Showing posts from 2019


I learned the other day that my mother's death certificate says that the cause of her death was Alzheimer's Disease. This is fascinating to me.  My mom was given multiple diagnoses for her physical and mental decline in the five years that she was sick, ranging from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's, to not-Alzheimers, to other weird forms of dementia we had never heard of, to generic "decline."  That period of time was characterized by confusion and questions, by us figuring out over weeks and months that doctors, in general, don't know very much about the brain or its problems. We've had two close family friends who also received Alzheimer's diagnoses.  Both of them exhibited textbooks signs of that disease like forgetting family members' names and their relationships to them and gradually losing the ability to converse. While mom experienced intense confusion sometimes and was clearly dealing with some kind of dementia, she never forgot who she


I crave crunchy gravel, Clean swept wooden decks, Cool, misty sprinklers in the evening. I crave the deepest forest quiet, Leaves settling and pinging into place. Hummingbird wings pulsing through thick summer air. I crave the stillness of time. The suspension of need and want and craving itself. The commandments of land and water, field and sunshine. Out there, everything makes sense and fits together. Out there, we both belong and understand. The dry creek beds and the smell of dirt tell us who we are. Let’s go there together.

What Is Wrong With Us?

Our country is in a rather distressing situation.  I chose those mild words deliberately because losing my mind over the current state of affairs is getting exhausting. But really, we do seem to be headed for a fall: everyone is angry at someone; everyone is sure their side is right.  Everyone feels panic about something: guns, abortion, immigrants, you name it.  But how do we break through the noise and weirdness that has gripped our national discourse?  How do we ask real questions and listen to real answers?  Nearly every single thing I see on Twitter, or Facebook, or in the news features someone spouting their incredulity at "the other side."  All around us, people are fighting and ranting.  No one seems to be getting past the rant.  Rants feel great, don't they?  Just this morning, I went on a very satisfying one about my ungrateful children and how infuriating it is to confront what seems like their complete lack of awareness and consideration.  I ranted.  I rav

I'm at Least as Strong & Stubborn as They Are

I am rusty. I used to sit down in front of my blog and write, write, write. Words flowed out of me as fast as my kids could mess up the kitchen, and I could barely keep up with the stories and ideas pouring out of my mind.  Now, I rarely think of something I want to write about, or I censor it before it travels from my brain to my fingertips.  Even as I try to get the writing habit back, it feels foreign, clunky, awkward. Yucky. Two main things have contributed to the demise of my writing: Teenagers and Social Media . First, I've had teenagers for something like seven years and will have them for another 8.  Writing a blog about parenting and family life is much harder with teenagers around.  They aren't exactly thrilled with me using them as blog fodder.  I used to write funny anecdotes about my kids all the time.  Now, things are different.  Either teenagers just aren't that funny or cute, or they're waaaaaay more sensitive than younger kids about parents tell

Untangling Knots

A few weeks ago, my daughter Tallulah found one of her favorite necklaces, a sweet silver angel with a rhinestone heart, in a jumbled tangle under the passenger seat of my car. She asked me to fix it. “ Sure, yeah, just stick it on the dashboard. ” I may have a habit of saying “sure, yeah, later” to my kids and their 47 daily requests for me to do something for them. Days went by, and I made no effort to fix it. Driving to and from work, grocery shopping, picking up girls from soccer practice, I would look at the small lump in the corner of my dash and push it out of my mind. It took me a few days to realize that I wasn’t merely putting off a mundane task.  I was actively avoiding it. Why was that little thing taunting me? Why did the sight of it fill me with something like dread? A few more days went by before I realized it was because of Ann. * * * Ann and I met when I was 13 and she 14. Immediately, I realized that she was basically good at everything. She knew how to r