekend at our son’s new school, I was at a presentation about Global Initiatives. The term abroad that used to be possible for college students seeking adventure—in Europe, usually– is now often available for high school kids who are, because of increasingly connected world, likely to see going even to Chile or … Read More