Lessons learned while washing dishes

In the 1980s, while I attended a small liberal arts college in the Midwest, I worked at the dormitory cafeterias. I held a variety of jobs, from serving students food at lunch to replenishing donuts for brunch to working on the dishwasher line. On the dishwashing line, my fellow students and I sorted out theContinue reading “Lessons learned while washing dishes”

The feather

Dear Bird, I found your feather today on my walk Lying against the crisp brown late-summer grass. I wonder: Did you pluck it purposefully from your skin, Because it had lost its usefulness? Or was it torn from your wing in a dispute With another raptor? Did it shake loose in a tussle With yourContinue reading “The feather”

A writing life

My junior year of high school featured a huge disruption that would change my life moving forward and inspire a habit that stays with me to the present. In 1982, my mom, dad, sister and I traveled from Pullman, Washington, to London, England, where we lived for a year while my parents took a sabbaticalContinue reading “A writing life”

Tending a Garden Through the Years

In my youth, I fantasized about living off the land, planting, growing and consuming all of my own vegetables. I knew almost nothing about gardening, and as I began to try this activity, I questioned whether my childish dream would ever happen. I questioned this especially in the mid-1990s when I met Austin Springston, aContinue reading “Tending a Garden Through the Years”

One thousand and one unrelated facts

My dad knew a lot of random facts. And he would bring up these facts at random moments. He could also quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail at will. Now, sometimes, those facts spring forth from me. For instance, at a recent work meeting, we were discussing nibbling amoebae, as one does when oneContinue reading “One thousand and one unrelated facts”

Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me, I am standing outside the apartment building in Washington, D.C., where you lived 27 years ago. You had just turned 25, and you were young and married and looking for your first job. You had been working in D.C. for about nine months, in internship positions. You had two cats in theContinue reading “Dear Younger Me”

The Tree

Every now and then when I am outdoors walking down a random path, a branch will catch my eye and remind me of my Tree. I haven’t seen this particular tree in almost 45 years. I remember few things about the catastrophic illness that nearly took my life, and it is possible that the treeContinue reading “The Tree”

2018: A year of questions

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” — Zora Neale Hurston For me, 2018 has been a year that asked a lot of questions. My husband Curt and I changed jobs, moved across the country, lost his father to a stroke and said goodbye to two beloved pets. We joke that theContinue reading “2018: A year of questions”