My Father’s Bones

My Father’s Bones

                                                    A couple of weeks ago, Lea Thau, founder and producer of the KCRW radio storytelling show “Strangers” interviewed me. It was a remarkable experience, and I enjoyed talking with […]

Feet and the maiden

Some years I am so weighted down and distracted by my workaday life that I have a hard time locating some authentic, profound feelings of gratitude around the holidays. This year, the news helped me locate some of these sentiments. Happy Thanksgiving, readers. As I slipped on my shoes and left the house the other […]

Supernatural: an intergenerational tale

Recently I found a link to audio from the first storytelling show that I participated in, the Spark Off Rose show from October 2010. The theme was “Supernatural,” and most of us told ghost stories of one kind or another. I read a story from the memoir manuscript I’ve been working on, about the few […]

The empty cart

The empty cart

Late January 2014 For the last several months I have been mentally flagellating myself, trying to declutter my garage. My husband, kids, and I moved into this house over three years ago, and the unpacking process was a never-ending Hydra of paper, housewares, and detritus from grad school and earlier. I claimed that I’d finished […]

The nature of the beast

The nature of the beast

This is my first dog, Genji, in 1999, when he was a few months old. When he wasn’t gnawing on nylabones or other chew toys, he spent some valuable hours chewing my Swedish wood clogs and a couple of pairs of underwear from the laundry hamper. His other pastimes included digging into my husband’s armpits […]

The early 2009 time capsule

I’m doing a bit of house cleaning lately, in both a real and metaphorical sense, and I was looking at old Facebook lists. Remember that? A few years ago, Facebook friends were tagging each other and, I think, trying to find common ground with one another through lists of beloved movies, books, and my personal […]

The Unpleasant Pensieve

The Unpleasant Pensieve

This morning as I was having breakfast down in the yellow and blue kitchen here at Ragdale House, a place that calms me like an idealized version of the kitchen in my childhood home in Wisconsin, I had a conversation with the Ragdale housekeeper, R. In a mixture of English and Spanish, I learned that […]

Hybrid holidays

Hybrid holidays

If you read my blog regularly, you know that this year, and every year at the holidays, I’m rather morose, joyless, and ungrateful.  I feel guilty about it, which only makes things worse.  Now that the holidays are over, I think I can diagnose some of what ails me.  This is hard to write, but […]

The Designated Celebrant: Confessions of a Holiday Hater

The Designated Celebrant: Confessions of a Holiday Hater

December 18, 2012: It’s a week before Christmas.  Since we’re a mixed religion family and Hanukkah has passed, my kids have opened most of their holiday booty from my husband and me and the rest of the family.  I tried to remain neutral about the holidays, waiting with no fixed expectations for joy, peace, wonder, […]

A brief history of racism

A brief history of racism

Last week, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported that racial attitudes have gotten worse, not better, since the United States elected its first African American president four years ago in 2008.  Those who admitted to having anti-African American feelings rose from 48% in 2008 to 51% in 2012.  If the researchers included implicit […]