Posted in January 2013

On The Dark Side Of The Road

Today on my normal drive to drop the girls off at their schools, I was struck by the ugliness around me.  I’d like to be all sunshine and bright outlooks, looking on the sunny side of life, but the reality is that there is cold and sadness and mediocrity.  The pacifist in me wants to … Continue reading

House on the Prairie

The summer after sixth grade the lease ran out on the mustard colored house we had rented in town and my parents decided to move us to the country. I remember going with them to check out the house we would rent – it was a considerable distance from town, past the historic one-room schoolhouse … Continue reading

The Lay of the Land, Part One

When my oldest daughter was in preschool at her Montessori school, they taught geography by first helping her learn what town she lived in.  They talked about the landmarks in her town – the post office and the gas station.  Once she understood, they introduced the concept of her state and then the idea of … Continue reading

Work Study

During the second half of my first year of college, I started a work study job that entailed working switchboard from midnight to four a.m.  Five days a week I sat in the information center of the student center and answered the phone, transferring calls to their appropriate places.  I was also responsible for checking … Continue reading


I am feeling a deep sorrow these days. It is not the sort of sorrow that cuts deep, leaving you raw and all cried out. Rather, there is a solitude in it. I can describe it as the sort of peace that comes over as you successfully, effortlessly maintain a back float in deep water. … Continue reading

Family In Need

Until I was 13 years old, I never thought of us as being poor. Despite the blocks of government cheese, the roadkill deer we ate and the donated clothes, it never occurred to me that we might have much less than others. Sure, there were the kids who we occasionally went to church with in … Continue reading

Flesh and Blood

The animals seemed to come and go. Pigs, horses, perhaps a cow or two. Most of them are scattered throughout my memory, merely blips, and they were physically scattered as well throughout the property. The pigs were kept in a large pen near the windmill that we loved to ride up and down in the … Continue reading


The Community was in far too remote a location and was overseen with far too much misandry to keep a priest in residence.  However, intermittently, we would have a visiting priest who would say mass at the majestic chapel we had moved on location.  When we had mass at The Chapel, children were expected to … Continue reading

Signing The Contract

When I remember my childhood, I am somehow perpetually seven years old.  Of course there are memories from before this time, but they are still vague and murky, pieces of a floating puzzle. And so I am seven, which makes my sister three or possibly four years old.  We have spent the night at the … Continue reading

Temporary Block

Grown-up Was it for this I uttered prayers, And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, That now, domestic as a plate, I should retire at half-past eight? – Edna St. Vincent Millay God, I’m bored. It’s not anything in particular.  Just everything.  It’s a combination of so much going on in life, but somehow … Continue reading