Blog

“Do You Get Angry?” I Asked, My Voice Trailing Off

It was as if I needed permission. Reaching out, I trailed fingers on blue velvet. My fingers flexed, tensed, cupping the top of the recliner, patting it in a shoulder pat I could no longer give to my dad. He used to sit right here. I glanced at the wide flat seat of the chair…

How a Mountain Shows Us Christmas

Sitting at the kitchen table, sipping fresh hot coffee, I watched them. Small silver snowflakes flew in from the south, flying right to left across my windows. My family and I cheered and immediately started humming Christmas music. Naked December lawns morphed white, and the wind blew harder. “It’s snowing!” we exclaimed to each new…

As Students and Telecommuters Cram Tables, an Ancient Song Creeps In

“Can I join you?” Her eyes are skeptical, wondering, as she stares at the kitchen table. I don’t blame her. Yellow highlighters, six sharpened pencils, and slips of paper sticking out of stacks of graduate-level books mix with sixth grade grammar pages, obliterating the¬†world map below. “Yes,” I assure her, sliding papers and school books…

How Apples, Russians, and Middle Eastern Families Shape Mine

Salted caramel cream coffee sits sweet on my lips on a quiet Saturday. Snow rests on the drooping pumpkin family out front, and blue jays creep cautious to the seeds in the snow. Two families come to mind, three, actually. The first family’s farm is forty-five minutes away. Winding through tiny towns and wind-swept corn…

Blue Moon, Red Sun, and an Ancient Gift You’ve Missed

  I didn’t see the blue moon, but I watched the big red sun drop lower in a blazing pink sky. A glowing red orb, it hung heavy, brushing bridges and buildings. I followed it with my eyes as I drove south on Highway 35, staring then glancing away in repetitive Icarus wonder, caught in…

The September Serenade For Every Mama’s Heart

In the dark of night, I hear him. Jumping thuds of a one-legged boy hopping across the hall to the bathroom. Just three days in from my 12 year old breaking his foot, this is all still new to us. A Wednesday night game of Capture the Flag across a golden twilight-splashed church yard, and…

Fierce Allies Facing Us in a Fall of Crashing Waves

Crashing and roaring, the wave has picked him up and somersaulted him. Reaching underwater, I grab my wet, wide-eyed son and hug him close. His heart beats madly against his chest, and I can feel it smashing against my arm. “Are you okay, buddy?” I ask, still hugging him tightly to me, my heart pounding…

“I’m the Dad of the Boy Who Died,” He Said

Running through the neighborhood, they waved guns and promised vengeance for the death of their 17 year old brother and friend. Small rival gangs had clashed in north Minneapolis, and these young men ached for action. My mom and her neighbors ducked down then but came together to help. Mom called Ann* who knew the…

How Do You Keep a Marriage on Track?

Remains of a fight between Mark and I linger in my mind, even though we’ve said sorry and tried to amend it. 9 am is grey. Quiet clouds wait overhead, and a muggy wind blows the maple leaves in desultory turns. The world waits for the storm and we recover from ours. Phone calls interrupt…

For When You Need Fresh Wind

Wind chimes jangle a constant song, and the maple trees whoosh long loud sighs of summer. Twenty-one year old Morgan contemplates virtual art classes, scrolling through her phone, long legs curled up under her on the honey-colored couch. Daniel’s noises are distant, quiet, away down the stairs, his tiny blonde head dwarfed under large white…