“I’m not a stranger,” said the approaching stranger, as I encouraged my dog to keep all four paws on the sidewalk. Leo and I had been on the home stretch of our morning constitutional when I spotted the man across the street. He had the wide-open face of one whose mind is still that of … Continue reading Strangers
We are downsizing. There. I said it. It feels like a confession. While many people our age are movin' on up, we're waving at them as they pass by ... from the down escalator. If feels crazy. We live on a lovely two-acre lot with two distinct ecosystems: mossy, lichen-filled woods and a stream in back; sunny landscaped yard in … Continue reading Right-sizing
All too aware that the last week of summer vacation was slipping through our fingers, my son and I hurried about with almost manic energy. We played croquet and Legos, picked tomatoes and beans, and took the dog for walks along a nearby lake. When my son napped, I did laundry, pulled weeds and made lists preparing for the start of school. … Continue reading Summer’s end
When we brought our son home from India at age 3, he was all about the physical world. He wanted to touch everything, his hands darting out every which way to grab objects he saw not just in front of him but in his peripheral vision too. He also wanted to eat everything -- even my ultimate challenge: a beet-swiss chard … Continue reading The forgotten art of rough-housing
Parents with a difficult child should work toward “appropriate and successful behavior patterns 80 percent of the time … ,” writes Ronald Federici in Help for the Hopeless Child. “Sometimes families expect perfection, which is a totally unrealistic expectation.” I had just stumbled onto this blurb on Amazon, but it stopped me cold. I wondered, had I been … Continue reading Rethinking perfect
I did something new last Sunday: I shouted in church. No, I wasn’t slain in the spirit or anything like that—we’re Washington State Presbyterians (and grew up as Minnesota Lutherans). Sure, now and then someone will punctuate a point in the sermon with an “Amen!,” and a couple of women sometimes sing with their hands lifted … Continue reading Um! Yah! Yah!
1. Some dogs don't mix well with stuffed animals. 2. Simply hoping can make gardening dreams come true. 3. I hold onto strange items. For years. What are you holding onto? Feel free to confess it -- leave a reply -- below.
The Mother’s Day I remember best from my childhood was when I was 8 or 9 and trying so hard to be a good daughter. I banished my mom from the kitchen and stirred up a chocolate cake mix, poured the batter into a pan, right up to the rim, placed it in the oven and … Continue reading The messiness that is Mother’s Day
I've called the Pacific Northwest home for nearly a decade, and yet its version of springtime still shocks me. I come from Minnesota, where spring follows sepia-toned winters, gray skies and brown landscapes that give way to white skies and white landscapes. Now and then these scenes are punctuated by periods of pure yellow sunshine that emanate from heavens of brilliant … Continue reading Where spring throws off her shirt
Abandoning the local primary school was not part of our plan. But after watching our son spend a school year buffeted between his home room and various pullouts intended to bolster his speech, fine motor, reading, math and social skills, we -- and he -- had had enough. To be clear, our public school team was well-meaning, but the more supports they arranged for our son, … Continue reading School off the grid