Post 43:  Distance Loving

I was allowed a parakeet in a cage; that’s all. No cats, no dogs. We babysat a cat once, my cousin John’s, for a week. It must have been traumatic for the cat: These days, we realize cats bond with their homes and prefer the babysitter to visit them, to fill their familiar food andContinue reading Post 43:  Distance Loving

Post 42: Is Money the Root of All Evil?

You’ve certainly heard this ancient maxim, and you most likely have an opinion about it. Maybe you even know it’s from the New Testament (Paul’s letter to Timothy) and that in its earlier, longer form it read “the love of money is the root of all evil.” In my experience, modern commentary is more likelyContinue reading “Post 42: Is Money the Root of All Evil?”

Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?

Nancy Mairs was the author who influenced my writing life the most. Her first book, Plaintext, from 1986, introduced me to the personal essay; I realized, then, that this would be the form my writing would take. I never knew her personally, even though she lived in Tucson and the very last sentence of theContinue reading Post 41: No New . . . Caskets?

Post 38: Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)

CaveatsWith the pandemic waves influencing the opening and closing of restaurants, it’s no wonder that people go a little crazy eating out when everything has opened up again. Getting out means eating out. Probably this is a terrible time to publish bad news about it. Or else . . . it’s the right time exactly.Continue reading “Post 38: Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Eat Out (Much)”

Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!

Starting with my early writing, I decided to avoid using brand names if possible. To me it seemed to cheapen fiction. “She put on her tightest Levis, got into her Kia, and drove to the nearest Olive Garden.” See what I mean? Brands are just too pop. Would Dickens or Twain ever write a sentenceContinue reading “Post 35: Don’t Shop. Repair Shop!”

Post 34: Loving Your Before and After

I. INTRO: FOUR DECADES I’ve lived at this property for nearly 41 years. It should be looking a little bit different by now, right? At the time we bought the house, I didn’t know anything about fixing up a home interior, and not much about gardening or landscaping in the desert, either. We had littleContinue reading “Post 34: Loving Your Before and After”

Post 33: Free Your Tea

Not much of a tea drinker? Don’t click away just yet. This post goes beyond tea. As my friend Keith let me know when I referred to my hot herbal drink as “tea,” true tea comes from the tea plant. The leaves of Camellia sinensis—a plant, shrub, or tree—have been consumed as a hot drinkContinue reading “Post 33: Free Your Tea”

Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff

My daughter’s house used to be trashed. I think she’d be the first to admit it. I mostly refrained from saying anything. It had a sort of “punk” look. You know, something like what my generation was hoping to convey with threadbare shirts, jeans that dragged in the dust, and—if we were old enough toContinue reading “Post 32: I Failed. My Own Kid Buys New Stuff”

Post 31: Quest to Divest

This week’s post is by my dear friend of more than 30 years, Marge Pellegrino. Not long ago, she participated in the task of moving her mother to Michigan from her apartment in Tuckahoe, New York, where she had lived most of her life. For Marge, the move meant finding new lives for all theContinue reading Post 31: Quest to Divest

Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!

My formerly green(ish) thumb has been gradually turning brown over the past few years. The seeds I plant don’t sprout. I’ve been working harder than ever to provide them good, organic soil, and I even have a new sprinkling attachment for the hose, so they get a gentle rain instead of pressured spray. I haveContinue reading Post 30: Don’t Touch It—Eat It!