A Pooping Panda

May 24, 2010

One day my grandson told me I was only just better than a “pooping panda.” On the surface that sounds like not so sweet a compliment for a five-year-old to give his grandmother; but I heard something in those words that delighted me: Alliteration. Read the rest of this entry »

The Insistent Sun

May 21, 2010

This morning I was awakened by the energy of the insistent sun. Most of the winter we have a sun that mopes into the morning sky, its eyes barely open. It shuffles through the morning, and peaks at noon with whatever energy it has mustered. Then it slides into the afternoon like a teenager going into his darkened room and shutting the door. Read the rest of this entry »

A Green-ish Thumb

May 19, 2010

I don’t even remember all the plants I’ve killed. For years we lived under the impression that I had brown thumb, and that any plant I was given would die a slow death under my less than adequate care. My husband was reminding me of that and wondering what happened to change it. Read the rest of this entry »

An Empty Nest

May 18, 2010

I was smiling in the grocery store’s produce section as I thought about all the things I wanted to buy, realizing that they would be where I put them when I wanted them the next day or the next. Read the rest of this entry »

A Rubber Rat

May 17, 2010

We’ve had this rubber rat in our house. A souvenir from family reunion pranks many years ago. His name is Rodney, and he’s our pet. Read the rest of this entry »

Early Morning

May 14, 2010

I woke up earlier than usual one recent morning. It always feels like a gift. Alone time. No house noises, no radio, no chatter. I hadn’t written much in a few weeks. I needed to write. I knew this. So that early quiet in my office accompanied by a cup of coffee was a gift. But then… tap, tap, tap at my door. Read the rest of this entry »

A Crying Child

May 13, 2010

On the airplane, a child across the aisle was crying. His mother was doing her best to sooth the little boy on her lap, but was jammed in the window seat next to two indifferent people. Read the rest of this entry »

A Bit of Money

May 12, 2010

When a bit of money came my way from the settling of my dad’s estate, I really puzzled over how to best use the sum. It wasn’t an inheritance that would make a huge ripple in my life, and yet I didn’t want it to get swallowed up in property taxes or car repairs. I wanted to apply it in a way that I could mark. Read the rest of this entry »

A Goodbye

May 11, 2010

My son gave me a good, real hug when he left home. It was the kind of full on, full pressure, hands on back “I love you too” hug that one doesn’t get every day; and it squeezed the words out of me: Read the rest of this entry »

A Goat Path

May 10, 2010

Walking across campus, caught up in my own thoughts, I looked down and realized that I wasn’t walking on the sidewalk, but on a more direct path that cut across the lawn. I’ve heard of using these goat paths to plot out walkways on campuses, and I like the idea; but, on an ever-expanding one-hundred-year-old campus, it’s more practical to simply design walkways. Read the rest of this entry »

A Piece of Chocolate

May 7, 2010

Dark chocolate. One of those things that used to be considered exotic, precious, even luxurious. It is often advertised as such. Yet, it has also become ubiquitous and cheapened in quality, almost unrecognizable at times as the lovely thing it is. Read the rest of this entry »

An Indelible Memory

May 6, 2010

I have this memory from my childhood. The kind of indelible, informative memory that is part of the toolbox we aren’t even aware we are filling when we are young. I see myself, barefoot and play-worn on the front porch. Below me, over the side brick lattice wall, facing the neighbor’s house, is my brother. Read the rest of this entry »

A Turtle

May 5, 2010

My daughter asked me once again to be the surrogate caretaker of her turtle, Esmerelda. Every time I take care of the turtle I swear I won’t do it again. This time around I suggested that she think of getting rid of a pet that basically lives on life support. A pet that isn’t suited for an owner who lives the gypsy life. Read the rest of this entry »

A Walk

May 4, 2010

I took a walk with my grandson the other day, down our street, around the corner, and along the sidewalk on the the other side of the street from where we usually walk. Rather than easily treading our beaten path route, we had to notice things like where the sidewalk rose and fell. We had to keep on our guard for new things. Read the rest of this entry »

A Dream

May 3, 2010

As is our morning ritual, I get dressed while listening to the radio alarm playing Morning Edition. It’s set for 7:30, over an hour after I get up, and it slowly wakes my husband. So, I usually stand at the door to our bedroom after getting dressed and say “good-bye” to a pillow over a face. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tooth Extraction

April 30, 2010

A couple of years ago I was sitting in the chair as the oral surgeon yanked and banged at the second wisdom tooth extraction. And, as I sat there, feeling raw and vulnerable and in pain, I came to a decision. Although the plan had been to extract all three of my remaining wisdom teeth that day, I decided that two would be just fine. Read the rest of this entry »

A Day

April 29, 2010

 

Twenty-six Aprils ago, flanked by a midwife and my husband, I gave birth to my second child, a baby girl, in my very own bed in our Biloxi duplex apartment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Truth as We Know It

April 28, 2010

I was listening to an interview with Mary Karr. She was talking about her third memoir, a book she didn’t want to be just another “drunk-a-log.” In fact, she didn’t like the direction that her first draft was going,  so she threw the first 2000 words away and started over. Read the rest of this entry »

A Magnolia Blossom

April 27, 2010

My friend made an actual beeline for the magnolia blossoms overhanging a fence. She was drawn to confirm what the bodacious blossom seemed to promise — big scent. Taking a big whiff, she got all dreamy-eyed. Read the rest of this entry »

A Pair of Socks

April 26, 2010

My son came back from his morning run and told me he had passed a couple of our friends along the way. I asked him if they harassed him, maybe hooted at him or gave him shit. Read the rest of this entry »

An Avocado

April 23, 2010

Scooping avocado into my salad, I remembered the first time I experienced that fruit. I was sixteen, babysitting a ten-year-old boy named Zach and his little sister Sierra. Read the rest of this entry »

An Interview

April 22, 2010

I was listening to an interview with a pianist who was talking about the genius of Chopin’s creative process: Read the rest of this entry »

A Book

April 21, 2010

I have a favorite children’s book. “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. A little house is built in the country, the city encroaches, the house is abandoned and forgotten, but then found, moved, and restored by the great-great grandaughter of the builder. Read the rest of this entry »

A Cheese Plane

April 20, 2010

We’ve had the same cheese plane for thirty years. It was a wedding gift. My husband replaced the original handle, but the stainless steel blade has held up all these years. We’ve tried other planes, but they bend or break or cut badly. Read the rest of this entry »

A Couple of Words

April 19, 2010

I woke up one recent morning with these two words in my head: “More love.” I started to question it, to ask the words where they came from. They told me “Just more love.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Sharpening Wheel

April 17, 2010

It would be simple to notice the forsythia in full bloom, that burst of yellow that tells us the winter might just be gone for good. But what I’m really noticing is an old sharpening wheel lying beneath that bush. Read the rest of this entry »

Talismans

April 16, 2010

A few objects in my office:

A clay figure made by my youngest son when he was in elementary school. It looks like an alien. If I shake it, it jingles, and all of the bad juju disperses into the universe. Read the rest of this entry »

Flying Over

April 15, 2010

On the second flight of our trip home from Texas, I had a window seat. I looked out over the clouds, which I’ve always thought to be some kind of supernatural experience. Humans above the clouds. Read the rest of this entry »

A Brown Dog

April 14, 2010

On a recent visit with my sister, her little dog, Roxy, sat on the arm of the chair where I was sitting. A little brown thing with big brown eyes. I haven’t had a dog, nor any other sort of furry pet, since I was a teenager. Read the rest of this entry »