This is it. Turn on the Rocky theme song, pump up the hip-shaking Latin music, and crank it loud. This is it. Grab your coffee beans off the shelf, a filter, and grind up a strong pot. This is it, this is your day. Who needs to wait until January 1st to start seizing each…

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Mustached or hoodie-wrapped college guys with large gulp sodas fling male laughter loud across the kitchen table behind me. My husband and some guy friends study complicated game boards and maneuver dozens of wooden game tokens. Our Christmas tree blinks blue, red, yellow, skipping green because of a faulty bulb somewhere in the line. Mens’…

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Naked trees etch the darkness. Cold air seeps in, chilling my bare feet and hands, despite the heat on. Courage falls flat some nights, and I pray hard, reading and re-reading every word typed or scrawled, weighing the terms, the message, the need, and hoping it shows my heart and nothing else. In a blinking…

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 “I’ll see you Wednesday,” I called up the stairs to my co-worker, shutting the door behind me. Crunching through powdery snow, I pulled my black French scarf higher across my cheeks and nose, shielding out the frigid air. Minnesota twilight looked blue silver, and neighborhood Christmas lights peeked out from snowy branches. Swinging my book…

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Wind chimes clang in the ten degree weather, and students everywhere unload textbooks and notebooks across kitchen tables, or toss heavy backpacks onto worn couches. Artist Hilda Robinson, “Studying at the Table“ What transforms homework sessions into home memories?  It’s the x-factor, that unknown variable that finagles its way into each afternoon. Whether its mixed…

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Photo credit to Adam Croh, “Walking on the Snow” I didn’t see that she was crying. It was the ripped fishnet stockings that grabbed my attention. The stumbling young girl in a black mini skirt navigated the slippery snowy sidewalk in heels. A large grapefruit-sized hole bared her right thigh to the freezing morning air.…

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 A light powder of snow dusts the deck, reflecting white in the darkness, and cars from the six pm rush-hour whirr by on the road outside. Vivaldi violins and strings crescendo suddenly from the internet radio here, and muffled bath noises pinpoint my five year old’s position. Hey you, friend? Yes, YOU.  (Smiling over here…

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She smiles to herself as she scrolls pages on her laptop, a Mona Lisa mystery, this stranger in a coffee shop. Black- and green-garbed coffee baristas tamp espresso grounds and make machines hum and hiss. They hand me a tall dark roast coffee and a warmed-up chocolate croissant. Condensation beads on the windowsill beside me,…

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