I wasn’t expecting the Dukes of Hazard. Photo: DatarkNZ, Creative Commons, cc license On a misty, balmy Minnesota morning, we walked up and down a concrete forest of balsam and fraiser firs, inhaling the giddy pine fragrance. “This one,” Mark declared, pointing to a chubby fraisier fir in the second row of leaning trees. Daniel…

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Jazzy guitar and brass ring out Merry, merry, merry Christmas in a bluesy “Carol of the Bells” while Daniel and his cousin pull on winter gloves and stalk through crunchy snow. A red cape unfurls as he leaps down the stairs. The boys grab duct tape swords and fight invisible warriors in the snowy yard…

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The scissors snipped. Photo: Astrid Westvang, Creative Commons, cc license A chunk of hair slipped into the sink below, and instantly I knew. This was something best left for the ones who know: the pros who can feather and layer hair styles, not leaving a gaping column of hair, slashed off in error. Have you…

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Miniscule snowflakes drift by sleepily today, while burly college men sprawl around our cherry wood kitchen table with my husband. Photo: Gabriela, Creative Commons, cc license Raucous laughter breaks out as they tease each other about the board game in front of them, and I grin quiet and shift more comfortably on my desk behind…

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Photo: Cedric Lange, Creative Commons cc license Purple and orange cream sliced the horizon in layers as twilight sank into cold winter night. I scrawled a few lines in my journal during a work lull Monday night, before clocking out for the day. Twining the black scarf around me in layers and zipping my red…

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“The footprint of the house looks small for all the living we did here,” I remarked to John, staring down into an excavated basement cavern. Photo Credit: Terinea IT Support, Creative Commons, cc license “I was thinking the same thing,” he said, kicking a clod of dirt careening below. Mounds of soil flecked with green…

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“Will you cut my mouth?” he asks, holding out a butter knife towards his pumpkin. We’re gathered around the kitchen table, five pumpkins and five people. Slimy seeds with dangling orange pumpkins strings are being slung into a glass bowl for later, and we pass the stencil blades and tiny plastic saws around between us.…

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“What do you see?” I ask her, holding out two hands like an amateur photographer, framing a scene out the bedroom window. Photo: Stephen Wong, Creative Commons, cc license She flops closer on the bed, scooting up on her elbows and begins to stare through the window, out across the front lawn, and into the…

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I imagine you’re heard the rock and sand analogy too? It’s the story we hear from self-help books and spiritual retreats about ordering our lives and prioritizing what’s really important. And the way it goes is this: a woman is handed five or six stone boulders and a pile of sand. Photo: Ted Scodras, Creative…

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“I’ll let you hold the broom, Mom,” she smirked as we strode across the parking lot. A deep white bucket in one hand, I crossed the blacktop, balancing a long-handled home-made ladle in the other. Tenth grade Morgan stepped primly beside me, laughing and pretending to ignore me. Photo: Bill Benzon, Creative Commons cc license…

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